“If I should
ever die, God forbid, I wish for my epitaph to read: I could never
believe in a God if it were not for music.” Kurt Vonnegut 1922 ~
Everyone gathered on the bridge to watch their arrival at Saturn, one
of the most beautiful and magnificent of the Jovian worlds.
Captain Waco was ready with another of his brief but informative talks
about what his passenger’s would be seeing. Kuluke stood beside
his little brother. David and the med-bots had T’kan out of bed
and walking with the aid of crutches. The cast on his leg was a
full leg cast. It ran from just below his butt to his foot.
Only his heel and toes were exposed. They attached a hard rubber
stop to the very bottom, beneath his foot, for him to rest his weight
on without damaging the cast. After they adjusted his crutches to
his proper height, T’kan quickly learned to use them almost as easily
as walking naturally.
He was a natural
little athlete and his crutches provided him with a new form of
locomotion to master. He saw it as a challenge and worked hard to
get the hang of it. He soon became adept at using them. He
could go anywhere his brother could; however, after being cleaned up
and being on board the Buttercup for a while, Kuluke wasn’t real sure
he wanted to return to the cave. Besides, they were going for
walks in the woods several times a day. It wasn’t like they were
cooped up in the confines of the ship around the clock. The
critter walks became as important to them as the other guests.
were experiencing was like magic to the bairns, but they stayed close
to Strom and Lyle while they took it all in with wide-eyed
fascination. The young of any species will adapt quicker and
easier to a new situation than adults. Kuluke and T’kan felt like
they had family for the first time in their lives, and they had to
admit to each other, it was appealing to them. Their dad rarely
let them have any of his teat. He acted like they were too old to
be nursing on him. They got all they wanted from Strom and
Ox. Everyone treated them as honored guests and special
friends. T’kan especially loved the attention his crutches
brought him. They set him apart and made him feel special.
“May I have your
attention, please?” Captain Waco spoke to the assembled guest. He
started speaking after he had everyone’s attention.
“Saturn is the
sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest. In Roman
mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture. The associated Greek
god, Cronus, was the son of Uranus and Gaia* and the father of Zeus
(Jupiter). Saturn is the root of the English word
"Saturday." When it is in the nighttime sky, as seen from
Earth, Saturn is easily visible to the unaided eye. Though it is
not nearly as bright as Jupiter, it is easy to identify as a planet
because it doesn't "twinkle" like the stars do. The rings and the
larger satellites are visible with a small astronomical
telescope. Like the other jovian planets, Saturn has a
significant magnetic field. Saturn has thirty-four named
satellites. Of those moons, for which rotation rates are known,
all but Phoebe and Hyperion rotate synchronously.
visibly flattened (oblate); its equatorial and polar diameters vary by
almost ten percent. This flattening is the result of its rapid
rotation and fluid state. The other gas planets are also oblate,
but not so much so. Saturn is the least dense of the planets; its
specific gravity (0.7) is less than that of water. Like Jupiter,
Saturn is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium with traces of water,
methane, ammonia and "rock", similar to the composition of the
primordial Solar Nebula from which the solar system was formed.
Saturn's interior is similar to Jupiter's consisting of a rocky core, a
liquid metallic hydrogen layer and a molecular hydrogen layer.
interior is hot (12000 K at the core) and Saturn radiates more energy
into space than it receives from the Sun. Most of the extra
energy in the form of heat, is generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz
mechanism as in Jupiter, but this may not be sufficient to explain
Saturn's luminosity; some additional mechanism, as yet unknown, may be
at work. The heat is generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism
by the slow gravitational compression of the planet. Saturn and
Jupiter do NOT produce energy by nuclear fusion as in the Sun; they are
much too small and hence interiors are too cool to ignite nuclear
reactions. Interior heat probably causes convection deep within
Jupiter's liquid layers and is probably responsible for the complex
motions we see in the cloud tops. Saturn and Neptune are similar
to Jupiter in this respect, but oddly, Uranus is not.
rings (A and B) and one faint ring (C) can be seen from the Earth. The
gap between the A and B rings is known as the Cassini division. The
much fainter gap in the outer part of the A ring is known as the Encke
Division. Saturn's rings, unlike the rings of the other planets,
are very bright. Though they look continuous from the Earth, the
rings are actually composed of innumerable small particles each in an
independent orbit. They range in size from a centimeter or so to
several meters. A few kilometer-sized objects are also likely.
Saturn's rings are extraordinarily thin: though they're 250,000 km or
more in diameter they're less than one kilometer thick. Despite
their impressive appearance, there's really very little material in the
rings. If the rings were compressed into a single body it would
be no more than 100 km across. The ring particles seem to be
composed primarily of water ice, but they may also include rocky
particles with icy coatings. Voyager confirmed the existence of
puzzling radial inhomogeneities in the rings called "spokes" which were
first reported by amateur astronomers. Their nature remains a
mystery, but may have something to do with Saturn's magnetic field.
complex tidal resonances between some of Saturn's moons and the ring
system: some of the moons, the so-called "shepherding satellites" (i.e.
Atlas, Prometheus and Pandora) are clearly important in keeping the
rings in place; Mimas seems to be responsible for the paucity of
material in the Cassini division, which seems to be similar to the
Kirkwood gaps in the asteroid belt; Pan is located inside the Encke
Division and S/2005 S1 is in the center of the Keeler Gap. The
whole system is very complex and as yet poorly understood. The
origin of the rings of Saturn and the other Jovian planets is
unknown. Though they may have had rings since their formation,
the ring systems are not stable and must be regenerated by ongoing
processes, perhaps the breakup of larger satellites. The current
set of rings may be only a few hundred million years old. Is
there any question?” Waco asked his guests.
mean we come from a place like that? The place we call Earth?
>> Waco overheard Kuluke ask Strom and Lyle.
but our world is much smaller than the world you’re looking at.
Myra, sweet heart, would you project Earth next to our current picture
of Saturn on the center screen so our passengers can get an idea the
difference in size between them?”
“Be happy to, my
handsome Captain.” Myra replied.
Earth was on the bottom left of the huge holo-vid screen. It
looked like a large blue marble next to the huge size of the ringed gas
everyone, that’s what our planet would look like next to Saturn.
When you’re viewing something as large a Saturn or Jupiter from the
deck of a spaceship it’s hard to keep in perspective just how enormous
the gas giants are.”
Everyone had to
agree it made their home world look insignificant by comparison.
Kuluke and T’kan were impressed. Waco then had Myra show a full
screen view of the Earth from the Clark orbit and everyone seemed to
reconnect with their personal sense of perspective.
“Our world is
beautiful.” whispered T’kan.
“It is, indeed,
little brother.” Waco came and stood by the two young
lummox. “By the way, welcome to the Buttercup. That’s the
name of our ship. Glad to have you aboard.”
Captain Waco.” replied Kuluke for him and his little brother.
your evening meal while we orbit Saturn. When we finish we will
be leaving orbit and heading for Jupiter, the largest planet in our
Solar System. If you think Saturn is spectacular, you ain’t seen
nothing yet. It’s a shorter hop from Saturn to Jupiter because of
the way the planets are aligned right now, so we should be coming into
site of the big planet shortly before our bosun pipes ‘lights
out.’ Of course, you’re all welcome to join us for a late night
hot chocolate party here on the bridge and we will orbit the planet
several times. We will then leave orbit and head back into the
direction of our home world. We hope to arrive within sight of
Venus by early morning. Those of you who haven’t met our newest
guests, Kuluke and his younger brother T’kan, please stop by and
Some of the
cowboys already introduced themselves, but the rest of the folks slowly
strolled over to meet them. Kuluke stayed close to Strom and
Lyle, but T’gan was far more outgoing showing off his new leg cast to
everyone. He was the center of attention and loving it. He
was adventurous enough to pet all the dogs, and they talked freely with
him. He was fascinated with Keekepata, and she became quite fond
of the young bairn.
Folks moved on
to have supper. Lyle left Kuluke and T’kan with Strom and went to
the main mess hall on the galley deck. He told Strom he would eat
quickly and join him and the boys in the critter feeding area.
Strom nodded his understanding.
“We don’t eat
with them?” asked T’kan.
“No, Son, they
eat different foods. Our diet is more basic and simple than
theirs. We are closer to the land than they are. They have
more formal eating rituals than we do. It’s just more comfortable
for us to eat separately. If you want to eat with them, they will
gladly make a place for you at their table without question. My
boy Ox and I have eaten with them many times, but we are never really
comfortable. You’ll have a chance one of these days, and then you
let me know what you think about it.”
me, their food and eating habits are over rated. >> Jill
projected to them. I just want my cup of chow and to be left
alone while I eat.
