Him Who Made The Seven Stars
By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 65

"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. There is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is a very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment." ~ John F. Kennedy

The Dancing Day festivities were not without its notable social progress. It was the first time since Madame Spartza came to live on Captain Nick's ship under the protection of Master Billy Daniels and his family, she felt comfortable enough to be seen and co-mingle with the Daniels' extended family. Other than formal greetings when she arrived on the ship, it was the first time her ladyship decided she would appear in public with the great Shedu bull, Beauford. While they stood and observed from the same general area, they were separated by several yards on either side of the flowered trellis where Captain Nick would officiate the wedding rites as each couple wished.

In a way, it was an unprecedented happening because the usual standard protocol for the coming-together of two high ranking Shedus could take months to negotiate and arrange. It was totally Madame Spartza's idea. Having thought she was the only Shedu left in the universe and then to find there was another, a fine looking bull with a sterling record of accomplishments, she began to think there were no others to consult or censor her actions if she acted and proceeded at a leisurely but somewhat swifter pace. Their stables were within fifty yards of each other but surrounded by high walls except for the grazing areas far behind the castle, where they would sometimes see each other from afar.

The great beasts agreed to conference and work together everyday by mentally sending and receiving information. Even though there were formal, incredibly baroque, and staid rituals they were required to perform to get to a place where they could more easily communicate with each other, once the greater bulk of formality was out of the way, they made large cuts in their daily rituals. They got down to the business of building a city and protecting everyone concerned with the project. Their gift of precognition allowed them to sense and reach an agreement. Time was of the essence, and if they hoped to survive as a race, it would depend upon them to cut some corners to begin working together to achieve their goals. Some things must be adjusted to insure others of more value were accomplished than a sea of shallow rituals older than time itself.   

Madame Spartza was brought out first and her grooms fussed over her under her tent to make sure she was perfectly comfortable. When it came time for Beauford to be brought out, Madame Spartza assumed a poise of humility and fell on her knees onto a velvet cushion provided for her by her grooms to acknowledge the entry of the Lord of beasts. After Beauford was brought in, he bellowed his gratefulness and ordered her to rise. Beauford bowed deeply to her while kneeling on one knee. He stayed that way for a few minutes until he saw her nod her head in acceptance of his gallant tribute. He arose and turned to the guests to welcome them and ordered the festivities to begin.

Some of the guests were new to the Daniels family and never saw the great beasts before. They were as impressed and taken with them as the rest of Master Billy's family. Most guests thought they were a wonderful oddity of evolution and marveled at their size and imposing statue. Very few knew about their formidable powers.

After everything was over and the crowd was milling about, Billy and Nick walked on either side of Beauford to speak with Madame Spartza. She kept Balthazar and Jethro with her naked grooms, Mace and Picard, standing by her side. Since it was a public gathering on Captain Nick's ship, she and Beauford relaxed the total nudity requirement for their attendance.

Madame Spartza did an equivalent of a cow-curtsy, and Beauford went down on one knee to bow to her. "Thank you for agreeing to come to the wedding ceremony, Madame. You have our deepest gratitude and admiration for gracing us with your presence. Your mere appearance will greatly enhance and bless those who join their lives together this afternoon. They have asked me to convey their gratefulness and several have asked for a brief audience with you," Beauford said.

"Of course, I will be happy to receive them. Will you do me the great honor, my Lord, and stand by my side so we may greet them together?" she asked.

"It would be an honor and my pleasure, your Ladyship," Beauford replied.

They met in the middle but didn't stand too close together as they were flanked by their accompanying cowboys and protectors on either side of them, but a meeting, even within speaking distance this early in their relationship, was a groundbreaking event.

The wedding couples came and stood before them, bowed and thanked both Shedus for the great honor to have them attend their conjoining. A few of the other guests came by to wish them well. Kate, Zelma, Abigale, Roz, Dorcas, Ruth Rutherford, and her mother-in-law never met Madame Spartza before and were enthralled by her. She was very gracious and warm with them and wanted to know how each was related to Master Billy. She told Roz she could hear young Billy Daniels Junior and said she foresaw great things for him and her. In all, the visits didn't take long, the Shedus said their formal farewells and returned to their stables.   

* * * * * * *
The cowboys partied until late and retired to the baths. There was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie among them, and the boys were having a great time. Clyde announced he got a message from the Irin. They made a video and forwarded it for Master Billy and his staff to review regarding Marco Ceasare Del Obbligatto.

"Can you give us a brief overview, and we'll watch the video tomorrow?" Billy asked.

"Sure, Boss," Clyde replied, "Mr. Obbligatto never did anything for which he was accused and found guilty. It was a total set up by the NSA, CIA, NASA, and some other powerful radically untra-conservative politico-religious organization known as the Son's of Moloch who are reported to have ties with the reptilian underground," Clyde said, "They originally were going to do a 'snuff' number on him, but they decided if they could apply some pressure by threatening the lives of close relatives or children, he might cooperate with them. Unfortunately for them, Marco Obbligatto has been a loner most of his life. He devoted his life to several secret organizations only to have them bite him in the butt later. Ramrod Quigley urged us to be swift orchestrating his salvation from the hands of them evil elements. He stressed Marco's days are numbered," he added.

"That must mean he's been moved to solitary-confinement," Odin Bluetooth said with a look of horror on his face.

"Easy, Big'un, we'll save your friend. Brother Oatie, you got a replacement for Mr. Obbligatto?" he asked.

"Yeah, I got a call from a rancher over to the Junction area what trapped an enormous wild boar in one a them roll-off dumpsters he throws his household trash into and takes it to the landfill once't a month. Somebody left the door open. Some'um was get'n in 'nere at night, rummage through his garbage, and scattering it to Hell and back. He heard it the other night, quietly walk up, and slammed the door. It's trapped in there. He got a ladder and a lantern, looked over the side, and there was a huge wild boar looking up at him. He says it's three hun'nert pounds or better. I done figured you's gonna' need another replacement before much longer and coming by a live one don't happen too often. I told him I'd drive out tomorrow, and we can tranq it. I can give it enough drugs to knock it out long enough to drive back over here. You got a place for it, or ya'on't me to put it in my dog run at the hospital?" Oatie asked.

"We got two big roll-offs and a truck with a wench to pull 'em on and a lift to dump 'em and roll 'em off. We bought the truck and roll-off for hauling large amounts of brush. They's both full at the moment, but it should only take a few minutes to dump it in our personal landfill area," Billy replied.

"No they ain't, Boss. Them cowboys dumped bow'fubbum last Friday morning to be ready for next week. They left the last one on the truck," Clyde corrected his master.

"All the better. You and Jethro transport over for breakfast in the morning, and you, me, my pa, Clyde, and Cowboy Andy will drive it over to Junction, you can tranquilize him, we'll levitate him into our roll-off, and keep him in there until we plan to do the big switcher-roo for Harry Obbligobble," Billy said being funny. He got a few laughs. "Glad you and your husband decided to put off yore' honeymoon until after we get the foundations finished for the main structures of our city. According to my chief project manager we should have it done before the first of July," Billy said and turned to Odin Bluetooth and Erin, "Did you and Erin try to contact your buddy last night?" he asked Big Blue.

"Yeah, we tried several times, but we got nothing. I just ain't trained enough to connect I guess, Master Billy," Blue replied.

"No problem. After we break up here, which ain't gonna' be too long, me, Captain Nick, Boomer, Randy, and his brother, Pard, will go with you to your apartment. One outing with the Bossman, and you'll catch-on real quick to -- what? What would you call it, Bossman?" Billy looked down at Randy by his side.

"OBE, Brother. Travel from place to place through astral projection without leaving your body. OBE means Out of Body Experience. H'it ain't nothing supernatural. It's the next step from tickling somebody and conversing with them," Randy explained patiently and Pard laughed.

"I take it from your laughter your little brother has taken you out for a stroll a couple of times," Billy said and winked at Pard. The handsome boy laughed harder. Billy could see his dad's good looks in Pard, and realized he probably would grow up to look just like him.
"Is that how you come to me, Bossman?" Odin Bluetooth asked.

"Yes, sir, me and Pard can do it. It ain't hard. We can show you how it's done. We'll take you wiff' us to visit Mr. Obbligatto if you men like. We need to find out what cell he's in. Do you think they'd have that information on the video from Ramrod Quigley, Clyde?" Randy asked his right-hand cowboy-angel.

"I'm sure they would. They's pert-damn thorough, but we don't need to watch the video. They told me he's in cell forty-two in solitary-confinement. It's a good way from the guard station and around a corner, so they ain't likely to hear nothing until the pig begins to come around," Clyde said.

"Is there a chance we might contact him tonight?" Erin asked.

"I don't see why not. If we's all going along and piggyback on our little brothers talents, we'll have everything set up for tomorrow night," Billy replied.

"Are you up for it, Big Brother?" Randy asked Pard and smiled.

"Are you kidding? Whither thou goest, Little Brother. I wouldn't miss an adventure like this for the world," Pard replied with enthusiasm.

The men didn't linger too long in the tubs. Everyone thanked Billy and Captain Nick for a wonderful day and went their way. Billy, Nick, Randy, and Pard followed Odin and Erin to their apartment. Billy was impressed how neat everything was and while they didn't have a lot of time living together, they made it comfortable with several Western touches Billy found pleasing. He wondered if Erin didn't have the keen eye of a decorator. Odin suggested they sit at the table, but Randy balked. "What's sa' matter, Buckaroo?" Billy asked quietly.

"I think we have to be naked, Master Billy," Pard said, "My little brother ain't comfortable unless he exposes himself to the elements, sir," he added.

"How 'bout the bed. It was made for two giants, but we use it for a track course to run laps around," Big Blue said and giggled, "It will easily hold us sitting in a pow-wow circle," he added.

"Whatever works best. He's better at this than any of us. He ain't never failed me. Ever' body off with their clothes," Billy announced and began to unbutton his shirt. The boys were the quickest and jumped upon the bed, rolled around tickling each other, and laughing. They straightened up when the four men got into the bed with them. They were sitting up next to each other with their legs and feet crossed in the lotus position. "Where do you want us, Ramrod?" Billy asked.

