Somerset Farm 

                                                                                        by Jamie Haze

 


Chapter 71


Once back in Bachal, the parents were divided according to sex; the women
were ushered into the palace wing that housed Ali's wives and female
concubines for reasons of protocol and to outwardly obey religious
restrictions. However once safely behind closed and guarded doors that
separated the special wing from the rest of the palace, Victoria and the
western women discovered that Ali's three wives and his other women enjoyed
all the freedoms of non-Muslim women who were visiting the Country; they
just used a secret set of doors, a tunnel that led to a garage and a fleet
of their cars, to come and go as they pleased to the casinos, restaurants,
to shop and even visit cocktail lounges or fly in an unmarked jet to other
countries, while the boys and their fathers of course, enjoyed total
freedom to do what typical visitors pleased.

Just about the only benefit of being a Muslim woman in the Emir's
household, married or not, was that they could go about anonymously since
no one outside the palace knew what they looked like in what amounted to a
wide open, anything goes, western type city. Bachal was the Las Vegas of
the Middle East; what went on in Bachal; stayed in Bachal. The women even
met their menfolk socially including Ali and his apparently westernized
women, although Medi's mother ruled the women's wing as the First Wife to
present the Emir with his heir.

Ali was completely enamored with the Cat Peoples' clouded history, their
relationship to the Ancients and the Great Cats as well as similarities
with the Middle Eastern cultures, particularly the Ancient Egyptian's
penchant for building pyramids. Freckles, Spot and vicariously, Fang,
expressed a desire to see the pyramids for themselves because they were
pyramids above ground and were disappointed that it wouldn't be possible
this trip even though they were relatively close by; separated only by the
rest of the Saudi peninsula and the Red Sea.

Everyone was in or lounging around a swimming pool somewhere in Ali's
personal domain in the depths of the palace complex where all the servants
were young men or boys who were dressed down to match the Emir's guests.
Ali didn't have to announce that bathing attire was optional in the hope
that some of the boys would bare their splendid young bodies for him to
observe so he could set about matching individual bodies to his new
collection of sparkling, solid gold dildos.

"My dear chaps," Ali said to the whole gang of men and boys, "If you wish
to see the Egyptian pyramids, I would be happy to make it so. I shall just
phone whatever bloke who believes himself to be in power over there just
now and advise him that I shall be making a State visit and include you
chaps in my entourage as Western business associates. No problem at all,"
he assured.

"These Great Cats see two problems..." Freckles began to point out that he
and Spot never seemed to blend in with humans no matter how hard they
tried, wearing clothing or not and/or even while smiling constantly.

"Three problems," Fang interrupted to inject his 1500 pound solid gold
replica of his true self into the problem count.

Ali frowned while considering the Great Cats. He said hesitantly, "I don't
wish to be insulting, but would it be rude of me to suggest that you both
could accompany me as, well, please do not become angry, but you could pose
as two exotic pets." Ali closed his eyes so he wouldn't see his death
coming by being so insulting to an honored guest and while his eyes were
squenched closed, he suggested golden Fang be brought along as a most
prized and stunningly beautiful artifact.

He was surprised when Freckles used Bucky's gravelly laughter as he
recounted a story about an unnamed Executive Assistant who once claimed
that he, Freckles, a fabulous living Great Cat, was in fact a mere service
Cat to explain his presence in a convenience store. "It worked, didn't it?"
Peter, the former Executive Assistant asked with a giggle from the side of
the pool. "And we got Mr. Slurpee Machine out of the deal," Peter reminded
despite the extraordinary cost in gold.

"So if you want to see the pyramids," Doug questioned, "are you willing to
make like overgrown Lucy House Cats when you're out in public?"

"If we must," the Great Cat twins agreed in stereo.

"But only in public," Spot qualified and began looking around the marble
terrace, under and on the furnishings. He and Freckles had already agreed
that if they had to act like a common house cat, they would have to watch
one so they could imitate one successfully. Earlier, Lucy followed her
fast maturing rambunctious brood out to the pool, took one look at all that
disgusting water and made herself unavailable, somewhere high and dry until
her `kids' first swimming lesson was concluded.

Fortunately no one told the kittens that cats of any age did not like water
except to drink a bit if there was no milk available and Lucy House Cat was
becoming stingy with her bounty. Since Ali was the ultimate host, after he
was apprised of the problem, he whispered to a servant and soon an
assortment of bowls arrived that would be a kitten feeding station. The
assortment included warm unpasteurized, fresh from the donors, cow, goat,
camel, mare and human mother's milk.

As Douggie House Cat sampled the various varieties, he used open mind-speak
to comment; "Meat or fish would be better."

"From now on, always tell me what you like to eat," Hughie instructed as he
scooped Douggie up and placed him on a table with platters of assorted
tidbits that included smoked fish and meats.

"Douggie like," the kitten exclaimed as he deftly plucked the first morsel
off a cracker. Hughie agreed while eating his share and the lonely crackers
that Douggie didn't care for.

"Y'all know you're talkin' real good," Hughie praised. "I can hardly wait
until you're big enough to wear a communicator, then we can really talk."

"Don't be talkin' with your mouth full," Hughie's father, Big Pettie
reminded.

"How is it that you feel free to visit another country on such short
notice?" Bucky wondered to Ali.

That question brought forth peals of laughter from Princes Medi and Huss
before Ali could answer. Ali explained that other countries who received
regular American aid always tried to end their political turmoil and
establish new governments just in time to share in the wealth that was
delivered by US aid programs promptly each fiscal quarter. The result of
skimming had to be hidden fast and secretly, somewhere close by and to a
very liberal, progressive bank, where it was easy to get at so it could be
spent, gambled or saved as backup for their eventual certain overthrow
assuming they survived. Ali paused there to see how many of his guests
realized that he was implying that the National Bank of Bachal was just
such a place and did a brisk, regular business timed to American aid
payments.

"So if these crooked politicians and military maintain very secret accounts
at your bank, what happens to those accounts if someone doesn't survive the
coup or revolt?" Buck asked even though he was already laughing; indicating
that he thought he knew the answer to that conundrum.

"EXACTLY," Ali agreed. "We wait for a brief period of time for someone to
appear with the correct account numbers and passwords before the accounts
are closed and forfeited to our local government; specifically, yours
truly," he admitted happily. "Just now Egypt is in yet another state of
unrest and the current leaders are flowing ever greater amounts of American
currency into their accounts. They fully realize that their failure to
grant such a simple request as a state visit could easily result in rather
disastrous bookkeeping errors or account number and password fumbling. I
assure you all that our tour of ancient Egyptian pyramids will go safely
and smoothly.

Safely and smoothly was something of an understatement. Ali brought along
60 domestic servants. Chief among them was Rog, the Indian boy, who had
been a slave to a pair of brothers that were the sons of a man who owned a
large trawler that was caught fishing in Somalian waters. Rog had been
liberated after the insolent brothers met their Hindu maker and Ali hired
him after he saw how very well Rog was endowed. Ali also chose Doug's troop
of Mean Motherfuckers as the party's security force since they proved
themselves as ready fighters by just exposing themselves to enemy fire when
aboard Sea Song, plus they obviously couldn't speak Arabic and few English
speakers could even understand their unique Bahamas dialect, much like the
Swiss Guards originally charged with security for the Vatican and Pope.

Of course the excursion was a men only affair; while the women they left
behind remained busy with visiting boutiques, fine restaurants and
occasionally Bachal's casinos where surprisingly there were absolutely no
losers among the women. The casino staffs steadfastly continued the polite
fiction that they didn't know the Emir's wives had ever left the palace
unaccompanied by a close male relative when they and their friends were out
gambling.

Since Ali wanted to impress the Egyptians with the maximum amount of
ostentatious display, he `borrowed' Big Bird from Evan and when Big Bird
landed at the Cairo airport there was a mad scramble by all the military
and government officials to relocate their receiving line since they were
expecting the Emir's 757 jet. The Egyptian officials were also confounded
by the order of debarking and the nature of Ali's party of guests.

First off Big Bird was the unsmiling Mean Motherfuckers with weapons at the
ready who formed a semi-circle around the foot of the stairs and almost but
not quite pointed those weapons at the receiving line. The next passengers
down the stairs were the smiling Great Cats who were accompanied by some
little and littler boys; accompanied by the Cat warriors, with Hughie and
Squeak along with several of Medi's younger, full and half-brothers. These
were Ali's other sons who were visiting Egypt and the pyramids for the
first time. Ali's kids loved the talking Cats, while Kad and Sidi wanted to
remain close to their `tools' that were stored in the Great Cat's Cat
packs. Bani held his Tara mini-tool in his hand and Squeak just kept
flexing his index fingers in the event of need because the Cat People and
the Great Cats had a long unfortunate history with the military in their
native territories.

The younger guys came next including Ali and his half-brother Huss with
Harm, in the middle of the group with their compliment of multinational
servants. Since everyone was intentionally dressed in shirts, shorts,
sunglasses and flip flops, Ali was impossible to recognize. Next to last to
emerge from the hatch were Pettie and Will who were apparently carrying an
effigy of a Cat for some reason, so easily that it was naturally assumed to
be gold painted Styrofoam. Last to debark was the fathers and guardians,
and when the entire party was clustered at the foot of the stairs, the Mean
Motherfuckers, Cat warriors, Cats and kids formed a flying wedge for the
short walk to the line of SUVs that was to transport everyone 15 miles to
Giza and the pyramids, ignoring the Egyptian receiving line altogether.

The officials were actually relieved that they wouldn't be any closer to
the giant Cats who had been trained to wear sunglasses, bowties and
backpacks but not restrained in any way. Just hearing intentional clicking
claws on concrete and being close enough to count major teeth through
constant smiles was close enough.

The Emir's party, entourage and servants with baggage was soon successfully
delivered to the gates of a compound that enclosed an elegant but temporary
tent city, located a bit closer to Sphinx's ass end and between the three
major pyramids that dominated the Giza area. The Great Cats loped off
toward the Sphinx while Taras Bani, Squeak and Peter stood around studying
the crumbling pyramids.

The Taras silently agreed that something wasn't quite right about the giant
structures that were actually confirmed as being nothing more than
incredible graveyard headstones that were intended to stand the test of
time and desert sands. It didn't seem to make sense to intentionally go to
so much work to build and hide magnificent tombs and then plop millions of
pounds of rock on top of them as grave markers so they could always be
easily found by robbers, currently called archeologists, up to many
millennia later.

"Well if the archeologists think they've found everything hidden under
those piles," Tara Peter the Finder said with a grin and a shrug, "they're
sadly mistaken. I think there's one big city under them, that's probably
1500 feet or more down, deeper than the deepest tomb; even deeper than Cat
City."

Doug took on a strange expression as he was joined by golden Fang. He
looked over at Fang. "I can tell, you feel it too," he said. "It's just
like when we first touched minds while I was on Sea Song and you were high
up in your stonewood tree, only this time the mind is in the heart of
Sphinx City. I think we're being invited to meet the owner of the mind," he
added, which got everyone's attention.

Fang agreed by adding; "This strange Great Cat is beyond ancient, he is
older than those rock piles he rests beneath," he observed in open
mind-speak, which caused all the mind-speakers to come running with
everyone asking the same question; they wanted to know who or what Doug and
Fang were talking about.

Just then, Freckles and Spot bounded into the compound and joined the
group. Since they rarely bounded anywhere unless they were racing after
prey, chasing each other or in trouble, it was apparent that they were
excited. "These Great Cats have found a sealed entrance to somewhere, under
that crude Cat statue with a disgusting human head," the Cats said together
both out loud and in mind-speak for good measure. They took delight in
denigrating humans.

"Did any of the tourists see you or the entrance?" Peter asked with a
chuckle. Everyone in the compound had heard considerable screaming and then
total silence after the tourists fled the area in their tour busses to get
away from the two giant wild cats after the Cats, still wearing their
sunglasses and neckties, climbed to sit on the top of the limestone sphinx
head and smile down on them from above. Everyone had a good laugh when
Peter nominated the Great Cats to be in charge of crowd control while they
were in Egypt.

Freckles explained more after the laughter died down. The entrance wasn't a
proper Cat way; it was too small because it was located right between the
sphinx's front legs. It was cut into the bedrock about 100 feet down and
then the long ramp to the closed door was currently filled with sand or
allowed to fill up with sand to conceal it but was actually well below the
Nile water level, so it probably could originally be flooded as a
safeguard, just like Cat City's main entrance.

