Shane kept what
Oblio revealed to him to himself and only shared with his mate what
really happened to Coyote John. Shane was somewhat concerned
it, but his partner thought it was more amusing than
conspiratorial. Cole, who was usually the more conservative of
the two, thought if anyone needed to be taught a lesson it was Coyote
John. He reminded Shane of Jesse Watkins and Utah. The
ancients sentenced Utah to be Jesse’s companion for however long it
took to make him a better soul. Cole stressed Monty’s actions
held precedent with the ancients. Of what could Shane accuse
Monty? He neither aided nor abetted Coyote’s escape. He
really didn't go anywhere. Monty solved his conundrum by
someone he loved and cared about from foolishly losing his testicles
without jeopardizing his own integrity,
and Shane knew, without a doubt, Angus wouldn’t hesitate castrating
Coyote John. He may be living his life as a coyote, but at least
he still had his nads. How could he be upset with the young
man? Besides, as far as Cole was concerned, Angus set him
up. Shane decided to take his pa’s advice and keep his mouth
shut; however, they did decide to sit down with the young boy and
Cole thought Shane was going down another one of his obtuse
explanation byways when he told Oblio what he discovered about
John Tin Penny had no parallels in children's storys. Coyote John
was not a good and handsome prince who, through no fault of his own,
was arbitrarily changed into a coyote by Monty the wicked, evil
sorcerer. Shane told Oblio the whole story of Coyote John, his
history with John's own family, Little Bear, his crime, his sentence
and slavery, the Grange,
and what Monty's connection was with him. He neither tried to
whitewash his explanation nor talk down to the boy. He told him
the cold, hard, brutally unvarnished truth. Shane explained they
think Monty was being mean to the man. In a manner of
speaking, he was trying to protect John Tin Penny from himself.
outlined a precedent for Monty's actions and stressed he didn't think
his dad would ever use his
powers to hurt anyone. In fact, Shane declare he personally knew
Monty cared deeply for John Tin Penny or he never would've taken such
drastic steps to see to his well being. Surprisingly, the boy
understand and felt as long as Monty could reverse Coyote's condition,
perhaps after the man learned his lesson, there was no foul.
assured Oblio, Monty could reverse Coyote John's situation, but ask
him not to mention to Monty he knew anything. It was just one
more of many secrets the gifted child was asked to keep to
himself. Shane wondered protectively if it was too much for the
kid to handle, but an older and wiser parental figure, assured him it
bonded Oblio to them and was character building for the boy. Cole
also told Shane he was proud of him for being brutally honest with
* * * * * * *
Monty and his
crew began weekly reconnaissance flights to the Moon. They would
take numerous high definition photographs of the traffic on the surface
and compare it with the previous week’s photos to see if their was an
increase or decrease in activity. There were only
The ships began to almost completely cover the surface of the dark side
of the Moon. It was a perfect place for them to base their
operations as it was completely hidden from the Earth at all
times. Earth didn’t keep up with its public space program and
couldn’t get a ship around the Moon if they tried. Besides, even
if they built one and headed for the Moon the aliens would
blast it out of the sky.
The grays and
reptiles were getting increasingly bold with their abductions.
They were no longer cooperating with Scudder’s government nor any of
the other governments of the world to keep their abductions under wraps
of secrecy. Their hunt for food was increasing. Monty and
his crew discovered they weren’t just feeding on the Moon, they were
slaughtering, freezing and sending animal and human carcases back to
their home world for the equivalent of our supermarket shopping.
Monty had Maxine instruct the evolved intelligence on board the
Gopher Bay, whom they named Cecil after Sideshow Bob’s brother
because he sounded like David Hyde Pierce, to scan ships they passed in
route to see if any abductees aboard had DNA recognizable to their
files. Monty downloaded all known DNA files of every member of
the Grange and those of the colonies. They made sure the
grays and the reptiles couldn’t detect their scans. The scans of
the Gopher Bay were so advanced and sophisticated there was no way
their sensors could detect them. On their fifth trip Cecil
scanned one of the reptilian ships and a small tone went off as a
warning for the captain and his first mate to pay attention.
“There are five
recognizable DNA signatures on board the craft just ahead of us,
Captain Monty.” Cecil said. “Their identifications are coming
through now. I have confirmation, Sir, they are five children of
the Ong family.”
“Oh, my, God!”
exclaimed Monty to Maxine. “My little brothers and sisters. What
are we to do?” Monty froze in horror.
Captain Montana. We have the technology to get them back.” said
“Yes, but the
Admiral told us ‘no heroics.’” he challenged.
think the Admiral would do? Think, big
brother! It don't apply to this situation. We must
now and worry about the consequences later. We may not
have much time.” Maxine barked at
him to add emphases, then she continued to speak, "To
save the children is worth far more than the worst rebuke we might
incur because we decided to override a command. Besides, the
Admiral couldn't have foreseen a situation like this. If he had
I'm sure he would tell you to use your own best judgment. You
handle the Admiral." She added
with all seriousness and two more strong barks.
number one. Cecil, are the abductees mostly children?”
thirty-five children and fifteen young adults. A total of fifty
what a haul! Are they being
“Yes, there are
four reptile guards with stun guns standing over them.”
“Can we beam the
lot of them into our cargo bay?”
but we can’t discriminate. We can take only the Ong children
because we have their DNA on file, but the rest we have to take en mass
and that will include the four reptiles.”
Cody, Pearl!” Monty barked at his crew. “I need you for a special
“I’d like to go,
too, Captain.” Dexter spoke up. Monty smiled at him.
“Very well, the
more, the better our chances of success.” he told Dexter.
Captain.” spoke up Bobby.
“Not this time,
Bobby. You don’t have resistance to their stun guns like the
“Do you folks
think you can overpower them snakes?” Monty asked.
Captain. Their stun guns won’t work on us. As small as Cody
and Pearl are by comparison to me, Rocky and Dexter, they are still ten
times stronger than them.” Ben spoke. “They should have no
problems. Rocky and I will take out ours, Dexter can handle the
third, and together, they should be able to handle the fourth.”
have my permission to take no prisoners. You will handle them
with extreme prejudice, understood? I know you bio-droid’s
respect for life, but remember Rocky, Pearl and Cody, these critters
are the ones responsible for your physical deaths and the deaths of
ones as bladder whales. Show them no mercy.”
Captain? We will obey your orders.” they replied.
“Good, then you
men and Pearl get to cargo bay A on the double.” Monty ordered and they
were on their way. Rocky notified Monty when they arrived at the
cargo bay, and Monty
told Cecil to place holograms of the reptile's positions to show
them where to stand to be directly behind the snakes when they
beamed aboard the Gopher Bay.
“Cecil, when I
give the order, empty their holding bay and bring them aboard the
Gopher Bay. Let’s leave them a calling card; a small but
thoughtful gift. Send one of our small thermite bombs we can
detonate from our ship. We’ll wait until they get right above
their landing area then blow them snakes out of the sky. The
debris should take out several other ships. If we’re lucky it
might cause a chain reaction.”
“How about a
larger bomb to make sure, Captain?”
“Make it so,
Cecil.” he commanded. “In for a penny, in for a pound. We
might not get another chance.”
the ship and got as close as they could in its wake so’s not to be
discovered. Just when the reptile ship was making its turn to
make a landing Monty gave the order and everyone in the alien ship’s
cargo bay disappeared. Monty’s plan went off without a
hitch. Rocky, Ben and Dexter grabbed the three largest reptiles
and instantly broke their necks. They didn’t know what hit
them. Cody and Pearl struggled a bit with theirs, but they were
much stronger and easily dispatched their foe. None of the four
were breathing. A couple were still flopping about in the throes
of death. When the kids and young adults saw they were with
humans again, who were obviously rescuing them, they started
cheering and weeping. They knew they were saved from becoming
snake food. Rocky, Ben and Dexter quickly disposed of the
reptile’s bodies and shoved them into the matter, anit-matter
redistribution units for breaking down into their basic molecular
components. Monty told them not to feed them into the replicator
system, but feed them directly to the drive system.
The captain of
the snake ship didn’t have time to realize his cargo was pinched.
He was too busy preparing for a landing on the dark side of the
Moon. He was about six hundred yards above the surface when Monty
gave Maxine the order to detonate the bomb they beamed on board.
When it went off, it lit up the entire surface of the Moon as bright as
day. It certainly had its desired effect. It caused a
horrendous explosion. Other ships around the area started
exploding until there was a huge area of gray and reptilian ships going
off like Chinese firecrackers on a string. The explosions started
moving outward like ripples on a lake when a big rock is thrown onto a
still surface. It was awesome. Monty could swear Maxine had
a big smile on her face.
“We can go now,
Ensign.” Monty said quietly.
“Get us out of
here, Cecil.” Maxine barked to the evolved intelligence.
Ensign Potter.” Cecil replied, and they were away.
Monty ran down
to the bay to speak with the kids they rescued. The Ong children
him and ran to his arms. He held them and kissed each one.
They were sobbing and crying. He did his best to comfort them.
Monty! I told my brothers and sisters you would come for
us. They didn’t believe me. They told me to shut up, I was
the youngest little girl. “I never lost faith in you, big brother.” she
him. Monty broke into tears in her small arms.
“I knew you
wouldn’t, princess. None of you have to worry. We’ll get
you back safely. We’ll try to unite you other kids with your
families if we can. Those we can’t, we’ll find a place for you in
our Grange. You will be safe.” Monty finished and a cheer went up
from the fifty abductees.
They returned to
the Bandersnatch. There was a group of men waiting for them
including Granddad Ong, Mister Ong and his two oldest sons whose kids
were abducted. They were with the Admiral and his staff.
The Ong children were thrilled and overjoyed to see their family.
Monty was really worried. He went against a direct order.
Maxine wasn’t worried. She insisted the Admiral would listen
to her. She was right, he did listen to her and Monty, but
Lazarus was a gentle man and knew extraordinary situations call for
“You and your
crew done the right thing, Captain Montana. I’m proud of
you. Ensign Potter displayed exceptionally sound reasoning under
stress, and I think she deserves a commendation and a
raise in rank, Captain. What do you think?” Lazarus smiled.
