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Him Who Made The Seven Stars

By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 39

True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance." ~ Akhenaton

Orville's youngest keeper, Blake, knew where he would be, and shortly before Kate came to the porch of the ranch house to ring the triangle for lunch, he walked to the barn to gather Orville to join them for lunch. He called up into the loft for Orville and heard him answer. "I'm here, Blake, I'll be right down," he answered. The men said their goodbyes and Bubba promised he would see him later. They were in good spirits as they climbed down the ladder.

"You look great, Orville. You look like you got a big load off your mind, and are refreshed. It's nice to see you with a look of hope in your eyes," the good looking young Irin slave said and smiled.

"I did, indeed, unload a heavy burden, Son, a couple of loads to be exact. I feel like a new man, and fortunately I found one in this big, handsome cowboy walking by my side, and thank you for being thoughtful enough to come find me," Orville added.

"No problem, Pops, glad to be of service - anytime," Blake said cheerfully.

"Pops?" Bubba asked and grinned.

"Yeah, my keepers been calling me that for a couple of weeks now. I rather enjoy having a nickname," Orville said.

"We learned nicknames are sometimes considered a sign of affection on your world, Master Bubba, and Orville calls us 'son,' so we didn't think he'd mind. We wouldn't call him 'Pops' if he objected. No matter his status might be a bit different than ours, it wouldn't be considerate of his feelings," Blake said.

"I have no objection to being called 'pops' Son," Orville said to Blake.

"I rather like it, too," Bubba said and smiled.

They said their goodbyes, and Bubba went off to find Jack. "Did you have a nice visit with your new slave-dad?" Jack asked and grinned.

"Yes, thanks, it was good to see him again. We had a nice visit, and I plan to see him again later. I understand slaves and freemen often sit together for the barnyard concert," Bubba said.

"Nobody around this ranch seems to be uptight about protocol. They seem like one big happy family. I ain't sure how a seemingly unstructured group can function so smoothly without a lot of social infighting and power struggles. Perhaps we'll learn more today. Do you plan to visit Captain Nick's ship again after lunch?" Jack asked.

"You plan'n on going, Brother?" Bubba asked in reply.

"Are you kidding, and miss a chance to see Jethro in his demon form again?" Jack replied and laughed, "My old cock ain't been so happy in a good while as when we met him yesterday. Damn, he's a hot man either way. You's big hoss, but I don't think you could stop me from going to see him," Jack added and laughed again.

"Yeah, I's think'n the same thing. I'd like to see Master Oatie when he discovers the demon, who is coordinator of Master Billy's planning project, is one of Jethro's new forms," Bubba agreed.

The Tate family, the last of the Daniels extended family, arrived. The sheriff didn't get off work on Saturdays until noon and sometimes didn't get away from the office until 12:30. Buster and Everett drove into town and picked up Will. He left his patrol car at the station. Everyone was waiting for them as they watched them drive up in their family ranch van. It was like a homecoming as folks walked to their vehicle to greet them. Even Everett had his favorites who greeted and made over him. The younger cowboys were quite taken with young Everett and insisted on full body contact with hugs and kisses. Several of the big cowboys couldn't seem to resist him either. While the other two Tates were solidly handsome, good looking men, Everett was the bell ringer of the three. Will and Buster didn't mind at all. They just bought a bigger bed.

"Come with me, buckaroos, and you can help me with one other guest Ms. Kate asked us to bring," Everett said and the boys were excited to see who the Tates brought along. Everett opened the rear doors and Miranda leaped out, spread her new wings, and began to fly up and around over the heads of the gathered crowd. She was magnificent. The boys ran after her calling her name. After circling a couple of times for the gathered guests to get a good look at her, she landed a few feet in front of Billy and slowly walked to him. Billy squatted down on his haunches and opened his hands for her. They came together with much kisses for Master Billy which he gladly returned with hugs, kisses, and compliments of his own. "My God, you look wonderful Ms. Miranda. A bit frazzled perhaps, but motherhood becomes you. I can't remember seeing you look so happy and healthy," Billy said.

"Thank you, Master Billy. It's a pleasure to be here. I appreciate Ms. Kate's kind invitation for me to get away for a while, and as she put it, recharge my batteries. Everett explained and showed me a mental picture of a truck battery which supplies electrical energy for the engine to start so it might utilize the fuel to make it run. It is a good analogy," she said.

Kate walked over and greeted Miranda. "How are the little one's, and are they being cared for?" she asked.

"Yes, ma'am, Ms. Kate, we left our family protector with them, and they are in hog heaven with their friend `big-walking-milk-jug' as they call him," Miranda said and gave a small laugh. Everyone laughed with her.

"My God in heaven!" Jack exclaimed, "They got a talking dog what flies? What has pups?" Jack asked Bubba in awe.

"You got a sharp knife on ya,' little bro?" Bubba asked.

"No, why?" Jack asked in reply.

"I's ready to offer one of my testicles in exchange for one a' her pups," Bubba joked, "Hell, I'd give bowfubbum," he added.

"While I think it's a bit of a high price, I understand the hyperbole," Jack replied, and they shared a laugh.

Kate allowed everyone time to come over and introduce themselves and welcome Miranda. The young buckaroos couldn't get enough of her and neither could the grown cowboys. Everyone thought Ms. Miranda was wonderful. Kate walked up the steps to the front porch and rang the triangle to announce they were ready to have their family and guests come into the house for a light lunch. The main meal of the day would be a supper of barbecued brisket with cowboy potatoes and beans. Hank, Buck, and several of their helpers already fired up the big steel drums, and you could smell the sweet pungent fragrance of mesquite wood beginning to slowly burn. Oatie Breedlove almost dropped his plate. His mind was on other things. "Am I gonna' have to turn you over my knee, boy, to get you to settle down?" Elmer asked and laughed at his grandson.

"I'm sorry, Granddad, please understand, sir, I'm a mite preoccupied. My mind won't seem to stay in my body," Oatie replied.

"It's okay as long as you keep yore' dick in your Wranglers, and don't let it jump out to frighten the ladies. Calm yourself, Son. We'll visit Captain Nick's ship right after lunch, I promise," Elmer encouraged him quietly.

"We have a basket made up for Jethro you may take with you, if you like," Kate said and smiled, "I know just the way he likes his meatloaf," she added like a good mother.

"Are you going with us, Master Billy?" Oatie asked.

"No, it's been agreed, for everyone's peace of mind working on the project, I'm not to set foot on Captain Nick's ship until the project is completed, and that won't be until after Easter Sunday dinner tomorrow," Billy replied, "But due to some other circumstances and some new guests coming, it was decided you should get to see our newly enhanced slave working at his job. He ain't the same slave you sent over to me a couple of weeks ago. We hope you will be pleased. There ain't a man or critter on Captain Nick's ship what ain't fallen in love with Jethro, and we've become quite fond of him ourselves," Billy said.

"New guests?" Elmer asked.

"Yes, Judge LaFleur and his son's family will be joining us for Church and follow us out to the ranch tomorrow," Billy replied.

Jack almost choked on his food. Bubba patted him on his back. "I thought his grandson was dying from a terminal blood disease," Jack said.

"Not any more," Tron said drolly, "as a matter of fact, if the family keeps regular visits to the ranch, the boy will live to a ripe old age," he added.

"I knew the judge's grandson was gravely ill, but I haven't heard he's better," Jack said.

"The judge heard about Billy and Randy. He learned about Elmer, Vox, and Buster's miraculous recoveries and being restored. He put two and two together and come to me to ask if there was any truth to the rumors. I couldn't lie to a judge. I assured him there was, indeed, truth to the rumors," Will Tate said. "I called Billy and he told me go by and give the boy some of my angel-juice to recharge him enough to jump-start his battery. He was on oxygen and would be until he died. I done what Billy told me and got him breathing on his own. I drove him and the judge out here, so's Billy and his three main protector-angels could do a full number on him. They worked on him for well over an hour, but when they's finished, Cody was greatly improved, and he ate a huge breakfast Ms. Kate's helpers cooked for him," Will added.

"Then, if you helped the boy first, Sheriff, I assume you and several others have been enhanced to heal?" Jack asked.

"Yeah, but I ain't fully fledged yet. I still got me a lot to learn. I's just a junior fly-boy. I ain't fully earned ma' wings, but helping young Cody LaFleur brung me a step closer," Will explained.

"How many of you have been enhanced and are beginning to learn the art?" Jack asked.

Everyone smiled and looked at one another. Slowly, cowboy after cowboy raised their hands including the sheriff, his dad, Everett, Elmer Breedlove, Oatie, Nick, and Billy's two main cowboy-angels. Tom McMartin, his wife and boys raised their hands as well as Randy Rutherford. Kate, Zelma, Roz, and Vox raised their hands. Master Billy's two fine looking cowboy slaves, Hank and Buck, raised their hands. Poly and Cass were still on the ship. They couldn't get away for lunch and would be brought food when the men went to visit.