The engineer in Doug began looking between the sphinx's elongated body that
was roughly aligned with their compound, but looking away from the three
grouped major pyramids as if it was a symbolic guard or placed to give
warning of danger ahead. He kept looking back and forth and moving until he
raised his arms with one finger pointed in each direction before he stamped
a foot. "If there's a tunnel between the sphinx and the pyramids, it should
run somewhere close to where I'm standing," he pronounced.

Kad and Sidi ran to the Cats to get and assemble their tools before they
announced that they would remove the sand from between the sphinx's legs to
expose the closed entrance. Fortunately, less impetuous heads suggested
that Snoopy should look for a less obvious entrance first as well as
accurately map the tunnel, if there was a tunnel, so the Egyptians and the
rest of the world wouldn't be aware of what they were doing.

Peter placed his hand on Freckles' head as Freckles looked up at the sky,
then the pair moved to within a few feet of where Doug had been standing
and continued to look off into space. Meanwhile Doug began studying the
location of the largest tent structure in the makeshift compound. It was
intended to be the public part of the Emir's quarters, mostly a lounge
where the temporary wooden floor was covered with rare carpets, and then
bedecked with cushions and low ornate tables; it was the entire party's
dining area with a large field kitchen and sleeping quarters for everyone
attached.

Golden Fang agreed with Doug's plan. He announced to the group; "Relocate
this structure to here then build a Cat way inside, under the flooring so
it is concealed."

Of course Kad and Sidi rushed to obey. It was a rare opportunity to use
their tools in some way that was more constructive than manufacturing fake
artifacts from real gold. That was until Fang had a mind-speak `word' with
the eager, impetuous pair that stopped them in their tracks. "We cannot
start our work until the tent is moved so we are hidden from view," Sidi
announced to the rest of the group as if he was talking to school boys who
should have known there would be a delay until after the tent's relocation.

Kad elaborated with a suggestion that the move could take place immediately
using levitation if Chief Ali could get rid of the Egyptian military and
the native servants for the duration of the visit. Ali took his brother
Huss, his son Medi, all of Medi's little brothers and the royal personal
servers into their quarters since they were the only ones with any real
baggage, and it had just been delivered. All he said before they
disappeared was that it was time his family appeared dressed as royals.

No one except the royals knew that the once nomadic tribe had been
occupying the same oasis since around 1914 and the tribal or clan leaders
at first (later called Emirs) had been acquiring wealth by hook or crook
ever since, and more importantly, still possessed it while growing it
further, many 1000s of times over.

A short while later, the Mean Motherfuckers were neatly spaced around the
inside tent walls, while the rest of the Family stood wherever they pleased
and Freckles, Spot and Golden Fang, flanked the entrance to the royal's
sleeping quarters. The Great Cats were the only ones seated and staring at
the aged Egyptian Army General who had been standing in the middle of the
room for 15 minutes in response to Emir Ali's preemptory summons.

"Where'd he get all those medals?" Hughie asked Pettie since he was sitting
on his brother's shoulders so he could see better. Unfortunately, with the
advantage of height, his voice and tall Pettie's whispered answer carried
throughout the tent, including to the old general who of course also spoke
English.

"A long time ago, the Egyptians had a serious war with their neighbors, the
Israelis. I think it only lasted six days and when it was all over, the
Israelis won big time. I guess the youngest, fastest officers to get back
into Cairo got the first pick of ribbons and medals. They sure didn't get
them by leading soldiers forward and I don't think Egypt has done much
fighting since the time they got spanked by the Israelis in that war,"
Pettie whispered up and back over his shoulder to his brother.

Evan joined the conversation using mind-speak which caused the other
mind-speakers to grin or giggle at a story his grandfather, Anton, told him
about the six day wars' aftermath. The USSR had been trying to gain a
foothold in the Near East and had equipped the Egyptian army. After the
world record short war, Anton claimed that the Israelis were trying to ruin
his arms sales by advertising discounted Russian weapons for sale that had
never been fired and had been dropped only once!

Ali interrupted the bored mind-speaker's levity by appearing with his
half-brother Huss and all of his sons. All were dressed in full ceremonial
court dress complete with flowing embroidered robes, and gem encrusted
daggers and scimitars in their sashes that had been scaled to fit the size
of the individual boy although the youngest prince's weapons were fake and
try as they might, they couldn't draw their weapons from their jeweled
scabbards.

The old general expected further humiliation in addition to the wait and
the American's whispered comments, but Ali surprised him by getting too
close, invading his personal space, preventing his deep bow. Instead Ali
grasped his hand for a sincere two handed shake and words of thanks for
being a superb host with such short notice.

Ali confounded the general further by motioning two servants forward with
gifts. The first was a magnificent parade sword and matching
scabbard. While the leather scabbard was all but hidden by delicate gold
filigree, it was the sword's hilt, one marble size star sapphire that
caused the general to blink. The second gift was boxed. Inside, resting on
a velvet cushion was an award that Ali informed proudly was a `Star of
Bachal' that was previously worn only by members of Ali's family on only
the most important State occasions.

Ali pulled his robe aside to reveal his Star while his swarm of sons was
already proudly flashing theirs that were securely fastened to their silk
covered chests. The center stone was of course another star sapphire that
was surrounded by diamond studded rays in varying lengths to resemble a
blazing star. Ali had to have help to properly pin the general's Star on
the right side of his uniform opposite the collection of meaningless medals
that were affixed to the left side from his shoulder down to near the
jacket hem.

After the award ceremony, Ali called for refreshments. Then he and his
guest, the General, sat in comfortable arm chairs that miraculously
appeared while the rest of the party sat on the cushions. Since the General
was a frequent visitor to Bachal's casinos and Ali's intelligence service
was second to none in country, he didn't embarrass the General by offering
him tea. The General was served a frosted glass of `ice water' that smelled
and tasted suspiciously like a very dry martini. Its actual content was
only betrayed by three giant olives on a bamboo skewer. It was the General
who suggested the compound's isolation before Ali could mention the
subject.

He explained that wherever a Head of State abided out of their country,
even temporarily, the place was legally an Embassy and therefore was
sovereign territory. He then very politely requested to withdraw his
security force except roadblocks, since the Emir appeared to be adequately
protected. The General's problem became a new crush of tourists who were
interested in visiting the area to see the Emir's giant Cats, not the
sphinx and the pyramids and he didn't want to see anyone hurt, not to
mention the possibility of a tourist being eaten during the brief stay. The
government was constantly receiving enough bad publicity just by continuing
to exist.

"These Great Cats do not like the taste of human," Ali's voice clearly said
from somewhere behind the General. He turned just in time to see one Cat
use his tail to eat a sandwich whole while the second Cat had his head
immersed in a golden bowl while its tail was held aloft with the tip bent
in his direction. Ali ended the interview after that incident by assuring
the General that all his deposits in the Bank of Bachal would remain
inviolate and available to him and his heirs, no matter what happened to
his position in the Government of Egypt.

The General and his entourage was barely out of sight before the whole tent
compound began to shimmer and shake as it began to move into the new
position designated by Doug and confirmed by Snoopy. Inside the main tent,
Golden Fang removed the furnishings and the floor while Kad and Sidi
eagerly assembled their tools.

"What are these brave warriors to do with all the shit I mean crap, Great
Cat Fang?" Sidi inquired politely.

"There will be a desert sandstorm until you are finished," Fang said. Fang
then instructed the warriors to begin digging the basic shaft directly
under their feet so they would always be standing on the shaft floor, while
the Taras would follow to create the Cat way ramp spiraling down the shaft
perimeter.

Bani, Peter and Squeak soon realized that creating the spiral from the
highest end was easier said than actually done; it was impossible. Bani was
doing his best using his mini-tool, Peter was following Bani cautiously but
not using his tool at all, while Squeak stood at the brink with his hands
on his hips without pointing his finger or even touching his tool.

"I hope you don't mind if I point out that you guys are doing a really
shitty job that the Ancients wouldn't be very proud of," Doug pointed out
whether the Taras minded or not. He was instantly offered not one, but all
three mini-tools to see if he could do better. "I think I can, you
sarcastic motherfuckers," he said and took Squeak's tool, which warmed to
his touch. Then he waited until Bani and Peter safely retreated from their
messy beginning effort with middle fingers and grins flashing before he
disappeared in the warrior's spiraling cloud of dust.

There was a flash of blue just before the cloud thickened, began to swirl
like a tightly controlled tornado, bent to the widest tent opening and
exited into the desert to be blown away by a wind provided by the Great Cat
brothers.

"We have found Tara Douglas the Builder," Fang announced to the group who
were standing around the lip of the well, looking down uselessly since
there was nothing to be seen of the three boys in the swirling dust cloud,
but while they couldn't be seen, they could certainly be heard.

"Guess what guys," Doug said when he appeared beside Kad and Sidi, "for
some reason Squeak's little tool will work for me, but I can't start
carving a Cat ramp until we get to the bottom of the shaft, so we better
get our asses in gear."

"Well Mr. Big Shot Tara Doug, the work would go faster if you could provide
some more light so we can see what we are doing," Sidi challenged Doug,
Tara or not. "Kad is a very careless worker and keeps getting too close
with his tool, he could cut off one of my legs," he accused Kad, which was
bound to cause a rough and tumble in the well, as well as stop work until
they ultimately kissed and made up in their usual way.

Fang suddenly entered the warriors' minds; "If you brave warriors do not
cease arguing and continue work, this Great Cat will remove your middle
legs," he warned. The threat caused the brave warriors to redouble their
efforts silently while attempting to look up to see if Great Cat Fang was
watching. There wasn't much that scared them, but losing their couplers was
right up there on the top of any Cat warrior's short list.

Doug fiddled with the buttons on the borrowed mini-tool and then pushed the
clicker. The cylinder walls turned a much brighter blue instantly. "I'll be
damned," he said, "it worked. That takes care of that excuse. Now I'll
start cutting all around the circumference and you guys clean out the
center. I don't think we have too far to go because we're closer to the
sphinx. The tunnel must angle down to the City from there," he told the
warriors.

Fortunately, it had gotten dark so the Cats didn't have to disguise the
increased volume of sandy dust as dust devils any longer. Dust devils were
common in the desert but they didn't commonly originate from inside a tent
or march away in uniform rows as the volume of dirt increased.

Doug sensed the tunnel was close without understanding why or how. "Okay
guys, that's deep enough. Smooth the floor out while I cut the way into the
Ancient's hallway," he instructed. It wasn't long before he finished
connecting the new shaft to the much older tunnel. The three guys peeked up
and down the hallway but couldn't see much since the power was off just
like Doug forecast.

"Cutting the ramp is still going to take a great amount of time even though
our beautiful Cat way is only 300 feet deep," Kad observed.

"I know, so I thought I'd try something different."

Both warriors blinked in surprise. Then they strongly recommended that Doug
not `try' anything different with Great Cat Fang watching from above. The
old Great Cat had little sense of humor and didn't like surprises. Doug
risked having HIS middle leg removed if whatever he wanted to try, didn't
work.

Doug shrugged before he disappeared back into the shaft where he began to
use the tool to chew up the floor until he had a mix of gravel-size stone
and assorted size limestone dust and sand. When he was satisfied with his
work, he stepped back into the old corridor and turned the tool back on the
mess he made. The warriors were shocked to see it begin the melt, bubble
and then congeal to be a perfectly glass smooth surface.

"What did you do?" Sidi asked Doug.

"If I did it right, I think I just made this Cat City its first
elevator. Come on, climb aboard and let's see if we can will it to
levitate." The first 10 feet was a slow deliberate test but the following
290 feet was like standing on top of a flat nosed rocket that shot to the
top of the shaft so forcefully, the guy's three minds weren't fast enough
to stop it when it reached the tent floor. The 12 inch slab stopped five
feet too high and pitched Kad, Sidi and Doug off in three directions. Kad
and Sidi just somersaulted to land on their feet, while the newest Tara
didn't fair quite as well, but except for a bruised dignity, he was unhurt.

Everyone else was laughing while Fang lowered the elevator deck to floor
level, so the entire mob could climb on with Fang in the center. The Cats
took charge of the kids by piling them up and holding them down. Only
Hughie and Squeak on the bottom of the pile didn't struggle to get away
since they were facing each other and couldn't be seen.

"Main level, Sphinx City!" Doug shouted as the elevator stopped at the
entrance to the Ancient hallway at the bottom of the shaft. Doug's father
Bill nearly knocked him into a wall when he `patted' him on the back; he
was so proud of his son and his latent civil engineering abilities.

