joined the boys, dogs and Ox in the ICU room to take another look at
Blue and his vitals. He saw his eyes open and a tear running down
“Ah, Blue, it
would seem your human reptilian brain stem is producing some moisture
in your eyes.” he said quietly as he took a tissue and wiped away
his tears. Waco, Lucas, Ox and even Scraps laughed.
“He said it
wasn’t his reptilian brain stem, it was his own overwhelming emotions
at seeing for the first time without having to link with another brain
to experience it.” Waco told Captain Jones.
Arlen paused for
a moment. “That’s good, Blue! No, that’s great! Have
you tried making your mouth move? I’ve seen you move your head
They watched as
Blue’s mouth opened and closed again, but nothing came out but escaping
right. You’ll learn. It’s gonna’ take time. You’re
doing just fine. Seems like you’re going to have a roommate for a
“He says he
understands. He wants to know about Keekepata?” Waco told
about through fixing her up. It’s a good thing she passed
out. Cable wasn’t sure what it might take to anesthetize
her. He’s done a first rate, remarkable job of repairing the
damage to her. We know little about her biology and will have to
download information from the Visallian’s computer banks about her
physiology, tolerances and biology. It would also be helpful to
know what she eats, and what it will take to keep her healthy.
I’ll get on that immediately. It would help if I had Ping here to
establish communications with Captain Vinceeth. I’m surprised
they haven’t discovered her missing. Scraps, would you and Happy
be so kind as to go to the other barn and get Ping for us? I
think it’s enough of an emergency we should have her participation.”
Jones. Well be back in a jiffy.” Scraps and Happy, once again,
sped off through the portal to the barn. A short while later they
returned to the ship with Ping. Ping took one look as Keekepata
and appeared gravely concerned. Arlen expressed his concern for
when she woke up she would be in terrible pain. Ping smiled
sweetly and shook her head, ‘no.’
“Ping says she
will keep her sedated, Captain Jones. She can produce a pheromone
which will induce a deep sleep for her. It will be easier on her
system than chemicals. After a while, she can provide her with
another pheremone which will block most of her major pain
centers. She doesn’t want to take away all pain or she will think
she’s completely healed and might try to fly. As long as there’s
a modicum of pain, she won’t do something stupid.” Lucas told
leave that to you, Ping. In the meantime, we’ll try to establish
communication with Captain Vinceeth. Waco or I should probably
explain what happened and ask his input. He’s welcome to come
here or we can meet him at coordinates of his convenience.”
his head into the ICU.
“Cable asked me
to tell you he’s ready to move Keekepata to a bed.”
“That’s fine we
have an extra bed in here.”
“He knows, but
he needs to talk with you, Waco and Lucas about it.”
The men walked
back into the surgery area.
Cable?” Arlen asked.
“Unless we want
Captain Long walking in here and finding our unusual patients you might
want to consider moving them to one of the unused storage areas.
For that we’ll need your help. We have to set up a sterile area
with, perhaps, a portal from the ICU room to there. As long as
Captain Long doesn’t know about the portal the boys secret plans will
be safe until they’re ready to present them to him and Master Charlie.”
“Sounds like a
plan. Is there a place we can move them temporarily until we have
a little more time to prepare an adequate storage vault.”
about that four room hospital in the small New Mexico town we brought
on board ship before we settled here in the blue mountains?
There’s a country doctor and he has a mate who’s his male nurse
attendant. We wouldn’t have any problem there. We can
explain to them why we need to use their facilities for a while.
They wouldn’t have any problems with a couple of unusual
patients.” David declared.
“I remember that
place. We rescued about eight hundred people from being totally
wiped out from a huge meteor that fell on the town. It was so
dark it was never picked up by astronomers. Nothing was left but
a huge crater. There was no trace of the town. Of course we
lifted it about two hours before the meteor hit. What was the
name of it?”
Mexico. It’s on one of the racks in the storage area on ‘B’
deck.” Jonathan said.
“That would be
perfect. We can open a gate from the surgery to their
surgery. We just checked it out a month ago and took them medical
supplies. Captain Long met with the town people. Everything
seemed to be going well. They had a few questions, but no
complaints. Said they were glad to be away from the rest of the
country. They were happy. Captain Long isn’t scheduled to
visit again for a year unless they have problems; however, it’s a quiet
little place, I don’t foresee that happening. How does that
sound, Captain Jones?” Cable asked.
Let’s do it. Bring Keekepata and place her alongside Blue, cover
her well and while we’re trying to contact Captain Vinceeth you men set
up the portal. Ping, before we go to the bridge you better go in
there and do your thing for her. Do we need to vacate or will it
effect us?” Arlen asked Ping.
“She says we
should go to the bridge. It won’t effect Cable, David or
Jonathan. They can just close the door to Blue’s room. It
causes an air tight seal, and they can evacuate the air from the
surgery immediately afterward. Then she’ll join us on the bridge.”
“Fine, we’re on
our way. Come men, let’s leave our medical staff and Ping to
finish up here.” Captain Jones ordered.
When the men got
to the bridge there were a couple of androids on duty. They
looked up from the communications area. There was a transmission
coming in. It was from Captain Vinceeth. They were looking
at it on a small screen.
“Put it up on
the holoscreen, Six.” Captain Jones ordered the android with the large
‘6’ on his uniform. He flipped a switch and a three
dimensional holographic image of Captain Vinceeth appeared on the
holoscreen. The transmission had been going for sometime.
“. . . and
we’ve looked everywhere. We can’t find her. We’re hoping
she might have done something impulsive and tried to stowaway on your
ship, Captain Goodnight. She’s very young by Shushonni standards
and has a tendency to be foolishly impulsive. I know she was
taken with you, and she knew how I felt about you. She may have
gotten mixed signals and wanted an adventure. We’re never quite sure
with our young Shushonni. They go through a rebellious period just
before they mature.”
“Can you set up
a link, six?” Arlen asked the android.
“Stand on the
platform over there.” the android spoke in a cold metallic voice.
Waco. He’s your friend.”
“God, I hate to
be the one to tell him.” Waco moaned.
“It’s part of
being a leader, Son. If you start young, it will be easier for
you as you grow older. Trust me.”
Sir.” Waco didn’t argue as he headed for the platform and stood
waiting. The android flipped another switch and a red light came
on over what Waco assumed was the holocamera. The android pointed
to him they were transmitting.
Vinceeth. Forgive me, Sir. I just got to the bridge of our
main ship and didn’t have time to hear all your transmission.
We’re recording, and I will review the first part later; however, I’ve
heard enough to know your reason for communicating. We have
goodness! We’ve torn up my ship looking for her and interviewed
everyone. Is she all right? Is she there with you, Captain
She’s in our infirmary. Our best guess is she somehow stowed away
on the Buttercup and managed to elude everyone. She was badly
injured by an animal on our ranch. I will give you the complete
details later, but two of our best surgeons have mended her wounds, and
she’s in our Intensive Care Unit resting. She’s been sedated so
she won’t be moving about. She needs to rest and begin healing.”
Her parents will be distressed. Is there anything we can do?”
“Yes, we need
you to download all information you have about the biology, physiology,
care and feeding of a young Shushonni female. Any information you
can provide us as to chemical or natural medications and dosages which
will aid in healing or sedation will be most helpful. We also
need to know what a healthy diet would be for a Shushonni. We
don’t even know what they eat.
We would like to
offer our assistance to you in any way we can, Captain. If you
would like us to bring Keekepata to you at any coordinates most
convenient for you we will be happy to oblige. If you wish to
come here, personally, to get her we will be happy to receive
you. Whatever you think is best for you and Keekepata is what we
“I never doubted
you would be that kind of man, Captain Waco. I will have our
physicians download all information they think pertinent for the
medical care and healing of a Shushonni. We will provide you with
the other information you requested as well. I don’t know exactly
what we will do right now. I need to discuss this with
Keekepata’s parents and family and get back to you. Will you be
available for the rest of the night?”
