By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 59

Brett Jones hung suspended in the air almost twenty-five feet above the alter in the National Cathedral.  He perfected his performance to please Scudder.  Jones could now control every nuance of his show which before was a subconscious involuntary response to his ecstatic religious fervor; or was it fever?  He couldn’t be sure.  All he knew was he no longer held his previous beliefs.  Even a brief education and exposure to the greater functions and purpose of a universe brimming with possibilities far greater than ever dreamed of in any of man’s myth based religions on Earth was enough to douse the fires of his misplaced faith.  Now he believed in something far greater than the squalor, misery and insanity three thousand years of the three major Abrahamic religions could ever boast.  He could clearly see the squelching of education and intellectualism in any society by leaders, political or religious, would always be an attempt to enslave the common man.

Fear is the mother of all religions.  Religious dogma of any brand and false national pride were also powerful tools to keep an unenlightened society in check.  It was so successful it worked for centuries, but with the advent of the industrial age and mass media, a large majority of people began to see the light and be less prone to being hoodwinked.  Unfortunately, there was still a minority who seized power who still clung to superstitions and myths to guide their lives.  The irony was, their leaders themselves didn’t believe the dreck they dished out to the unwashed masses.  Man struggled up from his primitive past and managed to crawl and claw his way up through several thousand years repeating the same mistakes over and over.  There truly was nothing new under the sun.  They had their time on Earth, but their time was running out.    

Jones didn’t tell the Holy Prophet his blood or touch alone could heal an ordinary human.  Jesse advised him, the less they knew about his physical transformation the safer he would be.  He might need his capabilities in an emergency situation.  Now, as he hung in the air the choir sang softly as he opened the wounds in his hands and they began to bleed, then his feet and finally opened a wound on his left side.  He could control the drops of blood he released so it was never enough to cause him to become lightheaded.  As the music grew to a crescendo he decided to give the crowd something new to wow them.  He began to emit minute particles from his body that were almost imperceptible at first, but the light shining through the colored glass in the huge windows gave the particles a sparkle and a life of their own.  It looked like holy rays were shooting from his body and appeared he was radiating a divine aura.  It created a stunning effect and looked supremely supernatural.

Jones recycled his particles by simply having them curve around in back of him and float back into his body.  He felt like one of those god-awful rain lamps from the sixties and early seventies which pumped a light oil (glycerin) from a catch basin to a feed cavity on top and would slowly slide down clear nylon strings in small droplets to simulate rain.  In the center was always some half naked golden goddess of some forgotten religion standing in a rain forest made of plastic.  Brett Jones was the fully naked god in this production, and his body particles were the rain.  When the audience saw it for the first time they were gobsmacked.  Whispers ran through the crowd until they faded into utter silence.  To have so many bodies, packed into the church like sardines in a can, achieve total and absolute silence was a major miracle in itself.  They were convinced they were seeing something of a divine nature.  Several gay men in the audience were quite sure Brett Jones was dinine but for totally different reasons.  Just what the audience was witnessing, they couldn’t say, but it wasn’t the important thing.  What was most important was it gave them a token, some small sign their misplaced faith had some bit of credence after all.  They neither looked for nor ever considered there might be a rational explanation for what they were witnessing.  They didn’t want to be skeptical or consider another possibility.  Faith allows for neither.  Unlike poor Fox Mulder, who wanted to believe something was possible, they wanted to believe the impossible.  Alas, P. T. Barnum was right.  Brett Jones’ talents made it possible, and their faith did the rest.  

Ignorance and fear taught to young children meant to perpetuate the same fear and ignorance their parents were taught is an endless cycle unless a society rises up against it, condemns it for the lie it is and replaces it with truth in the form of education, knowledge and enlightenment.  Brett Jones learned these truths from his sojourn with the Grange and his exposure to the people of the colonies.  As he hung there, he thought about his beloved Basil, his friends in the colonies he came to love and his heart was full; yet, a sadness came over him.  He began to feel empathy and shed tears of sorrow for the audience before him.  His tears fell and mingled with his blood while looking into the vacant eyes of the congregation so mesmerized by his performance when he realized they would not escape the horrible end that was fast approaching.  They could not see his sorrow; they only saw his tears as part of his passion and were deeply moved.

As Austin Taycious watched Jones’ number he ground his back teeth together in rage remembering the summer of his twelfth year.  He worked hard that summer in the hellishly hot Texas sun picking cotton for his granddad for a nickle a pound.  Day after day, he dragged the heavy cotton sack up and down endless rows over the steaming hot, jet black, volcanic soil of Central Texas and the more he picked, the heavier the sack became until the wide leather strap which held it across his small shoulders would chaff, bite into his skin and cause bleeding blisters on his back and chest.  For his dedication he earned himself forty dollars that summer.  It was a fortune to him; more money than he ever had in his life. 

By the age of twelve, Austin’s hormones were in full bloom.  He already knew he wanted to be a cowboy’s sweetheart.  Big Texas cowboys made his heart race and his dick drool.  He sucked his first penis at ten (Scudder’s), and allowed himself to be butt fucked by a big, good looking Mexican migrant worker who spoke very few words of English, but enough to make his wishes understood to Austin.

“You fuck women, boy?” he asked knowing the chances of a slight, fey, twelve year old kid ever fucking a woman or a young girl was absolutely nada.

“Naw, Sir.” Austin admitted quietly shuffling the toe of his old, worn boot in the dust.

“No problamo.  Guillermo big, strong man; strong like bull, fuck many women.  Guillermo teach.  You learn.  You be Guillermo’s leetle puta.  Guillermo teach boy to fuck like el toro.” he bragged.  

Although he didn’t speak much English the big man managed to get his convoluted point across to Austin he would teach the boy how to fuck by fucking him.  Austin was young and naive, but he wasn’t stupid.  If the Mexican wanted to assuage his macho guilt by disguising his sexual overtures to the boy as a elective course in fucking, who was he to say ‘no’?  He’d gladly enroll in his class.  Austin had no ambitions whatsoever to learn to fuck, but he played the game to get what he wanted.  The Mexican made love to the boy like he was his little puta or whore.  He showed Austin love and tenderness to get what he wanted.  He played with Austin’s young, tender body, rubbing and caressing him, kissing him and calling him his ‘leetle puta.’  He wet his finger with his saliva and fingered Austin’s tight little hole until he was loose and ripe for penetration.  At first he was a gentle and compassionate lover, but as passion gave way to unbridled lust and his need for release became greater he began to fuck the boy more aggressively with ever increasing speed and greater lengthening strength in his strokes.

Austin, like so many young partners, male or female are never told or prepared for that part of sex, and rather than being taught how to relax, how to work with a partner to best enjoy it, they fight against it and ultimately feel hurt and abused.  Austin was no different and began to cry as the big man, after several minutes of furiously fucking the boy fast and hard, finally reached his climax.  Fortunately for Austin, the man was an experienced lover, understood it was probably Austin’s first time, and didn’t withdraw from the boy until he calmed him, made more love to him and comforted him.  Then he fucked him again very gently but not without some modicum of affection.

He fucked Austin numerous times that summer in his granddaddy’s barn, and taught little Austin the pleasures of male sex.  He would initiate sex with Austin by asking if he thought he needed another lesson.  Austin would play along by telling him he certainly would appreciate it.  He learned a lot from the big man, but thought several more, in depth, lessons might help round off his rough edges.  Then he would compliment the Mexican by telling him he could never hope to be as good a fucker as his teacher, but what a great pleasure and honor it was for him to have the chance to study under such a fine master of the fuck.  Austin even took a couple of post grad courses from him that summer in advanced coupling techniques.  He considered applying for a research grant, but thought that might be pushing things a bit far.

He learned to enjoy the big man’s most aggressive fuckings.  He learned to relax and allow his body to respond.  He found himself transported to another realm where he couldn’t control his body under the onslaught of the Mexican’s relentless thrusts into his smaller body with his much larger penis.  Austin couldn’t control his tiny penis as he suddenly felt his body and his sphincter give itself up completely to the big man’s relentless strokes and opened to him like a flower on a clear summer’s morning.  No sprawlmart ever had a grander opening.  It truly was a revelation to young Austin.  He doubted walking the golden streets of heaven would be such a wonderful experience.  There was no more pain, no more discomfort, only a peace and understanding bordering on religious ecstasy as he conjoined with the big man’s hardworking penis in his ass and became one with it.  Austin stopped being himself and became the raging Mexican bull inside him.  He suddenly understood its want and felt fortunate he could provide for its needs.  It became too much for him and something had to give, and give it did.  His small boy penis began to spill its seed for the first time.  Wave after wave racked his body until he was spent; yet, he continued to give his ass up to his bull until he, too, erupted inside Austin like Popocatepetl, filling his gut with his Mexican volcano’s pyroclastic flow and his fiery hot, chili flavored magma.

It was at that moment Austin Taycious discovered what sex was all about.  It was the icing on his birthday cake; it was rockets and fireworks on the Fourth of July; it was the Big Bang of his small universe; it was Austin’s reward for being his bull’s good little puta.  He couldn’t understand many of the words, but he knew his partner was pleased with him.  In his self-hyped macho brain the Mexican was proud of his own sexual powers he could fuck Austin so well he caused him to climax.  He reasoned, only a real man, a bull among men, is capable of satisfying all his partners.  At the end of that summer the big Mexican went his way without so much as an ‘Adios’ and never returned.  Austin thought he should’ve a least gotten a diploma to hang on his wall.  ‘No matter,’ he rationalized, ‘it probably would’ve been in Spanish anyway.’   

Texas in the late sixties was a world where there were no grey areas of sexuality, and it hasn’t changed much since.  Everything was either black or white.  You couldn’t be in-between.  Austin was eaten up by his summer of debauchery and homosexual guilt.  He knew he was one of those sinful homosexual cocksuckers the Pentacostals preached so adamantly against, who would surely burn in a lake of fire for all eternity for his abnormal abominable sexual preferences. Even worse than cocksucking, he liked to take it up his ass like a man would use a woman.  He liked it a lot.  Nay, he loved it.  After that summer with his Mexican tutor, he could think of nothing else but finding another man’s big penis to fill his empty, hungry hole.  El toro had done his job well.  To say he opened Pandora’s box in reference to Austin’s little hole was a solid metaphor.  While he didn’t teach Austin to ‘fuck-like-bull,’ he did teach him to be a cock crazed puta.