"Mr. Bluetooth next to me; Erin, you next to Pard; you next to Odin, Master Billy, and you between Master Billy and Erin, Captain Nick," Randy rattled off like he knew exactly what he was doing. Billy had no doubts. Randy jumped down from the bed and lowered the lights. He left only one tiny night-light on in the kitchen area, but it was enough to see everything. He jumped back into the bed and resumed his place. "Ever' body hold hands around the circle," Randy said and everyone complied. "Now, close your eyes. Master Billy and Captain Nick are old hands at tickling other people, and I'll have to say, my brother next to me is as talented a mentat, if not more so, than I claim to be. Why I'm sure if he keeps on exercising his abilities he could become a Bene Gesserit in no time," Randy declared.

"You been read'n them Herbert 'Dune' stories, Cowboy?" Billy asked and giggled.

"Yeah, it's great when you got a buddy to share 'um with. When I get tired reading, my Pard takes over and reads for us. We can go through a novel in several hours. It's like having a reading speed-boat when you got two men to do the rowing. So it will be with our little trip we's gonna' take," Randy said. "Master Blue, have either of you experienced a mind-to-mind link before?" Randy asked.

"No, I think we need somebody to show us the way, Ramrod," Blue said.

"No problem. I'm gonna' tickle your mind first, sir. It'll be like you feel an itch or bad electric tickle at the base of your skull like you do when your go barefooted on a carpet and touch somebody and see a spark jump. When you feel it, just relax your mind and let me slip in. I'll get to you next, Erin," Randy said. Now everybody be quiet for a moment. I'll come back on-line in a minute, Erin," he added.

Maybe it was because he was fully enhanced, but Big Blue was a quick study. He did exactly what Randy told him and sure enough he felt the young boy enter his head. << Who said you's big and dumb? Just look at them brains! >> Randy sent and Blue started laughing. So did Billy, Nick, and Pard. Poor Erin didn't have a clue. << Now stay linked wiff' me, Blue, while I bring your mate on-board, >> he sent. "It's your turn, Erin, to join our mental circle-jerk," Randy said and got everyone laughing again. He tickled Erin's brain and easily slipped inside. << Can you hear me now! >> he shouted like a cell phone commercial.

"I can hear you, Bossman!" Erin replied out-loud.  

<< No, no! Think your words, Pod'na, >> Randy admonished him.

<< I didn't know you could yell in somebody's head, >> Erin sent back.

<< Yeah, you can do pretty much anything you can do with speech but faster and sometimes you don't have to pick a word. You just know how the other persons feeling. Now, roll call! Blue can you hear your mate? >> Randy asked.

<< I sure can, Bossman. Loud and clear, >> Blue returned.

<< Master Billy? >> Randy sent.

<< Receiving loud and clear, little Brother. I'm proud of you, Scamp, >> Billy sent.

<< Me, too, Ramrod, I'm receiving a clear channel, >> Nick sent.

<< God, I can hear everyone, >> Erin said and a cold shiver ran up his back and everyone responded to his sensation.

<< Oooh, that felt good. Do it again, Mr. Erin, >> Pard pleaded.

<< Later, Brother, we got work to do. Whatever you do don't drop hands. Me and Pard find with two or more, touch is a binding thing, sort of like a party line on an old phone system. Everybody can hear what's going on, but if you can, keep your mind quiet and allow those what are flying this magic carpet to do their jobs, >> Randy sent and everyone laughed at his metaphor.

Randy knew the way to the prison since he studied maps and downloaded pictures of the place. He also got Bubba's permission to let him ride along in his mind when they went to get Erin. It didn't take him five seconds and everyone in the circle found themselves inside Huntsville Prison. Blue and Erin sucked in air at the horror they felt from having spent so many years inside the place. They didn't count on such feelings being dredged up from seeing the interior again.

<< Easy, Men. Nobody can see or hear us. They don't know we's here. I know the general way to the solitary-confinement area because that's where you were, Blue. You were in cell thirty-six so Marco's cell couldn't be far away. Come along with me and my brother around this next corner. Ah, yes, here we are at cell forty-two. Let's go in and see how Mr. Obbligatto is doing, >> Randy sent.

Randy and Pard took them inside. << Damnation it's dark in here, Little Brother! >> Pard exclaimed.   

<< Can you see his face, Blue; you, Erin? >> Randy asked.

<< No, but I know it's him, >> Erin said, << I would recognize his smell in a room of a hundred convicts. Me and Blue worked out with him so many times it's imprinted on me, >> he added.

<< I have to agree with my husband, Son, Marcus has one of the most sexy and appealing body odors of any man we ever worked out with, >> Blue agreed with his mate.

<< Use your 'lux luxorum' app you showed me the first night we bunked it in with each other, Little Brother, >> Pard suggested.

<< I need to keep my hands on the steering wheel, Big Bro. I taught you how to do it, Brother. Break hands with Captain Nick. Captain Nick put your hand on Pard's shoulder so's we stay connected, >> Randy sent. It a few seconds he heard everyone in the circle except Pard let out a sigh, and he heard them whisper, << Ooohhh, beautiful, haunting, fireflies, stunning, >> the men sent from the shadows of their conscious mind. Pard snapped his fingers, and each time it would give off a small soft glow of blue-green light for a second or two. After five or six times the man in the bed opened his eyes, and he saw it, too. They got a good look at his face.

"What the -- ?" Marcus said quietly and reached with his hand to catch the light.

<< It's Marcus. I got a good look at him, >> Blue sent.

<< I saw him, too. It's him all right, >> Erin confirmed.

<< Let him catch you, Pard. Just keep rubbing your thumb and forefinger together as he opens it again to look. The faster you rub the brighter the light will get, >> Randy sent his brother.

Marco grabbed for the light again, but this time he caught it -- or so he thought. He could see it still glowing through his fingers. He slowly opened his hand and looked into the beautiful blue light resting in his hand. He felt a tickle on the back of his neck near the top of his spine and heard a small voice in his head, << Now is that anyway to treat the good fairy what's come to pay you a visit, Marco Ceasare Del Obbligatto? >>

"Jesus Christ, Holy Mary mother of god, it's talking to me," he said out-loud and heard other voices in his head laugh.

<< Think your words, Marco. I can hear you fine. We don't want to alert the guards, >> the voice said with authority.

<< Yes, certainly, who are you, and where do you come from? >> he asked looking deep into the blue light.

<< I'm a young cowboy what lives on a ranch in the hill country of West Central Texas, and I have come to bring you good tidings of great joy, but I didn't come alone, >> Randy sent.

<< There are others with you? >> he asked.

<< I'm here, too, you old reprobate, >> Blue sent.

<< Bluetooth? Is it really you? Are you a spirit? They told me you died of a heart attack, >> he returned.

<< No, the young cowboy you were just talking with came for me and took me to live with him, his master, and his master's family. Erin is here with us, too, >> Blue sent.

<< Hello, my sweet friend, >> Erin sent in perfect Tuscany.

Marco started weeping quietly, << That's it! I'd recognize your perfect dialect in the darkest night. Now I know I'm going crazy, >> he returned.

<< No you ain't, Mr. Obbligatto. Lie back, close your eyes, and we will come unto you. Do not be alarmed. We will take over your mind for a while and allow you to visit with us, >> Randy sent.

The older man did as instructed, lay back, and closed his eyes. He couldn't see anything at first, but then, he began to see another blue light surrounded by a cottony fog. It had an uncanny resemblance to the blue light he saw one night many years ago in Turkey. The light grew larger like it was walking toward him. He watched until he could make out an outline of a young boy naked as the day he was born but wearing the most outrageous pair of buckaroo boots and a big cowboy hat which fit his young head perfectly. Randy walked his sure-of-himself patented cowboy swagger right up to Marco and offered his hand, << Howdy, Mr. Obbligatto, I'm Ramrod Randy Rutherford. You can call me Randy, >> Randy sent.

Marco took the boy's hand and sent back, << It's a pleasure to meet you, Son. Call me Marcus or Marco. Damn, you make a handsome cowboy, >> he returned.
<< Thank you, sir. I'll pass yore' compliment on to my mom. I'm gonna' transport us to another dimension where you can be with your friends for a while, then I will return you to your body, but first we can't have you looking like that, >> Randy send and smiled.

<< You mean naked? >> Marco asked.

<< No, naked is fine. We's all naked. You gotta' have a pair of boots and a cowboy hat if'n you's gonna' meet my cowboy brothers. Besides, as long as a cowboy's wearing his boots, he ain't really naked, >> Randy said and laughed. He got everyone laughing and Marco heard them.

<< Where a' my gonna' get boots and a hat, Son? >> he asked.

<< You're in my world now, Cowboy, >> Randy send back and waved his hand.

All of a sudden the huge man felt a fine pair of cowboy boots on his feet and big buckaroo hat was on his head. << Damn, Son, you almost made me have an accident, >> he sent and laughed.

<< Come, take my hand, Mr. Obbligatto, and walk with me. I done created a nice place for us where the sun is shining, it's warm, and you can see the sea breaking on the rocks, >> Randy sent.

Marco took Randy's hand and followed him through the dense fog to an area with more light. Finally they broke through the fog and there before them were the cowboys including Blue and Erin in cowboy hats and boots. "You can talk out loud now. The guards can't hear us in the world I created. Come, they're waiting for us," Randy said, and they walked down among the men. There was much brotherly hugging, kissing, hardy pats on the backs, handshakes, smiles, and a few tears.

They introduced Billy to the big man last, and when Marco took his hand, tears came to his eyes. "They told me I would recognize you, sir. You are him. You are the chosen one," he said and fell to his knees, "You are the one who can give my life back to me for remaining faithful to the oracle what come to me in Turkey. Do with me as you will, Master Billy. Take me and mold me into the man you need to attend you and your family," Marco said, leaned over and kissed both of Billy's boots.

"Rise, my good man, and embrace your future. Let us sit and talk together," Billy said.

Marco was in Billy's arms in a second holding him like he was the last life jacket on the Titanic. They sat down in the peaceful setting and began to talk among themselves. Marco couldn't get over Randy and Pard. He thought they were two of the finest looking young men he ever met. Randy told his story of being saved from an early death by his big brother, Master Billy, in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Fredericksburg.

"I remember. It was on the TV for a week or more about the Walmart Cowboy Jesus. I remember seeing you two together being interviewed at that burger place in Austin. My God!" Marco exclaimed.

