On the way back
from the Easter festivities, Chief Tin Penny sat up front with the
sheriff in the large panel van, in which he had brought his family to
the Goodnight ranch. His youngest boy, Donny, sat between the
men. Donny was enthralled by the big Indian Chief and developed a
hero worship for the man as a result of his dad’s own respect for the
“Is it my
imagination or are you looking several years younger, Chief.”
“I hope it ain’t
your imagination. When I look in the mirror in the mornings
I could swear I’m missing several more wrinkles. I had trouble
keeping my three wives happy before the shot, but now they’re arguing
with each other who’s next.” the old Indian laughed. Don
Lassiter joined him.
“It’s good to
see, Chief. I know I feel a lot better since I got it.”
“You seem to be
good friends with the Goodnights and Ramrod Long, Sheriff.” The
close to them within the last year or so, Chief. I’m more and
more impressed with their ideas and attitudes toward life, people and
the future. I’ve wandered through my life looking for a star to
hitch my wagon to. I never found any real purpose other than my
immediate family and maintaining a strong hold on a political position
in my community that would put me above the craziness and protect my
family from the insanity. I trust them men, and I’m convinced,
one day, they will save our butts.”
Sheriff.” said the Chief. “In our legends and prophecies it
is foretold there will come a leader born of our world but who was
taken to live among the stars who would return at the end times to lead
us. Many think it was Jesus, I believe Captain Long is that man.”
“I think you’re
right, Chief. I’m certainly going to follow his advice and give
him, and the rest of the ranchers in our family, my support. By
the way, I meant to ask you about something. Since your tribe has
come more and more under our jurisdiction, I been think’n about trying
something new. I don’t wanna’ intrude on tribal customs or
laws. I thought if I hired a couple of new deputies, one from
your tribe and another man from the Apache tribe out near Cripple
Creek, it might go a long way to gaining more trust and cooperation
between us. If we’re called out we could send a Native Deputy
with one of our regular deputies to handle the call.”
“Sounds like a
good plan to me.” allowed the Chief.
“Do you have a
man you could recommend from your tribe? What about one of your
sons? I know you have two other sons besides Little Bear’s
I’ve met them. ”
I have three sons and two daughters. My next oldest boy, Douglas,
is a fine brave and he’s in need of a good job. He has a large
family, and he’s having a hard time providing for them. He
sometimes tries to hold down three jobs at once. I’m afraid he’s
gonna’ work himself to death. I try to help him when I can, but I
can’t show one child more favoritism than another. I’ve had a
hard time even letting Little Bear’s dad, John, come around me;
however, the boy made me promise I would.”
“Little Bear’s a
fine boy, Chief. I’m amazed how he’s grown and taken on a new
attitude and outlook on life. He looks upon Waco, JR, Travis, and
Lucas like they were his blood brothers. I don’t think you could
pry him away from them folks now.”
“I wouldn’t want
to, Sheriff. I prayed to the Great Spirit he would watch over
and I’m convinced he has taken him into his care. I’m happy he’s
with such good men who can be role models for him. He accepts the
fact he’s a slave, but he seems so proud to be the Goodnight’s slave,
like it’s an honor for him, — he somehow overlooks his position.
They treat him as family. I see the way Mr. Goodnight treats
him. He makes sure Little Bear and Travis are included in
everything and shares his affections with them as much as Waco.”
“I think Waco is
even stronger by sharing his dad with his slaves.” stated the
that, too, Sheriff. Waco and that Lucas boy are gonna’ be great
agree more, Chief, but I think Little Bear will be standing right
beside them. I don’t think that boy will be a slave all his
life. Tell me, Chief, what’s the difference between the Christian
God, the Muslim God and your people’s God.” asked with respect.
The old Chief
sat in his seat looking out the front window and was silent for a
answered. One God is still one. There ain’t no
difference. Man is the difference. There ain’t no father,
son and holy ghost. There is only one God, Allah, the Great
Spirit, the father of all mankind. Jesus never said he was the
son of God. He did say God was his father, but he taught us to
pray to “our” father. He included all men, not just himself, as
the son’s of God. We are no less important than the men of the
bible or Koran.”
pulled into the village compound. He recognized Douglas Tin Penny
coming out to greet them and welcome his father back. The men
talked and the sheriff urged Douglas to come to the station for an
application and a sample Civil Service test to take home with him to
study. If he passed the test the following week, the sheriff told
him he would hire him. Douglas was thrilled and couldn’t thank
Don Lassiter enough. The sheriff said his ‘goodbyes’ and
left. Doug turned to his dad and they began to walk into the
“Dad, John is
inside waiting for you.” Doug said quietly, “I didn’t
wanna’ tell you in front of the sheriff. He arrived a short while
ago and parked his truck back of the barn.”
The old man
shook his head and looked at the ground.
wants money. I hope you didn’t give him any, Son.”
“I gave him a
little, Dad,— not much. We just don’t have it to give, you know
that. I’m still as angry with him as you are for selling Little
Bear. The only reason I allowed him in the house was because you
agreed to talk with him after Little Bear made you promise. I
think he’s having problems with what he done and wants to know about
Little Bear. I didn’t know what to tell him, because you ain’t
seen him for a while.”
“He won’t find
out nothing from me. Little Bear asked me not to tell him
anything and I won’t. The boy has rejected his father. He’s
forgiven him and made me promise I would, but he doesn’t want anymore
to do with him. I support him. He told me Angus Goodnight
had been more of a dad to him this last year than John ever was.
He confided in me he looked upon Master Angus as his dad and
asked my blessing. I gave it to him. They’re very close and
Mr. Goodnight always has time for him. John’s lucky I don’t
banish him from my sight.”
The men walked
into the house. John Tin Penny was sitting on the sofa with two
Doug’s kids. They were watching some kid’s program on
T.V. He got up and went to his dad. The old Chief
held up his hand like he didn’t want body contact with him. John
Dad.” he said as he followed the old man into his study to get
away from the T.V. “It’s good to see you again.”
yeah. What is it this time? You come for money?”
“You know me,
Dad. I’m always a dollar short.”
expelled the old man as he sat in his favorite chair and grabbed for
his pipe. “Money ain’t all you’re short on.” he muttered.
“I didn’t come
to fight, Dad.”
“Why break with
tradition?” the old Chief growled at him. John Tin Penny
“You got a
point.” he allowed. “I heard you was going over to the
Goodnight ranch for a visit and I just wanted to stop by and see how
Little Bear was doing.”
“What do you
care? You gave up caring about my grandson when you sold
You never asked nobody. You sold him right at a critical
development age for the boy. He could be scared for life by what
you done to him. The only reason you’re in my house and talking
to me right now is because of him. He got down on his knees,
cried and begged me not to cast you out. He’s a bigger man than I
am, ‘at’s fer damn shore’! He’s forgiven you, but I ain’t.
I’m only tolerating you. He told me not to tell you nothing about
him and I ain’t other than to tell you he’s in good health. He’s
written you off, and I gave him my blessing. You deserve to be
written off. The truth is,
you don’t care. It’s part of your scheming to make me think you
give a damn, so you can get out of me or your brothers what you really
came after. How much this time? The sooner I give you the
money the quicker I get rid of you.”
Doug gave me a couple of bucks. ‘At’s all I need right now.
I needed a little gas money to get to a job out on the Paulson place
“How is a six
pack of beer gonna’ git you out to the Paulson place?” the old
“Look, Dad,— I’m
sorry I sold Little Bear. I didn’t know what else to do, and it
solved several problems at once. I couldn’t take care of him
after Sparrow died. He was running wild, and I needed the money.”
“You could a’
brought him to me. I couldn’t give you the money you got, but he
would a’ been cared for and loved like he was my own.”
“From what I
hear’d he ain’t doing too bad out to the Goodnight ranch. I went
to a couple of the Junior High football games, and he and the Goodnight
boy are an unbeatable team. He’s filling out and growing like a
damn weed. They gotta’ be feed’n him good. That Jessup kid
ain’t no slouch neither. The three of ‘em ran all over the other
schools. I ain’t never seen nothing like ‘em.”
“Hell, you ain’t
seen nothing yet. I’m warning you, John, you best stay away from
that boy. You done enough. Don’t be going around where he
can see you. You’re gonna’ send false messages to him. He’s
confused enough as it is, but he’s growing away from you as fast as a
comet crosses the sky. He’s taken on a new family with my
blessing. You ain’t a part of his life no more. You gave up
that right when you sold him.”
The old man took
a ten spot from his vest pocket and threw it on the floor in front of
his son’s boots.
“There,— go your
way! You got enough from me for one visit. Don’t let the
door hit chu’ in yore’ ass on the way out.”