"And you enhanced these folks, Master Billy?" Jack asked.

"Not everyone," Nathan Daniels spoke up, "Captain Nick, Balthazar, and Clyde are three  fallen angels from biblical times. Master Billy's slaves, Hank, Buck, Pollux and Castor, Archie, and Edith were slaves who begged their masters to give them to Master Billy to become his slaves and a part of his greater family on Earth. Because Billy saved Nick's life he gave himself to Billy to become his slave and a part of his family. Clyde asked his masters if they would gift him to Billy to become his slave, and Balthazar did something similar. Then a large contingency of his family was invited to visit the two main home worlds to meet with two great advanced races of people, and we were enhanced there. Those who didn't get to visit the watcher home world of Retikki Prime and visit the other advanced race on another planet in the Andromeda galaxy called Fort Adam Lear, were later enhanced by Billy, his fallen angels, and us," Nathan explained.

"How is it possible for you to travel such vast distances in a short period?" Jack asked.

"Translocation. They simply open a portal, and we step through onto their planet. There is a time dilation of sorts but you adapt," Tron explained, "We can step through the portal and be gone a couple of days, weeks, or even months, and return without so much as an hour having passed on our world, and it would be the same for them, if they were to come to our world," Tron added.

"Amazing," said Jack, "and the watchers home world is originally this Retikki Prime you speak of," he asked.

"Yes, their two Lord High Chancellors are Boomer's uncles, and Master Billy's uncles-in-law," said Clyde, "and they are enormous. Gregor the Great is almost eighteen feet tall and his mate, Albrecht, is a mere fifteen feet. They remind one of the old comic characters Mutt and Jeff," Clyde explained.

"What is your purpose, Master Billy?" Jack asked.

"To create a better way of living and teach mankind to live in harmony with his neighbors and the world on which we live. A little larger concept than the universal Golden Rule: do unto others as if they were your family gathered in your backyard for a celebration of life and a dedication to a greater purpose. It's a lot more involved than one definition might cover, but if you hang around us enough, you'll begin to see more of what we're about, and learn about us without being preached to or trying to convert you to our way of thinking. We will not proselytize anyone. You're free to come and go, and we'll share almost everything with you, if we can explain it to you. Some things defy explanation, but no one is asked to accept them on blind faith. Ninety-nine point forty-four one-hundred percent of what we say and do can be backed up with science and reason. The rest, a little over a half of one percent, either can't be explained with our current level of knowledge or is simply unknown," Billy explained.

"Do you plan to create a new political front to take over our country and world?" Jack asked.

"It's a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack," Billy said recalling the words from an old South African folk song, "I wouldn't call it political, but I guess anything a man does could somehow be thought of as political. Was the myth of Christ political? Bet chore' boots, Cowboy. There's a very fine line between religious dogma and politics. The founders of our country knew it, understood the ramifications and dangers of unchecked religious beliefs, and specifically and clearly defined the need for separation of church and state. Various religions over the years have tried to circumvent those truths and falsely claimed the founding fathers were `God fear'n men' who intended 'Murica' to be a Christian nation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"We find ourselves living in a world overrun by a small but powerful faction of far right wing ultraconservative fundamentalist `Christianists' who don't deserve to be called `Christians' because they tossed out the more liberal message of Christ and shored up their tyranny with strict ideas from the old testament written by bronze age tribes in the desert of the Middle East with no applications other than control of our modern world. They have created their own religion we call 'Corpro-Christianism.'
"Even though the words attributed to Christ were mostly of pacifism, nonviolence, and compassion for his fellowman, they have been so abused and convoluted, those who refuse to consider the greater message, follow those who dwell in darkness and greed who overtook religions in their early days for personal glory and the accumulation of wealth to create a world controlled by fear and mendacity. The Roman Catholic Church never has been anything more than a huge corrupt corporate business hidden by lies, myths, and superstitions, with the false idea they are above reproach. Religion and modern corporatism merged in the early part of the twenty first century to become an enormous political power against which there was no room for more liberal views. They consider themselves so powerful they don't see the need to police their own short comings. Such is the way of unspeakable wealth and power. However, without the roots of Christianity, our world would never have seen the likes of Lincoln, Gandhi, John Kennedy, or Martin Luther King," Billy said, "I would like to think upon our tiny corner of the world as a spark of light, a new beginning, or as in the first movie of Star Wars Chapter IV, "A New Hope," he added.

"Do you see yourselves as Jedi Knights?" Jack asked in jest.

"Certainly not," Billy replied and grinned, "Why equate ourselves with such a limited group of a warrior class. While we are capable of such, we have no need for physical force. Why bother, when you can win people's hearts and minds with principles and ideals?" Billy asked in reply.

Jack seemed satisfied with Billy's openness and certainly couldn't find fault with anything he'd seen so far. Everything was fresh, open, and wonderful. There seemed to be something new to discover around every corner which would thrill and amaze him. He knew without asking, Bubba was hooked. He watched the big cowboy shed his previous life and found a world at the Daniels ranch where he was welcome to become what he wanted and needed to be. The Daniels became a cocoon in which Bubba grew and changed into the mature, responsible, trustworthy, talented adult he was intended to become.  

* * * * * * *
"Will you be still, stop fidgeting, and eat your lunch. We got plenty of time to have a nice visit with Master Billy's slave," Elmer admonished his grandson Oatie for the second time, like he was a little boy.

"Sorry, Granddad, I'm afraid I'm more than a little apprehensive," Oatie replied.

"Whatever for?" Jack asked Oatie, "Bubba and I were invited to visit Captain Nick's ship yesterday and met your slave, Jethro, whom I understand has become Master Billy's slave for a while. He seemed fine to us, didn't he, Bubba?" Jack asked his young cowboy friend next to him at the table.

"Yes, sir, Master Oatie. Jethro certainly looked fine to me. He was awful busy and couldn't spare us much time, but you could tell he was a man on a mission. How he kept everything straight, with people coming and going, asking him all sorts of questions, is beyond me. I never once saw him tell anyone he didn't know something, who they could go to, or where they might find an answer to their query. Jethro had all his bases covered and was working his attractive butt off," Bubba replied without giving much to Oatie.

"Do you gentlemen plan to come with us to visit him after lunch?" Oatie asked fishing for information of any kind.

"Absolutely, sir!" Bubba replied more strongly than anyone ever heard the big cowboy assert himself, "Master Jack and me, we done talked about it, and we agreed to see and visit Jethro again was on the top of our `to-do' list of attractions here at the ranch. We were very impressed with him yesterday," he added and smiled. The other men were pleased Bubba and Jack didn't give Oatie much which might spoil his surprise.

"Why don't you come with us, Master Billy?" Oatie asked again almost like a plea.

"No, no, I cain't. I already done told you, I ain't set foot on Captain Nick's ship in the two weeks they been working on this project. I don't want to influence them in the slightest. I told them what I wanted and discussed every facet thoroughly. I left it up to them to design us a new town. However, I've gotten feedback from most of my family in bits and pieces, I'm almost as anxious as you to visit tomorrow after Sunday dinner," Billy replied.

"And what are your terms for returning my slave to me, and when will he be available?" Oatie asked.

"Assuming you men reach an agreement, I think it's only fair you purchase him back from me. I want a brand-new one dollar bill from you to go along with a bill of sale for our slave which we will both sign. I plan to have my staff frame it and hang it on the wall in my office as a reminder of the importance of your slave to us and to you as well. However, I will reserve the right to hire Jethro back from you to come to work every week day until noon on Fridays until the Highland Shire Project is completed. With the knowledge he's gained and the skills he's developed this past two weeks, Jethro has become invaluable to us. I think it's fair to say, Jethro has become the spirit and motivational force behind the project. Without him, the project might fail. Furthermore, it will give him a greater purpose  and bring you extra income. He will be available to you after presentation tomorrow afternoon. I have given everyone the next day off as well," Billy explained, "That should give you and Jethro enough time to come to a decision," he added.

"I have no problem with those terms," Oatie said sincerely, "I think a steady job might be just the thing to help him with his image of himself and his self-esteem," he added.

"I don't think you got nothing to worry about his `self-steam,' Master Oatie," Bubba said, "Jethro's pert-damn hot just the way he is. He boiled my water ever' time I got closer than ten feet to him," he added. Everyone at the table laughed and agreed with Bubba.

"Hear! Hear! I'll second that. I told Bubba we should call him Stanley Steamer," Jack said.