“Me, too, sister
Jill.” echoed Patty.
more.” allowed Moe
should be for eating, not for chit-chat.” said Shep.
“Utah, eats with
them.” said Larry.
he’s like his master. He eats special food that only his master
can make for him out of the same chow we eat, but he does something to
it to rearrange its nutritional values especially for Utah. He
never stays. His master gives him permission to come find
us. I think he’d rather be with us anyway.”
“Is he really a
dog, like us?” Shep asked.
“I think so, he
sniffed my butt.” allowed Moe.
awful, brother.” Patty said indignantly, then giggled.
“Don’t get high
and mighty with us, little sister, I saw him sniff your butt, and I
watched you return the favor.” laughed Shep. Poor Patty
looked at her brother like she could kill him. All the critters
laughed at their exchange. Kuluke and T’kan thought it was
funny. They laughed out loud. Strom smiled at his son,
Garron. Ox winked back at him. It was good to see the boys
find humor in something. It seemed like Kuluke and T’kan were
becoming comfortable with their new life.
The four legged
critters and their friends finished their meal a lot quicker than their
human friends. They sat around and talked to one another until
Jack Hall whistled for them it was time for their walk. He and
Warren Steele were the unofficial walkabout captains and were
responsible for accounting for everyone. Warren had a clipboard
with everyone’s name who was going on the walk and checked off their
names before they could go through the portal. Before they
returned he’d call out everyone’s name and check them off before anyone
was allowed to return from the forest. It was organized and they
made sure no one was left behind.
It was still
dusk as they went through the portal onto the dirt road they usually
took up and over the hill. It was T’kan’s first attempt at going
any distance on his crutches. David said he could go as long as
he didn’t overdo. Jack and Warren watched him closely.
Strom, Lyle, Ox and Waco were along to back them up. The animals
were pretty well trained not to go too far into the brush to relieve
themselves. Agreement or no agreement, no one was anxious to run
into a full grown mountain lion. Kuluke walked slowly along side
his little brother and offered him encouragement. He enjoyed
their outings in the forest as it made him feel less captive and
enclosed. T’kan was adapting much faster than Kuluke was.
evening, Kuluke and T’kan watched a Disney movie with the cowboys and
the critters. Captain Waco promised the critters a special movie
just for them even the pups would enjoy. It was Disney’s original
version of “The Shaggy Dog.” There was much laughter,
cheering and talking to the characters on the screen as the young boy
would turn into a dog and then back into a human. The audience
participation made the film much better than it really was and everyone
had a ball. Everyone agreed it was one of the best movies they’d
ever seen. Kuluke and T’kan were enchanted by it. They
didn’t understand how a human could change into a dog and back
again. Kuluke thought it must be some kind of magic.
“Ah, it’s just a
story, Kuluke. Ain’t no magic to it.” explained Moe, “It ain’t
real. They make it look like it’s really happening, but it’s all
done with special effects. He don’t really change into a dog and
when he becomes a dog, it’s a real dog what plays the part. It’s
all make believe. Anything you can imagine they can make into a
story and make it look real.”
real sure he understood, but his little brother came to his rescue.
evening I’ll show you a video I ran across while laying in bed that
explains it all. I wondered how they do it, and I asked Myra
about it. She’s real helpful. She told me there weren’t no
magic to it. She showed me this wonderful video that explains it
all. Once you see how they do it, you’ll understand.” he
spoke like a knowing sage. Warren and Jack found T’kan’s
self-assuredness amusing. Less than a day out of the wild and the
little one knew about special effects.
A number of the
adults watched the movie with them, but Charlie, Lazarus, Strom and
Lyle were in the canteen drinking coffee with Sonny and Vivian
Steele. They were discussing the trip and the chance finding of
the young bairns.
“Thank God we
found them when we did.” said Lazarus, “David told me T’kan was close
to having major infection set in, and he could’ve been dead within a
“I just can’t
understand a father leaving his bairns alone to find another place for
them to live. I’d never leave one of my bairns behind even when
hunting. They were always within sight of me or Pangle. Ask
Garron, in all the years he lived with us, we never left him alone for
a minute. I don’t know of any other lummox parents who would do
that either. Our children are everything to us. They are
our past and our future.” said Strom almost angrily. His booming
voice rose in volume toward the end of his impassioned speech.
Everyone was silent. Lazarus got a funny grin on his face.
God! You’re becoming attached to them.” Lazarus laughed and
gently slapped Strom on his back. “I should’ve seen this coming.
Why am I not surprised?” he asked.
realized it? I’ve known it from the time Strom and Ox brought
Kuluke back to the ship.” grinned Lyle.
“I could a’ told
you!” exclaimed Vivian. “I can see the way he looks at them when he
thinks nobody’s looking.” she laughed and grabbed her husband’s
arm. Sonny laughed with her.
ya’ll understand why I fell in love with him?” said Lyle laughing and
putting his arm around his mate.
course! No doubt!” said Charlie. “I think we’ve all fallen under
their spell, especially the little one— Mr. Personality plus.”
“What are you
gonna’ do about it, big’un?" Lazarus put to Strom. “What if
they want us to find their dad? He shouldn’t be hard to
find. We can find him with their DNA.”
“I wanna’ check
him out first. I wanna’ ask him why he left them in that cave all
“And if you
don’t like his answer?” Lazarus asked.
“He don’t find
out we got ‘em, and I tell the boys we couldn’t find him.”
quiet again. Vivian Steele broke the silence with a sigh.
“I suppose there
are good and bad lummox just like every other race of people. If
it came to a vote, I’d be more likely to vote in favor of Strom and
Lyle than a father who would abandon his boys unless he had one hell of
a good reason. I think Strom’s idea to check him out sounds
reasonable.” she said.
“I agree with
Vivian.” said Charlie quietly.
“Me, too.” added
“I agree with my
mate.” Lyle grinned.
Lazarus laughed at Lyle, “I think it’s a good idea, too. I have
to say, Strom, you never cease to amaze me. I’m proud you were
the second birth father for our twins. Does that mean you and
Lyle would be willing to take them in and raise them as your own?”
speaks for us.” Lyle smiled and winked at Lazarus.
you’re a wise young man. You won’t never go wrong throwing your
lot in with a magnificent beast like Strom.” he grinned.
“Of course we’ll
accept them as our own. We’ll start off with a little larger
family than we planned. These are unusual times we’re living in
and they call for creative solutions to difficult situations.
We’ll just have to have three human bairns to make up the difference.”
Strom laughed and hugged Lyle to him.
Lyle complained. Everyone laughed.
right. It all sounds good, but you have to promise you’ll take
Garron along with you when you check out their dad. Not because I
wouldn’t trust your word, but because I want someone covering your
back. Also, we have no idea what kind of lummox we’re dealing
with. Like Vivian said, there are some bad one’s out there.
I know your husband would feel better if you were accompanied by one of
sweet heart, I would feel better.” Lyle told him.
“Garron will go
with me, if nothing else, to keep me from killing a brother.” Strom
said more quietly.
There was no
doubt in anyone’s mind Strom might be capable of such a thing in the
heat of anger if he thought the bairns had been mistreated.
Nothing more was said, but everyone watched with amusement as the four
grew closer to each other. Kuluke and T’kan came to accept Lyle
as a second dad as readily as they accepted Strom as their primary
father. They even came to look upon Ox as their big brother,
because they knew he was one of Strom’s adopted sons. They didn’t
talk about their other dad a lot. The boys were promised the men
would try to find their dad when they returned to Earth, and they
seemed satisfied Strom and his friends would keep their word.
* * * * * * *
After the movie,
Jack and Warren took everyone for another walk. It was the last
one for the evening. It was getting late. They no sooner
returned when Travis blew his bosun’s pipe to announce the Buttercup’s
arrival at the planet Jupiter. David and Jonathan and the service
bots served hot chocolate on the bridge. The critters got other
treats, but after one taste of a little of Lyle and Strom’s hot
chocolate Kuluke and T’gan knew they’d found a home. They
couldn’t get such strange and wonderful things in a cold, damp cave.
began his talk about Jupiter.
“Jupiter is the
fifth planet from the Sun and by far the largest. Jupiter is more
than twice as massive as all the other planets combined. The mass
of Jupiter is three hundred and eighteen times that of Earth.
Jupiter, or Zeus in Greek, was the King of the Gods, the ruler of
Olympus and the patron of the Roman state. Zeus was the son of
Cronus (Saturn). It is the fourth brightest object in the
sky after the Sun, the Moon and Venus. It has been known since
prehistoric times as a bright "wandering star". In 1610 when
Galileo first pointed a telescope at the sky, he discovered Jupiter's
four large moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (known today as the
Galilean moons) and recorded their motions back and forth around
Jupiter. This was the first discovery of a center of motion not
centered on the Earth. It was a major point in favor of
Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the motions of the planets.