Austin was sure his asshole suddenly developed a mind of its own as it relentlessly demanded to be satisfied.  It yelled and screamed at him.  It moaned and groaned like it was in the very throes of death.  It twitched and squirmed.  It itched and burned.  No amount of his granddaddy’s Bag Balm, the old man used on the cow’s udders, or Preparation H could calm it.  He would clinch his butt cheeks together as tight as he could to keep it from yelling at him in his head, “Feed me, Austin!  Fill me!  I need cock!  Fuuuck meee!”  Austin remembered the hard rubber udder stalls his granddad used to cover cow’s teats to keep a calf he was trying to wean from sucking its momma.  He would grease one up with the heavy petroleum jelly based Bag Balm salve, shove it up his ass, saddle up his pony and ride for miles letting the movement of his horse and saddle do the work of fucking him slowly and deeply until he finished with a hard gallop which would cause him to ejaculate in his Wranglers.

Austin was a clever boy.  He even designed and built himself a harness out of some old scrap leather tack he found in the barn which he used to tightly strap one up his ass to wear around the farm as he did his chores.  He would wear it on those long hot days he worked from sunup to sundown picking cotton.  It wasn’t the real thing, but at least at night, his hole would leave him alone for a while and allow him to get some rest.  On the up side, with the constant use of the Bag Balm, he never developed hemorrhoids.  Strangely enough, for all his fixation with his ass being penetrated, he never had thoughts of being in the wrong body.  He neither imagined himself as nor ever wanted to be a women.  He just loved to suck dick and have his butt fucked.  It wasn’t until much later, after Jesse punished Scudder by changing his penis into a cunt, did Austin begin to think it just might not be such a bad idea.

Evangelist seemed to be everywhere that summer like insidious cockroaches doing what they do best by scaring the crap out of the ignorant and superstitious to bilk them of what little money they possessed.  Many poor farmers or ranchers barely had enough money to feed their children but would give generously to the blood sucking hucksters at the expense of their children’s nutrition.  Those bible banging bastards certainly did a number on Austin.  He didn’t want to burn in a lake of fire.  It was hot enough dragging that damnably heavy cotton bag day after day, but the preachers promised the temperature in Hell would be a hundred times hotter than the hottest Texas day.  The thought of an eternity like that was too much for his small twelve year old brain to handle.

One night his grandmother took him to a tent revival to hear a young, ten year old boy prodigy, named Marjoe (a contraction of the names Mary and Joseph) who was a Pentecostal preacher.  Most of the time when his grandmother dutifully dragged him along to one of those insane John Hagee style spectacles he was able to tune them out, think of other things or silently doodle on a small pad he carried with him in his coat pocket, but Austin listened intently to the charismatic, gifted young boy who picked up the style and delivery of a composite of several of the best evangelistic, soul sucking, money grubbing hucksters and mimicked them to the point of perfection.  Every turn of a phrase, every movement, every dramatic pause, from every whispered plea to every shout while pounding the bible with the boy’s small fist was carefully played out for maximum effect; a classic case of monkey see, monkey do as is so often the case with prodigies.  

Austin was impressed because the boy was only slightly younger than himself, but appeared to be much more mature than Austin and seemed to really have his shit together.  It was an instant case of peer identification, jealousy, empathy, seduction, hero worship and manipulation.  At the end of his hyper-dramatic sermon the young boy said, through the power of Jesus Christ anyone could be changed.  The sinner could be made whole again, but there was one small catch.  You had to do something for Jesus in return.  You had to make a sacrifice for God’s work and the greater glory of Jesus Christ by supporting Marjoe and his ministry.  The greater the sacrifice the greater the miracle one could expect.  Austin Taycious wanted to believe.  He wanted to believe so bad he could feel it way down deep in his soul.  He wanted to believe the impossible with all his heart and knew what he must do.  When the time came to pass the collection plate he gave his forty dollars he worked so hard for that summer.  Surely God would see his great sacrifice, hear his prayers in return for his small fortune he gave so willingly to Marjoe’s ministry.  It wasn't just money.  It represented his hard work, his blood and sweat. 

His grandmother saw him put his money into the plate.  She knew full well how hard he worked and how proud he was of it, but rather than tell him to put his money away, she smiled, patted him on his knee and praised Jesus her grandson was such a generous, selfless, God fearing young man.  Austin left the service fully convinced at any moment Jesus would change him into a cunt chasing hound dog.  He, too, would become one of those big, rough, tough, swaggering, crude Texas cowboys he so admired.  He’d put his thumb to the side of his nose and blow his snot out his other nare, grab his crotch to adjust his tackle for best viewing by the ladies, and when he thought no one was looking, scratch his ass.  He would hang with his rough talking buddies, rodeo, suck down shots of tequila or whiskey and drink barrels of beer, get into barroom brawls, then take the prettiest heifer in the herd to his bed, eat her pussy ‘til her juices ran down and dripped from his heavily stubbled chin from three days lack of shaving and fuck her brains out with his God given and Jesus adjusted new sexuality.

Needless to say, it never happened.  The next day Austin Taycious was still as queer as the day he was born.  He was crushed.  Weeks later he still couldn’t get men out of his mind.  Good looking men, cowboys, were all he thought about morning, noon and night, but the very worst cut of all, Marjoe had his forty bucks.  He became so depressed he considered suicide.  If it wasn’t for Norman (Jerry) Scudder he probably would have.  Scudder was no lover, but he was something, anything in a vast, hot, dry sea of Texas nothingness.  Together their lives orbited each others until they ended up in the highest office in the land.  Years later, Marjoe was brought up on charges for some minor offense and who just happened to be his judge?  Austin was appointed a federal judge by his state senator at the time, Jerry Scudder.  After sentencing him, some months later Austin heard poor Marjoe died in the Cheney work camp he sent him to, from stress, overwork, malnutrition and pneumonia.  ‘More’s the pity.’ thought Austin with a wry smile on his lips.  

‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.’ was one of Austin’s favorite quotes from the scriptures.  He was also quite fond of, ‘Be sure, your sins will find you out.’  He thought he would feel happy and elated on hearing of Marjoe’s death.  He didn’t.  He wasn’t.  Revenge wasn’t as sweet as he thought it might be.  He felt absolutely nothing.  There was only a lingering, bitter taste in his mouth.  After all was said and done, Marjoe still had his forty bucks.  He thought about the ending of Citizen Kane and saw his small personal fortune burning along side the small wooden sled in the fiery furnace.  It wasn’t about the money; Austin Taycious was a wealthy man.  Like Rosebud, it was a symbol of his youth and the loss of innocence.  He still wore the scars from the leather strap on the huge cotton sack which caused the blisters that never healed properly.  Austin lost all faith in everything, but most of all religion.  He gave his all that summer, including his pride and sense of selfworth, for nothing.  He would make sure it never happened again.  He saw organized religion as a con game to dupe the ignorant and poor out of their hard earned money.  A game well played by loud, fat, lazy but clever charlatans.

In all those years after he gave his forty dollars to Marjoe, he never contributed another penny to any religious organization, but he learned to politically use and bilk them of everything he could every chance he got.  He took hundreds of thousands of dollars under the table from right wing religious organizations who wanted some insane legislation passed.  He would promise faithfully he would do his best to see their bill got into the proper hands and was ultimately passed.  Austin lied and swore he would walk it through himself, but then, he would do nothing for them.  He laughed at them for being so gullible and stupid to have faith enough in him to give him their money, just as he was once gullible and stupid enough to give Marjoe his.  He told himself that’s just the way the world works.  Dog eats dog.  A bigger dog eats a smaller dog then raises his leg in contempt.  He wondered sometimes if his lack of faith might one day become his salvation.  He thought about forgiving the man who stole his money as a kid.  After all, if it hadn’t been for Marjoe, he might have become just another crazed, slobbering, halfwit, rabid fundamentalist moron pouring money down an endless well with nothing to show for his dedication but empty promises.  The mature adult inside him wanted him to forgive, but the little boy didn’t.  Guess who won?  If you bet on the adult, you lost.

As he stood and watched Jones do his number, there was no doubt in his mind it was all an act.  He knew there was something very different about Jones since he’d returned from the mysterious place the two men took him.  Before, he was an innocent farm boy who suddenly discovered he possessed some miraculous powers, but Taycious was convinced he didn’t have a clue what was happening to him or why.  He came back quite different.  He was far more savvy and seemed to be in complete control of everything he did.  There wasn’t the same sense of wonder and awe to his act.  The spontaneity was gone.  In its place was a far more controlled, sophisticated presence that milked the supernatural aspect to the maximum.  Did his new friends teach him how to better use his powers?  Was he in full control of them?  It smacked of the same polished, professional disingenuousness Austin witnessed in that revival tent one hot Texas summer night all those years ago.  Was Brett Jones Jerry Scudder’s Marjoe?

Austin pondered these things and sighed deeply.  At least, this time, he was on the receiving end of the Jesus H. Christ, God Almighty Circus, Dog and Pony Show.  He thanked his imaginary friend Myrna Mae for small favors.  She was Austin’s cut-rate personal savioress he invented for himself.  Myrna Mae was a little like Jesus without the high drama.  Being a bargain basement biblical brahmin, she promised just as much for a lot less personal investment.  To have faith in the divinity of Myrna Mae was to wear an easy yoke.  You not only got to keep your soul, but you also didn’t have to carry as much baggage.  She didn’t make you feel like you were the only ox pulling the plow.  One didn’t have to be born again to gain her favors.  As long as you believed in her, she was happy with you the way you were.  She always thought the idea of a second birth was bit tacky anyway.

She was a much more simple savior but sometimes got befuddled over dogma.  She changed it as often as her hair color.  Her role model was the R.C.C.  She was so laid back one had to check in with her periodically to make sure she was still in the savior business.  Those who didn’t believe in the divine Ms. double M insisted she was little more than an overdressed, dowdy fag-hag who used way too much makeup, cheap perfume— ‘Evening In Paris’ was her favorite— and carried with her an assorted bag of tricks she sent away for from an add on the back of an Archie and Betty comic book.  Anti-Myrna Maes could be so cruel.  Even though they lacked faith in her, she had a big heart and insisted she still loved them anyway.  She was an equal opportunity savior, and made the rain to fall on nonbelievers as well as those who were her faithful followers.