Captain. She was the one what assured me we should take
action. I was hesitant. I'm afraid I froze up. I’m
glad I listened to my number
one.” he allowed.
made her your number one? So’s she could give you her best
advice. That’s what you want in a number one. Let’s get
these folks to sickbay and get them checked out. We got our work
cut out for us to locate their families and get them returned.” Lazarus
The lizards and
the gray insects were stunned by the explosion, but they didn’t know
how it happened. There was no evidence of firepower from a nearby
ship. Even if it was cloaked they could sense where the
blast came from and trace the movement of the ship. There was
nothing. It was like a great accident happened upon the landing
of the reptilian ship causing a chain reaction from the impact of the
blast and the heat. It was difficult to tell the difference
between an anti-matter reactor breach and a thermite bomb. They
produce the same type of bright explosion, but once the anti-matter
chamber was breached, the resulting explosion or implosion hid the
initial cause of the blast. They were angry as hell, but there
wasn’t a lot they could do about it. They lost a large number of
ships and personnel, to say nothing of the harvest of meat they stole
from Earth, but they didn’t have anyone to blame. They didn’t
take their wrath out on the Earth because they chalked it up to an
accident. When the Admiral watched the videos he laughed at the
amount of destruction Monty and Maxine caused.
gentlemen. Great planning on your part, Captain Montana, to let
the ship get close to the others before detonating the bomb. My
compliments to Cecil for suggesting the use of a larger bomb. It
all came together perfectly. You may have bought us more
time. They’re going to have to do a massive clean up and rebuild
part of their station. It may take months. It gives me an
idea. We might be able to schedule several more ‘accidents’
without them knowing. If they can’t prove something was caused by
an alien source they won’t come after the Earth. Next time, it
will be a bomb of mass destruction.” Lazarus allowed. Everyone
liked the idea the Admiral was finally making an effort to fight
back. Fighting an invading plague like the snakes and insects was
not one of Lazarus’ priorities. He would leave the fighting to
the very end when his ships would be leaving Earth. He was
counting on his superior scout ships, the Banshee, several of the new
Venusian ships, and the jewel in their crown, Monty’s Gopher Bay to
protect the larger ark ships.
were slowly coming back as major players in the solar system.
With the androids help at Mars Port and having access to a gate between
planets, their fleet of ships was growing by eight every six
months. Even the older ones were gutted and refurbished with new
interiors, yoking, and the latest in advanced engine technology.
Neither the grays nor the reptile’s ships couldn’t touch them.
The snakes and grays were the superior technological races in several
galaxies for thousands of
years, but they let themselves become complacent. Without their
knowing, other races caught up with them and surpassed them. They
were looking down the barrel of a loaded gun and didn’t have a
clue. The building of the
Venusian ships was being done under such secrecy the reptiles didn’t
have any knowledge the Venusian were well on their way to becoming a
major power in the galaxy.
The only difference was, the Venusian were a peaceful race. They
only wanted their ships for peaceful exploration, the protection of
their planet and the creatures on the surface who had come to add so
much to their lives. Before the Earth people became interested in
the bladder whales they never paid them much attention. Their
world was below the surface and the whales were left to their own
devices in the thin atmosphere of the planet. They knew they were
there but had very
little interaction with them. Since the Earth people, banding
with Admiral Long and the Grange, gave so willingly of themselves and
put their lives in jeopardy to save their world, a strong bond of
friendship was established. They made a solid pact with the
Grange they would do what they could to help see they got away from
Earth to begin their
voyage to another world.
Since the gray’s
slaughter of so many of the whales and the heroic efforts of the
Earthmen, the Visallians, and several of their own citizens to save
them, the Venusians came to look upon the bladder whales as a neglected
treasure. They were a species to be studied, protected and
admired. The recorded songs of the bladder whales became a hot
selling item on three worlds. Naturally Darryl was behind the
recording which only increased his wealth. Darryl was so wealthy
he became almost a government unto himself, but he never intruded on
the world government of Venus as such. He was consulted regularly
but he only gave his opinions. He backed up his ideas and
opinions with public works to benefit those who were not so well
off. The people loved him and looked forward to anything he
did. When Darryl put his stamp on any project the people of Venus
and Mars knew they were in for a treat.
* * * * * * *
H.C. (Holy City) The White House
“I don’t want
none of them doctors here when I have my baby!” Scudder yelled at
Austin Taycious. “Get me Jesse Watkins and his dog Trey or
whatever the hell his name is.” he bellowed.
“I believe it’s
Utah, sweetie.” Austin grinned.
right! That’s it! And don’t call me ‘sweetie.’ I
ain’t sweet!” he growled walking up and down holding his hands under
his extended belly like it was a watermelon.
told you he would ask them to come to you when the time comes.
He’s said he will ask his cousin who is a doctor from Utah to assist
you. He says he has similar powers comparable to Jesse and Utah.”
“Listen to me,
Austin! I think I just about got them folks talked into taking
you along with them.” Scudder told Taycious.
me? I certainly ain’t worthy to take up room someone with a
better track record than mine could fill. I’s jes’ planning on
going with you, sport. I’ve had a good run, and I don’t
particularly want more of the same I’ve had to deal with all my
life. I don’t want to be an outsider looking in. I’m tired
of being an old faggot. Been there, done that. No
thanks. If there’s another life after this, you think I’m
gonna’ be welcome there? Not too damn likely. I ain’t
straight enough or neo-con religious fanatic enough to make it where
most of them bastards think they’s going. I certainly wouldn’t
care to live an eternity as a second class citizen to them vile bible
thump’n asshats. That wouldn’t be no heaven for me.”
both know the probability there ain’t no such thing is better than the
platform I been preaching all these years. Bottom line, fag boy,
you been good to me over the years. That’s the
closest to a statement of affection you’re gonna’ get from me, ya' dumb
You, this baby I'm carrying, and Brett Jones is all I care about, and I
well they ain’t
got no room for me. They done told me so. Besides, I gotta’
stay here and fight to the very end. A captain’s gotta’ go down
with his ship; in my case, the ship of state.”
“Well, I ain’t
gonna’ hold my breath, one way or the other.” Taycious said with
When the time
came Jesse Watkins, Utah and Basil Troubadour were beamed into the
infirmary in the basement of the White House. Scudder insisted
only his closest Temple Guards be on duty. He wanted Commander
Jones, Olafson and Hawkins present. Of course, he wanted Austin
Taycious there as his closest family member. Since he couldn’t
nurse the baby the men brought along a big lummox from Mars who was
originally rescued on Earth from a band of Bigfoot hunters who had him
cornered. He became
interested in integrating with humans and the Grange in
particular. His name was Droon. He made it no secret he
thought he might like to bond and have bairns with a male human.
He had a human male playmate when he was a small bairn whom he loved
very much. He was a handsome lummox; a young, fully mature,
male. Scudder was a
bit taken aback when he first saw him appear with the men.
“What the hell
is that thing?” he asked between contractions.
“The baby’s wet
nurse, Norman.” Jesse smiled. “Or better known on your world as a
Bigfoot. With their species, the male carries the baby for the
six months of maturation and feeds it from his large breasts.
Lummox milk is the purest, more nutritionally healthy food in the
universe. Your baby will thrive on his milk.”
people got some strange ways, but if my partner says it’s okay, it’s
all right with me.” Scudder allowed.
“It’s fine, holy
father.” Jones assured him. “I drink lummox milk quite often when
I’m offered some. It helped me develop some of my more unusual
Scudder had his
baby amid much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Basil
asked Brett Jones if he wanted him to dematerialize, go up Scudder’s
dark hole and lead the baby out in a dematerialized form. It
might be easier on Scudder.
“No, that won't
be necessary. I’m
sure you would be successful. While it’s most charitable and
terribly brave of you to suggest, just like I wouldn’t send
you, alone, into the dark hole of Calcutta, I wouldn’t put you through
that either.” they shared a laugh together, “I think he needs to
experience the joy but mostly the pain of childbirth. After he’s
pussy stretched tighter than a drumhead, it just might change his
politics on abortion rights.” Jones smiled. Basil nodded his head
“What what will
happen with the baby, Brett?” Jesse asked.
it, and we’ll take the baby back to the colonies with us. Norman
can’t care for him here. Can you imagine Austin Taycious playing
nanny? We’ve decided an immediate split will be easier on him and
the boy. I can always bring little Brett back to visit his mom,
or Uncle Jerry.” they looked at each other and laughed at the
thought of Jeremiah Scudder being a mother. Brett Jones
continued, “Droon, Basil, Lyle and Strom will look after him.
He’ll be living
with Basil and Droon in an all male commune. They call themselves
of Knute, from Lake Wobegon, which, according to Garrison Keillor,
comes from an old Indian word meaning "the place where we waited all
day in the rain [for you]." they shared another laugh.
Jesse, Utah, and
Basil took care of Scudder after he gave birth to the child.
Beyond holding the baby for a minute, and noting the boy was the very
image of his daddy, he didn’t seem to be terribly interested. He
was far more interested in pumping Jesse for information about their
people and could he have a meeting with the leader of their group?
“We don’t have
an official leader, Norman. What do you want to talk about?
I can represent our group as well as anyone. If you ask something
that needs a further answer, I’ll get back to you.”
“Can you help
us? There seems to be no weapons we can use on them. We
need to buy time to organize. We can’t figure out where they have
their base of operations. We suspect the Moon, but we can’t send
a rocket or a satellite around it. We’ve tried and they shoot
them out of the sky.” he implored Jesse.
quite by accident, their major base of operations are taking place on
the dark side of the Moon.” Jesse confirmed.
“Do you have
ships that can deliver a large payload— say, fifty megatons or bigger?”
“We do. We
don’t have any devices that large or nuclear based, but it would only
postpone the inevitable. Furthermore, we run the risk of being
discovered and them coming after us. It would be like stirring up
a hornet's nest. Why would we do that?” Jesse asked rhetorically.
“Well, you know,
I could put my men onto finding you and forcing you out into the
open.” he challenged.
“You could try,
but do you really want to chance starting a war on two fronts.
Not even Napoleon would do a dumb thing like that, Norman.
Bush did, and he got his ass whipped. Besides, we’re not
warlike. We’re a peaceful people. We won’t fight you other
than to protect ourselves. We’d know about it long before you
could get a plane in the air. You can’t keep an order secret from
us. Our people are scattered throughout your cabinet and
administration. We know when you sneeze. If we heard you
were planning an assault, we’d simply pack our bags and leave.” Jesse
spoke firmly, but with confidence.
Have a heart. We need help, Jesse. We’re losing this war
because we can’t get organized against them. If we could destroy
their base of operations, it would buy us the time we need to get the
major players together to defeat them.”
“We do have
hearts. Big ones. We’re saving the human race from
annihilation, for Christ sake. What are you doing? Get off
your dead ass and get organized. Use your power to bring the
nations together to fight them, Norman. What you’re asking is for
fight your war for you.”
