DISCLAIMER: This is an original story and may not be reproduced in any manner although copies for personal enjoyment are allowed providing title, author, etc remains on the copy.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: my Beta Reader did this to me. I am in middle of writing 3 other works and she just mentions, 'What if…' and sends me off on another tangent. Send virtual shaking of finger at her and tsking at her at goldenruhl_1999@yahoo.com or myself at SDerkins61@yahoo.com
WARNINGS: Some dark tones, f/f action, some bad language, all the typical things that may be offensive to individuals then avoid reading story.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

And a Door Opened
By SDerkins

Story Idea by Golden_Ruhl

 

Part Eleven

"How far away is the colony?" Cierra asked. She was getting tired and hoped it wouldn't be much further.

"From here or the apartment?" Robbie grinned.

"Either. At this point I don't care."

"Well, from the apartment it is 6.3 miles to the colony. We still have about another mile and a half to go before we get there."

"Are you sure we're heading in the right direction?" the Jumper asked nervously.

"Yes. I have my compass and knew well in advance the direction we had to go. And the flags I hung near the jump site will be visible from a long ways when we walk back tomorrow."

"Why tomorrow?"

"We have to be at the tribal jump site just before sunrise, remember? In order to do that we need to camp in Mother Earth the night before so we can be ready. We don't dare stay in the Old World overnight because it's too risky. We'll drive there and hide the SUV somewhere not visible from the road and jump. Even if the Feds were watching they'd have no idea where we'd reappear. We jump back, look around, and if it looks safe we begin transporting."

"And if it looks like a trap?"

"Then we jump to Mother Earth and have one hell of a walk back to the colony," Robbie said without humor.

"Too bad we just couldn't take the SUV with us," Cierra added wistfully.

The blonde chuckled. "And have the tribes witness our breaking the treaty within minutes of getting there? No way! This is gonna be one of the few Native-Anglo Treaties not broken."


They entered the colony amidst a furor of activity. The unexpected influx of people left the first group of colonists struggling to find places for the newer immigrants. Cierra and Robbie received several waves and greetings but the people didn't have time to stop and chat. There were things to get done. The one thing they were grateful for was the fact that none of the women who arrived today had children. The families weren't due to arrive until all the houses were finished.

"I don't know about you but I'm tired and hungry. Let's get something to eat before we tackle this?" Robbie suggested. The Jumper agreed and they tossed their pack and guns inside Cierra's home before going to the communal building.

It was nearly 2 o'clock but the cooking detail was still busy preparing lunch. Sharon shouted a greeting through the window and waved them closer.

"Am I glad to see the two of you back safe and sound! Here, let me get you a couple of plates." The older woman hastily assembled sandwiches and placed a salad next to them. "Dressing? We have Italian style oil and yogurt-onion cream," she told them.

They each chose the Italian and took the offered plates. They poured their own drinks from the huge ceramic crock sitting on a sturdy table next to the window. Cierra glanced through the window and noticed a huge pile of dirty dishes. Her eyebrow lifted. This wouldn't do at all. The women who cooked had enough on their hands without washing dishes too.

"Sharon?"

The woman turned to look at their founding mother. "Yes dear?"

"I want you to put up a sign next to the window that says 'Everyone from now on will bring their own plates, cups, napkin, and utensils to meals. Anyone without any to use will be given a set.' Okay? I don't want to see you and your girls washing a pile of dirty dishes again," she growled. "They can wash their own from now on." She winked and sat down across from Robbie at the table.

The blonde was giggling.

"What's so funny?"

Robbie finished chewing her food and dabbed her lips with cloth napkin. "Well, for someone who claimed she didn't want a queen bee position you sure issue orders pretty well."

Cierra sighed. "I wish you wouldn't use that term. I already have a few of the women referring to me as 'Queen Cierra'. It makes me uneasy."

"You may have to get used to it. Although the colony is going to be quasi-democratic, they still need a symbol to rally around. Think about it Cierra. All the communities must bring serious criminals to you for the ultimate punishment of being sent back. They need you to embody something higher than themselves and thinking of you as our queen gives them that. You may consider yourself a figurehead if that makes you feel better but the women here think of you as a voice of authority. Just accept it gracefully and don't let it go to your head. You'll do fine."

"Go to my head? Brat!" Cierra tossed a piece of crust at the blonde. Robbie just chuckled and took a bite of her vegetarian sandwich with a grimace. "Ugh, I'm turning into a rabbit," she complained.

