BONNIE & GEORGE (& MAC)
by Van © 2021
remarkable stroke of luck, The Spirit of Sky Woman popped
back into her home dimension—with an dazzling BLUE FLASH—and less than
four nautical miles off the bow of HBMAS Cataphract.
The fearsome warship was a Romia-class armored battle
cruiser, one of Brittania's newer and most notable contributions
to the Grand Alliance Combined Air Fleet. That meant Sky
Woman appeared in full view of Cataphract's
Captain, bridge crew, and fire control watch standers, all of
whom were in the middle of a battle drill. With such
credible witnesses, there could be no reasonable doubt that
Bonnie and George had, indeed, appeared out of nowhere.
The next day, Special Editions of newspapers across the Grand
Alliance and all of Luropa had banner headlines announcing the
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ֍ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bonfilia Plantuckett & Hon. Georgetta Congreve
ALIVE & WELL!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ֍ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ship The Spirit of Sky Woman
INTACT & UNDAMAGED!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ֍ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
NEW WORLD of
Dragon-Riding Ginger Amazons
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ֍ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
By the next day, the rest of the world's newspapers had caught
An Admiralty Court of Inquiry was convened, but Bonnie and
George had foreseen such an occurrence and had already prepared
photographic exhibits documenting the existence of the Dearg
and their dimension, and had solicited written affidavits
from Mac, Queen Epona, and the Dearg Guild
Leaders. As with all such proceedings, Sky Woman's
meticulously kept logs were submitted to close scrutiny.
And it certainly didn't hurt that they had already agreed to
repay any insurance settlements that had already been made to
their families and commercial interests. The court quickly
cleared the adventurers of any and all wrongdoing and the
celebrations began in earnest!
Personal letters to Mac's family and friends had already been
delivered. And formal presentation of the official Dearg
letters and gifts to the Grand Alliance government had
already occurred. In depth newspaper interviews were
granted, and there was a highly popular exhibition of the
"expedition's" photographs and Dearg artifacts at the
Britannic Museum. Bonnie gave public lectures and George
delivered academic symposia.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Bonnie and George underwent
extensive interviews/debriefings with mid-level government
officials, and a technical examination was conducted of the
Transdimensional Ansible. Amazingly, the communications
device functioned even when enclosed in a Faraday Cage designed
to block all electromagnetic energy! Clearly, neither
radio waves nor any other known form of electromagnetism was
involved! Finally, even their most skeptical critics
agreed that if Bonnie and George were perpetrating a fraud, it
was being done by means beyond the bounds of known science.
It was agreed by the governments on both ends of the Ansible
that Sky Woman would make a return visit to the Dearg
Realm in five years, and two famous female scientists
volunteered to make the trip and remain behind until the third
visit. They would be official ambassadors to the Dearg
Crown, conduct research, and share Grand Alliance knowledge with
their new "Transdimensional Friends." Also, both had
passed George's "Ansible Test."
While developing the communications device, George had
discovered that while she felt absolutely nothing when the
prototype Ansible was activated, any Dearg human who
touched the metal casing felt a distinctive tingling sensation,
as did Mac. George posited the Ansible might serve as a
detector of Grand Alliance women who might be able to
"telepathically commune" with Dearg dragons (as Mac
And it was probably no coincidence that both future ambassadors
were ginger redheads with fair, freckle-prone complexions, and
green eyes (also like Mac). The ambassadors in
question were: Jenetta Rierdon, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor
of Mechanical Engineering at Dublin's Hibernian Technological
University; and Moira Starling, Doctor of Philososphy, Professor
of Chemistry at Edinburgh University in Caledonia. Both
50-something women were physically fit and quite
attractive. Bonnie and George were convinced they'd get
along famously with the Dearg.
With the help of their fellow faculty and scholars from across
the Grand Alliance, the Professors were organizing and
prioritizing avenues of research, as well as selecting books
they intended to present to their Dearg hosts.
Also, Bonnie and George were meeting with Jenetta and Moira,
whenever their collective responsibilities allowed, to teach
them the Dearg language. Of course, if George's
"Ansible Telepathic Detector" theory was correct, the dragons
would help the ambassadors "learn" the language almost instantly
(as Una had with Mac), but it was best to be prepared.
