By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 27

Chet Baker was behind the wheel of his family’s SUV driving home from the boy’s birthday party.  He and Carol were in a good mood.  They had lots to talk about.  The kids were fast asleep in the rear seats and belted in.  They talked quietly.  Carol knew there was something disturbing Chet.  She knew him too well.  She didn’t want to pry, but he wasn’t very forthcoming  about the supper the night before.  

“If I told you the things I witnessed you wouldn’t believe me, darling.”  Chet just shook his head.

“Yes, I would, Chet.  I’ve seen things myself.”

Chet slowly began to tell Carol little by little what he and Lyle experienced.  Carol sat listening like she was dumbfounded.  Chet was quiet in his explanations, because he didn’t want to sound too excited to wake the kids in the back.  He just kept up his monolog with his soft, relaxed Texas cowboy drawl.  He was right, Carol almost didn’t know whether to believe him.

“You’ll eventually meet Blue and Keekepata, hon.  Last night was like a dream sequence from a Disney movie.”

“Did you and Lyle have a good time?”  Carol asked not knowing what else to say.  

“Yeah, we did, but things are changing between us.”


“How would you feel about a brother-in-law?” Chet chuckled.

“You mean Lyle’s met someone?” Carol asked with surprise.

“Not someone,. . . some thing.”  Chet looked over at her and winked. “The big Lummox what’s carrying Ramrod Long’s twins.  I think Lyle’s falling in love with him.”

Carol didn’t know what to say.  She was stunned.  “My first reaction is, good for Lyle if that’s what he wants; however, my second concern is how do you feel about it?” she asked in a concerned tone.

“Obviously, I have mixed feelings.  I told him I was happy for him, and I meant it.  I want him to be happy.  Lyle’s like a brother to me.  He’s the only brother I’m ever gonna’ have.  He and I were the ‘only’ children by our parents, and we came to rely on each other growing up; maybe a little too much.  I’ve known how he feels about Strom for a while now.  I never thought much about it, but we talked last night, and I told him to go for it, with our blessing.”

“You did the right thing.  Of course he has our blessing.  If you’re sure you’re all right with it, I’m certainly for it.  We’ll stand behind him all the way, but what are we gonna’ do when you get cranky, cowboy?”  Carol laughed, “I’ve come to depend on Lyle to straighten you out.  When you get all bent out of shape and nothing seems to go right for weeks all I have to do is pack your overnight bag and ship you off to Lyle.  One evening with him and you’re jes’ fine for a couple of months.”  She broke up laughing.

“I laughed and told him the same thing.  I told him I weren’t the one he had to convince.” Chet broke up laughing.  Carol giggled.

“I’m gonna’ have me some fun with this.” Carol chortled.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea, he’s dead serious, hon.  He’s talk’n ‘bout having the big beast’s baby.  I think they already done made plans.”

“That’s all right, what’s a sister-in-law for?  I’ll be right there with a giant economy size, industrial strength bottle of Midol.  I’ll hold his hand and wipe his brow with a warm towel when he gets morning sickness.” Carol declared, “And he damn well better not have made plans without consulting me first!” she was almost irate.  They shared a laugh.

“I feel responsible for him not finding someone before now.’  Chet admitted, “I told him I felt I was to blame, because somewhere along the line, I think I came to need him more than he needs me.” Chet hung his head.  It was a big admission for a man who was a masculine icon in his community.

“I’ve known it for some time, sweet heart.  Lyle’s always been the more self-sufficient.”  Carol allowed quietly.  She didn’t tell him, if Lyle had been excessively needy of Chet’s time and affection she wouldn’t have been able to cope with their bond.  “My biggest worry isn’t for Lyle.  Lyle will find happiness.  He will be content.  My concern is for you.”

“Don’t be, darling.  It’s gonna’ work out jes’ fine.  I’ll be okay.  You’ll see.” Chet assured her.  Carol wasn’t so sure.  

* * * * * * *

“Kyron, do you have all data available on satellites which can canvas the area around our current position?”

“Yes, Captain Long.  I have all data including all stealth capable satellites the U.S. Government has in orbit.  I have access to all government and black ops computers and scan them daily for any information about new technology being considered or those already in place.  There is nothing in orbit I don’t know about or can’t control, Sir.”

“Good, Kyron.  Very good.  We’re going into the first phase of our resistance on this planet and need you to correct any satellite feed that might show what we’re doing.  Some of our men plan to shoot down one of the gray’s ships and we need you to create a loop that will show nothing happened in our area.”

“That won’t be difficult, Captain.  The minute I detect the launch of an RPG I’ll interrupt feed and create a dead loop so there will be nothing on the download to show anything abnormal in the area.  Do you have any idea when this will occur?”

“No, I don’t.  I wish I could be more specific, but it will depend on the Grays.  Can you detect them when they’re in our area?”

“Yes, Sir.  A simple scan for their propulsion drives will tell me where and how many.  Would that be useful feedback for you and your men?”

“I think it might.  It will give us some forewarning, and our men can be better prepared.  You have my permission to monitor com messages.  The men of the Grange will let us know when they’re about to go into action and you can begin your control of the satellites at that time.”

“No problem.  That will give us a jump on the feed.  I’ll feed all info back to you personally on your com line.”

“That’ll be fine, Kyron.  Thanks.”

“You’re welcome, Captain.”

* * * * * * *

Waco received a message on his com line he had a message from deep space from the Visallian space fleet.  It was from Captain Vinceeth.  It was labeled top secret and personal.  Waco went to the ship and into Kyron’s area.

“You have a message for me, buddy?”  Waco asked.

“As a matter of fact, I do, Master Waco.  I’ll put it up immediately.  Would you like standard format or holographic?”

“I’d prefer holographic, Kyron.  That way I get to see all of the Captain.”  Waco could swear he heard Kyron giggle.

“Beginning message, Sir.” Kyron said.

Captain Vinceeth was sitting behind his desk in his uniform.  He was all business, but his warm smile betrayed his pleasure in speaking to his intended recipient.

“Captain Waco, I wanted to send this personal message to thank you for your fine transmission the other evening.  I have some comments, a couple of questions, and I need to clarify a couple of things with you.  First of all, I received your personal message, loud and clear, and it made me very happy.  It was deeply appreciated.  Secondly, the video was excellent and of the highest quality.  It was a welcome treat for me and my men, and they haven’t stopped talking about it.  Like I told you, our operations right now are in deep space where we can remain for sometime months at a time and any diversion at all is welcome.  We have amusements and entertainments, but it’s not the same as receiving a transmission.  My men and I particularly enjoyed your game of ‘football.’  It is very similar to a game we play and my men enjoyed it as much as I did.

Of course I was hoping your team would win, but you were gracious in defeat and that is sometimes the greatest quality in a true leader.  When he does win, he can then afford to be generous and compassionate.  The final scene of you and your men in the shower I have reviewed several times in the privacy of my stateroom.  It will last me until I’m fortunate enough to receive another transmission from you.

My men asked me to inquire about the large, handsome, four legged creature all the men playing football would run to pet.  We don’t have animals like that on our planet and have never run into them before.  Are they an integral part of the game?  Any information you might provide would be appreciated.  Furthermore, the men are most curious about the four, multicolored, long-tailed creatures who watched the game from the back of the big creature.  It looked like a family.

There is one thing I’ve been meaning to share with you, but didn’t know how, because I didn’t want you to be intimidated by your new slave, Keekepata.  She is of noble blood.  She is a princess of the Shoshonni and very much loved by the Visallian people as well.  We’re concerned about her safety, because we’ve come to learn your world is in flux at this time; however, that doesn’t mean we mistrust you or your people caring for her.  Word has come to me that you and your people operate outside the current governments on your planet and we feel reasonably certain she is secure.

Her family is in agreement, no matter what danger she has placed herself in for the moment, she must learn to survive on her own if she is to become a great leader and take her rightful place as a governor of our races.  She also needs to learn graciousness and humility or she will never be allowed to progress to such a position.  I have a feeling you are just the man who can lead her to understand her obligations to others in life and the price she must pay to get there.

Right now, she is in transition and the perceived heavy burden of leadership and status is fearful to her.  She doesn’t want to shed the carefree days of her youth and begin to accept responsibility.  We understand it and go through similar problems with most young Shushonni of noble birth.  Don’t let her intimidate you or push you around.  You are her leader and she must follow and obey you.  I can’t stress that strongly enough.  Reward good behavior with kindness.  If she becomes petulant and demanding, ignore her.  She must learn, to get what she wants she must give of herself without consideration of reward.