“No, not for us,
with us. They don’t have to know we had help. I don’t have
to be specific with them. I can give them an ultimatum, if they
don’t cease and desist, we are prepared to strike back with a major
assault. I don’t expect them to capitulate. Then if you
could make a major strike against them it would be a bluff, but they
won’t know. It just might buy us the time we need.”
“If we help you
there's a possibility our intervention could postpone the Armageddon
you Christers have been praying and working hard to bring about for
centuries. If it don't occur because the aliens force your
hand you'll eventually do it to yourselves. You'll shoot yourself
in the foot. I'll tell you what I will do.
I’ll discuss your idea with our council of elders. My best guess
is it will
only mean a longer period for us to remain on Earth to gather more to
save, but we’re getting
ready to leave even as we speak. We ain’t shifted into high gear
yet, but if things get worse, we will.”
“How much longer
will you be here?” Scudder probed.
“Hard to say,
Norman, the way things are going. We may have to pull the plug
sooner than later. My personal best guess would be two to five
years maximum, but that’s being generous. Many others, not so
optimistic, might argue one to three years. How do we know you
won’t use the bomb against us?” Jesse asked.
silly. You have my son. Why the hell would I want to kill
my own flesh and blood? You think I went through the pain of
giving birth to him only to kill him or have him on the menu for them
snake bastards? I want him to survive. Beside, you get the
bomb and a detonator with it.”
“I’ll take it up
with the elders, Norman, but I ain’t promising nothing.”
okay. I understand. Just consider it. Wouldn’t it buy
you more time?” Scudder asked.
“It might, but a
fifty megaton bomb is one hell of an explosion.”
“We got bigger.”
Scudder urged him.
“Any bigger and
you might do permanent damage to the Moon’s orbit or trajectory.
You should also be careful of tossing them around down here. The
isotopes you use have a half-life of three hundred thousand
years. Nothing would be habitable on the surface. You
couldn’t live underground long enough to reclaim the planet.
That’s why we’re leaving. After the final dustup happens, it
won’t be worth salvaging.” Jesse did his best Michael Rennie
impersonation. You could almost see Gort standing by his side.
* * * * * * *
The men returned
to the colonies with Brett Jones’ new son. Everyone wanted to see
the new baby. Lazarus was more interested if Scudder got any
feedback about the explosion on the far side of the Moon.
“Naw, Sir, he
didn’t say a word. I don’t know if the aliens would say anything
him. If they think it was an accident, they wouldn’t take the
chance of alerting Scudder to the whereabouts of their base of
Jesse told the
Admiral about Scudder’s offer to secret a fifty megaton bomb on board
one of their ships then remotely setting it off.
Absolutely not! We'd have to carry it to transfer it to the alien
ship. Not in one of our ships. It’s just too damn
risky. If something can go wrong, it will. Dealing with
Scudder is like dealing with a Jackal. The more contact we have
with him, the more he learns about us. We don’t need an extension
of time. While it would be nice to hang around for a while longer
to collect more, we can leave almost overnight if we have to.
What about his ships?”
“I don’t think
they have any viable spaceships, Sir.” Jesse said.
yourself, Son. Of course they do. They have, at least,
eight reptilian ships they’ve captured over the years, and they know
how to fly them. Many UFO sightings have been alien craft piloted
by Earthmen. Last count, they had close to sixteen operable Gray
ships. Let them sacrifice one of their ships to deliver the bomb,
we can follow along and beam the pilots out before the explosion if
they want our cooperation.”
with Utah and told Scudder the Admiral’s offer. He didn’t use the
word ‘Admiral.’ It sounded too militaristic. Jesse said the
council of the elders discussed it and told Scudder what they
decided. Scudder claimed he didn’t know of any alien craft.
Even though the major members of the clandestine, secret space program
left the planet years ago, they left behind the alien craft they
managed to recover. They were able to piece several together and
learned to fly them. There were still pilots assigned to the top
secret base who flew them on a regular basis. Jesse laughed at
him and accused him of lying through his teeth. He told him to
forget the whole thing. His people didn’t need any more
time. They were ready to go at a moment's notice. That
wasn’t quite true, but it was a powerful bluff on Jesse’s part.
He thanked Norman for his time, and told him he and his partner were
All right, we do have several. I just hate to sacrifice
one. We might need it to fight them off when they make a full
“By then you
will have lost your advantage to use them effectively, Norman.
They have the same technology. They built them ships, they can
take them out. They can’t take ours out. They ain’t reached
the technology we got. Ours work on a totally different
and they can’t touch us.”
“How the hell
could you be so far advanced? You can’t even speak proper
English. You talk like an ignorant cowboy hick.” Scudder said
Norman.” Jesse grinned. There was a great flash of light and they
Jerry! Why the hell did you hafta' go and insult the man?
ain’t important. Look at you. You can barely read or
write. You certainly can’t claim to be no paragon of
proper English; yet, you made it to become the leader of the free
or what used to be the free world. Let’s face it, you need them.”
Austin blasted him.
“Aww, fuck him
and his dog, Spot!” he exclaimed. “He acts like he’s so damn much
“He is!” Austin
* * * * * * *
The Ongs were
horrified their children were kidnaped by the aliens so easily.
It brought home to them the necessity of the Grange and made them even
greater supporters. The long shot was working on the elder Ongs
and they couldn’t be more happy. The younger men were reverting
to an age in their late twenties and had more stamina than they had in
a long time. They respectfully requested the shot for all their
children and young adults. Lazarus mentioned to Monty they should
consider lifting the Ong’s property onto his ship before much
longer. In the meantime, the Grange had a meeting and discussed
things a family could do to prevent other kidnapings. The kids,
who were taken, were so traumatized they refused to leave their
homes. The two older brothers, an older daughter and her husband
were talking about selling their properties and asked about buying
property on one of the ships. Since the Bandersnatch held three
hundred ships in its docking bay exactly like the Buttercup, Lazarus
decided to start filling them up. He had the perfect ship for the
Ongs. He gave it to Monty and Maxine as an additional scout
Since most of the scout ships were named after flowers, it was
appropriately named ‘The Lotus Flower.’ Or simply the 'Lotus' for
short. It contained the
notorious evolved intelligence Anna Mae Wong.
The Admiral had
Waco and Lucas teach Monty and his crew everything they needed to know
and had Monty
sitting Captain’s chair and Lieutenant Junior Grade Maxine Potter in
the number one position within a
week. They were both amazed at how quickly Maxine learned her
job. She never forgot a thing and would sometimes remind Monty
what he was suppose to do. If they ever had any doubts about a
dog sitting first chair to a captain of a starship, they vanished
quickly while working with Lieutenant JG Maxine Potter.
Anna Mae Wong
had been sitting idle for sometime and was thrilled to be brought into
service again. She was in top form and wanted to prove her
mettle. The other ships laughed and said she was on her best
behavior. For a couple of weeks they took the Lotus on
their weekly runs to the Moon and back for photo reconnaissance.
The photos showed the destruction wasn’t total, but it blew up about
thirds of the ships. Working in low gravity and in spacesuits in
vacuum is difficult. They could see they were beginning to clear
away the debris, but from Kyron’s best guess, it would take them from
eight months to a year to get the place back to fully functional.
In the meantime, the demands on the governments for a steady supply of
fresh human flesh diminished. Scudder asked the representative of
the snakes why this was happening, but he refused to tell. When
he asked Jesse he got a different answer.
“As far as we
can tell from photo reconnaissance, one of their ships anti-matter
drives imploded as it was coming in to dock at the port. The
resultant implosion caused violent shockwaves and set off about two
of their ships in a chain reaction. Those it didn't destroy
haven't moved in weeks. We can only assume they have been
rendered inoperable or tainted for use from radiation. From our
photos it looks
pretty bad. We guestimate it will take anywhere from eight months
to a year to be fully operational. They don’t have the facilities
to process the meat, so demand drops. The accident poses only a
minor setback for them. Why should they
worry? You’re like a sure thing; beef on the hoof. You’ll
still be here grazing in the pasture when they’re ready to come harvest
again.” Jesse explained. Naturally he wasn’t about to implicate
his people in the destruction of the base so he just left out a few
details. He continued, “Now you don’t have to worry about
sacrificing your ship.”
great news, but it’s like you said, it’s only a matter of time.”
ready. I’m trying to get people on board to fight against
them. This will give us a reprieve, but we still need
more time. In the meantime, they notified us they will be taking
everything from small pets, sheep, goats, and human children as they
please to feed their people. It won’t be as many or as
much. That means they won’t be demanding such large quotas from
the government, but they will continue. Oh, yes, and we have to
continue our baby program. They lowered the number, but human
babies are still their number one preferred food.”
“So what are you
saying, Norman? Will you be willing to sacrifice one of your
ships after they rebuild and are fully functional again?”
“I am. You
sure you can beam the pilots out before the damn thing goes off?”
“We can, but you
have to let us inspect the ship on its way, to satisfy us
there's no more tonnage in the bomb that fifty megaton. If we
find you’ve lied to us and plan to use a larger payload we will extract
your men and blow it up. Fifty megaton is more than enough to
wipe out the dark side of the Moon. It will cause its own
“You have my
word and you may inspect the ship in route. I don’t want to
damage the Moon, I just want to put off their invasion as long as
possible.” Scudder insisted.
“Also, if we
decide to help you with this project we want something in
return.” Jesse said.
“We ain’t real
sure how their beam system works. We need to find out the
technology behind it so’s we can better protect our people. We’re
losing people just like you are, and we can’t very well rescue them
without blowing our cover. Once they’re taken, there’s little we
can do about it. As much as we hate to, we have to abide by the
old saying the sacrifice of the few outweighs the survival of the many.”
“We don’t even
have that luxury.” lamented Scudder quietly.
“Now is your
time to shine, Norman. If you ever imagined yourself a great
leader, now is the time to step up to the plate and knock one out of
the park. May I suggest you listen a little more closely to your
associate. He’s the only one between you what’s got a lick a'
Jesse laughed. Austin nodded his head and grinned.
want an answer. Will you consider taking Austin when you
go?” he demanded.
exclaimed like he was embarrassed.
“I’ll make you a
deal, Norman. You cooperate with us, give us what we want and
damn sure you don’t try to do an end run on us, I'll let him come with
under one condition.”
“He agrees to
live the rest of his life as a woman and swears never to become
involved in religion or politics again.” Jesse grinned.
“Is that all?”
laughed Scudder, “Hell, he already is a woman. He just ain’t got
no cunt.” he bellowed.
do! She’s standing right in front of me!” Austin countered.