“I won’t leave
her side until I’ve heard from you, Captain Vinceeth. Me and my
slaves will guard her with our lives. We have no idea what she
had in mind, but she was rescued by two of our finest and most
wonderful animal friends. Scraps, you and Happy come over here
and join me.”
watched the young man as he whistled for two animals. He had
never seen dogs before and was impressed by their beauty and
friendliness with Waco.
you like to tell Captain Vinceeth how you and your wife, Happy, saved
their friend? See that red light up there. Talk to the
Captain. Wife and me, we go out from ranch house to relieve
ourselves. When we return, we see big cat chase strange winged
creature. We know it unusual so we give chase. We come to
barn and cat already catch creature in mouth. Wife jump up on hay
behind cat and I make him drop his catch. We see it look like
small human with wings. I tell her to get on my back, and we take
her to man who can help. Me and wife, bring her to Mr.
Cable. He good man. He and Captain Jones fix her
good. She resting now. My rock friends, they sing to
her. They heal her like new.” Scraps looked up at Waco for
approval. Waco knelt down and hugged both Scraps and Happy.
“You two are
heroes. You done good.”
young man. You certainly have some fine friends. What does
he mean ‘his rock friends?’”
“Some years ago,
my Volgoron slave Ox, whom you met on our ship, and his adopted dad
rescued the last of an intelligent silicon based life-form floating in
deep space after their world was destroyed by a collision with another
body. They have been on the Bandersnatch ever since and have
remarkable healing powers for carbon based life-forms like you, me,
Keekepata, Scraps and Happy. They are remarkable beings.
They are our friends and companions. The delivery you brought us
was a clone of my body to be an interspecies experiment.
Yesterday, we implanted one of the finest of their species, a special
healing crystal we call ‘Blue’ into an organic human body. It is
to give him more mobility and abilities they don’t have as static
entities. There is a lot more I’ll be happy to share with you,
but that’s an overview for right now.”
“My God, you
become more interesting to me the more I get to know you, Captain Waco,
and now you tell me I had a copy of you on board my ship all that
time. I would very much like to be your friend as well as
suitor. Let me go over this transmission again. You watch
the first part of mine and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done. I fully understand
how a young Shushonni can be impulsive, especially if they feel they’ve
found a kindred spirit. You have no idea the magnetism you have,
Captain. If Keekepata was drawn to you half as much as I was, she
would brave the greatest dangers to be by your side. Farewell for
now, young Captain. Thank you for everything, and I’ll look
forward to speaking with you again soon.”
Captain Vinceeth, my friend. I’m so sorry we couldn’t have
communicated under happier circumstances.”
you’re doing your part for Keekepata’s well being. At least I
know she’s safe and in the hands of men who will care for her.
The Captain cut
the transmission, and he was gone. Arlen, Lucas, and Ox started
clapping. Even the two androids clapped for Waco. Scraps
and Happy were all over him. Waco knelt down again to hug them
and shed a couple of tears.
Scraps. You were wonderful. So were you, Happy.”
Scraps didn’t say anything, he and Happy just wagged their whole bodies.
“I couldn’t have
done better myself, young Captain.” Arlen complimented Waco.
“Well done! That should have relieved him a little.”
Jonathan and Ping came in and they played the transmission again from
the beginning. They were as impressed as Arlen with Waco’s
bearing and diplomacy.
“I think you
have an admirer in Captain Vinceeth, young man.” Arlen chided
Waco. “He is an exceptionally fine looking Visallian.”
“I agree, but
I’m happy with my slave, Captain Jones.” Waco wrapped his arm
around Ox’s huge waist and leaned into him. Ox looked down,
smiled and put his arm around his young master. Then Waco added,
“Will that get me some Lummox tit later?” he smiled and Ox bellowed a
The men returned
to the infirmary to check on Keekepata and Blue. Blue was awake
but Keekepata was fast asleep. Waco had an urge to pet her, but
asking the Kryscellians to come in and sing to them before we move
“I think that’s
an excellent idea. Did you contact Dr. Stevens and his mate?”
Captain Jones asked Cable.
Captain. We set up the portal and checked it. They have no
one in their hospital right now and said it would be nice to have some
visitors. They’re ready for us.”
“How is this
going to work out for you men?” Arlen asked Waco, Lucas and Ox.
“I have to stay
with Keekepata until I hear from Captain Vinceeth. Lucas, you can
go on back if you want and get some sleep. Ox will stay with me
and keep me company. Scraps, you and Happy may go on back and get
some rest. You must be tired.”
“If’n you don’t
need me, I think I will go back, Master Waco.” Lucas said, “I have to
get up early to help in the kitchen and then get my master ready for
“We go back with
Lucas, Master Waco. Can we visit tomorrow?” Scraps asked.
“Of course you
can. Cable will let you through. We were gonna’ bring you
to meet our new brother tomorrow anyway.”
Lucas and the
dogs left and went to bed. Cable, his men, Waco and Ox took Blue
and Keekepata through the portal to the small, but clean
hospital. They met Dr. Stevens and Arnie, his assistant.
They were nice men and were happy to accommodate them. Arlen said
‘goodbye’ to them. He wanted to return to his ship for the rest
of the night. He told them he would return for a while in the
morning to check on them.
transferred Keekepata to a bed of her own and made sure she was
warm. Everyone left and only Waco and Ox remained. Waco
gave Lucas instructions to tell Charlie and the ramrod, Waco decided he
and Ox needed an evening to get away and decided to stay the night in
Ox’s stateroom with the Kryscellians. The following day was a
Saturday and the boys didn’t have school.
* * * * * * *
‘goodbye’ to Scraps and Happy in the yard. He took his boots off
on the bottom stoop and quietly returned to his room. He
undressed and started to return to his bed when he began to think about
his master. He tiptoed into his room and over to his bed.
Lazarus was breathing softly in the moonlight. Lucas moved the
covers down and gently crawled into bed with him trying not to disturb
him. He moved his body up against Lazarus and turned his back to
him. He sighed deeply. Lazarus stirred and Lucas felt a big
arm thrown over him and pull him close. He smiled to
himself. It almost seemed like an autonomic response Lazarus had
done hundreds of time when they bunked it in together.
been?” Lucas heard whispered in his ear as Lazarus planted a
light kiss on his neck.
“What do you
mean, Sir?” Lucas whispered back stalling for an answer.
“I went to the
head a while ago, and I noticed you weren’t in your bunk.”
“I was on an
adventure.” Lucas thought he may as well tell the truth.
“Was it a good
one?” Lazarus asked.
“Yes, Sir, . . .
“You men are
farther along on your Kryscellian project than your brother wants me to
believe, ain’ chu’?”
answer. His heart began to race.
right.” allowed Lazarus, “Boys need their secrets. Is everything
“It is now,
Dad.” Lucas responded.
“Am I going to
like the results?”
wildest dreams, Master.” Lucas said slowly.
I’ll look forward to it. Now let’s go to sleep. Morning
comes early. Glad you decided to join yore’ old man.”
“I needed to be
close to you, Sir. I almost lost a sister tonight.”
“You don’t have
“I do now.”
respond. He just pulled Lucas closer and kissed him on his neck
* * * * * * *
therapy have you given your twin brother?” Arnie asked Waco.
just implanted Blue into his new body yesterday.”
“Arnie is a
physical therapist.” commented Dr. Stevens, proud of his mate.
“No one has
mentioned physical therapy, but it makes sense to me. Do you
think you could help us out, Arnie?” Waco asked.
to. Things get a little dull around here sometimes; however, we
ain’t complaining. We’d rather have things Mayberry dull than
live back on the planet’s surface from what we see going on.
Every day we’re more grateful for our rescue. To have a couple of
actual aliens in our hospital is a treat; to say nothing about getting
to meet a real Bigfoot. This is remarkable. He is much more
handsome than I imagined they might be, and he don’t smell bad a’ tall.”
“We get that a
lot, Arnie.” Waco winked at him and smiled at Ox.
back to bed and left Waco and Ox to keep watch. Ox sat in a
comfortable overstuffed chair they had in the two-bed room and patted
his lap for Waco to join him. Waco crawled up into his Lummox’s
big arms to be cradled like a baby.