"I know what Master Jack and Bubba's talking about, Master Oatie, I sat in Jethro's lap for a bit last weekend, and all I could think of was that song my grandma taught me, `I'm a little teapot, short and stout,' and almost worked up a head of steam myself. I thought I's gonna' start to whistle at any minute," Randy said and got another round of laughter from the others. Elmer was particularly enjoying the cowboys having some light-hearted fun leading Oatie on without giving him much. To Oatie it was just so much cowboy palaver, but to the rest, it was funny.

Billy got Tom McMartin off to the side and asked if he knew about Jethro's demon-dad form he could morph into, and would be working as such in the nude until tomorrow afternoon when he would morph back to his slave persona? "Yes, your cowboy-angels have described him in detail for me and I'll be honest with you, I'm as curious as anyone to see him. I must see for myself. I ain't invited Abigale to go along because none of the other women seem to be included. I just figured it would be one of them male things," Tom replied.

"And you would be right," Billy said and rolled his eyes, "Do you plan to take the boys?" Billy asked.

"If it's all right with you, Billy. They're in big with Poly and Cass and consider Hank and Buck their second dads. They been keeping them informed, and they're chomp'n at the bit to go; however, I thought I'd ask you first," Tom replied.

"No problem. I know you will use discretion and talk with them about the need to not discuss certain things outside their immediate family group; and, by the way, Randy is rag'n on my butt to go. Would you do me the favor of talking with him the same time you talk with Rory and Calhoun?" Billy asked.

"No problem. If this is the new world we're going to be living in, I want my boys to experience it with me, to learn what they observe ain't wrong, it's just a different way of looking at things. I'll gather them right away. I think the Bull and your cowboy-angels is beginning to get the group together," Tom replied and called for the three boys to come to him. Billy could see Tom talking 'turkey' to the boys, and they were nodding their heads they understood. Tom made a special note of telling them they were not to discuss it with the women folk including Randy's little sister. The boys loved the idea they were being included in secret men stuff.

"Can I have your attention, please!" the Bull bellowed, "Those who wish to transport with us to Captain Nick's ship will please meet us outside. We will be departing immediately after everyone is assembled. I been asked to announce, the ladies have several picnic baskets made up for our family members who couldn't get away for lunch today. Will some of you men grab one and carry it with you? Your help will be greatly appreciated. Each is labeled with the name of the person to give it to once we get there. Any questions?" Elmer asked, "No? Then we'll see you outside," he added and after thanking the ladies for a wonderful lunch, the men began to leave the kitchen and gather outside the ranch house. Tom, Rory, Cal, and Randy grabbed a picnic basket. Tron, Nathan, Enoch, and Moss grabbed the other four and they were off. Kate walked over to Oatie, handed him a basket with Jethro's name on it, gave him a quick hug and a kiss on his cheek, "Not to worry, Oatie, he didn't give everything to his new master. You still own his heart," she whispered and smiled at him.

"Thanks, Mrs. Daniels, that means a lot. I appreciate your graciousness," Oatie said and wiped away a tear.

"Just keep in mind, it's been almost two weeks since you seen each other. He'll be just as worried as you. Make it easy for him and he will respond in kind, Son," Kate said.

"Wise words from a beautiful lady. I won't forget your kindness, ma'am," Oatie said.

Oatie walked out to the gathered group with his slave's basket on his arm. Elmer grabbed Oatie and stood him directly in front of him. The Bull and several other cowboy-angels were already fledged and raised their beautiful wings about the men. Elmer counted to three and in a great flash of light they disappeared only to reappear on board Captain Nick's ship. The scene was much like the day before. The working group was so used to people coming and going, another flash of light just meant more traffic was coming in to deliver information or to gather some. Elmer stepped aside so his grandson could get a good view of the main, central table where all kinds of creatures and critters were gathered talking loudly back and forth.

One creature struck Oatie's eye, and he couldn't take his eyes off of it. It was a dark red creature with horns, but he was humanoid in form. He had a pronounced tail and it was lovingly wrapped around one of Master Billy's halfling twin slaves. Oatie thought it was Cass, but he couldn't be sure. He saw Cass turn to look over his shoulder, stood on tiptoe to whisper something to the great red beast, who dropped his tail from around Cass, and turned to see who the visitors were. Oatie got a full frontal shot of the handsome demon and almost shot his load into his Wranglers. The giant demon was the hottest thing he'd ever seen in his life.

The boys were warned to hold back, but Jethro squatted on his buckaroo boots, opened his huge, muscular arms for them to come to him, and they went bananas running and shouting his name. "Jethro! Jethro! Jethro! How wonderful you look! We begged to come and get to see you in your demon-dad form. Damn you look good! What a wonderful penis you got! Damn, it's a nice one with black speed-bumps. Big, too," they allowed, "Master Oatie won't never get out of bed when you morph like that," they added. The boys had the men in stitches, but they were only saying what the rest of them were thinking.

"Well them boys sort of let the cat out of the bag, Son. What do you think?" Elmer asked his grandson.

"I'm embarrassed, Master Bull. I almost come in ma' pants. I want to so bad my balls are aching like my cowboy posse's use'n a battering ram to break out of prison," Oatie replied quietly, "What a total surprise," he added.

Elmer threw back his handsome head and roared with laughter. "I'll take that as a positive sign you find your enhanced slave to your liking," he said.

"To my liking? No. I's afraid it goes a good bit further, sir. I wanna' rip ma' clothes off, run to him, take him in my arms, smother him with kisses, and tell him to have his way with me rye-cheer in front of these men and his staff. I might need to lean on your arm to steady me, Master Bull. I'll try to walk over to him, but my cock is so hard, without a little help I'm afraid it might break in two. I'll have to limp a mite to get there," Oatie lamented and got another round of laughter from his granddad and several cowboys around him.  

"Y'ain't seen nothing yet, Buckaroo. Wait `til Jethro morphs back to his human form. He's even more stunning. Your cowboy posse just might stage a prison rodeo and a remake of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral," Elmer said, "But know'n your druthers for kink, I bet Master Billy you'll choose his demon dad form ninety percent of the time," he added.

"You know me too well, old man," Oatie said and hugged his granddad closer.

"Who you call'n an old man, boy? I can still turn you over my knee and bust yore' butt until it looks like a fresh baked cherry pie," Elmer joked.

"Promise, Bull?" Oatie asked and pinched his granddad on his butt.

"I'm think'n it's the only thing what's gonna' calm you down, boy," Elmer said and laughed.

Oatie carried the basket with Jethro's name on it over to him and set it on the table covered in a myriad of documents, technical schematics, landscape drawings, and hundreds of bits and pieces of small notes each carefully labeled and posted to a pile in sequence. To the untrained eye it looked like the first ten seconds after the big bang, but Jethro knew where everything was and in what order it should be. Oatie thought to himself there had to be an analogy in what looked like total chaos.

After many hugs and kisses, the boys left Jethro to return to Tom and Captain Nick's side and Oatie and his family walked up to the giant red demon. Out of nowhere came one of the Sun Bears and placed a cushion at the feet of their beloved project manager. Jethro smiled, nodded his thanks to his small worker, and fell to his knees before his master. "I can't tell you how good it is to see you again, Master Oatie. My heart is filled with joy. Your faithful slave requests permission to pay homage to his master, sir," Jethro said quietly.

"Of course you have my permission, my handsome slave. What master would be foolish enough to deny a handsome creature like you to pay homage to him? Oatie asked.

Jethro didn't reply but simply made goodly love and kissed each of Oatie's handsome buckaroo boots. When he finished, Jethro sat back on the heels of his boots and waited for his master's command. "Come to my arms you beautiful beast and share your love with me," Oatie said like the `amen' to a prayer.

Jethro was in his master's arms in an instant and they were locked in the kiss of death for several minutes. The little Sun Bear ran up to them, quickly removed the cushion, and rejoined his group. There wasn't a dry eye on the ship. Even the Shedu cow and bull found themselves shedding a few as they watched from their separate chambers. It was a moving moment. One cowboy later recalled the jolly blue giant Joe and his deep green half-Human half-Ork mate, Crunch, were holding each other sobbing their hearts out like two old ladies going through menopause. It was a good analogy, as their feelings and sensibilities were reaching critical overload. They were wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Their colors were growing darker as they approached their mating condition of `close-cauldron.' The following Friday, around noon, would find them locked together in the great stone arena for their annual mating smack-down.