When Randy finished, Erin told his story of the prison warden telling the medics in the infirmary to let him die because they didn't want to spend the money to patch him up. Master Billy got word from Erin's old army buddy Bubba Kirkendall and made arrangements to buy him. He patched him up and returned Erin to better than he was. Big Blue told his story, and then, Pard told his heartbreaking story. Marco was impressed beyond words. "And you can do the same for me, Master Billy?" he asked.

"With pleasure, sir," Billy said, "but I must ask a couple of questions," he added.

"Anything, sir," Marco said.

"Are you married to them tattoos?" he asked.

"Only in as much as I can't rid myself of them. If I'm starting a new life, I wouldn't want them no more to constantly remind me of the last twenty years of living in Hell," Marco replied.

"That's a healthy attitude. That's good because I will want to disguise you as much as possible so you won't be readily recognized. There's always testing through DNA, but if anyone looking for you can't recognize you to single you out, then we have a defense against random searches. We'll do more than that to make sure you're safe, but it's a start," Billy explained.

"You can remove them?" Marco asked.

"Look at me and Baby Blue, Brother. Do you see a scar or a blemish on our bodies? Remember them big scars across my left peck and my lower belly. You don't see them no more. Master Billy and his posse of cowboy-angels can do almost anything. Hell, he even gave Erin his foreskin back to keep the head of his cock warm," Blue said and grinned.

"Why does Captain Nick have rings through his nose, tits, and cock?" Marco asked.

"Because I asked my master for them," Nick replied, "I'm his slave, but we're more than that to each other. I took Master Billy for my son, and I become his surrogate dad. I earned these rings, and I'm proud to wear them," Nick added.

"You're one of them fallen angels, ain't chu?" Marco asked.

"I am. We have several more fallen angels who are part of Master Billy's family back at the ranch," Nick replied.

"Whatever it takes, Master Billy, I'm ready to go, sir," Marco said.

Blue and Erin told Marco of their adventures and going to live with Master Billy and his family on a great ranch.

"I knew when I met you, Blue, you would be the one who would save me, and when Erin come along and you two bonded, I knew without a doubt you would be my salvation. That's why I told you men about my past and why I got thrown in prison. I know you didn't believe me at the time, but I had to try. I knew about Baby Blue getting cut up in a shiv fight as an innocent bystander, and he was hurt really bad; but, I never heard a word about you after you were transferred to solitary-confinement. When I heard you both died, I was devastated, but I never gave up hope. I figured there was a fifty-fifty chance it was a lie. Even now, I don't know if I'm dreaming a lucid dream, and this is a figment of my imagination. In the name of some unknown god, I hope it ain't," he said.

"Do to him what you done to me, Ramrod," Blue said to Randy.

Randy reached over and grabbed some flesh on Marco's arm and pinched it hard. "Ouch! Sum'bitch that hurt," Marco hollered then laughed. Blue laughed at him. Randy apologized.

"When you wake up in the morning, if it's still hurt'n, you'll know it weren't no dream, Hoss," Blue said and laughed.

They had the old Tuscan man in tears when they told him their research showed conclusively he was innocent of all charges the government spook-machines brought against him, and he would not be coming to the ranch as a punishment slave. He would be a free man, but like Blue who works for the Daniels' family, he would have to remain and live within the family group until such time as his previous existence was forgotten. They went on to tell Marco while Blue was also found innocent of his charges, Erin must remain a punishment slave until his time served was up, but Erin himself, strongly emphasized being Master Billy's slave is nothing like being in prison. While Erin understood his position and accepted it, he felt like he was a contributing member of the Daniels greater family. He and Blue could live their lives without having to look over their shoulders every thirty minutes.

It sounded like paradise to Marco, and in comparison to his current living situation, he allowed it would be. He told the men they said the prison warden transferred him to solitary-confinement to protect him from the more radical faction of the Ayran Brotherhood. Billy and his men accepted his words without comment. There would be plenty time later to tell him the grizzly truth of the matter.

The men discussed with Marco the parameters of rescuing him and bringing him to the ranch. They didn't bother to tell him the more gruesome possibilities for his outcome if he were to stay in prison, but it seemed like a much smaller matter than to get him away from the place, and they could take it from there. They described in detail what, how, and when they would execute his final rescue. Marco laughed like crazy when they told him about replacing him with a live three hundred pound wild boar.

They talked a while longer, but Billy needed to break it off so he and his pa could get the boys to bed and everyone could get some rest. The next day would be a busy one. They said their farewells. Randy took the big man's hand, and led Marco back to his cell. When Marco opened his eyes he couldn't see Randy, but he felt the boy give him a gentle kiss on his cheek. "Goodnight, sweet prince," Marco whispered, "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest," he said softly. The big Tuscan man smiled to himself, and passed into a deep, restful sleep; the most untroubled sleep Marco experienced since he was in prison.

* * * * * * *
By the time Billy and Nick said goodnight to Big Blue and Baby Blue, it was getting late. They accompanied the young cowboys to the big house to turn them over to the care and watchful eyes of Ms. Evangeline, Pard's great-grandmother. When they returned to the the line cabin, Boomer and the twins were on their way to the loft for a little re-creation and rest. Billy and Nick were tired but proud of themselves. They were wallowing in the afterglow of having a wonderful, successful afternoon and evening.

"You seem a bit pensive, Kemosabe," Nick said as he was removing his clothes.

"I'm a mite worried about our caper tomorrow night," Billy said.

"We pulled off the last one without a hitch. Don't see why we can't do the same tomorrow e'nin," Nick said smoothly.

"I'm not worried about the gig. I'm worried about them putting two and two together. It will be the second rescue, and h'it don't take no rocket scientist to figure out the relationships between Erin Mascaro, Odin Bluetooth, and Marco Obbliggato. First we rescue Erin by buying a dying slave; then, his cell mate and known bonded partner disappears and is replaced by a wild boar. Next, Big Blue and Baby Blue's closest friend and buddy, who did everything in his political power to protect and keep them out of the line of fire, not only from other gangs but also from the Ayran Brotherhood, ups and disappears. All they find is another pig, but you see where I'm going with this, Pa?" Billy asked, "It's almost like stacked dominoes pushing each other over to arrive at a conclusion," he added.

"That's true, and you can bet they'll consider it; however, you ain't taking into account the variables on their end. We don't know how secure the warden is in his job, and in today's business world it's cut throat, dog eat dog, and nobody trusts anybody. You gotta' be ruthlessly aggressive if you hope to advance or survive; or, you can be passive, retiring, and die young. We know he's playing both ends against the middle. We know he's as crooked as a dog's hind leg. He's got this scam going to sell human flesh to the top one percent, but on the other hand, in the theocracy you got for a government, cannibalism is unlawful. It's considered a sin against man and their home-spun god. I won't even get into their misunderstanding and distortion of the amalgamated god they claim to worship. It's enough to say, the warden could go to prison if the information and proof was leaked to the right people in New Jerusalem, D.C. and find himself in a cell waiting his turn for the slaughter house.

Nick continued, "The DVD you left in Blue's cell when we liberated him should a' been enough to make the warden shit his knickers. Knowing human nature like I do, I'll bet he never told nobody about the video and chalked it up as a one time thing. This time, we'll do it a little differently; we won't leave no video. Keep him guessing.
If'n you're worried, have Clyde or Mack check wiff' their Irin resources to look into who he contacted after watching the DVD or what he did with it. I'll bet you a blowjob he destroyed the damn thing, told his staff to show on the record, Odin Bluetooth died of natural causes, and was cremated immediately afterward. My best guess is, he'll do the same damn thing with Marco's records. The only problem I see is the warden might get some blow-back from the spooks wanting a full accountability of Marco's disposition, or he might even get a visit from them men in black," Nick said.

"I knew they's a reason I pay you them big bucks, Tonto," Billy said and grinned.

"You pay me more than Earth exchange-notes can buy me, Kemosabe, ever' damn time you smile at me," Nick said and grinned.

"Oh, fuck! That's s'damn sweet you make wanna' cry, Tonto. I know it couldn't be the demon inside you 'cause I love him just as much," Billy said and continued his train of thought, "Maybe them spooks forgot about Marco after they put him in prison. After so many years, administrations change, files get lost or filed away. If they didn't share anything with the Warden about Marco being innocent and a political prisoner when they put him there, they can't come after the warden for not getting in touch with them immediately upon his death. They can't hold the warden responsible if'n he didn't know nothing. He could do the same he probably did with Big Blue's files; say Marco died of natural causes, and they ash-canned him. It's hard to trace DNA from a pile of ashes. I hope them spooks don't come sniffing around the ranch," Billy said.

"Y'ain't got nothing to hide, Kemosabe. You got papers showing Erin is legally your punishment slave, and they c'ain't find Blue and Marco on my ship," Nick said. "And if them damn snakes come around dressed up like humans in black suits and sun glasses, we capture them, and hold them for trump cards. I promise you, no one will come looking for them MIBs. They's mostly drones anyway. They's like them leather men in that terrible science-fiction movie 'Barbarella' we watched here in the cabin one night, they ain't got no substance. Or, we can shoot them, and use stand-your-ground as your right to self-defense on your property. You can claim they threatened you and the lives of your family and slaves, so you shot them. Them critters can't hold their morphed form when they die, and dead aliens c'ain't testify to the contrary," Nick said and smiled. "Besides, if the feds come out to investigate and find dead aliens, they'll hush it up faster than a bot-fly on an open sore.

Nick continued, "I'm gonna' tell you something, Son. They got a Hell of a lot more reasons to be afraid of you and the people you're gathering around you than you do of them. I noticed the last several days, the DNA packets of your phylogenetic memory are beginning to take hold, and it won't be long before you have the wisdom and power of the universe at your command. I'm probably closer to you than anyone, and I see it happening day by day. Your first infusion and major download came from the great bull of the hill country when you enhanced him. I'm not trying to use my brothers in bondage as a cheap tool to manipulate you, but I feel strongly everything will come to you like a great fledging when they are released and are fully integrated into the fold. Then you will understand what you must do and how best to go about it. When that happens, you will shift into a higher gear. I just hope and pray to some unknown god, the sweet young buckaroo I come to love so deeply will survive along with the rest," Nick said.   