<< I was
proud of you this evening, Master Waco. You are learning to be a
leader, but I think you are a natural at it. Does my young master
still want some Lummox tit? >> Ox smiled.
<< I am a
bit peckish. I’d shore’ ‘nuff appreciate a little. It
would relax me and calm me down a bit. >>
Ox gently placed
his big paw behind Waco’s head and moved his mouth to his left
tit. Waco eagerly took it into his mouth and began to suck.
Ox’s warm milk began to flow. Arnie came back into the room to
bring some last minute supplies he thought of. He stopped in his
tracks to see Waco hooked up to the big creature’s tit sucking away
like a young shoat on his momma’s teat.
“I’m sorry, I
just wanted to make sure you had these . . .” he stammered.
and turned to him with Lummox cream dribbling down his chin.
“It’s all right,
Arnie. It’s one of the fringe benefits of owning a Bigfoot for a
“Where can I get
mine?” Arnie asked grinning. “Sasquatch ‘R’ us?”
Waco fell asleep
in Ox’s arms, but his Lummox stayed awake all night to make sure their
patients were not distressed. Blue shut down for the rest of the
night and allowed his new body to rest.
* * * * * * *
slept like a rock after he had Lummox milk. That night was no
exception. Ox let him sleep and he kept watch. He knew his
young master well enough by then to know he was physically and
emotionally exhausted. Waco didn’t wake up until he smelled food
and heard Dr. Stevens and Arnie wheeling in a food cart. They
prepared breakfast for Waco and Ox. Ox usually didn’t eat people
food, but he graciously ate the eggs and cereal they brought him.
Blue was awake and was stimulated by the wonderful smells of food.
smell. Is it food? >> he projected to Waco and Ox.
<< It is,
indeed, brother. They were kind enough to bring us breakfast.
<< I have
to learn to use my body quickly. I can feel my mouth watering at
the thought of how those smells will translate to my taste buds.
It will be a totally new and wonderful experience for me. Why is
there a rumbling sound coming from the lower portion of my body?
>> Blue asked like he was concerned something wasn’t
working properly. Waco and Ox laughed.
your stomach telling you the food smells good, and it wants to know if
you are planning to send some its way.” Waco said out loud.
Arnie and Dr. Stevens heard Blue’s stomach and laughed at Waco’s
“Can he eat,
yet, Waco?” Dr. Stevens asked.
“Not yet, I’m
afraid. We were going to try to start him on some Lummox milk
this morning. He should be able to suck. Infants are
provided that information from birth. Once he learns to ingest
and swallow, chewing should follow easily.”
While they were
eating, Cable, David and Jonathan came into the room to check on
them. They brought along a monitoring device they put over
Keekepata’s bed. They checked her out and were pleased at her
progress. They received the requested information from Captain Vinceeth
and had food for her should she wake up. They also told Waco he
had a conference call with the Captain scheduled for 0:800. It
was only 0:600 at the time.
Arnie took the
food trays away and returned shortly. Waco was standing by
Keekepata’s bed looking down at her and admiring her beauty. He
was feeling bad for her and decided to see if she was dreaming.
He closed his eye and gently eased his way into her mind. He saw
multiple colors. He could see she was sitting by a azure blue
pond on a bed of soft green moss. She had her feet in the water
and was making little waves with her tiny feet.
little sister, what are you up to? >> Waco asked
softly. She jumped a little but turned her head to him and smiled
when she saw him.
is that you? >>
it’s me. May I join you? >>
course, you may. I’m so glad to see you. How did you find
me? I came looking for you, but I couldn’t find you.
Something happened and now I’m here. Where is this place? >>
<< It’s a
dream in your head, little one. I’m standing beside your
bed. You’ve been hurt, but I wanted to come to you to let you
know you’re going to be all right. Do you remember anything?
remember a big animal with a long tail chasing me. He had green
eyes and large fangs. Then I remember these two other animals who
were not like him. They were soft and furry. They saved my
life, Waco. They made the other animal drop me, and they carried
me to your bio-mechanical friend Cable. I don’t remember anything
after that. >>
passed out. The animals who rescued you are called ‘dogs’ on our
world and they came to get me after they took you to Cable. Cable
and his men patched you up, and another animal friend of ours whom you
met on our scout ship, the one with the beautiful tail, gave you an
organic sedative to make you sleep soundly. You may wake up
anytime you wish, but you may hurt some and be sore. Can you wake
up now? >>
<< I don’t
know if I want to. Are you and Captain Vinceeth mad at me?
not. I spoke with the Captain last night after Cable patched you
up. They were relieved to know we found you, and you are with
us. He was upset you were hurt, but I think he was more concerned
for you than mad. >>
<< I guess
what I did was wrong, but I wanted to be with you so bad, Waco. >>
you did was more than wrong, Tinkerbell, it was downright
foolish. It was selfish and thoughtless of you. A lot of
folks were worried silly about you. My heart almost broke when I
saw you lying on that operating table in our surgery. I shed
tears for you, little sister, and felt awful when I had to tell your
captain you were seriously hurt. >> Waco said.
started crying. Waco opened his eyes to see her tears running
down her rosy cheeks.
said you weren’t mad at me. >> she wailed.
<< I ain’t
mad at you, little sister, but you deserved to hear that from me.
My heart would’ve stopped beating if you had been killed. I
would’ve never gotten over it. >>
Waco took a
tissue and began to gently daub the tears from her tiny eyes. All
of a sudden she opened them and woke up.
little sister.” Waco spoke to her.
“Oh, Waco, I
hurt all over.” she cried out in her tiny voice.
I’ll get my friend Ping in here to take your pain away.”
“Ping is on the
ship. She came in early. So did Scraps and Happy.
They’re waiting in the infirmary.” Cable said.
Ping came and
everyone left the room. She produced a slight sedative for
Keekepata. She found humans didn’t respond to the same pain
blocking pheremones as the Shushonni. Most of Keekepata’s pain
went away so it was bearable.
you, Ping. >> she sent to her.
welcome, young one. >>
The men came
back in, but this time they had Scraps and Happy with them. They
were very mannerly, they didn’t jump up on the bed.
“Are they the
ones who rescued me, Waco?” she asked.
Keekepata, this handsome male is my friend and one of my companions,
Scraps.” Scraps wagged his tail. “And this fine looking
female is his wife, Happy.”
“Thank you Happy
and Scraps for saving my life.” she said to them.
Ms. K.” Scraps said aloud.
talk!” she observed.
“Yes, some of
our other friends gave him the gift of speech when he was a hero once
“Can the female
“No, Happy can’t
speak, but we communicate with her with our minds like I do you
sometimes. Are you hungry, little sister?”
haven’t eaten since I left the ship. I tasted something in a jar
I broke in one of your domiciles, but it was too tart.”
About that time
Arnie came in with a tiny cup and a small spoon that looked like it
came from a doll set. In the cup was some wild honey. He
gave it to Waco. He took it and dipped the tiny spoon into the
golden liquid and held it to Keekepata’s mouth. She leaned
forward a bit and tasted it. A pleased look came over her face.
wonderful, Waco. What is it?”
honey. It’s made from the pollen of flowers on our planet by
small flying insects we call ‘bees.’ Do you like it?”
“Oh, yes, more
devoured the small cup and asked for more, but the doctor and Cable
said it was enough for now. She could have more later. She
accepted their judgment and relaxed. She looked around and saw
the person laying in the bed next to her.
“Is that you,
Waco? How can you be here and there, too?” she seemed confused.
“No, no, that
body is a clone of me; a copy. It was the body your captain
brought me. It was created by the Daleks. He was made from
small amount of genetic material taken from my body. He has
of him another life-form. His name is Blue.
He’s a wonderful friend and companion of ours. He and his race of
silicon based life-forms are helping you heal. You may speak to
him with your mind.”
Waco had to
leave to take his 0:800 call from Captain Vinceeth. He told
Keekepata where he was going and he would be speaking with the captain.
“Tell him I’m
sorry, Waco.” she begged.
“No, that’s for
you to tell him. We’ll arrange a conference with you and him
later on today. You can tell him then.”
nervous and frightened.