Dad. It’s good to see you again, too. Oh, by the way, what
are you doing? Are you taking some new medication or
something? I swear you look five, maybe ten years younger than
the last time I visited.”
“Naw, just the
love of my family and the love of a wonderful grandson. You will
never know the treasure you had in that boy, and you threw it
away. You shamed me and our family. Someday you will
regret it deeply. When you do, don’t bother to come to me
for forgiveness to ease your pain. You deserve what’s coming to
you,— and it will come, John. Mark my word, it will come.”
John Tin Penny
hung his head and turned to walk out of the room. He knew his
visit with his dad was over. He was summarily dismissed. He
hugged his brother and thanked him again. The kids followed him
out to his truck to say ‘goodbye.’
in and sat down in a chair next to this dad. He didn’t say
anything. He didn’t have to. He could feel the anger, pain
and frustration pouring from his father. He could also feel the
intense love his dad had for his first born son. It was almost
palpable. His jaw was set in a manner Doug only saw when his dad
was upset with John. He never saw him look that way any other
time. Doug was sympathetic, but almost a bit embarrassed at his
dad’s overt love for John. In a way, it was as tragic as it was
amusing to Doug. He felt sorry for his old man. The Chief
puffed on his pipe trying to relax, but it was obvious it would take
him a while to lower his blood pressure. Doug knew the tobacco
would calm him.
“Can I get you
something to drink, Dad? A beer? Some iced tea?”
thanks, Son. You’re a good man, Douglas. A fine
brave. You deserve better for you and your family. I knew
something good was going to come your way soon. I’ve been hearing
voices lately, and they told me. Then the sheriff asked me about
you on the way back from the Goodnight ranch. I told him you
would make an excellent deputy for him.”
Dad. I appreciate your confidence in me. It will mean
wonderful things for me, Shadow Dancer, and the kids. I can help
you more, too.”
You and Shadow Dancer do enough for me. I only wish I could do
more for you and the kids.”
There was a long
pause between them. The old man took several long drags on his
pipe and Doug could see the redness in his face was dissipating.
“You know, Dad,—
” Doug hesitated, “I’ve always felt second to John.” he said
“You were second
to him, Son.”
“That ain’t what
I mean and you know it.” Doug smiled at his dad.
“You may have
been born second, Douglas, but you were never second in my heart.
Never mistake an old man taking your comfortable love for granted,—
taking you for second best or that I ever, for one minute, put John
above you. I know what I have in you, Son. You and your
brother never gave me no problems. You were always good
boys. The only times you got into trouble was when you didn’t
follow your own heart and let John talk you into some mischief.
Because John was always higher maintenance than the rest of you kids
and I had to work harder to keep him in line, don’t mean I love him
more,— especially now, Doug.
changed. They’ve changed dramatically. With John selling
Little Bear and all that’s happening with our country. It’s been
tough the last couple of years; however, I see hope. Through
thick and thin you and your brother have stood by me and supported
me. You and Brody have become my rocks. I ain’t been
completely honest with you, Doug. I’ve come to find out a lot of
and wonderful things I ain’t shared with you. You know,— I
never understood the parable in the Christian bible of the prodigal
son. The son who was faithful to his dad, stayed at home and
worked hard never got a feast or a fatted calf killed for him. He
had a right to be hurt and a little jealous. Trust me, I wouldn’t
kill a stringy old rooster for your brother.” the Chief chuckled.
“God help me,
Son, being a strong Chief ain’t no easy job. You don’t know how
many times I’ve wanted to fall apart, chuck it all and walk away, but I
never have. You know why, Son? You know why? Because
I knew I always had your support and love and that of your little
brother and sisters. A tree that stands alone in a storm will be
blown over and break, but a tree that stands with others to share the
strong winds will survive. Together, they will weather the
storm. It is for you, Doug, you and your little brother, I would
kill the fatted calf.”
Dad. That’s good to know. I think what John said about you
is true. You do look several years younger. You’re walking
with a little more spring in your step. I ain’t seen mother so
happy with you in a long time.” Doug smiled and raised and
eyebrow at his Dad, “What’s happening to you?”
“If’n I’s to
tell you, Doug, you wouldn’t believe me.”
“Yes, I would,
Dad. I’d believe anything you tell me, because I trust you.
I know in my heart you would never knowingly deceive me. I ain’t
never know’d ju’ to tell a lie. You just ain’t that kind a’ man.”
The old Chief
told his son everything about being aboard Captain Long’s space ship
several times. He told him Lazarus was due to come for a visit
the first weekend in June and would bring the “Long shots” with him to
administer to his sons, daughters, wives and their families. The
Chief told his son that was why he looked younger. His body was
adjusting his age accordingly to the shot he received. He could
tell it was happening. So could his wives. Douglas sat
listening to his dad with his mouth open.
“Then, the old
legends were true, Dad?” he asked in amazement.
Son. I never thought I would live to see them, but I’m thrilled
our family will see it and become a part of it. Remember, we
could never understand the last part of the legend that said the white
men from space would save our people in the final days?”
“Yes, Sir, I
remember, and my nephew is on the ground floor of all that’s happening?”
“Not only on the
ground floor, he’s become one of the movers and shakers of his new
family. He has become an honored member. I’m very proud of
Doug was quiet
for a while like he was musing something to himself.
considered there might be a greater reason behind Little Bear being
sold into slavery than just my brother’s coldheartedness?” Doug
respectfully asked his dad.
“I think about
it every day. There’s no doubt in my mind, Son. It has to
be more than coincidence. It’s almost like Joseph in the
Christian bible whose brothers sold him into slavery. He rose up
from his slavery to become a prince of Egypt. Like Joseph, Little
Bear has a big heart. He don’t hold no malice toward his dad, but
the boy is pragmatic. He grows stronger every day. The
support, respect and love he gets at the Goodnight ranch is turning him
into a strong hearted brave. While he may have forgiven his dad,
he will never allow John to hurt or reject him again.”
“When you speak
of Little Bear your heart moves to your face, Dad.” Doug smiled
at the old man. The Chief smiled back at him.
Captain Long gave me may be reversing my physical age, Son, but I still
remain an old man in my head; an old man who is a grandfather several
times over and is proud of each and everyone of his
grandchildren. Each will bring to me his or her own special
talent, but Little Bear— ”
“He’s sort of
filled the gap in your heart John left. He’s becoming the son you
always wanted John to be.”
The old man
smiled to himself and nodded to his son as the blew out a relaxed puff
of smoke from his pipe.
“John has no
idea what he gave up,— what it cost him, or what it will cost
him. He gave up a wealth far greater than the worth of money
which can only bring you pleasure for the moment. When it’s gone,
so is your pleasure, but the love, trust and respect of a beloved son
will bring you more wealth than all treasures on Earth. The worst
part is,— I can’t tell John. He must never know; however, I have
a feeling it’s like everything else in life. What goes around,
comes around, but when it comes around again to John, it will be too
late. There is great sadness in my heart for him and our loss.”
Dad. Thanks for sharing that with me. It makes me feel more
important in your eyes.”
you are important in my eyes, Son. You have become my right arm
and my grand children are the light of my older
“Then is this
new job offer a direct result of my nephew and you?”
“Yes, but you
must ask yourself the same question. Was it by chance or good
fortune you’ve been offered this job? I think not. There is
more at play here. You and your family will become a part of a
greater family. The sheriff will become your employer and boss,
but he and his family are also a part of our family.”
this is bigger than I thought.”
Doug. We will be drawn into action and trust with these men as
time goes on. We are living in dangerous, but wonderful times,
Son. We will be witnesses to the final days of this planet.”
* * * * * * *
The days began
to get warmer and the boys were looking forward to the summer.
Their lives had become much fuller with the things they were learning
and, of which, they were becoming a part. Waco, Travis and Little
Bear were still visiting the Kryscells once a week. They looked
forward to their times laying in front of the beautiful crystals as
they sang back and forth to each other. The Kryscellians were
much taken with the three young men and were transferring the boy’s
accumulated knowledge to their protege, Lucas. Lazarus had no
doubt Lucas would be ready for the school year in the fall. He
was a little concerned the teachers and administration would find out
just how intelligent and knowledgeable Lucas had become. He was
also concerned about Lucas becoming bored.
It was hard for
Waco and his slaves. They had learned so much it was difficult
not to showoff in class. Waco did a couple of times and was
quickly reminded and respectfully rebuked by his compatriots. If
they must play it “cool” so should he. Lazarus grilled it into
them it was important to appear to the general public as normal as
possible. Most of the time the boys were quiet and attentive in
class. They rarely volunteered to answer a question unless the
teacher would purposely call on them. Then they would always have
the correct answer with the least amount of verbiage.