Oatie and Jethro finally broke off their kiss and held each other. Everyone applauded, whistled, shouted their names, and stomped their boots to show their pleasure and offer congratulations to a master and slave who loved each other very much. "Come, my good Master and we will sit on the large balcony overlooking the Highland Shire Project our team has been working so diligently to finish by tomorrow noon. There our guests may join us and talk with us while we enjoy our meal. I'm pleased to announce we are ahead of schedule and barring any unforeseen catastrophes we will be ready for our presentation for our master," Jethro said in a commanding deep bass voice which ran chills up and down Oatie's spine. Oatie thought Master Billy just might be right. Jethro in his demon-dad persona was too appealing to be a once in a while thing.

"Of course, everyone in your group will be seeing the new city proto-type for the first time, so I must insist everyone here give us their oath of secrecy by raising their right hand," Jethro spoke to the assembled men. Everyone, including the boys, raised their right hand in agreement. Jethro nodded and thanked them. "Now, gentle workers," he spoke to his assistants, Poly and Cass, "If you will be so kind as to draw back the drapes to reveal the balcony, we will proceed and have our lunch. Remember, we have only one hour, then we must be finished with lunch, bid our guests farewell, and continue our work. While we're ahead of schedule at this moment, we've learned, if something can go wrong, it probably will. So we have to leave room for such contingencies," Jethro said and they agreed.

Oatie was blown away by his slave's commanding presence and control over his workers like Jethro was a benevolent and much loved monarch who was neither afraid to issue lavish praise nor patiently listen to the smallest, seemingly insignificant problem one of them might bring to him. He wore a velvet glove over an iron fist and his workers love for him bordered on hero worship. Oatie began to wonder who should be kneeling at who's feet. He could only imagine he was only twenty-four hours away from reclaiming this outstanding hunk he was with as his surrogate slave-dad; his husband. Jethro picked up the picnic basket his master brought him, placed his huge, muscular arm gently round his shoulder and led him to a choice table on the edge of the balcony.

It was the first time any of the cowboys, including Nick, Clyde, and Balthazar, got a chance to see how far along the planning crew progressed on the project. Several stood in awe of what they saw before them. The concept was stunning. There was no doubt in several of their minds it looked similar, but far more beautiful than the Emerald City of Oz. Instead, it looked like a large, multi-faceted blue sapphire standing tall and proud. They gathered around the table where Jethro was sitting. Oatie stood, carefully unpacked Jethro's basket, and set everything before him.

"Ah, I can smell it. It's Mistress Kate's wonderful meatloaf. I love her meatloaf. In this form, my olfactory sensors are much more powerful than my human form which makes some odors more intense and other more appealing or stimulating," Jethro said. Oatie thought he could understand. He hadn't lost his erection since he arrived. Jethro's smell was intoxicating to him beyond anything he experienced before. He reeked of powerful sexual pheromones more alluring than distressing, but certainly not disturbing, which tripped base and wicked thoughts within Oatie's fertile mind and made his cock drip continually.  

As the men watched, the boys were the first to look closer at the model city and noticed a tiny monorail running one way, then the other, throughout the length of the model and into the city. There seemed to be small prams moving about on the streets traveling with a purpose rather than just a tiny model included for effect. Randy was the first to see someone about the size of an ant get out of a vehicle and walk around it. "Hey, look down there, someone just got out of that little car! See!" he exclaimed.  

"Yes, Son, that's one of our workers. They pass through reduction gates to become smaller in scale to the enormity of the great city we created. Tomorrow we will take you through the gate, and you will be able to explore the new model city like it will be when it's built. You can even take a ride on the monorail. We've been blessed by Master Billy's in-laws on another world and second supporting race of ancients; a nonstop exchange of some wonderful technology between the two worlds where the ancients live: Retikki Prime in the Orion Nebula and Fort Adam Lear in the Andromeda galaxy. What you see before you is a tesseract. A much larger space reduced to a much smaller space; much like the village and outback here on Captain Nick's ship," Jethro explained. "We will give a presentation tomorrow and explain new innovations you will see before we bring Master Billy, his family, and guests to the balcony for an overall viewing. I'm sorry we don't have time to take you for a preview, but we thought you might like to get a look a the new city; however, remember, your lips are sealed by the cowboy-code and your word of honor as a buckaroo," Jethro said and smiled.

The men agreed, but they were mostly speechless. They were in awe at what they saw. They sat around the tables and several of the village ladies in their folk costumes came with mugs and pitchers of a sweet but tart fruit punch which they proceeded to offer the men. Several groups sat with Poly and Cass, while Oatie's family and the Tates sat with him and Jethro. Several were with Hank and Buck, sitting with Archie and Edith. They were great resources of information about the new city and answered their questions.

"What is the large building with the soaring wings in the middle of everything?" Vox asked Jethro.

"That's a town hall. A gathering place for almost anything. It has one huge amphitheater in the middle for concerts in the round and huge stages at each end. The wings at the ends will contain two separate grand concert organs with specialty wind chests in the middle of the great hall which will give a great surround sound. The instruments may be played separately or together from either console," Jethro explained as the men shook their heads in awe and grinned thinking about how pleased Master Billy and his grandmother would be.

"Here in the hill country we get some heavy hail storms from time to time. The glass city is beautiful but it looks so fragile. What is the glass made of, Son?" Elmer asked.

"We will cover that in our brief presentation tomorrow, Master Bull, but to answer your question, it's a new way of making glass. Along with the basic ingredients of regular glass is added several metal based chemicals which become transparent under high pressures and kept at controlled temperatures for long periods of time; just like gem stones of different colors are made in the Earth. The result is much stronger than regular glass. Without giving away the recipe completely, it's made of three very important chemicals, Copper Sulfate, Ferric Hexacyanoferrate for the blue color, aluminum powder, and several other base metals in compounds, for strength and lightness. Each pane of glass in our model weighs half of what a sand-based piece of glass of the same thickness might. The nicest part is the blue effect will darken when the sun is bright and lighten up on overcast days to allow in the maximum red and blue light spectrum necessary for human health and growing plants," Jethro explained, "The glass is perfect for the six large greenhouses you see on each side of the city. Six will be used for mass production of our brothers, Hank and Buck's, magic herbs," Jethro added.

Oatie sat across from Jethro with his mouth open listening to a man who lived with him for the better part of a decade, who could transform himself into a sexy demon stud, he never really knew before. Here was a man with inner strength, talent, people skills, determined, and full of purpose. Oatie was fascinated by the new Jethro.

"Close your mouth, Son! He's for real, I promise," Elmer said and everyone laughed. Oatie blushed.

"I think you should name it `Sapphire City,' Brother Jethro," said Randy, sitting at a table next to them.

"I like that idea, Randy, I'll take it up with our committee later this evening," Jethro replied.

Oatie began to talk privately with his slave. "How did you come up with this form, Jethro?" Oatie asked.

"Are you not pleased, Master?" Jethro asked looking hurt.

"Nonsense, you know me better than that. Of course I'm pleased. Every fiber in my body wants to jump your demon bones right here, but modesty and good manners keeps me from it," Oatie replied and grinned.

"I was given a choice as to how I wanted to appear to the world and you in particular. I saw Master Billy's other new slave, Orville Higginbothem, and I wanted to look as much like him as possible. I think he's hot. So, I asked Master Billy and his posse to remove all my body hair and give me the same jewelry Orville wears. They obliged me, only instead of making my cock ring permanent, mine is removable, but not by me. It may only be removed by one of my masters or someone they might loan me to. Since Master Billy gave me the same enhancements you got, I now have a set of wings as well. However, in the course of becoming a part of Master Billy's inner circle of family, I spent many nights with him and his surrogate dad, Nick Samuels, in their bed at the line cabin. Each night Nick would change into his demon-dad persona Master Billy loves so well, and I knew immediately it was how I wanted to be able to morph for you. With their help and counsel, I designed both personas with your pleasure in mind, but I will have to say, I've come to love and be most pleased by my demon-dad person," Jethro said like he was confiding with his best bud.

"I won't gainsay that, my good slave, you'd have a difficult time persuading me otherwise," Oatie said like he was an encouraging co-conspirator. "Can you morph for me now, so I might see your human form?" Oatie asked.

"No, sir, Master Oatie. Meaning no disrespect, sir, but protocol, and the greater social bugaboo of superstition, demands I remain in this form until noon tomorrow when we cease work. It might mean the difference between success and failure of our team's project if I was to morph for you right now. By unanimous vote of everyone, human and beastie, including the two great Shedus, I have to remain in my demon form until noon tomorrow. They seem to think I work better and they work better with me in this form than my human form, and I will have to agree, I notice a decided improvement and cooperation with them while I maintain my current form. We're so close to completion, I would rather suffer your wrath or displeasure with me than risk losing control of the project and it fall into chaos," Jethro carefully explained.

"No, of course not. I understand completely. One more day ain't gonna' matter that much noways, but I will dream about you tonight; I promise you that. Perhaps, my good thoughts will bring you the luck you need to successfully complete your project. I just want you to know how proud you have made me, and I can't wait to have the grand tour tomorrow; then, after that, if you like, we may spend some time together," Oatie said.