“He’ll be very
angry with me.”
“Don’t you think
he deserves to be?” Waco asked quietly.
* * * * * * *
terrible, Captain Waco. Did you get any rest?” Captain
Vinceeth observed with concern.
Captain. It’s good to speak with you again. It makes my
heart a little lighter.”
“How is she,
Son.” the Captain asked. Waco was moved the captain called
awake. Ping sedated her, but didn’t take away all her pain so she
would remember she needs to heal. I fed her this morning.
She feels bad about what she’s done and is worried you will be mad at
“Let her think
that, Captain Waco. She deserves to feel that way for a while
“We will set up
a video camera in her room so you may see her yourself later today if
you like, Sir.”
“No, that won’t
be necessary. You need some rest. Tomorrow is soon enough.”
“Yes, Sir, that
will be fine, Captain.”
with her parents and they’re relieved she’s all right. I assured
them she was being well cared for by several fine and good races of
people. They are as annoyed with her as we are, but they love her
and can’t help be concerned. We are in a difficult situation
right now and can’t get away to meet you or come pick her up right
away. Can you take care of her for a while?”
“Of course we
can, Captain. I’ll look after her, personally. I won’t let
her out of my sight, and when I need to be away I’ll make sure she’s
well taken care of.”
“Oh, she’ll love
that!” the captain laughed. “I don’t like rewarding her for
her misdeed, and ordinarily would come whisk her away from you
immediately to teach her a lesson; however, we are in a bind right now
and would appreciate your further assistance. My people will make
it up to you, Captain Waco. You will be rewarded handsomely not
only by my people, but also by her people. She comes from a
wealthy family, Captain Waco.”
happy to do it. We’re more concerned for Keekepata than the
accumulation of wealth. The most I want, is your and the
Shushonni’s friendship and alliance, and in your case, in particular,
your promise to me as a friend and suitor.”
“I know you
don’t have anyone there coaching you, young Captain. I know that
comes from your heart. You’re not the kind to toy with
someone. Of course, you have my solemn pledge of friendship as a
Vissalian and as a warrior. By accepting my pledge, consider
a serious suitor for your affection.”
“Your pledge is
gratefully and humbly accepted, Captain. It is a great honor and
privilege for me.”
“I told my
superiors, you would ask for nothing more and nothing less, young
Captain. You have proved me right. You have made me a happy
The men signed
off. Waco took Ox to his stateroom on the Bandersnatch and
ordered him to lay down and get some rest. He went to the house
and put in an appearance. Lazarus was already gone to work for
half a day with the cowboys. Lucas was in the kitchen finishing
his clean up work. Charlie looked at Waco funny but didn’t ask
“Dad, do you
need me for anything today?” he asked Charlie.
“Not that I can
think of, what’s up?”
much. I couldn’t sleep last night. Ox and I went to his
stateroom on the ship so I could talk with the Kryscellians about our
plans. I need to do some more things today, but I’m worried about
Ox. He needs some rest. You know how he gets
sometimes. He was up all night worried about me. I told him
to go to bed, but, . . .” Waco shook his head and trailed
of his sentence.
“If you need to
be out there, go. The way he frets over you he won’t rest unless
you’re with him. I can’t think of anything I need you here
for. Just get back either this evening or tomorrow morning.
We have church in the morning and then everyone’s coming for Sunday
Dad. We may spend this evening out there, but we’ll make it a
point to be back early tomorrow morning.”
to make it for breakfast.”
“We will, Dad.”
After a brief
conversation with Lucas, Waco returned to the Bandersnatch.
Little Bear and Travis were going into town with Charlie and didn’t
have much time to talk with him. Waco told them to check with
Lucas about what was going on. Waco returned to the Bandersnatch
and found his Lummox fast asleep. He took off his clothes and
crawled into bed next to him. Ox opened one eye, enfolded his
young master in his huge arms and they drifted off to some much needed
* * * * * * *
afternoon Waco arranged for a communication with Captain Vinceeth
and Keekepata. Waco told the Captain he would be happy to have
his men and himself withdraw from the room so Captain Vinceeth could
have a private conversation with Keekepata.
“That won’t be
necessary, Son. What I have to say to Keekepata may be witnessed
by you and any of your staff you care to have present. We have no
secrets, and she needs to know the seriousness of what she’s done.”
Cable set up
three invisible cameras for Keekepata and Blue. Waco had three
cameras on him at all times as well. The three could operate
independently or they could be linked to broadcast a holographic
image. Keekepata was awake but not feeling too well.
Waco just finished feeding her again.
“Are you all
right, Keekepata?” Captain Vinceeth asked in a stern voice.
Lordship. I’m afraid I hurt all over, but they tell me I’m going
to get better soon. Captain Waco and his men are taking good care
of me. They are very advanced in their medical skills. If
not for Captain Waco’s dog friends, I would be dead now. They
saved my life, and the bio-mechanical man, Cable, tended my wounds.”
“Do you know how
wrong your actions were, young lady?” the Captain asked even more
Lordship. I acted on impulse and forgot about reason and
consequence. I understand I acted foolishly.”
understand what you’ve put me and your family through? Do you
realize the trouble you’ve cause the good people who are caring for you
started crying. Waco got a tissue and tore off a small piece and
handed it to her. She wiped her eyes. The Captain didn’t
respond to her tears. He simple waited. When she didn’t
answer fast enough to suit him he spoke.
“I’m waiting for
an answer, young lady?”
“I’m sorry, your
Lordship. I do understand, but I couldn’t have picked a finer
group of people to want to get to know. I’m so sorry for what
I’ve done. Please, Sir, don’t be mad at me. I’ll make it up
to you and my family. I’ll try to make it up to these wonderful
You could feel
the tension from both sides of universe. The Captain waited for
her to get herself together.
“I have spoken
with your parents several times. They understand I can’t drop
everything and come to Earth to get you. Neither do I feel
comfortable asking your benefactors to travel several light years to
meet us. As I explained to Captain Waco yesterday, ordinarily I
would come get you immediately and let your parents be responsible for
your punishment. As you know it is not our custom to reward bad
judgement or bad deeds; however, due to circumstances beyond my
control it has been decided you will have to remain where you are until
have given me explicit orders to give Captain Waco complete control
over you. He is to administer punishment to you as set forth in
private communications we will be forwarding him and his staff.
If you are to be under his care and protection, it is only right he has
total say over you. What he orders or demands of you, you will
do. Is that understood!” Captain Vinceeth barked sternly.
Lordship. I will obey Master Waco.”
he will be your Master. I know him well enough to know he will
not look upon you as one of his slaves, but you will treat him with the
respect and consideration as if you were his slave. Do you
Lordship. Please tell my family I love them, and I’m terribly
sorry and embarrassed if I hurt them or caused them concern.”
“I will show
them this video. I will also check in with Captain Waco once a
week until we can make arrangements to have you with us again. I
don’t know how long you’ll have to stay there, but Captain Waco has
graciously consented to care for you until we can make
arrangements. Your parents and I have the utmost faith in him and
warn you strongly not to make his life difficult. That, young
one, would be the greatest disgrace of all, for you to be ungracious to
your benefactors. For that indiscretion you will not be
forgiven. Do I make myself clear?”
your Lordship. I will do my best not to be a bother to him or his
“Good, I’m glad
to hear it. I hope you understand your words on this video will
be considered your contract with Captain Waco, me and your family.”
and accept my contract with all.”
then. Thank you again, Captain Waco. I see your new clone
is awake. How is it going with him?”
“This is Blue,
Captain Vinceeth. He can’t move or speak yet, but he is conscious
and we are in contact with him. He’s learned several things since
his implantation yesterday.”
“How long do
your doctors anticipate it will take him to be functional?”
“We hope we can
have him up and around in two weeks and communicating with us verbally.”
quickly? Your people must be advanced medically.”
“Our staff is
highly trained, but we have the added benefit of some very wonderful
intelligent entities who work along with us.”
“Ah, yes, I
remember you spoke of the race of intelligent silicon-based
life-forms. Very interesting, indeed. We have yet to come
across such a race. I can see this man is going to be your
twin. That has a great deal of appeal to me, Captain Waco.