In closing let me say, Captain Waco, I was very impressed with the costume Keekepata was wearing in the video of her dance.  I was also impressed by her speedy recovery and health.  She looked quite well and danced better than I’ve ever seen her.  One can tell much by a Shushonni’s dance about their mental attitudes and physical excellence.  Her performance was perfection, and I had to stop the video at the end because my men were so moved.  Don’t wear yourself out, Captain Waco.  Any communications you send us will be appreciated, but don’t feel obligated to keep a schedule.  I’ll look forward to your next transmission, Son, and thanks again for all you’ve done.”  The Captain signed out and the video was done.

Waco sat for a moment, thinking to himself.

“He has great faith in you, Master Waco.” Kyron observed.

“Thanks, Kyron, I only hope I can live up to his expectations.”

“I have no doubt you will, Sir.”

“Thanks, again, Kyron, and thanks for putting up the video for me.”

“My pleasure, young Captain.”

“You know I’m not really a ‘Captain’ don’t you?”  Waco chuckled.

“Not according to Captain Long.  Any man who has Captained one of his scout ships has the right to the title.  So according to him, it isn’t incorrect to refer to you as ‘Captain.’”

“I didn’t know that, Kyron.  Thanks.”

Kyron didn’t answer.

* * * * * * *

Waco wondered if he would have enough material for a weekly transmission to the Captain.  He set up a review every Saturday evening to see what Kyron came up with for the week and there was always something of interest to send.  It was always well filmed and edited.  The Sunday football games became a standard part of the videos and eventually all of the Captain and his men’s questions were answered.

There were videos of brief histories of the horse and how they were domesticated and used in modern day ranching.  Waco was quick to point out that the bond between man and horse could become quite strong, and mental communication with them was even possible for some.  After further videos of Ranger interacting with the boys and Jack and Jill there was no doubt in the Visallian men’s minds there was great affection between them.

Waco made sure there were lots of video shots of the boys working the ranch and rodeoing on the fourth of July.  Waco entered in team roping with his dad and their ramrod.   Lazarus and Waco won second place.  The warriors were beginning to get a picture of life on a ranch on Earth and they were loving it.

On Saturday evenings, it became an open call for anyone wanting to review the video for the week including the adults.  There was always a shot of Waco and his men in the shower or bathing and caring for their Lummox friends.  It became a time for everyone on the ship and ranch to come together, relax and have a good time.  The crowd sometimes got quite vocal and rowdy with cat calls and wolf whistles.

At least once a month, Keeke would work up another dance and film it to be included in the transmission.  She had a new dress or costume for each performance and her wardrobe was growing.  She never had to worry about wearing the same old thing.  Many of her dresses were exquisite works of art.  Arnie really threw himself into his designs and Keeke worked closely with him.  They became close friends, and she learned how to get out of Arnie what she wanted.  Once a month she was allowed to have a private conversation with her Lord protector, and he was quite pleased with her progress.

Waco had a private conversation with Captain Vinceeth about once a month or more if they had something important to discuss.  For the first three months it somehow never occurred to Waco or Keeke to mention Captain Long’s name to him.  They discussed Captain Jones and his help in putting Keeke back together; however, Lazarus’ name never came up.  One Saturday morning Waco was due for a one on one with the captain and he invited Lazarus to sit in and meet Captain Vinceeth.

Lazarus dressed in his usual cowboy clothes along with Waco.  When the captain came on the screen Waco introduced Lazarus as his commander Admiral Lazarus Long.  Lazarus smiled and waved to Captain Vinceeth.

“Hello, Trey, ain’t seen you since you was a boy, when I used to bounce you on ma’ knee in yore’ granddaddy’s garden.  You grew up to be a fine looking warrior.  I’ve followed your career and you’ve made your family proud.   Tell me, how is yore’ dad, Hayward and your handsome granddad Stewart?”

Captain Vinceeth had a natural ruddy complection, but for a moment he turned ashen white.  In a hushed tone of almost reverence he addressed Waco.

“Admiral Long is your superior, Captain Waco?”

“He is, indeed, Captain, I’m very proud to know him and serve under him in our resistance.”

“Blazes!  Excuse me, your Lordship, I forget myself.  Please, forgive me, Sire.  It is such an honor to be in your presence even by transmission.  My father and grandfather are fine, Sire.  Admiral Lazarus Long.”  he repeated like he couldn’t believe it, “Why, just yesterday in conversation my granddad spoke of you and how he would be pleased to shake your hand once more.  My father will have apoplexy when I tell him I’ve spoken with you.  He will surely ask me if I had the good sense and manners to remember to send his best greetings and an open invitation for you to visit.  That goes double for me and our royal highness’ family, your Lordship.  The Patas of the Bool dynasty would declare a world holiday if you should decide to visit.

I had no idea you were Master Waco’s superior.  Now that I think about it, I remember seeing you in some of the videos, but it never crossed my mind you could be the famous Lord Lazarus Long, a hero to our people.  My parents and grandparents will be thrilled to know I’ve been in communication with you.  I expressed the concerns of our families leaving our princess with Master Waco, but now I understand where he gets his maturity, his stability, his poise and dedication for one so young.  Our royal highness couldn’t be in better hands.  I must tell her family and mine immediately after we speak.”

“It’s very good to speak with you again, Trey.  I didn’t choose to make myself known before now, because I wanted you to have a chance to get to know my young friend and protege.  I’m glad I waited.  I understand Captain Waco has accepted your gracious invitation to become his suitor?”

“He has, indeed, Admiral, and I’m very flattered he finds me worthy.”

“From my vantage point, I think you both have chosen well.  Captain Waco is a fine young man of outstanding qualities and potential.”  Lazarus smiled.  “Be sure and give my very best to your respective families and to your father and granddad in particular.  I humbly bow to them.  My memories of them and the graciousness of their families are filled with love and companionship.  Tell them I will yet, one day, look forward to sitting in their wonderful garden and sharing a pipe with them.  It’s been far too long.”  Lazarus excused himself and bowed out of the picture to leave Waco and Trey alone.

“When we meet again, young man, my first official duty as your suitor will be to turn you over my knee and loving apply some much needed correction to your fantastic bottom for not telling me before now who your superior is.”

Waco laughed. “Is that a promise, Captain?”

Trey broke up laughing.  “You certainly deserve it.  What a shock!  What a pleasant surprise.  I haven’t seen his Lordship since I was seven or eight years old, but he hasn’t changed a bit.  Maybe just a bit more gray around the temples, but he’s in great shape.  A likeness of him hangs in our great hall of heroes and every Visallian and Shushonni household has at least one picture of him.

“He’s still busting wild broncos.”  Waco laughed.  He had sent a rodeo video to the Captain and his men went crazy with the cowboys riding of the wild stock and bulls.  It was one of their favorite transmissions they asked to see again and again.  The video transmissions continued through the summer.  There was only a brief interruption the first week in July.  Even then, a shorter video was made and forwarded to the Chaptain Vinceeth’s vessel the ‘Banshee.’

* * * * * * *

Sam Eagleston had two cowboy slaves who were war veterans.  One was an ordinance man from the earlier Iraq war and the other saw active duty in Vietnam.  They both had experience with RPGs and knew how to load and fire them.  The cattle thievery was getting worse, and it was time to do something about it.  Lazarus wanted to make damn sure there was no possibility the Greys were tapping their minds for information.  He insisted Sam provide him with photos of the Gray’s stealing a cow.  Since they couldn’t tell what the men were thinking due to the static blockers, Sam got a dozen or more excellent shots of a couple of cows being raised into their craft.

Lazarus was convinced the Grays were unsuspecting of what was going on, and didn’t seem too concerned about lack of information from their victim’s minds.  Lazarus loaned one of the launchers to Sam and his men and set about getting his crew together for cleanup.  Waco, Lucas, Travis, Little Bear and Gavin were his first choices for crew with Charlie and JR coming along for support.  Ping was to ride as Lazarus’ co-pilot and Pong as navigator.  Ping and Ox trained the boys in their jobs.  They were to operate the tractor beams which would collect the debris and load it onto the Buttercup.

All men involved in the mission were to sleep on the ship for the week.  The second night of July they were enjoying a leisurely supper on board the Bandersnatch when Lazarus’ com activated, and it was Sam Eagleston.