Galileo's outspoken support of the Copernican theory got him in trouble
with the Holy Inquisition. You remember them folks, don't
you? If it ain't in the bible, it ain't so. What a pity
religion and belief systems have progressed very little in four hundred
The gas planets
don't have solid surfaces. Their gaseous material simply gets
denser with depth. What we see when looking at these planets is
the tops of clouds high in their atmospheres. Jupiter is about
90% hydrogen and 10% helium with traces of methane, water, ammonia and
"rock". This is very close to the composition of the primordial
Solar Nebula from which the entire solar system was formed.
Saturn has a similar composition, but Uranus and Neptune have much less
hydrogen and helium.
Our knowledge of
the interior of Jupiter and the other gas planets is highly speculative
and likely to remain so for some time; however, some scientists'
best guess is Jupiter probably has a core of rocky material amounting
to something like ten to fifteen Earth-masses. Above the core
lies the main bulk of the planet in the form of liquid metallic
hydrogen. This exotic form of the most common of elements is
possible only at pressures exceeding four million bars, as is the case
in the interior of Jupiter and Saturn. Liquid metallic hydrogen
consists of ionized protons and electrons like the interior of the Sun
but at a far lower temperature. At the temperature and pressure
of Jupiter's interior hydrogen is a liquid, not a gas. It is an
electrical conductor and the source of Jupiter's magnetic field.
This layer probably also contains some helium and traces of various
ices. The outermost layer is composed primarily of ordinary
molecular hydrogen and helium which is liquid in the interior and
gaseous further out. The atmosphere we see is just the very top
of this deep layer. Water, carbon dioxide, methane and other
simple molecules are also present in tiny amounts.
Jupiter and the
other gas planets have high velocity winds which are confined in wide
bands of latitude. The winds blow in opposite directions in adjacent
bands. Slight chemical and temperature differences between these
bands are responsible for the colored bands that dominate the planet's
appearance. The light colored bands are called zones; the dark
ones belts. The bands have been known for some time on Jupiter,
but the complex vortices in the boundary regions between the bands were
first seen by Voyager. The data from the Galileo probe indicate
that the winds are even faster than expected; more than 400 mph.
Jupiter's atmosphere is quite turbulent. Jupiter's winds are
driven in large part by its internal heat rather than from solar input
as on Earth. The vivid colors seen in Jupiter's clouds are
probably the result of subtle chemical reactions of the trace elements
in Jupiter's atmosphere, perhaps involving sulfur whose compounds take
on a wide variety of colors, but the details are unknown.
The Great Red
Spot (GRS) has been seen by Earthly observers for more than 300
years. The GRS is an oval about 12,000 by 25,000 km, big enough
to hold two Earths. Other smaller but similar spots have been
known for decades. Infrared observations and the direction of its
rotation indicate that the GRS is a high-pressure region whose cloud
tops are significantly higher and colder than the surrounding
regions. Similar structures have been seen on Saturn and
Neptune. It is not known how such structures can persist for so
more energy into space than it receives from the Sun. The
interior of Jupiter is hot. The core is probably about 20,000
K. The heat is generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism, the
slow gravitational compression of the planet. Jupiter does not
produce energy by nuclear fusion as in the Sun; it is much too small
and hence its interior is too cool to ignite nuclear reactions.
This interior heat probably causes convection deep within Jupiter's
liquid layers and is probably responsible for the complex motions we
see in the cloud tops. Saturn and Neptune are similar to Jupiter
in this respect, but oddly, Uranus is not. Jupiter is just about
as large in diameter as a gas planet can be. If more material
were to be added, it would be compressed by gravity such that the
overall radius would increase only slightly. A star can be larger
only because of its internal nuclear heat source; however, Jupiter
would have to be at least 80 times more massive to become a star.
Jupiter has a
huge magnetic field, much stronger than Earth's. Its
magnetosphere extends more than 650 million km past the orbit of
Saturn. Jupiter's moons lie within its magnetosphere, a fact which may
partially explain some of the activity on one of its moons, Io.
Jupiter has sixty-three known satellites: the four large Galilean moons
plus many more small ones. Jupiter is very gradually slowing down
due to the tidal drag produced by the Galilean satellites. Also, the
same tidal forces are changing the orbits of the moons, very slowly
forcing them farther from Jupiter. Jupiter's satellites are named
for other figures in the life of Zeus; mostly, his numerous lovers.”
discourse on Jupiter was the longest and most complete for all the
planets. He explained there were more mysteries than answers
about such an imposing giant in our Solar System. For all our
technology there are questions about the planet that may never be
Because of the
planet’s size, it took sometime to orbit Jupiter; however, by the time
Waco gave the command to leave orbit and continue on their journey to
Venus, most of the guest had said their ‘goodnights’ and drifted of to
their individual cabins. Kuluke and T’kan were sharing a huge bed
in same cabin where Strom and Lyle were staying. It was another
double cabin that had a water-tight door in between as found on most
ships at sea, spaceships, and Mormon Temples.
could go to bed they were required to join Lyle and Strom in the bath
where they were both subjected to sonic showers and water. They
were careful with T’kan’s cast so it didn’t get wet. It became a
major family moment. The young bairns were embarrassed the first
time they saw Lyle naked. They had plenty of fur to cover their
genitals and so did Strom. They didn’t have any problem with him;
however, seeing a nude human was something altogether different for
them. They tried not to look at him and kept their backs to him
most of the time. Strom laughed at them.
“Come on, guys,
you’re going to make Lyle feel bad. There’s nothing to be
embarrassed about. Just think on him as family. He’s my
family and as long as you two are under my care he’s your family,
too. Once you get used to the fact he has no fur to speak of, you
began to see the beauty of the human race. And, as humans go, I
picked me a good looking one.” Strom boomed with laughter as he
hugged Lyle’s nude body against his. The boys blushed.
It took them
several evenings, but they slowly began to loosen up, but Kuluke’s
problem was not that Lyle was nude, it was because he found him so
attractive. It didn’t take his little brother long to figure it
out and made his big brother’s life even worse. Lyle would bathe
the boys just like he would Strom. Strom would take one and Lyle
would take the other. Kuluke always managed to be with
T’kan told Strom what was going on and they roared with laughter.
It became their secret.
Strom’s permission to show his brother the video Myra put up for him to
watch while he was in sickbay. That night, after Strom and Lyle
had tucked them in, T’kan showed Kuluke what he discovered. He
taught him how to speak to Myra.
“Are you there,
Myra?” T’kan spoke softly.
A soft female
voice came back. “I’m always here, sweet bairn. All you
gotta’ do is speak my name or give a whistle. You do know how to
whistle, don’t you?” she giggled.
ma’am. I don’t know how to whistle.”
problem. I’ll have one of the cowboys teach you. Now, what
can I do for you this evening? It’s late, shouldn’t you men be
going to sleep?”
permission from Strom.” T’kan replied.
“I know you
did. I heard. What do you need from Myra?”
“Could you put
up that video you showed me in sickbay about how they make videos and
comfy and I’ll start it in a minute. Enjoy.” she replied and the
They watched it
all the way through and Kuluke was impressed. It was all very
logical how they did it. It was an art or a craft. There
was no magic to it; however, when he stopped to think about it, it came
off looking like magic, and after all, wasn’t that what magic was all
about? Myra spoke to them again.
“Anything else I
can do for you this evening, handsome?” she asked T’kan.
“No, ma’am, but
thanks a lot, Myra. You’re a good friend.”
“Why, thank you,
little one, I try to be. You take good care of your leg and get
well soon.” she signed off.
Somewhere in the
wee hours of the morning, Kuluke rolled over to throw his arm over his
little brother, but he wasn’t there. He sat up in the bed, but he
didn’t panic. He saw the door open between the bedrooms and went
to look. There was T’kan fast asleep in Lyle’s arms. Kuluke
silently walked around their big bed and gently crawled in next to
Strom. It was just enough to wake the big beast. Strom saw
it was Kuluke, smiled at him, and opened his huge arms to him.
Kuluke snuggle up to Strom and the big lummox embraced him.
Kuluke felt safer in Strom’s arms than he ever had in his young
life. There was just something about the huge lummox he felt
comfortable with and trusted.
<< Would a
little warm milk help you sleep?” >> Strom projected.