Doug reluctantly handed the cooperative mini-tool back to Squeak after he
turned on some light, although it was blue and would remain blue if they
couldn't find and switch on the main power source. He was pleased and
surprised when Squeak pushed the mini-tool back and said he would get
another one when he next returned to Cat City. Meanwhile, he planned to
rely on his fingers.

Fang sent his sons, Freckles and Spot forward to `case' the joint (his
word) for dangers ahead, but not without Squeak and Hughie. Squeak was
armed with his finger while Hughie was suddenly clutching his new Christmas
rifle that had been hidden in Freckles' Cat pack. The newly discovered
passageway was the same width and height, with the same arched ceiling and
glass smooth surfaces of Cat City but with the power off, there was none of
the beautiful jungle-scape or whatever the local landscape might have been
when constructed. Thus far the passage was just a plain hallway that was
only relieved by the constant shade of blue maintained by Great Cat Fang,
the Taras, apparently including Doug and the Cat brothers as they moved
forward and deeper. There was one major difference; the slope was steeper
than any passage in Cat City because Sphinx City was far deeper in mother
earth. Since there was at least one Great Cat still in the City, Fang told
his twin sons, Freckles and Spot to reconnoiter and make first contact
without getting killed or injured if possible. Squeak and Hughie were even
more determined to go along to guard the Cats despite the possible danger.

With the riders on board, the Great Cats took off down the corridor. While
they were racing each other, they also wanted to be first to greet the
strange Great Cat whose aura was weaker than any Cat in their clan, except
kittens, which they didn't understand. Great Cat auras matured with the Cat
which other Cats recognized from any distance if they concentrated. Kitten
auras were silver, while maturing Cat's went from silver to pale blue that
continued to darken and intensify to a radiant blue with hints of
silver. Of course a clan leader like Fang sported the ultimate; a deep blue
with golden rays of power. This strange Cat's aura was silver, and that was
flickering.

The boys and Cats knew exactly when they entered the City's gathering place
because they were no longer able to light the vast area completely; just a
100 yard radius. Enough for Hughie to see where they were going without
need of looking through Freckles' eyes. But Hughie wanted to see everything
just like the Cats and his friend Squeak.

The interior of this great pyramid was squattier than Cat City's with the
space interrupted by four massive columns to support the ceiling, Freckles
explained to the boys in a flash. The columns were necessary because Sphinx
City was built in sandstone and soft limestone that was too weak for the
ceiling to be self-supporting unlike Cat City that had been cut from very
hard granite.

Hughie became upset when he realized that they were running along a garden
walkway but the plantings were nothing more than dense brush, groupings of
sticks and leafless trees. All dead for want of water and life-giving
sunlight or whatever the Ancients used as sunlight, he amended.

"Perhaps not dead," Freckles suggested, "maybe they are sleeping."

"Do you mean dormant?" Hughie asked with a snicker.

Freckles took the bait, "That is what I said." He realized what he said,
"Perhaps one impudent human boy would like his first flying lesson?" He
added with his tail already lifting the boy in question and flailing him
around, threatening to fling him into the shrubbery that might or might not
be dead or dormant. The threat obviously backfired when Hughie began
screaming and laughing his delight with the ride. Squeak didn't even have
to ask before Spot began whipping him around even more violently because
Cat warriors were far more durable than human boys. The fun ended suddenly
when they reached the throne area and the hallway behind the dais beckoned
with a feeble blue light and the life source intensified.

The Great Cats slowed to a creep, almost a deadly silent stalk as they and
their riders entered the first and largest resting place that duplicated
those at home in Cat City. The Cats weren't surprised to find an adult
Great Cat there on the larger side of the double circular bed. They were
absolutely shocked to discover it wasn't resting as all Cats do; stretched
out on its belly with its head on its paws. It was curled in a tight ball
and appeared to be sleeping soundly. It also seemed to be unaware of their
presence with its unmoving tail covering its eyes, just like one of Lucy
House Cat's usual sleeping poses.

The symbiotic foursome immediately reported their find to the fast
approaching main party and discussed how to proceed in the universally
`spoken' and understood open mind-speak as if the strange Great Cat
couldn't hear and understand them; by then the Cats were more used to voice
communication through the communicators.

While Squeak, Spot and Freckles talked, Hughie climbed up on the bed,
snuggled into the cushions and the side of the Cat's head and simply began
petting the head, scratching his ears as if he was Freckles or Spot. Then
he admired the Cat's size, probable strength, dense fur and the beauty of
his patterned, spotted pelt. Hughie did not see the tail tip move in his
direction or the eye lids flicker with movement.

Suddenly Hughie felt a question form in his head, "You are not of the Cat
People so are you food for this Great Cat?" While the question was asked,
Hughie found himself lifted and swung around so he was looking into the
Great Cat's wide open eyes and touching noses.

Hughie's reaction, instead of showing fear and horror, was to giggle and
laugh. He even dared to pat the Great Cat's nose. "No, I am certainly not
food! I am a Great Cat's friend! See behind me?" He pointed back at
Freckles and Spot who had the presence of mind to abase their bodies so
completely, they looked like a pair of trophy throw rugs. He added as an
afterthought, "It's a good thing you have a sense of humor, Great Cat, I
thought I was Cat food for a moment."

The strange Great Cat uncurled his massive adult body and managed a stretch
and toothy yawn just like Lucy House Cat while at the same time, his tail
sat Hughie back on the cushions and petted him in return until his eyes
settled on Squeak, then they widened in surprise. "You are a Great One
Guardian," he stated, "yet you carry no tool of authority and your body is
covered. Are you the present Pharaoh?"

Instead of answering, Squeak jumped to the Cat's bed to greet the Great Cat
properly and allow for the transfer of knowledge as he looked into the
Great Cat's eyes. The transfer worked both ways.

The old Great Cat was known to his clan as Leader, the Cat friend of the
first Great One Finder so his Great Cat rank would be equal to Fang's even
though Leader was the last of his generation on Earth with his Cat friend,
the Finder, passed on to somewhere else thousands of years earlier after he
went rogue, went up to the surface and declared himself as God or Pharaoh
to all the native populations on the African continent which began the
steady flow of tribute and plunder by willing himself to other mineral and
metal rich areas, impressing everyone with his unlimited power and then
demanding or simply taking whatever he wanted.

The first Pharaoh used his tool of power to support his declared authority
until Leader Great Cat stole his tool, sealed the City and shut down all
power thus greatly limiting his former Cat friend's power to abuse his
position, however that was too little and too late; his godly reputation
had been established. By then, the other Great Ones (All Ancients were
pacifists.) took all the other Cats and all the Cat People to somewhere
else; in fact the City was abandoned except for Leader Great Cat. Great
Cats could never abandon their Cat friends, no matter the extent of the
friend's wrong doing. Leader's last act was to shut down the power source
before entering the state of suspended animation or hibernation for the
next few millennia to await the return of the other Great Ones or simply
some other Great Ones.

Freckles realized what Leader Great Cat required first after he and Spot
greeted the living Ancient Great Cat. He found golden Great Cat dinnerware
in Sphinx City's kitchens. Next to appear was food that he appropriated
from the compound kitchen; first lamb, goat and beef appeared to fill the
bowls topped with steamed vegetables. Of course no dinner would be complete
without wine to fill three more bowls. Freckles delivered full cases; the
two boys opened the boxes and poured after the corks were sent to
nothingness. Shooting corks at others was felt to be inappropriate. One
moment Ali's cooks had dinner well underway and the next, almost everything
disappeared.

Nothing was said to the boys after Squeak brought forth cups and dinnerware
he and Hughie could use when they dipped their cups in Cat bowls and dared
to spear a few choice cuts of cooked lamb and beef from one of the Ancient
Great Cat's bowls.

Leader wasn't bashful concerning breaking his fast while two young Great
Cats watched with the beginning of drool and the two boys with hungry eyes
and growling stomachs. After the first bowl was emptied and hunger pangs
satisfied, Leader blinked to purloin more food from the field kitchen for
his new friends, as well as turn on the power source with his energy
renewed due to the first full belly in eons.

The main party was near the center of the gathering place which was also
the center of the pyramid when the life giving daylight came on
suddenly. There was blue sky with scudding clouds above and trees blooming
on the distant pyramid walls; a stark contrast to the leafless real trees
standing tall near the outside walls. The pool around what was thought of
as a transporter, an intense light column, intensified as the circular pool
at the base filled with water.

Dry fountains began to bubble and splash and off in one corner, the muted
sounds of a waterfall could be heard. Except for the fountains and lower
ceilings, the room was almost identical to Cat City's. Then strangely, all
the walkways began to flood until there was a good inch of water
everywhere. Some thought they were going to have the swim for their lives
until Fang informed that the irrigation system was catching up to saturate
the planting beds. It was assumed that the plants weren't dead; merely
dormant.

The large group met the scouting party and Leader at the throne dais to
find the two little boys had lost their clothes somewhere and that Leader
had placed Squeak on the throne with Hughie leaning on the one arm holding
his weapon at the ready. It was obvious that Hughie had appointed himself
as Squeak's bodyguard since in his mind they were playing `king of the
hill' and he was a knight who was prepared to defend his king and the
Sphinx City throne. While in Ancient Leader Great Cat's mind Squeak
actually was the City's Ancient Leader, reincarnated, the reason he'd been
placed on the throne. Squeak and Hughie stripped willingly when Leader
implied that only the pharaohs and humans covered their bodies (and the
promise that they could go swimming after formal greetings, assuming the
pool was filled by then).

There was a united intake of breath as Leader stood up and stepped off the
dais to greet everyone according to protocol. Anyone who hadn't been to Cat
City and seen firsthand just how large a mature 1000 pound Great Cat was,
when walking toward you while wearing a huge smile was in shock. Golden
Fang was first and made eye contact the longest since each had Great Cat
knowledge from different time periods to share. Next were Taras Bani, Peter
and the newest, Douglas the Builder, who was also always the most sensitive
human telepath with a long standing interest in teleporting and how the
column of light in the center of the pyramid was used.

Doug surprised and embarrassed the other Tara mind-speakers by being first
to think of presenting Ancient Leader Great Cat with his communicator,
temporarily, until one that was Great Cat size could be fabricated. After
Doug attached the chain around Leader's neck, Leader gifted Doug with a
thorough grooming after his shorts and shirt disappeared to wherever the
little boys left theirs.

Doug's sudden nudity was a signal to the other guys that if they didn't
also get naked voluntarily, their limited wardrobes might also disappear
when Leader got around to greeting them. Since no one knew if clothing
might become necessary before they got back to the compound on the surface,
they opted to lay their clothing aside rather than risk losing them to join
Doug's. This was the general opinion among mind-speakers and quickly agreed
to by the other non-mind-speakers after the risk was explained verbally.

Doug gritted his teeth as he franticly begged Leader to not groom his body
below his belt, waist, he corrected when Leader looked puzzled. When he saw
that Leader still didn't understand he sent a video of his erection and
what it surely would do if Leader's paste exuding tongue got down that
far. It was already too late for Doug to prevent his erection but when
Leader heard giggles and saw pointing fingers, he merely surveyed the
surrounding audience with his eyes which caused everyone to grow
uncontrollably in sympathy.

Bucky saved the day by inviting all who wanted to, to go swimming. Ali's
kids were delighted with that idea, while their father, Ali, was less so,
but had no choice except to play lifeguard. Then while the modest
non-mind-speakers sought the safety of water, Freckles looked around at the
small piles of clothing until he found an `abandoned' cellphone.

With the phone in his tail he asked Leader if there were any large green
stones in Sphinx city. He needed one that was as large as or larger than
his or Spot's. Leader spoke aloud experimentally for the first time after
he blinked and 20 open Ancient stonewood storage/travel boxes appeared to
line up in front of Freckles and Spot for their review; "Ask if more are
required," he said and attempted to look down at his borrowed communicator,
surprised at the sound of his voice. The brief pause allowed Doug to escape
beyond the range of Leader's tail to just behind Buck.

Leader was unperturbed. "This Great Cat will attend you and your mate when
next you choose to rest," he said clearly with a toothy smile, at once more
comfortable with speaking out loud.

Hughie looked to see that his father had opted for some down time in the
pool while he calmed down. Of course he didn't care if his brother, Little
Pettie, heard his protest and its obvious implications. "Hey Great Cat
Leader, don't you remember you promised you would attend us when Squeak and
me rest if you can keep my father busy somewhere else," he boldly
complained.

