"Taylor?" Walker begged trying to get some kind of response out of his son. He could feel the panic overwhelm him. Nadroj looked over at Walker sadly, knowing how desperately he wanted Taylor to respond to him. They all sat still watching Taylor through Nadroj's eyes.
Taylor cringed with fear seeing a hand reach into the cave near the entrance. He swallowed hard as his heart pumped rapidly with the sweat pouring down his face. He licked his lips watching the hand finally draw back from the entrance.
"He's in here! I can hear him breathing!" Yven shouted to his mates as they ran to where he was standing.
"Are you sure? I can't sense him." Retah said looking up at Yven who squatted down near the hole.
"Taylor? I know you are in there. Just come out. There is no other way out." Yven stated ignoring Retah as he reached into the hole feeling frustrated because he couldn't fit his body through the narrow entrance.
Taylor moaned fearfully as he slid himself deeper into the cave listening to them call for him. The pitch black darkness surrounded him.
"Dad? Please help me?" Taylor cried pitfully as the tears spilled down his cheeks. He couldn't imagine being captured by them again.
"Don't give up son. Stay in the cave." Walker declared sadly wanting desperately to go to him.
"They know I'm in here! Oh God...oh God!" Taylor groaned trying to see around him as he felt the wall of the cave pulling himself in deeper with each step.
"Yven? You're mistaken. I can't sense any mind energy at all." Suolaej attested feeling annoyed and looked around the area of the ravine.
"But I could have swore I heard breathing in there." Yven said defending himself as he stood up slowly and followed his mates away from the cave. He kept looking back, still wondering.
"He might be in that group of trees up ahead." Suolaej assumed as he sped rapidly toward the trees.
"Yven? Let's go!" Retah demanded watching Yven still stare at the entrance of the narrow opening of the cave.
"He's not there Yven!" Retah declared boldly and took off after Suolaej. Yven hesitated and then followed.
Taylor leaned his forehead, facing the wall, against the cold rock feeling relief when he heard the aliens finally leave the area. His body still shook as he tried to regain control. He breathed heavily, feeling his hot breath hit his face.
"Taylor they are gone, but stay in the cave for awhile." Walker told him with his voice filled with emotion.
"Where am I? It's so dark in here." Taylor whispered turning around and slid down to the ground feeling weak from fear.
"Are you okay?" Walker asked knowing his son was still feeling scared.
"Yeah... I..I'm fine. It's so cold in here. It's hard to see. Wait...what was that?" Taylor asked hearing a strange growling sound just ahead of him. He blinked his eyes rapidly trying to focus his eyes to the darkness. He slowly stood up and reached his hands forward into the darkness and noticed there was no wall in front of him. He took a step forward still hearing the moaning sound that now sounded very close.
"Taylor?! Be careful." Walker pleaded in a caring voice.
"It sounds like something is hurt." Taylor stated licking his lips as he kept moving forward toward the sound. His eyes were finally adjusting to the darkness.
"Nadroj says it sounds like a creature named a No..oil. I think I am pronouncing it right. They can be dangerous Taylor. So be careful!" Walker informed him as Taylor cautiously moved along the wall when suddenly he could see a odd glowing green just a few feet up ahead. Taylor jumped hearing a loud growling moan just around the corner of the wall. He slammed himself up against the wall and peered around the corner carefully.
"Oh MAN!" Taylor shouted filled with awe and sprung back quickly.
"What Taylor? What do you see?" Walker yelled as he shifted nervously and squeezed Nadroj's hand tightly.
"I don't know what it is." Taylor answered trying to find the courage to look again. He sucked in a deep breath and peered around the corner again. He could see a massive huge creature laying on the ground. It looked like a huge cat of some kind. The body was hairless and the color of light blue. It's head was huge with small round shaped ears that sat on the top of the head, the eyes were closed and the nose was black and appeared to be pushed into the face. It had a huge mouth which was open showing sharp like razor teeth as it panted for air. The feet were shaped to a odd point on each foot. Taylor gulped and slowly came around the corner. The creature jumped and slowly raised it's head opening it's eyes which stared at Taylor. Taylor froze to the spot staring into the angry green eyes of the beast.