<< It just
might, Sir. >> Kuluke smiled.
yourself, Son. >>
Kuluke fell fast
asleep after only a few minutes of drinking Strom’s warm sweet
milk. He slept peacefully the rest of the night in his big lummox
* * * * * * *
The morning pipe
was blown early. The Buttercup was approaching Venus. Lyle
and Strom lay in bed with their two new wards. Lyle got everyone
up. He knew the first walk of the day started early. They
needed to get up and out to go for a walk in the woods. After
their walk, everyone had breakfast. The Captain announced things
would be different that morning, because there would be a lot more to
see on Venus. After breakfast all the guest gathered on the
bridge. Everyone was excited to get the first glimpse of the
Venerean Bladder Whales, Cetacea Balaena Cythereinsis.
Waco told Burt
to take the control seat next to his left where Jill had been
setting. She simply crawled up in Burt’s lap and smiled at
him. She weighed almost nothing so it wasn’t uncomfortable for
“I wanted you to
get the feel of operating one of these ships, Burt.” Waco told
him. “When things begin to get worse back on Earth the Admiral is
going to need more command pilots. We have a fleet of almost
thirty of these small ships on board the Mighty Bee. You
“Hell, yes, I’m
interested. Ever’ time I see you, Little Bear, Travis and Lucas
take your seats up here, I damn near cream in my Wranglers. I
want to experience this for myself.”
“Well, just sit
there and observe for right now and when we get back I’ll make
arrangements for Ping and Pong to start a formal training program for
you and Phil.”
That’s great, Captain Waco. I’ll do my damnedest to make you, the
Admiral and Master Charlie proud of me.”
yourself in and hold onto your partner. We’re heading into the
atmosphere of Venus. There may be a small amount of turbulence.”
Waco’s second in
command, Lucas already instructed the passengers to get in their
assigned seats and fasten their seat belts. They didn’t know
exactly how turbulent the cloud cover might be in the upper
atmosphere. Once they were inside and had a better idea they
probably could walk about more freely. They were no more than a
few minutes in when the ship had to take a sudden turn to miss a huge
bladder whale. Waco pulled along side.
heart, could you activate ship to creature communications, please.”
there came over the speakers strange sounds. Intelligent
sounds. Rumblings. Pops and squeaks, followed by
high-pitched vocal sounds that resembled singing. The sounds
repeated then several voices joined the solo voice adding an even
richer blend to the mix.
“It sounds like
singing!” exclaimed Johauk Kodaly.
“It is singing,
Johauk.” said Shane Goodnight sitting next to him. It’s the songs
of the Venerean Atmospheric Bladder Whales. I recognize that
voice. I think it’s the leader’s son, Chacheellian.”
“My God, look at
them. There must be fifty to a hundred of them. How
beautiful! What are those long ropes attached to their fronts?”
asked Blake Tindall in awe. Everyone else was speechless.
ropes, Son.” Lazarus replied. “They’re like arms or legs. Some
have incorrectly called them tentacles or tendrils. They are
hundreds of miles long and continue to grow all their lives. They
have eight of them and they rotate forward as new ones are produced
from their underbellies. They cast them out before them and
secure them on something solid on the surface to anchor them and pull
them along even in the most severe wind storms. It steadies them
and keeps them from blowing away. It also produces a more even
flow of food for them.”
Vivian Steele. “God, I’m glad I turned down that Mexican cruise.”
she whispered to Sonny. They shared a laugh.
came up along side a particularly spectacular specimen. Waco
decided to hail it.
Greetings! I’m Captain Waco Goodnight of the Earth ship
Buttercup.” Waco sent out into the atmosphere. Everyone was
amused and chuckled at Waco’s call. They were even more amused
but shocked when he got a response.
“Ah, yes, young
Master Goodnight. You’re now Captain of your own ship. We
heard you were assigned your own ship. Congratulations, it’s a
handsome ship, indeed. I remember meeting you with my father on
your last visit to Venus some time ago with Admiral Long and your
father. They are with you this trip as well, I believe?”
indeed, Sir. Are you
am. You remembered my name. How gracious of you.”
“Yes, Sir, and
how is your handsome father Chuchulack?”
well. He’s a bit ahead of me. I’ve been put in the rear to
assist the elderly stragglers and new calves who have lost their
mother, but I’m slowly catching up with him. As you can see I
have a couple young calves in tow who haven’t learned to use their wind
legs yet. Welcome, Captain Waco and all your guests to
Venus. I know you have some unusual new folks with you. You
have one of the Ancients in corporeal form aboard your ship and his
companion. What a delight to feel his presence. And what a
delight to get to meet the singing quadrupeds Patty, Moe, Larry and
Shep. We hope to hear them sing while you visit. And young
Jimmy-Bob Dodge and his companion Stan Edmunds. Mr. and Mrs.
Steele and Mr. Steele’s fine looking father Warren. Mr.
Jack Hall, young Johauk Kodaly and Mr. Blake Tindell. Not
to forget Garron, Strom and his new mate, Lyle Chambers and their two
new wards, Kuluke and T’gan. Congratulation Strom and Lyle on the
success of your coupling. May your new infant bairn bring you
much happiness. And welcome to your men Captain Waco, Little Bear
and his grandfather, Travis and your handsome brothers JR, Blue and
Lucas. Welcome Princess Pata. Welcome Admiral Long,
Master Charlie and Hank Morgan. It’s is good to hear your
It’s so good to have you all visit Venus. Go on up ahead a ways
and you will find my father. You can’t miss him. He’s the
biggest bull at the front. He’s also in full mating colors so I
hope you’re all wearing eye protection.” Chacheellian laughed and
made everyone else laugh. “I know my father is anxious to greet
you. We’ve been expecting you.”
Chacheellian. It’s good to see you again. You’re certainly
taking on some of your father’s handsome good looks. You’re much
larger than our last visit.”
“Why, thank you,
young Captain. So good of you to notice. I’m afraid I will
never be such a fine looking Cytherian as my father, but I struggle
on.” Chacheellian laughed again and everyone was in love with the
everyone permission to release their seatbelts. The ship’s
stabilizers were functioning to full capacity and it would be smooth
sailing through the Venerean atmosphere. Waco explained there
were two adjectival usages to describe aspects of Venus; one was
Venusian and the other was Venerean; both were correct but Captain Waco
preferred the latter.
Waco turned the
controls over to Lucas and went to stand along side his dad and Admiral
Long. Lucas expertly guided the ship slowly to the front of the
pod of Whales. It took them sometime, because there was close to
a hundred of them. They were all sizes and shapes. They
were beautiful and the adults were in full mating colors. It was
spring on Venus or as close to it as a planet that only rotates once in
two hundred and forty-three Earth days can claim. As it was the
beginning of a new sidereal day, it was their spring. Venus
rotates in the opposite direction from Earth. The sun rises in
the West and sets in the East. Lucas had no
problem identifying the lead bull, Chuchulack. As they came upon
him, Burt pointed him out.
him? Is he their leader, Lucas?” he asked with considerable
“‘At’s him all
right. ‘At’s Chuchulack. Magnificent ain’t he?” Lucas
whispered Burt. “And fantastically handsome for such a large
They could hear
the whales calling and singing to each other. Some of the young
ones were singing to their leader. He was bellowing to them in
his native song. He halted his song with an admonition to his
young, he must take care of protocol with their visitors. No one
on the ship could understand the words, but there was no doubting his
Buttercup has arrived and Admiral Long’s young slave-son Lucas is at
the helm. Welcome all and thank you Burt Stamper for your kind
words about my person. They are greatly appreciated.”
Burt laughed he
was so stunned the big creature might have heard him and was so
personable. Lazarus decided it was his turn to communicate.
old friend. It looks like your kind are prospering and feeding
well. I must say we’re all thrilled to see you and your family in
such fine shape. Have things been well with you?”
Admiral. We were so happy when we received word you and your
extended family were planning a pleasure excursion and including Venus
as one of your destinations. Welcome one and all, but
particularly your honored guests, the Stamper brothers, their boss
Blake Tindell, their Masters Hoot and Cotton and the young men’s
suitors. Also we’re pleased to welcome Master Jesse Watkins and
Utah. What an honor. It’s been several centuries since we
were honored by a visit from him.”
Chuchulack, our old friend. You don’t look a day older than the
last time we met.” said Jesse.
“Ah, you are too
kind, Master Watkins. We’re so glad you took a name for
yourself.” the big creature laughed, “I understand it was given to you
by the other Masters.”
however, they chose a fine bearer to give it to me in the form of Mr.
Goodnight’s son and new captain of this ship, young Waco.”