The first couple
of months, Waco and Travis spent extra time with Little Bear getting
him caught up with them, but once he did he quickly learned to paddle
his own canoe. He was ingesting knowledge at a tremendous
rate. A couple of the teachers seemed to revel in calling on him
when no one else in the class knew the answer to a difficult
question. Little Bear would slouch in his seat and hide behind
the student in front of him with his head down to try not to make eye
contact with the teacher. It never worked. They would call
on him anyway.
he would cringe, “what is the answer, please?” the teacher would
asked like he or she knew beyond a doubt he would know.
would always give the correct answer. It rarely happened, but if
he didn’t have the answer, he reached out in panic to his brothers and
one or the other would save his bacon. The teacher would then
beam at him with pride and smile.
someone in this class is paying attention.” the teacher would
admonish the rest of their class, “Thank you, Little Bear, for your
correct answer. It’s a comfort to know when I draw a blank with
the rest of my students, one of the Goodnight men will know the
answer. Thank you, gentlemen, you make teaching a pleasure.”
It was a subtle
put-down to the rest of the teacher’s students, but it was not without
it’s implied prejudices. It said to the other students, “Even a
humble slave is smarter than you.” As innocent as the teacher
might have meant the implied complement it didn’t set well with the
rest of the students who considered themselves above a common
slave. There was always grunts and groans around the room and bad
looks thrown the boy’s way accentuated by a few choice derogatory
comments under their breath.
At the beginning
of school, Waco made sure the three of them had classes together so he
could keep an eye on Travis and Little Bear in case there was trouble;
however, at the rate Travis and Little Bear were growing, Waco’s fears
for them being bullied were fast receding. He was sure they could
take care of themselves, but there was still the stigma they were
slaves and couldn’t fight back under any circumstances. They made
an easy target for bigoted bullies.
had a circle of established friends and was more easily accepted as
Waco’s personal slave. It took a while for Little Bear to be
accepted; however, after the winning football season he was one of the
team’s best player, he began to gain status and be included with Waco
and Travis. Some of the students didn’t want to at first, but
they quickly found out if they wanted to be a part of Waco’s circle of
friends, which became the A-list in crowd, they would have to
‘make-nice’ with Travis and Little Bear.
It was easier
for Travis than it was Little Bear. Travis had always been a
slave, but Little Bear was still adjusting. Travis lived with
little put-downs daily, but learned to let them slide. He was
happy and thrilled for the first time since the first grade he wasn’t
being picked on or beaten up a couple of times a week. Since he
became Waco’s slave his life was considerably better. Waco tried
best to make sure Little Bear’s transition was as easy as possible
under the circumstances.
several of Travis’ horror stories how he was treated when Waco wasn’t
there to protect him, Little Bear decided he had it pretty good.
He would learn to cope with the small slights. Waco was very
aware and lectured Travis and Little Bear, while they may be
slaves, they were also his brothers. United and together there
was nothing they couldn’t overcome. He would also remind them
they might have two more brothers in the fall. The boys would
smile at him in anticipation.
All the students
knew what personal body slaves were for,— or a least they thought they
did, and naturally, it was always the idea they were for their master’s
sexual pleasure that most fascinated them. Of course, they were
all titillated by the prospects, but tried to act disgusted and above
such. The subject was rarely discussed in front of girls or
women. They knew and probably discussed it among themselves, but
it was considered in bad taste for men to talk about such things in
considered rude and an uncomfortable topic of conversation among women
was considered par for the course among the boys and men. The
boys were the worst. Even though they were on the same team and
played just as hard at winning as the free boys, Travis and Little Bear
were always being subjected to suggestive comments. Waco never
coached his slaves how to cope or answer. After listening to
Travis relate to the boys about his role as Waco’s slave, Little Bear
quickly adopted his attitude and ran with it.
“Hell!” one of
the boy would exclaim, “We ain’t got us even one body slave to take
care of us. How is it Waco’s gits two? That don’t seem fair
to me. Does z’at seem fair to you, Little Bear?”
“Yes, Sir.” he
would show the boy proper respect, “Even though he’s captain of our
team, he’s your teammate, you shower with him every day, but you must
not know our master very well. He’s a man of considerable passion
and needs. I have no doubt, he could probably take care of a
couple more slaves if’n he’s a mind to and keep smiles on all their
faces. He also happens to be the best. I ain’t never left
his bed when I weren’t fully satisfied.”
responded a couple of the boys.
The other boys
laughed and hooted at the boy who asked the stupid question and got
more than he counted on. Travis would usually come to Little
Bear’s aid and support his comment. Waco would just grin real big
and wink at his slaves. There was more than a little bit of envy
from the boys, but it wasn’t directed toward Waco. They were
jealous of Travis and Little Bear. Secretly, several of the boys
wished they could be Waco’s slave.
* * * * * * *
May came and the
second week Arlen began to feel a lot of activity in his abdomen
area. The twins were getting restless and seemed to sense their
birth was immanent. The gathering of the family was encouraged,
and all males were present. Several of the females were a bit
upset they couldn’t be present at the first-birth, but it was politely
explained to them it was a male celebration in Volgoron culture.
Such a lame excuse didn’t go over very well with the modern day women,
free or slave, but they consoled each other with men needing to feel
important among themselves about such things.
the woman who most wanted to be included was Ida Mae. She was
quickly overcoming her conservative way of looking at things.
Since Lazarus came to the ranch and saved her beloved companion she
became more curious about what greater wonders life and the universe
had to offer. Simply put, she began to ask questions. Her
curiosity was overcoming her reticence. Ida Mae began to see a
larger picture outside her own little world and began to marvel at the
greatness of it all. Rather than try to cram it into her small
value system, she decided to expand her way of thinking to encompass
the flow of new information. The surest death of a conservative
comes with a volley of knowledge.
there including the Trong-Fieldings and several of Garron and Strom’s
family members. They were cleaned up for the occasion and looking
good. The new birth of a bairn was certainly cause enough for
celebration, but the birth of two from a single proto-infant was an
unheard of occurrence. No one could remember another duplicate
birth within their memory range going back thousands of years; however,
the night before Arlen was to give birth, the winds of consciousness
spoke to Waco of two great Volgoron warriors who were never defeated in
battle, by the ancient names of Casitor and Pollixum.
forward from the depths of time and asked to be considered for
embedding within the Long-Jones twins. The elders or keepers of
time approved their request but would only allow it with parental
approval and the agreement of the bairns themselves. By the age
of their first birth they would be developed enough to make that
decision. The elders urged the parents, Arlen and Lazarus, to be
sure of their decision as it would be irreversible. Waco went on
to explained to an amazed Arlen, Lazarus and several other family
members their life-force would be commingled with the
twins, but the boys would develop their own personalities as they
grew. The ancient warriors understood the greatness of the time
period the boys would be living through and felt they could contribute
their knowledge and experience.
Arlen was all
for it; Lazarus, not so much. He was concerned because the hero
warriors of old were Volgorons, and he wondered if there would be a
conflict between the life-forces of the species. Waco assured him
there wouldn’t be. They boys would have certain capabilities from
birth that ordinary human infants wouldn’t, but they would be able to
control them to appear as normal human children as the grew.
concern was if the boys, themselves, were contacted. Waco smiled
and reassured Lazarus he had done that himself, and it could be
by the Kryscellians. Since the Kryscellians were there in Ox’s
stateroom on the Bandersnatch they began to glow more brightly in
response to Waco’s comment. Lazarus walked over to the case where
they resided and spoke to them.
“Okay, we have
all the ‘aye’ votes, but I want to know what you folks think about this
request? Do you have knowledge of them? Are they good
life-forces? Do you see any problems?”
“We have known
them for centuries, Captain Long. They were truly heros on their
world and their legend spread throughout the universe. Even your
mythological history records their exploits and bravery. They
were kept continuous within the memory of their race until most of the
Volgoron were wiped out. There were only three survivors of that
dreadful battle, your son, Garron, whom you rescued and relocated here,
and two other bairns located on other worlds similar to Earth.
Garron should have their memories within him. He just never has
realized them as such.
So it will be
with your sons. Casitor and Pollixum will remain as a distant
memory of a greater knowledge base they can draw upon in times of
need. The boys can only communicate with them if they want to and
request them to come forward. They cannot take over the boy’s
personalities. The boys will develop normally. They will
just have some secrets of the Volgoron race humans don’t have.”
