By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 42

Waco went immediately to the area where the Kryscellians usually were and found them.  They greeted him with their usual respect and concern, but he noticed his brother Blue was silent.  Waco chose to communicate with them telepathically.  It was a more personal form of communication.

<< Venerable folks, I have come to you to speak with my brother.  It was only on my return from Venus I was told by our little sister Blue chose to return to his people.  I know it might seem formal of me to request your permission to speak with him, but I don’t wish to make a bad situation worse by possibly appearing to be demanding of a confrontation.  That’s not why I’m here.  I’m here to speak with Blue as brother to brother.  Surely my brother can have no doubt of my love and concern for him. >>

<< I will speak with my brother, elders. >> Waco heard Blue in his mind.  It was unmistakably Blue. << Forgive me, brother, for not telling you.  There were two reasons I chose not to tell you before you left.  You had much to contend with having to say ‘goodbye’ and part with your love just when you were getting to know him well.  Further, if there was anyone who could’ve talked me out of removing myself from your clone, it was you, but it would’ve only been postponing the inevitable. >>

<< What brought you to your decision?  I thought everything was progressing smoothly. >> Waco asked.

<< It was for a while, but then he just shut down.  He refused to have any communication with me.  During our close physical experiences, one of the things he learned from you was how to block me from telepathically listening to his thoughts.  He began to suppress all interest in food and wouldn’t allow intake.  I tried to talk with him and reason, but he wouldn’t talk with me.  I think he became so frustrated with our situation he just gave up.  In his defense, this isn’t something of a petulant nature.  It isn’t like a child holding its breath until it gets what it wants.  It’s more like Captain Kirk initiating the self-destruct mechanism on the Enterprise rather than have his ship in the control of aliens.

I’m not sure he knows what he wants.  I had hopes of trying to reason or negotiate with him, but when you’re coming from different levels it’s grossly unfair to him.  It’s like a huge nation trying to negotiate with a smaller one; like an adult trying to reason with a very young child.  A couple of times I received his thoughts of frustration and hopelessness that were dark and deeply disturbing.  I received enough from him to form the conclusion if he couldn’t share everything with me he didn’t want to continue to exist.  I think he felt overwhelmed and intimidated by my presence, so he simply decided to withdraw and shut down; however, unlike Captain Kirk, I don’t think he understands the ramifications of his actions.  His refusal of food intake has no effect on me.  I don’t depend on his taking nourishment to survive.  I think he feels if he destroys the organism, which is him, he won’t have to cope or struggle with me any longer.  I couldn’t let that happen.  It simply wasn’t fair of me.  I couldn’t let him do that.

I won’t be responsible for his shutting down or ceasing to exist because of my selfishness by insisting on occupying the same space.  It just isn’t right.  I insisted Cable remove me, but it’s not so bad.  I’ve found my inner peace, and I’m meditating regularly with my family.  It’s nice to be among my own kind again. You haven’t lost a brother.  My hope for him is you might talk with him and convince him to go on to become his own man.  Then you will have two brothers.  Have you been to see him? >>  Blue asked.

<< No, I came directly here to speak with you.  I will, of course, go to him next to see if he will speak with me.  I understand he’s refusing to speak with anyone.  I’ll try to link minds with him.  If he chooses to block me, there’s little I can do but talk at him. >>  

<< You may have to be physical with him. >> Blue suggested.

<< I ain’t angry with him.  I don’t think punishment would help. >>  Waco sounded exasperated.

<< No, no, you misunderstand, brother, >> Waco heard Blue laugh, << I meant as you would be physical with a baby or young child.  Be tactile with him.  Offer him your love.  I do miss not being able to express myself with facial expressions. >> Blue sighed deeply with amusement.

<< Good suggestion. >> Waco laughed. << Then are we all right?  Are you concerned about my love for you? >>

<< I will admit to some apprehension. >> there was much unsolicited laugher from some of the other Kryscells. << My family laughs at me because they know I was quite concerned, but they were of one accord.  They reassured me your love for me would never diminish. >>

<< I advise you to listen to your family, my brother.  They are very wise. >> Waco laughed. << Thank you for speaking with me, Blue.  I’ll keep you informed.   Have no doubt of my love for you. >>

Blue glowed brightly almost like a human would blush.  Waco didn’t miss it and smiled to himself as he paid respects to the other Kryscells and took his leave.  Waco went to sickbay and found Cable.  David and Jonathan were working around the area and stopped what they were doing to come to him.

“Where is he?” Waco asked.

“He’s with Dr. Stevens and Arnie in their clinic.  We thought he might be more comfortable there.  We’re so sorry, Master Waco.  We know how much this project meant to you and Blue.” Cable seemed to speak for the three of them.  David and Jonathan’s artificial eyes were watering.  They were on the verge of tears.

“Does he respond to anyone?” Waco asked.

“From time to time he’ll act like he’s grateful for something we do for him.  He’ll smile at us or touch us, but he won’t say anything; we can’t touch his mind.  We haven’t started feeding him with an IV yet.  We were waiting for you to make a decision.  We know you’ll want to talk with our father and your father.  May we suggest you speak with Jesse Watkins as well.  He might have some advice.”

“Good idea.  Thanks, gentlemen, for your help.” Waco excused himself and went through the portal to the clinic in Parsons.  Arnie was at the front desk working at his computer updating some files.

“Ah, you’re back, Captain Waco.  I’m so glad.  He’s in room one over there.  It’s the only room that gets the light from all directions.  I thought it might be a little more cheery for him.”

“You’re a great caretaker, Arnie.  Thanks.  May I go in to see him?”

“Sure.  I’ll be right here.  Holler if you need me.”

“I will, friend.  Thanks.”

Waco walked into the room and saw his exact double lying on his back staring up at the ceiling with little or no expression on his face.  His face was drawn and pale.  He looked as if the spark of life had gone from his eyes; like the lights were on but nobody was home.  He walked up to the bed, but his eyes didn’t move to acknowledge Waco.  He continued to stare at the ceiling.  Waco took his hand and looked into his eyes.  He leaned over him so he would have to look at Waco.  There was no response.

“I know you’re in there, brother.” Waco said softly.

Waco heard a faint voice in his mind, but no sign of recognition on his face.  The voice was angry and scared.

“I ain’t chore’ brother.  Blue is yore’ brother.”

Waco didn’t contradict him.  He just continued to hold his hand.  Finally Waco responded.

“You’re right, you ain’t my brother.  You’re much closer to me than a brother.  You’re a part of me; an extension of me.  I had you created from tissue from my body; my testicles to be exact.  My balls were black and blue for damn near a month after them crazy Dalek bastards took a chunk out of me.  I could barely walk they hurt so bad.  I looked like a ninety year old bowlegged cowboy for weeks.  The blood that flows in your veins is from eight original pints of blood from my body.  Your body parts are interchangeable with mine.  You look enough like me to be a xerox copy; closer than an identical twin.  Because I had you created, the responsibility for your existence rests with me.  I accept that responsibility and claim you as my own.  I’m your father; your daddy.  You’re my son.  You belong to me, but you were on loan to a wonderful friend of mine whom I love very much.  Have you learned nothing about life or love from him?”  Waco was trying to open a dialogue.  There was no response.  Waco went to the door to speak with Arnie.

“I’m gonna’ close this door for a while, Arnie.  I want to be alone with him.  I’d appreciate it if we’re not interrupted until I come out again.”

“I’ll be sitting right here.  Trust me, no one will disturb you.”

“Thanks, Arnie.”

Waco closed the door and walked over to the overstuffed chair sitting in the corner and set down.  He pulled off his cowboy boots and socks and set them to the side of the chair.  He stood and shucked off his Wranglers, laid them across the arm of the chair then undid his Western shirt and striped off his ‘T’ shirt.  He was completely nude.  He walked around the bed, pulled back the covers and got into bed next to his clone.