I can only dream of seeing you two together.”
laughed. “You won’t have to dream, Captain, I’ll be happy to send
you regular videos of our progress.”
“I can’t tell
you how grateful I would be, Son. Being a warrior in deep space
can become mind numbing. Sometime the smallest consideration
brings us great joy. Your efforts will be appreciated, I
I’ll look forward to sending and receiving more messages from you,
They signed off
and the Captain was gone. Waco got the feeling the Captain
would’ve liked to talk more, but he knew it was best not to discuss too
much in front of Keekepata. Waco had a warm glow deep in his gut
after the Captain said ‘goodbye.’ He looked at Keekepata and as
bad as she felt, she smiled knowingly. Waco blushed.
* * * * * * *
the best patient. She was petulant and somewhat demanding.
For a while she would only let Waco feed her and wouldn’t attempt to
feed herself. Waco still had several weeks of school left and
when he had to be at school all day, she managed to make life miserable
for everyone until he returned. In order for Dr. Stevens, Arnie
and Cable to have some relief, Ping kept her knocked out most of the
time. There was no problem with Blue. He was a model
patient. He never asked for anything and as a result, everyone
showered him with attention. It was not lost on Keekepata, and
she became a little jealous of Blue.
therapy was a big plus for Blue. He began to learn to use his
body faster than anyone might have predicted. He amazed Arlen,
Cable and Ping. He learned quickly to suck milk from Ox’s teats
and within days was eating soft foods and drinking broth. He was
learning to speak and getting better at it by the hour. By the
end of the first week of Arnie’s physical therapy, they had him up and
walking around the small clinic. The third day they took him into the
small courtyard between the clinic and Dr. Stevens and Arnie’s
home. He stopped and cried at the beauty of the flowers.
Blue was deeply
moved by all the new sights and sounds he was experiencing. He
later equated it to when Dorothy opened the door into the land of Oz
and everything was in vibrant color. There were no more shades of
sepia or black and white. Like Toto, he knew he wasn’t in Kansas
anymore. He would sit for hours in the artificially generated
sunlight, recharging himself and listening to the small fountain in the
garden. He swore it was like listen to music from another
Scraps and Happy were his constant companions.
Ida Mae became a
bit concerned her two companions weren’t around as much, but in a way,
she was happy they were finding roles in the greater arena of their
extended family and the community of the ranch. She would
question Scraps and he would tell her he and Happy were helping Mr.
Cable on the ship with a project for the boys, and soon he would be
able to share everything with her. For that moment, he had been
sworn to secrecy. Ida trusted Scraps. She knew when to back
began to heal, Arnie stopped using her complete name. He just
started referring to her as Keeke and everyone began to pick it
up. Later, Waco found out from the captain, Shushonni names were
similar to humans. They had a first name and a linage name.
Her linage was the Pata family of the Bool tribe. Arnie would
also refer to her as ‘princess’ sometimes which seemed to really
“Why do you call
me ‘princess’?” Keeke demanded.
“Because you act
like you’re a princess sometimes.” Arnie shot back.
“Well, I’m not!”
she corrected him.
“It also happens
to be a term of endearment, but in your case I doubt you would
understand.” Arnie zinged her.
“I understand it
perfectly!” she snapped, “You may continue. You may call me princess
from time to time if it makes you happy;
however, please be considerate and don’t do it in front of Master
Waco.” she acquiesced.
Thank you, your highness.” Arnie said under his breath.
that!” Keeke yelled after him, but Arnie was already out of the
couldn’t be around as much as she would’ve liked, she began to look
upon Blue as a viable alternative. She began to encourage him and
would insist he carry her on his walks. They shared many hours
together and got to know each other well. She worked with him on
his verbal communication and they carried on long conversation with
their minds. Blue played a major role in Keeke’s healing.
She healed faster than she normally would. The beginning of the
following week, Captain Vinceeth couldn’t believe how fast she was
healing and how far along she had come. He was very impressed and
related the same to her parents.
Blue learned how
to channel his healing rays up through his body and out his
hands. He would sit for hours in the patio with Keeke on his lap
with his hand gently resting on her with the force of his rays flowing
into her small body. She was not unaware of his powers and
reveled in his abilities. As a consequence, Keeke was healed and
learning to use her wings again within a couple of weeks.
Everyone had to watch her like a hawk for fear of her hurting herself
again. Blue saved the day. She had come to trust him as
much as Waco, but let Waco enter the room and she forgot all about
Blue, at least for a while.
Blue and Waco
began to grow close. It was like Waco had a twin brother, and for
all practical purposes, he did. Blue was like Waco down to the last
detail with one small exception. Blue was flawless but Waco had a
small mole behind his right ear. His many sessions with the
Kryscellians managed to rid his body of most blemishes but one.
Blue began to meet and relate with Waco’s other brothers and they were
agog over his likeness to their big brother. A couple were
intimidated by him, but the others were so enthused, Blue soon won them
over. JR saw Blue as an extension of Waco and more of his big
brother to love. The others came to see JR’s logic, though
simple, was sound. Waco had a number of intimate conversations
“Has your human
brain developed its own consciousness yet?” he asked.
“I don’t think
so. It seems to rely on me for all information so far. I
think it looks upon me like I’m its parent. I’m its mother and
father. I’m also its conscience and for now, its directory.
Fortunately, you provide it with a brother, and I can notice a decided
difference when you’re in our company. It seems to be more
relaxed and accepting of the situation. I haven’t mislead it
about me being another entity that’s living symbiotically with
it. It just doesn’t yet realize it could be a separate entity
unto itself without me. I will be curious to see how it develops
and if it ultimately accepts or rejects me.”
don’t think rejection is gonna’ be a problem, brother.”
not. He just felt very warm and his blood pressure rose
significantly with your words of brotherhood. I can’t say I
didn’t approve of his reaction, Master Waco.”
Blue’s body blush for the first time and smiled.
“I’m a bit
concerned about my sexual apparatus.” Blue said. Waco
stifled a chuckle and turned it into a cough.
man.” Waco assured him, “Tell your brother about it.”
“It feels so
wonderful when I’m expelling waste, but I wonder how it might feel to
ejaculate. I know you’ve described it to me, but I can’t imagine
it could feel better than relieving myself of urine.”
brother, it feels a hundred times better.”
Could you help me with that for my first time, Master Waco?”
“I’d be proud
and honored, brother Blue. Don’t worry, once you’re fully mobile
and can take care of yourself, we’ll spend an afternoon or evening
together, and I’ll teach you what you need to know to pleasure
yourself; or if you prefer, I could have one of my slaves help you with
that. Travis and Little Bear are both excellent lovers. I
would recommend either. You think about it. If you still
prefer me, then like I said, I’m your man.”
* * * * * * *
“Dad, I need
another pair of boots, a couple more pair of Wranglers in my size, a
couple Western shirts, a hat, and a new belt. Do I have your
permission to use our credit card to order what I need?”
Waco wasn’t a clothes hound and many times he would tell Ida Mae to get
rid of old, worn out Wranglers and shirts so Waco would be forced to
wear nicer clothes. Even though Waco looked sexy in his old
clothes, Charlie felt he had a certain image to uphold, and he didn’t
want his relatives or the community thinking he didn’t keep his slaves
well fed and clothed, let alone his boy. Waco grumbled but went
along with his dad. Charlie was pleased to hear he was taking a
greater interest in his appearance.
Son. You planning on looking your best for your birthday coming
birthday? Oh, yeah, Dad, that’s it! I wanna’ look my best
for my birthday. Thanks!” Waco chuckled as he walked
away. Charlie looked bemused and shook his head.
* * * * * * *
Waco was urging
Keeke to eat. She was getting better fast, but she hadn’t
regained her full strength.
Tinkerbell, if’n you don’t eat, I ain’t gonna’ allow you to come to my
birthday party. Blue’s gonna’ be there, and you’ll have to be
here by yourself, all alone.”
She looked like
she would cry. Her lower lip quivered, but she relented and ate
some more. She looked up at him with a puzzled look.
