Chapter 23: Little Funston
Copyright© 2021 by A Carpenters Son
Little Funston: About half the size of Earth.
“Yes!” came from both Lord Atta and Lord Turk. They both blinked then blinked again. They were on a porch and a herd of golden color dogs was running at them barking “Hello” and wagging their tails. Turk had grown up with dogs and took Atta’s hand walking to the middle of them. There were two very large dogs, ten dogs in the fifty-to-seventy-pound range with another ten dogs in the twenty-to-forty-pound range. It was apparent who the mom and dad were and then two litters of pups.
Turk pulled Atta down and the Golden Retrievers did what they do best they licked the couple until they were both laughing. Atta’s guards were stopped by John, “They are playing and having fun.”
Atta sensing her guards felt danger. It took some effort but she finally stood up laughing as she walked to the porch, “Guard detail remove your weapons.” Atta said this as her weapons were laid on the porch deck, “All of them! Do any of you feel we have a threat here?”
Boushey, the senior guard looked at the other three, “No Lady. I used to have a dog, those dogs are friendly, but they will alert us to friends or threats of any kind.”
The four guards felt naked. Atta led them back to Turk. He was sitting in the middle of the dogs they were simply waiting. Atta took the hands of two of her guards. The other two grabbed ahold of the free hands of the first two guards. The five of them stepped around and over dogs until they were near Turk and Atta yelled, “DROP”. The dogs sprang into action as they licked their new friends. They played for ten minutes. Then one by one they all sat with the dogs.
The big Papa Dog weighed 180 pounds came over to Turk and barked.
Turk stood up, “What do you want big fellow?”
The big dog barked and headed for the woods. The other dogs followed. It was a nice walk on a well-used path. The sun was overhead just an hour or so before midday. They came upon a part of the small river next to them. There was a shallow pond about an acre in size in front of a gentle rapid. The big dog looked to the others and barked again. He waded out until half his body was covered then in a quick move his head disappeared below the water then lifted slowly with a large fish in its mouth. The big dog carried the fish to Turk. Turk took the gift. “Has anybody seen a fish like this?” The fish was red in color twisting and bucking proving it was still very much alive.
“That fish came from Earth. That is a Sockeye Salmon. They are vegetarians. They are the best fish for eating. There is our dinner.” John said.
Turk looked to the big dog, “I’m going to call you King. Do you have a mate King?”
The dog barked, and another big female dog came over and gave the big guy a lick.
“Is that your mate King?” the dog barked and licked his mate.
“I’ll call her Queen.” King barked again. “King is there any vegetables?”
The dog barked again and went back to the path then passed the cabin going south this time. The other dogs all stayed at the pond. Everyone followed along behind King. He took them a short way to an open field of perhaps forty acres. John stood there with his mouth open. Diane had said they had planted a lot of things. Xmon stopped on John’s right, “Look there, potatoes, carrots, blueberries, onions, no, big onions and could that be pineapple? And that has to be two rows of mature corn and watermelon and cantaloupe.”
Turk still had the fish, “Thank you, King. Go eat with your family.” The big dog ran off in that direction which would take him back to the pond.
The peas were large. John found a pineapple he liked and what looked like a Walla Walla Sweet Onion the size of a softball. Atta pulled up two of the potato plants and found enough large potatoes for all. The guards pulled up a few dozen carrots. They averaged 16” long. The corn was also 50% bigger than what was normal for the earth. One of the guards was carrying a fifty-pound stripped watermelon.
They headed back to the cabin. When they got there, “Look around for some firewood.” The bounty was put on the porch and then the search began.
Atta ran up to John with two sticks of dried firewood from the back of the cabin.
“Is there more?
“Yes, a big stack in the back,” Atta said.
When John rounded the corner of the cabin, not only was there a stack of firewood, but also a big commercial grill. John’s first question was how is it heated? Xmon and Turk were with John. John opened the lid to the grill, “WOOD!” Turk had gone over to the stainless-steel sink. Ideal for cleaning game or fish and vegetables fresh from the garden. John made a turn and opened the back door to the cabin.
Heaty and Ada were coming through the 10’ door, “Hi John I brought a couple of dozen buffalo steaks.”
“We also have a really big fish.” John and Heaty did a low five. The four older kids were whooping and hollering. Heaty and Ada were proud they could let their kids enjoy this place.
Heaty handed John the fire starter, big matches, and a wax substance that would help the effort.
John wished he had a hatchet. The number one guard handed John her hatchet. John gave her a big smile thinking he wished he knew her name, “Boushey is my name, My Emperor.”