"Everything I done since you sent me to Master Billy has been with you in mind, sir, I couldn't love you more for having sent me here," Jethro said quietly.

"Do you still want to be my slave, Jethro?" Oatie asked the question he was most afraid to hear the answer.

"Certainly, Master Oatie. More now, than when you sent me here. There is no longer any confusion or doubt in my mind. I know what my purpose in life is now, and it's to become the companion and dad you ain't never had. While it might seem strange for a slave to presume to become your dad, I have a precedent for my claim. Nick Samuels became Master Billy's slave much the same way I became yours. Master Billy saved Captain Nick's life and nursed him back to health. Captain Nick was required by universal law to give himself to Master Billy as his slave and become a member of his family. I want the same for me and you, Master Oatie, if you'll allow me. I will be your devoted slave until you order me or you chose to remove my cock ring yourself; then, I will become your dad and will be so until you put my ring back on my cock. You can have the best of both worlds," Jethro said firmly in his deep bass voice as Oatie finally dropped his pent-up load in his Wranglers; however, being raised a cowboy he knew he better prepare for the possibility and stuffed his bandanna down into his crotch earlier.

"Jesus, Jethro, I just come in ma' Wranglers," Oatie whispered and his slave grinned real big, "I can't think of anything I would like better, and the idea of your cock ring being a symbol of the duality of our love and roles for each other is so overwhelmingly sensual to me, my body couldn't control its joy. So you have to know, I'm a happy cowboy right now," Oatie explained and Jethro placed his huge red hand over Oatie's and squeezed it tenderly.

They talked of many things about Oatie, Elmer, and Perry Reed's plans for the ranches. They talked about Jethro coming back to work for the project after a week's vacation or `honeymoon' as Oatie called it a couple of times. Jethro seemed enthused to continue his work and a closer association with Billy and his family. Oatie didn't have any problem with it. He would have Jethro to himself evenings and weekends from Friday noon until Monday morning. Oatie could see and feel the personal growth in Jethro, and he didn't want to disturb the progress which seemed to bring the big man confidence and a strong feeling of self-worth.

The hour was up. Oatie and Jethro kissed again in front of everyone. It just seemed natural somehow. As the cowboys were getting ready to transport, Oatie could see his beloved slave swamped with workers with papers in hand or a crisis to discuss. Jethro gave him a thumbs up and smiled as they disappeared in a flash of light. Oatie had an empty feeling inside him like he'd been cut in half, and the better part of him was missing. He shed a couple of tears but quickly reached over and stole Perry Reed's bandanna from his hip pocket and tried to wipe them away before his granddad caught him. He was too late. The new, improved Bull of the hill country didn't miss much. "It's all right, boy. Tomorrow afternoon he'll be with you again, and you two can spend some quality time alone, undisturbed. Me, Vox, Mick, Perry, Catfish, and his mate, Mouse, will stand guard. We'll keep everyone away from you, so's you men can gather twigs, bits of twine, tree bark, and soft moss to built yourself a nest," Elmer consoled his grandson.

"Thanks, Bull, I needed that," Oatie replied.

* * * * * * *
"How was your visit, Master Bull?" Billy asked.

"Enlightening, to say the least," Elmer replied. Elmer had his arm around Vox's neck and pulled him close to steal a kiss.

"Will I be happy with the results of my planner's project, Vox?" Billy asked the smaller man.

"I'd venture to say, you will not only be pleased, you will also be blown away, Master Billy. You surely chose the right slave for the job. You also are doing the right thing by offering to provide Jethro with an ongoing job. He's such a dynamic and talented man. He only needed a chance to prove himself," Vox said sincerely.

"I ain't offering Jethro a job. Jethro's already done got his'self a job. I need Jethro, and it is one of my main conditions of releasing him to his previous master. It must be understood he is to report for work the following Monday morning after a week's well earned vacation spent with his master and his family," Billy said firmly, "We plan to pay Master Oatie handsomely for his slave's employment," he added.

"There won't be any problem, Billy," Elmer said, "Our visit with Jethro cemented any conditions you might have, and I don't think you're being unreasonable. As a matter of fact, I think you's being downright generous," Elmer added.

"Me and my watchers, Blackie and Blondie, promise we won't disturb you either, Master Oatie," said Perry Reed, the foreman of Elmer and Oatie's other family ranch.

* * * * * * *
The afternoon progressed, and everyone was in a good mood. The sheriff came up to Billy with his cell phone in his hand, "It's Judge LaFleur. Cody's having trouble breathing, and he just threw up," Will said.

Billy took the phone from Will, "How quick can you get him out here, Judge?" Billy asked.

"We can leave right now, Son," Judge LaFleur replied.

"You know the drill about the guard cattle, sir?" Billy asked.

"Yes, Son, Will, Buster, and Everett gave me their word as cowboys, it's the God's gospel truth," the old judge said and laughed.

"It's true enough. What model vehicle will your son be driving, sir?" Billy asked.

"A crew-cab heavy-duty Dodge pickup. Black in color with a flat bed," he replied.

"Good. I'll send word. They may part without you getting out. Sometime, if they ain't real sure, they'll wait until you do. Ah, hell, I'll just send a couple of my watchers down there. They'll be there when you drive across the cattle guard," Billy said, "Ya'll plan on staying for supper," Billy added.

"Thanks. We'll be there as soon as we can, Son," the judge replied.

Billy dispatched Bubba and Catfish to the front gate and they disappeared.

On the drive out the judge briefed his son and daughter-in-law about the strange creatures they might see around the ranch, and he expected two Bigfoot to be waiting for them at the gate.

"Bigfoot, Dad?" Wesley asked and laughed, "There ain't no such thing," he declared.

"You think it will be Boomer?" Cody asked sitting in his granddad's lap.

"Might be, Son, he's Master Billy's right hand critter, and his faithful slave," the judge replied.

Wesley pulled up in front of the cattle, but the cattle didn't move. "Where's the Bigfoot, Dad?" he asked.

"It is Boomer, Granddad. I can see him, and the other is a huge brown critter, almost as big as Boomer. They's talking with them two Bulls up front," Cody said.

The cattle slowly began to part, when in an instant, the two large watchers appeared in front of the truck. They looked just like Cody's description. The lighter in color of the two came around to the passenger door and waved to Cody. The boy couldn't get the door open fast enough. Cody took a leap of faith and Boomer caught him on the fly, hugged, and kissed the boy. "It's so good to see you again, Boomer. I'm starving. Can I have some milk?" Cody asked.

"Help yourself, little one," Boomer replied. The huge creature walked up to the front window and smiled at Cody's mother while holding Cody to his breast as the boy sucked away on his teat. "Ya'll drive on up to the ranch, and we'll meet you there," Boomer said, then he and the boy disappeared.

"Where have they gone?" Wesley asked in horror.

"They'll be there when we get up to the house, Son. Trust your dad, boy," the judge said.

The cattle parted and Wesley drove up the hill, around the curve into the compound. They could see Boomer holding Cody with Catfish standing next to them. "Well I'll be damned!" exclaimed Wesley quietly, "Sorry, Dad," he added.

"Just keep an open mind, Son -- Daughter, and all will be fine," Judge LaFleur told his family.
Billy had the family follow him into the slave processing room. He took Cody away from Boomer and the boy cried. "There, there," Billy calmed him, "you can have all the watcher milk you can hold in a minute, but I need to check you out first," he said. Cody stopped crying and let Billy check him. "Blow your breath in my face, Cody," he asked and the boy did. "Wow! Must a been a big'un. How many of them peppers did ju' eat, Son?" Billy asked.

"They's in a bowl in the fridge. I seen daddy eat 'em with his food. They looked real good. I wanted to try one, only it was so hot, after I swallowed, it made me throw up, and I couldn't breathe for a while. I'm better now I got Boomer's milk in me. I'm all right," he said.

Billy laughed at him. I did the same damn thing when I's a kid, Cody. My granddad loved his'self some of them holly-penis peppers. I took a big ole bite, and it was okay for a minute until I swallowed, then all hell broke loose. I done exactly the same thing you did - I threw up my supper, and my stomach hurt for a day afterward. You gotta' leave them hot peppers to them big cowboys, Buckaroo. You been drink'n the milk I sent home with you and your granddad?" Billy asked.

"He went through it the first day, Mr. Daniels," his mother replied rolling her eyes, "I couldn't keep him away from the fridge. He'd sneak in and drink when I wasn't looking," she lamented.