Leader nodded, "Humans who do not have friends will rest very soundly," he
assured without explaining how he would accomplish that trick.

Hughie and Squeak giggled together as Hughie dared to ask, "Don't you mean
sleep?"

"That is what this Cat said," Leader argued.

"GOTTCHA!" Both little boys sang together until their four ankles were
suddenly surrounded by a Cat tail and they were lashed about until they
fuzzed out and disappeared without time to scream until they found
themselves in the middle of the pool among the swimmers without being aware
of how they got there. Of course, far from being upset by the sudden
relocation, the little boys ran back to where Leader was just completing
his greetings with the rest of the mind-speakers.

The boys asked, more respectfully, how the Ancient Cat moved them into the
pool. They weren't thrown; there was no sense of flying, no sense of
anything except being held by the ankles by a soft furry tail with an iron
grip one instant and displacing water in the pool the next.

"This Cat can send or take you to any place you or this Cat has been
before," Leader stated with the usual arrogance of all Great Cats.

"Well, can you take us home to our village?" Squeak inquired. "It is long
past evening food and everyone else is very hungry even though you probably
aren't because you just ate?"

While Squeak asked about returning to South America for evening food,
Freckles interrupted the conversation long enough to replace Doug's loaner
with a Great Cat size communicator that he'd manufactured from one giant
emerald and pieces of someone's unattended cellphone.

"It would be a great honor to hunt swine with you," Fang told Leader as he
sent images of a huge cross bred feral boar, which he was in the process of
making into one or more pork tartar dinners."

"This Cat has not hunted in a great length of time," Leader said with
longing. He made up his mind by asking the golden Fang if he wanted to
travel or wait in the City until the party returned. While he was asking,
the rest of the party, all the previously excited non-mind-speaking
swimmers began to appear, mostly sprawled on the pavement in odd positions
that wouldn't seem odd if they were still in the pool. All of them, even
the kids, looked completely amazed to find themselves relocated so
instantly without the slightest sense of moving or discomfort during the
move.

Leader looked to Freckles and Spot to say in mind-speak: "It appears that
Great Cat's power to move has been lost after a great length of time, so
you two must learn this skill. Hold your home place and all these humans
and Cat warriors in your minds," he instructed while he sat between the
young Great Cats. He knew the twins, the Taras and all the Great Cats could
reproduce what happened next after Freckles and Spot did it first.

Then according to some protocol, first the Taras, the Cat warriors, Kad and
Sidi, then human mind-speakers and lastly all the non-mind-speakers, winked
out leaving the three living Great Cats and golden Fang sitting alone in
the vast Sphinx City gathering place. An instant later, golden Fang was
left alone to await everyone's return.

Of course while the mass departure was orderly, the sudden unannounced
arrival of strangers in the middle of the Cat People's village nearly
caused a deadly defensive event even though Bani and Squeak along with Kad
and Sidi arrived first. The bulk of the population were not mind-speakers
and those that were, didn't have the time to inform the rest of the
villagers and the living Great Cat Fang was a Cat of `very few' spoken
words; the Great Cat clan knew and that was sufficient.

Great Cat Fang was also very excited because he suddenly knew the secret of
translocation or traveling as Leader referred to as `moving'. The column of
light in the center of the pyramid somehow facilitated the process but
travelers didn't have to actually enter the light as was believed by later
generations of Cats over the course of millennia during which the knowledge
was lost because none had images of anywhere else to travel. To travel
without an image was to arrive somewhere in nothingness.

Fang and his Council greeted the astounding still living Great Cat Leader
warmly with a friendly rough and tumble out in the playing field. Leader
was delighted to be able to rough and tumble with other Cats his size, if a
few millennia short in age while the Cat People and humans watched from a
safe distance.

Freckles and Spot had been invited to participate in the Cat rough and
tumble as a sign that they were maturing Great Cats but the younger Cats
declined. Instead they opted to slink around the cook hut with their twin
noses in the air sniffing out the most delectable odors to decide what food
they would enjoy for their second evening meal.

Bani was greeting his parents as Marta was supervising the women preparing
the food. She was concerned about not having enough to feed the People, the
hoard of Great Cats and the unexpected guests and there wasn't time to
prepare more that was presently wandering around their pens at a warrior's
farm, while it should have been turning on a spit over a slow fire for at
least the past 24 hours.

Bani looked at the Cats sniffing the area and touched their minds too
quickly for them to block. He began laughing during the instant it took to
relay his discovery to other mind-speakers before he accused; "You two
Great Cats have become accustomed to eating cooked meat and being served,"
he claimed. "You have become domesticated pussies!"

Squeak came to the twin's defense by jumping up on Spot's back as Hughie
climbed aboard Freckles' in part to keep them from starting another rough
and tumble with Bani and no doubt the rest of the Cat warriors for blabbing
the truth. "We four are mighty hunters! We will supply the extra evening
food and all will be served in the great dining hall in Cat City in a short
length of time," He promised or perhaps overstated as a little boy boast,
except everyone tended to forget that the little boy was also an awesomely
powerful Tara who was adept at using his finger in preference to his
Ancient tool. "Come along Peter, we need you to find a wild swine herd that
has not been hunted in a great length of time," he ordered just before the
Cats, their little riders and Peter winked out after Peter grabbed Edvard's
hand to take him along on the impromptu hunt and ultimately a pig roast to
be served in Cat City.

Tracy was busy munching an energy fruit in preparation of greeting Cat
warrior friends when he suddenly joined the group in mid-swallow. The Cats
knew that Tracy still didn't like the sight of blood so it would be a good
joke to have him close to the slaughter and they enjoyed hearing him bitch
about the mess they made.

Since all the Great Cats were occupied, Cat warrior Chief Tonga decided to
play host to all the visitors by giving a tour of Cat City. So with Angus
as the actual guide, everyone set off on foot heading to the closest Cat
way to get down into the City. They had just begun the short journey when
Bani sent a thought to Doug.

Bani asked if Doug, Kad and Sidi would have time to install an elevator in
the Cat way well before he and the rest of the party arrived at the
entrance. Doug nodded before winking out, taking Kad, Sidi with their tools
and Buck with them to be of some `help' later in one of the sumptuous
resting places. The construction crew didn't have to dig the well first; it
was already done, so all they had to do was to create a platform and have
it ready and waiting at the top of the Cat way. Then with a few hands full
of fresh paste berries, the foursome could enjoy a quiet foursome without a
Cat to assist, which always seemed to end up being an hours long orgy.

"You know I just realized that the Cats have been using traveling all along
without realizing it," Buck said after they reappeared at the foot of the
ramp in the bottom of the Cat way.

"How so?" Doug asked while cutting out a circular area inside the ramp and
Kad and Sidi began to turn the circle into the beginnings of dry concrete
so Doug could turn the result into a polished disc; the new elevator floor.

"Well, they send trash and incriminating evidence to nothingness and
they've always caused their travel bowls to appear anytime it was time to
eat or drink. They just bring the bowls from where they left them to where
they are or send them to where they know they're going to be because
they've been there before. I guess they never realized that they could move
themselves or anyone else as easily if they tried."

Doug sort of agreed by giving Buck a classic lecherous look, complete with
arched eyebrow as he suggested; "Speaking of traveling, why don't I send
you out into the gathering place garden to pick us a big bunch of fresh
paste berries while we finish up here? We've always used the berries in
paste form but I've been wondering how well they would work if we crushed
them fresh from the vines on each other. It would be messy but fun," he
concluded.

Cad and Sidi looked at each other and conversed for a moment in mind-speak
before their two `little' heads rose to the occasion. "We have a better
idea," they said in unison.

Sidi suddenly grabbed and held Kad in a choke hold so he could speak their
idea without competition. He said, "We always wondered what would happen if
fresh berries were added to a hot bathing pool. We know that there is some
paste in the water already, but what would happen if we turned a bathing
pool into a nice dark blue paste stew?"

Kad broke free and began a rough and tumble that Doug and Buck had seen
before. The little warriors were fighting for dominance; whichever was the
victor got to decide positions during the fast approaching sex
session. Fortunately their bodies were almost indestructible so neither was
injured before Doug broke up the fight by reminding them that they were
going to be a foursome not two couples and by fighting they were cutting
into the limited time they had for experimenting before they were called to
evening food, or the tour discovered them in action.

That reminder worked as the warriors redoubled their efforts while Doug and
Buck went to the paste berry patch. Since speed was of the essence, Doug
didn't bother looking for empty Ancient stonewood storage boxes. Instead he
sent Buck golden Great Cat bowls he borrowed from the City kitchen.

######

The next question was; which resting place to use. They needed one that was
out of the way so they were unlikely to be immediately discovered by the
tour. Doug remembered that Peter mentioned that he'd built a secret resting
place just after he became a Tara so he contacted Peter who was still on
the hunt; rather, he, Edvard and Tracy were watching the hunt from a safe
distance. At that moment, the Cats were stalking a smallish herd of swine
who were making so much noise tearing up the forest floor, no stalk was
even necessary, but that wouldn't be any fun for the Cats or their riders;
Hughie with his little rifle that was loaded with drug coated bullets and
Squeak with his finger.

Freckles took Hughie's little .22 semi-auto rifle for `inspection' along
the trek and when he returned it, he mind-spoke, "Your weapon was broken
brave warrior, but I fixed it so it will now fire properly," he said to the
frowning boy, who knew his rifle was not broken, it was clean and oiled as
well as loaded with a full clip and one round in the chamber and the safety
was presently on. Freckles erased Hughie's frown by adding, "It was
semi-automatic but now it is automatic if you will it to be so. Please do
not tell your honored parent about this repair," he cautioned with a wink.

The hunters had already divided the targets. The agreed to plan was that
Hughie, as a vulnerable human white warrior would take out a 200 pound
shoat who had worked its way into a thicket, too far away from the rest of
the herd's protection. Freckles and Spot each selected something of similar
size and age, possibly litter mates, while Squeak would bring down the rest
of that same half-grown litter as well as an unknown number of 30 to 40
pound squealers, the perfect size suckling pigs for roasting, although
they'd been weaned since the single adult sow had a new litter that was
actively attempting to get at her dugs to feed without getting crushed,
buried in mud or stepped on as she rooted for worms. The boar and the sow
at 500 to 600 pounds each and the sow's newest litter would be allowed to
escape to further propagate the species in order to eventually feed the
Great Cat clan in the future.

The boys dismounted so Hughie could shoot from a stable platform and the
Cats could attack their chosen prey without hindrance. Squeak was ready to
surreptitiously drop Hughie's target if the .22 cal. bullet coated with
blowgun drug, didn't do the trick but he didn't need to help. Freckles
helped by surrounding Hughie's body with his tail just like he did for
Little Pettie with the tail tip also fondling Hughie's not so little
coupler. Hughie hadn't had time to test fire his newly made fully automatic
rifle, and in the split second it took him to release the trigger, he'd
fired a three shot burst, at least one of which went in the pig's ear just
where he'd aimed.

The small sound alerted the herd. That's when Freckles and Spot broke from
cover to pounce on their targets, sink their teeth into the neck region and
turn their heads to break their necks and perhaps sever the spines. The
idea was to kill but not to use teeth and claws more than necessary so the
carcass didn't look mutilated as it would if they were feeding at the kill
site. Both Cats were successful in that their pigs stopped moving and
squealing their terror.

Then it was Squeak's turn to use his finger as a weapon as the rest of the
chosen targets began to collapse where they stood. The sow and her youngest
litter disappeared into the surrounding brush surprisingly fast and while
the boar followed, all as anticipated, apparently the boar changed his
mind. It turned and charged while the little hunting party was
congratulating each other on their success before field dressing their
kills prior to Squeak willing the meat to be cooked so it all would be
ready to serve as soon as it arrived in the Cat City kitchen.

The Cats heard the boar coming first, Squeak next. As Freckles and Spot
turned to meet the threat, both told Squeak not to stop the fight by
stopping the boar, "It is time we became true Great Cat hunters," Spot
pronounced in both mind-speak and out loud.

"We will not allow either of you to be injured," Peter promised the Cats as
he readied his little Tara tool to assist Squeak if that became necessary.

If Freckles and Spot had a plan, it wasn't apparent. Spot ran 20 feet to
the left while Freckles ran the same distance right. Then both sat down in
Great Cat classic poses and somehow managed to look frightened, in part by
neither smiling nor frowning, thereby covering the maximum number
glittering teeth. The Cat's actual plan was to present their bodies as bait
to the right and left of the boys; yet more bait. Whichever the boar chose
to attack, he had to present a vulnerable broadside to one or both of the
Cats. It also had to concentrate on its chosen quarry.