“Ah, yes, I was
saving my Welcome for him and his father for last, but now is
appropriate. Welcome to Venus Mr. Goodnight and Captain
Waco. Your generosity and exploits have been carefully noted
since your last visit to us, and you have accomplished much. We
are particularly interested in your sharing your body’s information for
the formation of a clone to house another species of silicone based
life form, one of the delicate and beautiful Kryscellians. Never
before in the history of the Universe has anyone attempted to conjoin
two life forms like this. It is remarkable to say the
least; however, we foresee some minor problems on the
horizon. Your new brother will tell you about it later, but for
now I must tell you you’ve captured the hearts and imagination of the
entire Venerean world. You have been given the honor of landing
on Venus and a requested audience with some of the Venusian
“My, that is an
honor.” said Lazarus nodding at Waco. “In all my years and visits
to this planet I’ve never been honored with such request.”
“You were in
military vessels and not simply on a pleasure cruise of our system,
Admiral. They were not allowed to socially receive you by their
binding treaty with their overlords, the reptilian race. They
forced them to accept a reticent neutrality toward all other races who
either exist within or frequently visit our solar system. Like
other civilizations, the Venusian’s have evolved in their technology,
attitudes and politics and have thrown off the strict protocols the
reptilian race has imposed on them for centuries. They have
announced their independence and now function as an autonomous
people. They also have our full support in their decision.
We were never fond of the reptilian race which evolved on your
planet. Their logic and methods were looked upon as flawed,
self-serving, crude and thoughtless, sometimes bordering on the
barbaric. Their civilization has very little to consider as lofty
or striving to attain higher degrees of thought. They seem to
exist simply for the purpose of survival and reproduction of their
kind. They have no art in their living. It is our humble
opinion, life without beauty and the freedom to strive for pure thought
is not a life worth living and of as little import or necessity as a
Venusians are fascinated by your successful attempts to gift your
quadrupedal friends with speech. They can’t wait to meet Patty,
Moe, Larry, Shep and of course, Utah. What does it say in your
book of books: ‘The least among you shall be first?’ By your
consideration of a humble species, who have given so much to mankind
over the years, it is only right that you begin to be noticed and
respected as a species who are beginning to take your rightful place in
the Universe. And, if that weren’t enough, Captain Waco, they
have an enormous and unplanned surprise for you and your men. By
the way, we all saw and experienced Dame Pata and Blue’s dance the
other night and found it to be of the highest quality. We can’t
tell you how much we enjoyed it. The Venerean clouds resounded
with songs of such beauty afterward you would have been stunned by
their brilliance. I’ve never heard such singing from my kind
since the Song Wars we held with the whales from you planet for
centuries. They weren’t really Wars as you think of them, but
they were as important to us and every bit as glorious.
Afterward, instead of the defeated being vanquished, we all rose
together more proud than ever to join with the triumphant to sing their
song of victory. Ah, those were the times that elevated our
species and worlds to new heights of existence. Together the
victors and the vanquished became the envy of the spheres. Our
hearts conjoined in the victor’s song to become so much more than we
were. Can you relate to that, young Johauk Kodaly?” Chuchulack
asked with his booming voice.
All faces turned
to look at the young man who had tears streaming down his face.
Blake put his arm around his shoulder and pulled him close.
“I’m afraid our
brother cannot speak right now, Father Chuchulack. He is so moved
by your words.” Waco spoke.
“My words were
meant for one as beautiful as him. He reached to the bottom of
his soul, pulled his talent up by its bootstraps, and sang his own
mother back from death’s door. Neither Orfeo nor Faust could do
that for their beloved. In everyman and creature’s heart, there
is a song that only they know, and as many as they sing or create
within their lifetime, they will never be as sweet as the song they
alone can hear.”
“How can we land
in one of their cities without coordinates, Chuchulack? From our
observations of the planet there are no visible structures on the
surface.” Lazarus inquired.
Admiral Long. It is much too warm for their species on the
surface. Everything is underground and their entries or space
docks are phased out so as not to be seen by any means. If you
give your onboard computer, Ms. Myra, permission, they will take over
the landing for you. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Once
again, it is a great pleasure to be the first to welcome you to
Venus. We have become unofficial welcoming ambassadors for our
planet for sometime now; however, we don’t extend our hospitality to
“We are honored,
Chuchulack. Long may you live and may you have many healthy,
intelligent, song filled calves.”
“The same to
you, Admiral. You just had two new bairns with your
partner. Give him our best and tell him he only grows more
handsome as the years pass.”
“I will, my
friend and we will speak again before we depart.”
“I will look
forward to it, Admiral.”
Waco told Myra
to look for a signal from the surface and respond accordingly.
my handsome Captain. We’re on our way.”
words generated great excitement and speculation. Lucas
instructed everyone to their assigned seats for landing. They
didn’t expect any difficulties out of the ordinary, but it was better
to be safe than sorry. Everyone buckled up and Captain Waco
resumed his seat. There was really nothing for the crew to do but
watch and wait. Myra and the Venusians were directing the
Buttercup to the landing spot. All the holo-grids were active and
it looked like you could reach out and touch the surface as they glided
smoothly to the base of a large crater.
A large round
platform rose up to meet them to dock with the base of the
Buttercup. Everyone felt a slight thump as it engaged. Myra
cut her engines and the ship was at rest on its docking platform.
The platform was slowly lowered and began to move in the direction of
the wall of the crater. The wall began to shimmer and then it
simply opened onto a huge underground base for all kinds of different
spacecraft. The platform moved in the same direction and went
past numerous crafts. Waco caught sight of a huge ship where men
were working. There were work crews all over it. He thought
he recognized it. No, it wasn’t possible. He leaned over to
“I know it can’t
be, but that big rusty looking battle cruiser what looks like it’s seen
better days reminds me of. . .”
“You better take
a closer look, brother. I think it’s what you think it is.
Keekepata, front and center!" Lucas shouted. Keeke
unfastened her seat belt and flew to Lucas and Waco’s side.
"Are we seeing what we think we’re seeing, Darlin'?” Lucas asked
Lucas, Master Waco, it is the Banshee. I’d recognize her
anywhere. She’s seen better days. It looks like she’s been
in several battles.” Keeke answer like she was excited but
“That must be
the surprise Chuchulack spoke about.” Waco was grinning from ear
to ear. Waco and Lucas expressed their joy by high-fiveing each
other. Keekepata giggled. Several folks laughed at the
Captain and his first mate; however, several passengers didn’t have a
clue what they were so joyful about. “From the looks of the cruiser, I
hope they’re all right.” Keekepata said.
Three are in sickbay off the dock. Your Captain is one of them,
Captain Waco. He has a broken leg like young T’gan.” confirmed
Myra from information she was receiving. He can’t wait to see
you. One of the other injured crewmen, Commander Trapeeth Newsong
Maddragon (Madre-gone), keeps asking for you, First Mate Lucas.”
God!” Lucas exclaimed with concern. “Is he all right, Myra?”
Son. He banged his head against a bulkhead. It resulted in
a deep cut, but it’s been fixed. He’s doing fine. He’s much
better now that he knows he’ll be seeing you in a while. They
can’t keep him in bed.”
“Please send him
a message, Ms. Myra. That’s where I expect to find him.”
Lucas blurted out and everyone chuckled.
attention perked up as he watched his boy’s face turned a deep red
color. He saw Lucas cover the huge grin on his handsome young
face with his hand. He watched as Waco patted his slave-brother
on the back and whispered something to him that sent them both into
spasms of laughter. At that moment, Lazarus knew who Lucas was
considering for his first time. Lazarus had seen holo-vids of
Commander Maddragon and if he had to pick anyone for his son, he
couldn’t imagine a finer warrior than the Commander. He breathed
a deep sigh of relief. He would have kept his promise to Lucas,
but he was glad he might not have to. Lazarus felt it should be
someone else; someone his boy could love and relate to as a mate or
master; someone who would be strong, but gentle, kind and loving.
Commander Maddragon met all those qualities in Lazarus’
moved swiftly enough, but it wasn’t moving fast enough for the cowboys
on board. They had grown to love and appreciate Captain Vinceeth
and his men. They felt like they knew them personally and were
about to see family. Most of the rest of the passengers felt the
same. They were all anxious and looking forward to seeing the
fine looking warriors of the Banshee. But first they had to go
through the protocol of meeting the Venusians. Lazarus warned
slaves, lummox, critters and freemen, you will all have time to see
your friends; however, there is business to attend to first. We
must always remember we are first and foremost invited guests of the
Venusians and their world. Our friends, no matter how our hearts
may yearn to see them, will appreciate our necessity to follow protocol
and be gracious to our hosts. After all, it’s the first time in
long history in this system that I know of anyone being invited to
their world. The Venusians are a very solitary people and rarely
mix with other societies. It is a great honor to be invited to
their world. Each of us, freeman, slave, lummox or critter must
conduct ourselves like we are ambassadors of our world. One day
we may need their assistance and the hope and possibility of an
alliance with them could very well be based on the way we conduct
ourselves while we’re here. Any questions?”