“How will we
know which is which?” Lazarus asked.
be born first. He has only one small difference on his body to
distinguish him from Casitor. He will have a small birthmark on
his navel where he gave birth to his brother. The creation of
Casitor was not random, Captain. It could never have happened by
chance. The odds of it occurring naturally are three-hundred and
ninety-eight billion to one.
ages ago, Angus Jubilation wanted a brother. Since you deposited
more genetic material within your mate the evening of his creation, he
had all he needed to divide his life-force and create his
brother. He didn’t do so without permission. He petitioned
the elders and keepers and they approved his request. When the
brothers, Casitor and Pollixum heard about what Angus had done they
became curious and found the boys worthy.”
“What’s in it
for Casitor and Pollixum?” Lazarus asked, “Why haven’t they come
back before now?”
“They never had
a similar opportunity arise and one would not leave the other. In
a way they will be giving up something of themselves, because they know
they will eventually cease to exist as merely Casitor and
Pollixum. Many centuries from now, once the boys have expired,
they will only exist as a memory of the twins, but the whole will be
greater than the sum of their parts. It is their first step to
immortality. It will be the boys, as well. Together they
will have taken the first step to becoming a elder, a keeper of time.”
“I guess ‘at’s
pretty damn important.”
“We feel it is,
and to quote one of your Earthmen, it never hurts to have friends in
laughed. “Will they agree to be known as Castor and
Pollux?” Lazarus asked.
Captain.” Waco answered.
“All right,— you
talked me into it. I give my approval. We will look forward
to meeting them. The names Castor and Pollux will be added to the
boy’s names. Who should we notify?
“The masters and
keepers of time recorded your words for all eternity the moment you
spoke them, Captain. Your words have gone out across the winds of
time and great jubilation is taking place within the halls of
memories. If we were by the seashore right now you would see all
manner of marine mammals leaping with joy and happiness from the waters
of their birth. They have something wonderful and new to speak
and sing about. They will be keeping close watch on the
twins. You couldn’t have named Angus Pollux Jubilation
better.” Waco spoke to him. “But I suspect you had some
unconscious push from Jubal himself.”
born to human females, whose birth could vary from months early to
weeks late, the latter taxing the woman’s psychological tolerance level
to the max, Volgoron assisted birth via human males were regular as
clockwork. The first-birth of the proto-infants could be
accurately predicted down to the minute. So it was with Angus
Pollux Jubilation and Arlen Castor Beauregard Long-Jones.
Cable, and his
assistants cleaned Arlen from top to bottom, inside and out.
Strom was bathed, powdered and fluffed for hours by the boys. He
loved it. The boys were thorough and by the time they finished
Strom was a creature of awesome power and beauty. Strom felt
empowered by what was about to happen. He understood he would
become a part of something of great historical significance and have an
important role to play the lives of the boys. He would become
second-birth father to the twins. It would give the term “born
again” a new dimension; an idea the current ultra-conservative
religion faction would probably consider an abomination.
on Garron’s huge bed with a silver sheet thrown over him which flowed
about his body like liquid metal. You could see everything
about his body outlined perfectly by the quicksilver-like
material. His appearance was as if he was laying there in the
nude; a shining robot with a human head. He didn’t seem anxious
in the least. He wasn’t particularly embarrassed by the men and
Volgorons who surrounded him to wish him well. Cable and his two
assistance made room so they could attend him at all times. Strom
came into the room followed by the boys. For such a huge creature
Strom lay down gently beside Arlen and slowly took him into his arms to
embrace him. Arlen turned to him and stroked his fur.
“My God, them
boys outdone themselves. You smell so good I could eat you right
here.” Arlen said to Strom.
laughed. He had a big booming laugh and got everyone else
“He says he
wanted to be perfect for you, Captain Jones.” Waco told
Arlen. “He insisted we take our time and do a good job.”
perfect. I couldn’t imagine a better second-birth father for our
boys than Strom. I’m glad you decided to help us out, Strom.”
forward to it and wants to know how you’re doing.”
“I’m doing fine,
big fellow.” Arlen spoke directly to Strom and looked into his
eyes. He didn’t need the boys to interpret the love he saw in
Strom’s eyes. Arlen reached up and stroked Strom’s huge face and
kissed him on the cheek. “I think it’s time, old friend.
Will someone take the cover away, please?”
Cable was right
there to assist with numerous towels he sat on the side of the bed.
“Has your water
broke, Sir?” Cable asked him as he removed the liquid silver
“I felt it break
just a minute ago. It’s should be,— ahhhh, damn, that’s a good
feeling. Oh, fuck! What a release! What a
rush!” Arlen moved a bit in Strom’s huge arms. Cable
was collecting the fluid as fast as he could. He was doing a good
job of staying on top of it.
“Oh, my God,— I
can feel the first one coming out. Come on, Son. Don’t be
afraid. We’re ready for you. Come to daddy.” Arlen
cooed as he spread his legs.
Soon a small
head emerged and out popped a small reddish-pink critter who looked
very much like a human, but he was just a little larger than a jumbo
shrimp. He was fully formed, but his eyes weren’t open yet;
however, that didn’t stop him from immediately lifting his tiny head to
get his bearing. It looked to the men like he was sniffing the
air. When he was satisfied he found the scent he was looking for,
he started crawling into the lush fur that covered Strom and headed for
one of his big tits. Angus Pollux Jubilation was born.
About that time
another head popped out, but he had a bit of a struggle getting free.
“Should I help
him?” Arlen asked Cable.
He needs to do it himself. He’ll be fine.”
Arlen Castor or ‘Bo’ as he was to become known as, freed himself from
his first-birth father and started his journey through the soft, strong
fur of his second-birth dad. Hand over hand he went grabbing
handfuls of Strom’s lush covering to pull himself along as his tiny
feet seemed to dig into the dark forest finding solid footing to help
propel him along his determined way. When he came upon the tit he
was going for, he found it was already taken by his brother. He
simply pushed his brother out of the way, took it for himself and
started nursing. The men were going crazy with laughter as they
watched the first born shake his head. They could swear they saw
a smile cross his face as he turned and made for Strom’s other teat.
Strom was in
heaven. His purpose in life was once again being
reconfirmed. Strom’s greatest calling was to be a parent.
He began to sing softly to his new bairns in his deep rumbling bass
There were no words, just a constant drone with a haunting melody
above. There was no doubt in the men’s mind it was a song as
ancient as Strom’s race and was about warriors and heros. It went
on and on and filled the room with warmth, love and gave an aura of
fierce protection. Arlen knew they chose the right Volgoron to be
the second-birth dad for their boys.
exhausted. Lazarus lay down next to him. They held each
other as they admired the twins sucking away on Strom’s huge
chest. Everyone was talking and laughing. The men were
having a good time. They laughed as they watched the tiny bodies
balloon up in size. They looked like tiny Buddha dolls as they
finally unhooked themselves from Strom’s teat, turned and headed South
on their fur covered freeway.
The twins found
the entrance to their new home and dove in together. They moved
to the bottom of Strom’s protective pouch, crawled into each others’
arms and proceeded to go to sleep,— but not before Angus licked the
slopped-over Lummox milk from his little brother’s face. They
were so tiny, Strom barely showed a bulge. With all his fur, it
wasn’t noticeable; however, in a couple of weeks it would be.
getting his second wind and was ready to party, but Cable reminded him
they had to check him out and make sure everything internally was
okay. It didn’t take long and the men were in the ship’s canteen
enjoying the food and drinks Cable, David and Jonathan set out for them
earlier. The sheriff and Lucas were dispatched to bring the women
folk on board to share in the festivities. They were agog at the
huge Volgoron men from Strom and Ox’s family.
“You mean it’s
all over?” asked Ida Mae.
“Yes, ma’am, Ms.
Ida.” spoke Scraps to her, “I watched it myself. They were about
the size of one of our pups when they’s born. Pretty little
things, they was.”
“And they’re now
in Mr. Strom’s pouch?” she asked.
took her hand and placed it against his lower abdomen.
they are in there. I can feel ‘em. Lord a’ mercy. Do
wonders ever cease?” she mused.
“When do we get
to see them?” Mary Gibbons wanted to know.
evening feeding,— if you like.” Arlen spoke up. “They
usually feed twice a day. In the mornings and again in the
evening. Since they arrived shortly before nine A.M. they’ll be
hungry again around five or six.”
“Well, I, for
one, can’t go home until I see them.” Mary announced.
neither.” said Angus’ wife.
“Make that all
of us.” said the sheriff’s wife.
“It won’t be
long before you and Ms. Gibbons go into labor.” Lazarus said to
I’m due next week and my mistress a couple of weeks after. I
wanna’ be up and on my feet to help her when she goes into labor.”