“Captain, we got us one hovering over our cattle right now.  The minute we see its doors open and start lifting a cow we’re gonna’ take it out.  My men are locked and loaded.”

Kyon immediately went into action and initiated a feed loop to all satellites which had access to their area.  The satellites would neither see nor record anything but a continuous loop for as long as the cleanup took.

“Stay on the com until you know you have a kill, Sam.”  Lazarus told him.  “We’re headed for the re-con ship now.  C’mon men!  It’s show time.” Lazaurs ordered.  They were to the Buttercup in no time, in their seats, in front of their vid screens ready to roll.

“Hoe-lee shit!!”  Lazarus heard over on his com.  “Son of a bitch, the fucker just blew up.  Damnation!  Lit up the entire sky.  What a sound!  Fourth of July done come early!”  Lazarus put the com on speaker so everyone could hear.  Sam’s men were shouting and hollering in triumph.  

“We’ll be right there.  For cries sake, Sam, don’t shoot us down.”  Lazarus laughed.  “Ready, men?”  Lazarus hollered and everyone gave him a thumbs up.  They were away.

It took them no time to get to the scene of the crash.  There were small fires and smoldering wreckage.  A couple of Sam’s men were wandering around in the wreckage gawking.

“Sam, tell your men to get the fuck out of there, or they’re gonna’ get caught up in our beams.  They won’t like what will happen to them.”

They heard Sam cuss and yell at his men.  They waited until Lazarus was sure they were clear, then he ordered the boys to do their thing.  They started scanning the area, and all the pieces of the craft were raised into the air and disappeared onto the Buttercup.  They were all loaded into the same cargo bay and when the last area was thoroughly scanned there was a huge pile of wreckage and bits and pieces of cow and Gray body parts.  Lazarus had the boys scan the area three times to make sure they got everything.

Lazarus signaled Sam they were returning to the Bandersnatch and to bring the weapon through the portal so if Sam's ranch was searched nothing would be found.  Sam and his men were waiting when they got back to the Bandersnatch.

“You men wanna’ see how we dispose of the remains?”

“Sure.” said Sam and his weapon's men.  The boys already knew, but they wanted to see the process.

Lazarus took them to the door of the cargo bay where the wreckage was.  There was a thick quartz window for them to look into the room.  There was a strong light shining on the mess.  They could see the bodies of several of the Gray critters.  One was still moving about.  Lazarus didn’t seem concerned.  He opened a panel and flipped a switch.  There were purplish rays which shot out from all corners of the room shining on the rubble.  It began to vibrate and the men watched in awe as the large pile of rubble began to shrink in size.  It continued until it was about the size of a bowling ball.  Then it dropped into a hole in the center of the room.  From the ceiling a long arm brought down what looked like the other half of a sphere and was placed over the ball of rubble. There was a bright light from the arm and it went completely around the sphere.

“It’s melding the two halves of the containment cylinder together for storage.  It will become a fission pellet for feeding to the fission reactor on the Bandersnatch.  We have plenty of fuel right now burning in the reactor so we’ll store this one until later.  Once it’s introduced into the fission soup, it will be broken down to its base elements.  A single pellet that size is enough to power the big ship for a year while docked here, but for only about a month in space.”

Lazarus had Cable, David and Jonathan serve drinks for the men and the boys returned to finish their supper.  They began to talk about the fourth of July rodeo and party that would be held this year on their ranch.  It was back to business as usual.  Sam and his men departed and were warned by Lazarus they might have visitors the next day, but to appear dumb and no one saw or heard a thing.  Sam assured him they could handle it.  Somehow, Sam thought it was appropriate they killed the first Gray ship two days before Independence Day.  For the first time in a long time, Sam felt empowered.  He had been butt fucked for so long by the government and the Grays it gave him a feeling of great pride and empowerment to be able to fight back.

* * * * * * *

There was no investigation.  There was nothing recorded on any satellite. The most that was reported was from several of the neighbors who heard a large explosion; however, all but two families knew what the men were planning and knew the time was near for action.  The sheriff handled all reports and they got filed away under weather conditions.  A couple of the ranchers reported seeing a couple of government cars on the back roads like they were looking for something.  They would stop, the suits would get out and look through binoculars at the surrounding country side but none stopped by any of the ranches.

The fourth of July rodeo was a blowout celebration of the first magnitude.  All the ranchers and associate members in the Grange were invited to a brief meeting on board the Bandersnatch in the afternoon.  There was much cheering and applause for Lazarus, his men and Sam Eagleston and his men.  They listened quietly as Sam and his slave-cowboys described how they destroyed the ship in the process of stealing one of Sam’s cows.  They told how Lazarus and his men flew over and cleaned up the area.

At this time they didn’t know what the result would be, but so far they hadn’t experienced any feedback from the Grays or the government.  Sam’s family were staying in temporary lodging in the small New Mexico town on board the Bandersnatch where Keeke and Blue were residing.  If things got bad, they would be moved into permanent housing.  Sam and his family had no idea the power and technology available on the Bandersnatch.  Lazarus made a speech at the meeting.

“Okay, this is just a start men.  There are several things to consider.  There may be backlash, then again, we may just luck out and there will be no response.  You never know with the Grays.  They’re unpredictable.  I guarantee you, there will be a drop in cattle rustling.  Now, I know you men have been reporting thefts and mutilations to the sheriff and the county ag department over the years to little avail.  In our sheriff’s defense there weren’t a lot he could do about it and the ag folks never wanted to admit there might be other reasons than coyotes or other predatory critters killing your cattle.  

I know you have a certain amount of stock loss due to old age and sometime a calf just won’t be strong enough to make it.  You must continue to report losses.  Even if we have to import genuine photos from other ranchers in other states.  You can download hundreds of them off the internet; however, be sure to include your losses from natural causes.  Take pictures of them and file them with the sheriff’s office and the ag folks.

Don, it’s important for you to keep an ongoing file cabinet of these reports so if the government comes and checks you can show them all the reports.  It must not look like all abductions of cattle just dried up over night.  This is for two reasons.  First, it’s to cover you men and the sheriff’s asses by making it appear nothing unusual is happening.  Second, if the Reptilians  press our government to look into the matter and records show continued mutilations and abductions then the Reptilians will go back to the Grays and accuse them of deceit and holding out on them.  It could cause great trouble for them.  If we can get all factions fighting with each other and becoming distrustful of one another, so much the better for our cause.  

The men swore to a man they would continue to report any losses and if they didn’t have enough they would invent losses to keep the current records at the same level as before the killing of the Gray’s ship.  As it turned out, alien cattle rustling dropped off altogether for about six months.  The ranchers were ecstatic.  It was like they plugged a leaky drain hole in their finances.  Then it started up again.

The first to be hit was Angus’ ranch.  Angus had an ex-military cowboy-slave who was also a weapons expert.  Sam loaned him his two men and between them they brought down the next bogey.  The same procedure was followed with this kill only there were two survivors of the crash.  Angus took great delight in using his Colt .45 to blow their thieving heads off.  It was a messy business, but the ranchers looked on it as war.  They took Lazarus’ words to heart, they took no prisoners.
Again there were no reprisals.  Lazarus was at a loss for an explanation when the men questioned him.  The most he could come up with was the Grays had become much more withdrawn and independent from their masters as well as the humans and there was little communication between them.  There were so many of the Grays the loss of a couple of ships was negligible to them.  They certainly were careful not to hunt in the same areas again for a long while.

There was only one more incident about six months after Angus’ attack and it was on Ranger Gibbons’ ranch.  Lazarus and his men handled that one with the loan of Sam and Angus’ ordinance men again.  They had become specialists and couldn’t wait to make their next kill.  Once again, it went off like clockwork.  The ranchers in the Grange didn’t lose another cow for almost a full year.  When they did, they wiped out that ship as well.

When the Grange went into kill mode, the family of the ranchers whose ranch they were shooting from, would be moved to the Bandersnatch and kept for a while until the men were certain nothing was going to happen, then they could go back to their ranches to live.  Sam Eagelston’s family only stayed on the Bandersnatch for about a week.  When Sam felt comfortable nothing was going to happen he brought his family home.

The few ships that were shot down began to make a difference.  It was a ripple effect.  It was beginning to tell and beyond that, the Grays weren’t able to meet their master’s meat quotas they set for them.  Rather than try to find out the reason their little slaves were having difficulty the Reptiles immediately assumed they were attempting some form of resistance or were being duplicitous with them.  What did they do?  Like any unreasonably controlling  bureaucracy would do; like the Egyptians did to the Israelites when they complained, they doubled their brick quotes and told them to gather their own straw; the Reptiles raised the Grey’s quotas.  

