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Title: Chain of 7 –How it Began*
Author: tannertexaslady
E-Mail tannertexaslady@yahoo.com
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I would runaway with ‘em and never be seen again. CBS and Co. have the rights and do not want to share. No profit has been made from having fun writing about them
Rating: FRT
Feedback: Please
Setting: OW all seven
Spoilers: The Pilot episode: Ghost of the Confederacy
Story: As I read this poem and studied the picture, I felt that a chain this strong had to have some help to get that way.

Part I- Fate POV- Who They Were.

Part II-The Call -POV- How They React

Part III-Destiny Awaits-What Happened

Notes: This story is based on the poem Chain of 7. Mary has given me permission to explore her words. Thank you, Mary, for allowing me to do this.
Tonny, you collage for this poem is a piece to behold. Thanks you for allowing me to pass it on.

This piece is written for Mary
*Inspired by: The Chain of Seven by Southernfrau



Introduction

*Linked together by fate, destiny and an undying deep trust
Time only strengthens the chain it won't rattle, break or rust

From one lifetime to another seven men rode together. Some lives it was easier to do than others. Here they are in the Old West



They have been separated too long. Free will had scattered them across this vast land. Getting them together was beginning to be a challenge.

Seven Guardian Spirits (GS) had their work cut out for them. Their job was to guide and protect their charges. This was not always easy, for they were not easy men.

An Open discussion of their dilemma was ordered.

GS 1: “How will we ever get them together again?”

GS 2: “You know, as well as I do we can only nudge, not force them.”

Gs 1: “Mine has a head made of stone and trusts very few, but hides a good heart”

GS 2:“At least yours does not hide in a shroud of black.”

GS 3:“True, but mine feels he has failed being a good friend”

GS 4:“Carrying scars not of his own making, has imprisoned mine.”

GS 5:“Giving up his flock has mine drifting with no purpose.”

GS : 6“My Charge thinks his soul is on a collision course with hell. Even though he gambles on everything else he will not take a chance for himself.”

GS 7: “I always get the young one, ready to take on the world without a clue as to how to do it.”

GS 1: “Okay, so how do we rejoin this chain and make it stronger?”

GS 2: “First, we must get them to the same location, and ask fate to lend a hand.”

A plan was laid out after much discussion.





Part 1


Fates
Some say they're from hell, others think from heaven*
*The Chain of Seven by Southernfrau


Solitary man
VIN’s Story


Seems I’ve be alone one way or another all my life. Even around other people, it is as if they are not there.

My Ma died when I was little and the there jist weren’t no place that was really mine, to belong.

Spent some time with the Indians, had a real family of sorts. I learned to track, hunt and survive.

When my Indian family was killed, I learned my hardest lesson. “Anyone can give up; It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would fall apart, that’s true strength.”

Being strong, I suppose, is how I can make it out here. Hunted buffalo for a while and then found more money in huntin’ wanted men. Always tried to be fair with ‘em though. Never killed anybody, I didn’t have ta.

Ironic, now I’m the one being hunted. They say I murdered a man in Texas.
I didn’t, but here I am looking over my shoulder. Movin’ on alone.

Having a family to belong to jist ain’t gonna happen for me.

Safest thing I can do is not draw attention to myself. Someday I might figure a way to clear my name, If the fates allow it.

So, here I am sweeping out a store in a place called Four Corners.

******

Larabee in Chaos
Chris’ Story

Three years ago, my life ended, except my body survived. I’ve been trying ever since to change that.

They call me a gunslinger. Also been known as son of a bitch and bastard.
I guess they all fit me.

When my wife and boy were murdered, I just stop caring about anything.
I remember some preacher telling me “Humans beings have the power of choice and some of the worst choices are made in darkness.”

Well my choice is to drink, fight and shoot. Eventually one of them will claim the body that refused to die like my family.

My soul is locked away waiting to go to hell with the rest of me. Fate slammed the door in my face when my family died. There is no future waiting for this man. Only a dark hole, empty and black.

So I move from town to town with nothing to lose. Today it’s a place called Four Corners. Tomorrow who knows?

*******


Soul in Need of Freedom
Nathan’s Story

Hating is easy forgiveness is hard. Those words are burned into my soul.