"Well, until the smoke house is finished we can't butcher any of the animals. At the moment only two women even have experience killing and butchering animals and that's JP and Carey. They both want others to learn too. We have to get over being squeamish."

"That means you too?" Robbie noticed the small woman wince. She was definitely a fem.

"Yeah, me too. I'm hoping they will start off with something small, like fish."

"Maybe I'll pick off a rabbit during our trip back. I don't want to live off of canned beans the entire journey."

After their meal they walked out of the building to rinse their dishes at the water pump. Tracy spotted the pair and stopped in shock. "Your hair!" the young woman moaned.

Robbie rubbed her hand over her buzz cut ruefully. "Yeah, it's a bit shorter now."

"A bit! Robbie!" Tracy fell silent, unable to say a word as she looked at her.

"Aren't you going to even say hi?" Robbie asked the petite woman.

Tracy shrugged and smiled bashfully. Cierra lifted a brow and wondered if this was whom Robbie was involved with. Then Robbie answered the question a second later when the tall woman pulled Tracy into her arms and dropped a soft kiss onto her lips.

Suddenly everyone froze as the nearby women stopped and stared. Then one woman gave a hearty cheer and suddenly the crowd was hooting for the couple. Tracy managed to turn a shade of poppy red and buried her face into Robbie's chest.

JP walked up from behind then and slapped Robbie on the back. "Okay, that's one less person to find a bed for. Next!" she shouted and strolled away.

"JP Jasper, you brat! Come back here," Cierra laughed. The tall brunette laughed and turned around.

"I had to tease, Cierra! It was too good an opportunity to resist," she admitted with a lopsided smile.

"Uh huh." Cierra put her hands on her hips and twisted her lips, trying not to laugh. Talk about opportunities! "Okay, well, maybe we can find another person a bed real quick too," she said with a naughty gleam in her eye. The Jumper grabbed JP's shirt with both hands and pulled her down roughly to plant a kiss on those quirky full lips that had been tempting her for weeks.

The eruption from the women around them was staggering. Suddenly the cheers went to laughter as Cierra released the stunned JP. The brunette promptly fell to the ground on her ass.

Pleased with the result, Cierra spun on her heels and entered her house. She was curious how long it would take for those blue eyes to stop spinning.

Outside, Robbie was holding her stomach from the pain of laughing so hard. JP was just sitting there looking stunned. After about 15 seconds the blonde realized her friend needed a helping hand or a kick in the butt, whatever came first. She grabbed JP's shirt from behind and helped pull her to her feet.

"Well, just don't stand there you idiot! Go after her!" She gave JP a push towards the adobe house. JP finally got the idea and went inside, shutting the door behind her.


The thick walls muffled the noises from outside. JP stuck her hands inside her Jean pockets and smiled bashfully. "Hi."

"Hi yourself. I guess I should invite you to sit down at least."

"At least. Maybe even tell me why, out of the blue, you kiss me?" JP said gently.

"Hmm, why. Maybe because I'm tired of fighting against this. JP, after Hallie I was terrified of getting involved again. I still am in fact. Kissing you was probably stupid and impulsive but I couldn't help myself."

"If you're still afraid then maybe I shouldn't get my hope up, right?" JP asked softly, her eyes miserable. Cierra felt something inside melt. She walked over to the tall brunette and wrapped her arms around her trim waist.

"No, I'm not saying that at all. I just…well, I'm not exactly sure how you feel about me and that frightens me. I know we're friends but you never pushed for more. I've kind of been lost, you know?"

"I thought maybe you didn't like me that way," JP admitted, shrugging in embarrassment.

Cierra made a single noise, half-laugh, half-grunt. "I've always liked you. The first time I saw you I felt so guilty looking at you since I was still with Hallie. You have the most beautiful eyes," Cierra sighed.

The tall woman felt heat rise to her face. No woman had ever looked at her that way before. The survivalist wasn't vain but she had her share of women who flirted or gave her hungry looks. This was very different. Cierra's eyes and face expressed so many emotions that JP was at a loss to which one to deal with first.

The Jumper saw the lost look and sat down on the bed. She smiled gently and held out her hand. JP hesitated only a moment then took her hand and slowly sat next to her. Cierra leaned over and rested her cheek on JP's broad shoulder.

"Think you could handle a platonic romance for a little while? I just need a bit more time."

JP grinned. "Sure. I guess this means the offer of sharing your bed had been withdrawn then," she commented.

