“No, Stan, no,” shrieked Sal. “No, no, no. We do not need you right now. We’ve been through enough.”
“Chill!” said Stan. “I brought you two tough and strong womyn!”
Behind Stan were indeed two womyn, both of them brawny with crew cuts, one lavender and the other lemon yellow. The one with the yellow hair wore a purple tank top and the one with the lavender hair wore a bright yellow tank top. They were holding hands and staring at the crowd of communards.
“Welcome!” said Marge.
“Yes,” said Luna. “Welcome to both of you.”
“Hi,” said the lemon haired one. “I’m Lois and this is my partner, Maureen. Everyone calls her Mo.”
“We’re workers,” Mo said. “Mostly we like to build things. And we’re pretty good at it.”
“We could sure use some builders,” Dan said. “Let me find Dandelion and Sowbug. I’ll bet they’d like to meet you.” He left in search of them.
Sal was still looking at Stan.
“I’m not staying!” said Stan. “Honest!” He waited a moment. “Well, maybe for dinner!”
“You can stay for dinner, “ Nancy said, “if you’re really leaving afterwards.”
“For sure!” Stan said. “I’ve got my own nanobus! I’m off to another fairie gathering! Tonite!”
“More than I’d let you do,” Sal said. “But Nancy’s one of the cooks. And I plan on seeing you off afterwards.”
“Fine with me!” said Stan.
Meanwhile, Sowbug and Dandelion found Dan before he found them. They seemed very excited to see him.
“Guess what?” Dandelion said. “We just got a call from Sorrel and Earthworm. They’ve been looking for work and they’re coming here. They should be here for dinner.”
“I think we’ve got you some builders,” Sowbug said.
“I think we’re going to have plenty of builders,” Dan said.
As promised, Sorrel and Earthworm arrived in the middle of dinner.
“Hey, folks,” Sorrel said. “We’re back!”
“Yay!” several folks shouted.
“Hey!” Stan said. “I never get that reception!”
Sal gave him a look but returned to her conversation.
Dandelion and Sowbug were talking with Dan and Sal and Lois and Mo.
“Hey, Earthworm! Hey, Sorrel!” Sal shouted. “Come meet these neat folks.”
“This is Mo and this is Lois,” Sowbug said. “Meet Sorrel and Earthworm. They’re part of our old construction crew.”
“Yeah,” Dandelion said. “We worked together for several years.”
“And now we can work together again,” said Earthworm.
“What do you folks do?” asked Sorrel.
“We’re builders,” said Lois.
“When did you get here?” Earthworm asked.
“Today,” said Mo.
“Yeah,” said Dan. “We’ve suddenly got a lot of builders here. And it’s perfect timing.”
“We were just trying to figure out how we’d get a new building up,” Sowbug said. “Are you folks ready to work?”
“Can we sleep tonight and start tomorrow?” asked Mo.
“As long as you’re ready to go in the morning,” said Dandelion “We’ve got some serious work to do.” (Dandelion decided not to mention the fire or some of the commune’s other recent difficulties until they saw the site.)
“Hey,” Earthworm said. “Tomorrow morning, I’ll be good to go.”
“Yeah, me too,” said Lois.
“Great!” said Sal. “Right now I’ve got to make sure someone else is good to go.”
“I was just leaving!” said Stan.