The Call Of The Haven: Chapter 1

Cassandra's abilities in magic almost perfectly matched her business acumen, being mostly in the realm of organizing and running everything.

Tanisha's abilities were very much in the natural realm, primarily to do with plants, but she also had a fair knowledge of genetics. She put that to use once they had brought the seven vehicles to the new town and they had set up personal tents to give them a sense of privacy.

Tanisha wanted something that would be protective of the townsfolk, and that would be able to recognize people as townsfolk or not. This had been something she had been experimenting on at home in a large and well maintained laboratory, and she had had some success.

The biggest success was a plant that she called Lupus carnivora shavanella, a plant that often reached heights of nearly four metres or about thirteen feet. What made this plant type of particular interest was that units in close proximity would grow together and establish a hive mind. That oddity gave the combined specimens a very high intelligence and she had taught them to understand English, Spanish and Italian.

If the plants were within twenty feet or six metres of each other, they would extend their roots to connect to other ones nearby, allowing the plants on both sides of a narrow street, per se, to operate as if they were one being. The second oddity, and the one that gave the plants part of their name, was that each floret, when open, resembled the open jaw of a wolf with sharp teeth that were quite capable of rending something. The plants were carnivorous, but could be kept quiescent with miniscule doses of magic at regular intervals that Tanisha organized.

Each of the women would give a tiny amount of magic occasionally to the plants, which each combined plant learned to accept over time.

The project had been developing for the last six months in Tanisha's labs and was now ready to be used to defend the new town. At intervals of about one half of a mile from the center point of each side of the town, entry gates were placed, with wide paths leading into the town. On each side of those paths, Tanisha planted a combined specimen, then added to each one until it ran along the whole first block.

Each block in the town was about three hundred feet long, so imagine these plants extending along and under each first block into the town.

One of the precautions Tanisha had set into the plants capabilities was that they could only grow where they were set. Except for the plants on either side of the blocks leading into the town, the plants were unable to extend into other areas, so they would not overrun the entire town.

**********

Cheyenne's abilities in the normal realm were in the construction field, she had worked for several years as a drywaller and brick and stone layer. She had also spent some time making natural wood walls, and this was what she chose to use as her primary building style here.

The wooded area to the east had a variety of good, solid trees that would be useful to her, but there were other wooded areas within ten miles of the new town; as long as they didn't go crazy, and ensured that they replanted anything they cut, there would be a good supply for many years to come. There was also a large area to the west of the lake that looked like a natural quarry, specifically sandstone and marble.

Both of those types of stone were sometimes used in making buildings. The sandstone would make lovely tiling for the rooftops, while the marble could be used as wall reinforcement and also as flooring. The marble in the quarry site appeared to be off white, almost silver in colour.

She talked to the other women to get some idea of what each one wanted for their home to be and started to make plans.

**********

Once they had settled in overnight, Pavanna got down to business, specifically the legal things like incorporating their new town, drawing up what could become the town charter, and removing legal obstructions that might arise through the state or federal governments.

The town's site was in the backlands of the old state of Colorado, in what used to be the United States of America. Within ten years of the end of World War II, the US and Canada came to an agreement and became one nation, henceforth known as the United Realms of Canica.

Many people nowadays often called the whole nation, which stretched from the North Pole all the way to the border with Mexico, Greater Canica. Different major regions, like what had been Canada in former times, were identified by individual names tied to the whole. For instance, what had been Canada was now Upper Canica, what had been the states roughly above the Mason-Dixon line was Central Canica and the area between that and the border with Mexico was known as Lower Canica. The population of the new land was nearly 375 million now.

The new president had been a surprise upset, an Independent who had taken Canica by storm and won in a massive landslide election. Wonder of wonders, the voting in that election had been the highest seen in either former land since the elections that combined the two lands.

The new president-elect, who would take office in a few short weeks, was named Vanessa Redbird. She was a First Nations woman who had been raised in Alberta and had run on a platform of "If you earn the trust of the people, they will stand by you through anything".

Well, she had done that in her own way, having served in the Army for over twenty years, eventually reaching the rank of lieutenant Colonel. From the time that she had received her first command, she had put that credo to use, building the trust of her units on a daily basis.

That trust had come back to her when she announced her candidacy for the presidency. She had no idea just how much she meant to the people she led in battle for almost 20 years. The soldiers talked to their families, they talked to their friends and the surprise win happened.

Pavanna hooked up her laptop, using a tiny bit of magic to connect to the nearest set of cell towers, then contacted a friend. This friend had served under Miss Redbird, earning six medals in the process, and was quite happy to pass on Pavanna's message to the president-elect.

The message was regarding the new town and the hopes that former military people might come here to serve as police, medics, etc. That message also went out to about a dozen other people with a great deal of power in the new land. Hopefully, each of them would help.

Once she had formatted the incorporation document and the charter, and had the necessary signatures for them, she sent them off to the state capitol in Denver, asking for a quick response so she could continue to legally establish the new community and obtain necessary rights.

As there were no towns of any size in the area, she figured that she would have a reply from the governor's staff within 48 hours.

Once she had done what she could to start the ball rolling, she wandered over to offer herself as a workhorse for Cheyenne.

**********

Jeannette had only recently finished a master's degree in psychology and another in social work. She had been in the process of looking around for work when Tanisha had suggested they use her money to establish a new town somewhere, where women and kids would be safe.

When they had set up the plan for the new town, Jeannette said that she would put her degrees to good use there. She would establish a combo clinic/office either in the hospital that would be built, or close to it, where she would treat clients that needed either of her skill sets.

