Spreading Seeds Ch. 06byJackLuis©
Chapter 6 - Dinner with Mom
I entered the mess hall and looked around for Audrey. I didn't see her but I saw Raule and Bob standing in the corner and I walked over to see them. "Hey," I said as I came up to them.
"Hey, "Bob answered. "Sarge has been looking for you all afternoon. You need to talk to him."
"What about?" I asked. I didn't like the sound of it. Sarge had told me to take the day off, early that morning, and the get Astral to show me around. He had fixed it so she would be off today too. I looked around the room for him and saw the back of his head. I waved at Raule and Bob and drifted off to see him. I was constantly distracted however for wherever I went, behind my back I'd hear, "Oh Josh" and I'd turn and see nothing but laughing women.
Sarge saw me coming and had excused himself from the women he was talking to, kissing a couple before he waved me outside and we met at the door. He came up and shook my hand, "Josh glad to see you."
I looked at him carefully, he looked sober. "Bob said you wanted to see me?" I asked.
He nodded motioned us outdoors where he threw his arm over my shoulder and said, "My boy you may have hit one over the fence last night. I've been talking to the Grandfathers and some of the women. Apparently you have hooked up with the right girl last night."
"I did," I asked.
"It was the luck of the draw but you pulled the long straw." He said beaming at me.
"Sarge what are you talking about?" I asked and his arm came off my shoulders.
"Ok," he said. "You tapped into the daughter of the head of the whole Administration."
"Yeah, Audrey's mom, I met her at lunch."
"Well apparently you impressed the hell out of her and she asked Mercer if you could have dinner with them tonight."
"I know, I was looking for them before you called me outside."
"Well you won't be eating here. They laid on a special dinner for the Cocksucker Corps tonight and someone will meet you and take you there. Don't know who."
"Cocksucker Corps?" I asked.
"Yeah, the women that had been collecting sperm samples."
"Oh," I said.
"Anyway they're going to retire all of them but a couple tonight and Ms. Riley asked if you could come too." He patted me on the back and said, "This is very important Josh. Do what ever she wants, be charming and polite and don't worry about being late for duty tomorrow. But if you find yourself without a place to sleep, come to the Kiva. The beds are in and I had all our gear moved up there.
"Sure Sarge," I said as we made our way back inside.
I hung around the door, if someone was going to take me to dinner they wouldn't have to look hard to find me.
I felt a touch on my arm and turned, a girl about 16 stepped back and saluted. I put out my hand and said, "Josh Perkins," She looked around and then with a smile took my hand by the fingers and shook it lightly letting her hand slowly slid down to the fingertips. She stood up, "Sir, I have been sent to take you to dinner. If you would follow me." She turned and I saw that out side four of the go-fer girls all in uniform and nightsticks were in formation. I came out and they formed up around me we went off into the twilight. Them marching, and me trying to keep step.
They led me to a doorway of a large rectilinear building and stopped, the lead girl knocked and the door opened. I thanked the girls and shook hands all around then went in.
Audrey met me at the door and took both my hands in hers. I thought she was going to kiss me but she reconsidered. She was dressed in a light blue dress that just covered her bosom but allowed a glimpse now and then of her breasts. Her hair was down and flowing she was radiant and smiling as she led me by the hand introducing me to people.
The entrance hallway was lit with gas jets and it seemed to be an office building. The crowd was called to dinner and Audrey led me thru the doors into a room that was large and high ceilinged. A table set for 20 ringed the room. A few old Grandfathers and Ms. Riley sat at the head, Audrey led me to one of the side tables and we sat down while her mother tapped a glass with her knife to get our attention.
"Greetings Friends and," she bowed to me and to Chief Mercer and Ginny who sat at the head table with the Grandfathers, "our new allies in the War against the residual effect of the Plague. We are gathered tonight to begin the transformation of our Community. Last year when we made contact and began the negotiations to begin this process, Grace Mercer promised us that she would bring in a team to help us in everyway she could.
Tonight, I wanted to say that so far her team has exceeded our expectations. She brings a very talented and capable team with her and I look forward to working with her to bring our plans to fruition." Ms Riley bowed to Chief Mercer, and then turned back to the room saying, "I am especially pleased tonight to welcome Josh Perkins who was able to join us."