"I set my seals upon your body as a bond upon your heart, my beloved demon, and you have imprinted yourself on mine. I don't care how important or powerful I become, I will never turn from you," Billy said quietly, and paused for a second, "Besides, Tonto, every great potentate had his court Jester to make him laugh, bring him down to Earth, and back to a common reality," he added and laughed at the look on Nick's face.

"Court Jester, my ass! Aside from the wonderful sex, I think our sense of humor and love of cowboy bullshit will see us through most anything, Kemosabe," Nick replied

"So say you, Tonto?" Billy asked.

"So say I, Kemosabe," Nick replied, "There is one suggestion I might make in regard to my sleeping brothers," he added.

"Lemme' hear it, Pa," Billy said.

"Your waiting army or host of angels will be confused and disoriented when we arouse them. They will be like a computer what ain't been used since the eighties. It won't run the most up to date software, and they won't be familiar with modern languages. They need to know there's a new ball game in town wiff' different teams and players. I promise they will have no problem bonding with you. Fortunately, the six host you have in your stable remember the old languages of Sumer and those of the surrounding areas. Your new host of angels will need to be refurbished, but we can't do it. We just don't have the time or manpower, to say nothing of the technology required. It will take the power of the Irins; sort of like what they done for Clarence and Clarice Wombat; however, they won't have their memories written over. We want them to remember their angst against the evil one and his minions who cast them asunder. Also, keep in mind, the time dilation. If you get the Irin's cooperation before we make the rescue, we can gate them to Fort Adam Lear immediately and have them back in a day; maybe less, and get on with our lives. It will be much easier to integrate them," Nick said.  

"I think it's a wonderful idea. I'll get Clyde and Mack on it as soon as we rescue Marco, we see how much he knows, and what help he can provide us. On another subject, I was blown-away by the way our youngest cowboys handled themselves and worked with Mr. Obbligatto. I'm more impressed by Randy and Pard every day. Lord, I can't picture them starting first grade in school in September. I can just imagine they'll figure out some way to get around the teacher if she ain't sharp. They'll shape up their class in no time; probably teach the class themselves. By the end of the first year, their classmates will be so far ahead of the others, the school will have to move them up a grade or two," Billy said and laughed.

The men got cleaned up and went to bed. It was a long day filled with joy and happiness, and ended with hope for the future. They lay together, made a little love, and went to sleep. They joined each others dream like they often did from time to time. They shared a sexual rodeo like they never experienced before and woke up the next morning stuck together with dried semen. Billy laughed, gathered a damp cloth from the bathroom, cleaned himself and his dad. Then Billy dutifully milked his pa's big cock with his powerful throat to rob him of his sweet early morning cowboy cream.

* * * * * * *
The next morning at breakfast in the big house talk was lively. Oatie and his new husband Jethro arrived about thirty minutes before and had time for a cup of coffee and to get caught up on the visit with Marco Ceasare Del Obbligatto. Billy let Randy and Pard tell the story, and the family was fascinated by their tale. Billy got Ruth Rutherford's permission to let Randy stay an extra day and evening with them until they got Marco safely under the Daniels family protection. Billy agreed he would take Randy and Pard with them to collect the wild boar, but they would have to sit in the laps of a couple of cowboys. The boys couldn't have been happier.

After breakfast, Jethro and Oatie said their goodbyes like two morning doves calling to each other. There were many deep sighs and rolling of eyes, but everyone managed to kept their composure, until Zelma Redbone let out a giggle that started everyone else laughing at them. "Personally, I wouldn't want them any other way," Billy allowed and everyone agreed with him.

Jethro transported to work on Captain Nick's ship and Billy, Nick, Oatie, Clyde, Mack, Cowboy Andy, Boomer, and the boys climbed into the big crew-cab truck with an empty eighteen foot roll-off on the back and took off for the Junction area. Boomer had to morph to a smaller size to get everyone in, and he was to disappear when they got to the ranch. Clyde drove and Oatie gave him directions to get to the cowboy's ranch where the pig was being held for them. The rancher's name was Dover Clemson, and he had a sterling reputation around the hill country of being not only a successful rancher and fine cowboy, but also a damn good man. Dover greeted the men and shook everyone's hands including the boys. He smiled at Billy introducing Randy Rutherford as his adopted little brother and Ramrod over to the Rutherford family ranch near Fredericksburg.

"Hear you got quite a large operation going on at your ranch over to the Mason area, Mr. Daniels," he said to Billy.

"Yes, sir, Mr. Clemson, I come into a goodly sum of money by accident. Me and my uncle play five bucks on the Super Lotto every week, and we just happened to win a large jackpot this spring. We decided to use the money to expand our ranch a bit to cut down on taxes and religious tithings we'd have to pay if we didn't invest. Sometimes I think I bit off more'n I can chew, Mr. Clemson, but we try to do our best," he said.

"I don't know of any rancher what comes home to his ranch what don't ask his'self the same question several times a year, Mr. Daniels. I wouldn't wanna' live my life any other way, but ranching can be tough," Dover said and laughed.

About that time a young boy about the same age as Randy and Pard came down the front steps followed by his mother holding another young boy about a year younger than the first boy.

"Gentlemen, this here scamp is my oldest boy, Cotton Clemson, my wife, Mary Nell Clemson, and my youngest boy, Grant Clemson," Dover introduced his family.

The oldest boy was obviously an albino with pink eyes, pale-white skin, and white hair. "Pleased to meet you, Cotton, Mrs. Clemson, and Grant," Billy said and the other cowboys tipped their hats in courtesy to them. Cotton was rather retiring, but Billy thought it probably was because he could see Boomer. "Don't be afraid of the big critter, Cotton, he's my protector, Son," he said quietly to the boy, "I'll explain later," he added.

Billy instinctively went to Mrs. Clemson and took Grant from his mother. The boy's legs were withered and his feet were bent inward so bad there was no way he could learn to walk to build up enough strength to develop his legs. He would be confined to a wheelchair all his life. "Have you been like this since you were born, Grant, or did you have an accident?" Billy asked. Grant looked to his dad to answer for him.

"He's been that way since he was born, Mr. Daniels. Our insurance wouldn't pay to have him corrected at birth, and we didn't have the money to have it done ourselves. We explored every avenue available and applied for numerous grants but nothing ever materialized. The last time we took him to the doctor he told us it was too late anyways. He would be that way the rest of his life," Dover said and hung his head like he was embarrassed for being a failure as a father to his young son.
Billy shook his head and a tear came to his eye. "Gimme' a big ole wet, sloppy, buckaroo kiss, Grant!" Billy exclaimed to the boy in his arms. Grant grinned real big and did what the big handsome cowboy told him. Billy let the young boy take as much love as he could handle and then broke it off with him. "You's a fine cowboy, Grant, and that was one of the finest, most wonderful sloppy buckaroo kisses I done ever got," Billy said and smiled.

"I know who you are, and I know who Randy Rutherford is," Grant said quietly into Billy's ear.

"You watch a lot of TV don't chu, Son?" Billy said and grinned.       

"It's the way I learn about the world; the good and the bad. You're the good part, Master Billy," Grant said. His parents and big brother had no idea what he was talking about.

"Well, let's let it be our secret for right now. How would you like me to carry you out to watch us transfer the pig, Son?" Billy asked.

"I'd like that a lot, Master Billy," Grant replied.

"Why do you call Mr. Daniels 'master', Son?" Dover asked.

"Because he is my master, Dad, and we will become a part of him and his family," Grant replied.

Dover didn't say anymore, but looked at his wife like he was dumbfounded.

As Billy was walking carrying Grant he talked quietly with the boy, "I done told your brother, but don't be afraid of the big critter you see with my cowboys. He's invisible to grownups, but any kid below the age of twelve can see them. He's my guardian, my number one slave, my bonded brother, and my protector. I'll tell you more about him later," Billy explained and Grant nodded his head he understood.

"Me and my brother seen 'um around the ranch. We told dad about 'um, but he said we was making it up to play a joke on him. One day mom left me alone on a pallet in the grass. One come to me and carried me out behind the barn. I weren't afraid of him so I didn't cry out. He offered me his milk, I tasted it, and I loved it. I couldn't get enough, Master Billy. It made me feel really good. When mom came and found me gone, she went bonkers, and everyone started looking for me. My brother, Cotton, found me drinking the huge creature's milk and hollered at the top of his voice. He scared the poor creature to death. He gently put me down in the grass. Cotton ran to me and asked if I was okay. He told me not to say a word about the critter because daddy wouldn't believe us, and I didn't. I told them I just went exploring and used my arms to pull me along," Grant said.

* * * * * * *
It didn't take the cowboys any time to transfer the pig. Oatie didn't have to tranquilize him. They sat out some slave chow and several nutrient biscuits in their roll-off, and the pig gladly went in to eat. He was in hog heaven. Mrs, Clemson accompanied the men, more out of curiosity about her son and the good looking young cowboy than watching the men wrangle a huge wild bore into another roll-off. She carefully studied Billy and Randy, and it suddenly came to her: Walmart Cowboy Jesus. Grant's words fell into place like the great 'amen' to a secret prayer.

"Dover!" she exclaimed to her husband, "I know who he is," Mary Nell said quietly.   

"Who?" Dover asked.

"The cowboy. Grant's master. He's Billy Daniels, the Walmart Cowboy Jesus and Randy Rutherford is the boy he healed. He saved the boy's life, Dover. It was on television for days several months ago. I forgot about it, but Grant didn't. Do you suppose...?" she asked.

"Holy mother of god, you just may be right, but keep yore' mouth shut, woman! H'it ain't our place to go ask'n him for no miracle. H'it just ain't the cowboy-way. If it's god's will or Master Billy's will to help our boy, it must come from him. If he's capable of such wonders and the least compassionate, I don't think he will have the heart to walk away without helping Grant," Dover said firmly.

After they were through, Billy handed Grant to Clyde, and got out his wallet. "What do I owe you for the boar, Mr. Clemson?" he asked.

"Put your wallet away. You don't owe me nothing. Glad you's taking him off my hands. Appreciate you coming so promptly to get him, and it's a treat to get meet you men," Dover said sincerely as he shook Billy's hand.

"What if I offer to repay your kindness in kind, Mr. Clemson?" Billy asked, "After all, h'it would be the cowboy-way, sir," he added.

"We would be most grateful, Master Billy," Dover Clemson replied. Billy could see the fine looking cowboy's eyes began to water.