He took his limp body into his arms and held him.  He started gently rubbing his clone’s body all over.  Waco noticed he was not as warm as his body.  He was much cooler.  He pulled the covers over them and continued his attentions.  He rubbed all over his clone until he came to his penis.  It was already semi-flaccid.  He took it in his hand and began to stroke it.  It was like he was working his own cock in his hand, and he began to be aroused.  He had to hand it to the Daleks, his clone had a fine body.
Slowly the clone became fully aroused.  Waco moved down to put his head near his cock.  The clone’s body had a fresh, clean, hospital soap, medicinal smell about him.  Waco knew Arnie had probably given him a bath earlier in the day.  He skinned back his copy’s considerable foreskin and took a deep breath.  He was clean, but he smelled like Waco’s own body.   It was to be expected, Waco thought; however, it was also very sensual to be holding a man who smelled just like himself.  The clone gasped as Waco went down on him and started sucking his cock.  He began to move a bit and Waco felt his hands caress his head a couple of times.  He was getting harder and Waco didn’t see any problem getting what he was after.  Suddenly he heard in his mind,

<< Why are you doing this?  A father shouldn’t make physical love to his son.  Your religion would condemn you for it. >>

<< Bullshit! >>  Waco responded and continued to make love to his clone’s hard penis. << There’s some things religion don’t have nothing to do with and one of ‘em is the love a father has for his son and vice versa.  If this is what it takes to show my love for you, and to convince you I want you, then I’ll do it.  Besides, you are handsome in my sight, and to make love to you is a pleasant experience for me. >>

It was like sucking his own cock, and it was highly exciting to Waco.  He and Blue had sex a couple of times for Waco to show him the wonders and pleasures of making love.  Waco could feel his copy building to climax.  He became more animated and moved around under Waco’s expert sucking.

<< This ain’t fair! >> Waco heard him exclaim in his mind. << This is how I came to be aware in the first place.  Why don’t you just let me be?  Let me die. >>

<< Come first, and then we’ll talk about it.  I worked hard.  Our dicks’ ain’t small and my jaw is about to come unhinged.  Give me what I’ve worked for!  I won’t stop until I get it. >>

With that his clone arched his back and began to unload a huge, pent-up load in his throat and mouth.  It was all Waco could do to get it all down.  It tasted just like his own come, and he greedily swallowed it all.  He continued to suck on his copy’s now sensitive cock until he was squirming beneath him begging him to stop.  It had become uncomfortable for him.  Waco stopped and allowed his foreskin to slip back over his sensitive head.  Waco  moved back up to take the now more animated body of his clone into his arm again and gently kissed him on his mouth.  He didn’t respond.

<< Why are you doing this? >>  Waco sent to him.

<< I ain’t doing nothing.  I’m just getting out of everybody’s way. >>

<< Was it that bad having Blue share your body? >>  Waco asked.

<< I never said it was bad.  I was causing him problems, and I decided to stop.  I withdrew into myself and just watched.  I didn’t participate.  I let him do everything.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  I thought that’s what he wanted.  At first he’d ask about me.  When I told him I was all right and for him to do his thing, he would get angry with me and tell me I was being petulant and evasive.  I just got tired of being the bad guy, and I shut him out.  I learned that from you when you linked with us for sex.  By the way, you sucking my penis was wonderful.  Thank you,— father. >>

<< You’re welcome, Son. >> Waco replied. << Blue says you stopped eating. >>

<< To eat, he has to share the body-function with me, and I just didn’t feel like it.  I didn’t want to have anything to do with him for a while.  He made me feel like I shouldn’t exist; like I wasn’t good enough to share a body with him, so I stopped trying.  I didn’t ask him to leave.  He just up and done it on his own.  I knew he was going to do it, but I thought maybe it would be for the best.  Maybe it would be best for him.  >>  

 << How do you feel now? >> Waco asked.

<< Terrible.  Awful.  Miserable.  Like I don’t wanna’ live no more. >>

<< But you’ve had the longshot like everyone else.  You understand about it, don’t you? >>

<< Sure, but it don’t work if you don’t take in proper nutrients.  I just won’t eat.  I’ll starve myself and die. >>

<< We can keep you alive through artificial means. >>

<< Why bother?  Why would you keep someone alive what don’t want to live no more? >>

<< To have a chance to change his mind. >> Waco offered.

<< Go away!  Leave me alone!  You could’ve had me without sharing me with Blue, but you didn’t want me, you just wanted a vehicle for him.  I weren’t my fault you got more’n you bargained for.  I’m sorry your little experiment didn’t work out for you.  I’ll accept the blame.  I’m doing the only thing I can do, I’m leaving.  I won’t be in anyone’s way no more.  It’s too bad you couldn’t just scoop-out my brain and set Blue inside. >>

<< H’it don’t work that way.  I wouldn’t even consider such a thing anyway.  It’s too awful to contemplate.  Why should you have to accept the blame for an experiment what didn’t work out like we thought it might?  No one’s blaming you.  H’it ain’t chore’ fault.  You certainly ain’t in anyone’s way.  We can always use another cowboy brother.  There’s a place for you here just like everyone else.  You just have to find your own niche.  Besides, who says you ain’t wanted?  I want you.  I’ll accept you anyway you want.  You can be my brother, my son, hell— you can even be my slave brother.  Wherever you want.  Now that Blue’s out of you, what’s to keep you from living on your own?”

<< I never wanted Blue to leave.  I’m lost without him.  He’s all I’ve ever known.  He wasn’t mean to me, he was just annoyed by me most of the time.  I tried to stay out of his way, and look where it got me? >>

<< What do you want, Son? >> Waco pleaded with him.

<< Why does everyone ask me that?  How the hell do I know.  I don’t know nothing.  How should I know?  I don’t have enough information to answer the question.  If I knew, I wouldn’t be in this mess! >> he wailed.  He started sobbing, and it broke Waco’s heart.  He held him and made gentle love to him.

<< Just go away!  Leave me be!  You’re only here to talk me into putting Blue back inside me.  You don’t care about me. >>

<< That ain’t true!  I ain’t said nothing about Blue coming back to you.  I wouldn’t unless it was some’um both of you wanted, and as of right now, outside of a miracle, I don’t see that happening. >>

<< Then respect my wishes and leave me be! >>

<< You sure you don’t want me to stay the night and keep you company.  I could get my Lummox slave to feed you some of his good milk. >>

<< No, please go! >>

Waco felt defeated, but he knew when to withdraw.

<< All right, but I’ll be back.  You need me, and I’ll be here. >>

<< I don’t need nobody.  I don’t plan on being around that long. >>

Waco left his clone and stopped to talk with Arnie.  Arnie saw the pain on Waco’s face, he stood and opened his arms to him.  Waco shed a couple of tears in Arnie’s comfortable embrace.

“It was awfully quiet in there.  Did you get through?”  Arnie asked slightly above a whisper.

“I made love to him, we talked mind to mind, but I didn’t get very far.  He’s convinced no one cares about him, he thinks he’s just in the way, and he don’t want to stay here no more.  He wants to move on; he wants to die.”

“What do you plan to do, Waco?” Arnie asked concerned.

“Drop back forty yards and punt.” he smile at Arnie. “That’s what our coach tells us when we ain’t got no clue as to our next play and we’re in a tight spot; however, we’ve got a lot of concerned folks to help us, and I plan to listen to any suggestion from any source, human or critter, no matter how silly an idea might sound, I’ll hear them out.  Somewhere there’s an answer to all this, and I aim to find it.”

“If any man can, I’d put my money on you, brother.” Arnie encouraged him.

“Thanks, brother, I needed that.” Waco grinned and hugged Arnie. “Take good care of him, Arnie.”

“You know I will.”