“I have no problem with Jesse’s offer, but if I’m gonna’ look like I do
now with a cunt and tits; thanks, but no thanks. Hell, I
got the tits, but there ain’t nothing more unattractive than man
tits. I'd look like an old
sow what's had one too many litters. What man would wanna' take a
second look at me?” Austin lamented.
them make-over reality shows at the turn of the century?” Jesse
“When we get
through with you, you’ll be a ravishingly beautiful, attractive woman.”
“Where do I sign
up?” laughed Austin.
“Ah, it won’t
make no difference. No offense, Jesse, but knowing him like I do,
he’ll marry some dumb hick of a cowboy who don’t have two nickels to
rub together and they'll have fifteen kids.” Scudder laughed.
right. If he loves me and keeps me well fucked, I’ll be happy to
have his kids. Fifteen sounds about right. With fifteen
kids I won’t have time to even think about politics and as far as
religion is concerned, God never answered any of my prayers.” Austin
Norman, your good faith with us will determine whether your friend
survives. Cross us and he perishes with the rest of you
“You people are
none believers?” Scudder sneered.
“No more than
you, Norman. You never did believed all that crap. You were
just lazy and saw an easy way to make a buck without breaking the
law. Maybe if there were laws against god and Jesus hucksters
like yourself, your planet might not be in the fix it’s in. We
believe in the goodness of people to do the right thing and take care
of their neighbors without the hate and evil hypocrisy of superstition
We still have a few who believe. They’re allowed to practice
their religion in small groups without a figurehead to bend the
scripture to their way of thinking to spread hate an
ignorance and intolerance. Their numbers will die out over time,
come to see the light until there’s
no longer a need for religion. We teach in our schools the danger
and ridiculousness of such myths. Besides, we live much longer
lives than you folks and don’t fear death the way you do. Your
religion is little more than a cult of death. It reads like a bad
script for a cheaply made vampire movie: eating the dead body and
drinking the blood to rise again from the dead to become zombies for
Christ to go out to convince the ignorant and fearful to eat and drink
to create more zombies. So they can worship some jewish prophet
who was sent to Earth by his heavenly father to die a grizzly death
nailed to a cross to die for their sins. Gastly stuff.
There was never such gratuitous sadism in gay porn flicks than there
was in that two-bit closeted Aussie actor's movie "The Passion of
Think about your greed brought about by your so called faith. All
those poor sons of
bitches out there who are barely living by the skin of their teeth and
still sending you money over and above their excessive personal taxes,
while the rich and fat cats in your society
keep them uneducated and stupid to control them so they might garner
all the wealth for
themselves. The poor bastards think they’re buying their way into
a better life after
death. What greater crime is there than to be a peddler of lies
promises while at the same time scaring the crap out of them with
threats of burning for an eternity in a lake of fire. Religion
has to be the single greatest racket invented by mankind. Bottom
line, those who have the genetic predisposition to reject mythology
will be saved. It’s called evolution. Survival of the
fittest. Unfortunately for you people, the fittest turned out to
the folks what had the brains and fortitude to turn their backs on
superstition and greed. They will survive. Austin just
happens to be one of those people. Nevertheless, his salvation
will still depend on your good faith.”
“I’ll admit I
lost my faith a long time ago, but I have to keep teaching it to be the
holy prophet. I promise I will abide by my word to the letter if
you will agree to take Austin with you.” Scudder promised.
“I don’t suppose
having another child would make a difference for me?” Scudder
“You mean, you
get pregnant and we have to take you to save the baby?” Jesse grinned.
“We don’t need
you to save the baby. If it’s over three months old we can beam
it out of your body and raise it the rest of the way using a lummox's
pouch as a suitable incubator. We don’t
hold your hypocritical views on abortion. If it’s younger than
three months, it will perish with you.”
cold.” Scudder whinged.
pragmatic reality, Norman. Someone has to draw the line, and you
the best track record in that department. Just look at the number
of good people who were sent to your Cheney camps and died simply
because they donated to a Democratic progressive candidate. Where
did you get the information? By violating their fourth amendment
rights; illegally wiretapping their
Internet traffic. Bush’s government did away with the FISA laws
and managed to grant immunity to the major communications networks to
spy on its citizens, while the public dished out top dollar for their
service no matter how poor it was. How is that any different from
abortion? Killing is killing no matter the circumstances.”
“All right, I
agree, but what can I do about it now? I don’t need your
preaching. I’ll meet your demands. I’ll make sure you have
full access to the files and what alien ships we have. Do you
need to see the Gray’s ships?”
“Yes, we need to
compare, or if your people already have data and can provide us with
copies, which we can substantiate through testing and observation, it
will suffice.” Jesse agreed.
“If you have any
problems, have them contact me or Austin directly. Let me know
when you want to visit?” said Scudder.
“As soon as
possible and remember...” Jesse trailed off his sentence.
“I know! I
know! No double-crossing. I have no doubt if I did you’d
win, and I’d still be up a creek without a paddle.” Scudder lamented.
“Yes, and you
know the name of that creek, don’t you?” Jesse grinned.
“I know it
well. I’ve been there many times lately.” Scudder sighed.
* * * * * * *
Scudder was good
to his word. He allowed a party of twelve, Lazarus, Lucas, Waco,
Shane, Monty, Maxine,
Ben, Rocky, Ping, Cable, Jesse, and Ox to beam into area
fifty-one. When they just appeared inside the main building there
was a great deal of scrambling and panic by the guards. They
didn’t know what to think. Among the intruders was a beautifully
colored racoon-primate critter, a dog, and a huge creature what looked
like a Bigfoot.
“Easy men, we’re
here under the direct orders of your president.” Lazarus spoke
quietly to them.
“Why would you
bring a monkey, a dog, and whatever the hell that big furry things is?”
a guard demanded.
“Hey, watch your
mouth, asshole! Ping and Ox are my friends and I assure you,
they’re a lot smarter than any of you lesser developed primates.” spoke
That’s all I need, a talking dog.” said one of them sarcastically.
yourselves! Do your damn job, if that ain’t too much to ask, and
get your people in charge up here on the double!” Maxine barked at them.
They turned and
bolted to the phones.
sweetheart! Glad we brought you along.” said Lazarus quietly.
receiving party got over Ben Johnson and Rocky Lane look alikes, and
adjusted their thinking to Ping and Ox they led the group to an
elevator. They took them nearly thirty stories underground where
the alien vessels were stored. They could move them to
another enormous elevator and take them to the surface for flying when
needed. The non-military team met them and were much more
receptive and fascinated by the strange critters and a talking dog.
“How did you
people come by talking dogs?” one asked as if he was amazed and wanted
modification.” was all Jesse said.
“Why is she
wearing a collar with Ensign bars?” another asked.
“Cause we ain’t
got her the JG bars she earned yet.” chuckled Lazarus obviously having
a good time with their lack of acceptance. He thought to himself
he’d much rather have Maxine for a junior officer than one of these
“A dog? An
officer in the Navy?” asked another incredulously.
“No, an officer
in a fleet of starships.” Monty allowed. “We have no military.”
“How can she
pilot a spaceship?”
actually.” said Jesse.
suspicious but cooperative with Lazarus and his party. They
provided them with all the scientific data they requested. They
showed them a brief but thorough video on how to pilot both
They demonstrated the beams on both alien ships. They were almost
identical in design and execution. They were far more primitive
devices than the ones on Lazarus and Trey’s ships. Monty’s ship
was more advanced than either. Lazarus, Ping, Monty, Maxine, Ben,
Cable went over the documents to make sure everything they needed was
there. It was, and they were certain they could duplicate it with
little problem. They took the documents and were going to leave
with them when the personnel insisted they leave them behind.
understanding with your president was you would provide us with all
documentation for the beam devices on both ships.” challenged
Jesse, then added, “I was the one who made the arrangements with
him. You better get him or Austin Taycious on the phone
immediately to clear this up.” he sounded perturbed by their lack
provided the documents. We just weren’t told to provide you with
copies.” the manly woman in charge insisted.
“Get Scudder on
the phone, I wish to speak with him.” Jesse demanded.
“You mean our
Holy Prophet don’t you, Sir?” one little lickspittle sneered.
“No, I said
exactly who I wish to speak with, Jeremiah Scudder.” he said without
backing down. Someone came running up to the lead she-male in
and whispered something to her.
Sir,” she apologized, “but it won’t be possible for us to get President
Scudder on the phone. He's much too busy.” she said like her word
was the final word
on the matter and there was no appeal.
“Kyron, what is
President Scudder doing at the moment?” Lazarus spoke. A booming
voice-of-god voice replied,
“He’s in an
important meeting with his cabinet and several foreign dignitaries,
Sir.” The lackeys looked around to identify from where the voice was
Taycious?” Lazarus asked.
“He’s eating a
sandwich in his room, Sir.”
“Is he alone?”
“Bring him here,
“As you wish,
Admiral.” Kyron boomed. There was a great flash of light and
Austin Taycious stood before them with a dumbfounded look on his face
and a half eaten sandwich in his hand.
“What the fuck!”
he said, “Where the hell am I? Jesse?” Austin looked at
Jesse and Utah.
near thirty stories underground at Area 51 in Nevada, Mr.
Taycious. Sorry to bother you, Son, but we’ve run into a bit of a
snag with your people. These folks tell us we can’t take the
documentation with us we asked for.” Jesse explained
briefly. As befuddled as Austin was, his heart melted when Jesse
called him ‘son.’
What the hell are you people doing?” Austin yelled at them, “It was
agreed upon by your president. I was there at the meeting, and I
can assure you if you don’t let them have what they want, there will be
hell to pay. These people are trying to help us. If you
morons don’t want to find yourself out of here overnight, out of a job
and on the streets, you best do what the man asks. Any
questions?” he looked at them like they better not have any
Taycious. It wasn’t made clear to us they were to take the
documentation.” manly woman said meekly.
“What part of
let them see or take anything they want don’t you
understand? Well, now you know. Give them what they want,
and let them be on their way. Is everybody clear on that?”
They can take the documents.” the woman agreed.
sorry you had problems. I promise you won’t have any more.
Now, how do I get back to D.C.?” he looked frustrated.
Austin. Kyron, send Mr. Taycious back from whence he came.” said
another flash of light, and Austin was gone.
“It’s been nice
meeting you gentlemen. Without further ado, we’ll take our
leave. Kryon, bring us home, please.” Lazuras spoke.
“By your leave,
Admiral.” There was another bright flash and they were gone. The
technicians looked at each other in disbelief.
“Well, at least
they were polite about it. They could’ve just taken the documents
and ran. There's nothing we could've done to stop them.” said one
of the brighter dolts.
the rest. “Wouldn’t you love to get a look into their bag of
tricks?” said another. “Wonder what you have to do to join them?”
said another. “I understand they won’t take anyone who believes in
religion. That leaves us out. Do you think maybe we bet on
the wrong horse?” the first one asked rhetorically. No one dared
answer his question, but it sure made them think.