Now I was pleased she mentioned me and acknowledged the polite and brief applause that followed by rising and bowing slightly to her. But I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
You know the one where you are suddenly selected, because of your natural ability and knowledge of animals, to singlehandedly castrate a grizzly bear with a flint blade. I knew in my heart that something was going to happen because of this and I feared I wouldn't like it.
Ms. Reilly continued, "I have learned that despite his young good looks that Mr. Perkins is a fully qualified Agronomist and Transport specialist. With the trade that Grace and I anticipate to conduct we will need his skills.
Such is the future ladies and gentlemen. We, who are reaching the end of our brief lives, must inevitably yield the work over to younger hands. Such is the case with four of our Sisters," she indicated the four toothless women on her right, "who tonight have been transferred to the Health Administration's Nursery Division and soon will be hopefully fully employed," she nodded at me, "with Mr. Perkin's and the remainder of his team's kind assistance."
A laugh circulated around the room and Audrey kissed my cheek.
"Now as much as we appreciate Mr. Perkins I must say that he is not the most distinguished member of the Team even though he has sired 51 children as of last Christmas."
A round of smiles and tip of a few glasses followed.
"No, it is because his accomplishments rank him least of all the team Grace has brought us, that I brought him here tonight." Ms Riley looked at Chief Mercer and said, "If he is the least you brought, with five more like him we might just break the chain and overcome the plague's last terrible consequences."
With that the room exploded with cheers and applause and laughter. Ms. Riley waited patently but the shear strength of her will seemed to get everyone quieted down and in their seats.
"Now we shall eat then I will present the awards with the brandy. Enjoy yourselves." She sat down and a platoon of girls all dressed in the grey of the Security Administration began serving us.
I was seated between Audrey and an attractive woman about 30, she was medium sized but filled out her uniform well and had very white skin and red hair. She was in uniform but I didn't ask what it was. She was polite and smiled at me, but I felt that I was not very interesting to her as she constantly scanned the room with her eyes and barely ate. It was easy to ignore her with the excited Audrey hanging on my elbow and seariptiosly rubbing my thigh.
"Josh this is Justine Black," Audrey said introducing me to the woman on the other side of her. I nodded. "Pleased to meet you," I said and reached across to shake her hand. Audrey leaned back and I caught a glimpse of warm soft breast and I took my eyes off Justine for a second. When I looked back up at her she was smiling. She leaned in to Audrey and said, "I see what you mean." And to me she said, "We are very happy to have you men here, and your women too."
Audrey took my hand as I brought it back from Justine and held it in her lap. I sat there twisted around and looked at her smiling, waiting for her to say something, but when she just sat there smiling. I lifted my hand and caressed her cheek. She laid her head against it and pressed it to her face with her hand. "Your soup is getting cold," I said.
She started, realizing she had completely lost track of everything but me. She smiled and said "You are a very distracting man Josh Perkins." But she turned to her soup and I finally was about to taste mine when a go-fer girl whisked it away and left a bowl of stewed greens with lumps of yellow squash and crumbled goat cheese on my plate.
I'll just say it tasted better than it looked and leave it at that. Audrey seemed to enjoy it and kept up conversation with Justine and the woman on Justine's left as I looked around. Ms Reilly was in deep dissuasion with the three Grandfathers seated at the head table. Ginny sat on the other side of them and so their backs were to her.
Chief Mercer was standing now behind the Grandfathers and leaned over to make some point and there was a general nodding of heads. It looked good to me; we had discussed what might happen when we arrived here, all those long weeks on the trail. There were serious discussions about how we were to conduct ourselves if the Barneyites just seized us and the trade goods we brought, or if we should be attacked on the trail. All that seemed silly now that we were here but things would be in flux as both sides accommodated each other in the trade negotiations.
The ever efficient go-fer girls recovered the greens and suddenly there was a steak and sliced potatoes in front of me. Audrey said, "My mother sent Andre's Archers out and had them get it, do you like venison?"
I never took my eyes off the steak, I just picked up my knife and fork and said, "Yes I do, thank her for me won't you," while cutting off a bit and putting it in my mouth. As I dipped my head to eat a girl reached in a put a glass of beer next to my plate.