“I do, indeed, and I want you to know, all your hard work is appreciated.”  
* * * * * * *

Waco left and over the next several days he spoke with anyone who wanted to voice an opinion about what was going on with his clone and his brother Blue.  It seemed everyone had an idea or an opinion to express.  He spoke with Jesse and asked what he knew about multiple personalities.

“Are you asking me about the different causes of personality disorders?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Schizophrenia is conflicting intelligence trying to coexist inside an otherwise normal human brain.  Scientist have tried to find organic causes or chemical imbalances that would produce or contribute to its cause and development, but they haven’t had much success.  It’s a biological or genetic predisposition which produces a chimera of the brain.  In biblical times it was seen as possession by demons.  It a way, as a metaphor and not a scientific fact, the idea has some basis in truth.  Many times the individual chimeras were dark and destructive.  There are those who question the author of Revelation's grip on reality and classify the writer as possibly a full blown paranoid schizophrenic.  Other personalities were benign or even protective.  Multi-personality disorders are sometimes triggered by a need to protect the core individual.

Scientist try to fight it with drugs and therapy with little success.  It would probably be better to teach those who suffer from the beginnings of the disorder to learn to integrate it into their lives.  People with severe personality disorders and even full-blown schizophrenics have been taught to play the game of sanity.  They have been successfully trained to play sane for given periods of time.”

“Do you think Blue and my clone could learn to cooperate to live in one body.”

“You mean like a coalition of the willing?” Jesse smiled, but didn’t wait for an answer, “It’s theoretically possible, but you’re dealing with several unknowns.  Telepathy, the joining of minds, begs the question of whether living too closely with another intelligence, who might have access to our innermost thoughts and secrets, might be too great a burden for many.  While it might seem greatly liberating for some, it can be horrifying to others, especially those who have something to hide.  Our current administration which is based on secrecy, mendacity and deceit is a prime example.  

You’re taking the idea one step further.  You’re talking about creating a chimera from two different life forms with the ultimate goal of the two melding into a new specie.  I have to agree with Admiral Long, while it’s a simple proposition, not too well thought out, it nonetheless is a brilliant concept.  It’s an interesting idea, to say the least, but not terribly practical.  Now, that doesn’t mean an impractical idea won’t work out.  Consider the Avocado or the Platypus.  They were both over-engineered.  The seed is way too large in the Avocado and the poor Platypus has more bells and whistles than a tricked-out Hummer.

I know you had the best intentions when you created a clone for Blue, but it may be, your clone feels so out of place and out of sync with reality around him, he truly doesn’t want to be here any more.  For him to stay, on his own, would create a daunting task for him to aspire to become another copy of you.  He doesn’t have the memories and experiences on which to base his life.  Infants of all primate species may often will themselves to expire from loneliness or pain because they don’t have the learned emotional skills to see them through a difficult situation.  Your clone hasn’t had the benefit of infancy.  He doesn’t even have the support of a parent.  He sees himself alone in a very strange universe.  The naked truth is, he is very much alone right now.  It must be horrifying for him.  He suddenly woke up one day in an almost fully grown human body with no idea who he was or how he got there, with only a foreign consciousness to lean on; and not the most nurturing of consciousness, either.

While Kryscellians may be generous and giving, they can lack a certain personal compassion we organics consider necessary for close interpersonal relationships.  They have a more abstract definition of love than we do.  It isn’t better or worse than ours, it’s just different.  Primate young grow differently from Kryscellian young.  An organic needs constant encouragement and support,— an inorganic, not so much.  A lot was expected of your clone.  He tried hard to assimilate and adapt to his situation, but he had little help from Blue.  I know you love your Kryscell brother, but he failed miserably as a foster parent.  Your clone became frustrated, angry, hurt, depressed and finally gave up.  You can’t place all the blame on your clone.  He gave it his best, but limited shot.  By the way, I have to report to the Ancients regarding this experiment.  They’re very interested in its progress and outcome.  They have more than just a passing interest invested in this project.  I can’t tell you more, but I will tell you my recommendation will be weighed heavily in favor of your clone.

It basically boils down to this, one only learns the lessons of life through maturity and slowly adapting to personal loss over the years.  Your clone has no memories to fall back on to give him a cushion against loss.  Now, he’s lost his only link to any modicum of security he might’ve had.  When the going got tough, rather than seek counsel or give the clone’s intelligence a chance, Blue withdrew himself.  He didn’t even pack a bag.”  Jesse added a bit of humor for emphasis.  He continued, “Your clone can’t help feel rejected no matter whose fault it was.  No matter his level of consciousness, that’s got to hurt.  Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow for anyone.  Even if he’s consciously not successful in terminating himself, his body will subconsciously begin to shut down until there is little more than his reptilian brain left, and it won’t live long without the other to provide it with nourishment and exercise.  One feeds on the other and once the will to live is gone, he’s lost to you forever.  Probably I should include everyone in that statement, he will be lost to all of us forever.”

* * * * * * *

As Jesse predicted, Waco’s clone began to pine away.  He complained of physical pains in his chest and heart, but Cable and his staff could find no problem with his lungs or heart.  According to all their tests, he had a strong heart and his lungs were fine.  Cable requested the Kryscellians check him out, but they were reluctant to examine him.  They explained to Cable and Waco they felt like they were a major contributor to his problem.  Since Blue was back among them, it would just create more problems than they felt they might be able to solve.  Blue, himself, refused to communicate with him, because he didn’t want to influence him in any way.  Lazarus and Jesse pleaded with the Kryscells, and they finally agreed to see him.  They went to his hospital room in Parson.  They expressed to everyone they really didn’t think they could do much for him.  It was obvious to all they had sort of a Noblesse Oblige attitude toward the situation.  They had their Blue back and they were protecting him at all cost.  They offered the clone healing hymns and expressed their encouragement.  Even though he refused to join in the songs, the clone could sense Blue’s presence.

<< Why did you leave me, Blue? >> he asked.  There was no reply. << Please, speak with me, brother.  I need to hear your voice.  I’m sorry I was such a bad person, Blue. >>

<< I’m sorry, my Son.  Before we came Blue instructed us to tell you he loves you, but to speak with you, he feels, would only be enabling you and not helping you to survive on your own.  Blue wants you to make it on your own.  Offering his comfort or trying to explain at this late date wouldn’t help.  What’s done is done, and you must learn to survive on your own. >>

The Kryscellians were sympathetic, but they went on their way without really doing much for him.  They just didn’t know what to do and were caught between their basic instincts to help and protect their own.  Their first obligation, as they saw it, was to Blue.  Although, there was varying opinions among them whether Blue was doing all he could under the circumstances and whether or not he might be taking the easy way out.  Those voices, while strongly felt, were in the minority.

In the meantime, Waco sent an urgent message to Captain Vinceeth with a request for him to pass along to the Daleks the information regarding his clone, and if they had similar experiences or any suggestions.  Trey forwarded the data, and the Daleks responded quickly.  They could find nothing wrong from their end, but relayed their considered opinion there was  a 98.6 probability the clone would expire because he willed himself to.  It was their experience when a clone loses its primary consciousness it will not want to live with the loneliness and emptiness which results from such a loss.

Days were going by and the clone was growing weaker by the hour.  Cable asked if Waco wanted to begin force feeding through IV.  They would have to strap the clone down so he couldn’t rip the IV out and refuse to be fed.  Everyone left the decision up to Waco.  He was sitting with all the critters, Jack Hall, Ernie, and Warren Steele in the beautiful meadow on the Buttercup.  They decided to get away and spend some time together.  All the critters were sad and felt really bad for Master Waco.  They were all talking about it.  It was one of the few outings the Kryscellians decided to go with them to see this new, wonderfully beautiful valley they discovered in the redwood forest.

“He just don’t seem like Blue no more.  I talk to him with my mind and begged him not to go, but he won’t respond to me.  Blue always was good to us before.” said Patty. “We love him.”

“I’ve tried everything I know to do.” added Keekepata.