On a good day, Myrna Mae looked a lot like Betty Butterfield.  She had a magic wand with a big star on the end covered in dime store glitter she called her ‘be-dazzler.’  It didn’t do a hell of a lot, but she thought it made her look heavenly.  She was good to poor folks, whores, prostitutes, trannys, faggots and the misbegotten; much like the folks Jesus commanded his followers to love, but somehow just never seemed to get around to.  She also dearly loved cowboy slaves.  She had a new one share her bed every night who would whisper to her what a marvelous fuck she was and could he please ride her one more time?  Since she had the power to remake herself into a blessed virgin after each fuck, she never said ‘no.’  Late at night when the heavens would rumble, between the flash of the lightening and the repeat of the thunder, Austin could swear he could hear her voice calling out in ecstasy, “Yee-haw!  Ride ‘em, cowboy!” and he would fall into a peaceful sleep knowing his savioress allowed yet another cowboy to come unto her and granted him her piece.  As the soft rain began to fall, Austin would dream of his own peace, a big ole Texas size piece of peace, coming unto him.

* * * * * * *

Scudder cut back Jones’ performances since he returned.  Before he was doing a show for three services every Sunday and one for Wednesday night prayer meeting.  No church in history ever recorded such record numbers for a prayer meeting.  Brett told him he didn’t think he was capable of doing so many performances anymore.  His body didn’t have the proper time to recover and thus over stressed his heart.  Jesse Watkins warned him and Scudder of spreading himself too thin, but for a man of Jones’ talents it wasn’t too difficult.  Now he was down to two shows per month; the first and third Sunday of every month but only the eleven o’clock service.  The crowds would be so large they would be packed into the streets and have huge video screens for them to watch.  They tried selling tickets, but like everything else, only the very rich could afford them and the scalpers were having a field day.  Black-market dealers were selling tickets for five hundred to a thousand per seat.  While Jones had no interest in the money it generated, other than his salary as a temple guard, which Scudder raised ten fold and made him a member of his personal staff, he was disturbed the people who could really benefit most from his performances were not being included.

There were several threats on his life.  Some fringe crazies claimed he was trying to be Jesus.  They insisted there was only one lord and savior, and they were pretty sure they’d recognize him if and when he came, but they knew Brett Jones wasn’t him.  No matter how many people he helped or healed, the far right lunatic fringe of the major bible bangers were convinced Brett Jones was a false prophet.  Then again, many of them considered Scudder a shoo-in for the anti-Christ.  Scudder assigned Commander Hawkins and Officer Sven Olafson as his permanent body guards.  He had to be accompanied everywhere he went in public.  Together with his constant chaperones, who became his best friends and buddies, they began to make the rounds of the children’s hospitals in the H. C. area.  (formally D. C.)  They wore Western clothes as a disguise and most folks didn’t recognize them.  The kids seemed to respond positively to the image of three big cowboys coming to visit and bringing them small presents.

Olafson never wore Western clothes before.  He was the biggest of the three and there was no doubt the people of his genetic origins were Vikings or Norsemen.  He looked like he could have been a direct descendent of Olaf the Great better known as King Canute.  He looked a lot like a written description of the old Viking pirate king from the Knytlinga Saga. (pronounced: cuntlinga)  “Knute was exceptionally tall and strong, and the handsomest of men, all except for his nose, which was thin, high set, and rather hooked.  He had a fair complexion none the less, and a fine, thick head of purest blond hair.  His eyes were better than those of other men, both the more handsome and the keener of their sight.”

Sven was also quite good looking with ruggedly handsome features and a magnificently developed body to match.  At thirty he was definitely a mature man, but he had a Baby Huey side to him that Hawkins and Jones took great delight in exploiting.  He was a fine athlete and moved like a cat when he was in action, but he also had a childlike naivete and a boyish clumsy side to him that would embarrass the shit out of him from time to time; however, it only seemed to add to his charm for those who knew and loved him.  Jones and Hawkins came to love their buddy Sven and became very protective of him, but they would also gang up on him and do some god awful things for their amusement.  They were never meanspirited, but they kept him on his toes.  He just never knew what to expect from the two of them.   

He enjoyed seeing Jones and Hawkins wear their Western clothes, but he wasn’t really sure he would like the look for himself; however, after Jones and Hawkins tricked him out with a complete outfit he looked damn good.  He could pass for a pretty convincing cowboy on the streets of any Western town.  Once he looked at himself in the mirror and adjusted his hat just right, his whole personality changed.  His voice inflection dropped an octave, he began to speak at a much slower rate like his tongue was swollen or just plumb lazy, and he was definitely developing a slight Southern lilt to his speech patterns.  To their unbridled amusement, it wasn’t long before Jones and Hawkins noticed things like, ‘ma’am’ and ‘ya’ll’ and ‘don’t never’ and ‘wee dogies’ creeping into their buddy’s verbal syntax.  A short time later, he announced to his comrades he wanted be known as Tex Olafson.  Jones and Hawkins laughed their butts’ off and ribbed the poor man mercilessly.  He was good natured and went along with their shit.

Then, one day he told them he was sure he was born into the wrong body.  Jones and Hawkins looked at each other in horror until he further explained he thought he was a closet cowboy and wondered if there was some hormone therapy he could get to make his dick bigger.  He already hung loose at ten and a half but was sure real cowboys were much larger than him.  Of course, Jones and Hawkins assured him that was true and suggested various vacuum pumps and stretching devices for the poor man.  He further revealed to them since they dressed him up like a cowboy he was having vivid, lucid dreams about cowboys and spaceships.  They didn’t take him seriously.  They thought he was joking.

Accompanied by his comrades, Jones managed to heal hundreds of kids, until the word got out to watch out for three cowboys.  The families of the children were thrilled and couldn’t praised them enough.  The hospitals, not so much.  The corporate owned medical facilities claimed Jones was practicing medicine illegally and initiated an injunction against his actions.  He was causing them to lose money.  Jones and his buddies couldn’t believe the hypocrisy.  He was growing weary of the big city life and the shallowness of it all.  He respectfully demanded more free time for himself and his two bodyguards.  He got pretty much anything he wanted.  He was, after all, not only the Holy Prophet’s main squeeze but also Scudder’s main draw in the religious arena.  He made sure he never missed a scheduled appearances at the National Cathedral when he was in the Holy City, but he would take a week or two off several times a year to return to the colonies.  He insist he needed his bodyguards there as much as when he was in residence at the Holy City.  Of course he did, not for his protection, but for their companionship.  He and Hawkins were getting ready to leave the Holy City for their third time and would be gone for two weeks.  Scudder sent for him and the Commander.

“As you men know them lizard men came to me again and made some outrageous demands on me and our government.  We told them to go fuck themselves the last time they were here.  Since then they’ve cause all sorts of problems with power outages and other nasty things.  They’re pushing hard,  showing us their power without causing a lot of panic for right now.  I don’t think we’d be much use to them if the country collapses in a physical or financial crisis.  Does your guardians, Jesse and Utah, watch over you men all the time?” he asked.

“Pretty much, Sir.” the commander answered.

“Do you think he can hear me now?” Scudder asked.

“Sure.” said Jones without a hint of doubt.  Jones knew Kyron already alerted Jesse and Utah and was sending their conversation by robo-cam.

“Speak to me, Norman.” boomed Jesse’s voice over Jones and Hawkin’s robo-cams in surround sound stereo.

“Would you and your partner please come to me?  I need to talk with you about some things.” he humbly asked.

“No problem.” Jesse answered.  There was a great flash of white light.  Scudder shielded his eyes and there stood Jesse dressed like as a brown dirt cowboy with Utah by his side.  They were standing between Del and Brett.

“Welcome, gentlemen.” Scudder tried to sound genuine.

“Hey, Norman.  What’s up, H.P.?” Jesse grinned. “You decided you wanna’ go all the way and have yore’self a couple a' little Jones’?” he grinned.

“Honestly?  If I considered going all the way, which I ain’t, I wouldn’t want another man’s baby but Brett Jones.’” he said. “Can we speak in private, Sir?” he asked.

“No, you people try to keep ever’ damn thing you do private and hush-hush.  You got so many damn secrets your left hand ain’t got no idea what your right hand’s doing.  Jones and Hawkins know almost ever’ thing I know, and if they don’t, h’it’s only ‘cause we ain’t told ‘em yet.  Where we dwell and they visit, we ain’t got no time for secrets.  People are honest and up front with one another.  I done told you they would be loyal to you to the very end.  They been keeping their part of the bargain and they will, but like I told you, don’t try to use them or pump them for information.  They won’t tell you nothing.  Now tell me what’s on your mind, Norman?  We ain’t got all day.”

“You know about the lizard men what’s come are creating all kinds of problems for me.  One of their leaders Moloke is due to speak with me tomorrow, and I have to tell him something.  They want some outrageous things.  Things too sick and demented to even speak about.” Scudder shuddered.

“Like human babies delivered to them for food like a man would slaughter and eat a suckling pig?” Jesse asked.

“Yeah, and a lot of other unbelievable shit.” Scudder replied.

“They’s just following their own natural agenda, Norman.  They're ruthlessly predatory.  Much like you neo-conservatives.  They see you folks as only important to them as so much meat in a butcher shop in their version of a universal sprawlmart.  They don’t give a rats ass about your civilization, how far you’ve advance or where you might go from here.  They don’t care about your beliefs, wealth or your position as supreme pooh-bah of this planet.  You’re only another piece of meat to them.  They will start with the most tender, the very youngest first and move on to you older cuts later.” Jesse was firm but blunt.  He continued, “They’ll go through the people of Earth like a threshing machine.  In fact, they have large machines they can drop hundreds into to be instantly ground for food for their pets.  For themselves, they prefer to have you cleaned, dressed and properly prepared.”  

“It’s too horrible to contemplate.” said Scudder.

“Yeah, but I guess if a cow, a pig, or a chicken could reason they might feel the same way.” Jesse allowed.  Scudder ignored him.

“Can you and your people help us?” he asked in a pleading voice.

“We could, but we won’t.  We exist separate from your world.  We can’t be bothered by your problems.  We have our own agenda, but it don’t coincide nor does it conflict with yours.  I told you before, it’s too late for you people.  You done every damn thing wrong and insist on clinging to your old myths and superstitions.  Have you thought about calling on God, Jesus, Yahawe, Allah, Ganesh, or Vishnu to come down and save your sorry asses?” Jesse smiled.

“I already tried that.  All I get is a wrong number.” Scudder said bitterly. “Besides,” he continued, “if you ain’t with us you’re against us.” he accused.