I wasn't starving but I was hungry. I hadn't eaten, really eaten since we got here and I'm afraid I let conversation lag a bit. Audrey seemed to understand and the woman on my right just smiled and nodded offering me some sort of sauce to put on the potatoes. I tried it and it wasn't bad.
I became aware that others were watching me. I looked up as the go-fer girls put another steak in front of me and handed me another beer. I looked around and Ms Riley was smiling at me and Audrey was tittering to Justine. Chief Mercer was looking over the heads of the Grandfathers smiling and nodded at me. I nodded my head and chewed and dug into the next steak.
The go-fers bussed the tables and started pouring brandy for the head table when I finally had too much and sat back to polite applause from Justine. My place setting was quickly changed and they served something tan in a small glass bowl.
I looked at Audrey and she said "Flan" If she had said custard I would have known what she meant. She dipped her spoon in to her bowl and took out a small taste and put it to my lips. I tentatively took it and tasted it.
"Custard!" I said like a two year old who had just learned the word.
Audrey laughed and kissed me lightly, "Yes!"
"I like custard; it was my favorite dessert for many years." "Well so much for the charming part," I thought. I shifted to polite. "I want to thank who ever cooked this wonderful meal and your mother for inviting me. I haven't eaten this well in many weeks. I've lost ten pounds and I guess I was trying to make it all up at once."
Justine said "Josh we want you to keep up your strength. You've had a long hard trail to get to us and we are happy to have you."
"Yes, We are, so happy to have you here Josh," Audrey added and kissed me on the cheek.
I thanked them all again and ate my custard. Audrey explained that Flan had a layer of syrup under the custard and she was right.
Ms. Riley tapped on her glass and the room came to order.
She held out her hand and raised her glass, "Tonight we are pleased to honor four of our most dedicated citizens, Rachel Desoto, Marylyn Archer, Grace Meriwether and Alice Grant. These ladies have performed a vital and necessary service for our community and we all owe them a debt of gratitude."
Applause broke out and even the Grandfathers seemed sincere about it. The four all resembled Marylyn who waved at me and whispered something to Rachel who looked over and raised her glass to me. I toasted her back with my beer and turned back to what Ms Riley was saying.
"So it is great pleasure that I announce that their positions have been eliminated now that Grace and her team are here. And to award them with a token of our appreciation, the Medal of Freedom." Four girls came and placed gaudy medals hanging from red, white and blue ribbons around each of their necks and kissed them on the cheeks. There was a round of hugs and kisses and Ms Riley continued.
"From now on we will adhere to natural insemination except for special circumstances.
Our men will join the members of the Davis reconstruction team in our bath house and have agreed to service all who indicate their willingness to be impregnated. There will be a roster kept to track those who are most likely to conceive. Ginny Masters and Alice have established a roster of our cycles will select the candidates and will provide a list every day to Sarge Thompson. The list will be published on the dinning hall bulletin board at five o'clock and the women will present themselves at the bathhouse by seven o'clock each evening.
Now we have printed up the proclamation and you'll each get a copy before you leave and we will post it on the dining hall bulletin board in the morning. The Men's Council says that they will have six men and Grace says she will provide two tomorrow night so Ginny and Alice have to pick eight to no more than sixteen names of women who are in the correct part of their cycle. Ginny how many do you think are in season?"
Ginny looked at Alice and said, "No more than twelve, I'd say." Alice agreed.
"Good," said Ms Riley, "Can you pick the names tonight?"
"Yes I'll write it up and have it to you within the hour." Ginny said.
"Then we will publish the names in the morning along with the Proclamation and see what the Future Holds." She said raising her glass.
"The Future," "To what it holds" voices rang out
The occasion ended and Audrey helped me make my way to her mother. She looked up from Chief Mercer and smiled at me. I said, "Ma'am, I wanted to thank you again for inviting me, if only to make your point. I hope that I will justify the confidence you expressed in me. I wanted to thank you for the marvelous meal. I haven't eaten this well in months."