Desperate, the Grays moved off to safer areas and began to take more. They’re pickings became more centralized.  They began to get sloppy and make mistakes allowing photos and video recordings to be taken of their actual abductions.  There was solid proof on the Internet of strange ships stealing rancher’s cattle.  The government couldn’t use the ‘swamp gas’ theory for UFOs any longer.  There was visible proof something was going on.  If these vehicles weren’t ours then whose were they and where did they come from?  Why couldn’t our all powerful government take care of the problem?  It became an embarrassment for the military and people began laughing at them.  It was devastating to the macho, military control freaks.

The government complained to the Reptiles and they chastised the Grays.  Fearful, the Greys  moved off to other areas of the planet, but the Reptiles  developed a taste for American beef and it was all their U.S. government counterparts would accept.  News began to spread, and other Granges were formed around other ships located in other areas of the Southwest.  Lazarus didn’t see any need keeping their success a secret and shared their actions with the other Ark ship Captains.  It wasn’t long before the Greys were being shot down all over the West and the ranchers couldn’t have been happier.  The Grays were losing a lot of ships. The more the Gray’s tried to steal cattle, the more ships they lost until the Reptiles decided they had to investigate themselves.

* * * * * * *

There comes a time in the progression of a species when they become unclassifiable in relationship to certifiable periods of advancement. (i.e agricultural, industrial, information age, space age, etc.)  A little known writer, social historian and commentator of the early twenty-first century, Tyndall Wildleek discovered, as a species passes beyond the gateways of the limits of the world of their origin, their technology will have progressed so logarithmically they will hold very little in common with those of other species who have achieved the same.  It became know as “Wildleek’s Law” of advanced species progression.

Just as there are sometimes multiple ways of solving a problem, there will be numerous technological ways to accomplish the same goals using different means.  Wildleek originally hypothesized, the species who ultimately survive the age-old battle of the fittest would be the species that solves these problems for the good of the many rather than the few.  However, he later discovered within that concept lies a self-defeating quantum.  Without the quality and quantity of individual input, as opposed to a mass mind approach, a species begins to severely limit its options and chances of prevailing in conflicts.  Spontaneity and improvisation are replaced by the sluggish movement of the conflicting elements of a mass mind and is doomed to failure no matter how quickly the mass mind might seem to adapt.  Wildleek pointed to the Japanese industrial model after WWII being the more innovative because of individual input to the mass mind and immediate implementation of those ideas which ultimately rose above the U.S. model.

For his other model, Wildleek pointed to the great attempt of a democratic form of government in the United States.  Because of the government decaying into a limited two party system, the country became divided into two mass minds; stupid, and not so bright; or as Lewis Carroll so succinctly put it, Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee.  You may assign your own favorite party affiliation  preference from that period to either model.  It wouldn’t make a dime's worth of difference in the outcome, because the model became so slow and sluggish mentally incompetent thugs and crooks of either persuasion could come to power supported by even larger corporate crooks and completely gut the foundation of the country and its original purpose within their tenure in office and never be held accountable for their actions or crimes.
Greed will blind the timid and always overlook the obvious to ultimately become self-defeating in the long-run.  Unrealized or overlooked by the crooks or corporate raiders, by undermining the underpinnings of the democratic structure which built their fortunes, they weren’t so much creating greater control and profits for themselves as they were weakening the superstructure of the society that created their fortunes in the first place.  It became a house of cards and for all their control couldn’t stop the final collapse.       

The real tragedy of their actions was not necessarily visited on them but left on the doorstep of their children and their children’s children.  As with advances in all areas of society, the advances of the potentially evil who learned to control and manipulate the system to such a degree, made leaving the planet for a better life not only a preferred option, it became a necessity for survival of the species.  Thus, Wildleek's law prevailed.  The strength of the individual’s input to a cooperating core became much stronger, more agile and versatile than the mass minds of their adversaries.

Wildleek discovered the Grays were slow to respond to the huge loss of their craft and crews because of the increased slowness of their mass mind.   If they didn’t have any trace of a missing craft or crew, it simply didn’t compute in their intelligence as something to be concerned about.  Since there were no patterns or recordings of disturbances on satellite images there was no reason for the slower than molasses in sub-zero weather mass mind of the U.S.government to be concerned.  They had no idea the Grey ships were being destroyed and disposed of systematically.            

* * * * * * *

As the weeks and months went by Blue took on a greater role in becoming one of the boys.  By the fourth of July party and football game the coaches were running him in as much as the other boys.  He wasn’t yet as good as Waco and Lucas, but there was no doubting his potential.  Coach Davis was salivating to get his hands on this group of boys in the fall.  Blue became a big favorite with everyone on the ranch.  He had a more mild and gentle personality than Waco, but he was becoming his own man.

Charlie was one of the few who could tell them apart.  The other people who could tell them apart were Lucas, Lazarus and Ida Mae.  When asked, Ida Mae just said Blue had a different aura about him.  She never made a mistake between the two of them.  Travis and Little Bear soon learned to tell them apart.  Keekepata never had any problems.  She and Blue became roommates and lived in the cottage at the rear of Dr. Stevens and Arnie’s property.

Keeke was allowed more freedom to come and go around the ranch except she had to be accompanied at all times by one of the boys.  Most times it was Blue.  She quickly developed a system where she could hitch a ride with a boy who was going where she wanted to go.  No one ever said no to her.  There were still numerous cats, but they were counseled and told if they didn’t want to suffer the fate of the big cat, they would respect Keekepata as someone who belonged on the ranch.  There were bob cats and an occasional puma who crossed the ranch but stayed away from the men.  They knew all the cowboys carried guns.

There were no large birds of prey around the ranches, except a few hawks and some barn owls.  Word got around to them not to mess with the bird that lived with the men on the Goodnight ranch.  They did get another visit from the Thunderbird pair who checked out the ranch a couple of times, but were warned they would be shot and killed if they ever tried another stunt like their last one.  Gronk and Kragga decided to stay clear of the Goodnight ranch.

Captain Vinceeth and his men were amazed how quickly Blue came along.  They marveled at the medical knowledge of Admiral Long and his staff.   They got to see more of Keekepata in the videos because she would regularly attend the Sunday afternoon parties at the ranch.  The two younger Goodnight brothers never came to the weekly functions.  It was hard enough to get them to the ranches for Christmas and Waco’s birthday.  They didn’t bother with the fourth of July.  It was all right with Charlie and Angus as they began to feel more comfortable without them.  Charlie and Angus’ family had become the Grange and its associates.

The two highschool coaches and their families were accepted into the Grange and Coach Davis became one of their strongest voices for the Grange in the community.  The men were careful about who they invited to attend their functions and unless someone was initiated into their fold they made sure they saw nothing unusual.  A lot of speculation went on in the small town from the hell fire and damnation crowd, but since they were never invited they had no proof of anything going on.

Furthermore, most of those in the Grange including Lyle and Chet attended church regularly.  In a theocratic neo-nazi society you played the game.  You did what you had to do to survive.  If going to church, even if you didn’t believe, meant your survival, you went to church, said the prayers and creeds, sang as loud as your neighbor, and made sure you were seen contributing your tithe to the offering plate.

There was some hard feelings though.  The preacher who attempted to expose Chet and Lyle felt he was being snubbed.  After all, he was the pastor of the largest fundamentalist church in town and was used to the town folks kowtowing to him.  It was his opinion, just because the Goodnights and most of the members of the Grange didn’t attend his church didn’t give them an excuse not to recognize his importance and position in the community.  He began to make suspicious accusations against the Grange in his sermons.  He even went so far as to say he thought the secret meetings of the Grange was the work of the devil.  It didn’t take long for his accusations to get back to the men of the Grange and they were angry.

The young pastor of Charlie and Angus’ church and his family had been guests of the ranch for the Sunday afternoon festivities numerous times.  While they were not yet members of the Grange, but they were being considered.  They were welcomed to many social function, but the men made sure they saw nothing out of the ordinary.  The men of the Grange went to the trouble mainly for their protection.  If they didn’t know anything, they didn’t have to lie.  During those times, even Scraps was sworn to silence.  He hated those days and mostly slept with his mate in the kitchen of the big house.