Billy put his arm around Dover's shoulder, "Come, walk with me to your barn over yonder, Mr. Clemson. The rest of you men follow. Mrs. Clemson and Cotton, please wait here. We will only be a few minutes. Everyone did as Billy said, and the men walked to the barn.

Clyde carried Grant. "Is Master Billy going to fix me, Mr. Clyde?" Grant asked quietly.

"If'n I's a bet'n man, Son, I'd say the odds are ninety-nine to one in your favor," Clyde replied.

"Can he really heal people, sir?" Grant asked.

"Bet chore' sweet little cowboy butt he can, Son. They's very little that young man can't do if'n he's a mind to," Clyde replied.

"You love him, don't you, Mr. Clyde?" Grant asked.

"With all my heart, Son. You and your family will, too," Clyde replied.

There were three bales of hay stacked in the middle of the barn. Billy grabbed a couple of clean horse blankets and laid them on top of the bales. He took Grant from Clyde and laid him on the blankets. "Can I remove your clothes, Cowboy?" Billy asked.

"Certainly, Master Billy," Grant replied.

Nick and Clyde helped him. Billy took off his hat, took a small hat pin from the brim, and sat his hat on another bale of hay. When he returned, his men had Grant naked as the day he was born. Billy explained he got some of his DNA information from their kiss, but he would feel more comfortable if he could have a taste of his blood. He told Grant the procedure and the boy agreed. Grant didn't feel a thing and Dover marveled as he watched Billy taste a couple of drops of his boy's blood.

"Let's do this the right way, Gentlemen. Wing-up everybody," Billy said and turned to Grant. "We'll be right back, Son," he added.

Everyone, including Oatie, winged-up and reappeared fully fledged wearing their handsome leather harnesses. Grant was thrilled. Dover was stunned. Before him stood six perfect cowboy-angels. "My God, is our world coming to an end? Are we living in the final days," he asked.

"Not if we can help it, Mr. Clemson," Billy said, "You ready, Son?" Billy asked Grant.

"I knew you'd come for me, Master Billy," he said, "I'm ready to become a part of your family, sir," he added.

"You think we could talk yore' dad, mom, and big brother into becoming part of our family?" Billy asked.

"They already are, Master Billy," Grant said and smiled.

Dover Clemson watched as Billy's posse of cowboy-angels spread their beautiful wings over his boy and channeled the gathered power from the universe into their master. Billy worked on Grant for damn near an hour. It took him a bit longer than he thought. Dover watched as Grant's body contorted and twisted to straighten itself out to where it should be. He watched as Grant's muscles grew and filled out over his body. To Dover Clemson, he was watching a miracle. When he was finished and satisfied with his work, Billy told Grant to sit up on the edge of the bale of hay.

"You look good, Cowboy, but we can't have you walk out to your mother and brother naked as a Christmas turkey. How 'bout we dress you up like a real buckaroo?" Billy asked.

"I'd love it, Master Billy," Grant replied, threw his arms around Billy's neck and cried, "How can I ever thank you, sir?" he asked.

"There, there, Buckaroo. Gimme' another one a them fine buckaroo kisses, and that will be thanks enough," Billy replied.

They kissed another unabashed passionate kiss as tears streamed down Dover Clemson's face.

"Clyde, you got anything in this cowboy's size?" Billy asked.

"I think we can fix him up, Master Billy," Clyde replied, waved his hand and in an instant, Grant was fully clothed in a fine looking cowboy outfit, complete with buckaroo boots and a big hat. His dad took him into his arms, gave him a big hug, and a kiss right on the mouth. Grant loved it.

"I ain't the one you should be kiss'n, Pa," Grant admonished his dad with a smile.

"Would you mind, Master Billy?" Dover asked.

"Not at all, Mr. Clemson, it would be my honor, sir," Billy said, and the two men embraced. Billy let Dover give and take what he wanted, and he returned the cowboy's appreciation in kind.

Billy and his men de-winged and gather their hats. Mr. Clemson took his son by the hand, and they slowly walked out of the barn together with the cowboys close behind. Randy and Pard remained behind with Mrs. Clemson and Cotton. The boys started applauding when they caught sight of Grant and his dad walking hand in hand out of the barn. "Hosanna!" shouted Randy.

"Hosanna, in the highest!" shouted Pard.

"Oh, my God! My boy can walk!" Mary Nell said and ran to them with Cotton close behind.    
"What about milk for them boys, Master Billy?" Oatie asked.

"Yeah! Glad we got you with us, Brother. I almost forgot," Billy replied.

"We got an old dairy cow we milk for them," Dover said.

"Doc Breedlove is talking about special milk from a watcher -- our protectors, Mr. Clemson. Your boys already know about them. Any kid under the age of puberty can see them. They can see them, but adults c'ain't unless they want to be seen," Billy said, "Boomer! Show yourself for these folks," Billy commanded.
Boomer suddenly appeared at the back of the cowboys. Mr. and Mrs. Clemson were stunned to see a huge Bigfoot creature standing there. Little Grant grinned from ear to ear, dropped his dad's hand, and started walking as fast as his rubbery little legs would carry him. Boomer squatted down and opened his big arms for the boy. Dover called after his boy, but he was already halfway to Boomer's arms.

"Let him go, Mr. Clemson. My beast would never heart a bairn; a young one. Boomer is my number one slave, my bonded brother, my watcher and protector, but he's so much more. We have a long history together. He's been my protector since I was seven year old. So, you see, your boys weren't fool'n with ya' none when they told you about big hairy two-legged beastie they seen around your property. They's many in this area, and I'm friends with them," Billy said.

The family watched as Boomer swept the boy up into his giant arms and gently hooked Grant up to his left teat. Grant looked like a little piggy getting himself some wonderful watcher's milk. If he had a tail, it would have been wagging.

"Watcher milk is the best, most nourishing, healing milk in the universe," Billy said to the Clemsons, "It will help your boys in ways you can't imagine -- all good, of course," Billy added and smiled.

"Remember the time Grant went missing, Dad?" Cotton asked, "I found him in the arms of one of them beasts feeding him his milk. Grant looked like he was really enjoying it. I was startled and yelled at him. I frightened the poor beast. He gently put Grant down in the grass and ran away. He's still around. We see him all the time. We leave fruit out for him and a bit of dog chow from time to time. He's always looking after me and Grant," Cotton told them, "He would never let anything bad happen to us," he added.  
"Cotton, you're gonna' start to have problems wiff' yore' albinism as you grow older. If it gets to be too much for you, talk it over with your family, and if they agree, I can change it for you," Billy offered.

"How can you do these things? Are you the second coming of Christ, Mr. Daniels?" Dover asked.
"No, I have no connection with the Christian religion other than I go to church in Mason with my family once't in a while, and I fill-in and play the organ for services when the church organist needs to be away," Billy replied.

"Are you men angels, sir?" Mary Nell asked.

"My surrogate dad, here, Nick, Clyde, and Andy are real angels who work for me, but me and Doc Oatie are enhanced human cowboys. I got enhanced by a couple of ancient alien races, and I enhanced Doc Oatie and his family. Nothing we do is miracles. It's a form of technology so advanced it appears to good folks like yourselves like we represent some supernatural power, but we don't. Some have called us cowboy-angels, and I guess that pretty well defines us; but, I assure you there ain't nothing holy about us 'cep'n maybe the hole I got in my pair of boot socks I be wear'n. They don't get no more basic than cowboys. That's what we represent, the cowboy-way, and as Mr. Clemson will tell you, the cowboy-way ain't written down nowheres, you just learn good from your family, friends, and relatives, and how to live it. Am I right, Mr. Clemson?" Billy asked.

"I couldn't a put it no better myself, sir," Dover agreed.

"Here's my card wiff' the number to the ranch. I done wrote my cell phone number on the back if'n you should need us in a hurry. They's a slim chance the radical changes I made to Grant's body might give him some problems for his system to adjust. If so, and you're worried about him, gimme' a call, and we'll be here in an instant. And don't be strangers. You don't live that far from us you c'ain't come visit for a Saturday afternoon and evening Texas barbecue and music show," Billy said handing Dover his card.

"Thank you, sir, can we bring anything?" Dover asked.

"No, not necessary. We provide everything, but you might find yourself on the back of a wagon to take Saturday dinner down to the river and help us pass out food to our stomping of Bigfoot and daddy long-legs who sit on the limestone banks across the river and listen to our concerts," Billy said and laughed.

"Be happy to help, Mr. Daniels," Dover said.

"Mr. Clemson, since I done fixed your boy for you, do you think you could find it in yore' heart to call me, Billy, sir," Billy asked and smiled.

"Certainly, Billy! Please, call me Dover," Dover agreed.

"Now let's find you a watcher to take care of them boys. Cotton, you can benefit from their milk just as much as your brother. One taste and you're hooked. It tastes like warm vanilla-bean Blue Bell ice cream or egg nog, don't it, Grant," Billy asked and winked at the boy still sucking away on Boomer's big tit.

"Mumm-humm," he agreed, not stopping long enough to use words.

"Did you boys ever name the beast what keeps watch over you?" Billy asked.

"Yes, Sir, Grant named him 'Bronc' because he's sort of a maverick and don't run with the other watchers too much," Cotton said.  

"Well, that's why he stays. Once you give a watcher a name, he's bonded to you for life. Come with me, folks," Billy said and started walking toward the barn. "Bronc! Come out! I know you can hear me. I can hear you in my head. I'm Master Billy Daniels from the Daniels ranch over to where the two rivers come together. Your people on Retikki Prime gimme' charge over you and every watcher here on Earth. It's time you meet your bonded family, Bronc! Show yourself!" Billy hollered.

Around the corner at the back of the barn a huge watcher appeared. He was a handsome bronze color and his hair shown brightly in the rays of the morning sun. "Wow, he's a beaut!" Billy exclaimed, "He should be enough to keep you boys busy and teach you some responsibility. You know you'll have to treat him like you would any other animal you have on the ranch. You have to take care of him, groom him, and comb out his fur to get rid of the excess. Make sure you take him to the river occasionally to bathe. They're body odor can become overpowering if neglected, but it's their natural defense against large predators," Billy explained.