She came to me and put her hand on my face and said, "My son, I felt the hollowness of your cheeks at lunch and realized just how much you have already expended in this effort. She leaned in and said softly, "But I invited you after seeing the change you made in my daughter." She stood up and said, "Josh allow me to introduce you to Colonel Irene Black, I have asked her to escort you, and Audrey this evening. No doubt you youngsters need to take a walk after that dinner." I turned and Irene was the redhead who sat next to me
"And Josh," Ms. Riley said over her shoulder, "I have no doubt that you will meet my expectations. You just do what you do best and we can conquer the world."
Audrey led me out into the open air. She had picked up a shawl on the way out and hid her jewels. I must admit I liked her more and more. Even with her clothes on.
Irene followed us until we sat at a stone bench under a pepper tree, the she came up and said to me, "Josh it was a pleasure to meet you if you need anything just raise your hand." She nodded, "I'll give you some privacy." Then she said quickly to Audrey, "We must hurry," and walked into the shadows.
Audrey held my hands and smiled at me. "Josh I wanted to thank you for the courtesy and gentleness you showed me last night. You gave me a wonderful experience and I'll always be grateful to you."
"I was more than happy to be of service." I said as I took her face in my hands and kissed her.
"Why did Irene say we had to hurry?" I asked.
"Oh she has it all timed out to the last minute. She only gave me three minutes to thank you and..."
"Timed what out to the last minute," I interrupted
"Our evening, oh she had it all planned with little diagrams and I told her it was silly. She says that with in 12 to 24 minutes after eating a big meal a man will have to, you know evacuate and..." She stopped and looked at me, "Do you, I mean, need a rest room?"
"No, but it might be a good idea to humor her." I said and lifted Audrey off the bench.
She smiled and she put her arms around me and lay her head on my chest. I wrapped my arms around her and she pulled me tight to her and said, "Thank you Josh."
She took me by the arm and we walked in the moonlight. She explained that Bahia was about more than a fertility rite, it was a dedication to the community, "In the old days only ten percent of the girls could join. Nowadays almost everybody applies but not everyone is accepted."
"No?" I asked
"No, we didn't have one drop out this year but last year there were three." The way she said it made it sound dreadful.
We stopped in front of a dome that had sprouted more domes and even had a balcony up on top. "This is Irene's place she said we could use it tonight," Audrey said, "Come on" and led me thru the door. The entry dome was small and a wall separated the space and made a hard turn before opening to a desk where two women were engaged with something under candle light. They waved at Audrey and me as she led me through a door into the main dome. The central room was large and mostly empty, weak moonlight came from a skylight illuminating the emptiness. Audrey led me through the darken room to where two candles glowed in the back. She took one of the candles and opened a door. Inside she showed me how to use the flush toilet; they are very up to date in Barny.
"And this is the bidet. You use it to wash your," She hesitated and look up at me. "Well you're ... your parts." She hurried on, "This valve here gives you water, but," she said, "its cold." She dipped her hand in the bucket that sat next to the bidet and shook it dry. "This is warm water." She stood up and handed me the candle, "There are towels in the basket and a basket for used towels next to it. I'll be next door. Meet me outside when you're finished and we can go upstairs."
As I pulled down my pants and sat on the toilet I thought of Iren's forethought and had to admit that she had it right. I shifted my cargo and washed my butt, then went to see what the Future would hold.
"Feel better?" Audrey asked as I came out of the bathroom.
"Much better, tell Irene she has my thanks for being so far sighted." I said, setting my candle down at the table outside the door.
Audrey took my hand and said,"You can thank her yourself. She is waiting for us upstairs." She led me across the room and up a set of stairs.
She stopped about half way up and turned to me. I stopped behind her and she leaned against the wall listening.
I was one stair below her and asked, "What are we waiting for." Audrey looked down at me and leaned over and kissed me.
"We are a little early. I told you that Irene had planned it all out. She said to distract you for a minute if we were early."
"How were you to do that?" I asked.
Audrey smiled at me and opened her shawl and her dress exposing her breasts, "Are you distracted now."
I looked up at her and laughed and cupped the left one while planting a soft kiss on right nipple.
That started her up, she stroked my hair and leaned back against the wall allowing me to fondle and kiss her nipples. I moved up and kissed her mouth and distracted her.