“Why do you call
me Tinkerbell sometimes? Is that a name of endearment?” she asked
If you eat your lunch I’ll show you this afternoon. I have the
afternoon off to spend with you and Blue and we’ll watch an animated
“It’s a story
told in pictures that are drawn by hand. Unless you know about
the technique, it’s difficult to explain. You’ll get the idea
when I show you.”
Waco an antique flip-pad animation of a chicken dancing. They
were very popular in the early days even before motion pictures were
invented. When Waco flipped the pages to make the chicken dance
Keeke squealed with glee. He explained to her it was what they
called animation, but the movie he was about to show her was a much
more highly developed art form. Later that afternoon, the boys
gathered with Waco, Keeke and Blue in the large plush theater on the
Bandersnatch and watched Disney’s “Peter Pan.” Blue was stunned
by it’s brilliance and story. So were most of the other
Kryscellians who were invited to join them. The extra added
benefit for the Kryscells was seeing it through the minds and eyes of
Blue, Waco and the boys. Since they were stationary beings, they
loved anything with action.
Keeke acted like
she was stunned by the whole thing. She really got into the movie
and forgot it was animation. She was caught up in the
story. Waco was concerned about her, because she didn’t fidget or
move about as much as she usually did. It was almost like she was
mesmerized. She sat on Waco’s shoulder with her small arm around
his neck for balance and didn’t move until Tinkerbell was dying.
Then she got very nervous and agitated. Waco looked up and saw
tears streaming down her little face. He anticipated it and tore
off a small piece of a tissue for her to wipe her eyes.
“Are you all
right, little sister? Do you want me to stop it?” he
all right.” she whispered back.
came back to life everyone hollered and cheered and Keeke was clapping
and cheering with the rest. She loved the movie and asked Waco if
they could watch it again sometime. He assured her they could.
a heroine, wasn’t she?” she asked slyly.
“Yes, she was,
and she was very pretty, too. Did you notice?”
noticed. Is that why you call me ‘Tinkerbell’ sometimes?
You think I’m pretty?”
“I think you’re
one of the prettiest creatures I ever saw, and you are right, calling
you ‘Tinkerbell’ is a term of endearment. Sometime you get
petulant like she did and get yourself into trouble. It mostly
hurts those who love you. You notice I only call you that when
being difficult and refusing to cooperate.” Waco smiled.
You showed me this movie to make a point; to teach me a lesson. I
understand. Do you love me, Waco?”
“What do you
think, little sister?”
“I think you
love me. You treat me like a little sister. You look out
for me and you help me. If it weren’t for you and your friends, I
wouldn’t be alive today. Thank you, Master Waco.”
little sister. I’d protect you with my life.”
“I know you
would. I knew that about you when I first met you and chose you
for my companion. I trust you and your friends completely.
I love Blue and Cable. I love Scraps and Happy. I love the
Kryscellians. They sing to me and heal me like Blue does. I
love your brothers and Dr. Stevens. And as much as he bullies me,
I love Arnie, too. He’s firm with me, but he goes out of his way
to see to my comfort.”
might try telling folks you appreciate them. It’s nice to know
someone appreciates what you do for them.”
“It’s not in my
nature to do that, Master Waco, but for you and Blue, I’ll try.”
“That’s all we
can ask, sweetheart.”
“You think my
heart is sweet?”
kidding? As much honey as you eat? You’ve got to be
three-quarters pure sugar. Why, I got them bees of ours working
Waco laughed and
winked at her. Keeke laughed with him.
funny, Waco. You make me laugh.”
* * * * * * *
sunlight lighting the micro-land areas contained all the beneficial
properties of regular sunlight but not the harmful ultraviolet
rays. Waco noticed several of the town folks, Dr. Stevens and
Arnie in particular, had healthy tans.
“How is it you
folks look so tan and healthy living under artificial
light?” he asked Arnie.
wonderful. Roy and I lay out under it a couple of times a
week. We take our clothes off and lay on those deck chairs we
have on the patio for about an hour and it’s enough to keep us healthy
and tan. I’ve been taking a little more that Roy for the last
several weeks. Does it show?”
does. I need to get Blue out there. He looks like a ghost.”
yourself. It will be good for him health-wise as well as making
him look better.”
Blue was very
pale and Waco suggested they lay in the nude under the warm rays of the
artificial sunlight. Waco didn’t expect Keeke to participate, but
when it was explained what the boys planned to do, she insisted on
Her one piece
jump suit was pretty much in tatters anyway and had puncture holes in
it where the cat bit into her. Her wounds might have been much
worse were it not for the strength of the material in the suit.
For the most part, Blue and Waco got used to seeing her partially nude
while she was recuperating. She tried wearing the suit
again but it hurt her too much to put it on so Arnie fashioned a small
gown which tied in the front with a small cotton string.
Waco wanted to
maintain some decorum, so he limited the number of people who could
join them on the basis of room. There just wouldn’t be enough
space or lounge chairs for everyone. That wasn’t quite true, but
it worked for his purpose. The only other of Waco’s group to join
was Lucas. For some reason Keeke had grown to admire him.
Lucas was quiet and unassuming. They spent several hours for
several days soaking up the rays and Blue began to gain color and not
look so ghostly white.
Keeke had no
false sense of modesty and lay beside Waco, Lucas and Blue with no
problems. She embarrassed the boys one day by comparing
their male tackle, but she was amusing about it.
“Do you appear
nude before Captain Vinceeth?” Waco questioned her.
yes. He’s my Godfather. I stay with him a lot and when
we’re alone together we’re always naked. It’s just our
custom. He's a bit larger than you men.” she giggled.
Tinkerbell.” Waco raised an eyebrow, “We’re still young and
developing. We will be bigger.” he insisted with a trace of
indignance. Keeke giggled.
scoffed, “Always concerned who’s larger than the other. It only
takes a tiny seed to create a Bilboa tree. You would be impressed
by my Lordship’s size, Master Waco.”
“I was impressed
by his size, Keeke.”
“You mean he
revealed himself to you?”
“Yes, on one of
his videos. It was a momento for me, like we would exchange
pictures on our planet.”
“It is a great
honor to have a warrior of Captain Vinceeth’s stature to allow another
to look upon him. He must regard you in very high esteem, Master
“No more than I
regard him, Keeke. I would lay down my life for Captain Vinceeth.”
for one so young; however, I believe you. I know you to be a
of strong convictions. That’s a rare quality in any species.”
bother to tell her he asked Ping to help him download a version of the
video to his personal computer to a secret file no one could access but
him. It was guarded by a retinal scan Ping devised. When he
was alone, which wasn’t often, and needed his self-confidence bolstered
he watched the Captain’s video and pleasured himself. Waco had
mixed feeling about his attraction to the Captain. He felt like
he was betraying his other obligations, but once again, the Winds of
Consciousness came to him.
They told him
life was a journey and there were many stops along the way. They
urged him to travel light and not to carry too much baggage with
him. Some decisions were already made for him. They were
like golden apples of rewards for a life well lived. He would
know them, like he knew earlier about his Lummox. They told him
to listen to his dad. Waco discussed it with Charlie and even
showed him the video of Captain Vinceeth. Charlie was more than a
little impressed. He didn’t try to influence Waco one way or the
other; however, they reached an agreement Waco would wait until his
* * * * * *
School was out
the last week of May and the boys were happy. They completed
their final year in secondary school and next year would be freshmen in
high school. They were happy. Coach Baker had mixed
emotions. He was losing the finest players and young men he’d
ever coached, but all wasn’t lost. He still had JR, Jerry, and
young Ts’gan to form the backbone of a pretty damn good team.
Keekepata was almost completely recovered and it was difficult to tell
Blue wasn’t as fully competent as Waco and the rest of the boys.
Waco had him running and doing all sorts of physical exercise, but he
also made sure there was plenty of time for relaxation and recreation.
altogether in a the small hospital discussing ideas how they were going
to show Captain Long and his dad their handiwork. There were various
ideas tossed about.
birthdays are coming up in June and you know what that means.” started
Waco. “We have one big blowout of a party for all of us
and celebrate our actual birthdays in a small way. This year it
will be held at our ranch. I propose we have a supper party on
the Bandersnatch the evening before our birthday party.”