“Does that mean
we ain’t suppose to nip at them if they step on our tails, Admiral?”
Shep asked innocently.
up laughing. Even Lazarus had a hard time keeping a straight
face. He thought to himself, perhaps he was being a bit
over-the-top with his comments.
“Yes, Shep, it
does. You may yelp as loud as you want, but no nipping.”
“Yes, Sir.” Shep
They were met on
the docks by a reception committee. The Venusians were a
beautiful race of people. The were very tall, had blonde hair and
light blue eyes. There was very little variation in their people,
except one young male was an albino and had pure white hair and pink
eyes. He was unusual to look at, but once you got to know him, he
was easier to relate to than most of the Venusians. He seemed to
fit in very well with the humans, lummox and critters. He
particularly liked Jack and Jill. They thought he was okay, too.
formal introductions and the dignitaries made speeches and welcomed
everyone personally. Everyone tried to keep smiles on their faces
but Waco and all the other cowboys were twitching in their seats to see
their warrior buddies, their heroes. Waco kept pulling on his ear
in case the Captain was watching a holo-vid broadcast of their
arrival. It just so happened he was and the men standing around
his bed went crazy when they saw Waco’s personal signal to him.
As subtly as possible, Lucas did the same and Commander Trapeeth
Maddragon was the center of much good natured teasing.
Charlie were proud of the boys. They managed to keep their
composure and dignity during the ceremony and acted like young
through it all. They responded properly and graciously to the
Venusians. Even the Stamper men were the very models of manners
and integrity. The Venusians were greatly impressed and were
looking forward to seeing more of their guests. Their arrival was
being broadcast worldwide and they would be the center of attention for
the rest of their visit to Venus.
None of that
mattered to the cowboys. All they wanted was to see their
friends. Finally, it was mentioned, they might wish to visit the
warriors of the Banshee who had been asking endlessly about them.
Waco, spoke as calmly as he could for himself and his brothers.
greatly appreciate it if we might be allowed to visit with them at you
and your staff’s earliest convenience, your Honor.” Waco spoke to
the head of the Venus world confederation.
“No time like
the present.” he heard the head honcho say. There went up a
cheer from the cowboys that was unexpected, but the Venusians found
gentlemen.” one of the tall male officials directed the
boys. They graciously thanked the head man and told him they
appreciated the fine welcome they provided for them. They looked
forward to seeing more of them and their world. They couldn’t
wait to be off to the hospital and barracks.
What set out to
be an orderly get together turned into chaos when the warriors and the
cowboys caught sight of each other. It was utter confusion.
Even stoic Sonny and Warren Steele were taken aback by the shear
powerful masculine beauty of the Visallian warriors. They had
seen holo-vids of them, but to see them up close and personal was
altogether something different. Vivian Steele was stunned by
their physical attractiveness. Waco and Lucas were physically
lifted onto the massive shoulders of several as if they were
lightweight sacks of flour and carried into the hospital room, where
their Captain and Commander were, in a triumphal march to rival the
second act of Aida. They set Waco down and he ran to his suitor
Captain Vinceeth and Lucas ran to Commander Maddragon. They were
all over each other. Travis was all over the other injured man in
his bed, Sergeant Major Sallient Leashman Doggoral. He was,
perhaps, the largest of all the Visallian warriors.
All of this was
being broadcast to the entire world of the Venusian people and the
Venerean Atmospheric Bladder Whales were tuned into the joy as
well. No one was left out. It was a great historic moment
on Venus. As stoic and unemotional as the Venusian’s were, there
were many who felt deeply touched by the reunion of the two separate
but distinct humanoid species. Add to that a third specie with
the lummox, and a fourth with Jack and Jill and they were overwhelmed
at the expressions of joy they were witnessing.
“Oh, God, it’s
so good to see you again, Captain Vinceeth.” Waco spoke with
tears in his eyes. “What an unexpected pleasure to find you
here.” Blue and Ox were standing looking over Waco’s shoulder as
the men hugged and kissed.
“I’m the one
blessed to see you again, young man. How well you look, and your
brother is just as fine looking. Hello, Son, and hello Ox, you
strong, handsome lummox. Welcome to Venus.”
“Are you all
Captain Goodnight. We had several skirmishes, but we managed to
escape by the skin of our teeth and were invited here for the three
‘R’s’: repairs, rest and recuperation. Little did we know we’d
run into you, but we knew we were in your neighborhood. Do you
think the Ancients, or Elders had something to do with this happening?”
“I have a
feeling they just may have, my good Captain.” Waco laughed and
hugged him again. Hogarth Treygor Vinceeth was the most handsome
masculine male humanoid Waco Goodnight every laid eyes on.
Everything about the man was perfect. He was breathtakingly
good-looking. Even Vivian Steele later confided in Waco she was
just a little envious of his catch. Waco took it as a supreme
compliment. He knew there was only one cowboy for Vivian
Steele. Waco wanted to see what the Venusians had done for Trey’s
leg; however, he wasn’t sure about protocol. He first checked
with his Admiral.
concerned for Captain Trey. He doesn’t seem to have a cast on his
leg. Unless there’s another healing process we’re not familiar
with, I want him checked out by you and our medical staff on the
reasonable. Let’s get the Captain to our ship where we can have
some privacy, and we can check him out. Even though the Venusians
are humanoid, and some of our Nordic races actually sprang from them,
I’m not sure they have the same medical expertise we do. It
certainly couldn’t hurt to examine the three injured men.” Lazarus told
The men were
only too willing to go aboard the Buttercup for a private
gathering. The Venusians didn’t have a wheelchair but they did
have an anti-grav Gurney they lifted the Captain onto. Once on
the Buttercup, Waco explained to Trey what his concerns were.
myself.” he responded. “They scanned me and put some healing rays on my
leg, but I’ve been told I can’t stand or move about for almost six
weeks. I need to get on my feet. I appreciate what they’ve
done. I’m not in any pain; however, I would appreciate your staff
taking a look at what they’ve done.”
When Trey met
T’kan in his leg cast and crutches and saw how well he was getting
around on his own power, he told Waco and Lazarus that’s exactly what
he needed. He’d never seen anything like it. Even on his
home world people with broken bones had to remain immobile for many
weeks. Keekepata confirmed his words and insisted Lazarus’ and
his medical staff’s knowledge was much greater than theirs. Keeke
was overjoyed to see her people again. The warriors and crew of
the Banshee treated her like a God. They were so in love with her
and held her in such awe.
forgotten how it felt to be so adored and she wallowed in the feeling
for all of thirty minutes. Then, it hit her, how much more she
relished and adored her rough and ready cowboys. She worked so
hard to become a part of them and their world, their affection and the
slightest inclusion into their hearts became of greatest importance to
her. Now, she might be faced with making a choice.
Captain Vinceeth’s leg, Lazarus and David were pleased the Venusians
managed to set the bone and it showed definite signs of healing. Jesse
Watkins was with them and interested in the Captain’s progress.
He suggested Blue have a go with his healing techniques and then cast
the Captain’s leg like T’kan’s. Trey was thrilled there might be
a chance he could become more mobile. He agreed and told them
that’s what he wanted. He consulted with Dr. T’kan about his own
“How does it
feel, Son.” Trey asked him.
something awful sometimes, Captain; however, David tells me mine is
from my fur growing back. You don’t have fur like I do, but
you’re pretty hairy.” T’kan smiled. He wasn’t sure he said
the right thing.
Trey winked and
smiled at him. “I think I can put up with itching as long as I can get
about. Will you teach me how to use crutches?” Trey asked.
Captain. Ain’t nothing to it.” T’kan bubbled with
fell in love with the young lummox. It wasn’t hard to do.
The bairn was not as retiring and suspicious as his older brother and
tried hard to make the best of every situation. He was full of
the joy of life and wanted to please those he found worthy of his
attentions and affection. That was just about anyone who showed
him any interest with a modicum of kindness. T’kan faced the
with an unassuming innocence and innate stolid bravery. Everyone
fell in love with the young lummox. It didn’t take him long to
capture the hearts of the Visallian warriors and the entire Venusian
world. They even coined a name for him. Since he and their
Captain had the same leg broken they began to refer to him as the
applied his therapy and David and Lazarus looked at more scans of the
Captain’s broken leg they could see the healing process had been
greatly accelerated, and he could benefit from a cast. David gave
Waco and Blue the job of denuding his leg of all hair. It became
very sensual to the brave Captain and try as he might, he couldn’t help
but get an erection. He lay propped up with some large
pillows with a huge grin on his face. Waco and Blue blushed and
giggled a lot. Finally, David took over and provided him with a
fine cast just like T’kan’s.