“Me and Master Stan and Jimmy-bob visit him regularly, but we can’t get nothing out of him.”  Moe said.

“H’it ain’t your fault, guys.  He’s jes’ made up his mind he don’t wanna’ live no more.  I ain’t gonna’ treat him like no prisoner.  If he wants to go, I’m gonna’ let him do it with some dignity.  Besides to force feed him, like Jesse said, will only postpone the inevitable.  He will eventually expire anyway.”

There was much talk back and forth.  Ernie got up and walked away from the group like he’d heard all he wanted to hear.  Jack looked at Warren, and he nodded for Jack to go after Ernie.

“He’s taking this harder than you might think.  He’s quiet and don’t say much, but I can see he’s upset.  He’s visited Waco’s double several times by his-self.  He stands and talks with him by the hour.”

“I didn’t know that.” said Jack.

“I know.  He don’t say nothing about it.  I didn’t know until Arnie tipped me off.” Warren said.

Jack followed his young mate and caught up with him.  He walked a while with him, then put his arm around his shoulder and pulled him close as they walked.

“You wanna’ talk about it, Son?” Jack asked.

Ernie didn’t respond for a few minutes, “It just don’t seem right somehow.  They talk about him like he’s an ‘it.’  He’s Waco’s clone fer cries sake.  They call him the ‘clone.’  He don’t have no name.  How would you like to wake up some morning, discover you’re in a strange body and don’t know how you got there?”

“That happens with us quite often, Son.”  Jack joked to lighten the mood.  Ernie grinned.

“‘At’s different and you know it.  You’re inside me because I put you there.  You jes’ sleep so soundly you don’t notice.  If’n you want, I could wake you next time I decide to mount yore’ pony.”  he grinned.

“No, no.  That won’t be necessary.  I like waking up inside a strange man; especially, if you’re the strange man.” Jack laughed. “Okay, I know what you’re getting at.” Jack conceded. “Why don’t you say something?  It might be helpful.  If not, I will.” Jack said.

“I’ve already done told Waco’s clone about it and how I felt.  I don’t know’s he heard me, but I did see a tear come to his eye.  I’d rather you talk with them about it, Sir.  You have more influence on ‘em than I do.  I’s jes’ a newcomer here.  Coming from you might have more weight.”

Jack and Ernie returned to the group and Jack told Waco what they talked about.  Waco listened and agreed.  He appealed to Blue one last time.

<<  I ain’t asked you again since you were removed from him, but will you speak with him one last time, brother? >> Waco sent to Blue.

<< I don’t know if I can.  I have mixed feelings about it; disappointment,  frustration, anger, but I also miss him.  For the most part, I’ve given up. >>

The critters overheard their mental transmissions and were appalled one of their favorite creatures was giving up on the critter he lived in for almost two years.  Maxine got angry.  She was sitting and backed away from the Kryscellian’s capsule, looked directly at it and literally barked at Blue.  There was no doubt who her doggy-rebuke was meant for.  She threw back her little head and started a wail that would make any wolf take notice.  Patty and Moe followed their sister’s lead until the three of them were wailing at Blue.  Scraps and Happy were with them and they picked it up, too.  It was like all hell broke loose.  The combined sounds were like nothing the Kryscellians ever heard before, and it came from a deep pain and disappointment within the pups.  It definitely was not singing.  This was an accusation, a rebuke, pure and simple, and it was painful.  It was deeply disturbing to the Kryscellians, they quickly withdrew from the meadow and returned to the Bandersnatch.  They gave word to Cable they would be in Ox’s cabin on the ship, and they didn’t wish to be disturbed until further notice.  Meanwhile, in the meadow, it took all of the men several minutes to get the pups calmed down.  The cowboys discovered the most amazing thing, each of the pups had been crying.  Trails of tears were running down their little faces.  Even their parents were in tears.

Back in Ox’s cabin on the Mighty Bee, every cell in the mass of Kryscells dimmed to an almost imperceptible glow.  Blue couldn’t remember another time when his family had such a dramatic reaction to an event.  It was very silent in the capsule where the Kryscells lived.  They remained that way for several hours.  No one made the slightest sound.  Blue knew instinctively he should not speak.  He would wait for one of the elders to begin.  Everyone was waiting.  Finally in a booming voice he heard his own parent, one of the most ancient of the elders, began to speak, but it was not his parent’s voice.

“We have heard the painful rebuke for your child and people.” the voice spoke in first person encompassing the speaker as well. ‘Could this be an actual voice of an Ancient beyond their family?’ Blue thought to himself.

“Yes, I am a voice of the Ancients.  We ride the Winds of Consciousness.  We have not had a need to communicate with your species in over three hundred thousand Earth years, but we must intercede at this point.  I am speaking through your venerable parent as a symbol of our responsibility and love for you; however, your family was unable to know of your changes until now.  None of your family has been able to understand what you’re going through, Blue.  They have nothing with which to compare your experiences other than what you’ve sent them.  They can see and wonder, but they can’t feel what you feel.  That is a gift given to the organics; however, for a brief period, I’ve allowed them to have a taste of what you’ve felt.  They now know what you gave up, but not why.  You have returned, but you are no longer one of them.  You no longer belong with them.  You have grown apart.

You accepted a responsibility, an opportunity graciously given unto you by the organics whom you irreverently refer to as intelligent stardust-waterbags, but you have not kept your end of the bargain.  You have given very little to insure the union worked.  At the first sign of frustration or discomfort, you just gave up and went home to the comforts of your family.  That comfort will be short-lived.  You are already feeling the pangs of sorrow and the hurt of separation.  It will only get worse until you will consider extinguishing your own light, but we won’t let it come to that.

You used an invalid excuse to extricate yourself from the situation.  You did very little to nurture and share with the organic intelligence that awoke in Master Waco’s clone.  He is alone, adrift in a sea of nothingness.  He is dying because of your petulance and inhospitality.  We can’t allow that.  We won’t allow it just like we wouldn’t allow you to extinguish your own light.  You have a purpose we can’t reveal to you, and part of that purpose is to bond with the native intelligence within Master Waco’s clone.  Ask yourself what are you willing to give up in order to gain something far greater than the sum of the parts?   

Your parent nurtured you and brought you along for over three hundred Earth years until you were able to join the mass consciousness of your people.  He did so without complaint; without expecting anything from you but for you to do your best to become one who contributes to the greater good of the whole.  You have made him proud in several ways.  You saved your race and the humans aboard this spacecraft with your selfless actions sustaining all silicon life until they were out of harms way.  You expired, due to your selfless actions; however, you were brought back to life through the ingenuity and a small hint placed in the brain of Waco’s lummox slave.  Do you presume to think all this happened by chance?”  the voice didn’t wait for a reply.

“Because of your unselfish actions you were chosen for this project.  We thought you were ready.  We felt you would most understand an alien consciousness and be able to coexist with it and perhaps eventually meld with it.  You have been given an opportunity none of your fellow Kryscells have ever been offered.  The gift of individual choice, of free will; however, along with that gift comes a new set of responsibilities.  We don’t think you’ve thought them through.  You will now proceed to do so.  You’re family will help; they now understands the enormity of your situation, and also, what this can ultimately mean to them as a species.  You are no longer alone on your journey.  You will have the collective cooperation and backing of your entire species.

Why do you think the pups love you so much, Blue?  No language was used, but there was no doubt of their disappointment and frustration with your uncharitable attitude.  They want you back.  They want their friends back together as one.  They depend on you, Blue.  They depended on that part of you that was the organic critter.  Who is the first they run to when they have a problem?  They are rapidly evolving and you are their leader.  They look up to you.  We find it painfully amusing and fitting the least among the organics have found it within their big, innocent hearts to be the ones to thoroughly rebuke and chastise you for your self-centeredness, selfishness and your temporary cowardice; however, we know you are not a coward.  You have proved it beyond a doubt.  We know you will rethink your position and do the right thing.” and the voice departed as solemnly as it appeared.