"Nope. I still want you here--if you're comfortable with it that is. My bedding already smells like you so it's been like you sleeping here already. Besides, it's getting chilly at night and I bet you're nice and warm," Cierra grinned.

"Uh huh. I see how it is. You just want a hot water bottle," JP said with a fake pout. Cierra giggled and snuggled closer.


They took the afternoon to actually talk to one another. It was a rare opportunity to sit and relax since the entire colony idea began. Cierra felt her fears easing as she got to know JP better.

Later that afternoon they left their home and headed for the kitchen. Both were starving and tomorrow was going to be another long day. The four of them (Cierra, Cyd, JP, and Robbie) would need to hike back to the apartment jump point carrying the supplies they would need for the long return trip home. From there they would drive to a small but isolated area east of SF. The location was off a two-lane highway and away from prying eyes—they hoped. It wouldn't take long for someone to find dozens of abandoned trailers and trucks but it would be too late then.

The pair entered the communal building and got only a few teasing comments. As a whole, the community was happy for them. JP asked for an eating set and waited for the plates to be filled. Sharon handed them plates loaded down with a salad, a huge piece of freshly baked bread, mashed potatoes and surprisingly, a slice of chicken breast.

"Hey, where'd the chicken come from?" JP asked. "They didn't already go out to the coops and strangled a few, did they?"

"It's not chicken. Carey and a few others went out and killed about seven wild turkeys. They were even nice enough to pluck and dress them for us. We stuck them into a bunch of Dutch ovens and baked them in the bread oven. Worked like a charm," Sharon told them.

"They promised to go fishing at that lake tomorrow. I guess too many were grumbling they weren't cows," one of the other cooks added.

"I think Carey is going to find herself with the job of official hunter," JP chuckled.

"Me too. I don't know about you but I miss hamburgers most of all. We bought meat grinders but there's nothing to grind yet."

They sat at one of the tables. Jenny overheard the last comment and spoke up. "Maybe when you meet with the tribes you can mention them transporting snow and chunks of ice to the trade area. One of them is heading for the Sierra Summit area. Maybe they can find a way to transport it without melting too much. We can then put it in that deep hole we were going to use for a cistern. It's lined with solid cement."

"You are amazing Jenny Holton! We'll bring it up when we get there. Maybe we can have them bring it mid winter. I'm sure we can make a decent trade between us. That area isn't made for farming, mostly hunting. We can trade them produce and preserved stuff. They can bring any empty canning jars back later at the Trading Post so we can refill them," JP added.

Dinnertime was fun and people's spirits were high in spite of the sudden changes. As the first began heading out Sharon reminded them to take their dinnerware and wash them at the pump outside. Cierra found when she left with her dirty dishes that Sharon's crew had put out tubs labeled for scraps for the chickens and pigs and a barrel for the compost pile. Hanging from the pump was a long handled brush and a bucket of soapy water. The woman thought of everything.

She and JP headed back to where the survivalist had been staying to pick up her things and move them to Cierra's. When they arrived at the tent they already found her possessions packed neatly into boxes. Someone had already been assigned to her cot.

With a lopsided grin, JP picked up the heaviest two boxes and let Cierra carry the third. Once back at the adobe home they placed the boxes against one wall. Tomorrow morning would be soon enough to pack what they needed for the trip.

The sun was getting low in the sky and the building was getting dark. JP lit a few candles and suggested they get ready for bed. They silently changed into their sleeping attire and avoided watching the other. Cierra offered JP the first crack at the toilet while she brushed her teeth at the basin.

JP opened the door to the tiny room. Each adobe house had a pipe under it with a large cement pipe beneath it. The pipe had been cast with holes for each planned home. Through the pipe was the diverted water from a nearby stream. The water ran the length of the pipe to a natural sinkhole about 900 ft away from the village. They had several more large piles of piping ready for the next 2 rows of houses. Ashes from the fires and baked limestone powder would be scattered over the sinkhole to keep the odors down. Luckily the wind usually blew in a favorable direction. In each house was a simple wooden seat over a box to use as a toilet. The people in the tent areas were using outhouses.

JP always felt funny using the flow toilets because her butt felt the draft of air. She did her business and sparingly used the toilet paper left on the small shelf. That was something they would have to do without soon enough. She left the room and saw Cierra finishing up with her brushing. The survivalist fetched her own brush and toothpaste while Cierra did her business in the bathroom.

Once ready for bed Cierra blew out the candles and crawled in. JP was next to her stiffly and being careful not to touch her. Cierra huffed and grabbed JP's arm and tugged her closer. "C'mere my little hot water bottle" she teased. The tall woman chuckled and spooned behind her. Sleep soon took them both.