* * * * * * *
Lazarus and his
team felt confident they could duplicate the snake’s and gray’s beam
system. With a great deal of help from Kyron, after feeding him
all the specifications, Ping, Monty, Maxine, Cable and Lazarus worked
on the calculations and tolerances for an alien beam device. When
all was done Kyron fabricated a unit to their exact
specifications. It worked like a charm the first time. It
didn’t even need adjustments. Their next step was to find a
material, with which, they could cover a potential abductee to keep him
from being taken. They tried several things until Lazarus
reminded them of the material he ran off to line the cowboy slave’s
to keep the Gray’s from reading their minds. It was called
Velostat and sold in Canada as Linqstat.*
Velostat, as it’s manufactured for sale to the public, had to be used
in multiple layers. It was fine for the roofs of homes and cowboy
hats but to adapt to children or animal protective clothing would prove
too bulky. Ping had Kyron analyze the molecular structure and
worked closely with several chemistry professionals who lived in the
colonies to produce an equally effective woven cloth. For their
first test they made a small Rocky Racoon hat and a saddle blanket-like
device that covered most of Maxine’s body and tail, yet allowed her
feet to be free to run. Waco flew over with the alien beam
mounted in the Buttercup and tried to beam her up, but couldn’t.
It had no effect on her. It seemed like the beam just bounced off
the material and couldn’t get a grasp on her. The test was
Kyron run off several bolts of the fabric in multicolors and
patterns. They made the same basic outfit for Oblio, except they
made him a Western looking jacket and chaps out of a heavier material
that looked almost like leather. They made him a small
Rocky Racoon hat as well. Lucas lined his cowboy hat. They
tried again and couldn’t pick him up. It didn’t seem to matter
which hat he was wearing, the beam still couldn’t pick him up.
Everyone was thrilled. While it meant a bit more clothing to
wear, it would be worth it to keep them from becoming snake and insect
food. Lazarus and Gil explained to Bobby he couldn’t run naked
with the ponies anymore. They stressed he was coming to an age
when it might not be appropriate for him anyway. He resigned
himself to having the savannah on Mars to run naked with the animals.
* * * * * * *
The men ran
tests on the bio-droids, but they didn’t seem to be affected by the
alien beam. It couldn’t recognize them as warm blooded
mammals. Lazarus told the other ranchers to reexamine their
cowboy slave’s to make sure their hats were protected. He
suggested they have Western vests and chaps made from the heavier
material. Since they wore stuff like that everyday, it may as
well be made of an alien resistant material. There was no worry
about people on the mothership or the scout ships. The were fully
protected by the hull of the ships. They couldn’t be sensed by
the alien probes.
Monty even made
a hat and cover for Jenny Bottom. She complained bitterly and
refused to cooperate with his nonsense. He told her it was up to
her. She had the choice of cooperating and living to a ripe old
age or if she chose not to wear the outfit she might end up on the
supper table for some aliens to eat. She didn’t believe
him. She wouldn’t believe Maxine when she saw her wearing her
protective outfit. It was hard for her to except the concept of a
big ship flying through the air and taking her up inside with a beam of
light. Monty made a point to fly their ship, the Lotus,
over their area. They had a newly outfitted alien beam installed
for experiments. They beamed her up as they silently hovered
overhead. She was frantic. She could see herself being
served on a huge platter, medium rare, with a nice, light Bearnaise
sauce, until she saw it was Maxine and Monty who were behind her
scolded them bitterly, but she decided she would wear the silly clothes
if only to please Monty.
* * * * * * *
sitting at his desk in the oval office after his afternoon meeting with
several representatives from the major nations of the world. He
reported the intelligence he received of the accident at the alien Moon
base. He expressed his hope it would give them a window to set
old grievances aside and work closely to come up with a plan to rid
themselves of the alien plague. Austin told him about his brief
trip to Area 51 and back within two bites of his sandwich.
Scudder laughed at his telling. Austin could always make any
story hilarious. As amazing as it sounded to be teleported from
Washington H.C. to the middle of Nevada, it didn’t surprise
Scudder. He just accepted Austin’s story knowing every word was
true. He wouldn’t doubt Jesse and his people could do almost
anything they wanted, but they wouldn’t save Earth. Could their
rejection of religion and things spiritual be that much of an anathema
to them? Austin told him he chewed the area 51 people's asses out
for not cooperating with Jesse and his party according to Scudder's
instruction. It was late in the afternoon and Scudder was
alone. He tried something.
waited for a minute.
Norman. What can I do for you?”
watching me all the time?”
“No, we have
evolved intelligences to do that. They notify me if someone is
trying to contact me. What’s up?”
“Did you get
everything you needed from them geeks at Area 51?”
you. I had a copy of our mutually agreed points I showed them,
but they wouldn’t budge. Austin graciously came to our aid.
He made a
quick side trip to Nevada. He straightened them out, and we left
Just so you don’t think I was trying to pull a fast one. I didn’t
know anything about it.”
“I know you
didn’t. If I thought that I would’ve been in touch with you
“Can you join me
for a drink?”
was a bright flash of light and Jesse and Utah were standing before his
desk. “Unfortunately, I don’t imbibe anything but pure water.”
have that.” Scudder poured him a glass of water and poured some
in a dish and set it before Utah.
“Thank you, Mr.
Scudder.” Utah said.
something on your mind, Norman?”
information gatherers and social researchers gave me some interesting
statistics on animal abductions in certain parts of the Western
states. They found those ranchers and farmers belonging to a new
order of the old Grange organization are almost never picked by the
aliens to have their livestock abducted, and that's all
livestock including slaves; however, those who are not members of a
Grange are being hit on an average of ninety percent more often.
The social profiles of those being most picked on by the aliens are
those of strong religious beliefs who have been denied membership into
the Granges. Would you care to offer an explanation before I
order a deeper investigation?” he smiled, raised his glass of bourbon
and took a sip.
conspiracy agin' the Christers, Norman. Ain’t no rocket
science to it; no high falute’n, super-dooper
technology neither. It’s a group of concerned ranchers and
farmers getting together to discuss their survival without the god
fear’n Jesus freaks trying to turn ever’ damn meeting into an
fundigelical tent revival prayer meeting to save ever’ body’s
Grange members are dedicated ranchers. They’re simple,
uncomplicated men who have
worked hard for their place in the sun. Most are mature men what
don’t need their souls saved by no religious lunatics and ain't
in their crazy ideas of being born again, 'cause they done got it right
the first time. Them
religious nuts got a loose knit organization where they get together
pray for the aliens to vanish and stop taking their
livelihood, their livestock, and food away from them. Well, we
both know how much
good praying does. The Grange, on the other hand, goes to work
and gets things done. They’ve been pretty successful for a good
“How do they do
simple. Some a’ them old boys was in several wars. They
just took a tactic from the Navy. They mine their cattle.”
What do you mean, mine?” Scudder looked puzzled.
“You know what a
mine is in the water. When a ship unwittingly runs into one it
detonates, blows a hole in the ship and it sinks.”
“Yeah, but I
don’t see the connection.” Scudder looked puzzled.
it’s so simple. Neither do the other ranchers who ain’t members
of the Grange. Ranchers in the Grange strap a large chunk
of plastic explosives to the underbelly of every one in ten of their
cows. The bombs have an altitude switch and a small solid-state
timer chip they buy from Radio Shack for three ninety-eight plus
Once the animal is lifted off the ground and rises into the air more
than a hundred feet, the altitude switch turns on the timer chip which
is set to detonate the bomb exactly two and a half minutes
afterward. According to their observations it takes about that
long to get the animal on board and the hatch closed. Actually,
we don’t really care whether they get their hatch closed or not.
They’re still dead bugs or snakes. They've blasted both type
ships out of the sky. It's sort of like that old 'Raid'
commercial. They check a cow in, but they never get a chance to
check it out. The Grange likes to call it 'alien
roulette.'" Jesse grinned.
Scudder set for
a minute and then started laughing. He laughed so hard
he got a smile from Jesse.
“But the Grange
must loose a good number of cows before they take one with a bomb.” he
many. The law of averages is on the side of the aliens, but to be
honest, I think them aliens are lousy gamblers. It seems like out
of ten cows they’ll invariably pick the one with the bomb. It's
uncanny. They wouldn’t make it in Vegas.” Jesse chuckled. “Some
ranchers place as many as three out of
ten. They figured the extra investment will pay for itself in the
money saved not losing cows, and they're right.”
“Leave it to a
cowboy to be resourceful.” grinned Scudder. “Why ain’t you shared
it with the other ranchers who aren’t in your Grange?”
think because we don’t cotton to their religion we’re not as good as
them. They think they’re better’n us. The Grange members
refuse to put up with their damn nonsense, and they get angry with
us. Besides, the aliens don’t care who believes in what.
They steal from bible thumpers the same as all the rest. They
don’t give a shit about what them crazy people believe. They
ain't influenced by no prayers. All they
want is their cattle. So they get what they want from them and
leave the Grange members alone. Once they get a ship blown up
over a ranch, they won’t return. And believe me, they know
the area boundaries of every ranch in the Southwest. They won’t
take from a ranch where they lost a ship for a long time.
If they come back to test the water, and they do from time to time,
they get another ship blown up and they stay away for another long
“Why ain’t there
no debris found? Our people go out and check out every strange
explosion, and there’s been a lot over the last several years.” he
simple. That’s where the membership in the Grange comes in
handy. If a rancher has a ship blow up over his property, all his
neighbors, dogs, wives and kids, cousins, granddads, grandmas,
everyone pitches in, gathers it all
up in baskets, rakes the area clean and goes over it inch by inch with
numerous metal detectors. They load it all on the back of a huge,
heavy duty hydraulic compression truck. It’s all compacted into a
manageable cube like an old car in a scrap metal processing yard.
In fact, the average Gray ship compacts to about the size of a small
Chevy truck. They take it to a scrap metal place where it won't
found. Some have been buried in landfills.” Jesse sort of
stretched the truth and riffed on how they really cleaned the areas.
“What happens to
the bodies?” Scudder asked naively.
“If they find
any, they’re thrown on the truck and compacted along with the
metal. They never touch either specie of alien. They are
known disease carriers what can be fatal to humans. The gatherers
always use gloves, wear masks and throw them away afterward. They
wear old clothes and burn them when the job is done.”