The boys managed to get a personal article of the bad preacher and collected his DNA signature from it.  They talked Lazarus into assigning three robocams to him to spy on him for a while.  After about a month, they had all the compromising photos of him they needed dressed in women’s clothing complete with makeup.  They were all taken in the privacy of his own home; however, the Grange felt if all was fair in love and war, then he shot the first two volleys across their bow and was directly responsible for two of his own members being sentenced to slavery.

The photos were passed around at the next Grange meeting and the men had a ball laughing and making funny statements.  The old cowboy Ed Wixson declared the preacher made the ugliest damn woman he’d ever seen.  Another commented the old saw about putting lipstick on a pig just didn’t work in the preacher’s case.  Everyone agreed with him.  The next thing was to send the photos to him anonymously.  It was taken care of through the mail.  There was no way of tracing where or from whom the photos came.  There was a large handwritten note inside that simply said, “Be sure your sins will find you out.  Speak against the Grange and these photos will be made public.”  Unfortunately, for the preacher, his wife opened the envelope before he did and she confronted him.  

At first he was scared.  How did they get these pictures of him in the privacy of his own home?  His wife wasn’t even there.  She was off visiting relatives.  Then he became angry they dare invade his privacy and go against his position and power.  Why, this was nothing short of blackmail.  He then began to wonder what the Grange had to hide to go to this much trouble to shut him up.  He vowed he would show the Grange who had the greater power in the community.  He would claim they were doctored photos.  After all, kids today are doing all sorts of things with their computers.

His wife knew better.  She found his stash of clothes and makeup.  She even went so far as to find several thrift stores in the next large town where he bought his female drag.  She begged him to reconsider.  She reminded him the sheriff and most of his men were members of the Grange.  That made him realize he was ‘checked’ and ‘mated.’  Thus, the boys saved the Grange for a while longer.  Lazarus decided to leave the robocams focused on the preacher for a while.  He also decided to have Kyron monitor his telephone conversations from his home and church parish just in case he was thinking of doing something foolish.  The men could make another decision at that time.  

* * * * * * *

The summer passed in an idyllic manner.  Keekepata was accepted as part of the family and included in almost everything the boys did.  She was with them constantly.  At first, some of the boys would be hesitant to be naked in front of her, but after Waco and Blue shucked off their clothes, they thought nothing of it either.  The boys would ride on horseback to the Gibbon’s ranch to take more Lummox milk to Mary and Elsie’s boys and on the way back they would stop under the shade of some Sycamore trees along a creek bank and have a picnic lunch.  Those were the times Keeke loved best.  The boys would take a dip in the creek and she would watch from the protection of the trees on a soft quilt the boys spread on the ground.  If it was really warm she would take off her dress, fly about  and dance around to entertain the boys.  They learned the beauty of the female body from Keekepata.  She always judged the success of her impromptu dances by counting the erections on her young male audience.  She usually got several standing ovations.

Keeke became great friends with Waco’s pony Ranger and always sat just ahead of Waco when they rode.  She developed many friends among the women of the Grange and was always welcome in their circle to talk about female stuff.  They were interested to know how she lived her life and the lives of the Shushonni.  They asked her why she stowed away on the Buttercup?

“I sensed something in Master Waco I wanted to know about.  I think he hears  the holy voices of the elders of the universe.  I think he hears and speaks with them.  I want to be a good leader for my people someday.  I want to know what he knows.  I’m learning from him how to be a good leader.  I think it was meant to be.”  she answered.

“How long do you intend to live among us?”  Mary Gibbons asked.

“As long as it takes for me to learn all I can from Master Waco and Admiral Long; all I can learn from all you good people; until my people are satisfied I’ve learned the lessons I was sent to learn from this world.  I have learned much in the short time I’ve been here.  I hope to learn more.  There is much more I want to learn.  We don’t have the variety of animals and people living together on our world.  Your world is such a cornucopia of different beings all living and existing together.  It staggers the imagination.  I would like to set up a trade system between our worlds to introduce such splendid animals as your horses and dogs to our world.”

“Well, you’re certainly welcome here.  The boys adore you and you’ve become almost a mascot for the Grange.  They all treasure you.  We’re quite fond of you, too.”  added Ida Mae.

“Yes, you’re the only female allowed in the Grange meetings and you’re kind enough to share what goes on with us.” laughed Mary Gibbons.  

“Thank you, I enjoy it here.  Everyone has gone out of their way to see to my comfort and well being.  I feel like I’ve been accepted as part of an extended family, something we don’t have on my home world.  I miss the  intimacy of close friends and family, but I’ve come to realize I’ll miss the bonds I’ve made here as much when I return.”  

* * * * * * *

That summer, the summer of the boys fourteenth birthday was a memorable one.  Scraps and Happy could wait no longer.  Ida Mae and Hank gave them  permission to start a family.  Ida Mae and Hank talked with Lazarus and Charlie and they gave their blessing.

“After all,” said Charlie, “we gave Ping and Pong permission to start a family last year and look what they brought us.  I love Jack and Jill like they’re my own.  It’s gonna’ be hard for me to imagine a mess of talk’n puppies though.’

“You’re the one who always say, ‘the more the merrier.’” reminded Lazarus laughing.

“Yes, and I mean it.  I ain’t never been so happy and content as I’ve been with the addition of all the boys and unusual critters we got living with us.  There’s never a dull moment.”  Charlie insisted.  Ida Mae and Hank had to agree with him.

During Happy’s pregnancy the dogs would go aboard the Bandersnatch once a day.  Cable and his men made a comfortable bed for them in one of the unused corners of sickbay.  There they would lay down together and the Krysallians would come and sing to Happy.  They checked her out every day of her pregnancy and were doing tweaking here and there to make sure the pups turned out to be of the highest intelligence and beauty.  Happy was also getting a big bowlful of fresh cows cream fortified with Lummox milk every day.  She’d never been healthier in her life and Scraps found her most attractive in her motherly state.  She got more attention that she ever experienced.  Everyone would stop to pet her and tell her how well she looked and how pretty she was.  It doesn’t matter what species an animal is, we all respond to flattery.  Happy was no exception.

The pups were born at the end of July and for her first litter Happy whelped six beautiful pups; three females and three males.  Scraps left the naming up to the boys and in a moment of hilarity they named the males Curley, Moe, and Shep; and, the three females they named Maxine, Patty and Laverne, . . . what else?  Those names just sort of lent themselves to the occasion.  The boys were in mental communication with the pups as soon as they were born, and they said their first words about a month after.  They were speaking before they could walk steadily.  One would stumble and fall and utter a sound that sounded like cursing.

“Fuuutz!” one would say in disgust.  It would aright itself and off it would go again.

From there on, it was nonstop fun.  Each was as intelligent as the next.  There wasn’t a runt among them.  The boys would come in to visit and to feed them their fortified cow’s milk from a bottle.  Utter chaos would ensue.  There would be six little black and white fluff balls running about jumping up and down all yelling,

“Me, Waco!  Me, Blue!  Pick me up, Travis!  No, me first, Little Bear!”  They would shove and knock each other down to get to the boys first.  They knew the boys had extra milk of some kind for them they loved almost as much as their mother’s milk.  The boys couldn’t get enough of them and Scraps and Happy couldn’t have been prouder.
Poor Keeke didn’t know quite what to think of them.  She couldn’t deny they were cute and loveable, but they were so frenetic she steered clear of them most of the time.  Their enthusiasm for life knew no boundaries.  There was no such thing as moderation.  Nothing attempted was worth doing just halfway.  There were no gray areas.  They just wanted to love everyone to death with as much gusto as they could bring to the effort.  They looked upon Keeke with awe and wanted to play with her, but Waco wouldn’t let them.  He told them when they were older and learned a few manners, then he might let them.  After all, their daddy and mom were the heroes who saved Keekepata’s life.

Jack and Jill and Ping and Pong had no problems with them.  They would get down on their level and play with them.  The pups adored them.  They could talk to them with their minds or the pups would laugh, holler and bark   to surprise them.  They ran their parents ragged.  Either Scraps or Happy was after them all the time.  They took head counts numerous times a day and invariably one would be missing and into some mischief.  Sometimes Scraps and Happy would look at each other like they were bewildered and wondered if they made the right decision to have a family.  They didn’t count on Happy’s fecundity providing them with six outrageously rambunctious offsprings.