The boar veered to the left; Spot was its target. Freckles was already in
motion while Spot stayed motionless until the last possible moment when he
jumped straight up in the air from a sitting position. When the boar was
under him, he dropped down on its back with his claws fully extended on all
four paws. He very briefly looked like he was running in place as he raked
the boar's back and flanks unmercifully to get its attention from surprise
and sudden pain exactly when Freckles hit it in the side to throw it off
balance and hopefully expose its neck to claws and/or teeth, all while
avoiding its very dangerous tusks.

Spot spun around to face the boar's ass end as soon as he ran out of pig to
claw and landed on the ground. He also took a quick swipe away at the
boar's extremely vulnerable protruding ball sack. After it was emasculated,
it turned to confront his tormentor, fully exposing his neck to Freckles'
teeth. It fell to one side with Freckles tearing at its wind pipe and
jugular exposing its belly which allowed Spot a messy disembowelment. Thus
ended the battle between twin teenage Great Cats and one 600 pound boar.

During the brief time the battle raged, Squeak and Peter were acting as
commentators and videographers by documenting and sending the live action
far and wide to all mind-speakers. Tracy turned to his effeminate side and
screamed. While congratulations were immediately returned, the little
hunting party was also almost trampled when Fang, Leader and the Council of
12 Great Cats suddenly appeared by winking into the midst of the
battlefield.

Apparently there was a Great Cat ritual where young Cats were granted
adulthood after demonstrated hunting prowess. Normally the successful
hunter was much older by many years, nearly as heavy as the kill and the
ratio of hunter and hunted was 1:1, but this kill was the exception because
the twins were thought to be too young, even as a team, to kill a full
grown boar. The reward, in addition to being treated as adult Great Cats
(no more being cuffed around with or without justification, by an
exasperated, short tempered father) was to be immediately groomed by any
other adult Great Cats in the area.

Spot and Freckles really needed that grooming. They were covered with blood
and gore from whiskers to tail tip. Additionally, since Spot nutted the
kill, he also smelled like a boar, a distinct odor strong enough to attract
a sow in heat. Of course the Great Cats were highly amused when they
pictured poor young Spot being raped by a sow. While the Cats only managed
smiles, the boys broke out in laughter much to Spot's consternation when
Squeak asked for pick of litter if any such rape occurred and the union
proved to be successful.

"How do you know about my resting place?" Peter suddenly asked the sky out
loud in response to Doug's mind-speak request for its location so he, Buck
and the Cat warriors could use it and avoid being caught or disturbed by
the pending tour of the City.

Doug explained the planned impromptu experiment; almost cooking paste
berries in the pool and then soaking in the brew to see how it would
positively affect their coupling. Of course since Peter spoke, the boys,
Tracy and Edvard wanted to know about the resting place and after he
explained the chamber's creation, Squeak and Hughie wanted to be included
and Edvard looked pained because he didn't know about the chamber sooner,
not to mention being NOT `deeply' involved with Peter in its christening.

"Count all of us brave hunters and Tracy in if you want to use it," Peter
sent back to Doug and then set to work to placate Edvard's hurt feelings
before he winked he and Edvard out to reappear next to Doug and Buck in the
City where they were still picking paste berries, so there was no chance
that anyone would use the new chamber without him and Edvard
participating. When Squeak saw that Peter had left him, Hughie and Tracy
alone, he resorted to `hands free' dressing, then cooking during transport
and took Hughie's hand to follow. Tracy begged Spot to relocate him as well
when he found that he was alone with way too many employers. A secret room
was the perfect place for the mini-warriors to both get together AND avoid
Hughie's father, Big Pettie.

None of the four boys considered that the Greats Cats, all adults, now that
Spot and Freckles had been elevated despite their age and size; (apparently
it was success on the hunt that mattered), had heard every word and a human
and Cat warrior orgy sounded most interesting. Plus Leader advised his new
Cat clan friends that he'd promised to assist Hughie and Tara Squeak, the
new Great One ruler of Sphinx City, as well as Tara Doug and his partner
Buck whenever they wished. Additionally, Leader still wanted a tour of Cat
City, particularly the lowest level, if he'd snitched the directions to the
new resting place from Tara Peter's mind correctly since he alone of all
the Cat's, didn't have a permanent resting place in Cat City to call his
own.

The number of eager berry pickers grew with the arrival of the hunting
party, including Spot, Freckles and Leader, but not the other Great
Cats. They decided to watch the experiment from afar so as not to crowd
Tara Peter's resting place. Soon after Kad and Sidi appeared, they noticed
that the Great Cats were being their usual imperious selves; the Cats were
just sitting and watching, not helping, so they decided to get them
involved.

The little warriors intentionally and very casually turned their backs to
the Cats before they willed three of the plumpest paste berries they could
find to fly toward the Cats at just enough velocity so they splatted wetly
right between three sets of Cat eyes. Cat eyes crossed in an attempt to
look before their tails rose to inspect for damage.

Leader's tail continued to rise to scan the room for the guilty party. He
had never been assaulted by a Cat warrior or dreamed of an attack by mere
humans. Freckles and Spot on the other hand were familiar with pranks and
were fond of pranking any of the boys on a whim. They looked to the boys
before they looked anywhere else. Then they saw that Kad and Sidi were
facing away AND their shoulders were shaking violently because they were
unable to contain their laughter.

The guilty rascals knew they'd been caught when they felt an unrelenting
barrage of berries splatting on their asses, backs and heads. They started
running erratically toward the others so some of the flying berries missed
the warriors and began to hit the innocent berry pickers – and the first
epoch paintball battle, substituting ripe paste berries for paint
encapsulated balls began. No paintball guns required.

The boys were at a distinct disadvantage at first until they began to flank
the Cats, surround them and send in a greater hail of berries than the Cats
could deflect or simply return to the sender while shooting fresh ammo back
anywhere in a 360 degree radius. It became obvious to the boys that the
Cats could use their eyes or their tails to return fire, but not both ends
at the same time. The Cats started to show more and more spots of blue on
their pelts as the boys began to simply turn blue all over.

Then something strange happened to Leader; he decided that he was having
fun, perhaps for the first time in his near immortal life. He'd never
dreamed of assaulting his masters, his small group of Ancient Taras was the
supreme leaders while he and the Ancient Great Cats were powerful servants
and historians. The Ancient Cat People were friends but beneath them in the
City hierarchy. The resident human population on the other hand, wasn't
worth considering beyond paying homage and tribute to the residents of a
fabled City that had been created far beneath their feet.

Now in the current age, the few reincarnated Taras were very young and
hadn't the least idea of just how powerful they could be with
training. Currently, human Taras emerged along with those of the Cat
People. Incredibly, humans had progressed to create mechanical ways of
moving, built huge cities for shelter, efficient ways to produce food to
feed their populations and ways to communicate without the use of
telepathy. Then remarkably, Freckles, a very young creative Great Cat,
attached a thing called a cellphone; a human communicator to a pretty
emerald Great Cat amulet, then used his growing powers to make the
invention provide Great Cats the ability to actually speak out loud and
convert those thoughts to any language as well as give any wearer the
ability to communicate to receptive humans and Cat People, telepathically,
using the same universal language!

Leader was returned to the moment when he felt a fast moving berry ping his
ear. He turned to see the perpetrator was hiding in some greenery with his
little human friend. They had a bowl of berries between them and were
preparing a barrage aimed at his head since the test shot got through.

"Raise a barrier," Leader ordered Freckles and Spot, "This is amusing, but
these Great Cats are losing the fight to humans and that is not amusing,"
he added.

"What kind of barrier Great Cat Leader? Should it be stone or metal, and
where do you wish it to be located? It appears that we are surrounded,"
Spot questioned while he also dared to point out the obvious problem. While
Spot talked, he and Freckles had resorted to stripping berry ammo from
bushes closest to any one of the aggressors to get in the most hits before
the boy could get away to seek better cover. A boy thus attacked, couldn't
return fire while he was moving and so far none of the boys thought about
picking and firing berries remotely, closer to the Cats; they were still
carrying bowls of ammo with them.

"This kind of barrier," Leader informed. Spot and Freckles immediately saw
that incoming berries were splatting harmlessly on a shield they couldn't
see until blue juice began running down, marked its location at least four
feet away, extending into the berry bushes but completely surrounding
them. With this demonstration, the young Great Cats now understood how to
raise such a barrier, but had yet to learn how it functioned.

Leader rolled his eyes down to his protégés. He said, "This Cat can
see your schooling is lacking. It is unnecessary for you to sit and watch,
you can move berries through this side of the barrier but they cannot be
returned." He demonstrated by plucking a bush clean then sending them
through the barrier in a variety of trajectories to mostly splat on boys
unless the boy was fast and intuitive.

Peter ducked in time to be missed while the small missiles went on to hit
Edvard and Tracy who had been using Peter as a shield. "Son-of-a-bitch,"
Peter complained to his compatriots, "that screen works like some kind of
osmotic filter; stuff comes out but none gets in. That must be Leader's
trick. I never saw Freckles or Spot do that. See if you can touch his
mind," he sent on a tight beam to Squeak.

Squeak raised his head to look at Leader. Leader reacted by acting as if
he'd been shot by a bullet when he felt Squeak's mind touch, too late to
block if he ever could block a request from a Tara who was seeking
information stored in his mind.

"I GOT IT!" Squeak shouted as he demonstrated by standing up and pulling
Hughie along with him. Squeak's Cat friend just couldn't refuse the
dare. Spot sent out a hailstorm of berries, all aimed at Squeak. Squeak was
ready; if he could create a barrier, he also could defeat one.

The incoming swarm of blue stopped suddenly to bump harmlessly against
Squeak's new barrier then reverse course just as suddenly to return to
their source. In this case, through Leader's barrier, straight to reattach
themselves to their original plant `parent' as if they'd never been picked.

The impromptu battle evolved into a stalemate as flying berries slowed then
stopped. Invisible screens disappeared as the boys who were more painted in
blue berry pulp than not, came from current hides, admired each other and
then looked at the Cats. Leader looked at himself first as one might expect
of an autocrat Cat, before he looked down on the twins. The boys grinned at
the blue spotted pelts until suddenly they weren't; they were clean with
lustrous spotted Great Cat pelts, or giant jaguars, with no sign that
they'd ever been in a berry ball battle.

Peter, the former Executive Assistant to Great Cats frowned at the
perfectly clean Cats. He and Tracy realized that their constant assistance
was never really required; the Great Cats could have cleaned themselves all
along. Before they could cry foul, the paste berry residue, juice and the
whole berries remaining in the golden Cat bowls, disappeared from
everywhere in the gathering place as if the fight never happened except the
boys on the losing side; they remained blue, wet, slippery and sticky
intentionally.

Before the boys could complain to the Cats about the lack of service, the
damn Great Cats winked out just before the boys followed through no effort
of their own. The timing proved fortunate because while the war parties
disappeared to somewhere else, the tour of guests entered the gathering
place hall.

#####

"What's been going on here Chief Tonga?" Bucky asked. He was wondering why
so many empty Cat bowls, normally food and drink vessels (He was painfully
familiar with Cat bowls, having paid for the food and beverages that filled
them regularly at his home.), were scattered around paste berry bushes
haphazardly.

"I suspect our young ones had need of berries, and when enough were
harvested, they took the harvest to somewhere else and left the
containers," Tonga surmised almost accurately. He was still amazed by what
he could do with his repaired chief's amulet as he willed the return of the
bowls to the City kitchen.

Meanwhile, Ali and his small swarm of sons with Rog, their `manny', had
discovered the first of the golden benches their creator fashioned from
life-like cocks in assorted sizes, lengths and contortions to make very
comfortable seating. It was obvious that the little princes recognized the
penises for what they were even while sized and contorted enough to create
a bench with arm rests, legs and contoured backs. They laughed at each
other and at Rog as they pointed at the longest and fattest of the
representations and then at themselves as the perfect size each knew they
were certainly destined to grow between their legs, and lucky Rog already
almost was. Of course Ali had to ask if he could purchase a half dozen to
place in his personal garden. He was referred to the Cats to ask the next
time he saw one.