David fitted the
Captain with a pair of crutches like T’kan’s and true to his word the
young lummox taught the big Visallian warrior how to use them most
effectively. They even took a walk in the forest with the
critters, and everyone encouraged the Captain. He was thrilled he
could be up and around and somewhat mobile. It was certainly
better than lying in a bed for weeks.
He was stunned
by the forest on board the Buttercup. His people didn’t have the
miniaturization technology Lazarus possessed and he couldn’t believe it
real forest with enormous trees. On their walk it was the first
time anyone saw Ah-ne-purrna. Everyone stopped in their
tracks. Jack and Jill ran for the safety of Jack Hall and Warren
Steele and the pups fell in behind Utah and Jesse and the lummox.
Waco urged Captain Trey to stand still. Trey never saw an animal
like her before, and he was fascinated. She saw the entourage of
critters and folks and turned to avoid them. She was simply out
for a stroll with her kittens. As she turned to disappear into
the forest, everyone got a good look at her kits. They looked
well fed and healthy.
At the halfway
point in their walk Jack and Warren called a halt so everyone could
take a breather and rest for a few minutes. All the cowboys
brought bottles of water with them and shared with their critter
buddies. The men sat around Captain Vinceeth and his new
little partner T’kan. They managed to find a rock of just the
right height to sit upon. Trey brought along his Commander
Maddragon and the other wounded man, his Sergeant Major Doggoral.
Almost the entire passenger list of the Buttercup was on the
walk. They all wanted to be where the action was. They all
gathered around to hear their conversation.
“It’s such a
pleasure to run into you men on Venus. We had no idea you would
be out and about.” Captain Vinceeth said for the hundreth time.
explained the purpose of their brief journey. Trey and his men
knew who the Stamper boys were. They knew all their names and the
positions they played on the football team. The were great fans
of the boys. Lazarus asked Trey about his ship and what happened
“To be honest,
Admiral and honored guests of the Buttercup, we were on our way to your
planet with a precious cargo; however, our ship was in such bad shape
we weren’t sure we could make it. We made it to your smaller
planet Mars, and there we unloaded our cargo. Our thought was, if
we could contact you, we could return later with you to retrieve it and
then repair our ship in the safety of Mars or one of your hidden
ships. But as we began our journey, we found ourselves under
attack again and the snakes took out our engines. They left us
dead in the water, so to speak, probably thinking we would meet slow
deaths by starving to death.
Venusians saw it all and came to our rescue. They were very kind
and gracious. They towed us here and have been busy working with
my mechanical crew to repair the Banshee. Some of their upgrades
are better than our technology. We don’t know what changed their
political attitude about helping those who are against the snakes, but
we’re grateful they came to our rescue. We couldn’t contact
you. Our communications were gone. I was trying to mentally
contact Keeke or my young cowboy here to no avail.
We have to get
back to Mars as soon as possible. We left live critters and folks
there. The snakes were in the process of destroying their world
and we got out as many as we could before the whole planet
collapsed. We discovered something wonderful on Mars we thought
was only myth. It is the last of a terrifically advanced
civilization and we managed to get just enough of the systems working
to provide a temporary atmosphere in a huge underground cavern designed
especially for the purpose of preserving life on the planet.
Unfortunately, we only have a portion of the key which will unlock the
contents of the vault of knowledge stored there which could begin a
chain reaction to restore the enormous caverns to their original
intent. We did figure out the remaining key to the puzzle is
stored in an ancient book, not of this time line, on one of the
terrestrial worlds of the Sol system. We’re not sure what it
means. Is it stored out of sync with our time line, or was it
created in another time line and hidden in this one? What we
could make of it says, only one man who was blessed and sent by
the Ancients would be able to access the key. I immediately
thought of you, your Lordship.”
is it written in, Son, and how did you manage to translate as much as
you did?” Lazarus asked.
“We’re not real
sure about that either, Admiral. As you know, all our warriors
are carefully schooled in multiple disciplines and become quite expert
in several different subjects so if we lose a man in battle, someone’s
knowledge base will cover the lost man’s. Of our four language
experts, Sergeant Major Doggoral here is probably the most
accomplished. I’ll let him tell you about it.”
Major had his big arm around Travis holding him close. He removed
it, formed a fist with his huge hand and coughed into it like he was
clearing his throat.
“It was written
in an ancient language of the Volgorons, Admiral. It was a golden
metallic ink embossed upon a strange parchment. I could barely
make out the runes. I studied them for hours and when I was just
about to give up from frustration and anger, I took a deep breath and
tried once more. I cleared my mind and thought I wouldn’t try to
conjure a translation so much as let the runes speak to me of their
purpose. As I did, to my amazement, the runes began to rise from
the old parchment and rearrange themselves to an understandable
message. I was able to translate it without referring to a
translation index. It was right there before me, hanging in the
air. As soon as I understood its message, the runes returned to
the page in their original order.”
Waco got a big
smile on his face and looked at his cousin. He knew Shane brought
along his copy of the history of the Long family including the
parchments he found. Lazarus saw their exchange and knew in an
instant what and where the ancient texts were. They were on the
Buttercup carefully hidden under the mattress of Shane and his master’s
“I think we just
may be able to help you, gentlemen. If I may suggest a plan?”
Lazarus deferred to Trey Vinceeth.
“We’re at your
command, Admiral. My father, grandfather, and great grandfather
would tie me to an Adoromacious root and beat me within an inch of my
life or until the sympathetic root began to bleed in empathy for my
plight if I were to deny you anything, Sir.”
“I’ll have to
speak to them about that, Trey, when I next meet them. It might
be fun.” Lazarus laughed and winked at Trey. “I suggest you
and your Officers travel with us to Mars. Let’s see what we can
arrange. I understand the full compliment of your crew is about
three hundred men, is that right?” Lazarus asked.
“Yes, Sir,— and
we have twenty Shushonnii with us.”
“Leave half here
to supervise and protect your ship and the rest come with us to Earth
for a vacation and relaxation. After a couple of weeks we can
rotate your crew so all will have a chance to stretch their space-legs
and visit with us. Even with Blue and his family’s help it will
take several weeks for your leg to heal properly before the cast can be
removed. I know Captain Waco and his crew will be happy to
shuttle you back and forth to either Venus or Mars. We need to
start breaking some more of our men into shuttle flying. They can
use the practice and flight time. We plan to begin a program when
“That’s a most
generous offer, Admiral. We will certainly be honored and
thrilled to accept. I think you will be most pleased with the
treasures we managed to save from several worlds being destroyed by the
snakes because they refused to submit to slavery and domination.
Some day they must be defeated and strict controls placed on their
further expansion in the Universe.”
agree more. The Reptilians have had far too much unchecked
freedom in the Universe. It’s time they were confronted for the
eons of pain and suffering they’ve cause others in the galaxies.
It will begin with the fall of Earth and its government.”
Captain Waco decided to show Captain Vinceeth and his crew the video of
Keekepata and Blue’s dance they performed the evening they started
their journey. Since the auditorium of the Buttercup wasn’t large
enough they used the auditorium on the Banshee. It was in a
central part of the ship and was unharmed by any of the battle
skirmishes the ship suffered. Captain Vinceeth offered to share
the holo-vid with the Venusians and it was sent out to every home in
the Venusian world. Trey knew how interested in the singing pups
from Earth the Venusian’s were and asked Waco’s permission to show the
video Waco sent him and his crew a number of months earlier of the pups
singing at the Parson Rodeo. Waco agreed.
gathered to see both videos, and although Patty, Moe, Larry and Shep
were older they were proud of themselves and sang along with
video. Their participation made it all the more fun for the crew
of the Banshee. When they watched the video of Keekepata’s last
dance the crowd was silent. It was one of the most moving moments
any of them experienced and they reacted the same as the cowboys when
they first saw it. There was a prolonged, stunned silence and
then chaos erupted.
didn’t know what to expect but were bowled over by both videos.
The first with pups was wonderful and silly, but the dance of Keekepata
and Blue they recognized as great art. They pups, Keekepata, Blue
and Arnie became the darlings of Venus.
“You better have
your Captain ask his girlfriend to send a message back to the Mighty
Bee we might be delayed a couple of nights.” Charlie spoke in
Lazarus’ ear. Lazarus grinned and agreed.
anticipate being delayed more than one evening, boss. It depends
on what we find on Mars and what we’re able to do about it. I
have no idea what Trey is talking about.”
were happy and pleased to see Captain Vinceeth up and around.