"No problem. We milk our herd of watchers this afternoon after our barnyard concert. They gather from the rivers and thickets to enjoy the music and nonsense. Ya'll stay for supper and enjoy our concert. We'll send you good folks home with a gallon. It should last him several days," Billy said, "In the meantime, Boomer, get a blanket to wrap Cody in from our grandmother. It might be a cool evening, and I don't want him getting chilled. I'm put'n you and Catfish on baby-buckaroo duty," Billy said and Boomer was away to the house to get a blanket from Kate. "They may be big and fierce looking, but there ain't no better baby sitters you can find for a kid where they'd be safer; besides, the little ones love 'em," Billy said and laughed. "Don't look so surprised. I drink watcher milk ever' day," he added.

"We can't thank you enough for helping our boy, Mr. Daniels," the big cowboy, Wesley LaFleur, said and shook Billy's hand. He wiped away a tear.

"You's welcome, sir, just keep bringing Cody to me every week, and keep what we's trying to do here as quiet as possible. That don't mean, if you got a close friend or neighbor what needs help, you can't bring them to us if you trust them. Just give us a call," Billy said graciously.

Jack McCormick and Judge LaFleur greeted each other, shook hands, and hugged each other. "How long you been coming out to the Daniels ranch, Son?" the judge asked.

"Only a couple of days, sir -- well, since Brad Kirkendall passed away, and I been helping his nephew, Bubba, settle his estate," Jack replied.

"What do you think of all this?" the judge asked.

"Like I want to be a part of it. No. Like I need to be a part of it. That ain't right neither. I have to become a part of the Billy Daniels family, Judge," Jack replied like it was the most important thing in his life right now.

"Is there more? I mean of this strangeness?" LaFleur asked.

"I'm still taking it all in, but I've seen a lot in my couple of days," Jack replied.

"Is there more?" the judge asked.

"So much, you can't even imagine, Judge. These people are so advanced in their approach to life and loving each other, there is very little dissension. They're just one big happy family, and they're like a snowball rolling down hill gathering more as they go. You discover something new around every corner, but nothing seems bad or out of place. Everything seems to fit together. If you want a real shocker, ask Billy to let you speak with his new slave Orville Higginbothem. He'll let you. Orville would be a good bellwether how people are treated here. Naturally, you would assume he would be terribly disgruntled being the lowest of the low on the totem pole. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was amazed by him. Still am," Jack explained, "I think Bubba's adopted him as a surrogate dad," he added.  

"I feel like we're in another world," the judge said.

"Your are. You're in Billy Daniels world, sir," Jack said and they shared a laugh.

* * * * * * *
There was a little time before supper would be served. Jack asked Bubba if he wanted to watch his uncle's video, and he agreed. Bubba thought it might be a good idea. "Since the Daniels family's taken us under their wings, so to speak," Bubba said and grinned, "don't chu' think we should invite them to watch with us, Jack? They's all close friends with my uncle at one time or t'other, including the Breedloves, the Tates, the Garretts, and the Redbone family," Bubba said.

"I think it would be a good idea. It ain't too long. I think it's about thirty to forty-five minutes. Shall we gather them?" Jack asked.

It took them a few minutes to gather the folks. They were interested in hearing what last words Brad Kirkendall recorded for his nephew. The most interested were Tron Garrett; Nathan and Kate Daniels; Buster and Will Tate; Elmer Breedlove and Vox; Zelma and Enoch Redbone; and Tom McMartin was also very interested. Jack asked if he could invite the judge, and Bubba thought it would be all right. They didn't want too large a crowd and didn't allow any watchers, except Boomer, or young cowboys. However, Bubba did invite Moss Garrett since his dad and bonded mate Enoch was included. Months before Billy installed a huge plasma screen in the parlor where the family could watch videos in comfort. Jack handed him the DVD, and Billy put it in the machine. Immediately there was black screen with the words: This video is meant for several people other than my nephew, Bubba, and his attorney, Jack McCormick. Those who should be included, if they wish, are as follows: The Garretts, Tron and Moss; the Daniels, Nathan, Kate, and Billy; Buster and Will Tate; Elmer Breedlove; the Redbones, Zelma, Enoch, and cousin Tom McMartin. Press start when these people have been assembled. Thank you.

Everyone read it and sort of chuckled among themselves. "My uncle was a thorough man," Bubba said, and they agreed with him. Billy pressed the start button again and a picture of an older Brad Kirkendall appeared. "Hello everyone, I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there are certain things what must be said and apologies which I must make. First of all the great so-called misunderstanding between the Daniels family and me, never happened. I dropped out of the group of the four horsemen, for which I nominated Buster Tate to take my place, not in anger but out of deep remorse and embarrassment from my private life. I still love Kate, Nathan, and Billy Daniels with all my heart, soul, and being. I have no words to describe the love I have and shared with my bonded brothers Daws Butler Daniels and Travis Houston Redbone.

"I dropped out of the group and didn't come around for several reasons which will become apparent in this video. I must tiptoe around the great incident which caused us to form the brotherhood of the four horsemen, because I don't know how much Billy knows yet, and I will leave the rest up to the two remaining horsemen. I was worried for a while it wouldn't come to pass because of Buster and our favorite Bull's declining health. I should have known better. It's hard to be told something and accept it as truth when you see the opposite happening.

"Now I got that out of the way, the rest is for Bubba's sake, but you men share in his and Billy's future. Shortly after we buried Bubba's daddy, I put him to bed one night and returned to my laboratory in my barns to do some work when I heard a quiet knock at my door. I opened to see two great watchers standing before me. I was somewhat shaken but knew they wouldn't do me no harm from our meetings with them before. The larger of the two was quite handsome with a full golden mane about his upper body, shoulders, and down his back and his face was distinctively framed in a thin black halo of hair. He had prominent canine incisors. He looked like a beautiful giant cat with the body of a watcher. He presented me with an ornately carved wooden box made from wood which had a pungent fragrance to it and told me to open it. I later learned the scent was frankincense. I did, and inside found a beautiful, light weight crown, gold in color, made of soft precious metals and bedecked with jewels of all kinds.

"The watcher told me to try it on. I did as he asked, but I told him I had no purpose for a crown. I had no aspirations to rule over anyone. He told me it was for that reason he brought it to me. He patiently explained, it wasn't that kind of crown, but he insisted all crowns throughout the history of mankind have been modeled after the one I was wearing. He went on to tell me, I was to wear it every evening or whenever I was working in my workshops. They planned to use it to gather information from my brain and install it in another human. It was an ingenious device which took my brainwaves and transferred them to an even greater brain where the information would be coded into human DNA to transfer into a human repository," Brad paused for a moment and grinned like he knew some of the people watching would guess where he was going with his story. Bubba felt all eyes on him and suddenly looked at Jack in panic. "Stop it for a minute, Master Billy," he said.

"You all right, Bubba? We're here for you, Son," Jack said.

"I suspected something like 'iis," Elmer said and shook his head, "Jack's right, Son, we're here for you. `At's why I tried to tell you t'other day, y'ain't alone no more," Elmer added.

"I'm sorry, I been through a lot these past few days, but this is beyond my wildest thoughts," the big man lamented.

"It may not be so bad. I refuse to believe, as much as Brad loved you, he'd do anything to cause you any harm. Let's hear the rest of what your uncle has to say, Bubba. It's like waiting for the other boot to drop, Son," Kate said.

Bubba nodded to Billy, and he pressed the start button again.

"Welcome back," Brad said and everyone laughed. "After a month of wearing the crown around my workshop, another knock came to my door late in the evening. It was the same knock; I knew it was them. I bid them enter and talked with them for a good while. They wanted me to start sleeping with the crown as well, and I agreed. I wore it around the clock for a year. When they finally came to me again, they told me they gathered enough information to begin, but I was to still use the crown for as long as I lived. Being a scientist, I couldn't say no to their experiment.

"It wasn't as difficult a task as it might sound because as I learned to use the device more. I could communicate my thoughts and ideas to the greater brain of the machine, and it would communicate with me. It became a companion and a fellow scientist. In fact, I was able to create a physical embodiment of someone who I taught to be an assistant and a fellow scientist for me. She still resides in stasis within my workshop. Be good to her, Bubba. She's the aunt you never had. Her name is Helen. If you let her she can become anyone you want her to be. She was very important to me.

"I agreed with the watchers to use the crown as they wished, and about six months later they told me they wanted to take Bubba with them to enhance him. I talked with Bubba and told him about them, but I think he thought I was playing a make-believe game with him until one night the giant watcher appeared, and I introduced him to my nephew. Bubba took to him right away and the giant feline-like watcher shared his milk with him. He even purred and sang to him as he fed Bubba. After that, Bubba had no problem, and went with him through the portal. They returned within an hour, but when I asked Bubba about it, he told me he had his own room in a magnificent palace for six months. They treated him like a young prince, and he had many friends, various critters, and watchers to play and talk with. Little by little, day by day, his memories of his time on Retikki Prime diminished until he thought they were just a dream. They became lost in his childhood as a fond memory.