"Ahhhh..." Taylor voiced nervously, not knowing weather to approach or back up. He could see something purple dripping off the side of the creature.
"It's hurt young one." Nadroj said finally speaking.
"What is it?" Taylor asked as he took a careful step forward as the creature still stared at him watching his every movement.
"It is a Noil my Taylor. Don't get to close." Nadroj warned seeing Taylor approach it slowly and squatted down in front of it.
"Poor thing. I wonder what happened to it?" Taylor said when he heard something squeal to the left of him. He jumped when the Noil suddenly growled and tried to flop his body upward but fell back down breathing heavily in rasping breaths.
"Wha..what was that?" Taylor asked standing up and suddenly saw a smaller version of the Noil laying near the wall a few feet away.
"It must be the young one of the creature. The adult one looks like it was attacked by a Emot. The wound is to deep to save it." Nadroj announced watching Taylor approach the small one who blinked up at him innocently.
"Careful Tay." Walker warned feeling unsure of Taylor's curiosity.
"He looks so helpless." Taylor whispered gently as he squatted down next to the little creature. Suddenly the adult Noil screamed out in agony making Taylor fall backwards onto his butt with his eyes wide with fear. The beast rose up using the last of her strength and headed toward Taylor in full attack.
"DAD!" Taylor screamed raising his arms over his face when the beast fell just a few inches away from him falling dead as it rolled onto her side, taking in its final breath. Taylor shook licking his lips sucking in rasping breaths of air.
"Taylor?!" Walker shouted.
"It...it's dead." Taylor whispered bowing his head in relief. He jumped feeling something touch his leg. The small Noil moaned placing his front paw on Taylor's leg looking up at him.
"Taylor leave the area. I don't like you in that cave." Walker demanded sounding very stern.
"But what about the baby? Will it be okay?" Taylor asked as the creature slid closer to him.
"Tay... there is nothing you can do for it." Walker said watching Taylor reach out toward the small Noil who was the size of a grown german sheppard.
"I can't just leave it here. It looks so helpless." Taylor said as he tapped the head softly noticing the baby closed his eyes contently. Taylor smiled thinking the creature looked so cute and also funny, never seeing anything like it before.
"Tay? Please don't get attached to it!" Walker frowned rolling his eyes. Ike and Zac chuckled watching Taylor make friends with it.
Taylor petted it gently when it snapped at his hand looking a little fearful.
"Poor little thing. I don't blame you. Waking up and then seeing someone not at all like your mother. I won't hurt you. I don't know much about you but I will try to help." Taylor crooned softly letting it bite on his hand noticing the teeth didn't go through the skin.
"Taylor?!" Walker pleaded and then gave up seeing that Taylor was bonding with the creature.
"What do they eat?" Taylor asked as the baby cautiously leaned in toward his face and sniffed at Taylor's nose.
"They need a special kind of mold my young one." Nadroj said feeling amused and liked the fact that Taylor was finding something to smile about after his brush with the evil ones who were still searching for him.
"What? Where do I find it?" Taylor asked looking back at the dead adult feeling sorry for it. He knew it only attacked because it was trying to protect her baby.
"Do you see that fungus on the walls? The stuff that is glowing green?" Nadroj asked smiling noticing Walker still didn't like the idea of his son getting attached to this creature.
"Yeah. It is lighting up the cave." Taylor said as he slowly stood up not wanting to startle the baby.
"Find some sharp rock and scrape some off the wall." Nadroj instructed as Taylor looked around the floor and picked up a piece of stone. He headed for the wall and scraped some of the mold into his hand. It felt moist and kind of sticky. He carried it back to the baby who perked up it's ears watching him. Taylor sat down and reached out his hand offering the food to the infant beast. The Noil stood up on it's legs and sniffed at the mold and then lapped it up with it's purple pointed tongue. Taylor smiled watching the baby lick the stuff up feeling the tongue tickle his palm.
"How long do I have to stay in here?" Taylor asked when his mind went back to the aliens wondering if they were still in the area around the cave.