They were all spoken for shortly after they were weaned.  Word got around all of them could talk and the boys were offered large sums of money for even one of the pups, but they declined.  Ida Mae, JR, Hank and Waco wanted them to go to good, caring homes who would love them and take care of them properly.  Charlie suggested they might consider keeping a male or a female for the ranch.  He left it up to the boys to decide.

When they were barely old enough to recognize the humans who came to see them and play with them, they quickly learned their names and began to try to speak to them.  They somehow figured out from early mental  communication Waco, JR and Lucas were the pack leaders of the humans and the ones their parents most trusted and admired.  Therefore, it only seemed natural for them to try to speak their names first.  The name ‘Waco’ was half barked and half word as it would come out a garbled “Whack-co” much to Scrap’s embarrassment.  ‘JR’ didn’t fare much better.  His name came out “Grrrr,” like a cross between a growl and word.

Scraps would try to correct them, but Waco would laugh and tell him they would learn in time.  He would praise the pups and encourage them for trying.  Waco reminded Scraps it took him a while to get it right.  They got Blue’s name a little better.  It became “Boo” without the ‘L.”  The boys started calling him ‘Boo’ for a while.  As laid back as Blue was, he could’ve cared less.  Travis was harder for them.  It came out “Twa-vus.”  Little Bear came out “Lee-ta Bar.”  Lucas came out, “Loo-coos.”  
As a joke, Waco would sing to them, “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog, just a cry’n all the time.  You ain’t never caught a rabbit, and you ain’t no friend of mine.” and the pups would try to imitate him.  A couple got it down pretty good.  It was mangled beyond recognition to anyone who didn’t know what they were attempting; however, to the boys, no matter how bad, it was music to their ears.  Naturally, it would cause the boys to fall on the floor laughing at the pups trying to sing, “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog.”  When one picked it up the others would automatically join in to make it all the more funny to the boys; six shrill little voices trying their best to sound like their human master.  It was like listening to someone scratch their fingernails across a blackboard while eating a very sour lemon.
One afternoon Lucas decided he’d try an experiment with the pups.  Lucas heard them try to imitate human singing, but it would come out half song and half howl.  Lucas innately felt they might actually learn to carry a tune.

“After all,” he speculated, “what is howling but a form of singing?  It was just another form of communication; some might consider it a language.  Who knows,” Lucas further speculated, “how do we know it wasn’t our canine brothers who taught man to sing in the first place?  Early man would hear his wolf brothers cry to one another.  How difficult is it to imagine man did the same to keep in touch with his human brothers during the dark of a long winter’s night?”

Lucas sat down with them all around him, got their attention, which was no easy task in itself, and asked if they wanted to learn a song?  Of course they wanted to learn a song.  Yipee!  Oh, joy!  Their trusted friend and playmate, Lucas, was going to teach them a song.  They wanted to do anything to please the wonderful boys who helped take care of them, loved them unconditionally and played with them constantly.  Happy couldn’t have been more pleased with the boys.  They gave her and Scraps some much needed relief for a while.  She would be heard to sigh deeply, curl up next to her beloved mate and grab a much needed forty winks.

Lucas started out with the A, B, C song to teach them the alphabet.  Lazarus and Charlie were amazed, after about a week of blood curdling attempts at melody which would usually break into uncontrollable howls and barks, they finally began to get the hang of it.  Lazarus, Charlie, Ida Mae and Hank would fall all over each other, groan and laugh until they cried at the boy/dog chorus all singing the A, B, C song together.  It was something to behold.  It was a bloody awful racket.  Occasionally, one of the pups just couldn’t hold back his enthusiasm and would break into a howling melismatic descant that would make any modern day pop singer green with envy.

From there it was a simple matter to teach the pups to recognize the letters as symbols of the letters they were singing.  The next step was to teach them to put the letters together into words.  The boys were in heaven.  They would be the first to teach another species to read the English language.  The pups got better and better and by the time they were weaned and ready to go to good homes they could read on a second grade level.  Every pup could read several of Waco and JR’s old children’s books.  Their favorite was puss in boots.  Later, when they saw a cat for the first time they wanted to know where his boots were?  They were crushed to find out he didn’t own a pair.  They couldn’t understand it, all the boys wore boots.

If Carol and Chet Baker thought they’d seen strange things at the ranch before, the Sunday afternoon they witnessed the first performance of the human/canine chorus, they almost couldn’t contain themselves.  Lyle was about to roll on the ground from laughter.  Chet and Carol were holding each other with tears streaming down their faces.  Everyone thought it was about the most unique experience of their lives.  Every kid immediately wanted one of the pups.  Most adults did, too.  They were irresistible.  As one wag put it, they were death by cute.

As the pups grew they began to take interest in some of the folks who came to the ranch for Sunday Grange get-togethers.  One of the female pups began to take an interest in Don Lassiter’s last child; a little girl who seemed to be having developmental problems.  It was finally confirmed she was autistic.  Don and his wife had been bringing her to the Bandersnatch and letting the Kryscellians do what they could for her, but the Kryscells felt the damage was already done from mercury poisoning used as a preservative in  childhood vaccines forced on them by the federal government and there was little they could do to correct the problem.  They recommended purging her system of heavy metals and allowing their native son, Blue, to work with her.  While he could effect both, Blue was their expert on corrections as opposed to cures.

Every time they came out to the ranch Blue patiently held her and played with her for hours.  Whenever the boys were gathered to listen to the others she would be in his lap.  In the late evenings it was impressive and mysterious for the adults to see the blue lights and sparks emanating from his hands and flowing into the child.  She seemed to soak up his energy like a sponge.  She  responded to him when she wouldn’t anyone else.  He could get into her head and understand her confusion, frustration, anger and rage.  He had a calming effect on her.  She had no difficulty telling Blue from Waco.  She would immediately run to Blue when she arrived with her family.  She loved him and trusted him completely.

The little female pup Maxine began to be interested in the sheriff's daughter, the little girl they called ‘Tammy.’  Tammy was completely absorbed by Maxine and would sit and pet her by the hour.  She brought one of her children’s books with her, but she never paid much attention to it until Maxine became interested and asked her to turn the pages for her.  She wanted to see if she could read it.

Maxine slowly read the book to Tammy and the little girl would turn the pages for Maxine to continue reading.  All the adults were stunned not only because the young pup could read, but also because it had that much influence on the autistic child.  Don and his wife were in tears.  It was the first time they ever saw Tammy pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes.  She sat quietly and still as Maxine finished reading the children’s book to her.  Blue suggested Maxine might have found herself a home.  There was no question in the sheriff and his wife’s minds, they had found a new family member.

So ultimately, Maxine went to live with the sheriff and his family and became a treasured member of their household.  She worked with Tammy until the little girl seemed to do a complete turn around.  Blue’s efforts and her understanding constant companion Maxine seemed to help her readjust back into normal society.  By the time she was old enough for school, Tammy was ready for the first grade.  Maxine taught her the alphabet and how to read her children’s books.  Her teacher didn’t believe her when Tammy told her, her dog taught her to read.  Several of the other kids came to her rescue and assured the teacher her dog did, indeed, teach Tammy to read.

The Olsen boys and the Stampers wanted one of the pups in the worst way.  They got together to ask Cotton and Hoot if they could have one of the male pups if the Goodnight boys would give them one.  They reminded the boys Happy used to live on their ranch and their cow dogs beat her up all the time.  They didn’t think it would be fair to the pup to have to put up with them.  A herding dog’s natural instinct is to herd and he would want to be out with the cattle or sheep doing what he was bred to do.  It was left up in the air.  If they’d been really honest with the boys they would’ve liked to have one of the pups as much as they would.  

Waco wanted to hold back one of the male pups as a gift for Captain Vinceeth.  The Captain remarked several times how wonderful he thought Scraps and Happy were.  Waco wasn’t sure the Captain could feed and care for a dog on board his ship.  Keeke knew of the dietary requirements of dogs and assured Waco the Visallian ship could easily accommodate a couple of animals and would become the joy of the entire crew.  They would have a wonderful home on board the Captain’s ship.  The only draw back was, the Banshee was a war vessel, and if the ship fell upon bad times, the animals might suffer the same fate as the men.