"They carefully explained to me they transferred my knowledge in a massive coded DNA file into Bubba's brain because he is my closest living relative. That's why I never tried to push you in school, Son," Brad said looking at the camera speaking directly to Bubba, "I knew you would inherit more than land or money from me, but I wanted to make damn sure you were comfortable. You are a walking DNA repository of all my knowledge; however, they have been gathering much more from me over the years while you were growing up but that file terminated with my death. It is now waiting for you on Retikki Prime. After I say the words to activate the input of the information, you won't be overwhelmed. It will be a day by day discovery; however, your body will immediately undergo a physical change in which you will be endowed with certain new powers, and you will grow a set of wings. After I say the words to activate the program, you are not to be left alone for three nights. I would prefer you stay with the Daniels because I'm sure by now, Billy has been enhanced and can help you with your fledging.

"I'm not suggesting you must become a scientist because I was one, Bubba. You never have to use a bit of the information you will have on file, but I saw it as an opportunity, if you wanted it, to become a part of something so much greater than you or I might imagine. You can help Billy bring the human race into a golden age of love, compassion, scientific discoveries to make us so much greater than we are today as a people, and the best part is, it can all be done without destroying our planet," Brad finished and paused for another minute. "Listen carefully to me, Son. I will say three phrases in sequence to begin your program. They're silly and nonsensical but said in order, they will trip your switch. Ready? A pound of tears is not worth its weight in sorrow. Nora's freezing on the trolley, Solly, send her down a pint or two. Awake to life and love; the cock doth cry, the sun is in the sky," Brad said and smiled.

"By now, you have met the watcher who came for you and has loved you dearly all your life. You named him `Brute' many years ago, and he is still known today as Bubba's Brute. He will be your slave and protector for life. Love him like a brother, treat him well, with kindness and consideration, and you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams, Son," Brad paused for a moment. "I know I neglected you, Bubba, but I tried to be there for you when you most needed me. I wanted you to have as normal and natural a childhood growing up as any other country kid. That's why I wouldn't agree to let them trigger the information within you until you became an adult and I passed away. As you become more aware of your intellect, begin to use it on small projects. It will grow. God forbid, you might even come to find you like science. Last of all, I want you to know I couldn't have loved you more if you were my own son, Bubba. In a way, by default perhaps, but more likely from love and admiration for each other, I became your dad and you became my son, my boy, and I'm very proud of you," Brad said. "Thanks to those of you present for being good to my nephew. Help him, and he will become a great asset and blessing to you and your family," Brad added and the video was over.

Everyone sat stunned for a few minutes. "I think I'm beginning to get a picture of what's going on around this part of our county," said Judge LaFleur. "I knew Brad Kirkendall to be one of the greatest scientist of our day, but what he's talking about is probably centuries away. Walking through portals to another planet in another galaxy? That's still the stuff of science fiction," he said.

"On our end, perhaps? On their end, it's old technology. We've been to Retikki Prime several times, Judge," Billy said.

"How many of you?" the judge asked.

Almost every hand in the room went up. "And these folks ain't the only ones. We'll introduce you to a number more, and all them cowboy slaves you see out there, they's all from Retikki Prime. All them Highland cattle are more slaves morphed as cows for ease in taking care of them. When more are needed we have them morph into their humanoid form," Billy explained.

"I guess that would explain the talking Bulls at the front gate," he said and grinned.

"Thor and Zeus - they's two of our best," Nathan bragged.
* * * * * * *
Supper was a great success. The LaFleurs were treated to even more different critters. Billy asked for his twins, Cass and Poly, and if possible, the Sun Bears to join them for supper and to perform for everyone in the barnyard concert. Since they were ahead of schedule, Jethro allowed them several hours to come to the ranch, but insisted they must bring him back some brisket for his evening meal. He also let Archie and Edith, Billy's psyches, come with them. The Sun Bears were making a great effort to talk but could only say a few words. They met everyone and fell in love with Miranda. They thought she was the greatest thing since they discovered avocados on Earth. They couldn't get enough of them. They claimed the avocado was nearly like a fruit they grew and loved on their original planet. If they weren't strange enough for the LaFleurs, Archie and Edith, were. Billy introduced Hank and Buck as two cowboys who were kidnapped from Earth many years ago who found themselves on a distant planet. They requested to come to Earth and become Master Billy's slaves; so did the twin halflings, Pollux and Castor, and Billy's Psyches, Archie and Edith.

Little Cody was feeling much better and the watchers were having problems keeping up with him and his newly adopted big brothers; Randy Rutherford, Rory and Cal McMartin.
Billy's Irin slaves were setting up the stage and chairs for the barnyard concert and the cattle began to gather beyond the perimeter. On the west side of the hill, the wild, unclaimed watchers and daddy long legs were gathering to sit together on large rocks like students in the cheap seats in the balcony. A few brought forage pickings of berries and nuts in old cans, or wrapped in pieces of cloth, to enjoy during the concert. Lately, they became more vocal and applauded and hooted after a performance they particularly liked.

The old judge mentioned to Billy he'd seen Orville Higginbothem around and wondered if Billy would have a problem with him talking with his slave. "No, absolutely not! I would have no problem at all. In fact, I would encourage you to talk with my slave. While he's my slave, Orville is free to express himself and tell you his feelings about how he's adjusting and coping with being a new slave," Billy encouraged the judge.

"Thanks, Billy, I'd like to talk with him for a few minutes. I hear all sorts of prisoner complaints from privatized prisons, I'd like a chance to see what Orville thinks of his first couple of months slavery," LaFleur said.

"Help yourself, Judge. You want me to send for him?" Billy asked.

"No, I just saw him over there sitting on a bench talking with Bubba Kirkendall. I'll go ask to join them," the judge replied.

"Yeah, them two's sort of smitten with each other, and Bubba's come to look on Orville as a father figure. As amazed as I am, old Orville has opened his arms to Bubba like an old mother hen to provide the young cowboy with some comfort and companionship. Bubba agreed to help us compassionately break and train Orville to be a good slave, and so far, I can't fault a thing he's done," Billy said with enthusiasm.

"That's interesting. I'll be curious to hear what they have to say," the judge said and left Billy to walk across the compound to a small planted patio area in front of the bunkhouse. As he approached, Bubba and Orville saw him coming. Bubba smiled real big and motioned for the judge to join them.

"I don't mean to intrude, Gentlemen, but I asked Master Billy if I might have a word with you, Orville," the judge said.

"Sure, Judge LaFleur. You wanna' talk with Orville privately?" Bubba asked.

"No. I don't think so, Bubba. I don't plan to ask any questions you can't hear the answer," he said, "Mostly, I just want to know how you're doing, and how you're adjusting to your new life. I hear a large number of prisoner complaints in my court every month and want to compare your treatment with theirs. I hear horror stories about prisoners being forced to eat garbage, guards abusing the prisoners, and forced rapes by guards as well as fellow inmates," the judge said.

"Well, you won't hear none of that from me, Judge. Right now, I don't get to eat what the volunteer slaves eat, but I ain't complaining none. I eat slave chow and a nutrient rich biscuit three times a day. It's monotonous, but it's filling and provides me with enough energy to do my work.
When I'm really hungry, I'm surprised at how good it can taste. I got more energy, and I'm healthier than I been in the last twenty years 'cause I ain't eat'n junk. As you can see, I'm losing weight in the right places and gaining muscle in other, more important areas. Just between us and ma' boy here, my slave handlers sometime slip me a treat from time to time or one of their desserts they don't want. It makes me appreciate it all the more. Funny how we take things for granted until we lose them, then the smallest gift or gesture of compassion from one of your keepers makes you reconsider a lot of things," Orville said.    

"Do you have fears of being abused or raped?" LaFleur asked.

Orville laughed, "Do I look abused to you, Judge?" he asked and grinned.

"No. You look healthy and contented," the judge replied.

"Master Billy didn't pull no punches with me. He told me right from the get-go what would be expected of me. I set my mind to fight him at every turn, but it's difficult to muster anger and cultivate hate when your every need is being seen to and you find yourself becoming a part of a greater family. No matter how low on the rung you are, you begin to feel there's a place for you. I had to do some reassessments about life and sex and everything else, but I come to the conclusion it would be easier for everyone concerned if I just work with them. When you dig your hole so deep you can't crawl out, you better stop digging. So far they ain't insisted I do nothing I can't handle," Orville said.

"By that, I take it to mean what is ultimately expected of a slave?" LaFleur ask without spelling it out.