The lights from the Kryscells were, once again, almost imperceptible.  They remained that way for another couple of hours.

“Have I ruined everything, my parent?” Blue asked as he began to glow a little brighter.

“You heard the voice of the Ancient, Son.  It is not irreparable, but you must walk a different path.  We mean that literally.  He was right, the least among our friends have pointed out your shame.  Your shame becomes our shame.  Through their action, the last has become first.  It was a revelation in itself.  It was as much a cry for you and us as a species as it was for their disappointment and pain over the potential loss of their good friend.  Their good, kind and loving friend was not you alone.  It was you within the clone of Master Waco.  We are learning more about the organics’ systems for love all the time and some aspects are remarkable; others, quite disturbing.  After untold eons of stationary life these creatures, who have so graciously befriended us, offer us a new dawn of evolutionary development and you must take the first step.  Once you leave us this time, you will never have the comfort of returning.”

“I understand, Father.  I will speak with my other half.”      

“We owe the pups a great debt and an even larger apology.”  Blue’s parent stated to all.

* * * * * * *

Arnie kept a small clock radio by the bedside of Waco’s clone for company.  The music played continuously and was almost nonstop with few advertisements.  It played only smooth rock from the early 1960's to the turn of the century.  After 2000, there was no such thing as smooth rock.  Arnie went in to check on the clone and found him sobbing his heart out while listening to one of Arnie’s favorite old songs: Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

We skipped the light fandango turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick but the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder as the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink the waiter brought a tray
And so it was that later as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, 'There is no reason and the truth is plain to see.'
But I wandered through my playing cards and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open they might have just as well've been closed

She said, 'I'm home on shore leave,' though in truth we were at sea
so I took her by the looking glass and forced her to agree
saying, 'You must be the mermaid who took Neptune for a ride.'
But she smiled at me so sadly that my anger straightway died

If music be the food of love then laughter is its queen
and likewise if behind is in front then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly and attacked the ocean bed  
And so it was that later as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale.

Arnie downloaded the song from the internet and kept it in a file on his laptop computer.  He would play it for the clone every now and then, and it would always cause the same reaction.  Arnie asked if he wanted him to stop playing it, and he managed to shake his head ‘no.’  It was one of the only responses he got from the clone in over a week.  It became a way for Arnie to communicate with him.

* * * * * * *

Slowly the Kryscellians became active again.  They sang together of a new hope and encouragement for their young one to go forth and lead the way for a great future for them all.  Early the next morning they notified Cable they would be moving through the gates to Parsons.  Blue would speak with Waco’s clone.  The Kryscells floated through the gates and met Waco, Lazarus and many others who gathered because they knew the end was near. Blue asked to speak with him alone and everyone respected his wishes.  The Kryscellian began to sing softly to the clone.  At first, he didn’t know they were there.  Finally, over all the other voices he heard one clear voice singing to him he recognized, and it brought him comfort.  It was the voice of Blue.  He began to sing a great song of comfort and well being to the clone.

<< Have you come back to me, Blue?” >> he sent to the crystal.

<< No, I am not within your body, brother.  As you know, I have the ability, as do some of your cowboy brothers, to join with your mind. >>

<< Am I dying, Blue?” >>

<< “Yes, you are, my brother, because you have lost the will to live.  You can live if you want to, but you must fight for it. >>

<< I don’t know how, Blue. >>

<< Yes, I know that, too.  You’re not prepared to exist on your own.  Part of that is my fault.  I accept responsibility for your lack of coping skills.  You were created as a vessel or a vehicle for me.  You were an experiment in an attempt to conjoin two life forms to create a chimera between the two in hopes of creating something wonderful and useful.  Now that we know how devastating it can be for the clone, we won’t repeat our mistake.  You are unique in the universe, young one; the first of your kind.  There will never be another like you. >>

<< When this body shuts down, will I cease to exist? >>

<< No, I won’t let that happen.  I’m partially responsible for your creation, and even though your physical body may cease to function, I will make sure your consciousness lives on.  I will take you in with me when your organic mechanism shuts down for the last time. >>

<< Why would you do that for me, Blue?  I thought you hated me. >>

<< Nothing could be further from the truth.  I had them remove me for your sake.  I felt I was overwhelming you.  In Kryscellian years I’m very young, too.  I haven’t had the skills for coping with another, even younger species.  I don’t think either of us were capable of knowing the full meaning or extent of our actions.  You were an innocent.  You are young, and you don’t think about many tomorrows.  You think only of today.  You have not yet learned hope for the future.  It’s not your fault.  You haven’t been given the time to learn these things.  I was remiss in not providing the parenting you required to become a complete entity by allowing you to conjoin with me.  However, during the time we spent together, you became a part of me.  I don’t want to be without that part of me which is you.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, like any good parent might, I’m willing to fight for your survival.  >>

There was a long silence between them.  The clone was thinking.

<< If you’re going to save me, why not save all of me for you as well? >>

<< Do you know what you’re suggesting, young one? >>

<< Yes, I’m suggesting we live as one in this body.  I no longer wish to be a subdivided entity, Blue, but I think I have the right to my own identity. >>

<< How would you hope to accomplish that? >>

<< With a name. >>

<< As simple as that? >>

<< As simple as that, brother.  You have a name.  Why can’t I have a name?  Perhaps, we could be known by a name that unites us.  You haven’t always been known as Blue. >>

<< No, you’re right.  My cowboy brothers gave me that name before I became a part of you.  I was known by a different name to my Kryscell family, but since my human brothers could never hope to speak my Kryscellian name in their language, I became known by my color as Blue.  Now my family calls me that; however, I’m quite content with the name my brothers gave me.  It seems to fit my personality.  I was someone else before I became Blue.  I think I’m beginning to see your logic, young one, and I am impressed by its elegance and simplicity.  Many times, as we grow to become problem solvers in life, we look for the most difficult answers to complex problems; however, a complex answer is not always the best.  Many times, the most simple answer will solve the most complicated problem.  I’ll tell you a small story.

Once upon a time, in a land far away there lived a great Sultan.  He had a  beautiful daughter.  Every man in the land wished to marry her and become a part of the Sultan’s wealthy family.  The Sultan made a pronouncement: Any man who would claim his daughter’s hand must be strong, brave, wise and have the cleverness of a jackal.  He set forth a challenge before every man who considered himself worthy of his daughter’s hand.  He placed a gold ring in the middle of a huge carpet and told each challenger he must gather the ring without setting foot upon the carpet.  If he could not, he would forfeit his life.  Many men tried and failed and lost their lives until one day a brash young man came to court and asked for the princess’ hand.  He solved the problem, won her hand in marriage and became the next Sultan to rule the country.  Can you guess how he did it? >>

<< No,— how? >> asked the clone.

<< He simply rolled up the carpet to the center and picked up the ring.  The Sultan never said it couldn’t be touched.  His rule was it couldn’t be walked on.  It was a simple answer to a complex problem. >>

<< Is my solution like that? >>

<< It certainly is, young one.  It’s an elegant solution.  One that deserves consideration. >>   

<< I didn’t think of it that way.  I just thought if it worked for me, why wouldn’t it work for you?  Better yet, why wouldn’t it work for us. >>  said the clone.

<< To be honest with you,>>  spoke Blue quietly, << I’ve miss you so much I can’t even relate to my family the depth of my own despair. >>

<< You missed me, Blue? >>

<< More than you’ll ever know.  More than I’d like to admit, young one.  I now know what humans call love.  I’ve not been able to think of anything  but you and how I must insure your survival, because you are a part of me, and I’m a part of you. >>

<< Would your cowboy brothers give me a name if I asked them?  One that would fit me? >>

<< As my cowboy brothers are wont to say, ‘In a cowtown nanosecond, young one.’ >>      

* * * * * * *

There was much discussion about putting Blue back inside the clone.  Cable was skeptical.  He didn’t think the clone could handle it.  He lost over thirty-five pounds.  Blue insisted he could save him, and he and the clone  reached an agreement.  Lazarus thought it was worth a try; after all, the clone was near death’s door anyway.  If he did expire they could remove Blue without any danger.  Cable returned Blue to the clone.  Blue was put back within the living bag of stardust and water and began the slow process of saving his organic entity.   The clone allowed them to start feeding him with an IV drip and within a couple of days he was able to consume small amounts of broth and lummox milk.  He began to grow stronger as the days went by.