Everyone said things would be different out here. I can’t see where a place can change the way people think. Nothing changes. People judge you by how you look, not who you are.

Coming to Four Corners was just by chance. On my way to California, I came across a family that had a sick child. Now I ain’t no doctor but a healer of sorts. I was able to help that family and it felt good, you know.

To do something, to help someone by my own choice, was a new experience for me. I went with them to a place called Four Corners.

Now this place wasn’t big or fancy but the people did have a need for a healer. Maybe I could stay here and make a difference.

I’ve always found the lessons of life to be harsh. I still have nightmares about the war and all the hurtin’ and death.

The memories of being a slave are real hard to get rid of. Watching my family be sold and the beatings will never be forgotten.

I know I have a hard time trusting people because of my background.
It’s hard to find people that measure up to my expectations.

The people here won’t ever be family, but I need a place to believe in.

Maybe the fates would be kind to me here and set my scarred soul free.

**************


Brother’s Keeper
Buck’s Story

My best friend, that’s what he used to be. Hell, more like my brother. We both lived life hard and fast until three years ago.

That when his…our family died. I say ours because his wife was like a sister to me. Moreover, that little boy was my world. When they were killed, I lost them and my brother.

I tried, really tried to reach him. When he drank too much, I was there to help him get through the hangover.

When he fought, I doctored his cuts and bruises. Never would I try to stop him cursing me, if he wanted to fight, we fought. I figured, if I cared enough and stayed with him, he would get through his grief and be back.

That never happened. I failed at being his friend and wasn’t strong enough, as a brother, to watch him die slowly.

Then about a year ago, I’d had enough. I left him to go it alone, deciding to cast my fate to the winds. Some brother I was!

Since then I’ve been chasing the ladies and living it up. If I stopped to think about my failure, we would both be in that hole he dug.

My latest conquest brought me here, some place called Four Corners.

******************


A Shepherd Needs A Flock
Josiah’s Story


A man who turns his back on what calls him deserves to be alone.
I am such a man. Being a priest was my calling and I was a good one, for a while.

However, disciplining my temper and myself proved to be too difficult. My uncontrolled anger cost me my flock.

These last few years of my life, I have spent doing penance. No one forced me I chose it. Forgiving myself has proven to be the hardest thing to do.

Today finds me in a place called Four Corners, laboring over a pile of rocks. Each one signifies a weakness I have found in myself. My mistakes have left me a shepherd with no flock to watch over.

Fate has passed me by and I wander through the countryside. Instead of spreading God’s word, I spend my time waiting. Watching for the signs that will signal the end of my wasted life. Knowing, one day the crows will come for me. What more could there be for a man like me?

I have no right to expect God to guide me when I have left him out of my life. Do I?


**********************



One last Chance
Ezra’s Story


My entire life has been spent not being me. I have been whoever would make the con work. I am not even sure just who the real me is or if there was one to begin with.

Even my name is only mine when it suites a purpose. I drift from one scheme to another. My various skills used only as a pawn to move from place to place. Never staying too long.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have be different, if I had a loving family and real friends.

The people I deal with are no more than temporary associates. Coming into my life long enough to part with their money.

Fate has cheated and dealt me a hand that I can no longer play. Just once, in this hell bound life I would like to make a difference. Not for monetary gain, but personal gratification.

My latest endeavor has brought me to a place named Four Corners. It’s not a fancy place, but perhaps if I dig deep enough, it might hold some hidden treasure.

*************

Student Seeks Knowledge
J.D.’s Story


The west! I can’t believe I’m here! This is where my dreams are going to come true. Real cowboys, outlaws, gunslingers and lawmen. That is what I plan to do. Be the best-damned lawman west of the Mississippi.

My ma told me before she died, that fate had good things in store for me.
I know she was right. This is where it’s gonna start.

Four Corners, such a great name, where east meets west, north and south cease to exist, kinda poetic.

The wild west and I am really here right in the middle of it! I just need to l find the right men to partner with to, learn the ropes.

Four Corners today, Texas Rangers tomorrow. Yes sir, the rest will be history.



*Each in his own right, an awesome and powerful force,
Marching to their own drum, but on the same course.