“Who should we
invite?” asked JR.
“It will depend
on space and who we can get to help.”
“How much space
do you think you’ll need?” asked Cable.
A list was
quickly formulated. The boys decided the only female was to be
Keeke. She was right there listening to them debate. Waco
asked Lucas if he wanted the Stamper men to be there. He was
ambivalent about the Stampers, but did put in a vote for Blake
Tindell. Waco got the feeling it was too much too soon for Lucas
to contend with, and he probably wouldn’t be relaxed with them
there. After all, pointed out Little Bear, they would be at their
birthday party the next day. Waco dismissed the Stampers, but
included Blake. Of course, Hoot Austin and Cotton Daniels and
their two wards, the Olsen boys would be invited. They would
include the boy’s dad as well. Someone suggest it would be a nice
gesture to invite Dr. Stevens and Arnie to the banquet and their
birthday party the next day as well. All agreed. The
final list was surprisingly long.
Waco, he and his staff could accommodate such a large gathering and
there was a space large enough for all. He took the boys on a
tour of the Bandersnatch to a great hall. When he opened the
ornately carved doors, the boys gasped at the size, but it was
completely bare. Cable flipped a switch and it instantly became a
huge banquet hall out of the middle ages complete with roaring
fire. He flipped another switch and it became a formal dinning
hall with crystal chandeliers and a huge long table made of some
expensive wood. He showed the boys three other choices but they
all loved the mediaeval banquet hall with the fireplace. There
was a main table and the other tables spread out from there.
remember a time, in all my years on the Bandersnatch when Captain Long
ever used this banquet hall.” Cable told the boys.
agreed. They had a plan that was taking shape. The boys
missed no detail from menu to dress code. They decided it was
silly to give a big supper party and have the guest leave only to
return the next day for another party. They contracted with the
owners of a hotel and motel in the small town where they were using
their hospital and found enough rooms for all guest who had to drive to
the ranch. They would give options to those who came through
portals like the sheriff, Hoot, Cotton, Ranger Gibbons, Angus, his
ramrod and his slave and several of the other ranchers. They
could return to their homes through their portal or they would find
It was more
convenient for guest like, Lyle Chambers, Chet Baker, Chief Tin Penny
and his two sons to have lodgings for the evening. Their families
could join them the following day. The boys spent days planning
and working on it. Waco worked by delegation. He asked who
wanted to do what and had volunteers for every job. The neatest
trick was, they were able to do it under the radar of any adults on the
ranch, except Ida Mae. She knew something was up when the boys
told her she had that Friday night off but she couldn’t count on
spending it with Hank Morgan because he would be on the Bandersnatch
with them. They also swore her to secrecy. Lazarus knew
something was afoot, but he didn’t let on and warned Charlie not to
either. In his own words the told Charlie, “Let them have their
* * * * * * *
When Blue got
dressed up in his new cowboy duds no one could tell him from
Waco. Waco made sure they had matching outfits which produced
more than a little amazement in all who saw them together. Arlen
Jones couldn’t stop laughing he was so overcome by the sight.
Once again he warned the boys of standing too close to Lazarus or
There was much
enthusiasm for the upcoming party; however, the closer the time came,
the more withdrawn Keeke became. Waco was worried about
her. Blue told him he thought she might be concerned about what
was going on. Maybe she felt left out. It was Arnie who
came to the rescue. Waco and Blue expressed their concerns to him.
watched the wrong Disney movie.” he laughed at them.
should we have watched?” Waco pressed him.
insisted Arnie, “Keeke’s a female. She don’t have a gown to wear
to the ball. She sees you bought new clothes to dress Blue, but
she’s still wearing the hospital gown or that tattered old jumpsuit she
had on when the cat got her. I know exactly how she feels.
Mercy, a girl’s just gotta’ have a new outfit to wear to the
camped it up and giggled as he broke his wrist.
Waco and Blue
looked stunned. It never occurred to them, but of course Arnie
“Well, of course
you’re right, Arnie. What, the hell, are we gonna’ do? Here
it is the evening before the banquet and we ain’t got nothing for
her. H'it ain't like we can run out to a store and buy her
some'um off the rack. Where would we find anything in her size?”
Arnie got a smug
look on his face.
“Come with me,
gentlemen! Walk this way.” Arnie directed them. Waco,
Blue and several other boys followed him into a small workroom attached
to the back of their house. On a workbench was a doll on a stand
that was exactly the same size as Keeke. The doll was dressed in
the most beautiful gown the boys ever saw. It was made of the
softest most wonderfully flowing material that hung in pieces, overlaid
from the form of the dress. It gave the whole design one of
completeness like the feathers on a bird lay down to complete the whole
of the bird. Arnie moved the base of the statue back and forth to
show the movement of the layers of cloth and how they produced a
display of breathtaking colors.
What? How? Did you make this dress, Arnie?” Waco
stammered, “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” The
other boys agreed it was pretty spectacular.
“I designed it,
but Mrs. Respondi, our local doll makers and clothier made it.
Isn’t it wonderful?” Arnie said with obvious pride. He
pointed to several watercolor painting of his design of the dress
pinned to a cork board.
“The colors, the
purples and lavenders with the golds and pinks are as if they were
taken from the colors of Keeke’s wings. It’s remarkably
beautiful, Arnie. You should be very proud of yourself.”
Waco gushed to Arnie.
Arnie beamed at
Waco’s praise. Dr. Stevens walked in smoking his pipe.
“I wondered when
you were going to show it to the boys.” he patted Arnie on his
back. “Pretty spectacular, huh, boys?” he asked them.
They all agreed with reverence.
“If you liked
it, I was going to give it to her this evening in case there were any
last minute alterations necessary.”
“Of course we
like it, Arnie. It’s a masterpiece. I can just imagine
Keeke wearing it.” Waco told him.
Arnie was going
to put on the card it was from all of them, but Waco said no. He
told him to put on the card it was from Arnie, Dr. Stevens and a local
seamstress, Mrs. Respondi. That evening the boys sat around
talking about the next day and last minute things that needed to be
taken care of before the banquet. Keeke was attentive but
quiet. They all purposely ignored her. Finally, Waco winked
at Blue as a signal between them. Blue turned to Keeke and spoke.
“You seem to be
unhappy, little sister.” he smiled at her.
Blue.” she insisted.
“Yeah, like hell
you are.” laughed Waco. Keeke shot him a glance that
would’ve melted hardened steel at fifty paces. About that time,
Arnie walked in with a small box and handed it to Keeke. Her
mouth fell open.
“What is it?”
“It’s for you,.
. . for tomorrow night. Open it.” urged Arnie with
unwrapped the small package, removed the lid, read the card, smiled at
Arnie, and pushed back the tissue paper to reveal the beautiful
dress. She grabbed at it like it was the last donut in the box
and everyone had one but her. She held it up to her and started
crying. Arnie was prepared and handed her a small tissue.
there. Don’t cry, girlfriend. You’ll muss you’re new gown.”
“May I try it
on?” she asked.
“Of course you
may. It’s yours.”
disappeared for a moment into a small cardboard box Arnie gave her for
a changing area when she first came to the hospital. When she
emerged and lightly flew back to her bed there was a stunned silence
from the men gathered. She twirled a couple of times for all to
see how the dress flowed with her body. She looked like something
from a Maxfield Parish painting.
“Well, what do
you think?” she was obviously fishing for complements.
lovely, girlfriend.” Arnie spoke for the men. They all
joined in telling her she looked stunning, and she did.
“I’ve never had
something this wonderful before, Arnie. It’s beautiful.”
Keeke wanted to
wear her new dress all evening but Arnie told her ‘no.’ He didn’t
want her spoiling it for the next evening. He handed her another
small box and told her it was something nicer for her to wear
everyday. She disappeared again and returned wearing a simple one
piece outfit that was attractive as well as utilitarian. She was
pleased, flew to Arnie’s shoulder and gave him a kiss. The men
applauded. It was one of Arnie’s finest moments. He
unintentionally made Keeke feel bad about all the times she bullied him
and didn’t want to cooperate. She never before met a group of
beings who gave so willingly from their heart with no expectation of
anything more than her gratitude.