She spent some time talking to Cheyenne, asking for an area just off what would be the town common for her clinic and office. While discussing it with Cheyenne, Pavanna joined them, suggesting that she could do some grunt work to get the building projects going.

Cheyenne had decided to mark an area three hundred feet on each side around the nexus as a large open park for the new town. This idea had been enthusiastically supported by the other six women, and markers had already been set around the prospective town common.

**********

Appolonia, once she had graduated from high school, had stunned her family by taking a one year course at a community college that would allow her to apply to the police academy. She had recently graduated from the academy and had worked on the beat in New York for the last three months. She found Cheyenne, Jeannette and Pavanna all talking at the eastern edge of what would become the town common.

"Heya, girls, right now, I'm on my own for keeping the peace here, not that it's a problem with just the seven of us. But that will change, and I doubt it will take very long at all before we're going to need several more people to help me to do that job as the town grows. Pavanna, you seem to have lots of contacts with either government folks or military people, can you send the word out that we need folks for this?"

Pavanna giggled, walked over to a nearby tree and picked up an expensive backpack, then pulled out a laptop. "I did that already, Appolonia." The words were hardly out of her mouth before the system was powering up and she sat down on a nearby stump and started typing. "If you're wondering what I'm doing now, I'm sending an addendum to my earlier message to several important people across the country."

Appolonia, Jeannette and Cheyenne looked on in astonishment. Appolonia was the first to ask, "How are you able to use that here?"

Pavanna giggled again, looked up at the three other women and replied, "Oh, I tapped into the cell towers about thirty miles thataway." She pointed off to the southeast, then went back to her typing on the functional laptop in a place where there was no physical power supply.

The three women shook their heads, then Jeannette and Appolonia wandered off together, chatting about their respective fields of work.

**********

As the two girls wandered off, Veronica approached from the other direction, having come from the vehicles the seven had brought here.

"Hi, Pavanna, Cheyenne, what's up?" she enquired as she stopped a few paces away from them and looked around her.

Pavanna had apparently finished whatever she was doing on the laptop as she closed it, put it in the backpack and set it down against the tree.

Cheyenne replied, "I've been making decisions on what we need to build our homes and a few important places as well. It seems there is a rather large quarry not far from that lake to the north, the quarry has both sandstone and marble, both of which are useful building materials. I was figuring that it would make sense to have most of the walls and framework be hardwoods, specifically maple, cherry, oak, and hickory.

"While we walked through that woods area yesterday afternoon, I noted that all of those trees were present in reasonably decent amounts, as were birch and beech, American chestnut, dogwood, ash, aspen, poplar, walnut and willow in somewhat smaller quantities.

"The first four I named are ones more commonly used in construction, but the other types can be used to make furniture and other things.

"Now, do either of you have any knowledge of the various tree types. What I mean is can you recognize each type without a guidebook?"

Pavanna and Veronica were silent for a moment, then Pavanna remembered something and that low, sweet chuckle erupted from her.

"Not a problem, Cheyenne, my father worked for over twenty years for the forestry department in upper New York State after his first job working in a sawmill went under because the owners were idiots and had lost the business by making bad investments for several years. I can remember daddy leading me around, showing me various trees and drilling me on each type until I knew them by heart," she giggled.

"I'll take Veronica with me, I have four high end chainsaws that were gifts from daddy over the years, we can use those to cut the trees."

"Excellent," Cheyenne grinned, "I'm going to need at least thirty adult oak trees, preferably not ancient ones, I noticed one or two big ones while we walked through the woods. Hmmm... at least thirty full grown maple, perhaps twenty cherry, same amount for hickory, ten each of walnut and chestnut. That should be enough to get the base for several buildings up, plus some walls. If we need more, we can get it later."

"Okay, we'll get on that, Cheyenne," Pavanna responded. "Good thing our main vehicle is a big pickup truck with a long bed, huh?"

Veronica nodded, then giggled, "Yeah, it is, but even still, it's going to take a few loads to bring all of those back here, I'm figuring we'll have to cut the trees into ten foot lengths at best, then load them. I doubt we would be allowed to haul full length trees using just the pickup."

"Not only would that be very unlikely, it would be too risky, full length trees would pull the back end down a lot, making it very hard to drive."

Cheyenne nodded and smiled as the two women wandered off in the direction of the parked vehicles. The real work would start soon.

**********

Cheyenne was looking around, still smiling, when Cassandra walked up to her, carrying what looked like a large travel mug in one hand.

"Oooooh, you got one of the camp stoves out and brewed some coffee by the smell. Dammit, woman, why didn't you bring me some?"

"I wasn't thinking about it, honestly," Cass replied, "I'm just wandering around, feeling the place out, ya know? I knew there were some big nexuses around the country, but it wasn't until Appolonia joined us a little while back that I found this one. Damn, it's a monster!"

Cheyenne giggled, "Yeah, I remember Appolonia last night mentioning it was the biggest seven line nexus she had ever seen."

Cass nodded, "Yep, the only ones that I know of that are bigger are in the UK or Europe, except for one deep in the Australian Outback."

"Wait!" Cheyenne gasped, "You're saying we found one of the biggest nexuses anywhere and it went undiscovered all this time?"

Cass nodded, then shrugged, saying, "It's weird, but it almost feels like we were meant to find it and build a community here."

Cheyenne agreed, then grumbled, "What I need now is someone that can extract and then bring the sandstone and marble here."

Cass laughed, a bright, high almost tinkling sound that caused Cheyenne to giggle reflexively. "Give it time, Cheyenne, give it time."



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