Billy walked right up to Bronc. The giant beast dropped to his knees and kissed each of Billy's boots. Billy pulled him up, embraced him, and gave him a quick kiss. Grant stopped sucking Boomer's teat to watch and got a big smile on his face. "Thank you, Master Billy," everyone heard the big watcher say.

"My God, they can speak, and talk our language?" Dover asked.

"Of course, but they don't very often. They can hear our thoughts, and they communicate telepathically. As soon as the boys drink enough of his milk they can hear and send to his mind. Randy and Pard don't need to speak to Boomer to communicate with him. They's all the time laughing together at something funny one of them thought about," Billy explained.

Boomer let Grant down to the ground, and he slowly walked to the giant. Bronc got down on both knees and opened his arms to the boy. Great tears fell from his eyes to see his young friend walking toward him. Dover and Mary Nell's hearts were touched by the love the big beast displayed for their boys. When Grant got to him, Bronc pulled him up to his chest and cradled him in his huge arms. Grant found his teat and began to suck again, making obscene sounds of pure joy. He was in heaven.

"As you have protected the boys for sometime, so will you protect the rest of the Clemson family, Bronc, for your master has looked into their hearts and found them worthy of your love and protection. When they come to visit, we expect you to come with them in the back of their truck if the weather allows. You will make yourself invisible for the trip, but you may show yourself on our ranch. Many of your brothers visit us and find peace and joy in the entertainment we provide," Billy said to the great beast. Bronc nodded his head he understood.   

"If you can get away, ya'll drive over to our ranch next Saturday morning and plan to arrive between eleven and noon to spend the day wiff' us. Gimme' a call and let us know if you can make it. Well, we done what we come to do, Gentlemen," Billy said speaking to his family, "Let's us get in the truck and drive back to the ranch," he said.

"Won't you men stay and have lunch with us?" Mary Nell asked.

"Thanks, ma'am, another time perhaps. We got a full day ahead of us, and we need to get back," Billy spoke for his family.

"We can't thank you enough, Billy," said Dover almost in tears.

"Just keep in touch, and be a good neighbor, Dover. It's all the thanks we need," Billy replied.

The men got into the truck, waved goodbye, and started down the long drive to the blacktop. "Ya' done good, little Brother," Oatie said quietly to Billy.

"Just doing ma' job as a cowboy, Brother," Billy drawled like an old hand and Oatie laughed.

* * * * * * *
 When the men returned, they parked the truck in the shade and fed the poor pig again. He didn't stink as bad as the other pig, but he weren't no flower neither. He was ripe enough you wanted to hold your breath while you were around him. 'All the better,' Billy thought wickedly and laughed to himself.

They got back to the Daniels' ranch around ten o'clock. Oatie drove to his clinic and saw several patients. He had to agree with Billy, his enhancement was doing wonders for his business. If he had to do surgery on an animal, it was so much easier to put it into a deep sleep and use his talents he learned from Master Billy. He would never allow anyone in his surgery when he would wing-up and gather the energy of the universe to help his patients. Sometime, if it was a big job, he would call on his granddad or Perry Reed and Mick Flynn to come and give him extra power.

It proved to be a long busy day. Billy had meetings from the time he got back until time for lunch. Aunt Helen's staff put together an excellent DVD of the Barnyard Concert Billy fast tracked through and approved it. It was released in its entirety on YouTube at one o'clock Monday afternoon. By six o'clock they sold out the first batch of copied DVD's. Reviews on the Net were glowing and there were rave reviews for the new unknown composer/conductor's Concerto for Tubas. It was new, fresh, and something they never heard before. Billy's conducting and Jessie's playing of the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds was praised as one of the finest performances available. When the final count was tallied, they tripled the sale of the first DVD but there was still orders coming in for it as well.  

Aunt Helen found a company who manufactured many of the instruments they were looking for who was willing to give them a cut rate deal on a large order. She submitted a list for Billy's approval. Billy noticed there were sometimes fifteen or twenty of most every instrument; of course, the string instruments accounted for most. He raised an eyebrow but didn't question her. He figured if his cowboys and cowgirls wanted to learn an instrument, they should have the right. He signed off on the order with no comment. He wanted Aunt Helen to know he trusted her judgment. Later on, when they reaped the harvest of their investment, he was glad he did.

* * * * * * *
The rescue of Marco Ceasare Del Obbligatto went down like clockwork. They were set up and ready to go by nine o'clock in the evening. Randy got in touch mentally with Marco and asked him if he was ready.

<< I am so ready to get out of here, my sweet cowboy, I can't tell you how much, >> he replied.

<< What do you think the best time would be? >> Randy asked.

<< They make rounds to cell check at ten o'clock, and they change the guard at midnight, so anytime between ten-thirty and eleven-thirty would probably be best, >> Marco replied.

<< Good, but I'll check back in with you before we open the gate. I know Master Billy described the gate, but some folks get scared their first time. Ain't nothing to it, really. It's just a gate of free electrons what looks like shimmering water. Once you step through, you're at the Daniels' ranch and in my arms, sir. Do you need me to come through and take you by the hand and lead you back through? >> Randy asked.

<< I don't think so. From your description it should be a piece of cake, >> Marco said.

<< Good, 'cause if you just come on through, it will give our men more time to levitate the sleeping wild bore, move him through, and quickly get out, >> Randy explained.

<< The less time spent in this god-forsaken hole the better for anyone, >> Marco allowed.

At exactly eleven o'clock on the dot a large gate of shimmering blue electrons sprang up. Marco didn't waste anytime walking through the gate to be received by the men he was with the night before. He watched with them as Clyde and Billy levitated the enormous wild boar and silently floated him through the gate. They were gone only long enough for Clyde to cover the poor thing with the blanket Marco left behind. They returned and the gate was closed.

There were many hugs, kisses, and handshakes. Marco couldn't believe he was out of that awful place and among people again -- people he loved and cared about. It was late and Billy left Marco in the care of Big Blue and Baby Blue. They couldn't have been more pleased. But before they left, Billy removed the electronic chip deeply embedded within the muscle tissue of Marco's shoulder muscles on his back. He no sooner got it out when he threw it on the floor and crushed it with his boot heel. He explained to Marco, he healed his shoulder and he should have no pain, but the major work they planned to do for him would be done tomorrow after he got a good night's rest. The men broke up and went their separate ways. Clyde took Randy and Pard to their room and got permission from Pard's great-grandmother to stay with Randy in his and Clyde's room. Billy and Nick transported to the line cabin for the night.

"Where are we, Blue?" Marco asked as they walked through the corridors, up the many stairs, and down another long corridor to their apartment.

"We're in a huge castle on a space ship hidden in a cave in the hill country of West Central Texas," Big Blue replied rather matter-of-factly.

"You're shit'n me, Blue!" Marco exclaimed.

"No, he ain't, old friend. It's really a space ship from another galaxy capable of inter-stellar flight. I don't think we'd be able to make you understand how it's possible without showing you. We'll have most of the day tomorrow to do that. Here we are at our apartment," Erin said and opened the door for Marco.

"You don't lock your door?" he asked.

"Don't have to on the ship. There ain't no crime to speak of," Blue replied.

"Holy crap, you men got all this space to yourselves?" he asked looking around the huge space.

"Yeah, it is a bit much, ain't it? We don't use hardly half of it. We have an extra bedroom you can use, if you like. As a matter of fact, we got several extra bedrooms. We may have others live with us later, but for now we got it to ourselves," Big Blue explained.

Marco sat down in a nice chair at their table, put his elbow on the table, rested his forehead in the palm of his hand and wept. "Erin, boil us up some hot water for some Texas Tea. Our buddy is gonna' need some'um to relax him. There, there, old friend. Ain't no need for tears. I'm a hypocrite to offer my comfort because when they got me out of that hole, I done the same damn thing. It took me several days to realize I can go to the bathroom by myself and me and Erin's got all the privacy we could want. You'll adjust quicker than you think," Big Blue said.

"Especially, after Master Billy gets through with you tomorrow. You'll look and feel twenty, maybe thirty years younger, and believe us when we tell you it goes a long way to easing your transition," Erin encouraged him.

"But, you're still a punishment slave?" he asked Erin.

"Yes, sir, but Master Billy has a different idea about punishment. I'm paying my debt to society by working for Master Billy, but it ain't like it was in prison. I know I'm his slave, but he thinks on his slaves as part of his family. I truly feel like I'm part of his family. For what he done for me and Blue, I would gladly become his slave, work for him, and give him my best. Blue told me he feels the same way, even though for right now he has to remain on this ship most of the time. The most important thing to me is Master Billy's gracious and understanding enough to allow Blue and me to have a relationship," Erin said.

"I'm back working in electrical systems and loving every minute of it. And Erin is in charge of Master Billy's slave groomers. He does have three punishment slaves he bought rather than have them sent to prison. They're still in the breaking in stage, but you won't hear a one of them complain about the place or their positions as punishment slaves. You'll have plenty of opportunity to talk with them yourself," Blue said.

They drank their Texas Tea and decided to have a second cup. The first cup seemed to cut the edge off Marco's anxiety as Blue and Erin hoped. The second cup he became like a docile old house cat and while he was still more than a little impressed with his brothers' new life style, it was coming to him at a more comfortable pace.

"Let's get you out of those stinking prison clothes, Brother," Blue said to him and handed him a large terry-cloth robe, "Remove everything and put it in that trash bag over yonder. We'll ask some friends, a couple of old cowboys, to outfit you tomorrow. How about we take him down to the tubs, Baby Blue, and scrub him down to get the prison smell off him? We can relax and have another cup of Texas Tea while soaking," Blue said.

"Good idea, Daddy Blue. There probably won't be anyone down there. We'll have the place to ourselves," Erin agreed.  

They got ready and took the back stairs down to the dungeon and hot tubs. It was a warm evening, and they were barefooted. To their surprise the giants Gog, Joe, and Blue Willie, with Thor and Zeus, the grooms Mace and Picard, and the two old cowboys, Hank and Buck were there. Hank and Buck had a bedroom in the Daniels' house they stayed in only occasionally, but they loved their apartment in the castle in what came to be known as giant country. They hailed them hardily and stood to be introduced to their latest comrade, Marco Obbligatto. Marco was in awe of the huge men and for the first time in his life felt like a man of average height and girth.