“I’m sure you
will, Elise, but don’t overdo. Mary will have all the help she
needs and then some. She’ll probably get so tired of all the fuss
she’ll demand some time alone with her baby.”
“Either one of
you had any problems in the last couple of weeks?”
Captain Long. Cable, David and Jonathan have been taking
wonderful care of us to say nothing of the Kryscells. They have
been very good and kind to Elsie and me. I hope they realize my
gratitude. I don’t think I could’ve done this without them.
They’ve managed to boost my body and spirit to the level I think I’m
going to be ready for it.”
don’t want any complications. Not for us, but for you.”
* * * * * * *
Later in the
afternoon, Strom related to Waco he could feel the twins getting
restless, and he thought they were getting hungry again. Once he
lay down they would begin their journey up his massive body to hook
themselves up to their father’s food source. Strom no sooner lay
down on Ox’s bed when the twins peaked out from his pouch and began
their journey. This time there was no competition. Arlen
headed for Strom left teat and Angus headed for the right one.
The men let the
women in front to see better. There was much ‘oooing’ and
‘aaawing’ at the twins.
tiny.” remarked Mary Gibbons.
they’re that fully developed they can crawl the length of Strom’s body
to feed. They’re amazing.” said Ida Mae.
“That’s part of
the one percent genetic information they get from beginning life as a
Volgoron proto-embryo.” Lazarus explained.
It was a scene
they would see many times in the future as the twins would remain
within Strom’s pouch for a little over nine months. Not all their
time would be spent in Strom’s pouch. After six months, they
would begin to be interested in spending more time outside, but they
would still run to the comfort and protection of their Volgoron dad’s
When a woman
gives birth to a human infant, it is seen as a very traumatic
experience for the baby. So it was with the bairns who had a
Lummox for a second-birth parent; however, the Volgorons understood
separation from their second-birth dad could be traumatic. Strom
would sleep in the same bed with the twins so they could hear his
heartbeat until they adjusted to sleeping outside his pouch.
When Arlen gave
birth to Bryce and Garron became his second-birth father, he slept with
his dad for a year and a half before he felt secure enough to sleep
alone. A Volgoron or Lummox would never limit the time his bairn
had to spend adjusting. Some took longer than others, but no
matter the time span, their dads were always there for them. Such
was the bond between bairns and their second-birth dads. As a
result, children born to a second-birth parent generally grew up to be
remarkably well adjusted, considerably more comfortable with life and
found it easier to happily adjust to their circumstances than the
majority of human children. They also found it distasteful and
unacceptable to be bellicose unless they or someone they loved were
* * * * * * *
marked off each day of her pregnancy on an old feed and grain calendar
she hung upon a nail in her kitchen. She knew the night she
conceived and was keeping close watch. She knew her time was
near. Master Long’s sons and the Kryscells told her so. She
wasn’t concerned. She was looking forward to it, for Bobby’s sake
as much as hers, but she couldn’t help admit to herself what a joy it
would be to have another child. Travis was such a joy to them,
she was hoping this new boy would bring them as much happiness.
Just knowing the boy would grow up a freeman was a major incentive for
having another baby.
Elsie went into
labor nine months to the day of her conception. She gave birth to
a handsome, eight and a half pound baby boy right on schedule.
It was an easy birth for Elsie and she was radiant as she lay in her
bed in sickbay on Master Long’s ship. She confided to Bobby she
wasn’t ready to go back to the ranch right away, because she had been
pampered and treated like a queen by Master Long’s sons. She felt
like they had become part of their family. Bobby told her he felt
the same about them. They asked Master Long’s permission to name
their boy after Cable. He told them to ask Cable.
flattered and for a few moments didn’t know what to say. His
brothers patted him on the back and congratulated him. Of course
he gave his permission and the boy’s name became Cable Gibbons.
Ranger and Mary Gibbons agreed that Bobby and Elsie’s child would be
raised free. There was no talk of inheritance rights; however,
Bobby and Elsie understood the Gibbons would retain those rights for
their son. Nevertheless, Bobby and Elsie were grateful their boy
wouldn’t have to go through life with the stigma of being a slave.
* * * * * * *
Elsie no sooner
got home and back into her routine when Mary Gibbons went into
labor. She delivered two week early, but Cable and Lazarus said
there was no problem. The baby would be fine. The boy only
weighed seven pounds but was perfectly formed and looked like his
ruggedly handsome dad. Mary came through the ordeal fine.
She was a bit more exhausted than Elsie was, but she quickly began to
regain her strength. They name the boy Ranger Gibbons Junior.
quickly after she got home with the baby. Cable insisted the new
mothers still come to sickbay once a week for checkups for them and
their babies. Elsie and Mary were grateful. Mary was
certain the Kryscellians were keeping her alive and hoped they would
for sometime. She looked forward to her regular visits with them
and they reveled in her joy of motherhood.
* * * * * * *
and Pong, assisted by David and Jonathan, to replicat several rolls of
the anti-static material. It was passed out to the ranchers and
suggested they instruct their cowboys to begin lining their hats.
Lazarus made arrangements for the ranch foremen or lead slave-cowboys
from each ranch come to a meeting to teach them the proper way to do it
so they could teach their men. Slowly but surely bunkhouses and
ranch houses were retrofitted with either corrugated tin roofs or the
entire roof was lined with anti-static material and roofed over.
By the time they finished and were inspected by a team Lazarus taught
how to check them, everyone was fairly well protected.
There was a
remarkable drop in the theft of their livestock. It wasn’t fully
understood even by Lazarus and his team. Ping suggested it might
be because they were used to probing many minds and now had very few
they could hear. It might make them suspicious; however, the boys
and a couple of men who could feel them trying to probe their brains
could block them threw them off guard. They were unaware certain
humans developed the mental capability of blocking them and could only
them read selective thoughts. It wasn’t long before they were
back to their illegal harvesting.
Hell!” exclaimed Angus, “Them assholes is nothing but a bunch of
robbers. No tell’n how many cattle was lost to them varmints over
the years. I think it’s high-time we done some’um about it.”
rancher, including Lazarus’ crew, agreed.
problem is we can’t seem to get our hands on the weapons we
need.” said Stan Brown, “Me and Al here has put out a few feelers
down Mexico way, but the borders are being watched too close to sneak
anything across. Besides we don’t know’s we could trust them men
down there to sell us what we want. They’s a pretty slimy
lot. They could take our money and tell us to go fuck
ourselves. In Mexico there ain’t a lot a gringo can do about it.”
understand. Tell you what, we got ships all over the world and a
few in some pretty hot spots. I’ll see what I can do. All
we need is one grenade launcher, and we’re in business. We can
move from ranch to ranch to discourage them. Randomness is not
something they cope with very well. Be careful you don’t contract
with one of them traveling gun selling caravans what stay one step
ahead of the government. They’ll sell you what you want all
right, but then report you to the government so the feds will turn
their heads the other way for them. In the meantime, you’re stuck
with a terrorist charge, put in a cell and they throw away the
key. You will have no trial, nothing. Our constitution
doesn’t exist anymore. The laws of Habeas Corpus which dates back
to the early thirteen hundreds was done away with by Bush the
first. You are no longer innocent until proven guilty. You
will never see your family or loved ones again.”
The men listened
to the grim words Lazarus was telling them, but they already knew the
consequences of their actions. Their kids kept them up to date
from their computers. The internet was still a freeway of
information and while the Theocons took over the internet in the U.S.
and squashed any and all anti-government dissent, technology found a
way. The other nations of the world didn’t agree with the U.S.
policy and continued to host freedom bloggers. Most of the
internet quickly became Wi-Fi and only those who subscribed to the U.S.
policy used phone or cable access anymore.
technology came to save the day. The advent of Wi-Fi (wireless
internet access from a LAN network) became the standard of the day;
however, the Local Area Networks were clumsy and didn’t overlap enough
to give continuous connection. It was okay if you were static,
but if you were mobile, breaks in service could be expected. At
first there were many complaints and the companies realized they had to
provide better to keep customers and increase volume. LAN went
WAN, World Area Network by means of satellites. Satellite cable
companies were already doing it. The business just bought out
many of the old government communications satellites and were in
problems. No matter how they tried to protect access to
non-subscribers with the most sophisticated coding devices, somewhere
in the middle of a cornfield in Nebraska, some bright twelve year old
kid would crack the code and have a illegal decoding device on the
market before the end of the week. It became a cottage industry
unto itself; however, like everything illegal, many young men and a few
women went to prison. The demand was great and the more
competition there was the lower the price for the decoding devices
became. Thus was born the great Sub-net.
limitless bandwidth to play with, hackers soon developed their own
uplink/downlink devices that created a complete clandestine netroots
platform that no one could break into unless they could get their hands
on one of their devices. The big money communications companies
lost their top engineers and technician because most of them were
liberal progressives and wound up in prison. Those who didn’t
were the mice who slowly, but surely, ate away at the system’s status
It became a
free-for-all. It created a great battleground; however, the giant
corporations, for all their money, couldn’t buy the talent to compete
with the underground. They lost. It was like a tsunami
overwhelmed them. It grew into an uncontrollable giant almost
over night and short of destroying the satellites there was nothing
they could do about it. The techs who designed the Sub-net built
in vicious protection methods for anyone who tried to tamper with
it. The greatest, most fierce battle of the Twenty-first century
was fought, not on a battlefield, but within the hearts and minds of
men. There was some blood shed. Those caught were put to death
under the charge of treason, as a government power play to frighten
those who created the Sub-net. It didn’t work. They
only succeeded in creating martyrs to the cause who would live forever
on the net. They were the true patriots of their age. They
were willing to give their lives for their beliefs.