“So them hicks
are smarter than we thought, and they been lying to us all along.”
fair, Norman. Your administration never did anything to protect
them. They did what Americans have done for generations, they
took matters into their own hands and solved the problem. When
your men came sniffing, trying to push them around and intimidate them,
they planted their boot heels, grabbed a hayseed shaft to suck on, and
played dumb slack jawed, tobacco spit'n, local yokels.
it comes to lying, you and Bush ain’t done nothing but lied to the
American people your entire time in office."
“Yeah, I guess
so. It’s too damn late to worry about it now. In a way, I
of admire them folks for sticking up for themselves.”
“Then leave them
alone, Norman. You unwittingly got a lot invested in them whether
you realize it or not. Them men are hard working son’s of the
Earth, some have been at it for generations, and they’re working their
collective butts off to survive.
They ain’t no threat to you or your regime. They will be the ones
who will see to your son’s survival, the survival of your commander and
your friend. If you keep your word, and that indirectly includes
not messing with the Grange, I will keep my promise to you and see that
Austin Taycious makes it to the new world. If anything, you
should be as protective as possible of the Granges. They’ve been
the ones providing you and your Holy City with most of your food
products for the last forty years. They are the strongest
financially and pay enormous sums in taxes and other backbreaking
revenues. You don't get squat from from them Christers compared
to the Grange.”
“My word is
firm. I just wanted to see if you’d be up front with me. I
already figured out the Grange was something different and there were
too many things pointing in that direction. I’ll drop all
investigations and see to it all future investigations of explosions or
crash landings of alien ships comes to an end. Other than to
capture a complete craft to use against them we know about all we need
“Then why ain’t
you mass producing them damn things? Why all the goddamn
secrecy? The public knows about them. They know there’s
something very unusual going on. People are disappearing in large
numbers all over the planet never to be seen again. The ones we
‘rapture’ or save are minuscule to what them alien parasites are
know why. Their power modules are an unlimited source of power
and the oil and energy companies have all the money. Kennedy was
going to reveal everything and look what happened to him. If they
got wind I planned to reveal to the world an inexpensive power source
it would collapse our economy. It would plunge the world into
total chaos.” he stated seriously.
chaos? What the hell do you think you got now? What a clown
you'd make if your act weren't so sad. You make a stupid
statement like that and have the nerve to call me a hick? You
believe that bullshit? So what’s the alternative. There
ain’t gonna’ be no world to support them fat bastards no more.
Two to three years max, Norman, and they go down like every other
man. Their trillions and trillions in money won’t buy them a seat
on one of our arks, and them fucking bugs and snakes don’t accept green
stamps. The only thing they got what’s worth a damn to them is
the meat on their bodies. That’s the bottom line. If you
got the power I think you do, have the military take them out.
your own bank. Refuse to deal with the criminal banking
commissions anymore. Lock them out. Take their money if
they try anything. Take over their assets, freeze their accounts,
put it back into your country. Use the money to build plants and
start mass producing the alien designed ships. Empty them Cheney
camps and put them folks to work in decent paying jobs. Rebuild
middle class. Give the world the
gift of a cheap energy source. You still have the power to do it,
Norman, if you take the bull by the horns and make that first
step. The destruction of their moon base has given you the
reprieve you so desperately seem to need. ”
“It’s far more
complicated than you think, Jesse.”
“Like hell it
is! That's just more
bullshit and you know it! You really believe what them energy
you? Tell me, what does bullshit taste like? It must be
delicious. You sure eat a
lot of it. It can be far
less complicated than it is, Norman, and you’re the man what can make
it happen. If you perish, it won’t be because we refused you
passage, it will be because you didn’t do what you need to do to
protect your country, your world and yourself.”
Scudder set for
a long while as the room darkened. Jesse motioned to
“We’ll be around
if you need us, Norman. Until then, if you can’t do what needs
to be done, at least be good to those who love you. I think you
Jesse smiled at him. It was the first thing Jesse ever said to
Scudder that was of a less than business attitude. He was almost
coming, guys.” Scudder raised his glass and watched as they
disappeared into the bright light. He set for a while longer
until he heard Austin’s voice approaching the door and heard him knock.
“C’mon in, I’m
by myself.” he hollered.
“I could swear I
heard voices in here a while ago.” Austin declared.
Jesse and Utah spent a while with me. I thought I’d never say
this, but I think I like the man. I like both of them. The
dog don’t say much, but he don’t have to. He worships
Jesse. Jesse speaks for both of them. Sometime I get the
feeling Utah is feeding him lines like he’s a ventriloquist.”
them. I’d like to know them better, but that never seems to
happen for me. You’re about the only person who could ever put up
with my shit, Jerry. You’re the only one who really knows me.”
Louise, you ain’t gonna’ break into song, there, are ya,’ Edith?”
Scudder did his best Archie Bunker routine.
“Fuck off, old
man!” Austin grinned.
my fairy princess I know and love.” Scudder laughed.
* * * * * * *
The two Ong
families of the children who were abducted were traumatized. Even
though Shane, Monty and Dexter promised them the new protective
clothing material would prevent them from being abducted again, they
completely rearranged their lives. They took the kids out of
school with the idea of home schooling them, but Shane suggest they go
to school in the colonies. The school curriculum in Parsons was
the finest in the state if it was a part of the Texas school
system. It far exceeded the public schools. It had no
classes on religion and actually taught hard science and
evolution. You never heard the phrase "intelligent design" unless
it was in wood shop. Shane and Monty installed separate gates for
each farm. The children could walk through and be at
school. They agreed to try it for a while, but Monty and Dexter
could tell the older Ong boys, the fathers of the two families were
nervous wrecks. The mothers weren’t much better.
confided to their big brother Dexter, their parents insisted they wear
their protective clothing to bed. They were so afraid they might
be abducted during the night. They had good reason to fear.
Their houses weren't reroofed with a protective covering of
Velostat. Most of the Grange buildings were completely
protected. The Samper boys just completed a new roof on the
Crandall place with multiple layers of the material. Monty spoke
with Shane. They decided no one should have to live with such
fear, real or imagined. At breakfast in the big house one morning
when the Admiral was visiting they spoke with Lazarus about the problem.
“I told you a
couple of months ago to use the Lotus and take their
farms. That’s why I gave you a separate ship to house them.
That way you can continue to use the Gopher Bay for your reconnaissance
flights, and they won’t be in any danger. Let them live as part
of the colonies. Their children are already comfortable in
the Parsons school. We know we’re going to take them
eventually. May as well get those two out of the way. I
agree with you men. No one should have to live with that kind of
fear. It’s new to them, but we live with it every day. We’d
do well to make sure we protect our own. You and Maxine helm the
ship as Captain and first mate, but let Captain Waco and his first
mate, my boy Lucas, back you up. I know you know how to make a
land grab, but until you’ve had a couple more under your belt, I’d feel
better if you had support.” he advised.
be glad to have their help. With you and my master’s permission,
I’ll make arrangements with the two Ong families.”
The two Ong
farms were installed side by side on the Lotus Flower without a
hitch. Monty and Maxine had the family watch on the observation
deck. They served food and drink from the ship's
replicators. It wasn’t great, but it was appreciated by the
family. They were amazed at how quickly the two large farms were
miniaturized and the giant holes they left in the ground. The Ong
men couldn’t thank Monty enough. Now they could get a good
night’s sleep without worrying about their children being abducted and
becoming a happy meal for some lizard family. They found it easy
to go from their farms directly to the colonies or their family’s farms
through the gates. They took up permanent residence on the Lotus
Flower. As time went by, all the Ong's farms and ranches were
taken and stored aboard the Lotus. One of the
older daughters and her family decided to open a Chinese restaurant in
Parsons. It was a great success and Monty could be found a couple
of nights a week cooking in the back with the family to help out.
* * * * * * *
early, Sheriff Lassiter came to the ranch to see Shane and Boss
Potter. As he drove up, Mr. Ong, the younger, and the elder Mr.
Ong came walking up through the meadow from the barn. They came
through the gate. They shook hands with the Sheriff, Shane and
Boss Potter. They all went into the house to sit down.
Judge Potter asked Essmee Fay to make some tea. When everyone was
served the Sheriff nodded to the Ongs and spoke.
“Mr. Dundee is
dead. Mr. Ong and his dad didn't see him around for several
days, so they went over to check on him. They somewhat befriended
him over the last several years and took him food from time to
time. He never really thanked them, but he ate it and left their
dishes on the back porch. They knocked several times, opened the
door, and the smell hit
them. They knew he was probably dead. They called us, we
went out and together we entered the house. He was sitting in his
favorite chair. The coroner said he died suddenly of a
stroke. We looked around and Mr. Ong found some papers.”
Mr. Ong handed
them to Judge Potter. They looked like legal documents. The
Judge opened them and motioned for Shane to read over his
shoulder. He turned to his partner and smiled.
“Damn, I didn’t
see this coming. Did you, Son?” Potter asked Shane.
Totally unexpected. Thanks, gentlemen, I’m stunned. I don’t
know what to say. We should call
“I’ll get him
for you, if you like Captain Shane. He’s out to the high pasture,
but I can have him here in a minute.” Maxine volunteered.
“That would be
nice, Maxine.” Shane smiled at her. She was away in an
instant. Maxine ran down through the pastures as fast as she
could onto the Crandall ranch. She saw Monty and her
sisters in the distance already herding sheep for the day. As she
passed a big boulder she heard a voice in her head.
in such a hurry, sexy lady? >> she recognized the voice.
<< To get
Captain. Ain’t got time to chat, Coyote. See ya’
later. >> she brushed him off.
so. >> he
sent to her almost as a lecherous comment.
think about, Coyote, I’m having Monty’s pups. >> she giggled.
I never get the pretty girls. >> he lamented. Maxine
him. Criga overheard him and was hurt. That day the Earth
almost came to a halt on its axis, Coyote apologized to his mate.
He went out and found her favorite food and brought it back to their
den as a peace offering.
told Monty he was wanted at the big house, he asked Dexter to take
and he’d be back as soon as possible. He picked up Maxine and
they disappeared. They reappeared by the backdoor to the big
house. He set her down, she ran up the stairs and through her
special door. Monty knocked politely.
Boss Potter hollered. Monty took off his hat and walked
into the room where the men were gathered. He knew something was
“Sit down, Son.”
offered Judge Potter. Monty set in a wood
chair and placed his hat in his lap. “Your granddad passed away,
Son. The Ongs called the
Sheriff and they went into his house and found him. He left this
on his desk.” Judge Potter
handed Monty a folder of papers. Inside was a letter for him and
deeds to the old man's properties in Monty’s name. The old man
converted everything he had and left it to his only living
relative. He had a competent attorney draw up documents which
said Shane Goodnight would be the official owner of trust until Monty
was granted his emancipation. He left Monty the farm they lived
on and an enormous ranch adjacent, Monty didn’t even know his granddad
owned. There were two bank books, one checking and the other a
savings account. Each account held over a half a million
each. Monty began to read the letter. It was typed on a
good quality stationary.
