A New Found Freedom

Chapter 13 - "Wakey Wakey Taylor..."

The slow walking march continued for most of the day, Will being too stubborn and proud to allow more then a few minutes of rest every few hours. That severely dampened spirits as the long day wore on. The brother's were all getting weary of his behavior but were unwilling to confront like they would have because of what had happened to Tay earlier. Everyone was getting nervous and edgy; causing tension's to rise.

Breathing heavily, Zac finally grew tired of being shoved from behind to "hurry up" "get yer ass outta ma way." Etc. Without a backward glance, he stormed up to Will just as the sun, for this solar system, was setting and asked to talk to him quietly.
"What the..does he think he's doing!?" Ike demanded.
"Oof! Get off me!" Taylor shoved a man off his back from where he'd tripped and landed.
"Yeesh! Tay's getting pissy. We really need a break." Ike thought watching his little brother's actions. He looked up and saw Zac and Will talking ahead of the group, about a hundred yards or so, with Will looking shocked and scared. Then he nodded and called for an immediate rest break for an hour.
"Hiya guys, how goes it?" Zac asked walking back on sore feet.
"Whadja say to him?" Ike inquired.
"Huh? Oh..uh..I asked him if he wanted 600 pissed aliens turning on him and killing him for not having any respect for tired and sore feet. He freaked and said I was right and there ya go." He said smiling. "Now, I don't know about you ladies, but I plan to spend my hour sleeping, so g'night!" He rolled out his blanket and lay down on it, using Ike's as a pillow and pulling Tay's over his body thanking both for the use of them.
"Hey, I didn't know we had blankets!" Taylor said dumbly. Ike nodded and noticed the people around them look over their shoulders to find a similar strip of cloth attached to their backs by string.
"Dang, we musta been in shock or something." Ike felt weird about not knowing they had this little accessory. Ike looked behind him again and nearly yelped out in surprise when he saw a small nap sack. Pulling it around, noticing people around him doing the same, he decided to explore the contents. Opening the top flap, he pulled out a small bowl made out of some kind of plastic material and set it down by his feet. Reaching in again, he cussed colorfully when he felt something slice into the tip of his finger. Sticking the injured part in his mouth, he pulled out the culprit. A hatchet.
"Dang, it's not sharp enough! Why didn't they put a cover on it, cheap bastards!" Setting that next to his bowl, he dove in again to find something new and something that he wouldn't be mad at. Pulling the bag into better light, he glanced in and saw a flash as the dwindling sunlight as it flashed off something metal. Carefully reaching in, he pulled out a rather large hunting knife and felt like Rambo.
"Hey Tay! Check it out!" Isaac said, flipping his knife into a neat arc in the air. When he didn't get a response, he gazed down to see his two little brother's curled up next to each other, Taylor grasping Zac's hand in his, asleep. Sighing with a sad grin plastered on his face, he decided to finish investigating his bag. Feeling around blindly, he felt something soft and pulled it out. It made a crankily sound as he pulled it out. Frowning at the small package that measured about a foot long and half a foot thick; he shook it, trying to figure out what it was. Sniffed it. Looked at it stupidly and glanced at his neighbor raising an eyebrow. The woman next to him shrugged and carefully pulled a corner of the package open and smelled.
"Hmmm..smells ok. Think it's food? It's wrapped up." The woman said quietly.
"I dunno, I'll be a guinea pig if you'll be kind enough to break off a bit." He stated, looking at her.
She smiled and shook her head while she broke off a small corner of the stuff.
Ike accepted it and simply stated, "Bottom's up!" He dropped it into his open mouth and chewed slowly. A slow smile spreading across his face.
"It's pretty good, beats guttott at any rate." He opened his packet and offered a bit to replace what he'd eaten.
"No thanks.." She raised her voice at the end, requesting a name.
"Isaac. Isaac Hanson." He offered his hand and she took his in hers and shook back quickly.
"Senna Angelo. It's nice to meet you Isaac." Nodding, they both turned back to their food packs and silently filled their stomachs. Wrapping up the rest, which was nearly all of what was there to start with, he set it by everything else he'd pulled out. Unknown to the colonists, the food was vacuum packed and processed, which made the amount given last longer due it expanding in the saliva.
Feeling his eyelids drooping slowly, he willed sleep away until he was done exploring his little bag. Grabbing up something new, he found a small kit of some kind. He pulled the lid up and saw what could pass as a first aid kit and smiled. He pulled out a small dab of material and soaked it in fluid included and touched his cut with it. Hissing loudly, he watched the cut turn from a raw red, to a pale red and felt like the cleaner had done it's job. Disregarding the container, he reached in yet again and had to feel around a bit to find anything. Connecting with something else, he yanked it out.
"Riiiight, and this would be what?" He quizzed himself.
Shaking it, he heard nothing so he opened the top and looked in. "Oh! It's a canteen isn't it?"
Turning to the Senna, he asked of her, "Canteen?" She responded by yawning, then nodding, and finally laying in the soft dirt to sleep.
"Good idea." Shoving everything back into his pack, he closed the flap and set it on the ground near him. Yawning, he crawled over to his brother's and curled his cooler body against Taylor's warmer one, hearing him protest sleepily.
"Shh, it's Ike. Go back to sleep." He felt his little brother nod, and he laid his head down. Out for the count.