* * * * * * *
The next morning
at breakfast Waco had an announcement to make. The boys were more
animated than usual all during the meal and Lazarus thought whatever
was causing their excitement was soon coming to a head. Waco
stood and asked for everyone’s attention. He told Lazarus and his
dad their presence was requested for supper on the Bandersnatch.
Dress would be Western. Guests would be arriving about six in the
evening but he and his staff would appreciate it if they could be there
at least an hour early to meet some special guests. Lazarus
looked at Charlie and smiled. Charlie accepted for himself and
his ramrod. They would be there by five.
The day went
quickly with the boys taking care of last minute details. The
boys helped Strom and Ox bathe and fluffed them. There wasn’t so
much fur to tend to as both Ox and Strom adopted Waco’s summer
appearance and were shedding their winter coats. Strom took a bit
longer because the boys removed the twin bairns and cleaned his
pouch. It was greatly appreciated by Strom. Strom was
really showing big. It was getting near the time of the bairns
Cable asked Waco
and his men if they wanted him and his staff to dress for the occasion.
not!” exclaimed Little Bear. “My granddad would turn around and
go home.” The boys laughed.
if they covered themselves there would be a goodly number of sad faces
among the guest, and they didn’t want that. If Cable, David and
Jonathan wished to join them at their birthday party the next day, it
would be a different matter. They would be expected to wear their
Western gear. They understood and agreed they would comply.
* * * * * * *
Charlie headed for the barn a few minutes before five o’clock.
“Do you have any
idea what to expect this evening?” Lazarus tested Charlie to see
if he had some advanced knowledge.
unprepared as you are, ramrod.” Charlie chuckled. “There’s
no telling what them boys’s been up to. They spent a lot of time
on the ship this last month, but I ain’t said nothing. I think it
gives them purpose and I’ve noticed more maturity and organizational
abilities in them. Whatever they have planned or done, ever’ damn
one of ‘em is fallen in behind my boy as leader. I’m pleased and
impressed with that.”
Waco somewhere between me and God.” Lazarus laughed with
Charlie. “I can’t get nothing out of him, but I haven’t really
tried. He said something cryptic a couple of months ago, . . .
remember the night of the broken bottle of preserves. Said he was
out saving his sister's life that night. I told him he didn’t
no sister. He said he did now. I didn’t pursue it.
I’ve racked my mind trying to think what he might have meant.
Ever’ time I go out to the ship every thing is in order. Nothing
seems to be out of place. They got me stumped.”
The men arrived
and passed through the gate. The gate was reprogrammed to step
out into a large reception room before the huge doors of the banquet
room. They saw a reception committee standing before them
consisting of Waco, JR, Ox, Captain Jones, Travis, Little Bear, Lucas
and Gavin. Scraps and Happy were running around getting under
foot. The other boys were working behind the scenes getting last
minute things together. Lazarus and Charlie noticed Waco’s slaves
were decked out in new Western gear with fine looking shirts and
boots. None of them were wearing hats.
said Lazarus quietly to Charlie. Charlie didn’t respond.
Captain Long and Mr. Goodnight.” Officially greeted Waco shaking
each men’s hand. Charlie got a grin on his face at Waco’s
formality. He went along with it, but Waco quickly
countered. “Forgive my formality, Dad, and ramrod; however, I
felt the occasion called for it.” he said as an aside.
Ts’gan came from
nowhere and took Lazarus and Charlie’s hats. They thanked him and
he placed them on a long table in the room which was obviously there
for that purpose.
“I believe you know all the men present.” Everyone stepped
forward to shake Lazarus and Charlie’s hand, but got a bit carried
away and there was as much hugging and kisses stolen as formal
handshakes. Waco took it in stride.
“This will be
our reception line for our guest who will be arriving soon; however, we
have three more additions to our reception line we’ll introduce you
to. The first you know as the Kryscells or Kryscellians.
Gentlemen, if you will.” Waco indicated for Travis and Little
Bear to open the two doors to the side of the reception hall.
The boys were
already there and opened them. Waiting on the other side were the
Kryscellians in their new mobile home. They drifted into the room
with ease and floated up to Lazarus and Charlie. They were both
stunned by their entrance and the ornate beauty of the vessel the boys
built for them. This was no Indy go-cart. It was a superbly
designed, well thought out, beautifully crafted home for these
intelligent and kind creatures.
and Mr. Goodnight. It’s good to see you again. You
gentlemen look like you’re at a loss for words. Is there
something we can do for you?”
laughing. Charlie didn’t want to, but he couldn’t help himself.
We’re just stunned by your new home, friends. It’s a work of fine
art. It’s incredible. It’s beautiful. Congratulation
to you, our friends. Did our boys do this?”
indeed, Captain Long and we couldn’t be more grateful. They
worked carefully and considerately with us. We knew it would
increase our mobility, but we had no idea it would become as wonderful
as it is. It’s almost as if they put themselves into our
existence and thus, that part of ourselves we have given them, they
have given back to us ten fold. We are very pleased.” The
crystals began to glow in unison to register each one’s approval of
their new home.
chimed in Charlie. “Well, done men.” he complimented the
boys. “But where is the beautiful blue Kryscell? I notice he’s
missing.” Charlie asked. Lazarus craned his neck to look
and got a strange look on his face.
“He’s left us,
Mr. Goodnight. He’s gone to a better place. He’s happy and
content now without us.” The Kryscells answered cryptically.
“I’m so sorry,
my friends. Did he expire?” Lazarus asked.
Captain. You might say he was reborn or like your butterflies, he
metamorphosed into another life-form.”
standing by the same double doors. The boys opened them for him,
he walked to his new twin brother, offered his arm and walked him over
to Lazarus and Charlie. Charlie went weak in his knees and
grabbed hold of Lazarus. Lazarus stood with his mouth open.
“Captain Long, .
. . Dad,” Waco spoke softly, “may I present to you our new brother,
The men stood
there flabbergasted for a few seconds at the mirror image of Waco
standing before them. He was dressed exactly like Waco. You
couldn’t tell them apart. Blue stuck out his hand to
Lazarus. Lazarus let go of Charlie and took the young man’s hand.
“Good to meet
you again, Captain Long.” Blue shook Lazarus hand.
damned.” Lazarus said looking into Blue’s blue eyes. “He ain’t no
bio-mechanical, is he, Son?” Lazarus asked Waco.
The Daleks have come a long way in their cloning techniques.”
Never in my
wildest dreams would I have thought of something like this. Blue,
you are truly you brother’s brother. Incredible! The
Kryscells’ new home is a wonder but this. . .”
“This is where
he craps his Wranglers, men.” Arlen said to the boys. They
broke up laughing.
kidding, men. I damn near did.” Lazarus allowed.
“I think I have
to go change mine.” laughed Charlie. He took Blue’s hand and held it.
“I never considered twin sons, but what the hell, why not.
Welcome to the family, Son.” Charlie pulled Blue to him and gave
him a big hug. Blue shed a couple of tears which moved Charlie
it!” grinned Lazarus.
quite.” replied Waco.
“I was afraid of
that.” moaned Lazarus. “And what other wonders do you men
have for us this evening.”
“Only our new
“Oh, my. .
.” said Charlie as he looked up from holding Blue.
Waco said to Travis and Little Bear.
The boys opened
the doors once more and Keeke flew into the room in her new dress and
landed on Waco’s shoulder. She was stunning. Her new dress
complimented the beautiful colors in her wings and vice versa.
Lazarus took one look at her and did something unexpected. He
went down on one knee, bowed his head and put his arm up like a
falconer about to receive the landing of his pet bird. Keeke
looked and saw a small golden tattoo on Lazarus’ arm just above his
wrist. She flew to his arm and was by his ear in a second.
my Lord. They don’t know about me. I’m a slave to Master
End of Chapter
25 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2007 ~