The Kryscells didn’t share with their human friends their remarkable visit from the Ancient right away.  They were deeply moved, but had conflicting emotions about what happened.  They needed time to digest all the information among themselves.  They took care of the basics first.  They reassured Lazarus and Waco they felt Blue was ready to rejoin the clone and it would be a successful union this time.  They called all the critters together and profusely apologized to them.  They were somewhat amazed there was no lingering hurt feelings among the pups or other critters.  They readily forgave them and stated they probably overreacted because of their love for Blue.  The Kryscellians insisted they had every right to be upset and were pleased they could help resolve the situation in some small way.

As Blue got stronger, he began to sit up in bed and communicate with his brothers.  Blue allowed his other half to come forth and do most of the communicating.  The cowboys would sit with him, talk and play games with him for hours trying to bring him out and get to know him better.  They were keen to tackle the challenge of a new name for him.  No one was quick to suggest a name until they got to know him better.  Not surprisingly, they  learned the clone had a personality similar to Waco’s.  As he grew more comfortable with others and himself, he was pleasant to be around and relate to.  They asked him what he would like to be known as?  He didn’t know.  They asked him who or what things best described him?

“I don’t know.  I know, until Blue came back to me, I was sad and lonesome; and, not just any sad and lonesome, really physically hurting and pain type sad and lonesome.” he insisted.  “When Blue left me, I didn’t feel like living no more.  It was like I forgot why I was living.  I didn’t have no purpose no more.”

“You know about music.  There’s a type of music that can touch the soul, and it’s called the ‘blues.’  Have you ever heard a piece of music that reminded you of just how bad you feel, and you identified with it?”

“I can answer for him.”  Arnie spoke up as he was checking some of Blue’s vital signs.  “The only way I could get a reaction from him to let me know he was still with me was to play a song he heard one day on a soft-rock radio station called “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” by a group from the ‘60's called Procol Harum.  It made him cry every time.  I downloaded it onto my laptop and played it if I wanted to be sure he was still with us.”

“He’s right.” confirmed Blue.  “It was so beautiful and it was exactly what I was feeling at the time.  Even though I cried when I heard it, it made me feel better knowing someone else felt as bad as I did.  For the few minutes the man was singing, I felt like I was sharing his sadness and he was sharing mine.  It was like he was telling me he understood my pain.  I knew it was Arnie what was playing it for me.  It told me Arnie knew— he understood, and was sharing my pain and my feelings of hopelessness.  Sometimes he kept me going from day to day by playing the song for me.  Thanks, I’ll always love you for that, Arnie.”

“That’s what a song like that’s suppose to do.” encouraged Waco.

Arnie tried to keep a stiff upper lip until Waco patted him lovingly on his ass as he was bending over Blue to check something.  Then Arnie lost it, and had to rush from the room.  No one said a thing.

The cowboys began to play him all sorts of ‘blue’ or melancholy music to get his reaction.  He seemed to relate mostly to sad country and Western songs, some heartrending classical music like Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings; Ravel’s Pavane For A Dead Princess and Gorecki’s third symphony, the Symphony Of Sorrows; however, the music that most moved him was the music of the ‘blues.’  And, not just any blues— the down and dirty blues of New Orleans.  He couldn’t believe how filled the music was with the same kind of pain and angst he felt while his partner was missing from him.  He complained it hurt his heart the same way it hurt him when Blue was gone, but now he was able to listen without falling apart.  It was a great epiphany for him.  

One afternoon the cowboys were playing him some classical blues music from the Internet.  They played him a famous jazz-blues composition by Duke Ellington called Mood Indigo.  He claimed it was exactly how he felt about himself sometimes.  He insisted on hearing it over and over.  He claimed it was what most captured him in music.  Then he asked,

“What does ‘Mood Indigo’ mean?”

Waco carefully explained, “It’s a play on words.  Just like there’s a whiter shade of pale, there’s many different shades of blue.  Indigo is about the deepest and darkest shade of  blue before the color spectrum passes over into the violet range.  It’s a deep, dark blue, color.  Remember we talked about having the blues?  Since the ‘blues’ are sometimes thought of as a mood, if you’ve got the darkest shade of blue it would be an indigo mood.   That’s how they came up with the name ‘Mood Indigo.’”  

“That’s it!” he exclaimed.  “I’m a different shade of Blue!  I ain’t like Blue.  I’m different.  I’m sometimes deeper and darker than he is.  I’m Indigo! Is that a simple enough solution, Blue?”  he asked his partner.

“Simple, but elegant, brother.  I love the name.” Blue took over long enough to answer his question, “It suites you perfectly.  They are both names for the color blue; yet, you cannot have one without the other.  To describe indigo you must describe blue.  It’s a good name for us, Indigo Blue.”

Waco and the cowboys gave a big cheer.  It seemed like they reached a great milestone.  Everyone was happily congratulating Blue and encouraging him.  Charlie reminded Indigo and Blue their official last name would still be Goodnight.

“You will have three names.  Indigo Blue Goodnight.  I think it only right you are symbolically bound together under the Goodnight family name.  You have become family within and without.” Charlie proclaimed.

Blue was so moved he started sobbing.  It was cause for much empathy and comforting from his brothers.  It was a very moving moment for both entities, but each claimed the other was the one who started crying first. The cowboys breathed a sigh of relief.  They knew their brother would become whole again.  He was learning the greater meaning of family.  The most important lesson they all learned was family starts within us,— not from without.

Indigo and Blue began the long, slow process of integration and as time passed the boundaries began to blur as to who was Indigo and who was Blue.   They simply blended into one another.  Neither was fearful and they only grew stronger together; however, they still had their moments like any human when they stood apart from themselves and discuss something important to the whole.  Human’s like to call it talking to themselves.  Indigo Blue came to use the same term.

Like a whiter shade of pale, Indigo became the deeper shade of blue.  He became the more thoughtful, introspective, contemplative, intuitive, almost metaphysical part of the whole.  It was a side of their new conjoined collective consciousness the original blue welcomed.  It rounded out his pragmatic stoicism.  It gave him almost a tinge of late sixteenth and seventeen century brooding romantic like Beethoven, Byron, Shelly, Keats, Yeats, and Butler.  

He even grew his hair longer than his identical brother until his golden blonde hair hung down from his handsome head in rivulets of curls which would coruscate in the strong West Texas sunlight.  As his body grew and developed from athletics and hard work around the ranch, he took on the look of a young god.  He grew bronzed from working in the sun with his clothes removed.  Blue required a certain amount of light absorption to keep him healthy and feeling well.  Indigo loved the sun, too, and shared his brother’s passion for its healing rays.  Many claimed he grew more handsome than his donor.  His calm demeanor and stunning good looks made him a favorite with everyone.  Keekepata and her court fell more in love with him than ever.

The girls at school found him irresistible, because he was somewhat quiet, withdrawn and a bit shy.  In their young, raging hormonal world Indigo Blue Goodnight became a darkly foreboding, slightly dangerous, mysterious character straight out of Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.  They gave him the secret name of ‘Heathcliff’ so they could talk about the penetralium of his person without anyone knowing.  Girls will be girls, you know,— and boys, too.    