“Can it, Norman!  That sort of warped logic only works on your own people when you want them to buy into some insane policy of your devising.  When lies and propaganda don’t work you play the patriotic card, if someone don’t agree with you or dissents you label them traitors.  Do you really think we’re that dumb?  We could wipe you out over night, but we won’t.  Why bother, you’re doomed anyway.  You’re certainly in no position to be dictating to us what our political agenda should be.”   

“Just what is your people’s agenda?” he asked.

“To collect flora and fauna, catalog information, and save the righteous to escape the final destruction that’s sure to come.  We know you won’t give into them snakes without a fight.  We wouldn’t expect you to.  Besides, your lunatic fringe have been pushing for their Armageddon for years with or without the return of a Christ.  They’s bound and determined, come hell or high water they’re gonna’ get it, and they will.  Boy, will they get it.  It will happen, but they won’t be the ones saved at the very end.  They will be exterminated like the pestilence they have become.

Don’t you think the snakes know your history and what your religions are all about?  They been major players in your beliefs over the years to keep you in line and keep you fighting each other.  If you ever got over your petty differences and became a united world you might grow and learn to develop defenses against them.  They couldn’t have that.  They never wanted you to develop to the point where you could take your place among those who go out into the universe.  Would you try to educate your food sources?  Would you send a cow to college?  They know everything about you.

They purposely had a hand in the invention and birth of your major religions so each would become pitted against the other.  Your religions are so fractionalized, subdivided, and contradictory even if Christ were to walk in your front door today, you and your kind would have him arrested and sent to a Cheney camp as a radical.  Look what happened to Jones and his buddies when they tried to help sick children.  You allowed your greedy corporate ghouls to get an injunction to stop him from emptying their hospitals.  You tell me, what’s wrong with that picture, Norman?”

“I know, I’m working on it, but the corporate health industry has grown too large and too powerful.  There are things I can do and things I can’t.  If I started working to change the system at this late date, I’d be a dead man within a week, but things would be a damn sight worse than they are now, I guarantee you.” Scudder defended his position.

“Bullshit, Norman!  That’s just my point.  Y’ain’t never tried.  You took over all them big corporations and made yourself supreme leader a number of years ago.  You’ve had the power to make sweeping changes, but you ain’t done jack shit.  You’ve had damn near a decade to slowly make changes, but it would mean you might have to give up some control, delegate some of your authority, begin to make broad and sweeping moves to the left of center to include the majority of your public who has been stifled and mostly silenced by the Bush regime and now yours.  You ain’t done nothing but perpetuate the same dead end policies you inherited.

You took over everything, but so what?  They found ways to work around you.  You became little more than a titular head.  You’re like one of them bobble heads in the back of a Chicano Chevy low-rider.  You’ve killed millions of innocent civilians in your oil wars and decimated thousands of young men and women of your own country without provocation other than your power base demanded it.  You never attended one of their funerals.  Your economy is in ruins, and yet you still continue to feed the fattest of the fat cats.  You might think about rounding them up like a bunch of cattle, branding them and holding them as your first payment to your new masters.  That might be fun.” Jesse laughed.  Scudder didn’t appreciate the humor.

“What about the people on Venus?” Scudder threw out.

“What about them?” Jesse shot back.

“Hawkins and Jones told me about saving some whales on the surface, but there’s an underground civilization.  Obviously you know about them and are on friendly terms.  Can they help us?” Scudder grasped for straws.
“Why?  First of all, if they could, we wouldn’t let them.  Our people are far more advanced than they are.  We’re more advanced than the snakes and grays.  Secondly, they are just coming out from under the snakes and gray’s domination of a couple of thousand years.  They only have three space worthy crafts and one that can make it around in their atmosphere.  They ain’t made trips to Earth for more than observational purposes for a number of years.  We’re trying to help them.  They just got attacked by the snakes to try to scare them into submission again, but they refused.  I think, with a little help from us, they just might make it.”

“Why would you help them and not us?” Scudder looked shocked.

“It simple, Norman.  They’re a peaceful race.  They don’t war among themselves.  They have developed a strong, united society, and they shun the belief in myths.  They've grown past their voo-doo, witch doctor phase.  They believe in themselves and what they can accomplish with co-operation and hard work.  They still have some growing to do, but their potential as a people far outweighs homo sapiens.  You were the one human who had a chance to make a difference to turn it all around, Norman, and you blew it.  The fate of mankind, or the folks we leave behind will depend on you.”

“Who are you people?  Where do you come from?” Scudder pressed.

“I was born here on Earth.  So was my partner.  We’re made up of bits and pieces of a number civilizations who have suffered greatly at the hands of the snakes and grays.  We’ve come together to live and work in harmony against our common enemy, but we don’t try to impose any one people’s way of life on any others.  We are gathering many like minded people from Earth to escape with us.  We’re taking your rejects, mostly free thinking men and women, the liberals you jailed and threw in your Cheney camps to be worked to death.  Good people who don’t believe in the absolute infallibility of religious dogma or ultra-right wing conservatism.  We’re gathering up your cast offs, like homosexual men and women who are talented and mostly well educated.  Many of your own staff who serve you, because they have to right now to survive, will be ‘raptured’ before any harm can come to them.”

“It just ain’t fair.” said Scudder strongly.

“Really?  Tough shit, Norman!  You had salvation from the snakes and grays in your hands and you let it slip through your fingers.  You had a space program at the turn of the century what would rival ours in many ways.”

“Wait, before you say another word, Hawkins and Jones ain’t cleared for such information?” Scudder stopped him.

“What the fuck are you talking about, you silly twit?  You don’t even have a space program anymore.  NASA’s a joke.  What’s to keep secret?  Besides, they know everything.  We have no secrets from them.  That ain’t the way we operate.  It’s just another one of your government’s stupid, fucked up military-industrial complex attempts at placing a strangle hold on all information for the advantage of the corporate bureaucracy.  That’s exactly why you lost your space program.  They kept everything so damn secret because when your government back-engineered the crashed spaceships from Roswell and several hundred other crash sites, you discovered an almost limitless, safe, cheap, abundant power source.

Your disinformation network set about to purposely mislead the public into believing anyone who believed in or claimed to see a UFO was a kook.  You claimed the public couldn’t know the truth about UFOs because people would panic and it could possibly be a death blow to religious beliefs to find out not every sentient creature was designed in your image or the image of the god you worship.  That wasn’t the real reason.  The real reason was, if you released the information to the public, they would’ve been rioting in the streets demanding to share the benefits of your discovery of a cheap energy source, and the oil companies would have had to close their doors except for basic production of lubricants.  Instead, you chose to minimalize people’s sighting and beliefs in UFOs and make fun of them.  They became thought of in the public consciousness as a lunatic fringe.  If they were onto something or getting too close for comfort you sent your men to threaten them.  You even murdered many to shut them up or to keep them from going renegade and telling what they knew.

The oil companies were too big.  They would never allow information about a cheaper energy source to be shared by the masses.  Like your religions, big corporations never were about the betterment of mankind, they were about control, money and greed of the few over the many.  Men who invented viable alternative energy sources were murdered and their inventions destroyed by the utilities and big oil companies.  No one has ever been brought to justice for their murders.  The oil companies sucked your people dry for decades until the crash of 08 and 09 when the bottom fell out and they priced themselves out of the market.  They tried to rally, but they went the way of the dinosaurs.  Enter the era of the entrepreneur, but that’s another story.

Your government pumped trillions of tax payer dollars into black-ops programs for damn near fifty years, half a century, to develop a secret space program from information and technology gained from crashed gray’s and a couple of snake’s craft.  You entrusted it to a secret branch of your military and a couple of private corporations.  It was overseen by a dozen men appointed by Eisenhower.  Few knew about it, but in his parting speech Eisenhower warned the American people about the potential for excess and abuse by the military-industrial complex.  Everyone thought he was trying to warn of a broader, wider application.  He wasn’t.  He was trying to warn against the secret spending for black-op’s programs.  He was a wise enough man and leader he saw the potential for gross abuse.

Five presidents were never told about the program.  They never knew it existed.  It was an independent government operating within your government; a governmental chimera, if you will.  JFK didn’t know about the program, but his people were smart enough to suspect something very wrong was going on in their country, and since they were in power, they had a right to find out.  He planned to cut all black-op’s funding until he was informed of where the money was going.  They killed him.  They knew Bobby Kennedy would do the same.  They killed him, too.

During the sixties and seventies NASA was created as a plausible alternative for the space race and cover for the real space program.  They worked as a natural progression of technological evolution without the advanced knowledge of the crashed ships.  Some successes of NASA were staged productions, others weren’t.  They actually landed one craft on the moon, but when they got there the astronauts from the secret space program were there to welcome them.  They had a big party on the moon.  It was a big joke among the astronauts.  After the last Apollo mission the government cut back drastically on space exploration and concentrated more on the space station which had more corporate appeal and applications.  It ran through the first decade of the next century until the financial crash cut out the program altogether.  

No one actually knew about the secret space program until G. W. Bush took over.  Somehow he got wind of it; some think it was from his dad who had close ties with key players in the Majestic group, but by that time it was too late.  Bush and Cheney pushed for information about the secret space program, but they were already too strong and too independent an organization.  For all practical purposes, they were a functioning governmental body unto themselves.  They didn’t need the federal government anymore.  They laughed at him and told him even as a self-declared president for life, or as they put it, a little tin-horn banana republic style dictator, he didn’t have a security clearance high enough to be privy to such information.

As I understand it, they went so far as to tell him he didn’t have the intelligence to understand their mission anyway.  It was considerably more complicated than ‘My Pet Goat.’  Why should they waste their time trying to explain something to a man who majored in ‘cheerleading’ in college and they considered to have an IQ slightly lower than a radish?  Bush wasn’t used to being told ‘no.’  He threw a temper tantrum like a chimpanzee what was denied a banana and tried an end run around them.  He tried to cut off their funding, but it was so deeply embedded in many other facets of pork barrel funding legislation, he couldn’t.  It was like a malignant tumor that sent tendrils into the deepest parts of the body.  He sent troops to take over.  The weapons of the secret space program were so advanced they simply wiped out any attempt he made and thousands of troops were slaughtered because of his stupidity and megalomania.  He even ordered nuclear strikes on their facilities, but to his everlasting embarrassment and their credit, his military refused to attack targets within their own county.