“Have you been taught how to stop things?”
Boushey shook her head, “No my Emperor.”
“You stay here and I’m going over there. When he got 30’ away, “Now throw the hatchet at me.”
“My Emperor, it will cause you harm,” Boushey said in alarm.
“I’ll be fine Boushey. Do this, many things will make sense.”
Heat turned and spoke quietly to Ada, “Have you seen this?”
Ada was nursing one of the new babies. “No, he will be killed.”
“No, he will be alright.” Heat said, “Watch.”
Boushey heard what Lord Heat and Lady Ada had said. Boushey let the hatchet fly. She blinked when it stopped for no reason and hung in the air. She blinked again and it was in front of her with the handle pointing at her, a hand width from her nose. She reached out with her hand shaking grasping that handle. She almost fainted from lack of air but remembered to breathe. She looked to Lord Heat, “How my Lord?”
“There are reasons why he is our Emperor,” Heaty said.
“He has taught you?” Ada asked.
“Yes, and it is time I teach you and our oldest,” Heaty said.
“John, your house is done.” Heaty said, “It needs furniture.”
“My little Brother,” Atta said.
Heaty looked down at Atta then scooped her up and saw her four guards react then relaxed just as quickly. This strange man reacted but did not relax. Atta was screaming for Heaty to put her down. He had her upside down as Heaty carried his sister to the man, “Are you with my sister Atta?”
“Yes, sir I am Lord. I am Lord Turk.”
“Heaty, you need to put your sister down and learn some things.” Xmon said very comely, “Son God says this man marries your sister and has the next Emperor after John.”
“Emperor John, are you not going to be Emperor for a thousand years?” Heaty asked.
“No Heaty. The next Emperor will come from either you and Ada, or your mom and dad, or from your sister Atta and Lord Turk. That will happen in thirty or forty years. There is a possibility my newborn daughter makes you Lord Heat and I in-laws.” John let loose a burst of laughter that no one had heard for some time.
Heaty whispered to Atta, “How long have you known this Lord Turk?”
“Heaty, he is our second cousin and I just met him today,” Atta whispered back to him.
Heaty gently put his sister down on her feet. “Lord Turk, and Lady Atta, I apologize to both of you. I come here to play with the animals, my wife, and my children and friends and even with my sister when she calls me her little brother.”
“Lord Heat, thank you for the explanation. I hope to become best friends with you. Your sister fascinates me and scares me something like I have never encountered before. God says we become mates. I want to sleep on the decision, but I think I am blinded by my love for the woman. We do have an attraction for one another which I have never experienced before in my life.”
“Heaty, we have the same Great Grandfather as Lord Turk,” Atta said.
“Emperor Orgel. He did a lot of good things.” Heaty said.
“Heaty, Orgel was a big man like you.” Xmon said then giggled, “He use to do to me when I was 12 and 13 like you just did to your sister.”
“Let’s get the fish ready to put on, the meat in a little while.”
John grabbed the hatchet on the back porch. Chopped some wood into kindling. The wood burned easily. He had the fire going in no time.
“My Emperor, how do you want your fish?”
I want it laid flat. So, open it up and cut down the ribs on one side of the backbone so we can lay it flat on the grill.”
Boushey came up carrying the big onion. “How do you want this cut, sir?”
“Nice onion.” John held his fingers about 3/16” apart, “About this thick on the slices. And about twice that on the pineapple. Then cover the fish with the slices of onion and put a slice of pineapple over the onion.”
“Thank you, my Emperor.”
“Lady Boushey, a moment please.” She was frozen and had stopped breathing, “Lady Boushey breath.” She was petrified, “Your father and mother were the Lords before Lady Atta.”
“No one knows.” She whispered.
“God told me. We need to tell Lady Atta after we eat. Everyone here will keep the secret. We need to build Lord Turk and Lady Atta a nice home away from the cabin. Heaty needs to come here and have fun.”
Heaty had purchased the wood-burning barbeque on Earth. He was able to set up another level for steaks. He had the identical barbeque at his home.
John went and got his ship. “Told the 5 cadets to fly to Funston then look for the planet ten million miles from Funston and they would find him. Hurry, because we are having Steak and Salmon for lunch.”
The cadets must have pushed the pedal to the metal because they arrived a few minutes after the eating started. John wondered if the food was the reason. Five plates were laid out ready to fill. The five cadets oud and ahd the food.
Heaty had brought big beer quart-size bottles and John had brought a case of Henry’s 12 oz. bottles. Henrys was an old German recipe made in Portland, Oregon. John grew up close to Mt. St. Helens in Washington. Everyone that was native to the area drank Henry’s Private Preserve. The watermelon was cut, and it was a wonderful treat with the kids big and little.