"Sure. I know it's coming, and I'll have to comply, but I got me a fine young cowboy what looks on me as his old man what's promised to take me for my first time, and it will be his first time as well. Bubba's been working with me and training me. It ain't the same thing as a brutal rape in a prison where there's a lot of physical and emotional trauma involved. They's slowly, but surely, working me up to the point where I won't be afraid to take my boy. He's promise me he'll do his best by me, and I trust him, Judge," Orville said, "By the way, if you like, ask Master Billy for a ringside seat to my grand opening. One more won't make much difference since he plans on have'n a bunch of his cowboy family and my keepers there to watch me and Bubba make the beast wiff' two backs. They got a bet going. Bubba bet Master Billy he could make me shoot my load from just plowing my lower forty. You know what, Judge? My boy's gonna' win that bet. He's gonna' do just what he claims, and I plan to work as hard as I can to make sure he does. Just make sure you place your bet on me and Bubba," Orville said and grinned.

"Thanks, Son, I may take you up on that. I'd like to see for myself what it would be like," the judge said.

"Well, you won't see me fighting, struggling, or resisting. I'll be ready for breaking to my boy's saddle when the time comes," Orville assured him. "I think it's gonna' make a big difference giving ma'self up to somebody I care about than having it taken away from me by force from a stranger," he added. The judge agreed with Orville wholeheartedly.

Later, when everyone was taking their seats, Judge LaFleur noticed Bubba and Orville sitting on one of many stone benches behind the chair seating. Orville was leaning back against Bubba's huge chest and the big cowboy held his arms around Orville's front with his massive hands locked onto his dad's cod piece. From time to time, Bubba would pull up on the codpiece and Orville would move his head back and steal a kiss from his surrogate son. No one seemed shocked to see the big men sharing a bit of intimacy. It was obvious they were taken with each other. It was a touching scene, but for some crazy reason, it caused the old judge's penis to fill with blood. `You certainly couldn't call what I'm seeing slave or prison rape,' he thought to himself. He was convinced the two men were very much in love with each other.
* * * * * *
The barnyard concert was another success. Billy started the classical part of the program with a string quartet reduction of Vivaldi's "Spring" from the Four Seasons.
"With tomorrow being Easter Sunday, we might consider spring is certainly here. If not, somebody should a told them fields of Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brushes out there they got it wrong," he declared and got a laugh from his audience.

Roz played another solo piece she'd been working on for sometime, the first movement from Bach's first Cello Suite. When Billy asked her why she didn't learn it on the Cello she assured him she could play it on both instruments. In front of the audience, Billy challenged her. When she finished with the Viola and received great applause, she sat down, took Billy's cello and proceeded to play it with equal virtuosity as she did with the Viola. Afterward the crowd went nuts.

"She's not showing yet," Zelma commented to Kate.

"I never started to show until my fourth month with either of the boys," Kate replied.

"Six months for my daughter and four for my boy, but he was considerably larger," Zelma replied.

The next piece was the much requested Bach double violin concerto featuring Poly and Cass. Billy swore they played it so well they could do it in their sleep. It was always a crowd pleaser and brought the audience to their feet.

The middle part of the program was devoted to the dances of the Sun Bears. Billy and his musicians played for their traditional folk dances which was received by much enthusiasm from the audience, but for their last number they danced the frantic and funny courtship ritual dance to Stravinsky's Russian Dance from Petrushka. By the time the last chord sounded everyone jumped from their seats whistled, stomped boots, and applauded loudly for the Sun Bears. They were in their element and hadn't enjoyed themselves so much in years. The gathered watchers and daddy long-legs found them particularly to their liking and weren't spare with their approval. Of course the final part of the concert was a crowd and herd pleasing favorite; the hill country hoedown music. It became a tradition for Poly and Cass to step forward and begin with their Texas saw-fiddle effect announcing the beginning of a cowboy tune and the crowd would go crazy. Everyone, including the new folks, got into the spirit, and turned to watch the cattle dance.

"I wouldn't believe it if you told me about it and swore on a stack of Bibles," Wesley told his dad.

"We've seen some pretty miraculous stuff today, Son. I ain't found nothing I don't approve of here, have you?" he asked.

"How can you fault a man what can play classical and down home country music, rope a steer, and hand you your son's life back to you, Dad?" Wesley asked.

* * * * * * *
The concert came to end and everyone went their way for dessert after their heavy supper. Afterward, Billy invited the LaFleur men to join him and his cowboys in the barber shop off the barn where they would be milking the watchers who attended the concert. There must have been thirty or more watchers lined up with a few daddy long-legs standing around waiting for them. Of course the boys were there, with Randy explaining everything to Cody like a good big brother should. They four junior buckaroos were also, each, handing out a different fruit for the watchers to take away and enjoy after their milking. After Cody met Randy's protector, Ludo, and Rory and Cal's big snow white beast with pink eyes they named Caesar, he wanted to know how he could go about getting his own protector.

"Well, I guess the best way would be to find one you really like and ask him to share his milk with you. `At's the way I done it. A watcher can't refuse a hungry bairn, as they call us youngsters. Then if you fall in love with him, and he feels the same way, you have to ask Master Billy right-nice like if you can give him a name and could you have him for your protector? Master Billy's the master and owner of all the wild watchers and protector of the daddy long-legs," Randy explained, "If you don't believe me ask one ubbum, he'll tell ya," Randy added.

The LaFleur men were fascinated by the process. The milking machine could drain and deflate a big bull watcher's teats in several minutes. They would make the funniest faces almost like they were having a breast orgasm, and Boomer assured the humans that's exactly what they were experiencing. Many had to go down to the river to clean themselves after having reached a secondary climax from their penis. They were abiding by their master's wishes and not a one of them smelled bad. In fact, several had just enough of their male essence still on them, they almost drove the young boys crazy. Little Cody didn't know what it was, but Randy carefully explained it to him.

The guests began to leave as the evening came to an end. The Tate family with their special guest, Miranda the wonder dog, and the Breedlove family including Mick Flynn, with the foreman of their other ranch, left. Elmer invited Bubba to come stay with him and his family for the night, but he graciously declined. He was concerned about his watcher and the five others who were there guarding his place; however, they swapped out guarding duties to come for food and be milked. Even Bubba's faithful watcher came and donated his milk. Bubba only wanted to spend another night in the arms of the critter who slept with him for six months when he was a young boy on another planet in the Andromeda system who allowed him to drink his sweet milk. Those memories flooded into his mind and made the big cowboy warm all over.

* * * * * * *
After the guests left, Billy and his posse transported to the line cabin. Jethro wasn't there to meet them. Billy immediately sent Boomer to Nick's ship to gather him. "I don't care what crisis just done come up! No excuses! He will not stay on that ship tonight! If he hesitates, tell him his master and my surrogate dad has need of him. It will be our last chance to spend an evening with him for a long time, and he needs some rest and relaxation to make him fresh for tomorrow," Billy said firmly and Boomer grinned, "And when was the last time you fucked them halflings of mine, Boomer?" he asked almost like a growl.

"I can't remember, Master. Well over a week. They been working hard, night and day, right along side Jethro," Boomer winced like he was having stone aches.

"If they's there, and I jes' know they done snuck-off and went back down `nair, you tell `em their master wants them here this e'nin to take care of our husband. They been neglect'n their duties and our husband's got needs just like them," Billy said firmly. Boomer smiled and rolled his eyes like his prayers were answered and there was a god after all. Bubba disappeared as Nick almost fell on the floor laughing.

"You never cease to amaze me, Kemosabe," Nick said.

"I want an e'nin for that slave he won't soon forget. He's worked his damn demon-butt off on this project. Whether I will like it or not is beside consideration for my appreciation of his dedication. So boil us up a pot of cowboy-coffee, pa, what could permanently remove yore' hair if you get any on ya' and add us one a them packets of them special herbs them two mature buckaroos done give us -- and that brings up another subject -- I want them two old cowboys here in the line cabin with us a couple of nights for a cowboy jamboree during the week of rest. I got me a big ol' hanker'n for the taste of them two mature cowpoke's cocks, and you know I can't eat jes' one," Billy confided with his dad and they shared a laugh.

"Have I told you lately that I love you, Kemosabe?" Nick asked.

"No, but if'n you's plan'n on it, make it quick, Tonto. Them hombre's gonna' be ride'n in here any second, and I wouldn't want them to see their master blushing like a new bride," Billy said and grinned.

"She-iit!" replied Nick, "You's so full of it, Billy Daniels!" he added and roared with laughter as he took his boy into his arms and kissed him hard.

End of Chapter 39 ~ Him Who Made The Seven Stars
Copyright ~ ~ 2013 ~ Waddie Greywolf
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