* * * * * * *

The fall semester began and the boys were back in school.  Blue stunned everyone at school.  His teachers had a difficult time telling him and Waco apart.  They all came to care for him as much as any of the other Goodnight boys.   Blue really didn’t need the education; however, he soon found there were other things he could learn.  He learned many things he might not have otherwise.  Just getting feedback from the boys had its limitations.  The greatest thing he learned was from his brother Lucas.  He knew Lucas was sort of floating through school with one of the best minds.  Lucas told Blue what Lazarus told him; he was in school to learn to socialize and get along with others his age.  Lucas also claimed it was a way to learn to care about his brothers again.

Blue adopted the same laid back accepting attitude and easily found his place in the scheme of things.  Since Blue had the same last name as Waco, the students and teachers just accepted him as Waco’s relation.  It was a little more difficult for them to accept he was a long lost cousin from Alaska, but those things have a way of working themselves out.  School and learning becomes the main priority and the details of who and why got lost in the daily grind.

The teachers who were most pleased by the Goodnight boy’s freshman year in highschool was Coach Davis and his staff.  His second coach, Coach Ryan, and his family moved away to a suburb of Dallas.  Coach Ryan got a better job offer.  Coach Davis asked Chet Baker if he’d like to be his second coach and move up to highschool ball.  Coach Baker was thrilled to get the job and accepted immediately.  It meant more money for him and he’d get to be working with the boys again.  Waco and his men went crazy when they heard the news.                        

Blue met everyone’s expectations as a fine athlete and student.  He became as popular with the town as he did the teachers and student body.  Waco and his men could do no wrong.  They were riding the crest of a wave that carried them all the way through highschool.  The Stamper brothers were considered first cousins to the Goodnight boys and their popularity began to skyrocket after they became slaves.  They were changed young men.  They were more interested and worked hard at their studies.  They always had their homework done on time and were always in the top two percent of their class in grades.  They knew the better they did in school the more they would be rewarded by their masters, and in spite of the stigma of slavery, they came to be very comfortable with their lives.  They were controlled and disciplined, but not in a bad way.  They came to look upon Blake as their big brother and Hoot and Cotton as their parents.  Since they were owned by Lazarus and Lucas was too, they considered themselves his slave brothers.

* * * * * * *

The second week in September, the twins got their eviction notice from Strom.  They were fully baked and done to a ripe healthy ten pounds for Bo and nine pounds fifteen ounces for Jubal.  There wasn’t much fuss about leaving the comfort of their secondary dad’s pouch.  They were ready to live in the world; besides, they were just too damn big for Strom, as large as he was, to carry around much longer.  They got diapers slapped on their butts and were put in a crib together.  Their care became a family project.

The boys did most of the work.  It just seemed natural somehow since they took care of so many critters around the ranch.  Two more didn’t make that much difference.  Sometimes the upstairs of the ranch house was mass confusion but the boys soon got organized and handled everything with their usual attention to detail.  There wasn’t a boy in the family, including the two youngest, who didn’t become experts at feeding and changing diapers.

The boys were in contact with the twins since they were in Strom’s pouch.  They would talk back and forth, but their real conversations began after they left the big Lummox’s pouch.  Bo and Jubal retained partial memories of their previous lives as the two great warriors, Castor and Pollux, and would until they began to form new memories from their present life.  At first it was frustrating for them to realize they were born again as babies to suffer the indignities of having someone take care of them and see to their needs, but the boys wouldn’t let them become maudlin.  They joked, cajoled and played with them to make them see the humor of their situation and brought them along as two more brothers in the Goodnight household.

They never cried.  They didn’t have to.  They were in constant communication with the boys and would mentally tell them what they needed and when.  They slept a lot, but they were always awake and ready when big daddy Strom walked into their room to feed them.  Sometime Ox would help Strom and feed one while he fed the other.  When asked why they never cried, they replied,

“A warrior never cries!”  The boys thought that was funny and laughed at them.  

* * * * * * *

Kyron was doing an excellent job compiling videos to send to Captain Vinceeth and his men.  The boy’s antics with the pups would have the men rolling on the floor with laughter, but then the seriousness of the boy’s first major football game in their uniforms and playing heavy contact, tackle football brought them to their feet.  This was a sport they could really relate to.  It was a game true warriors played.  It was as rough and tumble as their contact sports.  They felt they shared a kindred spirit with the Earth boys in their game.  They spoke of yearning to be there to cheer them on.  It raised their estimation and admiration of the boys ten fold.

They loved the pageantry of the game and the music of the bands at halftime.  Since the boys were playing unknown teams, or at least unknown to them, they could gamble without much knowledge of how the game might turn out; however, the conservative money was on the Goodnight/Stamper boys.  The first game Waco and his men walked all over the other small town team with a thirty-six to nothing win.

Waco encouraged Kyron to film his men in the locker room and showers after the game and the Captain’s men went crazy seeing all the young naked human athletes.  They found the male human body much to their liking.  There wasn’t a dry dick among the warriors after watching the boys take their showers.  In the middle of showering, Waco sent his private message to his Captain.  He made certain he sent his personal message in each video.  There was always much whistling and wolf calls from his men, but the Captain took the kidding in good humor.  He would stand, turn to his men, bow from the waist gracefully with a sweeping gesture of his arm and smile at them with a smile that said, “Eat your hearts out!”  That only got him more applause and guff from his men.  They loved him and whatever joy came his way they thoroughly approved.

* * * * * * *

Word filtered back to Washington through the powers that be, there was some unusual goings on in a small town in West Texas not far from the town the President and Holy Prophet Dr. Scudder was from.  Rumor had it, the small town had a football team the entire state was talking about.  When asked if he wanted it investigated, the Holy Prophet declined stating he would make and unannounced trip to the town and observe for himself.  He had an old friend who was the pastor of the major evangelical church in the community.  Scudder was sure his friend had his ears open to anything going on which might be considered out of line.  Plans were made and the Prophet flew in Air Force One to El Paso and traveled by limo to the small town.  There he looked up his old friend from divinity college, Pastor David W. Yates.  To say Reverend Yates was surprised was an understatement, to find the Holy Prophet of the US standing on his front porch.

Dr. Scudder envisioned a quick, quiet trip to the small town as a fact finding mission and also to get a look at the local athletic talent this small West Texas town had to offer.  Some of his finest young temple slaves were sold to him from poor families in small towns in West Texas.  He hoped to be able to see some of the talent up close and personal.  He was looking to increase his harem of young male slaves to help him hear the voice of God more fully.

Of course, Reverend Yates had bigger things in mind.  What a boon and a boost it would be to his reputation to have the Holy Prophet on his arm at the local Friday night football game.  When the Holy Prophet inquired about various rumors his intelligence heard about the area and the Grange in particular, the Preacher Yates almost told him about his transgression and subsequent blackmail by the Grange; however, his wife was standing near and shook her head ‘no.’  Yates bit his lower lip.

He figured the visit from someone as powerful as the leader of the strongest country in the world paying him a visit would speak volumes to his enemies.  Mrs. Yates offered his Holiness a nice glass of iced tea and a piece of her pecan pie she just made.  He sat in their kitchen while the pastor made several phone calls to alert the town fathers they would have the Holy Prophet attending their football game that evening.

The boys got ready for the game as usual and were playing one of their toughest rivals that evening.  They weren’t too concerned and were having a good time getting ready.  When they were about finished and ready for the coaches to come in to give them a last minute talk, Coach Davis said he had an announcement.  

“Men, we don’t know how or why, but we have the Holy Prophet here with us this evening to watch the game.  Reverend Yates of the Baptist church here in town is bringing him in to say a prayer with you men and wish you well.”

The boys looked at each other like they were stunned.  They had only heard of the Holy Prophet on TV news and didn’t know what to think.  They had their own opinions formed partially on their own information they gathered and the feedback they got from the men of the Grange.  The Holy Prophet wasn’t a big favorite with the Grange.  They knew well enough to keep their mouths shut and go along with whatever transpired.

The local preacher brought Dr. Scudder in and introduced him to the team.  He went down the row and met each boy and made particular notes as to whether they were freeborn or slave.  He was pleasantly surprised to find many of the better looking boys were slaves; however, he found two twin boys much to his liking who were freeborn, Waco and Blue Goodnight.  He had his secretary make a note of their names and put a check by them.  He also had him put a check by the name's of several slaves, Lucas Long, Travis Jessup, Little Bear Tin Penny, Sam and Jeb Stamper.

He made a blowhard speech about how wonderful it was to serve the Lord and what a great calling it was for young men to dedicate their lives to the service of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Prophet in particular.  He let it be known he was looking for some young men to serve as his holy acolytes; much like the congressional pages of year's past.  He was also looking for several new temple guards to enter service on a basic level.  They would be trained by the other temple guards.