*The Chain of Seven
by Southernfrau


Part II
The Call
*They face down hate and injustice,
while suffering the harms

* The Chain of Seven
by Southernfrau


Drunken cowboys do not have any sense. I watched
as they dragged the man down the street.

Here was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. That blond woman tried to stop them and they just knocked her down. A man was going to die and the rest of townspeople just stood there and did nothing.

Vin

Keep a low profile, right! No way could I stand by and let those men kill the healer or treat a woman that way.
Grabbing a gun from inside, I was gonna have ta try and stop ‘em.
Stepping into the street, my eyes caught site of a man in black, cross the way. I didn’t know his name, but I”knew” him.
Instantly, I felt I could trust this man and with a nod, we started down the street together.


Chris

Now I may be a selfish bastard, but sometimes a man
just has to take a stand. Looking up and down the street, my eye caught sight of a young man in front of the dry goods store. He had a gun in his hand and it looked like he was going after those cowboys.
Locking eyes with him, I felt something stir in my soul. I
didn’t think I had ever seen him around, but I had felt that look before, somewhere.
With a nod, I joined him in the street.



Nathan

I thought I was a dead man, and then here comes two men down the street. Avenging angels, that’s the first thought that came to mind.
Lord only knows where they came from, but I was sure glad to see them. Together they acted as one and saved my neck from a rope.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that fifteen minutes before they didn’t know one another. Even more surprised that two strangers would stand up for a black man they had never met.
To these men I owe my life and I can’t help but feel I know each of them from somewhere.

****************

*Their bonds aren't always visible, but the effects are still felt,
When they face down the wild storm and their justice is dealt.

*The Chain of Seven
by Southernfrau

This Chief wants help saving an Indian village from destruction at the hands of twenty men. Sure as hell, not a lot of pay. But damn, women and children are involved so the three of us said yes. Twenty to three, yeah right!
We needed to find some way to reduce those odds.

******************

Ezra

Meet them at daylight! Do they really think I am going to risk anything for such paltry pay?
Still, maybe there was more to it. A way to come out ahead. They did seem to be competent men. It might prove to be an interesting experience.
I would like to know the real story of their adventure. Maybe I will be there, just to satisfy my curiosity.


Buck

That knock on the door was like a pitcher of cold water doused all over me. Getting out that window was even less fun.
When I turned around and saw Chris, all I could think to say was, “Damn stud, ain’t you a site for sore eyes?”
Chris still looked haunted, but I swear I saw a flicker of life somewhere in his eyes. Maybe there is hope the old dog was still around.
When he asks me to join them, I didn’t hesitate.
I figured I might as well tag along for the ride just to see if maybe that spark was real. Besides, it felt right for some reason.

Josiah

Ride with them! They must be crazy to even consider asking me. There is no way they would consider me if they knew me better.
Then again, maybe they know exactly who and what I am. Could it be that it doesn’t matter to them?
These men somehow feel familiar to me.
Saving that village could be a way to do something good with my time. The rocks will still be here when and, if I come back. But if I died and saved one person that would be okay, too.
Yes riding with them is the right thing to do, I can feel it.


Next morning we rode, six of us bound for one fight.




J.D.

I know they are not taking me seriously. Somehow, I will have to show them, that I belong with them. Once they know I’ve followed them, it will be too late to turn back. Who knows maybe they will let me stick with them.
Besides seven guns are better than six.

*****************************


GS Report

Well we have accomplished our goal. The seven are together and riding again. Now we will have to let Destiny take over to forge the bond that will make them friends.



*When ill winds blow and dark evil descends,
Into the midst of the storm, step seven friends.

*The Chain of Seven
by Southernfrau


Next Destiny Awaits



Part III

Destiny Awaits

*Friendship forged the links that make the chain so steadfast,
History will not weaken or separate it, it will endure until the last.
The Chain of Seven
by Southernfrau


The Seven rode together for many years. Each found in the other a friend and over time that made them family.

Making a difference in a new frontier. Most of all filling an empty space each had in their own lives.

The best description of their bond comes from a journal passed on to the descendents of Nathan Jackson.





As I get closer to the end of my life, I felt it necessary to put in writing the truth about the men history called “The Magnificent Seven.”