The big money
monopolies who once controlled everything lost control of the internet,
and to the dismay of the Neocon Theocracy, it again became a free and
open platform. The anti-establishment freedom bloggers were once
again in business, and they were pissed. There was an even
greater division between wingnuts of the extreme right and the more
middle to far left of the public. Fortunately, there weren’t
nearly the number of rabid conservatives on the net as the more
moderate folks. They didn’t have the brains to figure out how to
get on the secret net, and no tech worth his salt would give them the
time of day. Nobody listened to them any more, anyway.
Their rantings and ravings were attributed to little more than
delusions of insanity; much like they are today. All they did was
extol the virtues of the takeover by the government, kiss the
Theocracy’s ass and call for the rebels to do the same. A pard
doesn’t change its spots.
It was an
exciting but dangerously grim time to live. You trusted no one,
and never let your guard down. Everyone was holding their breath
to see what would happen. There was no way the government could
monitor millions of people from receiving the free internet from
space. Most people in the U.S. were against what the Theocons
were doing, but it was with the money supplied by the large
corporations the Neocons took control of everything and they could cut
off supplies to any dissenting populace whenever they wanted in the
name of national security.
There was talk
of breaking the back of the Sub-net (Sub for subversive) by destroying
the satellites, but there was too much pressure from the rest of the
world who welcomed the U.S. back into the net because of their
knowledge and creativity. It once again became a free
marketkplace of enterprise and ideas. With a minimum of security
a citizen could feel safe expressing his opinions and ideas on the
net. It looked like, for a while, that technology, which the
conservatives always mistrusted, came through to save the day; however,
it was only to be for approximately a decade until the powers that be
decided it was necessary for national security, to destroy the
satellites and put an end to the internet. It was within the
final decade of the current history of Earth the internet blossomed and
Waco kept his
internet activity to the legal or government approved net.
Charlie paid a minimal charge for provider access to the only company
who managed to survive the forced takeover of the government,
MSM. Bill Gates had the money to buy a monopoly on net access and
it worked for a while. He contributed highly to the Theocratic
regime which was far more than he would have to pay under previous
government tax laws. Before, he had all sorts of tax loopholds
that excluded him from paying a proportionate share as compared to the
average citizen. The Theocracy demanded a tithe of twenty
percent. Microsoft paid out the ass to the Bush regime.
By that time,
most people got tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars for MS’s new
operating systems, getting little in return and later learning they
paid their money for an inferior product. Open source became the
wave of the future. Every year it became more attractive to
consumers and began to take huge bites out of Microsoft’s butt.
Combined with the strength of the Sub-net Gate’s tower finally
collapsed and to many’s glee, it happened before he kicked the
bucket. He lived to see his empire come crumbling down around
him. Well before the end was in sight, the government stepped in
and nationalized the internet. All of Gates’ fortune and
properties were confiscated by the “compassionate conservative”
regime. Gates and his family were left penniless.
Waco asked Ping
and Pong about the possibility of getting on the Sub-net. (It later
became known as the "V" net from the popular underground movie by the
same title. The logo for the V-net was the white face mask from
the movie. It became the symbol for rebellion.)
“I know it’s
against the law, but I hardly ever use the net because there’s nothing
on there I wanna’ see. There’s very little to chose from even
though there’s thousands of government approved sites. They’re
all the same.”
<< Let me
see what I can do, young master. >> replied Ping. << I’ll
need to see what technology is available for you to purchase
without causing suspicion. >>
Waco turned his
computer over to Ping and Pong for several days. After three days
they came to Waco. They had him go to a site on the standard MS
net that sold computers, parts and supplies. She pointed to a
two-hundred Gig removable memory chip which could be formatted like a
hard drive and run the system, if need be. Waco got his dad’s
permission and ordered the chip. When it arrived Ping took it to
the ship with her and kept it for one evening.
afternoon, when Waco and his posse got home from school, Ping brought
the memory stick to the big house, plugged it in the USB port and
told Waco to turn it on. Waco pushed the button and the chip took
over his computer. Ping had written a totally new operating
system from scratch to mimic the Microsoft system but provided much
more, including access to the V-net.
shit!” Exclaimed Lucas.
“Would ju’ look
at that!” exclaimed Travis.
said Little Bear.
fantastic, Ping. How can we ever thank you?” Waco asked.
already have, Master Waco. Your father and you have been most
gracious to us and anything we can do to help is our pleasure. >>
shore’ ‘nuff grateful. What are some of the benefits of your
is a tri-level encryption system that has to be activated before anyone
can use your computer; however, it is operated by the single password
you choose. No matter where you go on the regular net or V-net,
no one can hack into your system or get into it to read or change your
files. You won’t need anti-virus programs or a firewall. It
connects to both internet systems through a proxy server so you can’t
be traced. There is a random generation device that chooses a new
proxy server every time you use the net and a built in firewall that
will do permanent damage to anyone’s system who tries to find out
anything about you. Furthermore, when you detatch the chip from
the USB port, it reverts back to your old machine. When you’re
through using your computer you remove the chip and hide it were it
can’t be found in case your home is raided and the government wants to
see what you have on your computer. All they will find is your
old acceptable files on your hard drive. You’ll want to be sure
to add new things from time to time not to arouse suspicion.”
“Will it still
play all our games?”
<< It is
the same as before, except it has more things it can do in a shorter
period of time. Since it uses only highspeed memory, it doesn’t
need to slow down for information from a hard drive. It’s always
there, instantly ready. I think you will be surprised and pleased
with the speed.” >>
The boys were
already in awe at the speed of Waco’s machine. It was
incredible. Waco had some concerns about it and how his dad might
react; however, when he asked Lazarus about it, he talked with
Charlie. Lazarus assured him it was all right with Charlie and
gave his approval for him to talk with Ping and Pong. He didn’t
go behind his dad’s back. Charlie even okayed buying the memory
stick. He thought it would be a good idea to speak directly with
“You know we’ll
be breaking the law, Dad.”
“Yes, I know,
but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. The
new administration has passed so many draconian laws everyman probably
breaks one of them every day. I want you to know more about the
world outside and the real truth about what’s going on other than the
propaganda the current regime dishes out. Just be careful and use
another name when surfing. Make sure you hide the memory stick
after you finish with it. According to our ramrod, with Ping’s
program no one could ever trace you. That’s good enough for me.”
Dad. We’ll be careful, I promise.”
in and Waco went back to his posse and cruising the wonders of the
Sub-net. They spent all evening going here and there. Waco
took turns and each man had his turn at surfing. Lucas was
enthralled by it.
“Well, you know
what this means, don’t chu’?” Lazarus drawled as he grinned real
big at Charlie.
computers for the other three.” Charlie chuckled.
Lucas would never ask me for one.” Lazarus allowed, “Next month
all their birthdays come up.”
gonna’ be expensive.”
won’t. You let me take care of the computers. You git ‘em
“I couldn’t let
you do that, ramrod.”
“Hell, I want
to, Boss. Them boys has grow’d on me. It seems like we done
lived half a lifetime with ‘em in this last year. Damn, they’s
grow’n up fast. I swear they’s doubled in size. Lucas is
almost bigger than Sam. He don’t have no problem taking him out
in football. Them three of yours won every game they played.”
“Yeah, I think
Little Bear is the most remarkable one of my three. He keeps me
company some nights. I always enjoy sleeping with him, but
daymn,— he’s developing a find little body. H’it’s all a can do
to check ma’self sometimes.”
“Don’t I know
it? Lucas does the same to me.”
“You think’n on
being his first?” Charlie smiled.
it.” Lazarus smiled.