All the boys knew about the Holy Prophet’s young temple slaves; they were little more than his sex toys.  The temple guards were all pumped up riod-freaks who were impotent and most were complete eunuchs.  They didn’t care to volunteer for either position.  The boys were cordial, but reserved.  They looked to their leaders for guidance.  Waco and Blue kept their mouths shut.  The others followed suit.

The Holy Prophet made a long winded prayer over the boys and evoked God’s blessing on them to win the game.  The boys couldn’t help wonder if God was looking out for the rival team as well?  They all ‘amened’ his prayer after he was done.  The Prophet and Preacher left to take their seats and the coaches gave the boys their final pep talk.  Before he began, Coach Davis stood looking at his men and got a funny look on his face.  He just shook his head almost in disbelief.  He didn’t have to say a word, the boys knew.  They looked at one another and smiled.  After they went onto the field they had to listen to another prayer from the Holy Prophet, but this time he included the other team in his prayer as well.  ‘So much for a partisan God.’ Coach Baker thought to himself.  

Both teams played hard, but during the last half of the game Waco and his men walked away with a decisive win.  They won by three touchdowns and three field goals.  The small town went crazy.  While the boys were in the shower after the game they were interrupted again by the preacher and the Holy Prophet who just wanted to congratulate them and wish them well.  He also wanted to get a good look at their tackle and had two of his men taking nude photos of the boys.  When the boys later recounted this to the men of the Grange and both coaches confirmed their stories, the men were livid he would do something that bold without owner’s or parental consent.   

The local preacher begged the Holy Prophet to stay over and preach at his church on Sunday.  It would have been a big feather in his cap to have the number one man in the country speak at his small church.  It would bring him the social and political status in the small community the felt he so richly deserved.  He had put up with these cow and horse shit smelling yokels for many years, and he had greater ambitions than simply remaining small town Baptist minister.  He just knew God had a greater calling for him.

The Holy Prophet wasn’t in a charitable mood and brushed him off.  He had to get back to Washington.  Before he and his men left he asked once again if there was anything to the rumors his intelligence men had heard.  The preacher assured him there was nothing to the rumors.  Dr. Scudder said his unctuous goodbyes and left the small town to return to El Paso.  He watched a slide show on his lap top of the digital photos of the young men in the shower and played with himself on the return trip.  He was almost certain, every time the pictures of Waco and Blue Goodnight or Lucas Long came on the screen he could hear the angels singing and the voice of God telling him he needed these young men’s inspiration.

“Hallelujah!  Praise God!”  he shouted as he was overcome by the holy spirit and it overflowed into his waiting hand.  It was truly a blessed moment.
* * * * * * *

“Hurry, men!”  Brick Armstrong yelled at the temple boys.  “You, Stark!  You, Ivan!  You, Harry and you, Billy!  Oh, yes, and you, Timmy!  You men are on the Holy Prophet’s list of acolytes for later this evening to relax him and prepare him to receive the holy spirit.  He’s let it be known he will speak with God this evening upon returning from his trip to Texas.  It’s up to you men to be clean and ready to give yourselves unto his service should he call upon you.  You all know the drill.  Get in the showers and clean each other.  Me and Buster will come in and inspect you.  We better not get any dirt on our fingers when we check your holes either.  You’ll be spanked by me or Buster and have to go back to the shower.  We’ll have the older boys come down to clean you.  Do it right the first time, gentlemen!  Just remember, cleanliness is next to Godliness.  It would be a terrible thing for the Holy Prophet to get a temple boy’s shit on his dick, now wouldn’t it?”

For his huge size and massive muscles, the boys knew Brick Armstrong’s bark was far worse than his bite.  In fact, he had no bite at all.  They could get away with murder with Brick and he wouldn’t do anything to them; however, because of that reason they all came to love and trust him above all the other Temple Guards and would obey him without question.  They called him ‘Teddy Bear’ behind his back because he was just that to the boys.  He was big, warm and cuddly.  He was the first the boys ran to if they had a problem or were feeling down.  Brick’s big heart and arms were always open to them.  He was one of the few guards who would be physical with them.

The boys knew he was up for promotion so their minding him went a long way for a good review from his superiors.  His next position would require him to sacrifice his genitals.  He was incredibly muscularly pumped, but he had taken steroids for so many years his testicles and dick were shriveled up to almost nothing.  He could barely get an erection and hadn’t ejaculated in five years or more; however, he did enjoy the boys sucking on his tiny dick from time to time.  

The Temple Guards weren’t forbidden from physically fraternizing with the boys.  They were allowed to have sex with the boys but only if the boy consented.  They were urged to if they felt the spirit move them; however, most had little interest or were delusional they were celibate straight men.  Brick had little sexual interest in the boys, but he did like to cuddle and sleep with them.  He would often allow a boy to bunk it in with him.  He had a couple of favorites he enjoyed more than the others.  His very favorite was little Timmy Kelly.

When Timmy came back from the main bunk room naked he walked up to the huge, mountain of a man, put his arms around his waist and hugged him.  Timmy liked to feel his nude body against the leather uniform the Temple Guards wore and Brick’s hard cod piece hit Timmy right in his groin.  Tim would always get an erection.

“Can I come to your room after I’m dismissed by his Holiness, Officer Brick?”

“Sure.  You know you can come to me anytime, Tim.”

“Do you love me, Brick?”  Timmy asked.

“I ain’t suppose to, you know that, boy.”

“I know.  I guess it don’t matter none.  I love you, though.”

“Well, lemme’ put it this way, kid.  If I could love you, I would.  How’s that?”  Brick smiled down at the boy, hugged him tight and stole a kiss.

“Ah, Brick!  I know you love me, but I won’t say nothing.  I want you to get your promotion if’n that’s what you want.  In a way, I wish you wouldn’t.  I’ll miss suck’n on you, Brick.”

“Ah, you won’t miss it.  We can still sleep together, and I can suck you.  You still got my big tits to suck on.  You know how much you like to suck on them.  Hell, you keep ‘em sore most of the time.  If I turn a certain way, I can feel where you sucked me raw.  Makes me crazy think’n ‘bout you all day.”

“I know, I love to suck your tits, but it just won’t be the same without your manhood to suck on.”

“Don’t do that to me, Timmy.  You know how dedicated I am to the Holy father.  He’s expecting this of me, and I just can’t let him down.  It would be a sin to back out now.  I’d go to hell for sure and give up my chance to serve his Holiness for eternity.”

“Okay, Brick.  I understand.”  said Timmy sort of defeated.  Brick felt bad for his little friend, but there was no doubt in his mind, if offered the position he would sacrifice everything for it.

* * * * * * *

Timmy sneaked quietly into Brick’s room after he was dismissed by the Holy Prophet.  He gently climbed into the Guard’s big bed.  Tim really needed Brick’s strong body and mental support.  He needed to feel lost in Brick’s arms.  He made love to the big, gentle giant of a man and cried his heart out.

“Wanna’ tell your buddy about it, little one?”  Brick whispered.

Timmy just shook his head.  He began sucking on Brick’s tits with a vengeance.  Brick had to move him from one to the other to keep it from getting too sore.  Finally Tim moved down Brick’s incredible body to his treasure trail and licked it down to his small, shrunken penis.  He lovingly took it into his warm mouth and began to make love to the huge man.  Timmy made such sweet love to Brick’s tiny prick it began to feel really fine.  What was happening to him?  Was it a miracle?  Had God touched him and Timmy?  For the first time in six years, Brick Armstrong’s dick became fully erect.  The harder he became the more fiercely Timmy made love to him until Brick was sure he heard the very voice of God himself speak to him.

“You are my son, one of many, in whom I am well pleased.  I gave this young man to you.  He is yours to have.  You are his to have.  Let him have what he most wants from you.  It is yours to give.  He needs what only you may give him.  Give of yourself.  Let him taste of your body as you have tasted mine.  Give to him the holiness of your being; the sanctity of your soul.  There!  He has you to the point of no return.  You’re falling!  Fulfill the prophecy, my son.  Give him the essence of your spirit; give him your love.  Let yourself go!” and Brick Armstrong, Holy Temple Guard of the Holy Prophet emptied himself into his eager, hungry young lover.   

End Of Chapter 27 ~ Waco’s Lummox

Copyright 2007 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com