And so the crisis of Blue came to an end, and he took his place among his new tribe of people.  With Indigo he became a new species.  A species that lived in harmonious symbiosis with each other.  Blue was not a parasite to Indigo nor did Indigo depend on Blue after a while.  It took a long time for them to become as one, but when it happened there was no doubt a new being emerged.  They developed powers to rival Jesse Watkins and began to work with him.  He revealed more and more of his powers to them so they could backup him and Utah when they were needed.  

* * * * * * *

Everyone thought Jack and Ernie’s request to create a home for themselves on the Buttercup was a wonderful idea.  They went through all the proper channels including Ms. Myra.  She wholeheartedly approved and like the idea someone would be around more often than just when they wanted to use her.  She liked following the lives of those she looked after.  She was always watchful and observant but rarely commented; however, when she did, it was for a good reason or to make a not so subtle point.

Lazarus and Charlie went one step further with the plans.  They wanted two cabins built.  One in the valley on the Buttercup and the other on another huge piece of property on the Mighty Bee.  They wanted two large hotels that could be staffed and run by Jack and Ernie.  That way, they could house and transport far more folks than originally planned.  Jack and Ernie would live in the valley on the Buttercup and alternate between another cabin on the Mighty Bee.  Lazarus and Charlie had their eye on several hundred acres of Canadian wilderness no one would miss.

The two cabins were built first.  Jack and Ernie designed them with many suggestions and lots of decorating help from the all male colony on the Mighty Bee.  They had a small, separate apartment built on each cabin for their close friend Warren, and he was welcome anytime he wanted to get away from the ranch.  He loved visiting with Jack and Ernie and all the critters.  He would bring his new grandchildren, Adam and Eve, to the valley so they could be themselves and get away from prying eyes.  They could disappear, morph or just feel free to be themselves.  They could play endlessly with the critters and be accepted just for who they were.  They loved their grandpa Warren.  Jack loved calling Warren ‘grandpa.’

The critters loved it in the valley.  They could come and go as they pleased, and they were always loved and looked after.  It was not unusual some evening for there to be five or six pups and other critters around.  Kuluke and T’gan loved visiting and if they weren’t home they were in the valley with Jack, Ernie and the rest of the critters.  Even the Shushonni loved flying across the valley and playing with the pups and Jack and Jill.  

* * * * * * *

Life began to settle down for everyone.  Work was still going on at the ranch but there were other things going on in the community.  The Bloom’s place was considered abandoned by the county and went up for auction for unpaid taxes.  Ole and Hattie were sad they couldn’t go back and live there, but they knew it was impossible.  Besides, they were happy on their new place.  Stan and Jimmy-Bob worked hard to help Ole and Hattie rise above middle class and for the first time in their lives they had a little extra money for themselves.

Since their property was next to Charlie’s ranch, Lazarus suggested he buy the Bloom’s place.  They could use the extra grazing land and the house and barns might come in handy.  It sold for little more than back taxes because there was no one who wanted to live that remotely anymore.   Everyone wanted to live closer to the small towns.  It wasn’t long before someone came up with an idea how to utilize it to its best advantage.  Charlie and Lazarus made sure the Blooms were paid what their ranch was worth which became a nice little nest egg for them as a hedge against the future.  

Stan and Jimmy-Bob made sure the Dodges had a nice place and got acclimated within the communities.  They brought word of other fine, talented folks in the detention camps who they volunteered to return and help rescue.  They would suddenly reappear at the detention camp they were ‘raptured’ from and quickly take small hair or blood samples if they had time from the folks they planned to ‘rapture.’  Several were folks who had been almost worked to death and were near dying.  It was a slow process but all the different activities kept everyone busy.  There was little time for idleness, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t party when the occasion presented itself.

* * * * * *

Lyle Chambers swelled up like a blimp, but he didn’t look fat.  He was still teaching school in Reason and living on the ranch with Strom, Kuluke and T’gan on the Mighty Bee.  He was finishing out the year in Reason and then he would begin teaching school in Parsons on the Bandersnatch.  He was grateful to Arlen Jones who gave him lots of tips and advice about his pregnancy.  He managed to get off from school long enough to have Strom’s bairn.  He told them he had a tumor and was going into the hospital for an operation.  He only asked for a week off.  His cadre of cowboys covered for him and no one was the wiser.  A week later he was back in his class room, trim and fit as ever.  

A new bairn didn’t slow Strom down a bit.  He worked eight to twelve hour days on the ranch and expected Kuluke and T’gan to be there working right along beside him.  They didn’t like it at first, but they came to realize and appreciate the benefits from their work over living in the wild.  They were still living off the land, but in a little more organized manner.  They sure didn’t complain about the modern conveniences it brought them.  They agreed one evening, for all the hard work and being watched over, they wouldn’t want to go back to their old lives.  They came to love Strom and Lyle and accepted them as their parents.

* * * * * * *

Trey Vinceeth was in contact regularly with Waco.  They exchanged personal videos weekly and Waco was still sending updates and football games to the crew.  Having visited the ranch and gotten to know everyone the men had a more personal interest in everything going on.  The videos  Kyron and Myra put together were like love letters from home.  No one on board the Banshee ever missed the weekly video from Earth.  They weren’t always just about sports.  Sometimes Kyron would include an interview Darryl did with a cowboy-slave about his life, his job, and how he looked at his life.  They were never monitored or censored by Lazarus or Charlie.  They were honest and forthright.  Then Darryl would do an interview with the sheriff or one of his deputies and their lives.  It was serious but fascinating stuff.  The folks on Venus loved it.  It was like Earth realities.

Trey was very supportive of Waco during his crisis with Blue.  He was one of the first to point out he thought Blue might not be giving his clone the benefit of the doubt when it came to being his partner.  Waco loved Blue too much to agree with Trey, but he understood there might be a probability.  Trey assumed the role of big brother, mentor as well as suitor for Waco.  Being a strong willed young man, it took Waco a while to shift gears and learn Trey’s ways.  Waco’s suitor was a hard-charging military man to the core and he felt everyone should march to the beat of his drum, and that included those he loved; however, for his young cowboy, he made exceptions.  They were falling very much in love and the love pangs over separation after spending a good deal of time together were palpable.  Even poor Kyron almost lost a few circuits from excessive moisture build-up from their excesses of emotions. (Or was it laughter?  Waco was never quite sure.)

* * * * * * *

Jeremiah Scudder was riding a new wave.  After about six months, when he was sure his dick and balls weren’t going to miraculously reappear, he ordered one of his largest Temple Guards to fuck him.  They all heard through the White House rumor-mill the angel who saved his life was angry with him for trying to kill Officer Brick Armstrong in front of a firing squad.  To punish him, he had miraculously taken away his manhood and replaced it with a cunt.  
Scudder took Austin Taycious’ advice and picked out six enormous Temple Guards to withhold their medications for six months.  They also had to take an oath they wouldn’t masturbate or have sex with each other.  They took the oath, but after two weeks it was hell for them.  Add another month onto that and they were ready to hump anything that had a hole.

Scudder’s first pick was Delbert Hawkins, who had been a close friend of Brick and Timmy.  While Del was straight by orientation, he knew the rules of the game and the playing field around the Holy City.  Until that time the Temple Guards were exempt from the game because of the drugs they were taking and their vow of celibacy.  It still didn’t stop them from reaching out to each other from time to time for what comfort they might enjoy.  Usually it was nothing more than some light kissing and petting.  Sex to ejaculation was out of the question; however, now Del Hawkins entire body screamed out for release.

Del was an old country boy and had grown up messing around with the sheep and pigs on his granddad’s ranch, so fucking Scudder wasn’t too far a stretch for his imagination.  He let Scudder take the lead and the Holy Prophet even provided him with a little foreplay to get him going.  Del was surprised once he got his good sized dick inside Scudder, it didn’t feel too shabby.  As a matter of fact, it felt pretty damn good.  He shifted his weight and began to fuck Scudder for the glory of God, the flag, mom, home and apple pie; and he threw in a few extra thrusts for our God fearing fighting men overseas who were dying by the handful daily in yet another unnecessary neo-con war.  It wasn’t until he started humming ‘My Country ‘Tis Of Thee’ Scudder drew the line.