Walking along the line of sleeping beings stretched out before him, Will thought how pathetic they were to be tired from only walking all day.
"Sissy's, it's just walking, how tiring can it be?" He knew deep down why they were so tired, he just wouldn't admit it aloud. Glancing around, he saw the Hanson boys all nestled together in a pile, curled around each other asleep.
"Those pansy's. Can't bear to be apart!" He thought to himself, sneering. "How could they be so close? I was always an inch away from slaughtering my stupid kid brother." His brows knitted together as he stayed in his deep thought. He kind of felt bad for being so mean to Taylor, but something about that boy just irked him to the extreme. And he knew it felt good to slap him down like he had, but he couldn't figure out why. He had no reason to hate the boy, or even dislike him.
"I'm crackin' up here, ugh." He sighed, "What a weird lookin sky."
Looking up, Will studied the deep blue green atmosphere high above his head. After he satisfied his interest there, he moved on to something he'd like to call 'trees'. Nearly every tree there had a dark gray-black bark type covering that was soft to the touch, but it took a good chunk of time to strip some bark off at all. He was tempted to try and start a fire so they could warm up; he was thinking about making camp right where they were. But he decided to assign the fun job to his favorite Hanson once he woke up.

Taylor heard rustling nearby and opened his eyes to see shoed feet in his face and he quickly rolled away from them out of surprise. He glanced up to the feet's owner and shuddered visibly.
"Wakey wakey Taylor." When Taylor didn't move, Will kicked the sole of Taylor's foot hard enough to jar Isaac and Zac awake also and for Taylor to howl in pain.
"What the hell is your problem? I'm trying to sleep here!" Taylor growled.
"I said get your ass up! I want a fire built and I want it built now!" Will roared.
"Then go build your own god damn fire, I'm trying to sleep." Taylor stated sitting up.
"Who the hell do you think you are back talking to me!?"
"Who the hell do you think you are trying to boss me around like a slave!? Wasn't you who said we were free now?" Taylor got to his feet quickly encase he needed to be in a position to defend himself.
"Give me one good reason I shouldn't slaughter you right-"
"Ok children I've had enough!" Shouted a voice nearby.
Isaac took in the sight in front of him. A girl of about sixteen stood before Will and Taylor. She had red hair that hung a little past her ears. Her height, he estimated, was somewhere around five foot six or seven inches, she had blazing deep blue eyes and her cheeks were flushed pink.
"Niiiiice." He thought when he saw her curvy figure. Breaking his thoughts, he turned back to what was going on and backed his little brother up with his presence.
"The rest of us sane people back here would like to sleep, so go kill each other somewhere else and be done with it!" She yelled.
"And who might you be?" Will asked, furious that a female would talk to him like that.
"Angela. Angie. Take a pick." She said haughtily. Obviously she wasn't like Will a whole lot at this moment. She'd seen how he'd been treating Taylor before and didn't like it at all.
"That's great Miss Angela. Now lets have you run along like a good little girl alright?" Will cooed.
Angela responded by landing an ear shattering slap across his cheek that stunned him for a moment. He reached his arm back and almost landed a punch if it hadn't been for Zac's quick drummer reflexes grabbing it and twisting.
"What ever crawled up your ass I suggest that you remove it sometime soon cause everyone's had just about enough of you getting down on Taylor for no reason. And then trying to hit a girl?" He steamed.
Will jerked his arm away, stalked off, and started talking to various aliens in his path. All along this path he cast hateful glances at the three young men and the young woman next to them.
"Sorry I got in your way." Angela said in an attempt to excuse herself.
"No, thanks! I'm Taylor." And he stuck his hand out.
"I'm Isaac and this is Zac." Angela shook hands all around and smiled.
"I'm Angie. Cool to meet you guys here."
"Uh oh, she knows who we are." Taylor thought and before he could stop himself he asked, "You a fan?" He blushed right away.
Angie responded by laughing and saying, "No, I'm sorry to say I'm not. But you guys seem cool enough in person. Look, I gotta go. See ya around?" She asked.
"For curiosity's sake only, I'd like to know where you've got to run off to." Isaac stated smiling.
"Uhm, you don't wanna know." She stated blushing.
"I think we do Angie." Zac said tauntingly.
"You really wanna know?"
"Uh huh."
"Ok, I gotta pee. Later gentlemen." And Angie walked away grinning ear to ear.

"Will?" Taylor said tentatively.
"What?" Will snapped, turning around from his small dirt map.
"I'm sorry for whatever I did. I wanna patch things up if we could." And like he had earlier on the drop zone, he stuck his hand out.
Will stared at the hand in front of him for a long moment and shook his head. He looked into the crystal blue eyes of a young man who was in obvious pain from the loss of family and stress from his current situation.
"Alright." He said gruffly and shook Taylor's out stretched hand.
He felt bad when he saw Taylor smile with relief.
"Uhm, what's that?" Taylor asked pointing at the map.
"This? I drew it out while everyone was sleeping." He dropped back to his squatting position. "This here is where we are."
A small pebble served as a marker, "I figure in another day or so we'll make it.here." And he placed a different colored pebble a short distance away from the first.
"Why there?" Taylor's eye brow's crimped together.
"Well, from what the Raggenii told me, they hiked ahead, they said there's some caves and streams with wood copses out the wazoo up there. It seems like a good place to settle doesn't it? Even has field's we can plant on." Will said proudly.
"How do we know what to eat?"
"Damn.I knew I didn't think of something." Will said frowning.
"You're only one man, you can't think of everything. You could interview people who had training on Terra like that." Taylor suggested.
Will brightened, "Yeah. And we could always do an old fashioned scratch test."
"Scratch test? Doesn't sound fun."
"That sounds painful." Taylor said grimacing.
"Well, that's the only way." Will stated. "Go back to sleep, we gotta long day coming up tomorrow."

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