I never had much
to say to you when I was alive. I don’t know why I bother to
write this, but what shred of decency I have left in me forces me to do
so. I won’t apologize for your life. To do so now would be
disingenuous of me anyway. I neither knew who or what you were
nor who you are now, but you might argue it was my fault. You
would be right. You never fit into my idea of a normal world, but
somehow you managed to succeed beyond my wildest expectations.
For that, you earned a modicum of my admiration and respect.
Nevertheless, I feared you all these years, but now realize, the fear I
had was irrational. I see the fear and dread I suffered all those
years imagining I was living with a demonic spirit on my property was
not healthy for you or for me. There comes a time when every man
should accept his weaknesses and confront his demons. I waited
too long, but now, it’s too late. There will be no salvation for
me, boy. I lived in my dark hell too long to even consider asking
for forgiveness. I accept my fate for what might come.
I am leaving you
all my worldly possession including all household furnishings.
Why am I doing this after shunning you all these years? A couple
of reasons. No matter what you are, you carry my name, or at
least, you have. Secondly, I have no one else to leave it to and
to forget you would be to deny that portion of you which is my beloved
daughter. She loved you very much. Thirdly, her ghost paid
me a visit and told me she would torment me throughout all eternity
unless I did this for you. One final reason was because you had
the courage to stand up to me for what you thought was right and
brought that damnably awful jenny back to life after I shot her to
death with my rifle. She never let me forget it and tormented me
for years with her accusations and condemnations. Many times I
wanted to go out and kill her again, but she became a symbol of all the
good things about you and all the bad, terrible, dark things that were
growing inside me. After you took her away, I bitterly missed
her, you and your companion.
Then, to lose the old barn and any
trace of you was almost too much for me to handle. It weren’t
your fault, boy. Neither was your relationship with Shanna
Ruggles. I heard all about what happened directly from that
asshole Ruggles, himself, and the son of a bitch had the unmitigated
gall to brag about how he railroaded you into slavery to keep you away
his precious daughter. What he done weren’t right, boy. I
checked further and heard from several folks you were doing well,
thriving under a fine master and living with good people who can offer
you care and support. I understand you will not always be a slave
and in a few short years can enjoy these gifts I couldn’t bring myself
to share with you when I was alive. Do with them as you
will. There are no strings attached including changing your last
name to be that of your father Scott Hayden or his alien clone.
No tears, boy. No apologies. No forgiveness asked.
your life to the fullest and never look back. You have my sincere
best wishes for a good life.
folded the letter, returned it to the manilla folder, handed it to his
master and broke down in gut wrenching sobs. The men in the room
were devastated. They knew what the young man must be
feeling. Shane took him in his arms and held him.
walk with me.” Shane spoke quietly. Monty followed his master
outdoors. Monty walked him down to the fence with his arm around
“Take the rest
of the day off, Son. I’ll call my brother and see if yore’ ramrod
can come spend the afternoon with you.”
Shane. I don’t need no day off. I’m all right. We got
a lot of work to get done before spring, but I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to
finding my ramrod waiting for me when we finish for the day. I
need to sort all this out in my mind, and I'd appreciate his
Then I’d like to talk with you after I’ve spoken with my pa.” he smiled
at Shane knowing he would understand what he was talking about.
“I’m happy you
men got each other, Montana.”
Master. Don't know's I could handle this right now without my
ramrod to lean on.”
back inside with Shane. He thanked the men for coming. He
even had a hug for Sheriff Lassiter. The Ongs told Monty and
Shane when his granddad’s funeral would be. Shane assured them
would be there. They left and Monty walked back through the
meadows to the Crandall ranch and his job. His ramrod was waiting
for him when he got back to his quarters that evening. Maxine ran
and gave Jimmy Joe several wet sloppy kisses and greeted him. He
was equally glad to see her. Jimmy Joe handed Monty a card.
bossman.” he smiled.
Inside was a
nice sympathy card with no sickly sweet poem. It was just a
picture of a cowboy riding off into a beautiful sunset. Angus
wrote at the bottom: Happier trails, Buckaroo. Your buddy,
Angus. Monty broke into tears and Jimmy Joe held him.
sentimental old son of a bitch.” Monty said with a smile. “That was
nice of him.” he added.
“He thinks the
world of you, Montana.”
“What the fuck’s
going on? Why is everyone calling me ‘Montana’ all of a
sudden? I been called Monty for years, now it’s Montana?” he asked
up, boy. ‘Monty’ is a kid’s nickname. ‘Montana’ is a man’s
name. I don’t know about them others, but it’s my way of showing
you jes’ a teence more respect. I think you deserve it, Son.”
Jimmy Joe declared.
Monty goodbye and headed for the big house. She wanted to get in
before dark. Rarely did the bugs or snakes go gathering until
dark. Sometime, if it was a dark and cloudy day they might be on
the prowl, but not often. Their vision was impaired by the clouds
as well as hide them. Essmee Fay would help Maxine on with her
shielding cap and blanket each evening, and she would wear it until she
went to bed. Essmee told her she looked like a doggie version of
Amelia Earhart with her little Rocky Racoon flying cap.
* * * * * * *
Old man Dundee’s
funeral was on a dark, dreary day, the last day of the winter
solstice. It was held in the evangelical church paid for by the
Grange with Preacher David Yates officiating. The parking lot was
full. They had to park at the gas station across the
street. People came in cars, trucks, motorcycles, buggies, and on
horseback There were folks gathered outside who couldn’t get
inside. They respectfully parted so Monty and his people could
enter. Flowers were everywhere. The church smelled
wonderful. Monty thought what a feast it would be for his and Gil
bee buddies. He would have to tell them where to find this
banquet when he got back to the ranch. He was stunned his
granddad was so well known and popular. He had no idea. He
mentioned as much to Angus who was walking with him into the
church. Angus looked at him and grinned. He looked at Shane
and Angus’ baby brother nodded his head.
really know, do you?" he grinned real big at the bemused look on
his young friend's face, "They ain’t here
for your granddad, boy. No one could stand him. I’m sorry,
I don’t mean no disrespect to the dead, but he was a meanspirited old
buzzard. They’re here out of love and respect for you and
Dexter.” Angus assured him. Monty couldn’t believe
it. Jimmy Joe was on his right side, Dexter on Jimmy Joe's other
church was packed to overflowing. The Ongs took up almost a
church. The major players in the Grange took up the rest.
Everyone had to have a hug and a kiss. People were there
who rarely went out in public. Even the reclusive Miss Estelle
Potter attended out of respect for Montana and Dexter. Shane let
all his lead cowboy
slaves come. Monty insisted there be no division between slave
and freemen. Everyone was to sit together. Maxine was at
his feet. Her brothers and sisters were there including their ma
and pa. Many from Charlie’s ranch were there. The
preacher hadn’t seen such a crowd in his church in several years.
If only he could take up a collection. He wondered if he could
get away with it. Fortunately, he thought better of it.
After all, Shane Goodnight paid him handsomely to say only good words
about the old man. David Yates couldn’t help get in a few
references to hell fire and damnation for everyone’s soul if they
didn’t come to his church, become washed in the blood, accepted Jesus
as their personal savior, give him their money and allowed him, an
impotent, closeted cross-dresser, to tell them how to live their
lives. Such was the way of the fundamentalist. At the grave
side service, there was a young woman all dressed in black with a heavy
veil holding a bible clasped to her bosom. You couldn’t see her
face, but there was one young man who
knew who she was. Monty was touched when Oblio pushed his way
between him and Shane and took both their hands. He looked up at
Monty, smiled the sweetest smile and gently squeezed his hand.
Oblio knew who the dark lady was. He looked directly at her.
mom. I know you can hear me.>>
<< Is that
you standing between your daddy and Mr. Goodnight, sweetheart?
How did you grow so big so fast? >>
milk, ma. How are you? >>
surviving. I’m lonely. I miss you and your daddy. He
looks so fine standing there in his dress cowboy clothes. What a
strikingly handsome man he’s become. Why do you look like Shane
Goodnight, darling? >> she asked.
one of my talents, I can change my appearance, mom. Master Shane
thought it would be easier if I look like him. My dad don’t know
I’m his son yet. Master Shane don’t wanna’ tell him until he’s
emancipated in a couple more years. It’s fine with me. I’m
with him almost everyday. We spend a lot of quality time
together. He’s amazing, mom. He’s kind, smart, funny, and
knows a lot of stuff. He builds people out of nothing and gives
them brains from dead whales from Venus. See them two big cowboys
what look like two old cowboy movie stars behind me. They ain’t
human, but you’d never know it. They’s bio-droids, but they’s
good people. They watch over and protect me, ma' dad and the rest
of his crew. Dad treats me like a little brother, and I think I
like it that way. Master Shane and his pa next to him— well, he
ain’t really his pa— that’s another story, anyway, they’s my
daddies. They gimme’ the name Oblio Arrow Goodnight to keep my
daddy from putting things together. Dad thinks I’m the
illegitimate son of one of Master Shane’s brothers. Master Shane
considers dad his slave brother so he ain’t lying to him. >>
look well fed and happy, Son. >>
<< I am,
ma. I couldn’t be happier except I could be if'n you give
your religion and come with us. If you don’t, you won’t survive
the final holocaust, mom. >>
been working on it. I talk with Ping a lot. She’s been very
good to explain things to me. She told me about you skipping
infancy and changing yourself into a one year old. I didn’t
believe her, but she's been good to send me pictures of you. >>
<< Ping is
one of my favorite critters in the Grange. She helps me a lot
and teaches me stuff no one else will take the time. Listen to
her, mom, she is a creature who is hundreds of years old. She
knows about the universe and things. I know you’ll do the right
thing. There’s nothing left for you here. You can’t have
dad. See the cowboy on his other side. He’s dad’s pa like
Mr. Cole is Master Shane’s daddy. I think on him as one of ma'
grandpas. Dad's bonded pretty tight with
him, but in our world you could meet someone who will love you and be
good to you. We have to go now, ma. I love you.
<< I love
you, too, sweetheart. I always will. It was wonderful
you again, if only from across the way. >>
mom. >> Oblio gave a small wave so the others couldn’t see.