The food went down fine. About half of it was still there when everyone was too stuffed to move. Heaty and Turk got up and went to look at it, “Does anybody want any more of this?” Heaty asked.
“Yes, I want one of those steaks and a nice chunk of fish,” John said.
“For the replicator Papa John?” One of the boys asked.
“Yes!” John got some excitement from that.
“What if we turned this place into a resort. We can build a golf course, fishing, and gambling.” John looked around. “There’s buffalo already on the planet and fish in the lake.”
Heaty gave John a package with a steak and a nice chunk of Salmon. One of the cadets was there, “Papa John, I can copy that into our replicator.”
“Thank you, Jason.” John watched as the young man ran towards the ship.
Heaty stood up and went over to the leftovers. There were five steaks left. He cut them up in fourths making twenty pieces. Jason came back with two steaks and Heaty cut those into fourths. He put the buffalo meat on a wooden plater, taking it to the corner of the concrete slab. He put the meat directly on the concrete. King came up and looked at the meat. He growled then barked. Three dogs came up and took a piece of meat. This continued until all the dogs had a treat. A young dog came up and looked to King asking for seconds. King did a chop, and the young dog took one of the last four pieces of meat. King looked to his mate and did another chop, then he followed Queen and picked up the last two pieces. John said to himself, “They have a tribal structure.”
“I have never seen anything like this,” Atta said.
“Nor I,” Turk said.
“Watch this?” Heaty said.
There must have been over twenty-five pounds of salmon with a few carrots and small potatoes with onions and pineapple pieces intermixed with the fish. It was cut into one-pound pieces. As he did, he removed all of the bones. He again put it down at the corner. Johnny, Heaty, and Ada’s four-year-old grabbed a chunk of salmon and a slice of pineapple. He very carefully pulled out a bone. Then in the watchful eye of the dogs, three went over and got their salmon. Then three more until they all had a piece. They ate slowly and occasionally also pulled out a bone.
Heaty went to his Light Destroyer and brought back a metal fire round. He set it up and made a fire. The tables were put away and the chairs were put around the fire. A cold beer was handed out. The Cadets had one with the dinner and had another sitting around the fire. After everyone got settled. Atta was sitting next to Turk, “Lady Atta, have you thought of who would take over for you?” John asked.
“Yesterday, that question was furthest from my mind. Today it is there in front. My guard detail knows more about what I do and why I do it than anybody else. Often I discuss with them why I do things wanting to know their feelings about certain matters.” Atta said, “No one is as trained as they are. I’m at a loss. Our planet was set up by the Lord that proceeded me. We have no taxes. Our security force is only about 600 paid men and women. We have another 6,000 that are part-time and volunteer. I pay for all that from the industry owned by my predecessor. My planet is prosperous, they work hard, they play hard. I built a monument for my predecessor. We have a holiday to celebrate his birthday and another for his wife’s birthday. She was a partner in all things and decisions.”
“Who would you have there when you were here?” John asked.
Atta thought for a few seconds then turned to her friend and best guard, “Boushey would be my first choice.”
“Did the Lord before you have any children?” Heaty asked.
“Yes, two young daughters. I have not seen them since that first day and then only from afar.” Atta said.
“If they were here and trained to continue, would you release your Lordship to one of them?”
“But they are not here.” Atta was frustrated and curt.
“Daughter, calm yourself,” Xmon warned.
“Of course, my father, forgive me, my Emperor. That would solve everything, I would be free and not feel torn.” Atta sat back.
“Lady Boushey, how old were you when your father died?” John asked. Heaty, Ada, and Xmon all looked to John. He smiled and winked at Xmon then again at Heaty and Ada, “And your sister?”
“I was fifteen cycles, and my sister was...” Boushey looked to the women next to her?”
“I was twelve cycles.”
“BOUSHEY, you won my test to be my guard. How did you do that? Many were injured and some even died, but both of you succeeded. How?” Atta asked.
“My Lady I have always been drawn to knives and swords. When I was twelve. Two assassins killed four guards and a dozen others outside. In the hallway in front of my parent’s bedroom, I confronted the first assassin. My sister had wounded the second assassin by sticking her sword in his gut. Boushey looked to her sister. She was only nine years old. The man before me had two swords. This one I carry.” It was four feet tall. “The other my sister carries. They were both made by master craftsmen. My sword was this much shorter.” She held her hands about a foot apart. “I blocked his thrust and spun the blade from his hand cutting his knuckles.