"Stay for the night." Nadroj answered wanting to make sure it was safe for his Taylor before he would start to travel toward them again. Taylor nodded his head slowly as the baby Noil looked up at him and blinked.
"Young one since you have decided to care for the baby you must let it come with you." Neque stated as Walker gave her a look of surprise.
"Don't worry... I will take care of it." Taylor smiled as he slid himself against a wall with the baby following him. The Noil came up to his side and sat down next to him. He curled into a ball leaning up against Taylor. Taylor reached out and petted the creature feeling very hungry himself.
"I wish I had something to eat. I'm so hungry." Taylor exclaimed resting his head against the wall.
"Well we could send Lucky again Tay." Ike said smiling.
"He..he could?" Taylor exclaimed excitedly.
"Yeah we are going to start supper now Tay. We're having hot dogs. How does that sound?" Ike asked watching his brother sit up straighter.
"Real food!? Not that crap they were feeding me." Taylor exclaimed as he looked at the dead adult Noil again.
"We are going to send the Nettik to you several times. He will bring you some stuff, like containers to store water and food in. Okay?" Walker informed him as Taylor nodded his head.
"The first will be some water again for you. He's coming now." Ike announced when Taylor saw the Nettik appear in front of him with water bottles tied to him. Taylor leaned forward and took the water bottles off as the tiny creature suddenly hissed at the Noil who popped his head up looking curiously at the Nettik.
"It's okay Lucky. He won't hurt you." Taylor cooed as the Nettik disappeared quickly.
"Now I'm sending some containers so you can scrap off the mold for the Noil when you both leave the cave." Ike said sending the Nettik back to him. Taylor took off the stuff watching it disappear again.
"Ike? When do I get the hot dog?!" Taylor groaned feeling extremely hungry.
"It's coming Tay! Don't worry." Ike chuckled.
The Nettik appeared suddenly in front of him again and there sat wrapped in a paper plate a steaming hot dog in a bun, covered with ketchup. Taylor reached for the food noticing that Lucky looked very uncomfortable with the hot food sitting on its back. Taylor quickly untied the strings and saw the Nettik leave again.
"It smells so good!" Taylor yelled as he took a big bite smiling ear to ear.
"Eat it slow Taylor. If you want more just tell us." Walker laughed watching Taylor nodding his head with food in his mouth looking very happy.
The Noil curiously looked at him sniffing the air. He stood up wanting to see what Taylor was eating. He moved in as Taylor backed away a little.
"Hey! I gave you food. This is mine." Taylor chuckled when the Noil placed his front paws on Taylor's legs and leaned toward the hot dog. He sniffed at it and then backed up crinkling his nose.
"Good. You don't like it." Taylor smiled and stuffed in the last bite. The Noil moaned softly and layed down on top of Taylor's legs that he had stretched out in front of him.
"Want any more Taylor? We have some baked beans." Walker asked noticing Taylor nodded enthusiastically.
Ike sent the Nettik with the beans and another hot dog. Taylor felt happy finally feeling like he was having a fest after days of eating that awful sour mush that the aliens forced him to eat.
"That was good. I feel so sleepy." Taylor exclaimed yawning feeling content and safe.
"Taylor we are going to be heading in your direction tomorrow. You just get some rest now son." Walker said lovingly finally closing the link for the night. Taylor looked at the Noil still laying on him and slowly shifted trying to lay down to the side. The Noil moved and got up off him as he blinked at Taylor and laid down near Taylor's head. Taylor wondered if he could use him as a pillow. He petted the creature and gingerly raised himself up on his elbow and shifted so his head rested on the creature's belly. He noticed the Noil seemed to like it. Taylor closed his eyes feeling exhausted as he curled his legs up to his chest as he shivered slightly.
The bond was formed between the lonely boy and the Noil; a bond that could never have formed between the baby Noil and its natural mother. The ways of this land were harsh for it's creatures, particularly for the young. The baby Noil's born on this planet rarely ever reached maturity. Their lives were hard fighting for acceptance between other adults of their kind. But Taylor was not a Noil, he was human. And human's always protected and provided for their pets. This Noil was going to be treated like no Noil had ever been treated before.
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