Bonnie and George each wrote a book (just as George had
predicted), and as prearranged with Mac before their return,
they cowrote a third book based on copies of Mac's
journal and notes and bearing all three partners' names.
(The royalties from the third book went to Mac's family, of
course.) All three books were instant international
Also, and quite independent of anything Bonnie and George might
be doing, "Dragon Mania" swept the Grand Alliance, taking the
form of stuffed toys, children's picture books, Young Adult
novels, Music Hall songs, and a handful of rather forgettable
operas. There were even dramatic plays with pantomime
dragons onstage! Seemingly overnight, variations on the
theme of The Adventures of Mac and Una became a
cultural phenomenon. Every little girl, especially the
little gingers, wanted to wear a "Mac" costume (with a stuffed
Una perched on her shoulder or tucked under her arm) while
trick-or-treating on the next Samhain holiday. Dragon
motifs entered the world of fashion and decorating, with
dragon-shaped hats, dragon-print fabrics, dragon wallpaper, and
dragon-carved furnishings. Dragon-shaped teapots were
In short, Bonnie and George were more famous than ever, Mac (and
Una) were now famous as well, and the Grand Alliance was not at
all concerned about the parallel world the adventurers had
discovered. The Dearg weren't a military threat,
their dragons were friendly, and large scale trade and/or
exploitation across the Blue Barrier was impossible. The
Grand Alliance collectively decided to grant the Dearg the
status of a romantic curiosity, sort of like fairies, only more
TRANSDIMENSIONAL PORTAL HUZZAH!
Meanwhile, on the Dearg side of the BLUE BARRIER...
Mac's name and her
story were already famous among her adopted people, but now she
was coming to know them.
First came learning. Mac regularly took two or three weeks
off from consulting with the Guilds (especially the Artisans),
and, carried by Una, of course, traveled from village to town,
staying in the homes of distinguished artisans and respected
farmers thanks to the arrangements of the various Guild
Leaders. For the first time, Mac met Dearg men,
who were fit and athletic, like Dearg women, as well as
handsome. This wasn't really a surprise, as Mac had
already learned that all Dearg of both sexes who were
physically able served at least some time in the Legions.
The men tended to favor short hair and full beards. Some
were burly, some slender, and all were friendly.
Mac and Una made regular returns to Sliabh Baile for
visits/consultations with Epona, Mæn, and the Guild Leaders, and
eventually Mac announced she wanted to serve a tour with one of
the Legions. Una agreed, declaring that she couldn't
become a Legendary Scout Dragon if her Rider wasn't a qualified
Legionnaire. Dragons might be conscientious objectors with
respect to human bloodshed, but adventurous male and small
female dragons were more than willing to drop human scout
detachments behind enemy lines and participate in
long-range patrols and reconnaissance missions.
Neither Epona nor Mæn were enthusiastic about what they
considered Una's "adolescent fascination" with the Scout Dragon
mystique, but they understood Mac's desire to fit in.
Every Dearg served at least one tour in the Legions,
then became reservists until they reached the age of
fifty. If Mac was going to be Dearg, she'd have to
serve her time. Mac began exercising with the First Legion
while Queen Epona and Brigadier Caradoc decided the best course
Recruit training is integrated into each and every Legion,
rather than being centralized, as it is in the Grand Alliance
military. With few exceptions, Dearg Legions are
organized as full integrated units with infantry,
scouting/special forces, artillery, engineer, logistics, and
training cohorts, and are able to operate independently if
required. In short, each and every Legion is a small,
self-contained army. Also, all Legionnaires are
infantry, fully qualified to fight in formation with
spear, sword, and shield; and all officers are promoted from the
ranks, without exception. Even "princess" Danu had had to
prove her worth in the First Legion before being promoted to the
exalted rank of Subaltern.
Finally, the decision was made for Mac to join the Fifth Legion
on the Boghadubha border. Una could tag along if
she wanted—and, of course, she most emphatically did—and
would be allowed to hang out with Fifth Legion scout dragons and
learn their tricks and techniques. It wasn't unknown for a
young Rider to enter Legion training. Generally, his or
her Dragon Companion would seek employment with one of the
companies providing logistical support for his or her Rider's
There was another reason Epona, Mæn, and Caradoc sent Mac to the
Fifth: Both Mac and Una needed experience in a
mixed-gender Dearg unit. Mac agreed.