The mainstream media never heard about it.  There was absolutely nothing he could do, because to bring the top military brass up on charges he had to tell what happened.  He was afraid to push them too far.  He was basically a coward and was afraid of a military coup.  Imagine the embarrassment to Bush and the federal government if they had to admit they didn’t know about a secret project which was going on right under their noses and being funded at the cost of trillions of dollars for almost half a century.  To make matters worse, they were left holding an empty bag; they had nothing to show for it.  The secret organization of highly placed military and civilian people founded their own government, and had fully functional bases on the moon no one knew about.  They evacuated their personnel, their families, destroyed any evidence and all information on the project.  There wasn’t so much as a scrap of paper left to prove there was any program of the kind.  So you had your own salvation within your grasp, and your government let it sail away.  You have your predecessor to thank for that.”

“Where did they go?” asked Scudder.

“They ultimately launched ships from the moon to carry them to another inhabitable world in the Andromeda galaxy.  We still use some of their facilities.  They back engineered and developed space warp technology.  Even with limited warp capabilities it still would take them a couple of years to get there.  I’m sure they’ve arrived by now.  They saw how the future was going on Earth and decided to take their chances on another world; just like we plan to do.  Oh, and just for the record, much to the dismay of the military types they founded a rock solid ultra liberal democracy.  They outlawed any and all religious practices and left all myths behind them on Earth.”

“For God’s sake, man, I’m begging you, help us!” Scudder pleaded.

“Oh, come, now!  Let’s be honest.  It’s not for God’s sake you ask, Norman, but for your own sake.  You’re the big H.P., the Holy Prophet, do your thing.  You’re asking the wrong man.  I don’t believe in your imaginary friend.  Why would you invoke his name to tickle a response from me?  Take your red phone and dial his number.  Hello central, give me heaven.  You and your kind are like the handwriting on the wall, you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.  Now, you must face the consequence of many years of incredibly stupid and morally bankrupt leadership.  You and Bush took a once great nation and reduced it to a corporate dictatorship.  Bottom line, Norman, we won’t help you.  We got enough on our plates trying to save as much as we can without worrying about your worthless ass.”

“How much longer do we have?” Scudder asked quietly like he was resigned to his fate.

“Five years max, maybe less.  We just don’t know.  There are variables involved we can’t predict.” Jesse replied.

“Is there anything we can do that might make you change your minds?” Scudder asked.

“What part of ‘too late’ don’t you understand, Norman?” Jesse asked softly with a smile.  “I’ve answered your question, but now I gotta’ run, Norman.  I wish you luck.  I’d really like to see you pull off a miracle.  I hope your imaginary friend hears you and comes down to smite the evil do’ers with his terrible swift sword, but I ain’t gonna’ hold my breath.  In the meantime, you might  wanna’ consider having Jones’ baby.  We’ll take him or her with us.  At least your child would go out into the universe.  That would be some legacy for you.  As it is, your name will soon be forgotten as too distasteful for people of reason to remember.” Jesse told him.

“Ain’t you afraid it would be the Devil’s spawn you carry with you?” Scudder asked in a nasty voice.

“Naw, there ain’t no such thing as the Devil, unless you wanna’ consider the parasitic races like the grays and snakes as such; many do.  A child is innocent and won’t become contaminated with the garbage you believe.  His daddy will raise him as a free thinking secular humanist, a child of the universe.” Jesse assured him.  Surprisingly, it was something Scudder already thought seriously about, but to hear Jesse urge him to consider it broke something within him.

“Do it!” he barked.  “Gotdamn it, just do it!”

“Are you sure, Norman?” Jesse smiled. “Nothing should be decided on the whim of a passionate moment.”

“If that were the case most of us wouldn’t be here right now.” Scudder shot back.

“Touche,’ Norman.  Good point.  I jes’ don’t think you should do something you might regret later.”

“I know what I’m doing.  I’m sure.  I’m more sure about it than any decision I’ve ever made in my life.  Just do it before I have a chance to think about it and change my mind.” he barked.

“There will be blood.” Jesse smiled.

“I don’t care.  I don’t give a damn.  It will be worth it to have Brett Jones’ baby.  He’s the only person in my sorry life I’ve allowed myself to love as an equal, but I know I can’t hold on to him.  I lost him the day you saved his life.  I knew I would, but that was all right.  I was willing to let him go to save him.  At least I have him for a while.  I love Austin Taycious as a my little brother, but he ain’t no lover.  Any chance you’d take my little brother with you?  He didn’t deserve the life he’s had to live.  I’d like to see him get another chance for a better life.” Scudder pleaded in an uncharacteristic display of charity.

“We’ll consider it.  He don’t have a great track record after what you and he done to Tim Kelly.  I won’t promise.  We’ll keep an eye on him, and if he redeems himself we jes’ might reconsider.  In the meantime, if you’re ready here we go: Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!” exclaimed Jesse and a bright light flashed from his ubiquitous staff he carried with him everywhere and surrounded Scudder from the tip of his toes to the top of his head.  Scudder felt very strange.  He knew his internal organs were rearranged to accommodate a womb and god only knows what other plumbing horrors.  He didn’t care.  He mean what he said.  He would not allow himself (herself?) to have any thoughts of regret.  Jesse let him retain his outwardly male appearance.  After all he was still the Holy Prophet and leader of the so-called free world.

“There, Norman, you’re fully loaded.  Now all you need is to be cocked.” Jesse grinned.

After further goodbyes and telling Jones and Hawkins they were looking forward to their visit, in another flash of light, Jesse and Utah were gone.  Scudder smiled at Brett Jones.  Jones went to him, took him into his arms and gently kissed Scudder on his forehead.

“You really love me that much, Holy Father?” he asked.

“Sure I do.  I figured it was the only way to prove just how much I love you.”

“I can’t stay behind, Sir.” Jones said gently.

“I know.  I won’t ask.  I wouldn’t want you to.  I didn’t save your life the first time to ask you to give it up now.  I’ll expect you to get our child to safety.” he conceded. “Oh, and by the way, when we’re in private, cut the Holy Father crap.  Call me Jerry.  No, on second thought, you and only you, call me Norman, Son.”

“I understand, Sir.  I’ll call you that with great affection.” Jones said.

“Oh, and we won’t mention anything about what just happened to Austin, will we?  I’ll tell him when I’m ready.” Scudder asked the men.

“Certainly not, Norman.” Jones smiled at him.  Scudder smiled and nodded his head like he enjoyed hearing Jones call him that.  Scudder knew the men were anxious to be off on their holiday.  He dismissed them, told them to have a good time, enjoy themselves and sent them on their way.

“Wow, my buddy’s on a first name basis with the big H.P.!  Way to go, stud!” Hawkins threw his big arm over Brett’s shoulder and tickled him with his free hand.  Jones laughed and jumped.  Hawkins continued, “Do you think he has ulterior motives, Brett?” they were on their way back to Jones’ apartment.

“Is the Pope a drag queen with poor taste?” asked Brett, “Of course, he always has other motives, but I think this time it’s bigger than his usual conniving.  It’s his last hope to leave something of himself behind.  What better way than to send his child into the universe.  My problem is, how am I gonna’ break this to my mate?”

“Shame on you, Brett.  I think you underestimate, Basil.” Hawkins admonished him. “I think a more important worry is what will it be?” Hawkins raised a questioning eyebrow.

“A boy.” grinned Brett knowing full well what his commander was getting at.  Hawkins just shook his head and grinned.

* * * * * * *

The first couple of times Jones and Hawkins were picked up and taken back to the colonies for a little R and R, Olafson, or Tex, was miserable the entire time they were gone.  The third time they were getting ready to leave he begged Hawkins and Jones to take him with them.  They told him they didn’t think he would fit in with the people and probably wouldn’t like the place very much because there were a lot a cowboys there.  Jones sadistically threw in that line, because he knew it would only whet Olafson’s interest.  Sven ran to his room and returned only minutes later as his new persona, Tex Olafson, with a back pack of personal items ready to go.  Commander Hawkins cleared it with Admiral Long the last time he and Brett spent time in the colonies.  If Delbert and Brett vouched for the man, Lazarus had no problem with them bringing him along, but his buddies weren’t going to make it easy for him.  They played good guy, bad guy with him.  

“No, I jes’ don’t think it’s a good idea, Del.  You know he can’t keep his damn mouth shut about nothing.  How do you think he got the nickname ‘Elda Furry?  You know damn well it ain’t because he’s hirsute.  Ain’t a hair on his body, cep’n his pits and between his legs, and that’s so blond and thin, if’n it weren’t for his size, he’d look like a ten year old from the waist down.” Jones played the bad guy.  Poor Tex cringed at his buddy’s harsh words.  They were somewhat true but certainly over exaggerated.

“Give the kid a break, Brett.  He saved your ass in Cleveland two weeks ago.” Hawkins pleaded aggressively.

“Yeah, but he ain’t got no concept of the world we visit.  If he learns certain things, and you know what I’m talking about, he could blab to the wrong people, and we’d be done for.  Our comfortable little world would come crashing down around us.  It’s jes’ too big a chance to take.” Jones was adamant and shook his head.

“I won’t say nothing, Brett!  I swear I won’t tell nobody.  I promise, whatever you men are afraid of, I can be trusted.  I was an Eagle Scout.  I was in the Loyal Order of the Arrow.  I know how to keep secrets.  Lord knows I kept enough of ‘em around this place.  I ain’t no gossip like you claim.  I don’t even know who the hell Elda Furry is.” Olafson defended himself.

“Well, if he tells we can always... you know....?” Hawkins almost laughed.

“Oh, God, I wouldn’t wanna’ do that to the poor kid, Del.  Who knows, he jes’ might wanna’ use that damn thing one day for some’um 'sides a hatrack.” Jones giggled.  Poor Olafson had no idea what they were talking about, but it didn’t sound good.  He groaned.

“Look at him, Brett!  Ain’t nothing more pathetic than a cowboy all dressed up with no place to go.  Have mercy.  Take pity on the kid.  I know you to be a man of compassion.” Hawkins passionately pleaded.

“Oh, all right, but you have to take a solemn oath whatever you witness, what we share with you, whatever strange things you see, or places we take you will remain our secret.” Jones demanded of him.