Serendipitously, the Council of 12 appeared around them at the mention of
`Cats' along with most of the younger sons of the Cat People. It should be
noted that all the Great Cats loved the new found ability to `move'
anywhere they'd been before just by willing it to be so. Ancient Leader was
a valuable addition to the Great Cat Clan with his store of Ancient
knowledge.

All of the men except Ali, Bill Penn and his partner, Ethan, discovered
that they were invited to go swimming without warning when they found their
bodies in the pool and swimming for their lives along with the Cat boys,
Ali's sons and apparently 11 of the Council when they splashed down among
the swimmers without advance notice. That swim party was more exciting than
any theme park ride in the world. Thus ended the tour as the little princes
found that they were alone with Rog and a swarm of Cat boys who were near
their ages and who were just as inquisitive about other boy's bodies. Of
course both groups had always enjoyed the advantage of familiarity with the
bodies of older boys such as Rog.

Rog literally and figuratively `fit' right into life within the Emir's wing
of the Bachal palace as well as Ali, himself so he quickly became Ali's
favorite boy toy or more appropriately, Ali's best friend since the two
were close to the same age, they were both slight of stature and both spoke
English as a common language. Different religions played no part of the
relationship. The only major physical difference Rog enjoyed was that he
was far better hung than Ali or any of Ali's other boys.

Uniquely, while Rog had been a sex slave to his previous masters, he
entered Ali's employ with a well-used experienced mouth and ass; but he was
still packing an unused virgin cock. Ali took pains to eliminate that
problem during the first interview. With the introduction of Stuff for
regular use, Rog became a tireless favorite among Ali's other boys and his
sons; the little princes. That late afternoon, the princes were proud to
introduce their always cooperative, agreeable, manny, Rog, to the horny
band of Cat boys to impress them with what Rog could do with his monster
tool anytime they wished when he wasn't with their father.

Rog was immensely popular with all the other boys who were part of Ali's
collection as well, and no one objected or hesitated when the princes
requested special shows with any of the other boys to further their sex
educations. At first the princes just watched the shows until they realized
that they could do some things with the teenagers and young men
themselves. Then classes became interactive and much more fun as well as
rewarding for the most adventurist individuals at first, before they
reported that the result was tasty or at least it would not make them sick.

The first time Ali walked in on a class, he appointed Rog, as the prince's
manny until further notice. He'd learned all about sex from boys at first,
before he moved on to girls, and then he decided to enjoy both sexes; the
absolute best of both worlds, just not at the same time.

#####

The Cat boys and the little princes with Rog in tow had just agreed by
pointing, suggestive looks and signing, to leave the adults in the pool and
find a quiet, private place of their own, when elder brother Medi and his
partner Sean appeared with the prince's uncle Hussain and boyfriend
Harman. That group was planning to swim until Medi noted his little
brother's excitement, red faces and with Rog `in tow', along with the
smiling little Cat boys who couldn't stop looking at Rog's coupler and who
couldn't care less about displaying their own excited couplers.

The Cat boys led the expanded party to a storeroom where Harman took one
look at what was stored there and mentally summoned his brother Spencer and
Tommy to the impromptu paste party. The cavernous room wasn't particularly
well lit beyond the typical soft blue glow. The walls and ceiling were
undecorated and how the floors were finished was unknown because of piles
and drifts of sand that resembled beachside dunes without an ocean. There
were plenty of places for the group to hide among the sand dunes that were
taller than the tallest humans. The only difference was the sand was gold
dust, not sand. The visual affect was spectacular.

Of course the very first thing the Cat boys did was to anoint their new
friends, the princes, their own bodies and their older friends, the few
white warriors, with paste before they started a rough and tumble to get
everyone intimately familiar with each other's bodies. That was when
everyone discovered that slippery paste was also sticky. Everyone saw that
everyone else had turned into living gold covered statues. That was a very
big problem that just about everyone recognized; sand and sex do not mix,
and very likely, gold dust wouldn't either.

In an attempt to solve the problem, Spence and Tommy combined their mental
resources to call for the nearest Great Cat to lend some assistance. That
would be after the Great Cat got done laughing at them, assuming they could
contact one.

An answer(s) was/were promptly returned like an echo, "Tara Peter, Cat
friend!"

"Tara Peter!" slammed into the boy's minds at least five times accompanied
by other short bursts of mind-speak, "This Cat friend is here!" "This Cat
friend wants to play!"

Medi recalled that Peter lamented that he had five little Cat friends; 50
to 60 pound kittens, that he adopted as equal friends to keep them from
fighting each other to the death over which individual Great Cat kitten,
the victor, would be his Cat friend. Apparently the two sets of twins and a
single male had just arrived in Cat City with their mothers and of course
the posse was searching for Peter, their Cat friend.

The five Great Cat kittens flew over the nearest dune like five furred
remote controlled four wheel drive, toy trucks on paws. They launched their
bodies at the tallest dust covered two leg bodies assuming that one was
Tara Peter hiding from them in plain sight, a new exciting game of hide and
go seek. First however Tara Peter had to be rid of the abrasive gold sand
before they could mate his body properly with the other tall two legs they
assumed to be Edvard, Tara Peter's mate. All of the kittens were eager to
show Tara Peter how much knowledge they'd gained in helping him couple with
his mate without duplicating efforts or fighting among themselves over
which would perform a given task.

The kittens had learned how to send an unwanted thing to nothingness but
not how to move or relocate a thing to somewhere else. In this case not how
to direct the gold back to the floor, but the loss of a pound or two of
gold was unimportant. They also cleaned the boys they thought were young
male Cat People; future warriors who all liked to play with each other's
couplers and Great Cats already.

The big kittens were only briefly disappointed to see strange, young, white
warriors emerge from coatings of gold dust as well as other strange boys
and of course Cat boys in assorted ages, but all were displaying rampant
couplers so it was obvious that they wanted to play and to play properly,
they required Great Cat assistance.

The little Great Cats agreed that they would find Tara Peter later. They
could sense his presence somewhere in the City and they knew they would
definitely find him at evening food, so...

The kittens also had already learned how to take a tall two legs down on
their backs or fronts by leaping high to hit them on their backs or
chests. Once they had a warrior down, two or three could use their tails to
maneuver the body around into a desired position while they used their
tongues to stifle verbal complaints until there were no complaints, only
pleasurable moans. The tactic worked on Tara Peter and it worked just as
well in mating Harman and Spencer, first before they moved on to Rog and
Medi, then mixed up the other princes and Sean with the Cat boys in groups.

When Spencer found himself flat on his back looking up at a kitten that was
stretched out on his chest with his gigantic paws on his shoulders to hold
him there, he began to say, "Okay, you got..." That was as far as he got in
saying he gave up. The kitten was waiting for him to open his mouth so he
could gag Spencer by ramming his tongue into his mouth. The gag quickly
turned into an interspecies deep throat kiss when Spencer tasted the
delightful flavor of paste.

#####

Ali, Bill and Ethan stood abandoned, wondering why they'd been excluded
from swimming until Angus, Doc Meriwether and a merry band of 18 very young
Cat warriors accompanied by Great Cat Fang himself, winked in to surround
them. A blink later, the three new guests, Angus and Doc found themselves
neck deep in the paste enriched pool in Fang's resting place, with Fang
sitting on the edge, using his tail to bomb the white warrior visitors,
Angus and Doc with eager, clearly excited, laughing young Cat warriors. It
was obvious that Angus and Doc had played this game with Fang and the
warriors before. Doc explained that the goal by him and the others in the
pool was to capture one or more of the slippery wigglers for the purpose of
enjoying their bodies anyway that the men wanted.

Bill protested, "Molesting one of these kids would be like molesting my
kid!"

"Yes," Doc answered, "but if you can't catch one, then they, that would be
more than one will gang up on you and molest you as they would a fellow Cat
warrior. I assure you that this game is a win, win either way and you can
return to the pool as many times as you please, that is, if you can manage
to leave the bed," he qualified.

"Well, I don't know about you, but I'm not about to take advantage of one
of these little guys," Ethan stated resolutely. It was just about then that
one of the `little guys' slid through Ethan's hands, down his body under
water to clamp his mouth on Ethan's most private part that Bill had
previously enjoyed exclusively, before the kid skittered away out of reach
only to have another warrior dropped for a second taste.

The Emir of Bachal, Ali, had no such reservations. He'd been suffering blue
balls and sensory overload since he arrived among the Cat People. The males
were all so perfect physically, the only way to really judge the maturity
of an individual was by their height and the actual age of an adult warrior
was anyone's guess. He had to remind himself that the boys Fang was raining
on them, were full warriors that comprised the People's Navy; deadly
efficient marines and boat captains, who enjoyed all the rights and
privileges of adult warriors. The problem of the moment for him was to
catch one.

He looked to Angus and Doc for advice since they apparently were
experienced gamers and was surprised to see that they weren't trying; they
were allowing the boy warriors to capture them. It seemed that ever popular
Doc was the first conquest. Two of the smallest, he presumed them to be
young boat pilots, rocketed from the pool to land on their feet just above
Doc's head. Then two marines lifted Doc by his legs and threw him up and
out of the pool to fall neatly into the waiting boy's arms. The move was
reminiscent of a submarine launching a ballistic missile except the
launchers followed Doc's body. The four boys involved then placed Doc among
the bed cushions before they began a rough and tumble mostly on top of his
prone, slippery body to decide which of them was to couple with him first,
one on top, one on the bottom with the third boy the first in keeping Doc's
mouth occupied with passionate kisses or his coupler; Doc's choice. The
fourth boy knelt close by, ready to replace the first of the three winners
as soon as one finished or to pounce on a buddy if he decided he was taking
too long.

Since Doc had been a guest among the Cat People the longest, the little
warriors used him as a willing demonstrator. Ethan was the next `victim',
then Bill and finally it was Ali's turn. Unlike the others, Ali wasn't
about to lie around, he joined the rough and tumble. He was only slightly
taller than an adult warrior. He was in his early 20s and was in superb
physical condition; he had to be, given that he had not one, but two harems
to keep him happy and them satisfied. While he serviced the women and his
wives exclusively, he allowed his collection of boys to enjoy each other as
they pleased when he was otherwise occupied.

When the smaller of the two conjoined circular beds (resting places) filled
to capacity, bodies spilled into the Great Cat bed, and the pool was empty
of contestants. Angus played ringmaster with one or more of the unoccupied
boys helping him out until Fang joined them all on his resting place.

As the orgy progressed, Fang used his tail to boom boys around to different
positions and occasionally to `dry-dock' one to between his front legs to
use his tongue to apply more paste whenever he saw a vital worn area. That
was how Ali found himself on his back, between furry legs, looking up at
Fang while a raspy tongue renewed his coupler with paste and a tail tip
burrowed between his legs to further anoint his tight interior space that
wasn't really necessary since he'd just coupled with all four of his little
warriors. He wasn't aware of the great honor he paid the boys by allowing
them to couple with a white (really light brown) warrior guest with any of
them in the superior position.

#####

By the time the band of hunters and Doug's engineers, paste berry ball
losers all, splashed down into the pool in Tara Peter's secret resting
place, that was no longer a secret, they discovered that all the paste
berry fight debris had preceded them. The pool looked like it was filled
with ink but of course the ink tasted like paste. Everyone was already hard
as nails from losing the battle so no one thought a swallow or two would
hurt or help them. Their only interest was in each other; they planned to
couple with existing partners first.

The pool surface suddenly shimmered and then became over full from Leader's
entrance into the water. Unlike Spot and Freckles, who appeared at the side
of the pool before jumping; Leader entered from the bottom somehow, to make
his presence known by simply standing up, displacing boys as well as paste
water.

Leader's tail was already at work as he surfaced. He had Squeak and Hughie
sitting on his back, with Doug and Buck held aloft by his tail and dripping
a path to the Great Cat side of the bed. His side of the bed, he informed
Tara Peter, his resting place whenever he was visiting Cat City.

Peter shrugged. He really didn't care. He'd created the room but left it
unfinished, empty of furnishings, no bed, nor bathing pool or toilet
facility. The only area he completed was the basic space with its gold
veined, polished quartz walls and ceiling. He assumed correctly that the
Great Cats had been at work during his absence. He also assumed that Doug
and Buck, Leader, and/or Squeak and Hughie were laughing together because
they were being tickled, but they were pointing at each other and
Leader. When they entered the bath, they looked like escapees from the Blue
Man Group, while Leader had cleaned himself so he was normally spotted. The
Cat and the boys were also dry without Leader shaking off like Freckles and
Spot were fond of doing.