Granted, Mac had experience with men, but was only just
beginning to interact with Dearg men.
In summary, Mac was doing her best to find her place in Dearg
society, and Dearg society was making her welcome.
TRANSDIMENSIONAL PORTAL HUZZAH!
Meanwhile, on the Grand Alliance side of
the BLUE BARRIER...
In addition to formal discussions of Dearg
society and instruction in their spoken and written
language, George was emphatic that Professors Rierdon and
Starling needed exposure (so to speak) to the cultural realities
of their future hosts. That is, the distinguished
academics needed to become comfortable with the Dearg "causal
attitude" regarding fashion. Male and female, in their
daily lives the Dearg showed a lot more skin than was
acceptable among the nations of the Grand Alliance (not counting
the Iroquoia outside the major cities).
Bonnie professed she have no idea why her partner was so
obsessed with bare skin—which put George in a protracted dither
(as Bonnie had
intended)—but, she had a solution to the supposed problem:
George and the professors should book a month at a naturalist
resort in the country (meaning one of those scandalously risqué
nudist colonies). George reacted as expected, then
realized her grinning partner was teasing. Actually, it
was a clever tactic on Bonnie's part, as it made it much easier
for George to accept Bonnie's fallback proposal: a week at a
conventional health spa.
The Professors readily agreed. They were well aware of the
Dearg's more casual attitude towards nudity, and had
already become reconciled to dressing in mid-thigh-length belted
tunics (or less).
Plans were made, but unfortunately Bonnie couldn't
participate. She was called away at the last moment on
urgent and unspecified business by the Britannic Home
Office. George, Jenetta, and Moira would have to brave the
wilds of Somerset and luxuriate in the hot springs of the famous
Romian Bath Resort without the pleasure of her company.
There was every hope that Bonnie would be able to join them
later. They'd just have to wait and see.
The Grand Alliance had made funds available to support planning
for the Second Expedition, meaning Sky Woman's return to
the Dearg dimension. After all, the professors
would be acting as official government representatives; however,
the money wasn't much. Bonnie and George's Honorable Trans
Junn-Junn Trading Company was also contributing, so George
decided to splurge and commandeer one of the HTJ-JTC's small
Skylark-class airships. The plan was to travel from
Londinium to Edinburgh to retrieve Professor Starling—from
Edinburgh to Dublin for Professor Rierdon—then continue on to
the resort in the green forests and rolling hills of Somerset.
All went as planned (at first). There was a scheduled crew
change at Dublin, then the airship got underway for the final
leg of the journey.
George, Jenetta, and Moira were ensconced in the airship's small
but comfortable lounge, making idle conversation in rudimentary
Dearg, with George correcting their grammar and
enlarging their vocabularies, of course. They were all
getting along famously, and George complimented the professors'
stylish traveling ensembles, an olive-green and rust traveling
dress on Jeanette, with matching hat and gloves, of course, and
a dark jade and ivory dress on Moira, also with matching hat and
gloves. George's traveling dress was navy.
As the rugged hills of the Hibernian/Britannic border country
rolled by below, a smiling attendant in HTJ-JTC uniform served
tea and biscuits... and the conversation continued... briefly.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ zzzzzzz ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
George opened her eyes... blinked several times... focused on
her surroundings... and scowled.
"Oh, stuff and bother!" she huffed.
George was sitting in a rather uncomfortable wooden chair with
armrests, footrests, and a headrest. There was padding,
but clearly the chair hadn't been designed with the comfort of
its occupant in mind. Thick, wide, brown leather
restraints with double-tongued brass buckles encircled George's
neck, wrists, upper-arms, waist, thighs, and ankles, pinning her
in place. Except for the collar, all the straps were tight
enough to dimple her flesh. Yes, that's right: flesh!
George had been stripped naked! Her navy traveling
dress, just in from Paris, was gone! And it had
been brand new, and in the latest shade of navy!
Her undergarments were also missing. All of them!
George was naked!
And that wasn't all! Professors Reirdon and Starling were
also present, also naked, and also restrained!
Jenette and Moira, the 50-something (or possibly
ever-so-slightly older) professors in question, were hanging
from their wrists, arms-over-head, with their wrists and ankles
buckled in thick, wide cuffs obviously designed to distribute
the pressure of the wearers' predicaments as widely as possible
and thereby minimize discomfort and damage to their skin.