They had him repeat some silly garbage of an oath that sounded like something Dr. Seuss might write.  They made him stand on one leg, pull on his right ear and go “Toot! Toot!” after everything he swore to.  When he protested they just asked him if he wanted to go or not?  He went along with their nonsense.  Jones and Hawkins could barely keep a straight face.  They were in Jones’ apartment in the temple guard compound.  When they finished, Hawkins asked if he was ready to go, and Tex started for the door.  They called him back and put their arms over each others shoulders and told him to do the same.  

“There’s a better way to get where we’re going, cowboy.  Close your eyes, and bow your head.” Hawkins commanded.  Olafson did as he was told.  He thought they were still playing with him.  They were standing close together with their head’s bowed.  Jones was about to lose it.

“Oh, Grand Wizard, we speak the sacred words, ‘Omma Bamma Lamma Terramasue.’”chanted Hawkins, “We’re ready to be taken aboard your magic chariot, oh wise and benevolent one.” there was a great flash of pure white light, and they were aboard the Buttercup.

“You can open your eyes now, Tex.” Jones told him.  Olafson’s eyes got real big as he looked around.  

“Oh, my God, I’m on a spaceship!” he exclaimed.

“How do you know?” Hawkins asked him.

“This is the same spaceship I seen in my dreams.  I told you and Brett about my dreams.  You never listen to me.  You always shine me on.  In my dreams I become a pilot of one just like this.”

“Welcome aboard the Buttercup, Tex.  I’m Captain Waco Goodnight.”  Waco stuck out his hand to take Olafson’s and shake it.  “Grand Wizard, indeed!  You guys should be ashamed of yourself putting our buckaroo buddy Tex, here, through that malarkey.” Waco grinned.  Hawkins and Jones were holding each other laughing.

“Thanks, Sir.  I figured they’s playing me for a fool.  How did we get on board this thing so fast?” he asked.

“It will all be explained to you in time, Tex.  In the meantime sit down and relax.  We’ll be home in a matter of minutes.” Waco invited him.

“Is there a ship in your fleet called the ‘Badger,’ Captain Waco?” Tex asked.

“I don’t know, there’s three hundred of ‘em.  Many of ‘em ain’t been flown in years.  Can you check for us, Ms. Myra?” Waco asked his on-board intelligence.

“Why, yes, Captain Waco, Darlin,’ I’d be happy to.  Yes, there is a ‘Badger.’  It’s the same series as the Buttercup.  It’s sitting in dock thirty-two.  It hasn’t been used in ages.”

“And is the on-board intelligence called Cactus Jack?” Tex Olafson asked.

“It is.” she replied.

“How do you know that, Olafson?” Hawkins demanded.

“My dreams.  I’ve been on one of these ships before, I swear to you.” he was getting excited.

“Do you know Cactus Jack, Ms. Myra?” Waco inquired.

“Of course I do, honey.  All us on-board folks keep each other company when we ain’t on duty.  I know Cactus Jack quite well.  We’re members of a bridge club together.  We’ve won several tournaments.  Our avatars go dancing once a week.  Cactus Jack is a fine looking cowboy.  He can do a mean Texas two-step, Texas
Schottische and the Cotton eye’d Joe.  He’s also very good at... well, you know, sweetie.” she giggled.

“Can avatars...?”  Waco started to ask then stopped, “Never mind, don’t tell me, I don’t wanna’ know.  That’s more information than I need, Ms. Myra.” Waco insisted.

“Why, Captain Waco, if I’d never met you and didn’t know better, I might mistake you for a prude.  After all, we all share what you do for Captain Vinceeth.  We even keep a rating system on yours and the Captain’s performances just like the Olympics.  We all get a vote.  You almost got perfect tens across the board your first night together except Anna Mae Wong of the 'Lotus' gave you a one point deduction on your dismount.” Myra giggled like a school girl.  Hawkins and Jones broke up.  Olafson figured it was an ‘in’ joke, but it sounded funny and he laughed anyway.

“Never mind.  I don’t wanna’ know about that either.” said Waco as he turned a bright red.  Myra laughed again.

“Well, just for the record, honey, we told that Chinese bitch we thought she was being petty.” Ms. Myra laughed wickedly.

“Oh, gees...whatever!” Waco groaned, then quickly changed the subject. “Do you know the name of our mother ship, Tex?” Waco probed.

“Let’s see.  I ain’t had the dream for a while now, Sir, but I think it starts with a ‘B’... ‘Banshee’?  No that ain’t right, it’s from Louis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.  Let’s see, ‘Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!’  That’s it!  That’s the name!  The Bandersnatch.” he said with conviction.

“Amazing.” said Lucas Long, Captain Waco’s number one.

“It’s coming back to me; all of it.  I know who you are.”  Tex said to Lucas.  “You’re Lucas Long, Admiral Long’s son, Captain Waco’s number one, and in my dream I had a number one named... named.... what was his name... he was an American Indian and was Captain Waco’s slave....‘Rabbit’... no, that ain’t right.... his granddad, the chief, changed his name to ‘Little Bear.’  There’s more, but it would be too embarrassing for me to talk about.  I think some dreams should remain private and personal.” he said.  They looked at him askance like they didn’t know what to make of him.  Hawkins and Jones were dumbfounded.

The Buttercup docked and Sven ‘Tex’ Olafson began to live his dream.  The men took him to Cable to be checked out and called for Lazarus to report to sickbay.  Cable didn’t know what they wanted him to do.  The man claimed to have dreams of a possible future.  So what?  It wasn’t so rare these days.  Cable reminded them Maxine reported having some strange dreams of the future; strange, impossible dreams of a star child, half man, half alien and his cybernetic boy-child.  Certainly Judge Potter had prophetic dreams.  It was not unknown for the Ancients to give glimpses of the future and set them afloat on the winds of consciousness like Japanese water lights to see what shore they might land on.  It was sort of like a message in a bottle.  It depended on what shore it landed, who was the recipient and what they did with the information as to the tide or turn of the future.  While it wasn’t fully understood, and seemed random to the point of capriciousness, Cable reminded them there was a pattern and purpose even in chaos.

Sometimes prophetic dreams might come to those who know about such things, and other times they might come to people like Tex Olafson who didn’t have a clue.  Children, especially prepubescent kids, we’re highly receptive to the winds.  Of course, shortly after puberty their brains turn to an equal mixture of pablum and cottage cheese, then they were unable to think of anything but the zits on their face and their sex organs for at least a decade.  Lazarus came and talked with Tex for a while and concluded Cable was correct.  There was nothing for them to examine.  Stop all the nonsense and treat the young man like you would any new guest.  It was at that moment Tex Olafson became a devoted follower and disciple of Lazarus Long.  Scudder, the Holy City, and the Temple Guards be damned, he found a new home and a new life for himself.  He would never be left behind again.

Waco and Lucas joined Brett Jones, Basil Troubadour and Commander Hawkins to take Tex around and show him the wonders of the several colonies.  He smiled and was quite accepting and comfortable with Waco’s huge lummox slave and had no problem with human/lummox bondings.  He was delighted by Keekepata and her courtiers.  He was duly impressed by Waco’s suitor and the other Visallian warriors who were partnered with Lucas Long and Travis Jessup.  He took the Kryscellians in stride and found them enchanting.  He took going from place to place by the gates as second nature to him.  Tex didn’t seem to be as wowed as many who experienced them for the first time.  It was almost like he was watching an old movie he’d seen many times and was only paying partial attention to the high points.  He seemed to be waiting for something or looking for someone among all the new critters and faces.

After checking with Ms. Ida Mae, Waco invited the three officers from the Holy City and Basil for supper at the big house.  The day was coming to an end and they went through the gate to the barn onto the Goodnight ranch.  They came out of the barn and the slave cowboys, Lazarus, Charlie, Travis and Little Bear were walking their horses back to the barn.  Lazarus had his arm around Travis and was talking with him as they walked.  Charlie had his arm around Little Bear, and they were talking.  The men were dirty.  They were roping, cutting and branding cattle all afternoon.  They were dressed in their full cowboy gear and covered in dirt.  Their faces were completely covered with dust except for their faces where their bandanas covered their mouths and noses.  Little Bear looked up and saw the most handsome cowboy he ever saw.  He saw the man of his dreams standing next to his master and his brother Lucas.  Charlie heard from Lazarus about Tex Olafson and his dreams when he returned after being called away earlier in the day.  He anticipated this, saw what was happening, took the reins to Little Bear’s Indian pony he loved so well and spoke quietly.

“Go to him, Son.  I hear’d rumors he’s waited all day to meet only one person.” Charlie said like a father.  Little Bear didn’t need to be told twice.  He was on a dead run to get to Tex Olafson.  The last few feet he hit his knees and slid to the feet of the big man like a major league baseball player would steal home plate, and began to pay homage to Tex’s big boots.  Tex was so taken with his actions he didn’t wait to perform the ritual.  He knew the ritual.  Hawkins and Jones made him go over it numerous times until his got it right.  He simply reached down with his massive arms and pulled Little Bear up to him, held him off his feet, rested him on his enormous chest and began to kiss him like he was the long lost lover of his dreams.  Little Bear returned his kiss in kind.  Everyone stood in awe and silence at what they were witnessing.   

“I’ve waited all day to meet you.  They showed me everything, but there was only one person I wanted to see.” he finally told Little Bear.

“Welcome, Master Tex, to our world.  What took you so long?” Little Bear stole another kiss.

“All I know is, with your master’s kind permission, I will never have to dream about you again.” said Tex putting Little Bear down to the ground to look at the handsome but dirty face of the Indian cowboy who haunted his dreams for so many years.  A little dirt didn’t matter to Tex.  Clean or dirty, Little Bear was the most handsome young man he ever encountered inside his dreams or out. “That ain’t quite true, neither.” continued Tex, “I will always dream of you when you ain’t near me.” he said with all the love in his heart.  The other men gathered had big smiles on their faces.  Commander Hawkins and Brett Jones were gobsmacked by their mate’s reaction to Little Bear.  Had they underestimated their brother officer?  It was such a poignant moment it screamed for comic relief and they all went, “Awwwhhh....”  Tex and Little Bear ignored them.  They were in a world unto themselves.

“There is none like my master, Master Tex.  Master Waco is kind and generous.  While I am his devoted slave, he is also ma’ blood brother, but the manners I been taught by him and these good folks who took me into their family and treated me as one of their own must be respected and adhered to.  You will have to seek his permission, Sir.”

Tex turned while still holding Little Bear in his arms to speak to Waco, but before he could say anything Waco spoke to Little Bear.