Shane saw it, looked down at Oblio, winked, gently squeezed his little
hand and smiled. He nodded
to Shanna and smiled as he patted Oblio on his head and pulled him
close to his side. Oblio reached up with his small arms, Shane
picked him up and stole a kiss. Oblio threw his small arms around
his huge master's neck and returned his kiss. Shanna was deeply
touched by the palpable love which passed between them. She knew
was in the right place and her heart felt at peace.
The funeral was
over, but there was to be a reception at the Goodnight/Potter ranch for
those who wished to come. It was another Grange happening and
almost everyone was there. It was a more subdued event, because
they were all concerned for Monty, but they had a good time.
Oblio stayed close to Monty all day. He didn’t try to intrude, he
was just there. Shane noticed but said nothing. He could
swear Cole could read his mind without the lummox milk. When he
thought about calling Oblio away, Cole gave Shane the cowboy evil
eye. Late in the afternoon, when most of the guest left they were
down to immediate family. Everyone was sitting out under the big
oak trees which shaded the cowboy slave's bunkhouse. Oblio was
standing next to Monty. He put his hand on Monty’s shoulder just
to touch him. Monty felt him, took his little hand, gently pulled
around, picked him up, and set him in his lap. He gave him a big
hug and a kiss. Oblio giggled like any kid might, hugged and
kissed him back.
being there for me today, honcho. You were quiet and well
mannered, but I could feel your presence. I could feel your
love. I knew you were there for me, and it meant a lot.”
“I love you,
Captain Montana.” Oblio hugged and kissed him.
“I love you,
too, Oblio. You know what?”
“If I was to
ever have a son, I’d want him to be just like you.” Monty gently placed
his forefinger on Oblio's muscular little chest.
looked away. Dexter almost lost it he was so touched. He
felt empathy for the boy. Shane put his arm
around him and held him close. There was a stillness in the air
you could cut with a
knife. The tension was palpable.
“You know what,
Captain Hayden?” Oblio put to him. Everyone held their breath for
“If a boy had
you for a dad, he’d be one hell of a lucky kid.” Oblio said.
breathed a sigh of relief. Shane didn’t worry anymore about Oblio
spilling the beans. He took his responsibilities to his
master/dad seriously. Jimmy Joe looked on with pride, but he
didn’t have a clue. Angus and Shane thought it might be better to
keep it from him as well. There would be no temptation to tell
Monty what he didn’t know. The men began to go their separate
ways. The cowboys made sure the dogs made it through the gate to
return to their homes safely. All small critters were brought in
for the night. Monty and Jimmy Joe said goodbye to
everyone. Everyone wished them well and they walked through the
long meadow just as the sun was going down. Off in the distance
miles away from their ranches they could see a couple of gray ships
slowly meandering across the sky. They were hunting on the next
couple of ranches over whose owner wasn’t a member of the grange.
As Jimmy Joe and Monty passed a large clump of rocks, they ran across
Criga and Coyote John taking the pups out for a walk. They
stopped and watched for a few minutes, waved and walked on their
way. Monty sent to Coyote.
Nice family you got there, old friend. >>
When in Rome...” Coyote answered, nipped a pup in the butt to
correct him for something, then continued, “... you make puppies.
Still mad at me? >> Monty asked.
Naw, jes’ don’t never sleep out in the open by yourself at night.
>> he laughed. Monty chuckled. << Actually, it ain’t
a bad life. In someways I’m more free than I ever been in my
Beats the hell out of being a slave. Criga’s good for me.
She don’t take no shit off'n me. I always liked strong
I work hard and do my best to provide for her and the pups. Life
be worse. >> Coyote allowed. << How
you doing with your old man? >> he asked.
<< Was I right about him make'n a good daddy for you, boy?
<< You were right, John. He's all I could wish for in a
good pa. I come to love him very much. >>
<< You love him more'n me, pup? >> Monty smiled at
Coyote calling him his pup.
<< Not more, just different. Although you might not think
so, I think I done proved my love for you, John. >>
<< Naw, you ain't right about that, kid. I know'd what you
done for me, and I don't hold no grudges. I still got ma' balls,
and my love for you is
solid; sometimes, rock-solid when I think back on the good times
we had together. >> Coyote chuckled at his sexual innuendo.
<< Glad to hear it, Pappa Coyote. We did have us some damn
good times. >> Monty agreed.
to hear about chore’ grandpap, son. >> Coyote said with remorse
weren’t close, but thanks for the thought. All joking aside, you
still love you, don't chu',
know. You always will. I won't speak of
love again. You'll only think I's try'n to mind fuck you. I
sometime think I got me a hold on love and then it slips away; vanishes
into thin air. Nevertheless, I
done fucked you good, both ways. I made my
mark on you like I define my territory now. I wish't I had your
faith and belief in love. Speaking of which, you still love
to change me back? >> he laughed like he knew his question was
right away, but you’re gonna’ live a long while. When I think
you’re ready, I’ll change you back. I think you’re doing
fine. I’m proud of you. >>
you go, thanks for the meat you drop off near the den from time to
time. It comes in handy. Don’t know’s we could a’ made it
this past winter if not for that. I think we'd a' lost the
littlest pup for sure. >>
welcome. I’ll always be looking out for you and Criga.
Goodnight, John. >>
<< By the
way, does he
fuck you better’n me? >> Coyote jabbed.
know cowboys don’t never kiss and tell, John. >> Monty laughed as
heard Coyote howl in the night.
Jimmy Joe knew
when Monty was conversing with animals, he would get very quiet.
He learned not to speak to him until he finished, then Monty would
return to him. He figured Coyote John and him were exchanging
words. They walked into Monty’s quarters and closed the
door. Monty turned into Jimmy Joe's strong arms and kissed him
with a gentle passion.
“Can I get you
“Not a thing,
They set down on
the leather sofa and Monty made a fire so they could warm the place and
have hot water for the shower. The fire was going well, but it
was still chilly in the room, so they set close together.
“Oblio, what a
funny name for a kid.” mused Jimmy Joe.
“He sure was
attentive to me today, were’nee?” Monty replied. “I was sad for
my grandpap; sad he lived in such darkness, but t’weren’t nothing I
could do for him. I weren’t really in a bad place during the
funeral; yet, the kid seemed to want to comfort me more than anyone.”
mighty strange about that boy.” Jimmy Joe said.
I work with him ever’ day. I give him a job to do, I only have to
tell him once what I want, and he does it right the first time. I
take him to my quarters and have him lie down for an hour
in the afternoon or he gits a little cranky, but he’s just a kid.
He minds me better than them coyote cowboys and never talks back.
He’s always willing to do the least job I give him with a good
attitude. I was a little put out when Master Shane asked me to
include him in my posse. I thought we's jes’ gonna’ be
glorified baby sitters, but it ain’t worked out that way a’ tall.
He’s smart and learns faster than any kid I ever met. Ping and my
crew have invested quite a bit in him. He’s become the unofficial
mascot of our team. I can’t imagine being without him. I
come to love him a lot, Pa. I was comfortable with him around me
today, like he belonged by my side. It seemed like the most
natural thing in the world for him to take my hand at the funeral.”
noticed. It’s almost like he’s too good to be true. I know
someone else like that." he smiled at Monty, then continued,
"Have you noticed he’ll crawl up in every cowboy’s lap but mine.
It’s like he’s either shy of me or don’t want me to touch him for some
reason. Of course I ain’t never really invited him, but he never
waited for one a them cowboy slaves to invite him neither. It’s
hard not to love the little shit. He’s the spit’n image of
Shane. You ever seen a kid that young that built up before?
He looks like a smaller version of Dexter, and them two's got something
going on between 'em what transends friendship. Have you noticed
how him and Dexter is all the time off some'mers with Bobby and Maxine
jes' a' talking
up a storm with each other? I tell you some’um ain’t right.
When I sit across from him and
look into his eyes when we’s having breakfast up to the big house, it’s
like I seen that look before. It’s like I done know’d him from
some’mers else; another time or place; kinda like deja vu. It’s
almost like he knows what I’m thinking, and he purposely avoids my
eyes. He’ll look away like a gay man so’s
you won’t catch him check’n you out. He won’t return my look;
like he’s afraid I’ll put the pieces together.
He’ll keep his
eyes down looking at his food and rarely looks up. If he looks up
and catches me looking, he’ll immediately drop his head again. I
jes’ thought he was a shy kid at first, maybe he had a secret boy-man
me, but that ain’t it. He ain’t a bit shy around yore' posse, and
he’s bat-shit crazy about them cowboy slaves. He loves ever’ damn
‘em, and they think he's about the best thing since sliced bread.
I asked Angus why the boy has to be a slave, and he gimme'
some mumbo-jumbo about the legality of his adoption. Come to find
out, them religious loons recently passed a law what says all
illegitimate children must be sold as slaves for life no matter if
another family member is willing to adopt them. Something about
bastards being an abomination in the eyes of their god; as if they
worshiped a god what was worth a plug nickel. You know a man like
Shane Goodnight ain't gonna' let the fact the boy's his blood nephew
out of wedlock stand in his way of doing the right thing by the kid.
I understand Oblio was raised by
nurse until he was about a year old then released to his new master and
owner who just happened to be his uncle. Uncle, hell, that boy
loves the captain and his ramrod like they's his daddies.”
“I ain't noticed
them things about him, Ramrod. I ain’t say’n you's
wrong. I know’d you too long. You got a cowboy savvy about
people, slaves and critters what’s rarely wrong. I seen you match
up a lost calf with its momma jes’ by looking in his eye and then
looking in the eyes of a large herd of milling heifers. I ain’t
never seen you miss. You’s all the time moan’n and groan’n about
how old you are, but I think this is one time age is on your
side. I also think you’re developing your own set of powers as
you grow older. Do you have any idea where you might have seen
the look in his eyes before?”
another cowboy on this, here, ranch what looks at me the same damn
He never fails to send shockwaves down to the bottom a' my boots, he
makes the hair on my neck and arms stand on end and makes ma' dick get
hard ever' damn time I think on him.” Jimmy Joe said quietly.
Pa?” Monty asked innocently.
Jimmy Joe replied quietly. “When ‘nat boy looks deep into my eyes,”
Jimmy Joe paused for a moment and shook his head, “I could swear it’s
you looking out at me from behind them eyes of his and ma’ old dick
starts to grow. He knows it, too. I watched him blush a
couple a' times when he caught me. I swear to you, he looks on me
the same damn way you do. Now, you know damn well I ain't no
pedophile. I ain't interested in no kid. My mind may play
tricks on me, but my dick
don’t never lie, Son. H'it's try'n to tell me they's some'um
about him I don't
End of Chapter
72 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2008 ~