They never used casts before. It seemed like such a simple thing,
but sometimes, even with the most advanced civilizations, simple things
are overlooked for more difficult solutions, making both
impossible. They quickly learned and adopted such
practices. Many Venusians with broken bones were spared the long
convalescence previously imposed by lack of mobility.
agreed to stay over on the Buttercup with his young Captain. They
were accompanied at all times by Waco’s huge lummox slave, who acted as
an escort or chaperon for them. Neither Charlie nor Lazarus had
the least worry about Waco’s chastity with Ox around. Besides,
two Captains had much to catch up with each other. Lazarus was
more concerned for his son-slaves’ chastity; however, since Lucas was a
slave and fully within his duty description to provide pleasure for a
man he considered his temporary master, was appropriate. Lazarus
spoke to him.
forgotten I am your master, Son?”
“Not at all,
Dad. How could you even ask? Don’t let my attraction to the
Commander confuse you. I have been honest with him. I’ve
told him about our relationship. While I’m your son, I am also
your slave and your wishes and orders to me come first. My first
allegiance to you is as my master and my second is to you as my
dad. He understands that.”
“I knew before I
asked that would be your answer; however, I didn’t ask my question for
a loyalty check. I know beyond a doubt where your loyalties
lay. I asked because I know as your master, if it is my wish for
you to give yourself to pleasure that big, fine looking, Visallian
warrior, you will obey me without question.”
Lucas got a big
grin on his face, but looked down at his boots trying to hide it from
Lazarus. He saw a trap. He knew what his dad was up to.
you are correct, I would follow your order without question.” he
“Is it an order
you would like to hear from me, Son?”
By such a subtle
thing as adding the world ‘son’ to the end of his question, Lucas knew
his dad wanted to know if he was ready to lose his virginity and was
this the man he wanted to lose it with?
“You sure you
won’t be hurt or offended if I don’t share it with you, Dad?”
all. Your first time should be with someone special; someone who
captures your heart and imagination so greatly there’s no doubt in your
mind you want to give it up to him. You do plan to save some for
your old man, don’t chu’?” Lazarus chuckled as he hugged and
stole a kiss from his handsome son.
“More than you
can handle, old man.” Lucas shot back.
“‘At better be
two more bushels than a wagon load, boy!” Lazarus exclaimed with
It’ll be enough to haul your ashes.” Lucas joked with his
dad. “I have a feeling, after the Commander breaks me to his
saddle, you can ride yore’ tame slave-pony anywhere with no problem.”
Sounds like a plan to me. All right then, slave-boy, I order you
to pleasure that hot Visallian warrior any way he needs it, you
“Make me proud
of you, Son?”
“I promise, I
will, Dad. Oh, yes, and tell my master I said, ‘thank you.’”
“Not to worry,
he heard you — loud and clear. He hopes you enjoy your first
“I have to ask,
Master, was this your idea?”
“What do you
“I think someone
politely asked my master if he could take me.” Lucas grinned at Lazarus.
“You would be
correct, slave. You wanna’ tell him or you want me to?”
“I can take it
from here, Sir.”
“I had a feeling
you might like to.”
* * * * * * *
with his cabin mate Blake the order he was given by his master.
Blake knew Lazarus wouldn’t have ordered his son to give himself to the
lusty Commander if he hadn’t asked Lucas first.
“Would you like
for me to get another cabin assignment, brother?” Blake smiled at
“No, that won’t
be necessary. I already got another cabin assignment. After
all, it was my job to assign everyone in the first place. The
Captain just reviewed my list and approved it. I took one away
all the others on ‘C’ deck.”
“Can’t say’s I
blame you. I’m envious of you in two ways, little brother.” Blake
grinned at him.
“I won’t be your
first and you get to be taken by one a’ them Visallian hunks.
Lord hep’ me! Ever’ time I’m around them men my dick loses its
mind. It starts drool’n like an idiot.” the men shared a good
“I know what
chu’ mean. Y’ain’t the only one. I can’t stand it no
longer. I jes’ gotta’ feel that big warrior-buck inside me.
I met him when we went to pickup our brother Blue and I seen him on all
the videos they send us. We been sending each other personal
videos for over a year now, and well— you know the rest.”
“I’m gonna’ beg Master Charlie and Admiral Long to take pity on me this
evening and mercy fuck their loyal slave to death.” Blake laughed
and Lucas laughed, too.
* * * * * * *
Maddragon took Lucas for his first time. It was everything Lucas
hoped it would be and more. He heard what fantastic lovers
Vasillian warriors could be, but he had no idea the height’s of passion
the Commander could take him to. Lucas was glad he placed him and
his warrior away from the rest of the guests. As it turned out,
neither were quiet lovers. Lucas found the Commander’s need to
revert to some almost primal form of animal involved in a near
spiritual quest for his rut infected his partner to respond to his
call. The Commander would grunt his urgency, his need, his hunger
and Lucas would answer to let him know he was with him in his rut until
the very moment his passion burst forth and flooded his partner’s young
bowels with his massive quantity of seed.
Maddragon took his young partner with strength and consideration.
Every movement he made was calculated to be the best he could bring for
both of them with the most care. He made damn sure his mate got
his own reward. He continued to fuck Lucas until he could hold
onto it no longer. The Commander was surely taking his virginity
from him. Lucas consented to give it to him, and the large
Visallian warrior took what was his. Lucas’ back arched as the
Commander hit the same spot in his ass over and over again with the
massive mushroom head of his male penis. Lucas yelled at the top
of his voice as he erupted all over his partner’s stomach and his own
unprepared for the muscle spasms of Lucas’ sphincter muscle as he
ejaculated. The sensation was too sensual for him and the
Commander began to climax more into his partner. He joined Lucas
in his cry of release. The Commander collapsed on top of Lucas
and became the consummate lover. He had nothing but praise for
the young man amid volumes of kisses and petting. He remained
inside Lucas for sometime as they enjoyed the afterglow of their
coupling. Lucas lay beneath the big warrior trying to get his
breath. He could smell all the wonderful odors of their love
making. He was adrift on an ocean of sexual stimulation. He
wanted to go on this ride again as soon as possible. His mind was
racing with many thoughts.
lucky am I
to be the son of such a fine man? How lucky am I to be the
slave of such a fine man?’ He had much to be grateful for. Had it
not been for Master Long he would be sitting on a shelf in someone’s
home in a tin labeled ‘Choice Cuts with gravy.’ He shed a couple
of tears of thanks for his dad and his understanding of his need to be
with Commander Maddragon. His partner duly kissed his tears away.
“Did I hurt you,
“Not at all,
Commander. My tears are tears of joy and contentment. I
couldn’t have wished for a better partner for my first time.”
“It was special
for me too, Lucas. If you were not a slave and the property
of someone else, I would ask to become your suitor. My people
don’t believe in slavery, but if I could one day buy you, I could set
you free. Then I would be free to court you properly.”
“You don’t know
all there is to know about me, Commander. I’m not sure I’m ready
to consider giving up the security of being my father’s slave. I
know that may sound strange to you, but you don’t know how I came to be
in this position. And if I were not a slave, I wouldn’t have been
able to have sex with you due to the restrictive laws on our
planet. Speak to my father. Ask the Admiral to tell you the
story about how I became his son and slave. Then after you know
my story, we can talk again.”
Lucas. I have a feeling there is something special about you I
want to share. Do you think you could ever love a Visallian
let a little of his massive shaft slip from Lucas’ well filled
ass. Lucas wiggled his ass back down on it until he felt the
Commander’s massive balls slap against his butt. He sighed deeply.
“I think I just
might be able to love you, Commander Maddragon.” he grinned at
End Chapter 36 ~
Copyright 2007 ~
*It is important
to note the name Gaia, Greek Earth Goddess, mother of the Gods, became
associated with an important scientific hypothesis. The Gaia
Principle is an ecological hypothesis which proposes living and
nonliving parts of the Earth are viewed as a complex interacting system
which might be thought of as a single organism. It postulates all
living things have a regulatory effect on the Earth's environment which
promotes life overall. It was first scientifically formulated in
the 1960s by the independent research scientist Dr. James Lovelock, as
a consequence of his work for NASA on methods of detecting life on
Mars. He wrote an article in the science journal Nature, before
publishing the concept in the 1979 book "Gaia: A new look at life on
Earth." He named this self-regulating living system after the
Greek goddess Gaia, using a suggestion from the novelist William
Golding, who was living in the same village as Lovelock at the
time. The Gaia Hypothesis has since been supported by a number of
scientific experiments and has provided a number of useful predictions,
and hence, it is properly referred to as the Gaia Principle or the Gaia