Now fresh from the pool, they were all back to their normal skin color
without a trace of blue. "How did you get rid of the blue stain and dry
off?" Peter asked Leader.

Leader didn't answer verbally; he just looked up to shut off the
lighting. Leader's body disappeared completely while Buck, Doug, Squeak and
Hughie appeared to be unblinking, hovering fireflies with clearly defined
boy bodies. The pool water also disappeared so the guys in the water looked
to be moving or swimming in a bowl of air. Freckles and Spot also appeared
to have disappeared but they made their presence and location known by
fishing the boys out by couples and transferring them to the bed to join
Leader's captures, Squeak and Hughie, and Doug and Buck; the boys he'd
promised to `assist'.

"We should have picked some energy fruit," Peter lamented as Spot floated
his body over Edvard's.

"Ouch, something is hitting us," nearly breathless Hughie said. Leader had
seated his coupler in Squeak at Squeak's request as the old Cat was
helpfully relaying all of Little Pettie's erotic feelings as Pettie renewed
his acquaintance with several Cat boy not-yet-warrior friends somewhere
else in the City.

"You must take the time to eat one fruit each," Leader instructed to
explain what was bouncing off the boys.

Just as the various orgies reached the two hour mark, the Cats stopped
whatever anyone was doing by willing it to be so, and with the freeze, came
the overwhelming thought of evening food along with delicious cooking
odors. The Cats willed everyone to be sparkling clean before they all
disappeared, then winking them into the dining hall, where as it turned
out, all of the Council of 12, Freckles and Spot were already lounging in
special Cat places while Peter's five Cat friends were slinking around the
room ready to beg food tidbits from anyone's bowl or plate as soon as it
was served.

All of the Cat People, the white warriors and their guests were present and
seated, while Lucy House Cat unsuccessfully attempted to supervise her
brood of five very clever kittens as they wandered the main table top
chasing brightly variegated, small round grape-like fruit that some of the
boys were controlling among the myriad of gold dinnerware.

Squeak had Douggie House Cat's undivided attention with one of the
fruits. Squeak kept it moving just out of Douggie's reach, ever closer to
Hughie's first dinner course; a bowl of soup, ingredients unknown. "Don't
you dare do that," Hughie complained to Squeak when the fruit was hovering
alluringly just over the center of Hughie's soup. Douggie House Cat was
already crouched down, in range, ready to spring, when the fruit
disappeared.

Douggie looked all around him but the elusive fruit had definitely gone
missing. There was only one place it could be he decided, before he slinked
forward toward the bowl, the one place it could be hiding; in the
soup. After the first tentative lap, the elusive fruit was forgotten in
favor of the delicious soup. Apparently Douggie House Cat informed his
sisters that dinner was served if they went to a bowl sitting in front of a
two leg friend. Even Lucy House Cat got the idea and went to share Doc's
soup with him even though he called her a greedy slut when she was more
adept at catching and eating all the meat before he could find the pieces
with his spoon.

This dinner was the first in Cat City when the whole Council of 12 was
present along with other Great Cats who had been in the vicinity along with
a growing number of Taras and all the Cat People. It was like old times to
Ancient Great Cat Leader, who was pleased to cohost the feast with Fang. He
began to tell of how things were done traditionally in Ancient times while
he ate.

The Cat People and the Great Cats supplied the food stuffs. The Cat women,
perhaps some of the Cats and/or maybe a Tara or two for their amusement,
would do the preparation and cooking. Then when everything was ready,
everyone gathered in the great dining hall and the meal was served by the
Cats who willed it to be so, all without so much as twitching a whisker.

Chief Tonga's mate, Marta, was concerned about the second course. The
ingredients and preparation had been completed by Leader Great Cat
personally without stepping a paw into the kitchen. She noted every single
leaf, berry and seed that went into the largest pot, all taken from the
gathering place garden, from plants that the present Cats and Cat People
only admired but couldn't use because knowledge of their unique properties
had been lost eons ago. But it was the main ingredient that worried her
until her son Tara Bani visited the kitchen.

Bani looked in the simmering pot, sniffed with pleasure and called the dish
`pasta'.

Of course Bani would know about new and strange dishes he'd eaten as Chief
Bucky and the white warrior's guest while up in the land of snow and ice,
where he attended school. Still she had misgivings; the main ingredient was
found everywhere in the Cat lands but until Leader went on a hunt, and sent
back enough to fill a pot, none of the Cat People dreamed of these as being
edible Cat People food.

Everyone tucked into the new pasta food course after the Cats willed the
filled bowls to appear and almost everyone found the new food delicious,
except one white warrior with a more delicate stomach who still loudly
objected to being served, eating and enjoying snake sushi and barbecued
nutria, a fine food animal he insisted on calling a giant rat. That is,
eating and enjoying before the meat was identified.

White warrior Marc, a renowned, highly regarded marksman, suddenly bolted
from his seat and the dining hall screaming about eating any kind of pasta
that had eyes, dead or alive!

The remaining diners all looked to Leader for an explanation. Although the
Cat People without exception continued to eat the pasta with great
relish. On the other hand, the white warriors and guests continued to eat,
but more cautiously and considerably slower as some attempted to cut off
the end of the whitish worms with recognizable eyes, assumed to be the
head.

Leader explained while he ate. When the Ancients arrived they brought the
Cats and the People but they also brought swine for the always hungry Great
Cats to eat, and they also had to bring food for the swine herds to
eat. Leader didn't call the food, worms; he called the worms, swine
food. He added as an afterthought; "But the name pasta is good," he said as
he swallowed the last of his pasta with eyes.

Of course the evening entrée was pork all the pork anyone could eat,
prepared in every imaginable way, including raw for a few Great Cats
visiting from the hinterlands that weren't into cooked food. There was even
some leftover for midnight snacks; a very rare occurrence among the People
and the Great Cats. The swine herds, wild and domestic would never know
they could rest easy that unique evening.

While the Cats and Cat People could drink alcoholic beverages without
feeling any adverse effects, the same couldn't be said for the first time
guests to Cat City. Somehow drink bowls and goblets of the People's fruit
punch were continually topped off during the feast. The punch tasted so
good, the unsuspecting guests, including the men and Ali with his princely
sons were well on their way to being snockered before the pasta
course. While the older boys didn't tell their fathers about the drink
intentionally, there was some whispering back and forth between Squeak,
Hughie and the princes. Naturally the princes drank more at first before
they were caught imbibing the forbidden drink, but by the time Ali noticed,
he no longer cared. He considered the event to be another learning
experience, similar to Rog teaching them about sex.

As the party wound down in the early morning hours and it was time for the
surprise visitors to return to Egypt, Fang and Chief Tonga offered everyone
a memento of their choice for becoming friends with the Cat People and
Great Cats. The white warrior boys who had been to the Cat lands previously
hurriedly advised their fathers not to insult their hosts by refusing such
a gift but no one could think of anything that was meaningful while not
appearing to be greedy.

During dinner, Doug told his father and Bucky about the side effect of
dipping in the paste infused pool; their whole bodies glowing in the dark
just like chemical glow sticks, fireflies or ghostly apparitions not just
guys who had used concentrated Stuff or paste and had cocks that glowed in
the dark. Leader told the boys thus affected that they would continue to
glow in the dark until a Cat willed otherwise.

Unbeknown to Ali or the other fathers, Squeak and Hughie had not only told
the princes about their glowing bodies, Squeak took them to a resting place
and darkened the chamber to show them how he and Hughie glowed so it almost
appeared that their internal organs and skeletons could be seen through
their skins and better yet, their immature erect couplers really looked
like glow sticks and better yet they also appeared to be far larger than
they actually were.

Of course Rog didn't need to look larger but he agreed with the princes
when they asked. He thought the affect had definite possibilities when
making it with boys nearer his own age who weren't glowing.

After that show and tell, nothing would do but Squeak and Hughie had to
take them and Rog to the pool so their bodies and couplers would glow just
as brightly.

When the merry band of little boys and Rog returned to the dining hall and
Squeak once again turned the lights off for the big reveal, all the boys
who had already been in the pool naturally lit up as well, so the men
decided unanimously; everyone would glow as a truly unique, lasting
memento.

######

After all the visitors became walking glow worms, it was really past time
for them to return to the compound in Egypt. The guys with the good sense
to strip off their clothes went to the gathering place to retrieve
them. The party would vanish from there when everyone was ready. Freckles
hung back from the group to watch everyone dress until Little Pettie pulled
on his shorts and then began to feel up and explore each of his pants
pockets.

"I believe I up an' lost my damn phone," Pettie said while staring directly
at Freckles, who just happened to be innocently staring up at the ceiling
at that moment.

"I didn't know it was yours," Freckles sort of admitted guilt. He needed a
cellphone to make Leader a Great Cat communicator.

Pettie winked at Leader. "Well, at least it was for a good cause." The
incident would have been forgotten until Leader attempted to wink back only
to discover that he couldn't. A simple wink was something Leader couldn't
do. He tried fast only to have both eyes close and when he tried slowly; he
looked like he was falling asleep.

"These humans are very strange," Leader observed to Freckles.

Freckles took great delight in agreeing, "They certainly are. You should
see some of their machines."

"You're always the first one to ride in Big Foot," Peter reminded. "From
now on you can run alongside."

"You are a terrible driver, I must keep you safe," Freckles retorted with a
malicious grin.

Leader didn't hesitate to interrupt the argument, "Thank you. This Cat will
accompany you to the land of snow and ice." It appeared that he'd been
waiting for an invitation and it didn't matter that it came from another
guest, not someone, a human, such as Bucky, who would be his host.

Bucky sent a narrow beam mind-speak to his wife Victoria, "You better rush
order some larger pots and pans for the kitchen because an adult Great Cat
is coming for a visit."

"That is wonderful news," Victoria promptly answered, "now we can start
building that new guest wing I've been thinking about!" No one noticed that
Bucky suddenly looked ill.

It seemed that there was some sort of signal between the Great Cats,
because the entire party vanished from Cat City to reappear directly into
the tent inside the Egyptian compound to find golden Fang waiting for them
along with Ali's horrified servants and the Mean Motherfuckers who had
turned from black to a sickly shade of gray at seeing Leader, an adult
Great Cat for the first time.

It seemed that other Great Cats had learned the ability to `move' from one
place to another with a thought, when Tara Peter's five Cat friends winked
in to join the group in the tent, without being invited, or being denied,
having been careful about announcing their plans in advance. The kittens
had been begging Peter to give them names so although he was at a loss to
think of five that wouldn't cause a fight, he named them Number One through
Number Five and was careful not to name the most dominate, Cat Number One,
or name any one as superior to any of the others.

Of course the five Number's first most important mission was to be sure
that Peter would allow them to stay and not be ordered to return to Cat
City and their mothers. They immediately took Peter and Edvard down to the
floor, stripped them of their shorts and began making out with them
(politely disguised as grooming) while everyone else watched the show. The
kittens knew that Peter's resistance to making out with one of them was
faltering while Edvard came to look forward to having a paste laden Cat
tongue rammed down his throat as one or more other Cat tongues caused his
coupler to explode with pleasure multiple times no matter who or how many
others were watching.

"Can these Cats stay with Tara Peter?" Number Four asked using his new
communicator after he managed to get Peter's mouth open and his tongue at
full extension. Peter wrapped his arms around Number Four's shoulders to
hold him tight as he ejaculated forcefully.

"YES!" Peter declared in open mind-speak along with a strangled scream
accompanied by loud cheering and applause from the audience that included
Ali's servants and the Mean Motherfuckers who had completely forgotten that
they were nearly scared shitless minutes earlier.

After Peter regained his shorts and calmed down enough, he asked, "How did
you guys manage to follow us here from Cat City? You haven't been here
before."

"These Great Cat friends can stalk Tara Peter wherever he goes," Number
Three said out loud proudly while licking his lips and paws to groom his
whiskers properly using his paws to savor every tiny bit of Peter's
distinctive taste. His grooming was also his way of being sure that the
other Numbers knew that he alone had the honor of licking Peter's coupler
to completion.

Buck was casually scratching Leader's neck ruff as the Cat lay watching the
humans interact when Ali told his servants to begin packing for the trip
home to Bachal but all Leader heard was the word, `home'. Since Buck was
closest, Leader wrapped him with his tail so he knew exactly where `home'
was. A blink later, the scene shimmered before clearing to find everyone
and everything except the tent had been moved to the ballroom inside
Trenton Hall which fortunately was large enough to accommodate everyone as
well as other things Leader brought along as gifts for host Chief Bucky and
his mate, although Victoria was still in Bachal with the other women.