“Tell you what, little brother, you pay homage to your master’s boots and show him some of yore’ devoted slave love, and it will be enough to buy you a ticket to heaven for an evening with yore’ new buddy.  He certainly looks like he would have no problem git’n you there and back.” he laughed.

Little Bear grinned real big, fell at Waco’s boots and began to make love to them.  He completed the ritual with his master and they gave each other a kiss only those who know the true meaning of brotherhood might understand.  Waco got an erection and so did Little Bear.  They looked down at their crotches and laughed.  The men laughed with them.

“Oh, fuck, little brother!  That was worth several nights for sure.” laughed Waco.  Everyone laughed at him and Little Bear.

“Thank you, Captain Waco.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated.” said Tex.

“Somehow, I got me a feeling it will be ‘greatly’ appreciated by both you men.” Waco laughed and the other men joined him.

Little Bear, Travis, Waco and Lucas took the four horses, unsaddled them, wiped them down and fed them.  The rest of the men went off to the big house to clean up for supper.  Tex stayed with Little Bear and his brothers and began to absorb the routine menial life of a cowboy slave.  He wanted to know everything and asked many questions.  He even took a rag and helped wipe the horses and brush them afterward.  He was impressed, while having a horse for transportation may have a certain romance about it, you couldn’t just drive it somewhere and park it.  It was a living animal who required a cowboy’s love and attention.  He never before considered the work require to keep them sound, fit and comfortable.  No wonder cowboys got the reputation of loving their horses first and all others second, Tex considered.  They invest a great deal of time and affection on them.  They finished in little time, because when there were chores to be done on the Goodnight Ranches, everyone pitched in to help.

They walked together to the big house and Tex went with the men to clean up.  For the first time in his life, Sven Olafson felt like a genuine cowboy.  For all the advanced, other worldly, fascinating wonders of the colonies, Sven knew he had to experience more of the cowboy life.  He was determined to earn his cognomen ‘Tex.’  There was something about the lifestyle that appealed to him on a retrograde basis.  It was a return to a more simple and less complicated time.  He suspected it was the single most important thing that united and held together all the people and critters of such varied pasts.  The one thing that stuck him most was everything at the ranch and in the colonies ran at a slower pace.  No one was in any hurry to get something done or get someplace.  Everyone took their time to do a job right or enjoy the experience of going somewhere together.  They took time to live with and love those around them.  It was a far cry from the insanity of the Holy City.  Compared to what he was experiencing in the colonies, Washington D. C. was more like Holy Hell.

Waco offered Tex and Little Bear a room at the Two Meadows Inn on the Buttercup.  It was run by Jack and Buck Hall and was situated on their large ranch, the Lazy B.  Warren and Horse were sort of wranglers for the Inn and took care of the many critters who visited from time to time.  They also took care of the horses the guests used for trail riding.  Waco kept his older Shire horses in the meadows which he entrusted to their care.  Jack and Buck brought in some decorators from the all male colony who went crazy with Western and Southwest themes.  The rooms were very comfortable and functional.  The Inn was a great favorite with the pups and most of Waco’s cowboy brothers.  They preferred the privacy and quiet solitude of the Inn over the hustle and bustle of the crowds who went to the lodge at Mars port.  Jesse and Utah could often be found at the Inn.  They became great friends will Jack, Buck and the Steeles.  It was also a great favorite of the human/lummox bonded couples, because they had special rooms with extra large beds to accommodate the lummox large sizes.  Jack and Buck originally built small apartments for Warren off their two manager’s houses on the Buttercup and the land Lazarus set aside for a hotel on the Bandersnatch, but after Warren met Horse he needed a bigger place.  

Jack and Buck built a small separate house for Horse and Warren with high ceilings so Horse wouldn’t have to stoop.  The doors were made larger, too.  They lived at the Inn most of the time, took care of it when Jack and Buck were away managing the other hotel on the Bandersnatch.  Horse and Warren didn’t venture forth too much now that Warren was in the final days of his pregnancy.  He was as big as the side of a barn.  Everyone predicted it would be the largest bairn born to a human male on record.  Arlen Jones was staying with Lazarus for the last few days of Warren’s pregnancy and Cable was on call.  Sonny Steele was like an old mother hen dropping by to visit his dad and sit with him.  Vivian Steele was having great fun, but was compassionate with Warren.  They spent many hours laughing and exchanging whispers behind poor Sonny’s back.  Vivian told Warren she thought they should get their own big lummox; then Sonny could experience the joy of childbirth like his dad; or, if he’d rather, she wouldn’t mind loaning him out to Horse for studding.  Sonny laughed at their nonsense but didn’t appreciate the idea very much.

The only one who wasn’t concerned was Warren.  Warren wasn’t worried in the least.  He was looking forward to it.  He couldn’t wait.  Once he gave birth and Horse took over, Warren was free to get knocked up again by his huge, lummox husband.  He laughed and told Jack and Buck he planned to stay in a perpetual state of pregnancy for several years.  Warren and Horse planned for their next bairn to be a human boy child, and if they could get Buck’s permission and cooperation, they were going to ask Jack Hall to be the third father or sperm donor.  The bairn would essentially be almost an exact copy of Jack with a less than ten percent variant ratio.  One or two percent lummox and eight to nine percent human variant DNA from Warren.  Buck had no problem with it, but stipulated he had to be there when his husband impregnated Warren, and they wanted to be named as godparents.  Warren and Horse agreed.  They planned to ask them to be the boy’s godparents anyway.

Tex and Little Bear wasted no time getting to know each other better.  While Little Bear loved his master Waco, Master Charlie, and of course Master Angus, he never met the man of his dreams.  He was tempted to try a couple of fine looking Visallian warriors who took a shine to him, but never developed into anything.  They were fine men, but they just didn’t have what Little Bear was looking for.  He couldn’t define just what ‘it’ was he was looking for, but he knew in his heart he would recognize the man when he came along.  Little Bear never fooled himself he would become Master Waco’s mate or anyone else’s around the ranch.  The man who came closest to what he was looking for in a mate was Angus Goodnight, but only as a prototype.

Little Bear never deceived himself into believing there could ever be anything more than what he shared with Angus.  He knew his relationship with Master Angus was one of a deep love and respect for a man and master who represented the father figure he never had and always wanted.  That was enough for Little Bear.  He listened to and heeded Angus’ advice.  Little Bear shared the secrets of his heart with the big cowboy.  In some ways Angus was more generous with Little Bear than he was with Shane, but there was never any doubt in either of their minds just how they fit together and why.  Angus loved Little Bear like a son and treated him that way.  Little Bear idolized Angus like a revered father and gave of himself in the same manner.

Whatever gaps there might have been in Little Bear’s and Angus’ relationship were completed by a host of other good men on the Goodnight ranch.  Little Bear developed strong relationships with Charlie and Lazarus and to some extent Hank Morgan, but he wasn’t sharing sex with these men on a regular basis.  The only man he was responsible for in that department was his master, and Waco was mostly involved with his Visallian warrior.  Waco would still throw a mean fuck into him after a good football game or when he was hurting for some cowboy loving, but Little Bear came to look on them as little more than victory or mercy fucks.

Tex Olafson, on the other hand, was the tall, Nordic god Little Bear always envisioned coupling with as a partner.  Ever since he was a kid and had a coloring book about Vikings he locked in on the image of the tall, strong, stalwart men as his ideal of hyper-masculinity and that image was burned into his young impressionable mind.  Little Bear substituted his sexual identifications of male parental love, which would’ve ordinarily been placed on a father, on his imaginary role model.  He still had that old coloring book.  When his dad sold him into slavery, one of his grandmothers found it, saw how carefully and lovingly the figures were colored, and put it away for him.  It was one of his most cherished possessions.  He could remember one of the biggest and finest looking looked exactly like Tex Olafson.  He remembered getting erections as a young boy coloring the picture of the big, handsome man; it felt like more to him than just the physical act of coloring; he was trying to bring the cartoon-like character to life; when he finished, he would take his penis in his hand and color it the same color as his Viking hero.

He dreamed of such a man, tall and strong coming to take him away on his big Viking ship to make him his lover; to take from him what he needed as his due and not just because he simply loved Little Bear like his very own son.  He would sometimes have to beg other men to fuck him the way he needed, but Little Bear knew in his heart his Viking would already know what he needed and without question take it from him.  He would take all he needed to satisfy himself and in turn satisfy his boy.  It was a tall order for any man to fill and would probably intimidate the crap out of  most any other man, but Tex Olafson was no ordinary man.  He had the right peg for the right hole, and he knew the importance to his partner he should take what he needed while being a patient and considerate lover.

Tex had his own dreams, but they just happened to coincide with Little Bear’s.  Them damn Ancients and Voices were tap dancing overtime.  One might have thought they were doing a remake of ‘Flying Down To Rio’ their antics were so bizarre.  After their heroics with the whales, all the cowboys were experiencing the fulfillment of many of their most precious dreams.  The Ancients were on a mission to shape Little Bear into the leader they wanted him to be and knew Tex Olafson was the very spirit and embodiment of the strong, stalwart Viking hero leader Little Bear needed.  The more Little Bear got to know the man, the more he was convinced Tex was sent to him to become the master of his heart, but he had the strangest impulse when he was around the big man.  He had an almost uncontrollable erotic desire to get a box of crayons and color him, along with his own penis.

Buck Hall sensed there was something special going on between Little Bear and his new friend he just met.  Waco brought them to the Buttercup after dinner to get them a room.  Since Tex and his mates would be staying in the colonies for a couple of weeks, Buck conferred with his husband and told him he wanted to put them in the old apartment where Warren used to stay.  It was rarely used anymore and would be a perfect hangout for them.  Jack grinned.  He knew what Buck was up to.  He’d come to know his mate so well he didn’t ask questions anymore.  He instinctively knew it was the right thing to do, but Buck never took an initiative without consulting his husband first.  That’s the way Jack wanted it.  For all practical purposes, Buck became Jack’s slave without the legal trappings.  It just became an unspoken agreement between them, and that’s the way they liked it.  Some men just aren’t comfortable in life unless they’re serving the wants and needs of another man and preferably a strong willed man who isn’t afraid to admit it’s exactly what he expects from his mate.

