"Mom! Dad! Iíve got the job! Iím an Ecoleer! I made it! Iím an Ecoleer!" I yelled as I stared at the terminal with the Galactic Ecoleers, Incorporated, e-mail message addressed to me from their headquarters here on Earth. "Hey! Did anyone hear me?"
"We heard you," my mother said in her usual soft voice as she walked into the kitchen in her bare feet with a sheer house robe loosely draped around her to ward off the morning chill.
I knew as soon as the day warmed up some, she would leave it lying about somewhere in the house or yard without a second thought. Sometime later, she or my father would find it, take it to the bedroom, and toss it on the bed or hang it on a hook.
"You better get dressed if youíre going to report in today," she then said. "Iíve heard that theyíre a little stodgy about clothing. They prefer for their employees to wear clothes unless theyíre doing a job for a nudist group."
I replied, "Yes, I know that. Iíve got a good set of clothes and a second set for when those are being cleaned. Besides, when Iím working, theyíll issue me company uniforms and safety clothing."
My father walked into the room, daring the cool morning to bother him as he sat down at the kitchen table. The only conciliation he made to the coolness of the morning was to slip on some house shoes. He reached for the coffee and poured himself some. He took a sip and grimaced a bit. Then he looked at the e-mail and said, "That looks good. Youíll be set for life after two missions with them. Anyway, I think itís my turn to cook breakfast. I better get started. Would you mind handing me that apron?"
I reached behind me and took an apron off a hook and passed it to my father. He draped it around himself as he got up. Then he walked over to the kitchen counter to make breakfast for all of us.
During the breakfast, we saved the e-mail to me on our local storage drive. This was something we hoped to treasure for a long time.
I finally got up and went to my room to get dressed. Once there, I selected one of the two skirts I purchased in anticipation of getting the job. I wrapped it around my waist and then pressed the seam into place with my hands. A moment later, I wrapped the blouse around me, leaving my tits exposed fully just as I had seen other employees wearing their clothes at Galactic Ecoleers, Incorporated. I finished dressing by slipping on some thigh-high non-skid boots.
My mother walked into the room and looked me over. "You ought to use a little rouge on your breasts so they wonít shine and grab attention. Thereís still plenty of people who stare, especially when faced with someone as awesome looking as yourself."
I took the rouge and applied a thin layer to her approval, as if my tits still wouldnít grab attention.
She looked me over and nodded. "You look fine now. Weíre proud of you getting the job right out of college. Ten years from now, or thereabouts, you can retire on what youíve earned and spend the next century doing whatever the hell you want with your life."
She didnít mention that it was a dangerous job with a high mortality rate from accidents. She didnít have to. That was something we all kept quiet about. Taming an entire planet wasnít the easiest task in the universe. It normally took five years to do so. Once in a while, the terraforming team got lucky and it only took three or four years. Other times, it took longer with the longest taking eleven years to reach success. Of course, that was early in the companyís history when it was a government agency and the planet then was Venus. Now Venus was almost as crowded as Earth.
My mother also didnít say anything about the fact that I would be warmly welcomed into the team I was assigned to because Iím a woman. Not many women tried to become Ecoleers. Those who did were expected to do two jobs in actuality. I knew what I was getting into. Itís a damn good thing that I like sex since I knew I would be expected to put out once in a while. Okay, I should be more honest about that. I would be expected to put out quite often. If I didnít, I could expect to be raped more than once by men kept in isolation on average for up to five years. So, yes, I knew I was also going to be a prostitute on a part-time basis.
Available space, on the ships we would live and work from, was too limited to permit full-time prostitutes, wives or girlfriends to be brought along. Every bit of space was needed for people with real engineering skills or for equipment and supplies. We also couldnít afford to leave the planet just to take a break on one of the inhabited planets. Too often, something being done in the terraforming process required frequent and instant access to specific talents. Because of the distances involved, taking a two-week vacation required being away for as much as six weeks altogether. Terraforming projects are much too delicate to permit that kind of latitude in behavior or absences.
Some other tasks were also taken care of by specific male Ecoleers. It was a requirement that every male Ecoleer have the ability to do something else, such as cook or clean. Those tasks didnít come with bonus land, however, since just about everyone had to know how to do those anyway, in case the primary Ecoleer-Cook died. Those tasks were just a way of giving the majority of men something extra to do with their time. Otherwise the female Ecoleers would never get any sleep.
Those facts were learned the hard way by Galactic Ecoleers in their companyís long history, so this was the companyís solution to the problem. Everyone knew the full facts ahead of time before team acceptance. Long ago in the past, it was possible because the new world didnít have a government and population, let alone an atmosphere, so there were no laws then to be broken by prostitution. Now it was just plain legal everywhere in the Union, so the company didnít have to change its procedures or solutions to some problems.
Those reasons were part of why the job paid so well. When we finished, we would each own a portion of the planet we made habitable in addition to the salaries we earned. The company would own seventy percent of the planet and the team would own thirty percent. As a woman Ecoleer going to work for the company on a terraforming project, I would be entitled to more than a fair share to compensate me for the extra duty requirement I put up with. I would be entitled to a double-share of that thirty percent. Mind you, I would also have to pull my weight as an actual ecology engineer.
The bonus was for women only since we were being asked to be part-time prostitutes to help keep the peace. Maybe I shouldnít say we were asked. It was more a case of either you accept these terms or we wonít hire you. But thereís nothing illegal about that as you know.
Well, the bonus wasnít really for women only, either. There were a few men who also indicated they would work part-time as prostitutes. They were also entitled to the land bonus if they did. That requirement for women, and some men, was about the only thing that made the interview more difficult after applying for the job. Those of us men and women who indicated we understood the conditions had to be willing to prove it. That was how I lost my virginity, to the surprise of my interviewer, and learned I truly liked sex, to the delight of several of my close male friends afterwards. The interviewer was very tired from the workout I gave him. So were some of my close male friends during the days after the interview.
Of course, the company would pay for any method of birth control or suspension I wanted. That went without saying, but it was in the contract. We were also given physicals to make sure we were healthy and free of diseases, not only for our own good, but for the benefit of the project as well. After all, who wants a planet to live on thatís been genetically engineered with a defect in its ecology that causes disease among new settlers?
The land we received on successful completion of the project would be given to us by lottery. We might know where the resources were, but that wouldnít help us any. Regardless of minerals and other things that might be present in the land we received, it would always be land that was suitable for living on. No one would receive permanently frozen and ice covered or sunken swamp land. That is, if we survived until the end of the project.