“Be the best
thing you could do for the kid, but I know you,— you won’t do nothing
until he’s sixteen.”
but he might decide he wants some other man to take him his first
time.” Lazarus said, “I already done give him my permission with
the men he’s asked about.” he added.
doubt it, ramrod. I heard him and the boys talk’n ‘bout it, and I
think he has it set in his head it’s gonna’ be you or nobody.”
to himself and chuckled.
see.” he said.
* * * * * * *
was putting up his horse for the evening. He was out riding with
his masters most of the afternoon and left the boys to work with a
slave trustee he trusted. Burt and Phil came running up to him
with Jeb and Zeke close behind. Each boy was whiter than the
next. They looked like they saw a ghost.
Boss! H’it’s Sam. He done had the table saw kick back on
him, and it cut off three of his fingers on his left hand.”
hesitated he broke out on a run. Sam was almost in shock.
The trustee managed to tear a sheet and wrap his hand up in it.
fingers?” Blake yelled.
somewhere,— on the floor.” Dan Jenkins motioned with his arm.
‘em!” Blake ordered the boys.
Soon the boys
brought him all three of Sam’s bloody fingers and Blake put them into
the pocket of his shirt.
“Burt,— you come
with me. The rest of you boys stay here. We’ll be back as
soon as we can to let you know how your brother is doing. Dan,
you stay with them. Send one of the boys up to the main house to
let our masters know what happen. Tell ‘em I’ve taken him to
Cable. They’ll understand.”
Boss.” Dan responded.
Burt got on one
side of Sam and Blake got on the other. They slowly walked him
down to the old barn. Blake looked at Sam and tears were
streaming down his face, but he wasn’t crying. He afraid and
“Listen to me,
Sam! Do you trust your boss?”
“Yes, Sir.” Sam
managed to get out, “You know I do, Sir.”
be all right, Sam. I’m gonna’ take you to them angel-men, and
they’ll put yore’ fingers back on for you. You ain’t gonna’ lose
yore’ fingers. Understand, Son?”
“Yes, Sir, but I
don’t see how.”
none! You don’t have to see how, Sam. Damn it! Just
trust me, boy!” Blake shouted at him.
Boss. I trust you more’n anybody.”
They got to the
back of the barn. Sam and Burt didn’t know what to think.
Blake hit a post three times with his fist, and a portal sprang
up. Burt and Sam stepped back and gasped.
Burt. “What the hell is ‘zat?” he demanded.
“It’s a portal,—
a gate to another place. Step through and your at a
hospital. Trust me! Now, let’s get him through the gate,
“You mean walk
through that thing?”
what I mean. You been through it twice already ‘cept’n you’s
knocked out. Don’t have time to knock you out so do as I say and
let’s walk through together.”
Burt put his arm
back around his brother and the three men walked through the gate
into sickbay on the Bandersnatch.
“Wow!” said Burt.
“Oh, my!” said a
naked Cable, “What have you done, Sam?” he asked gently walking
over to take Sam’s wounded hand in his. Cable turned and
pressed a button. “David! Jonathan,— drop what you’re doing
and get to sickbay. We got us a cowboy with three missing
fingers. You bring his fingers with you, Mr. Blake?”
they’s in my pocket.”
Jonathan came in and took Sam’s fingers away from Blake to wash and
clean them. Cable had a hypo and headed for Sam’s shoulder.
“I’m gonna’ give
you a shot that will relax you, Sam, so you’re not so frightened.
It isn’t as much as you had the last time you visit us. We need
you awake to move your fingers after we reattach them.”
Cable pushed up
his Western shirt, rubbed the area with alcohol and gave him the
shot. Sam started to relax almost immediately. Burt moved
away and stood next to Blake.
“This is where
you brought us, ain’t it? I remember. Where are we?”
“In sickbay, on
board a ship, Burt. A very big ship.”
ocean?” he asked. He didn’t feel any movement.
“Not that kind
of ship, Son.” Cable smiled at him as he unwrapped Sam’s
hand. Burt didn’t ask more.
Won’t be much problem. We’ll get you cleaned up and then reattach
them. Now, get up in this chair, Sam, and relax. Here, I’m
gonna’ adjust it so you lay back and can’t watch what we’re
doing.” Cable laid him back and Sam seemed to relax almost to the
point of going to sleep.
“I think he’s
about to pass out, Mr. Cable.” Blake said.
right if he does. We can wake him when we need him. I have
to give him several shots to deaden the area anyway. He can still
move his fingers. They’ll just feel like they’re asleep.”
About that time
another portal sprang up and Charlie and Lazarus came through followed
by Waco, Travis, Little Bear and Lucas.
“How is he,
Son?” Lazarus asked Cable.
than anything. I got him settled down and we’re about to start
reattaching his fingers.”
Master Lazarus, I just reacted. I didn’t know what else to
do.” said Blake.
Son! No apology necessary. You done the right thing.
Howdy, Burt, welcome to the Bandersnatch.” Lazarus stuck out his
hand. Burt didn’t know what to do. He knew at that moment
Lazarus was his Master. He looked to Blake for some clue.
Blake smiled and nodded for him to take Lazarus’ hand. Burt took
it and shook it, then he dropped to his knees and kissed each of
Lazarus’ dusty cowboy boots.
“Come to my
arms, Son, and share your love with your Master.”
Burt was in
Lazarus arms in an instant. He got tears in his eyes and Lazarus
hugged him and gave him a peck on his cheek.
“Me and my
brothers belong to you, Master Lazarus?”
you’re my slaves. I’ve contracted with Master’s Hoot and Cotton
to train you men and keep you for awhile, then I’ll decide what to do
Master. Thank you, Master Long.”
The men turned
their attention to Cable who was swiftly working with David and
Jonathan over Sam’s sterilized hand. They used some kind of
biological glue that joined flesh to flesh. When activated by an
ozone emitter it formed a near permanent bond. They attached each
finger, one by one, and before they cemented them onto Sam’s hand they
made him move each one. It wasn’t easy for him but he
managed. Then cable took the small blowgun, it looked like a
hair-dryer, and began to blow the ozone, created by a black light
inside the gun, onto Sam’s hand.
“I can feel it
bonding, Sir.” Sam said groggily.
that’s what we want.”
“You men shore’
are pretty.” Sam smiled. Cable, David and Jonathan laughed.
“Here, Son, I’ll
have none of that. The very idea. Put’n a move on my
sons.” Lazarus walked over to him and smiled at Sam. Sam
knew he was only kidding.
sedative, Mater Long.” he grinned.
Lazarus replied, “I have a hard time keeping my hands off a’ them
myself.” he laughed and got a smile out of Sam. “Feeling a little
better, Son?” Lazarus inquired.
“A lot better,
Sir. Sorry I’m such a klutz.” he smiled, “but I ain’t sorry
I got to see this place and you again, and them beautiful naked
men.” Sam started getting an erection.
“Do you remember
the crystals what sang to you before?”
We all do. Were they real?”
“Yes, they were,
Sam. Very real. They’re another life form from you and
me. Where we’re carbon based life forms they’re a silicon based
life form. They are peaceful and generous. They love
healing carbon life forms and learning about folks more mobile than
themselves. However, Waco and his posse are working on something
to make them more mobile. We’re gonna’ take you to them in a few
minutes, and they’ll heal your hand the rest of the way. They’ll
sing to you again and since you’ll be awake this time you can sing back
to them. Tell them about yourself.”
“I can’t sing
worth a damn, Sir.” Sam said.
you.” Lazarus smiled at him.
over to Burt hugged him and kissed him on the cheek just as Lazarus had
“Welcome to the
Bandersnatch, Burt. I guess now you know you’re my master’s
slave. I suppose that sort of makes us slave-brothers.”
“Yeah, I guess
it does at that. Is my brother gonna’ be okay.”
“Sure, go on
over there and look. They put his fingers back on. He can
Lucas took Burt
by the arm and led him to Sam.
little brother.” Burt asked with tears in his eyes.
“I think so,
bro. I got me fingers back.”
Sam slowly moved
them so Burt could see.
amazing! Oh, I’m sorry, Master Lazarus.” Burt said.
right, Son, it is pretty fuck’n amazing.” he laughed, “Ma’ boys
do good work. I’m down right proud of ‘em.” Lazarus patted
Cable on his butt. Cable smiled at him.
what sang to us,— are they aliens, Master Long?”
“Depends on what
you call aliens, Burt. To me they’re good friends who just happen
to be made out of different stuff from us. Did they make you feel
like you were alien when they sang to you?”
“Naw, Sir, not
at all. They took me into their,— I wanna’ say ‘hearts,’ but I
don’t know if they got hearts.”
