The Kitchens Are Southwest

At Pythia there are six hills, two to the north west, one west, one south, one southeast, one northeast. They do not have names, not yet; they have not been here long enough to discover a mythology. The river runs from the north to the southeast, but winds through the valley, in no hurry to leave. The soil is fertile there, beans, corn, and squash in the north, wheat and hops in the southeast. The animals have not matured yet in their uterine replicators, and there’s some discussion about when to birth them; she isn’t following any of it particularly closely, to be honest.

She’s a strong back more than a planner, but that’s fine, there’s always need for a strong back. She works the fields most days, not particularly enjoying the work but enjoying the company of her sisters east and west of her in the rows. Nights she spends in the kitchens washing dishes, blissful in a haze of crockery, hot water, yelling. Not a talker, either, but she loves to listen to talk.

The fires and houses are on the western hill, above the flood line. Probably higher than necessary, but safe is better than sorry. She sleeps one out of a dozen in a longhouse, a tumbled pile of limbs, face to heel, head pointed east toward the door, east towards the river.