George already knew her new friends and colleagues in future
transdimensional adventure were quite beautiful, and she also
knew they were accomplished equestrians. So, it was hardly
surprising to learn that their bodies were every bit as fit,
toned, athletic, and curvaceous as their former clothing had
strongly suggested, but it was still a shock to see such
pulchritudinous and distinguished academics hanging like two
naked slabs of meat!
The professors were also gagged! Brown leather harnesses
with brass buckles caged their heads and fixed wooden dowels
between their teeth, like bits! They had no choice but to
bite down on the dowels and drool! Saliva emerged from the
corners of their mouths, dripped down their chins, and splashing
onto their chests and breasts! It was both distressing and
disgraceful, like the absence of clothing and their hanging
postures! Whoever had done this was not civilized!
Oh-by-the-way, there was the issue of George and the professors'
setting. It was—and there was no getting around it—a
torture chamber! Stone walls. Flickering electric
filaments burning in sconces. Torture engines and/or
furniture—including a rack, a St. Andrew's cross, a horse (of
the torture furniture variety, not a specimen of Equus
caballus), a pillory, a set of stocks, a pair of whipping
posts, and a bondage table! There were also wooden utility
racks laden with hanging whips and floggers, a basket of thin
canes, and another rack holding a distressing volume of coiled
Also, while clearly the chamber was adequately ventilated, the
air was stiflingly hot. Not as hot as a dry spa or steam
room, but hot enough that George and the professors were...
glowing... profusely... and there was nothing they could do
about it! Their captors hadn't even provided
handkerchiefs, much less towels.
And speaking of captors, mounted on the stone wall off to
George's right (Jenette and Moira's left) was a large brass
plaque in the shape of an octopus wearing goggles... and
possibly a metal helmet. She recognized the emblem of La
Société de la Pieuvre Mécanique Occulte (The Society of
the Occult Mechanical Octopus), a highly secretive organization
of mad or demonstrably unstable scientists, physicians,
and aristocratic sailing enthusiasts dedicated to...
something. The SOMOs (as Scotland Yard and the Sûreté
called them) were so secretive that no one knew much of
anything about their agenda. Members who had been captured
and interrogated stated outright that they did not want
to rule the world, but were closed mouthed about exactly what it
was they did want.
Anyway, the SOMOs had captured George on three previous
occasions, each time in order to force her to divulge the
secrets of one or more of her inventions or discoveries.
The first time they locked her in a basement room in Surrey and
threatened to withhold tea service if she didn't talk.
Bonnie rescued her.
The second time they locked her in the tower of a Burgundian
castle, stripped her to her underwear, and threatened to tickle
her bare feet with ostrich feathers! Bonnie rescued her.
The third time they incarcerated her in a dilapidated barn near
Kilkenny, stripped her to her knickers, and threatened
to touch up her back with a riding crop, then move on to her
breasts, nipples, and tummy! Bonnie rescued her.
Three times! And as to the total number of times
George had been kidnapped and interrogated by villains other
than the SOMOs... seventeen? She made a mental note to
consult her journals and compile a matrix of the exact number of
times she'd been abducted, by whom, for what professed purpose,
to what state of déshabillé she had been reduced, and
with what tortures she'd been threatened. Abductions that
occurred in the course of an actual adventure didn't count, of
course, only domestic kidnappings between
adventures. Anyway, perhaps a pattern would present
George noticed that Jenette and Moira were staring at her with
fright and/or distress in their green eyes. This was
entirely understandable, of course. "Oh... yes... well...
sorry about this," George sighed. "I don't suppose either
of you are conducting research that might be of interest to a
secret society of mad scientists, are you?"
The naked, bound, gagged, and sweating professors exchanged
questioning looks... then shook their gagged heads.
George sighed, again. "I thought not. That makes all
of this my fault... again. I really am most
sorry. But not to worry, Bonnie will be along at any
moment to rescue us and set things right."
"I'm afraid not, Mademoiselle," a male voice with a
pronounced French accent announced from the shadows. Then,
a 30-something gentleman in custom made shoes, spats, light
trousers, waistcoat, cutaway morning coat, and wide cravat,
stepped into view. His face was narrow (weaselly) but
overall handsome, his goatee and mustaches impeccably trimmed,
and his figure athletic and slender. He moved with the
grace of a dancer... or a master of the épée.