After introductions, Blue and Erin took Marco to the showers and the grooms accompanied them. They got out their grooming tools of soft brushes and sponges and joined the men. They took over Marco, and he looked at Blue and Erin showering on either side of him. "They're our grooms, Marcus. It's their job, and they are excellent at what they do. Let them pamper you. You deserve it," Blue said. Erin was turned away from Marco, but when he turned toward him, Marco gasped. My God did they cut your penis off, Baby Blue?" he asked. Big Blue and Erin laughed.

"No, Daddy Marcus, I now have both. He's not going to understand unless you change me back, Blue," Erin said.

Blue walked over and ran his hand over Erin's cunt, and it was instantly replaced by his regular cock and balls. "See, Marcus, I can have both. How's that for having your cake and eating it, too?" Erin asked, and they laughed. Blue waved his hand again and Erin's fine little cunt reappeared.

"My God in heaven, that's the most amazing thing I ever seen. You have become the perfect sex partner," Marco said to Erin.

"I'm happy and content. Fortunately, for me, my husband is an equal opportunity fucker. He keeps both my holes well fucked," Erin said and went about his bathing.

Mace and Picard were gentle but thorough with Marco. They were fascinated by his many tattoos. He told them Master Billy planned to remove them to better disguise him. They gave him a brand new toothbrush, a small tube of paste, and pointed him to the sinks. It was the first time Marco brushed his teeth in a number of years. Inmates could make weapons out of retired toothbrushes. Erin got poked several times by one. Marco complained he had very few teeth left and not being able to chew his food properly was affecting his health.

"Not to worry, old man, Master Billy will give you a brand new set of real teeth, and they will never rot. Look and me and Blue. We got perfect teeth, and if you notice the men in the bath with us, even the old cowboys, got perfect teeth," Big Blue said.

The men returned to the bath to join the other men. Mace and Picard poured everyone another steaming mug of Texas Tea. The men thanked them and made room for the halflings to join them. The giants loved to hold them in their laps and pet them. Mace and Picard were pretty fond of their attention as well. Everyone seemed to be happy and got along great. Marco thought in prison there would have been six fights break out in the time they were there. He found it so relaxing and rewarding to be carrying on a decent conversation with everyone. There was no posturing nor overwrought male hormones trying to vie for dominance as bull of the woods.  

"Is there something in that tea?" Marco asked Blue.

"No, it's the herbs themselves what supply the mellow feeling. Like it?" Blue asked.

"Never had anything like it. Pot used to scramble my brains. I couldn't hold onto a thought more'n a minute or two, and I'd be off onto something else. This stuff is mellow and allows you to enjoy every moment and nothing is lost. It's an amazing sensation. Yes, I think I like it very much," Marcos said.

"It will make you sleep like a baby and you won't have nightmares, neither," Blue said.

"I could do with a good night's sleep without mental disturbances," Marco said. The other men were quiet. They could empathize and understand what the big man was going through. They expressed their concern and sympathy and assured him they were there at one time or another.

Blue asked Hank and Buck about outfitting Marco. "It's our job and it will be our pleasure, but it would be best to wait until Master Billy gets through with him. His size could vary considerably. For tomorrow morning, have him wear the robe he was wearing when you men came down from your apartment. Master Billy will have him remove his clothing anyway," Buck replied.

"I'm curious about Buck, Zeus, and the Blue giant's brother they call Blue Willie's sexual assignments," Marco whispered to Blue.

"Gentlemen, our friend Marcus is naturally curious about your sexual assignments. It was a revelation for him when he noticed my husband had a cunt, and I showed him how I can change Erin to our mutual satisfaction. Do you mind if we share with him?" Odin asked.

"I can't speak for the others, but I don't mind," replied Buck, "I probably should have morphed my genitals when we came down to the tubs if I knew we might have a new family member among us. I'm so used to our family seeing me like this, when we're relaxing, I just don't bother. Mostly it depends on what mood my husband is in. Hank and I been together over sebendy years, and when we got together I always knew he was more of a ladies man than I was," Buck said.

"How is that possible? Seventy years? Neither of you look a day over forty," Marcus asked.

"We was working on a big ranch in West Texas in the sixties and was abducted by some aliens. We was rescued by some good aliens like our watchers here on Earth. They took Hank and me to their planet, and we lived with them for sixty-five years. Due to lack of intensive cosmic rays on their world, people age at a much slower rate. We looked the same age since we were kidnapped. Anyway, Master Billy, come to our planet to meet his watcher mate's uncles who are the rulers of their planetary system to be enhanced, and we were Billy and Boomer's grooms for their first sexual encounter. Since we was from Texas and Master Billy was, too, we asked if we could become his slaves and come back to Earth with him. He said 'yes' and here we are. We're Master Billy's slaves and work for him and his family.
Long story short, after we met Thor and his son who is also his wife, I asked Master Billy to morph me for Hank and me to test drive a cunt. I got to where I really enjoy it with Hank and Master Billy showed me how to morph myself," Buck said.

Joe the blue giant spoke next, "Our story is pretty much the same as Hank and Buck's except me and my brother came here on this space ship as part of Captain Nick's crew. We're a couple of his personal protectors. Willie wanted to try, and I couldn't see why not, so I can morph him any time we want something a little different," Joe explained.
"Our story is a bit more involved, and it includes Gog here. My son done some bad things, he was morphed by the folks on our planet, and as a punishment slave he was expected to perform every day for the men in a male prison for several years. After a certain time, I was allowed to marry him as my wife, and they released him to me. He is still my slave and my wife, but we're both slaves of Master Billy, and we couldn't be happier," Thor gave the short version.
"Billy Daniels sounds like a wonderful man," Marco said quietly.

"He is, but he's down to Earth and as much a cowboy as you'd find anywhere. He just happens to be an extremely gifted young cowboy," Gog spoke up, "He's been nothing but good to me and my friends, Thor and Zeus. We could never live so well on our home worlds as we do here on Earth with the Daniels family. We hope you find a place among us and enjoy what peace we have found for ourselves," Gog said.

Big Blue decided they should call it an evening. It was getting late, and they had jobs to do the next day. They knew Master Billy wanted to see Marco in the dungeon right after breakfast. Marco shook hands with the men and thanked them for their forthrightness with him. He had a hug and a kiss for the handsome young halfling grooms who so carefully attended him in the shower. He told them he looked forward to living and working with them.

* * * * * * *
The next morning, Odin and Erin took Marco down to the workers dinning hall wearing his robe. Blue loaned him a pair of his house shoes which fit him pretty well. The men from the previous evening were gathered at a table and motioned for them to come sit with them. The kitchen and dinning area were run by village people who wanted to make extra money for their families. They were dwarfs and halflings. They saw the new man and had to investigate. They were fascinated by Marco and his tattoos. Also joining them for breakfast were Pan the Panther man, Leon the Lion Man, and Raza the Dragon man. Marco never saw such a strange assortment of people but everyone of them seemed happy, going about their business like they had a purpose in life. Marco expected some strange things but certainly nothing like what he was witnessing. He found himself being sucked into to their world like the vortex of a black hole.

Despite their differences and sizes, they were a bonded family. Marco experienced a great urge to join them and become a part of their world. He decided his own species was a lousy lot. Odin and Erin introduced him to everyone around the table, but the workers would come around, one by one, to meet him and introduce themselves. They were very friendly and made him feel like one of their family. Breakfast was served family style and there were several platters set before them. There was no boarder-house reaching or being at the end of the passing plate only to find bits and pieces left. You only had to take from a platter in front of you what you wanted. They served anything you wanted. If it wasn't on the table, you only had to ask for it, and it would be brought to you.

It was the best food Marco ate since he went into prison twenty years before, and he ate like a hay-hand in mowing season. The coffee was fresh and the overall fragrance of the good food overtook him. He only wished the wild boar who replaced him was enjoying such a good breakfast, but he imagined the poor thing was no longer among the living.

* * * * * * *
After breakfast Erin left to start his day as foreman of the grooming crews for the three punishment slaves. It was pretty much the same every day, unless there was something special Master Billy wanted them to do, then it was Erin's job to see it got done. He didn't anticipate anything out of the ordinary that morning. Big Blue took Marcus down the back stairs again and into the dungeon area. It was an ominous place, but at the moment it was well lit and it looked accommodating. Blue waited with him, and they conversed waiting for Master Billy to appear. They didn't have to wait long. Billy and his posse arrived fully fledged.

Marco was astonished. There, before him, stood the most magnificent creatures he ever saw: Clyde; Balthazar; Cowboy Andy; Garth; Mack; Captain Nick, and Billy's newest members of his family, Slipweasel and Rum-Dum. Being raised a Catholic but never fully buying into the dogma, Marco was moved to his core. He fell to his knees and wept.

"It will take him a while, Master Billy," Odin said and put his hand on Marco's shoulder.

"I want you to stay and wing-up, Blue. Maybe he'll feel a little more comfortable with his brother by his side. I'll send Mace to tell your crew you will be delayed a while and to have your number two man take charge until you get there," Billy said.

"I'd like that, Master Billy," Odin replied. Marco watched as his friend removed his western shirt, laid it on a bench, disappeared, and reappeared in an instant. Marco looked into Blue's eyes. You, too, Blue?" he asked.

"Yes, I'm proud to say, I'm one of Master Billy's cowboy-angels. Them other men with wings is real genuine angels what's been around since the beginnings of human history, but they don't look a day over forty. Master Billy is a cowboy-angel like me, only he's a little higher on the ladder. I'm still just a junior bird-man and provide him with back up power I gather from the ether of the universe with my wings when he needs me. He's gonna' let me help with your transition. The more power he has, the faster he can process you and get you fixed up," Odin explained.
"Are you going to make me into an angel like my brother, Master Billy?" Marco asked through his tears.

"I ain't really done me much think'n on it, but I'll consider it, if'n it's what you want. I done made Odin Bluetooth into one of my cowboy-angels because we come to find out he weren't guilty of the charges against him and the Catholic priest what done the evil deed and put the finger on Blue is still our there free as a bird to molest other little boys. Who knows, he may have killed another kid by now," Billy said, "And that's also why your friend, Big Blue Odin is a free man here on the ranch. He ain't no punishment slave. However, that being said, he's pretty much trapped here to work with me and my family. If he decides he wants to go, I can't hold him back, but neither can I protect him unless he's part of my family. You understand what I'm trying to say?" Billy asked.