 

Part Twelve

JP woke to the sounds of chirping birds and the scent of Cierra's hair. The soft strands felt nice against her face and she snuggled even closer.

The smaller woman whined softly. "Do we have to get out of bed today?"

"Ugh, talk about a cold slap of reality. Yeah, we have to get going soon."

"I don't wanna be queen bee anymore. Let's stay right here," Cierra suggested.

JP chuckled and tugged Cierra closer and placed a kiss on her cheek. "Get moving Queen slug-a-bed. I'll even let you have first crack at the plumbing while I wash up," the tall woman urged while swatting Cierra lightly on the hip.

"Such a sweetheart. Alright, I'm getting up." The Jumper grunted and squealed when her feet hit the cold tile. She put on her slippers quickly and hurried into the small room.

The survivalist crawled out of the warm bed and poured water into the basin. She took a washrag and quickly cleaned up. She knew a real bath would be a waste of time since they had to hike for miles to the jump spot. JP wondered if they would have time for a quick shower there. She'd take along a towel just in case.

"Okay, it's all yours. Hurry up so we can go get breakfast and be on our way."

"Boy, you got perky all of a sudden."

"Once I get up I'm energized," she warned her friend. "My turn," Cierra said as she picked up the same cloth JP had used. She rinsed it out and began removing her shirt. JP hastily went into the bathroom.

Cierra pulled on a clean shirt after washing and had just got fresh panties on when JP reentered the room. The tall woman spared her a wink and grabbed some clothing from a box. As she changed the small woman couldn't resist peeking. JP was bending over to pull on some Jeans and she groaned. JP turned to look behind her.

"I always suspected you had a cute butt under those baggy cargo pants," Cierra said with a small leer. JP didn't answer but turned an adorable shade of pink. She turned her back and finished dressing, mumbling something that sounded like 'abuse of power' under her breath. Cierra grinned and walked to the door and removed the bar. She grabbed the ring and moved over the bear spikes so it leaned against the wall.

She stepped outside and took a deep breath. "Mmm, it smells wonderful in the mornings. Come on you slow poke, let's go."

The tall woman was pushing her foot into a boot and trying to stay upright. "Just a minute brat. I doubt the others are even up yet, especially Robbie."

"Yeah, they finally got some privacy and time together last night. Robbie will probably drag her ass out eventually. In the meantime we need to load our packs once we eat. The spare bedrolls are in the courthouse along with the 2 man, um, woman tents. Sharon said she'd have our food supplies ready this morning. She promises it won't be just beans."

"As long as we have a can opener we'll do fine," JP teased.

"Ha. Like we'd forget anything. Cyd is the ultimate list maker. I bet she'll make us go through it before leaving," she scoffed.

"That's a bet I wouldn't touch. Okay, I'm ready."

The communal area only had a few people there. The majority of the community wouldn't shuffle in for another half an hour. They greeted the other women and headed for the window, plates in hand. Hillary dropped her towel onto a counter and smiled. "Would you care for any of the left-over turkey? We left it in a stockpot simmering all night with some veggies to make a soup." She looked at their hands and asked if they had gotten soup bowls yet. They shook their heads and were handed two bowls of hot soup along with buttered bread. Breakfast would never be the same in the colony. Food was too precious to throw away and without refrigeration they had to eat leftovers quickly.

"Want any fried potatoes? They're made with diced bell peppers and onions and fried in butter," Hillary offered. Both women grinned and told her to load them up. They sat down and Cierra watched with amusement as JP liberally shook black pepper onto her potatoes.

"I think that's another plant we'll have to cultivate here. Once the black pepper is gone people will complain."

"Carey already has one potted at her house," JP told her just before taking a forkful of the crispy potatoes.

"I bet someone has tobacco already too."

"Yup."

"Coffee beans?"

"Uh huh."

Cierra sighed. "All the vices we ought to avoid. I wouldn't be surprised if someone smuggled in some weed," the Jumper sighed.

"Um, no comment," JP hastily answered and tasted her soup.

"JP! Oh well, it could be worse. But if I hear about any real drug abuse I'm dragging those people back," Cierra growled.

"Yes ma'am." JP looked up as the door opened. "Here comes Robbie and Tracy. I thought Cyd and Jenny would have beaten them here this morning," she whispered. "Hi ladies! Robbie, you finish packing yet?"