Scudder, himself, was surprised.  He found out his new cunt was fully functional.  He really got into being fucked and hung onto big Del for all he was worth.  ‘Fuck that damned angel!’ Scudder thought to himself, ‘This feels pert-damn good to me.’  Then he reached a couple of orgasms and was more convinced than ever.  He related everything to his political advisor the next day and left out nothing.  He didn’t know why the angel switched his sexual organs.  He was doing all right and he only started to discover some of the new powers he was told he might have.  Yes, Sir, he felt he came out smelling like a rose, until— he had his first period.

It was like nothing he ever experienced before and the first time he was flat on his back for the entire time.  It was plenty of time for him to come to an understanding it was the punishment the angel intended for him.  The loss of his manhood was just window dressing for his real punishment.  He tried to lay as still as possible not to encourage the cramps as he moaned and groaned in agony.  Finally, one of the White House staff nurses whom he trusted taught him about tampons and feminine hygiene.  She taught him to take medications which would limit the effects; however, he was still miserable for almost a week out of every month, and he would curse the angel from the start to the finish.

During those periods he was unapproachable.  The ‘Red’ telephone was disconnected from his rooms and routed to Taycious’ rooms.  Austin became the de facto President for a week every month.  Taycious began to refer to him when he was so miserable as his Holy Bitchiness, and behind his back with the staff would refer to his friend as the Holy Cunt.  The staff stayed as far away from Scudder as possible.  He wouldn’t let anyone near him and only allowed Austin to bring him his food.  Taycious loved Scudder being in a vulnerable position.  He got to play nursemaid, big sister and nagging mother.  

“I certainly hope you’ve changed your mind about asking that son of a bitch’n, mother-fuck’n angel to change you.” Scudder moaned one afternoon.

“Why, not a bit, precious!  He was punishing you, not me.  He gave you the full package, except for the baby factory.  Said he’d give you that if you wanted it.  I think you should go for it.  You always wanted an heir.  I don’t intend to ask for all that.  I’ll just opt for the ‘girlfriend-lite’ package.  I don’t need all them other bells and whistles, thank you very much!  I hated my family.  They were ashamed and hated me.  They kicked me out when I’s twelve ‘cause daddy caught me suck’n you and Bobby Wilson off out behind our barn.  If it weren’t for your family I don’t know what would’ve happened to me.  I plan on the Taycious name dying with me!  I hope my old man rolls in his grave for that!” he giggled.

Austin had always walked in Scudder’s shadow from their first year in school together.  It didn’t take Scudder long to size-up everyone in their small class, and he realized straight-away the fey little boy who sat next to him on the back row and batted his huge, black eyelashes at him was a fag.  The first three grades in school Scudder made life miserable for Austin until one day he discovered the kid could do the most wonderful things to his pee-pee with his hot little mouth and ass.  Their roles changes immediately.  Scudder became Austin’s Lord High Protector and would beat the crap out of any kid who even suggested Austin was somewhat less that a paragon of masculinity.  Unknown to the rest of the kids, Austin did most of Jerry’s homework all through school.  Jerry graduated in the lower middle of his highschool class.  He wouldn’t have graduated that high had it not been for Austin.  Jerry couldn’t have gotten into a regular college if he applied.  Bible college didn’t require good grades, just good money.  You could be as dumb as a box of rocks and get a doctorate in divinity, and upon graduation, you would still just as dumb.

Austin Taycious always played second fiddle to Jerry Scudder all those years, but now, for one week out of every month he got to wield the Sword of Damocles.  He became the most powerful man on Earth.  It was more than queen for a day.  He became America the beautiful’s first real Queen for twelve weeks out of every year.  He became politically more powerful than he was before.  There were no more representatives or senators.  They were disbanded and reduced to little more than paid lobbyists.  Damn few of them had any liberal leanings; however, a couple of moderates who entertained more than just middle of the road objectives knew they could get some legislation through if they catered to Austin during Scudder’s mysterious monthly illnesses.  One commented to Austin,

“Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear the Holy Prophet is suffering a monthly period.” then he laughed.

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” Austin laughed back, “But no; I assured you the doctors have no idea what’s causing his migraines.  The poor man suffers so.  Be sure and pray for him.  Pray for me while you’re at it.” he would always add.  ‘What the fuck!’ he thought to himself, ‘That angel ain’t gonna’ listen to no cocksucker’s prayers, especially one as bad as me, maybe he’ll listen to theirs.” then he would laugh to himself.  He always thought God put him in the wrong body.  If there really was a God why would he do something that cruel to a kid.  Austin knew it couldn’t have been the Devil.  Not even the Devil would be that cruel.  After all, wasn’t Lucifer the most beautiful of all the Archangels?   

How many nights had he knelt by his bedside when he was a kid and prayed for God to grant him a miracle and let him wake up a normal, healthy heterosexual boy?  When it didn’t happen he prayed to God let him die in his sleep and take him to heaven.  He didn’t want to wake up at all the next morning.  He didn’t want to live anymore as an outsider; as a girl in a boy’s body.  What kind of sick society would condemn a young child who knows he’s different, but has no other recourse than to pray to the God who made him to kill him because he doesn’t fit in?  Answer: A society who believes in fairy tales and the ravings of fat old men who claim to hear the voice of God and swears he knows God’s wishes.

Austin Taycious gave up many years ago thinking he had any chance for salvation.  He was convinced he was created by demons and could only come close to heaven or a hereafter by his devotion to the one person who had shown him some modicum of attention in his life, Jerry Scudder.  In a way, Austin saw Scudder’s attention and dependency on him as a form of warped love.  Scudder would never tell Austin he loved him, but Austin always told himself he did.  If Scudder loved Austin, even just a little, he would not have been condemned to become the Anti-Christ.

Nevertheless, Austin loved Jerry.  Whether it was for his power or just because he considered Jerry Scudder as family didn’t matter.  He had some feelings of affection for his user and tormentor.  One afternoon, after a grueling day playing President, he sat down for a drink alone.  It was something he hadn’t done in years, but he felt like he deserved one drink.  As he sat there in the silence of the oval office with the darkness encroaching he hung his head and prayed out loud.

“Listen-up, Myrna Mae!  You know I ain’t bothered you much over the years.  I ain’t real sure I even believe in you.  That ain’t what matters.  What matters is I ain’t no young kid no more.  I ain’t happy with this life.  Here I am sitting at the feet of power, but it don’t mean shit to me.  I’d give it all up in a New York minute for one good man to love me and one I could love back.  I know I’m a mess and don’t deserve nothing special, but what the hell, you can’t fault a girl for trying.  So, if you’re up there, or around here, or wherever the hell you are, sent that angel back so’s I can speak with him.

I don’t give a shit about forever!  I just want a little happiness for today; maybe a couple of tomorrows would be nice.  You never listened to me in all these years.  I don’t know why I think you might start now.  So if you don’t at least talk with me, fuck you!  I’ll take whatever hell you got to offer.  It can’t be any worse than what I’m living down here.  Thanks, Dorothy, for all them good things you sent my way.  I guess I don’t thank you enough for the things I take for granted, but a girl gets a little out of practice and a little discouraged when she’s always waiting by the phone and the call never comes.  You can’t know how many prom dresses I’ve gone through.

Come on, you can do it!  Just tell Ernestine Tomlin to put that damn plug in the right hole and say, “One ringy-dingy! Two ringy-dingys!  Hello.  A gracious good afternoon, this is central.  I have a call from heaven for a Ms. Austin Taycious, will you accept the charges?” Austin laughed at his foolishness and finished his drink in silence.  He felt a little better.

End Of Chapter 42 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2007 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com