"He's happy here. I've known him long enough to read his mind. I'd know if he was unhappy living with your family, and I assure you Blue and Baby Blue are content," Marco said.

"That's what I want to do for you, but you must understand you have to stay under the shelter of my wings until this whole thing blows over. Later, if you decide you ain't happy here, you want to leave, we can discuss it, and make some arrangements. I hope you will find us too interesting and engaging to leave us. Besides, the perks of living here under my auspices are many. My yoke is easy and my burden is light," Billy said and smiled.

"I meant what I said when you came to visit me in prison. Take me and mold me into someone who can be a benefit for you and your family. No one has ever done anything for me nearly as wonderful as you men have. I'm yours until you don't need me no more, Master Billy," Marco said.

"Good, then take off your shoes, your robe, lay on this leather table, and let's us get this transformation underway," Billy said patting the leather covered table for Marco to use.

Billy's angels including Odin Bluetooth spread their wings to collect the life-force energy from the ethos. Billy explained he needed to prick Marco's finger to taste his blood to have his DNA on file to work from. He worked on the old man for almost two hours. They had to take several breaks so his angels could lower their wings and rest for a while, but Picard and Mace were there with refreshments for them if they wanted. Several asked for some Texas Tea. Marco had tattoos which almost covered his entire body except above his neck, below his wrists, and below his ankles. There were no tattoos on his head, hands, or feet. Slowly but surely Billy removed them all, front and back. Marco even had his cock and asshole tattooed. "I certainly ain't against tattoos, but in your case they would be easy markers if anyone came sniffing around. After a number of years, if you think you might like to have them back, you will have the joy of having them done all over again," Billy said and laughed.

"I ain't likely to, sir. They represent a past I ain't none too proud of. I don't think I'd care to go down that path again," Marco said.

Billy worked on his body. For his age, Marco was in fine physical shape. He had a build on him many younger men would envy, but muscles, if not tended to every day begin to sag. Unlike Blue they didn't allow Marco any workout time in solitary-confinement. Billy brought him back to look like a middle aged man in his early forties. Billy asked what hair he wanted on his body and what he wanted to lose.

"I never liked a lot of hair. When I had more hair on my head, I always kept it in a buzz cut. Drop it all including around my pubes and ass. Can you bring some back if I change my mind later, sir?" Marco asked.

"Sure, no problem. I'll just turn off your hair growing switches, wave my hand over you, and voilĂ , it's gone," Billy said and there wasn't a hair on Marco's body, anywhere. Odin looked at the remarkable change in his old friend. Marco looked so good Big Blue began to get an erection.

"Down Rover!" Billy said to him, and the other angels laughed with him.

"What's he talking about, Blue?" Marco asked.
"You look so good I popped me a big-old boner, Brother," Blue replied and blushed. Everyone laughed again.

"I want you to consider another name for yourself, Marco. I ain't ask'n you to give up the name you carried all your life, but for a while, you need an alias. Since I done took off all your hair and your middle name 'Ceasare' means hairy what do you think about Harry Les Gatto? It clearly defines you as a hairless cat," Billy said and laughed at his own joke. A couple of the angels groaned. "May I remind you, Gentlemen, I'm not only your master, I control who gets Grandma Kate's desserts and who don't," he said and grinned wickedly.

"We're so sorry, Master Billy. That really was funny, sir," said Weasel and Rum-Dum.

"We're just about through with you, Marco, but first open your pie hole for me," Billy said showing his own perfect teeth. Marco responded and Billy ran his finger around what teeth he had left and his gums. His mouth was cleared of all teeth. He ran it around again and Marco had a full mouth of teeth. He clicked them together to get the feel and moved his hand up to feel them.

"Here! Don't put your hand in your mouth," Billy chastised him and smiled. He handed Marco a small hand mirror and he admired his new teeth.

"The original ones weren't that good looking, Master Billy," he said.

"There's one final thing what needs to be taken care of. Your fingers and toes are a mess. Mace, you and Picard get your manicure tools and take care of Mr. Obbligatto's nails," Billy ordered his grooms.

"Yes, sir, Master Billy, right away, sir," Mace said, and they were away.

Billy had Clyde materialize a full set of buckaroo clothes for Marco, but didn't put them on him. He sat them aside on another table. "Them clothes are your starters. See Hank and Buck for more Wrangles, shirts, boots -- everyman gets two pair of boots per year -- socks, shirts, bandannas, belts, and hats. If you don't like the ones Clyde whipped up for you, Hank and Buck will help you find your individually distinctive western look," he explained.

"Underwear?" Marco asked.

"Underwear? Are you kidding? Cowboys don't never wear no underwear," he said and laughed.

"I'm afraid he ain't kidding, Brother. It took me a while, but now I wouldn't wear underwear if you gave it to me. Nothing to bunch up in the crotch," Odin said.

The cowboys sat around and talked while Mace and Picard pampered the big man. When they finished Billy told Marco to walk over to the full length mirror and take a good look at the new man. Marco did as he was told and stood there for a few minutes admiring himself. He shed a couple of tears. "The oracle told me you would restore my youth to me, sir. I can't thank you enough, Master Billy," he said.

"Come, I have something else to show you," Billy said firmly as he dug into his left back pocket of his Wranglers. Marco walked up to him and waited. "Open your right hand, Mr. Obbligatto," Billy ordered and Marco open his hand. Billy dropped a gold key in his hand and told him to close his hand around it. Marco did so and suddenly got a look of pain on his face. He opened his hand quickly and dropped the key to the floor. It burned a perfect image of the key in the palm of Marco's hand. Billy grabbed his hand, blew his breath across it, and immediately, the pain was gone. "Do you believe what the oracle told you, Marco?" Billy asked.

"I have no doubt, Master Billy. You are the chosen one, and I must help you and your angels gain entrance to the hidden vault," Marco replied.

Billy picked up the key, held it up for all to see, and returned it to his back pocket.

"Will that burn go away, Master Billy?" he asked.

"Not until we accomplish what we must do, Marco. It is a reminder of your troth to the oracle, to me, and the brothers of the other fallen angels standing before you," Billy said.

"I have kept my word these many years, and through your compassion and generosity the oracle told me the truth about my reward. I will not let you, your angels, nor the oracle down, sir," Marco said.

"Seal your troth with me. Kiss me, Marco," Billy ordered and the big man gave Billy a kiss what would singe the hair off an angel's balls, and it damn near did to the several angels watching. It was a kiss of joy, thanksgiving, and a renewed faith in life. Billy's posse began to applaud, whistle, and stomp their boots. Marco blushed beet red when they parted and Billy did, too. "I'd say that kiss done the trick, my good man. Consider our troth signed, sealed, and delivered," Billy said.

"Thank you, Master Billy," he said again.

"Where should we put him?" Billy mused.

"We got all them bedrooms we ain't using, Master Billy," Odin spoke up.

"Would you like to stay with Odin and Erin and see how it works out for you? If ya' ain't comfortable we'll work with you," Billy said.

"That enormous bedroom to myself, with a comfortable bed, and sharing that huge apartment with two men I dearly love? I couldn't think of nothing better, sir," Marco said.

"It's done then. Put your clothes on and lets have a look at our new cowboy, and by the way, Blue will help you when you begin to grow your wings," Billy said, "You will probably start fledging later this evening or early tomorrow morning. At any rate, Blue will contact me or one of my angels, and we will do the surgery necessary for your wings to break through the surface of you skin on your back. It's simple, but it can be a bloody mess if you don't know what your doing," he added.

"Will it hurt, sir?" Marco asked.

"Bet chore' sweet ass it'll hurt, Cowboy!" Billy exclaimed and grinned, "You don't get to be an angel and wear a set of wings without a little pain," Billy proclaimed, and Blue almost fell on the floor laughing. The other angels laughed with him.

"Master Billy's blow'n smoke up yore' ass, Brother. There's some discomfort, but whoever cuts you, will immediately heal your back, and block any pain you might have. They'll put you in bed with a watcher, and you can drink his sweet milk. It will make you drowsy, and your wings will grow in while you sleep," Blue said.

"What's a 'watcher'?" Marco asked

"You'll find out soon enough. Everybody loves the watchers," Odin said and helped Marco with his clothes.

"What about them rings, Master Billy," Marco asked.

"I started a new policy not long ago. I'm only gonna' award them rings to my cowboy-angels as a reward for something above and beyond the call of duty. You get us into the hidden vault and help us rescue them angels, and the first thing I will do upon returning is gift you with a set, but only if you want them. They ain't mandatory," Billy stressed.

"Thanks, sir, I'll keep that in mind," Marco replied and smiled like he already made up his mind.
Blue helped Marco get dressed, and when they were finished, Billy and his cowboys allowed Marco would make a fine looking addition to Master Billy's herd of cowboy-angels.

Billy decided he wanted to have lunch with his men in the ship's dining hall in the great castle. He sent his grooms, Mace and Picard, to check with the manager and chef to see if they could accommodate them. They returned in a flash with word there would be plenty of food, and the staff and servers would be honored to serve them. The men washed up and accompanied Odin and Marco to lunch. Billy was leaving Marco with Big Blue. He was to take him to work with him and show him what was going on in their world. They needed to find him a job to do and wanted Blue to feel him out about his background and what talents he might have. Billy wanted Blue to familiarize Marco with the ship for the rest of the week and get him set up with clothing and other things he will need.

When the cowboys walked into the great dining hall everyone stopped what they were doing to get a good look at the job Master Billy and his cowboy-angels did on Marco. They were so impressed they started applauding for him, but Marco thought they were applauding for their master. "It's you they's applauding for, Mr. Obbligatto. Take a bow and acknowledge their appreciation," Billy said. Marco was moved to his core and formally bowed to the workers. They responded by applauded all the more. A couple of servers, lead him to a seat and held it for him as he sat down. The staff's compassion and genuine joy at seeing such a great improvement in the old man went a long way for Marco to regain a little of the self-respect he lost over the years, and for the first time in a very long while, he felt good about himself. Marco Ceasare Del Obbligatto felt a spark of hope begin to glow within him.

End of Chapter 65 ~ Seek Him Who Maketh The Seven Stars, and Orion.
Copyright ~ © ~ 2013 ~ 2014 ~ 2015 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com
WC = 17969

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