"Um, almost. Let us get something to eat. Be right back."

Robbie returned with a plate piled high and several chunks of bread along with the soup. Tracy on the other hand, stuck to just soup and bread. They were about to start a conversation when Cyd came in alone. She waved as she juggled her eating utensils in the other hand. Maybe they needed to make bags to carry them in.

Cyd loaded up as well. "Another hollow leg I see," Tracy teased as the tall woman sat down. "Good thing you all are active or it would catch up to you."

"Where is Jenny this morning?" Cierra asked in concern.

"Pouting in bed. She wanted to come along too but I told her no. Not in her condition," Cyd grumbled.

"Condition?" Tracy asked.

"Well, we talked about it and made a couple of doctor visits before leaving the farm. She wanted a baby."

"You mean she's pregnant?" Tracy asked in shock.

"Congratulations," JP said with a grin. Cierra echoed her.

"Thanks. Right now she's going through a bit of morning sickness. I was hoping someone would keep an eye on her while I'm gone," Cyd hinted, looking at Tracy. The woman smiled and promised to take good care of her.


Four hours later they were in the SUV and heading for the rendezvous. Robbie had checked the vehicle for tracking devices and found it clean. At least no one had found the apartment yet. They stopped at a truck stop and picked up some snacks for the trip back. Robbie guarded the SUV while they were inside. She didn't spot any thing out of place and hadn't spotted anyone tracking them. The others returned to the car with loaded bags.

"What did you do, buy them out?"

"Not exactly, but we did pick up a few things for the colony too." JP pulled out several picnic packs of salt and pepper. Cierra held up her stash of saltines. "For Jenny's upset tummy—and I got her some vitamins too. I know we can't see a pharmacist at the moment and pick up prenatal vitamins. These will have to do."

"How are we gonna carry all these bags on horse back?" Robbie asked. JP held up a dufflebag. "Never mind."


They pulled into the emergency lane and waited until no other vehicles could be seen on the little used highway. Robbie then drove off the road and headed for the agreed upon location. They checked the map and looked for a place to hide the SUV. Robbie spotted a clump of trees and maneuvered it into them. They used their hatchets to cut off branches and hid it as best they could. Hopefully it couldn't be seen from the air. The group removed everything from the vehicle, careful to remove anything that may identify them, including the plates. Robbie had pried out the VIN numbers from the dash and engine compartment. She didn't worry about the cost of the SUV. It was paid for and fairly old.

They walked to the center of the field and gathered around Cierra, placing their hands on her bare arms. A moment later they were back at Mother Earth. Cierra made a circle with a can of spray paint and they looked for a good place to make camp. They made a campfire to keep away wildlife from the camp and spent the day just chatting or eating until bedtime.

Robbie had brought along a travel alarm clock, afraid of oversleeping the next morning. They crawled into their small tents just as the sun was setting. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.


Cierra heard someone scratching the outside canvas of the tent. She pried open her eyes and shifted. JP snuggled closer and slid her hand under the bottom of her top and settled it against her belly. The jumper pouted because she wanted to just stay there but she had a job to do. She reached behind her and patted JP's hip. "Time to get up sweetie," she murmured. The tall woman grunted as she woke up.

"We just got comfy," she complained, plopping her head back onto the wad of clothing she used as a pillow.

"I know, but today is the day. Let's go find a bush and get ready." Cierra reached up and unzipped the tent, feeling the chilly air of the morning. She managed to crawl out stiffly and straightened, trying to loosen her sore muscles. JP crawled out after her and groaned.

"The sun isn't even up yet. I don't know about you but I'm not finding a bush in the dark. I'll wait until later. She leaned forward and kissed the top of Cierra's head, not trusting her breath to be fresh enough to kiss her properly. She felt like her mouth was full of cotton. JP walked the few feet to the campfire and stirred it, adding a few branches to get it going before putting a cast iron kettle over it to heat. She needed something warm to eat. She pulled the dufflebag out of the tent and removed the box of instant oatmeal they had gotten the previous day. That would do.

Cyd and Robbie entered the light of the campfire and sat down. "We have about forty minutes before we have to jump." Robbie told them after glancing at the travel alarm. She picked up the box of oatmeal and held it up to the light of the campfire to read it. "I call dibs on the peaches and cream."

"I don't care which one I get—it all tastes like paste," Cyd comment. "I just want coffee, she said sleepily, her eyes half closed. They popped open when JP nudged her with something hard. She looked down and saw a can of flavored instant coffee. "Ooh, you are my hero!" she squealed. She tested the water and wondered if it was hot enough yet.

