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25 April 2017 @ 12:22 pm
Scrambled_ part 10  
  Overlaps the previous, as I added a bit.

Chapter Fifteen

"Empty apartments all full o'clothes?" Macy looked over at Seuz. "We need to get over there before someone beats us to it."

"I got, like, plenty of clothes."

Macy rolled her eyes. "No, no, no! You have plenty of clothes now but they wear out, and anyhow, there's plenty of folk without any but what's on their backs. We oughta open a store . . . One of them warehouse things. Meisha said if the guys really could get the water runnin, they were movin' someplace with real toilets and sinks and bathtubs. I told her I didn't think them office warehouse things had bathtubs, but she thought they could fix that, just so they had room to be together."

Suez bit down on a fingernail. "Yeah, like, they've been chased everywhere for years. Gamer said she'd been shot, you know, like, just a couple of weeks ago, and that zowie magic wine saved her life."

"Huh. So they're stickin together. You don't suppose Nick and those old women . . . "

"Eww! Well . . . Fatina and Mona are young enough to, you know, look sexy."

"I looked it up on my comp before the battery died. Azho the Priest Killer is only nineteen years old."

"And he's cute . . . in a, you know, very scary sort of way."

"Oh yeah! Those eyes! They just stare right into your soul!"

"Like he's gonna just have you for a snack."

"And he sure did clean up nice!"

Double sighs.

Macy shook herself. "Let's go shopin' for a store."

"Yeah . . . Macy? Are we, like . . . working? I mean . . . " Suez grabbed Macy's arm and then jerked her hand back

"Oh Suez, we always worked. This is just honest work, on account of . . . What're you lookin at me like that fer?"

"Macy, you're pregnant."

"What!" Macy closed her eyes and saw the double exposure aura effect of an early pregnancy.

"You'll be all right." Suez patted her shoulder. "Surely there's a doctor around here somewhere."

"Suez? I think yer preggers too." Macy opened her eyes and, now that she was trying, she could still see both their auras . . . "We're going to need an honest job . . . selling clothes that are just sitting around, abandoned. It ain't stealin."

"I've, like, got a block, not just an implant."

"I gotta implant . . . this ain't that zowie wine agin, is it?"

They asked around. Every woman who'd joined the street orgy was preggers.

Even Fat Kedy, who was pushing a hundred. Miss Boot fainted.

Umaya told all and sundry that it was their fault for drinking alcohol, and then said she'd delivered babies before. "But I suppose you modern women will want to go to some man who thinks he's an expert."

The crowd of women exchanged glances.

Macy cleared her throat. "I think I'll walk over to those apartments and have a little chat with people over there. Maybe take a few presents with me. I wonder what a doctor would need, that he might just trade services fer?"




Chapter Sixteen

Captain Ahco stared at all the red and yellow lights on the two docboxes and winced.

The docboxes had been moved from the half-collapsed Ministry clinic to this music store next to the minor emergency clinic that was serving as their only medical facility.

"And you figure you've got another day's worth of gasoline for the generator?" He bit his lip. "I don't recall seeing any fueling stations in any of our sections, but I'll check the Red Zone."

Zee fielded three hundred men and managed to get nearly forty killed, twice as many wounded in an encounter that probably lasted less than fifteen minutes of actual fighting.

And got himself killed.

Shit, or captured. The way his people cut and run we can only presume any of them are dead. The Earthers took all the bodies away, living or dead.

And One help us Captain Ijje is now the senior man, panicked and trying to hide it behind formalities. He has his men out piling rubble, raising a wall a third of the way across the mixed up hub. And the Earthers are doing the same, on their side. Theirs is a lot neater than ours, we're using ruined walls and tide pools for parts of ours.

No man's land inbetween. Three to five hundred meters wide, depending on the wobbles in our wall.

"I'll find fuel." Ahco turned away from the docbox that was attempting to repair the Ministers wounds. No shield? And no one near to shield for him? He headed for the open doorway.

"Dismissed, Captain!" Ijje sounded pissed.

Ahco ignored him. Technically he has authority over the Black Horse Guards. But we've always operated independently of the rest of the military. I'm going to make that as independent as possible. Which won't be very. They've started a war, and we won't be allowed to be neutral.

Now I really need to get the predator wall finished, else the Earthers will just drive around the outside of the pinwheel and hit us from the back.

He looked up as Myyk joined him. Held out a stack of folded clothes. "We raided empty apartments for clothes, and we've got two on the ground floor across fro HQ that we've laid claim to. They've got two bathrooms each. A little spell to heat the water once you've filled the tub, and you can really soak. I highly recommend it."