It started the day I almost died. The times were different then, law was scarce and towns were wild.
Drunken cowboys blamed me because their boss died.
I couldn’t help him, he was almost dead when they brought him in. Nevertheless, being a black man and not a real doctor, they felt justified in blaming me.

I would have died had it not been for the two angels
that rescued me. They always laughed when I called them that.

Vin would say, “Nate, I don’t know much about angels but I doubt they show up dressed in black and buckskins.”

Vin, he was special. I know he never believed that, but his heart was our center. He brought to us an inner strength that quietly seeped into all of us. Especially into Chris.

I know he was the only reason; we had Chris for so many years. Larabee was practically a walking dead man, before he found that Texan. Vin pulled him back into the light and made sure he stayed there. The two of them were of one soul, many people said. One look between them said a hundred words.

Vin taught all of us a lot about courage and patience.
Just to be around him, made you a better man.

Chris started out to be a real son of a bitch. Within six months, he was worse than a mother hen with a bunch of chicks. He was our leader, our friend and patriarch of the group. The man had a innate instinct for what was right and wrong. Under his leadership the seven of us made a difference in the lives of a lot of people.
When he would say, “Let’s Ride” we never questioned why, just knew it to be right.

Vin and Chris settled in Four Corners with their families. Their bond never weakened, if anything it got stronger. No one was surprised when six months after Vin died, Larabee followed.

Buck was well, Buck. He kept us all from being bogged down in the problems we saw people having to face. He was the relief that kept us from being too serious. Loyal was his middle name and no better friend or brother could you find. He was as they say, “a man to ride the river with.”

We thought that he would be the last brother to settle down, but he was the first. Caught by a little blond gal from New York. His heart just melted when she got off that stage and that was it .They ended up in Texas with a ranch and five kids.

I lost Buck last year, he just didn’t wake up one morning.


Ezra was a hard person to know, at first. Once he decided to stick around, we got to know him better. He and I had our differences, but we loved and respected each other. He told me once, being with us was the only time in his life he felt like he belonged. Finally, Standish had found his place. Vin was our heart and Chris our leader. Ezra was the brother that kept us on our toes. He kept us young and alert.

Ezra’s compassionate side showed with children and he did a lot to help other people in need. He just made sure no one knew about it. At, least he thought we didn’t know.

Ezra died only two years ago, peacefully surrounded by six of his seven children. I still miss him.

Josiah became our anchor in any storm and we had more than a few. He got his flock but he got six brothers at the same time. His shoulders were broad and his ear was always available for us. He never married but he did have one of the biggest families a man could want. Uncle Josiah had plenty of nieces and nephews to keep in line.

Josiah has been gone fifteen years now and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.

I saw J.D. about three weeks ago and we reminisced about our earlier days. Days when the seven of us rode together and carried justice to this untamed land.

J.D. did become one of the best-damned lawmen west of the Mississippi. A Texas Ranger too, for a few years.
We were all proud of how we “raised” him. He is retired now and lives in Arizona with his wife. His four kids are grown and they have seven grandchildren.

Me, I’m dying, I know it and so does everyone else.
I never regretted not making it to California.

Looking back, I’d say the best day of my life was that day in Four Corners. I survived being hanged and found a family with some of the best men that ever graced this earth.

We were the” Magnificent Seven”. We still are and somehow I think, we always have been.



As he closed the book, the reader explained.

“My great grandfather died two weeks after that entry was made. Those men certainly left their imprint on time. I love to read about them.”

A Texas drawl answered him. “I wonder if seven ATF agents from Denver could do the same.”

A New Destiny?




The Chain of Seven
by Southernfrau

When ill winds blow and dark evil descends,
Into the midst of the storm, step seven friends.

Each in his own right, an awesome and powerful force,
Marching to their own drum, but on the same course.

Some say they're from hell, others think from heaven,
These magnificent men, that form a chain of seven.

They face down hate and injustice, while suffering the harms,
Secure in the knowledge and comfort, they're brothers in arms.

Their bonds aren't always visible, but the effects are still felt,
When they face down the wild storm and their justice is dealt.

Linked together by fate, destiny and an undying deep trust,
Time only strengthens the chain, it won't rattle, break or rust.

Friendship forged the links that make the chain so steadfast,
History will not weaken or separate it, it will endure until the last.


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