Cierra chuckled and passed out the tin mugs from her pack. She then gave each woman a spoon and shallow tin bowls.

Thirty-five minutes later they jumped back into the Old World. The sun was just coming up in brilliant shades of pink and orange. They had jumped about 100 ft from the original spot, well away from the SUV. They wanted to look and make sure nothing was out of place. They kept their hands on Cierra's arm in case she had to suddenly jump.

Seeing nothing to alarm them they headed for the rendezvous that was about 200 yards south of them. They walked up the steep hill and looked down in amazement.

Below them nearly 500 people on horseback and wagons, all silently waiting for them. Robbie removed her flashlight and flicked it twice. If everything was safe then Whitefeather would take his flashlight and wave it in a circle above his head. If for some reason the authorities tried to hold them captive or force them into bringing Cierra to them he would flick it four times.

They watched a light appear and form a circle in the dim light. They began carefully walking down the hill to the waiting people.

There were quiet murmurs as they walked up to Whitefeather but nothing that would carry on the wind.

"Are you ready?" Cierra asked quietly.

"Yes, we are ready to go home," the elderly man said. Cierra went over the rules with the first pair. They would place their hands on her shoulders then once they jumped they would move forward. She would jump back and get the next pair. Two were all she could handle since they had to sit on their horses to jump. She would be worn out by the time they finished.


Hours later the sun was up fully and everyone was getting nervous. They could be spotted from the air now if anyone flew low over them. Cierra was feeling the strain of so many jumps and was slowing down.

"She needs to stop for a minute and eat something," JP told Whitefeather. "She's exhausted."

"I agree. She's wilting before our eyes," the old man said. He walked back to his horse and removed some jerky. It wasn't much but would do in a pinch. He handed it to the woman and told her to sit for a moment while she chewed it.

They were nearly finished and only a dozen more of his people needed to jump. He watched the Shaman chew the tough meat as JP held her close. They were quite in love, the two of them, he thought. Cierra finished her last bite and swallowed some water from a canteen. She wearily stood up and nodded. A wagon and a man on horseback got on each side of her. She jumped once more.

Several minutes later everyone had been sent off except for Whitefeather and the four American Anglos. The horses were waiting for them nearby. The old man offered a hug in thanks then waited as the four of them got on their horses. She would take Whitefeather and Cyd next. They were getting into place when a deep thrum filled the air. They looked up at the sky as the sound grew louder. Suddenly several military helicopters zoomed overhead and disappeared over the hill.

"Shit, get them out of here and hurry back Cierra!" Robbie shouted. They had no idea if any troops were on the ground near them. The Jumper nodded and flickered out of sight. Robbie shifted nervously as the sounds of the Apaches got louder. They were heading back.

"Come on, come on," she urged Cierra to return. Suddenly uniformed men came over the top of the hill. They would be there within seconds. Cierra popped back and screamed for them to hurry up and touch her. She had her hand on the talisman and the other trying to control her skittish horse. They reached for her just as something struck Cierra in the shoulder. A tranquilizer dart. Robbie quickly yanked it out and told Cierra to jump.

The brunette forced herself to remain awake and concentrate. She never knew if she succeeded because the drug took effect too quickly.

Robbie and JP both reached out to catch Cierra from falling from her horse. The blonde steadied the petite woman as JP jumped down and pulled Cierra into her arms. She held her gently as Whitefeather rushed to them.

"Is the Shaman alive?"

Robbie answered. "Yes, but she was hit with a dart. I think someone wanted to make sure she was captured alive. She'll probably sleep for quite a while and wake up with a hell of a headache."

"Shall we prepare a tent for her?" the old man asked, still upset over the close call they had.

"No, we're fine. Our camp is just over there," Robbie told him, pointing towards the tree-lined area.

"Then we will leave you now. Good luck with your village. We will see you next May."

The mention of the trading event brought JP out of her worried stupor enough to remember what Jenny had suggested. She quickly repeated it and the old man agreed to speak with the elders of that camp. With that, he shook their hands and bid them a good journey.

The End

Note from author: I realized this was going to be too big to remain one story and decided to write a sequel. And a Door Opened was basically the history and boring details of how this colony would be formed. The next would be their adventures in their new home of Mother Earth. The next story in the series is already completed, titled Shaman's Legacy and the third of the series is nearly finished, titled The Pathfinder. I have a feeling a fourth won't be far behind.

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