“They don’t, but
they understand the concept.”
sprang up and Hoot and Cotton came through. Their eyes were wide
expecting the worse. Instead everyone was relaxed and Sam seemed
to be feeling pretty good. He was smiling and talking with his
gentlemen. You should be proud of your boss-man there. He
done the right thing. Them boys is gonna’ need to know what’s
what soon anyway.” Lazarus said.
“You did do the
right thing, Son. Proud of you. Proud of you for lending a
nothing, Master Hoot. Glad to do it. Sam’s ma’ brother,
“Do you wanna’
go with Sam to see the Kryscellians, Burt? They’d love to see you
again. They ask about you and your bothers all the time.”
“I think I’d
like that, Master Long.”
helping Sam with his clothes. He didn’t stop until he had Sam
naked. Sam was so relaxed he didn’t give a shit. He kept a
big smile on his face. David brought in an antigrav gurney and
helped Sam on it. They threw one of the silver metallic sheets
over Sam. It didn’t hide anything but it was warm. Burt’s
eyes got real big.
that damn thing up?” Burt asked without thinking.
generator, Son.” Lazarus told him.
minute. Other life forms,— anti-gravity,— a liquid metal sheet,—
we ain’t aboard no ordinary ship, are we? This is a space
ship of some kind.”
brother.” Waco answered. “A big ‘un, too.”
“But how, —
why,— what for?” Burt asked.
“You’ll find out
soon enough. Nothing to be afraid of. You’re safer here
than any place on this planet, Son.” added Charlie.
right.” added Little Bear, “Ain’t nothing to fear ‘round
here.” he smiled.
“You ready to
visit the Kryscellians, Son?” Cable asked Burt.
I’ll go with ma’ brother.”
clothes off.” Cable told him.
“In front of all
Blake in a stern voice. Burt responded immediately and started
taking off his boots. He didn’t stop until he had everything
off. David brought in another anti-grav gurney and signaled for
Burt to get on it. Burt complied and they threw a liquid sheet
We’re off to see the Wizards!” laughed Lazarus.
attention to the man behind the curtains.” instructed Travis.
The men laughed,
“Good one, Travis!” said Charlie and his put his arm around him and
pulled him close.
Sam’s gurney and David pushed the other. They passed through
another portal and were in Ox’s stateroom. The men placed the
boy’s gurneys in front of the case where the Kryscells were and removed
the sheets. They were completely nude laying side by side, but it was
warm and comfortable in the room. The Kryscells immediately
started glowing and the boys could feel their healing rays begin to
pierce their bodies. Burt reached over and took Sam’s good hand
to hold. Sam’s damaged hand was next to the Kryscells.
“We’ll be back
in about an hour. You gentlemen enjoy your visit with the
Kryscellians. Just remember to let yourself go and experience the
joy and ecstacy they can bring you.” instructed Cable.
left. Sam and Burt were alone. Sam looked over to Burt and
squeezed his hand gently.
“I’m glad you
decided to come with me, brother.” he said.
“Me too, I
didn’t want you to have all the fun.” Burt giggled.
now! I think the overture is about to start.” Sam smiled.
* * * * * * *
The men retired
to the ships forward mess which was Captain Long’s private mess.
Cable stayed behind to clean up the infirmary and to be close to the
boys in case they needed anything. He had three robocams on each
boy at all times. David and Jonathan accompanied the men to the
Captain’s mess and served them coffee and treats.
“Well, I guess
you got some explaining to do when you get back.” Hoot said to
“You want me to
tell them everything, Master Long?”
“May as well,
they’re gonna’ be a part of everything so they may as well get used to
the idea.” allowed Lazarus. “Besides, it might make them
see a larger picture of how and why they came to be slaves. Might
make them feel more comfortable with their lot in life right now.”
Master Long. They been doing all right though. I don’t
think any of them boys is mean spirited. I think they developed a
pack mentality. Whatever their big brother done, they done.
Since they been working with me, they’re developing their own
personalities. They don’t always do what their big brother tells
them no more. They’re developing morals and sense of right
and wrong for themselves. I’ll be honest with you men, I was
expecting much worse. I thought it was gonna’ be a big
challenge. So far it’s been a cakewalk. Sometimes I feel
like I ain’t earn’n my keep.” Blake said sheepishly.
“Yes, you are,
Son. Don’t never think that. You’re doing jes’ fine.
Hoot and Cotton tells me you’re way ahead of schedule on the new slave
building. It tells me them boys is learning a few things and
putting ‘em to good use. You might wanna’ teach ‘em a few more
safety tips.” Lazarus smiled.
will. We’re gonna’ have a safety drill every morning.”
boys, you know they’re gonna’ wanna’ ride in the space ship.”
“I don’t mind;
however, I can’t take the Bandersnatch out again. You remember
the trouble we caused the last time we done it. I can take them
out in one of the smaller ships. They’re invisible to Earth
technology and the aliens, too. They’re way beyond their
technology. Them little ships are almost invincible.”
“Are they space
worthy?” Asked Hoot.
“You were in the
Navy, weren’t you, Son?” Lazarus laughed at Hoot’s question.
“Yes, they’ll go
anywhere in the solar system and back with no problem. They’re
faster than this old tub, too. I don’t mean to impugn me darlin’
Bandersnatch. She’s a good old ship and we keep her in tip top
condition. What say we tell the boys, if they work hard and do a
good job, we’ll have a celebration here on the Bandersnatch when they
finish the slave quarters? That should be around the end of the
summer. It will be a good time for all of us.”
“Sounds good to
us.” agreed the rest of the men.
* * * * * * *
The boys visit
with the Kryscellians was nothing like the other times. This was
far different and much more special. Sam and Burt not only
learned to sing back to the Kryscells, they sung in a beautiful harmony
that seemed to emanate from the bottom of their souls. They told
of their brothers and having been sold into slavery. They told
them about their youngest brother, how bad they felt they mistreated
him and how he was sold for dog food.
were united in their sincere comfort for the boys and told them not to
feel bad because they had become Master Long’s slaves. They had
no idea what they were getting into, and it was no accident they became
the Captain’s slaves. They admonished them to work hard and
please their master but above all be faithful and loyal to him.
More would be revealed to them as time went by.
By the time
Cable came for the boys they were exhausted. They were like two
rag dolls he had to help clothe. Burt just couldn’t seem to get
himself together. Sam had the look of a wall eyed calf and kept
holding his completely healed hand up to wiggle his fingers. He
would show it to Burt for the umpteenth time and shake his head in
Cable took the
boys through yet another portal, and they arrived in the Captain’s
mess. They were received with hugs and smiles. They were
given a cup of coffee and some sweet treats.
return to the ranch or would you like to spend a night in sickbay,
Son?” Lazarus asked Sam.
“I’d love to
stay with them men for a night, Captain Long; however, I think my
brothers will be worried about me. I better go back to the ranch
with my brother and boss. We got a lot to tell them.”
and Jonathan are aliens, too, ain’t they, Captain Long?” Burt
asked quietly. The other men were quiet. Cable looked at
him and smiled.
“No, Son, they
ain’t. They’re my sons. I had them built to my
specifications, and they’ve been with me for a long time. I love
them and they love me. I don’t know’s I could do without
them. They done took care of your little brother. Look at
his hand. You don’t even see a scar. They are different
from us but not really. They are bio-mechanical men with all the
attributes you and I have; except, they’re a bit more perfect.”
“You had them
“Yes, Burt, in a
galaxy far far away. They have feelings. They can
love. They can have sex. They can be hurt, just like you
and me. They are sentient creatures, and I’m proud to call them
“I would be
proud to call them my friends.” answered Burt.
“We are your
friends, Burt.” Cable told him.
* * * * * * *
The time came to
say ‘goodbye.’ Burt and Sam found it difficult to say goodbye to
Cable, David and Jonathan. They were even more impressed when the
perfect men shed a few tears at their parting. Lazarus and his
men parted through their portal and Hoot, Cotton, Blake and the boys
exited through the other back to their barn. Hoot and Cotton left
it up to Blake what he would tell them. They were his
responsibility and they would go along with as little or as much as he
felt they needed to know.
couldn’t believe his fingers were back on his hand, and it looked like
had never been damaged. They were no stitch marks or scars.
Sam demonstrated his hand to them and they each had to inspect
it. They wanted to know every detail. Blake let them stay
up a little longer than usual. They didn’t know whether to
believe the wondrous things they observed; however, they remembered the
mystical, almost holy time they had aboard the ship. Blake backed
up Sam and Burt so the boys had to accept what they were telling them.
tell them much that night except they were a part of something far
greater than they could imagine. They were on the threshold of
becoming children of the stars.
End of Chapter
21 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2006 ~