Buck started laughing at Leader's being overly helpful in moving everyone
to the wrong home since the mistake was apparently easily
correctable. "HOLY SHIT," Doug exclaimed while pointing to the other side
of the big room. "That looks like the contents of a Pharaoh's burial vault
and the neighboring chambers!"

Buck agreed with more laughing as he said, "Yup, and there's the man
himself." It was his turn to point across the room at a magnificent
sarcophagus that in turn was surrounded by mummified servants as well as a
king's ransom in treasure, all intended for the pharaoh's use after he
reached afterlife.

Leader corrected the assumption that the treasure was for the Pharaoh's
use. He said it was all provided as a bribe to the gods to speed the
Pharaoh's passing and since he was the only representative of the Ancient
gods left on Earth at the time, the treasure was his to do with as he
wished along with many other such tombs that had yet to be discovered.

Bucky thanked Leader profusely before he wondered out loud about what he
was supposed to do with the intact tomb that the Egyptians didn't know
still existed, much less plucked from their country and transplanted to the
middle of New Jersey in the land currently called by some `the land of snow
and ice' or more popularly known as the USA. Leader looked down at Buck who
was still at his side.

"This Cat...I mean, I will hide it for now," Leader said carefully using
Buck's voice. Apparently Buck had been drafted as a Great Cat's wordsmith
once again, a service he provided Freckles and the Cat warriors not too
long ago. With that being said, the gift disappeared to somewhere else
temporarily.

The next problem Ali was quick to point out was that of transportation. The
party arrived in Egypt by plane from Bachal and they really must depart in
the same manner to prevent questions being raised. Squeak told Leader, "You
Great Cat, me and Hughie, Doug and Buck will stay here. Everyone else
should go back to the tent in Egypt."

Leader bowed his head and said, "To hear is to obey, Great One." With that,
the four boys and the Great Cat Leader found themselves alone in the
Trenton Hall ballroom. There was no time for adult protests or any
negotiation.

While Doug and Buck stood with their mouths hanging open, Squeak took
Hughie's hand, and motioned for Great Cat Leader to follow. "Come on, I
will show you the eating place. If we are nice and polite, Hamilton will
give us food."

The two little boys began to run across the room, with Squeak leading the
way. When he got to where the Egyptian treasures once sat, he began the run
a zigzag course. Buck and Doug ran to catch up, but got no further than
where the sarcophagus had been sitting before they crashed and fell
backward.

Leader went on the offensive before the first accusation, "You said to hide
the treasure, you did not say where." He even managed an apologetic shrug
of his shoulders of sorts as he placed the teens back on their feet.

"You big dummies," Squeak said, "why couldn't you see all that junk?" Of
course he and Hughie had to hold each other up, they were laughing so
hard. They had to look up at the two dummies that were being carried in
Leader's tail so they would come to no further harm in the ballroom that
had become an invisible obstacle course.

By the time Buck, Doug and Leader arrived in the dining room, Squeak had
just negotiated food with Hamilton, the Trenton butler, for four people and
one Great Cat. That was just before the usually unflappable butler saw
Leader walk into the room and sit down. Leader was twice the two younger
Great Cats sitting height and there was no way he could fit in one of the
two chairs that Freckles and Spot sat on to eat at the dinner table. Nor
would there be room on the table for the additional platters and Cat bowls
when he and the two teenage Cats were present.

Hamilton was distraught to realize the antique table wasn't long
enough. The room would hold a longer table, he explained to Buck, but the
present table had no more sections that could be added; it was already
fully extended.

Buck winked at Doug before he said to Hamilton, "We'll figure something out
before the other Great Cats get back. For now, would you see what the chef
might have that he could get ready for us to eat quickly?"

After Hamilton disappeared into his pantry on his way to the kitchen, Buck
challenged Douglas the Builder's new found skills. "Our table needs another
section added so Leader can eat with us when everyone's home," he ticked
off the first item. "Then maybe try reproducing one of those Great Cat
lounge chairs they use in their dining hall. Then we better add a second
booster chair for Hughie that's just like Squeak's."

Doug sort of agreed, "I can do small stuff like this that no outsider is
likely to notice, but nothing like really building anything until I get
through college because I don't have the engineering. Plus it would be
impossible to explain how something big like a building appeared
overnight. Plus, in case you forgot, I'm kind of new at this," he added as
the chairs at Bucky's end of the table moved back out of the way with a
thought so he could crawl under the table to see how the sections were made
and almost seamlessly joined together with an ingenious locking
mechanism. Ingenious for 1730 when the table was made and still working
perfectly.

Squeak and Hughie had an ulterior motive when they joined Doug under the
table. When he reached up to release the first section table lock, they
pounced to release his shorts waist button and zipper while they tickled
him. He was able to fight them off only after he promised them a rough and
tumble later. He warned both little boys, "But no more of that funny stuff
between you little guys and us. I think we got carried away back in Cat
City. You guys just play with each other tonight."

"To hear is to obey, Douglas the Builder," Squeak promised facetiously with
his fingers crossed behind his back and a wink in Leader's direction. That
was a trick to negate a promise that Hughie taught Squeak. Crossed fingers
also made a lie into a fib. Actually all four boys looked forward to a
quiet rough and tumble with just them and Leader present as participants.

Doug reappeared from under the table with his eyes at the level of the top
surface, right at where the first section was joined, "Here goes nothing,"
he warned as the largest part of the table began to move slowly toward the
French doors, while Bucky's end of the table remained in position. It was
apparent that he was going to create a middle section so it would be
interchangeable with the other middle sections.

Hamilton walked in at that moment pushing a cart loaded with three dozen
bottles of wine a Cat bowl half full of ice and smaller bowls that
contained all the cut up fresh fruits as well as a big jar of maraschino
cherries, everything Freckles and Spot enjoyed in their drinks. He had no
idea what this huge Great Cat liked but he already had a footman bringing
up more cases of wine from Bucky's cellar in case of need just as the new
vacant space between table sections fuzzed, became opaque, turned the same
dark brown before the fuzz cleared and the vacant space was filled with a
new, old matching table section, which was already locked into place.

When Doug saw Hamilton staring at him, he asked, "Will you promise not to
tell anyone about this?" He said hesitantly.

"Mr. Douglas, are you aware that I could write a book filled with what I've
seen in this home? This demonstration, while astounding is not anymore
astounding than talking Great Cats. You did this at just the right
moment. Our table was becoming inadequate so you corrected that
problem. Now we must find something for Mr. Leader to sit on." It was
apparent that Hamilton was concerned about their newest guest's comfort and
since he was accustomed to Freckles and Spot, he considered Leader to be
just another houseguest, although a bit bulkier to be sure. "Perhaps some
wine is in order before dinner?" he suggested and stood back to get out of
the way of the uncorking ritual.

Leader grinned with a thought, "Perhaps it would be amusing to shoot the
corks at Freckles and Spot Great Cat," he suggested since he'd become aware
of how pranks were carried out.

Squeak turned on the big flat screen before he connected to Snoopy. The
picture brightened to show the gang mustered on Bachal's airport tarmac,
near a fleet of approaching SUVs and limos with Ali's ultimate Humvee limo
located in the middle of the line. Apparently they were about to return to
the palace. Predictably, the twin Cats were sitting in front of the group
so they would be first to board their transport; also predictably, Ali's
limo came equipped with a selection of sun or moon roofs, depending on the
time of the day.

"There they are," Squeak pointed, then added gleefully, "you have got to
show me how to do this," as wine bottle corks began to pop from their
bottles in Trenton Hall's dining room, promptly disappear and seconds
later, snap into existence behind either Freckles or Spot to hit the back
of either Cat's head with just enough velocity to be felt.

The twins reacted by raising their tails to search the mob for the
miscreant, before they turned their heads for a closer inspection of the
mob as their tails began checking the back of their heads for damage and
identify the incoming missiles. Meanwhile, the royal kids began a mad
scramble to collect the errant corks as trophies as the spent corks fell to
the pavement. Then everyone began to duck when Leader began selecting other
targets in the group.

When the lead SUV driver saw the unusual disturbance he stopped so the
convoy stopped short of the pickup point. Then strangely, Ali's giant limo
pulled out of line and accelerated forward and seemed to be aiming directly
at Ali in the middle of the scattered group, rather than just pulling
forward to collect Ali and whisk him to safety.

"DANGER, DANGER!" Leader shouted in mind-speak, when he recognized the
threat from the human made conveyance.

Freckles and Spot reacted by throwing up an invisible screen, not around
the spread out group, but at the sound of the powerful racing truck
engine. The engine noise stopped suddenly when the limo crashed into the
invisible screen.

Neither the driver nor his passenger understood what happened. They seemed
to be more interested in frantically fiddling with something they had with
them in the front seat as seen through the untinted windscreen. "BOMB," Ali
screamed, "EVERYONE DOWN!" Of course the royals had all drilled for this
possibility so they dropped to the tarmac face first and everyone else
followed their example a moment later.

That would be everyone but Freckles and Spot. They split up to stalk both
front doors both wearing horrible open mouth, killing frowns. "Don't kill
them," Bucky shouted to the Cats. He was first to regain his feet and take
charge of the situation. Next, he sent the whole guard contingent forward
with weapons drawn while he ordered the Mean Motherfuckers to surround the
party with their weapons pointing out.

Bucky noticed another anomaly; only two trucks in the line belched their
contingents of well-armed security guards, all Ali's personal guards who
were eager to help, the rest including guard drivers stayed in the safety
of their trucks. Bucky and Evan diverted some of their guards to
investigate. As they approached the occupied vehicles, doors opened on the
opposite sides and the men began to sprint across the airport runways
without regard to traffic.

Bucky challenged Freckles and Spot to see which of them could bring down
the most runners. He quickly specified; without killing one, they were to
be interrogated. The Cats nodded and handed off the would be assassins they
held by their necks with their tails held high so the two looked like they
hung from gallows already.

Buck used mind-speak to suggest that if each twin was allowed to take down
the two lead runners with extreme prejudice, the rest would most likely
give up rather than follow their example and die in such a horrible
manner. The Cats liked that suggestion better and chose to assume those
were revised orders from Bucky. They sprinted ahead of the slowest presumed
conspirators, in a race to catch up and dismember the lead runners first
before Chief Bucky could countermand Buck's more amusing suggestion.

"Remember I know you can clean up yourselves after you get messy, so feel
free to tear them up," Tracy, the twin's Executive Assistant shouted in
mind-speak. "Those assholes were trying to kill us all," he reminded
needlessly, "so have fun!" Tracy was no longer upset by the sight of blood
since he found out his bosses had a self-cleaning feature but hadn't used
it since they enjoyed being pampered.

Since Tracy spoke up, Spot gifted him with a freshly severed arm via
airmail delivery and continued to bomb him with body parts until he scooted
out of range. Freckles however, tossed parts from his dying enemy's body at
the poor fool's former compatriots which stopped them in their tracks and
caused them to run back to the safety of the human pursuers hoping for more
humane treatment before they were executed.

While everyone, including the Motherfuckers was watching the twin
dismemberments, only one of Ali's guards turned toward him and raised his
automatic rifle. Squeak was first to react because he had an overview from
Snoopy and was sure he'd learned Leader's flying cork trick. He just added
extreme velocity. He centered the cork on the lone assassin's forehead and
hoped for the best, considering that this was his first ever try.

The target's skin, a small amount of tissue and a perfect round of skull
bone entered the brain the length of a wine cork. He fell back to the
tarmac as if he'd been poleaxed bloodlessly, but was killed by a wine cork
delivered from Trenton Hall in the land of snow and ice, also known as New
Jersey.

"Take these scum to the fortress," Ali ordered the remaining guards like
the supreme ruler he was, after he regained his composure and he made sure
his sons had come to no harm.

"What's the fortress?" Evan asked Medi.

"Our only prison, there aren't many cells because prisoners who are sent
there for crimes against the State, are tried within a week and executed
within another week before they die of starvation. Bachal doesn't allow
appeals and we don't waste food. Our citizens know about our judicial
system so there is rarely any crime in Bachal, unless someone has a death
wish."

#######

Once again, my thanks to Emoe for editing of my stuff; I appreciate his
attention to detail and continuity that I miss regularly.


HAPPY READING and HOLIDAYS!

Jamie Haze


 

 

 

                                                              back     main    next

                                                                                             Email Jamie