"I smell that bad?"

"Everyone does, but now it can be remedied. Go. This mess will still be here when you get out."

***

The mess was indeed still there.

And at the southern extent of their wall, four women arguing with OJ and Igloo.

"Well, until somebody invents some money, all we can do is trade, and no, we are not giving anything away." The woman in the lead looked starched and prim.

The other three looked like whores on their day off. Almost decent.

Then Ahco realized what they were carrying.

"Is that . . . "

"Gasoline." The redhead batted her eyelashes at him. "Twenty four liters. We want to talk to a doctor."

What? They don't look sick, but perhaps there's a problem back in the Red Zone.

"Right. Well, we've got three of them. Come on in. The clinic's this way."

They followed him, looking all around.

"Those apartment towers must be exquisitely engineered. They didn't even lose many windows." The prim woman stepped up to walk beside him. "I'm Boot Servaone, Miss Boot to everyone, especially my former students. Macy, Suez and Kedy are neighbors of mine."

"Pleased to meet you. We . . . really do need to get to know all the groups." He grit his teeth. "Unfortunately Minister Wmcu didn't agree."

The fat whore laughed. "My old Granny had a saying. 'When you got a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.' You maroon an idiot with a soldiers, you get a war."

Ahco opened the door to the clinic.

The redhead craned her neck to look at the docboxes through the roughly cut doorway. "Who in there?"

"The idiot." Ahco stuck his head through the other door. "Dr. Oakey? Can you come out for a moment?"

"What have you got?"

"Someone who want a doctor and will trade for gasoline."

Dr. Oqvy hastened through the door. His eyes went from the four gallon cans to the women. "Good One. All four of you are pregnant?"

The blonde nodded. "Yes, so we're going to need a doctor in nine months."

"Ladies, for enough gasoline to keep the clinic open and those docboxes running for another couple of days, I will gladly deliver all of your babies."

Behind him, the other doctor snorted. "Unless they'd prefer an abortion? None of them are more than a few days along, by the glow."

All four women glared through the door at him.

"I'm so old, I figured I couldn't anymore." The fat one did have a lot of gray hairs.

The redhead snorted. "We're pioneers, colonists. You don't want a next generation, fine. Ah do."

The blonde nodded. "Pioneer women are supposed to have babies."

Miss Boot sniffed. "And I like children, always wished I had some of my own, but . . . And now I will."

Doc Oakey threw a glare of his own over his shoulder. "I suppose you are just marking time until someone shows up to take you home? You do remember that we don't have a working gate? And even when we did, relocating a world that didn't have an anchor was very difficult."

"But Earth  . . . has a working gate . . . "

"Yeah. That fills me with joy! Doctor Edrw, we may never get home. Go think about it. And I personally find these ladies attitude admirable." Oakey turned back to the women. "Why don't we start with a physical? Captain? Could you see to getting the ladies' advance payment-in-full for pre-natal and obstetric care gets around to the generator?"






Chapter Seventeen

"Uh . . . you're supposed to be protecting us, not stealing from us." Lou didn't move, what with four soldiers pointing rifles his direction. "I'm trying to keep a batch of old ladies alive . . . and that's their dinner you're taking."

Harrison, beside him, growled. "Shut up before you get us shot."

"Oh, yeah, you got any spare guns or ammunition over there? There's dinosaurs . . . " He tried to duck the rifle stock . . .

"Oww!"

"Oh look! The idiot's awake. Guess he's not going to die after all."

Lou blinked. He was in the lobby, on one of the fashionable spindly couches. "What happened?"

"You kept talking, under the very much mistaken opinion that those gentlemen were on our side and gave a damn about anyone here. They knocked you out, went back to taking all the food, and a few other things, like all the coffee and tea we had left. Then, after eyeing the women, they departed."

"The . . . but we're all Earthers!"

Harrison shook his head. "Lou . . . in case you hadn't noticed, we're in trouble. It's turning into every little group for itself. And we've got nothing to defend ourselves with. They've got guards out, keeping an eye on the One Worlders east of here. 'Protecting us from them' they said. But they're going to expect to . . . be paid. So we need to start hunting and cooking, make sure they don't want other forms of payment."

"Raping the women, you mean." Lou forced himself to sit up. Oh God. I've been an idiot. I didn't take that little firefight seriously.

"Yeah. Now Tracie caught on fast and hid the rifles and ammo Nick brought us. So while you gaze at your navel and do some thinking, some of us are going to go hunting."