Jack found his perfect match in Buck; something he could never find in a woman.  Jack wasn’t a misogynist; he just found the women he dealt with had less loyalty than a female Badger in heat.  In Buck, Jack found a totally devoted mate who never questioned his husband about anything.  The very strangest thing was, Jack always took Buck into consideration before making any decision.  He would feel Buck out for his opinion.  Sometimes he would go with Buck’s idea, other times not, but his decision was final.  Once Jack made a decision, it was never discussed again.  Jack knew Buck developed his own unique sensitivities and had a soft spot in his heart for lovers.  Buck was so much in love with Jack he sometimes thought his heart would burst.  Being a stoic cowboy, Jack never talked much about love.  While he was the ultimate pragmatist, Jack never deceived himself; he knew his heart would come to a complete halt without Buck by his side.    

Buck gave Waco the key to the apartment.  He went with them to open it and show them around.  It was a small place with only one bedroom, but had a huge bed.  There was a nice, large bath, a small efficiency kitchen and a rather large living area with a raised Southwest adobe style fireplace to make it cozy and romantic on chilly nights.  It also boasted a Jacuzzi on the patio.  It was just the private, secluded place two cowboys needed to get acquainted.  Buck checked everything out to make sure it was properly stocked and all the equipment worked.  Everything seemed to be fine.  Buck and Waco left Tex and Little Bear alone.  It was a long weekend for Little Bear.  Waco relieved him of all cowboy responsibilities so he could entertain his new friend and show him more wonders of Mars and Venus.  No one heard from them for three days and nights.  They took their meals in the small, informal dining room for guests staffed day and night by androids from Mars port; that is, when they bothered to get out of bed long enough to eat.  The androids were always happy to see them.  They would go out of their way to prepare anything they wanted, because they didn’t get many people in their dinning room.  Everyone was going to Mars port or Venus.  The only reports to their friends were from Jack and Buck who said they were fine, for everyone not to worry and leave them alone.  They jokingly told everyone they caught them several times gathering sticks, leaves and bits of twine to build a nest.

The third night they were interrupted by the sound of many voices talking quietly.  A knock came at the door.  It was Jack and Buck telling them Warren had gone into labor and would be delivering his bairn in a matter of hours.  Since the birth of a new bairn was a big social event they were invited to attend.  Tex and Little Bear got dressed and went to the barn where Horse made a nest for them and spread old quilts on top of the hay.  There must have been a couple of hundred people and critters of all kinds standing around, sitting in the lofts, some just sitting on bales of hay, but everyone quiet and considerate awaiting the blessed event.  Cable and Captain Arlen Jones were there to assist if needed but things seemed to be going along normally.  Warren looked radiant.  Cable, David and Jonathan already cleaned him thoroughly and they were only waiting for his water to break.  Little Bear explained to Tex about the impending delivery, but he just couldn’t believe a human male could give birth.  When he saw the size of Warren he began to think otherwise.  He would either give birth to something or explode.  

Warren was lying naked in his big husband’s massive furry arms.  He had one of the light metal thermal sheets thrown over him to keep him warm and comfortable, but it outlined every nook and cranny of his body.  There was one small pin spot aimed right at Warren’s crotch and it was the only ambient light in the barn.  It was strong enough if the doctors needed to move in to help they would have plenty light to work.  Around the room there were about fifteen or twenty huge lummox males including Captain Trong, his lummox sons, Strom, Kuluke, T’kan, and Ox.  The others were representatives from the lummox families on Mars.  Lazarus approved them coming through the gate for such a special occasion.  They were shy but glad to have the honor and privilege of being included.  Tex mentioned to Little Bear he thought several were quite handsome creatures.

It was as if Horse sensed his mate’s water was about to break, and he started the lummox ritual birthing song to bring his new son into the world, welcome him to his new home in his second father’s pouch where he would live for another six months.  The lummox’s song became a call and answer response.  Horse would groan, rumble and grunt a phrase and the other huge lummox males around the circle would respond by repeating the same phrase.  It became very hypnotic and put everyone into a deeply relaxed state.  It was meant to calm and encourage the first birth father to let go and let the new bairn find his way to life.  They called for the young one to come forth; his time was at hand; it was time for him to start his new life; his birth father was ready to give him life, and his loving and protective second father was ready and waiting to receive him.

It was a very moving moment for all gathered, because of the historical significance of the ritual.  It was the first time a new bairn was to be born using the old rituals of birth that many thought had been lost to the Volgorons.  There were a couple of very old lummox like Strom who remembered and taught the rest the songs.  It moved many to tears to see something so ancient measured in eons as the Volgoron birth ritual being reenacted after so many years of abandonment.  Abandonment, not because of disuse or falling out of favor, but because of the destruction of the race by the reptiles causing the Volgoron’s to be scattered as seed across the universe by friendly races in hopes some would survive.  The old ways were forgotten by subsequent generations who were busy fighting to survive.  Now they had a place to gather (Mars, the colonies and to a lesser degree Earth) in peace to recreate their society.  Those who were scattered to other worlds and lived for centuries as little more than wild animals while still retaining many of their powers, shunned the inhabitants of those worlds to live in solitude.  They were slowly being brought back into the fold of civilized lummox (Volgoron) society and working with humans to better themselves.

The ritual birth songs also had their effect on the expectant first-birth father.  Warren was transported by their songs into a euphoric state of ecstasy.  He didn’t feel Horse throw off the metal sheet that flowed over his body like liquid mercury.  His water broke and gushed from his anus into the straw beneath him.  He was clean so only the clear fluid from the fetal sack came rushing forth.  Everyone was amazed to see Warren’s huge belly began to collapse like a balloon losing its contents.  When he was almost down to a normal size, he felt the larger than normal bairn begin his descent down his lower intestine track toward his sphincter.  He wondered if he would be ripped apart because it felt so big.  He knew he had never passed anything so large in his life, but the feeling was so erotic he sprung a huge erection, and every other male, human or critter responded in kind.  Warren thought irreverently, it felt like he was fixing to take the biggest dump of his life, and so he was.  

The bairn crowned and began to emerge.  Horse stopped his intoning and allowed his brethren to continue softly without him.  It was time for him to catch his new son.  Warren didn’t seem to suffer much or grimace with pain.  With one large push he expelled the rather large bairn with the last of its amniotic fluid with a great swoosh.  Horse was there to catch the little fellow and wrapped him in a fluffy towel to dry him.  There were ‘oohs’ and ‘awws’ and some softly applauded at the sight of the new bairn.  Horse gave him to Warren who gently dried the small bairn and kissed him.  Suddenly, it was like a switch went on, and he came to life.  He raised his small head and moved his head around like he was sniffing the air.  His eyes were still closed, but he had the scent capabilities of the best hunting dog and zeroed in on supper.  He began to squirm and move himself about in the towel as Warren finished fluffing his bright golden fur.

He was about to make a bee line for his second dad’s fur and do a sprint for his teat.  He was hungry and wanted his supper.  Talk about postpartum depression.  Warren laughed later and said it was like the young one told him, “Thanks for my birthday, Dad Warren.  Had a great time.  I love ya’ and all, but supper’s await’n, and I gotta’ git to it.” The gathered crowd of witnesses watched in rapt attention as the young one looked like he was doing the Australian crawl over his huge daddy’s abdomen to his massive chest and began to suck Horse’s big teat.  Poor Warren thrown over and forgotten for a lummox smorgasbord.  The bairn's little belly began to fill like a balloon.  He would make ‘mmm’, gurgling and slurping sounds like it was the best thing he ever tasted.  Not only was it good, it was also the first thing the newborn bairn ever tasted.  He reminded Gil Morris of the sounds Homer Simpson makes when he talks about food.

When he had his fill he slowly turned and swam through his daddy’s furry sea to find his new nursery.  He dived in head first and could be seen moving to the bottom of his new home.  He didn’t bother to check out the decor or furnishings.  He was full, warm and comfortable.  He was home, found his bed and promptly went to sleep.  Horse took Warren into his big arms and gave him a kiss to thank him for their new son.  Everyone swooned.  It was a powerful moment.  The birth ceremony was over, but before anyone had a chance to congratulate Warren, Arlen Jones and Cable had him on an anti-grav Gurney and were rushing him to sickbay on the Bandersnatch to check him out.  Everyone came to Horse to congratulate him and wish him well.

It was a remarkable experience for everyone.  Gil Morris and Bobby were there along with his two bosses and Cole Jenkins.  Gil figured if he and Bobby were going to be a part of this new world they should participate and come to know the ways of the folks they live among.  Over the months Essmee Fay became accepted and made friends with the women of the Grange.  They told her of some of the miraculous things to expect and the beautiful, handsome naked doctors in their clinic.  She didn’t know if she could handle that, but when Mary Gibbons told her she was on her death bed and Jesse Watkins, Utah, Cable, David and Jonathon with the help of Captain Waco, Shane and their cowboy brothers cured her of a deadly cancer, she changed her mind.  Essmee had a morbid fear of cancer and the thought of being near doctors or healer-mons, nude or otherwise, who might help her in case she needed them overcame her uneasiness about optional clothing.  After all, she rationalized, mankind started out naked in a garden.  

Vivian Steele became good friends with Essmee.  She invited her to her father-in-law’s birthing and to everyone’s surprise she accepted.  She experienced some difficulties at first with naked bio-mechanical men checking her in the infirmary, but several of the ladies of the Grange went with her.  After the first visit she began to see the benefits the Grange offered.  She and Gil talked and since he decided to cast his and Bobby’s lot in with the Grange, she decided she would, too.  She admitted to him she was very comfortable with her new living arrangements and the old judge, Captain Shane and Cole were very good to her.  They treated her with utmost respect and provided her with privacy.  Shane, Cole and Bobby never failed to pitch in and give her a hand if she needed it.  The men were teaching Bobby by example.  After many conversations with Maxine and Vivian Steel, she began to loosen up and went with the flow.  Nothing seemed to surprise her anymore.  She was as impressed as everyone else a man could give birth, but to her way of thinking, it was about time; it was long overdue in her opinion.

The whole experience was highly erotic to Tex and Little Bear.  They couldn’t get back to their apartment fast enough.  There was a trail of cowboy clothes from the front door, across the living area and into the bedroom where they finally collapsed onto the bed, their bodies entwined together like the snakes of a Caduceus.  Somehow, Tex managed to completely penetrate his brave young Indian before they even hit the bed and once again, to Little Bear’s consummate delight, his Viking pirate king, his Norse god, took from him what he needed.  It just also happened to be what Little Bear needed.

End Chapter 59 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2008 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com