"Vicomté Florian de Châtillon!" George gasped. "Surely
you're not a member in good standing of SOMO!"
The gentleman bowed. "Enchanté, and surely, I
am. En fait, mon grand-père, on the side of
ma mère was a founder of the third circle of the second
society." The viscount stroked his goatee and nodded to
the two hanging professors.
"Oh," George gasped. "Where are my manners? Vicomté
Florian de Châtillon, allow me to introduce Professors Jenette
Rierdon and Moria Starling of the Hibernian Technological and
Edinburgh Universities, respectively."
The viscount executed a deep, courtly bow (with
flourishes). "Enchanté." He turned back to
George. "And now, Mademoiselle Congreve, I am
afraid I must require you to tell me all the details of
the process by which you manufacture the remarkable crystals
that enable you to travel between the dimensions.
Otherwise..." He indicated Jenette and Moira with a grand
gesture. "I shall be forced to have my minions do rather unpleasant
things to your academic friends. Comprenez
"You wouldn't dare!" George huffed, tugging on
her wrist-bonds. "Your cousin Solange was my classmate at
boarding school! Our families are... acquainted!"
The viscount heaved a deep sigh. "Alas... I must.
And don't think your friend, Mademoiselle Plantuckett,
will come to your rescue this time. She is many,
many miles away, on the border between Germania and Helvetia,
how you say... chasing the wild goose?"
"Actually, I'm in the Gallic Alps chasing a kidnapping fop," a
familiar female voice announced.
"Bonnie!" George shouted cheerfully. Her partner had
stepped from the shadows. She was dressed in one of her
distressingly masculine but highly practical leather outfits,
was armed with her favorite Tesla pistol, and was accompanied by
a squad of Gallic soldiers armed with rifles and led by a young
Lieutenant brandishing a machine-pistol. From the insignia
on their camouflaged field uniforms, they were members of the 8e Bataillon
de Chasseurs Alpins.
The viscount was grabbed by two chasseurs (each about
the size of a tall gorilla) and hustled from the torture
chamber. "But, my plan was perfect!" he whined.
"Ow-ow! Do not rip my jacket you oaf!"
Meanwhile, other soldiers were lowering the professors and
removing their gags. The lieutenant (blushing furiously)
was calling for clothing or blankets.
All things considered, Jenette and Moira were taking things
"I tried to warn you," Bonnie said as she started unbuckling her
"You did not!" George objected.
"Not you," Bonnie chuckled. She was smiling at the
professors, who were busy unbuckling and removing their wrist
and ankle cuffs. "Them."
"She did," Jenette confirmed.
"But only in the most general terms," Moira added.
"Everyone in the Grand Alliance who reads the newspapers knows
Georgetta Congreve is prone to kidnapping," Jenette said, then
smiled at George. "Is it always this exciting?"
"Just look at all these horrible devices," Moira
shuddered, then smiled at a soldier who had removed his coat and
was holding it for her to slip her arms into the sleeves.
Soon, all three rescued damsels were wearing borrowed
coats. George's was decidedly oversized and fit her like
the proverbial tent. The chasseurs were all
acting like perfect gentlemen.
"Let's go find where the viscount has stashed your clothing,"
Bonnie suggested, then grinned at George. "Or perhaps
you'd prefer a pretty maid's uniform."
"Very funny," George muttered. "Where exactly are we?"
"Chateau Châtillon," Bonnie answered.
George rolled her eyes. "What? That idiot!
He took us to his family estate? What a moron."
Bonnie shrugged. "I think the SOMOs subject their
applicants to a rigorous written exam measuring native
intelligence and covering a variety of academic subjects.
If they pass... they're rejected for membership."
Everyone laughed, even the chasseurs.
"Could we please have someone brew a pot of tea?" George asked
plaintively as they left the torture chamber.
|...& the Story
|NOTE FROM THE
this story I used Google Translate set on
English-to-Gaelic for the Dearg language.
I'm far too lazy to invent an original fictional
language for a race of transdimensional dragon-riding
gingers. Tolkien I ain't. If any Gaelic
speakers were or are offended, please accept my deepest
apologies. 😔 Although... why anyone would
be offended by being associated in any way with large
numbers of fictional super-hot redheads is beyond