Isaac squeezed his eyes shut, shivering from fear and panic after he tracked the group who were holding Will, Angela, and Zac captive. The two men had ordered Zac to drag Taylor back to the camp, not knowing that he was still hiding in the long grass nearby. Months spent on this world had taught him how to go in and out of stealth mode easily and he had done so while tagging along behind them. Once they reached camp, Zac lied about who he was, seeing that Taylor was still out cold. According to the fifteen year old, he was 'Living on my own and I saw smoke and followed it. I saw these two guys helping that dude out so I snuck along behind.' They hardly believed him as Jonathon smiled cruelly and ordered him to be beaten if he didn't state his real reason for being there. Zac still refused to tell so one of Jonathon's thugs held him still while the other had his way with him. Finally, bloodied up and wheezing he noticed Taylor sitting up...a look of wonder and pain covering his face. The cat was out of the bag and Zac spilled it all and they found Will and nearly knocked him out cold. Only one detail was left out. Him.
"God....what do I do now?" He complained to himself loudly.
He forced himself to calm down as much as he could, for the sake of his brothers. He squatted so he was sitting Indian style in the dirt on the edge of the camp, but not so far away that he couldn't see the 'spoils of war' tied to wooden posts and periodically being sneered at and/or being slapped around. He stayed that way for an hour, trying to think of some way to get his brothers and friends out of this new mess.
"Why do things like this happen to us? Haven't we been put through enough?" He thought bitterly. "Uh oh, what's goin on?"
He trained his eyes on Camp E and watched...
Jonathon approached Taylor, who, by now, was slumped to the ground out of exhaustion and kicked the bottom of his foot, jarring the young man's body and forcing him to open his tired eyes.
"So he's your brother eh? How old is he?"
Taylor's gaze drifted to his younger brother, who nodded once, and replied, "Fifteen." And he left it at that.
Jonathon cocked his eyebrow, "You're seventeen right? You fairy, he's bigger 'n' you."
"Shut up spazz, like it matters!" Zac snarled from nearby, twisting his hands around and yanking against the rope that bound him to the pole. He dare not wince, lest he show any signs of weakness.
Jonathon watched the struggling teen and decided not to say anything back, for the moment. He glanced up to see a scout jogging towards him.
"Sir!" The young warrior shouted out to him, "There's signs of another one out there." He bent over, placing his hands on his knees to catch his breath.
"Another one?" Jonathon spat out, turning eyes of fire onto the youngest Hanson, who squirmed uneasily under the stare, "Well then, lets make him welcome gentlemen! Form a line, scour the edge of the encampment. Flush him out boys."
Zac and Taylor watched in pure horror as Jonathon's camp buzzed around, fitting spears into spear throwers, more spoils from the war, and formed a large line surrounding the camp. Zac met Taylor's eyes and looked into the depths of light blue, so different from his, but now so similar as they mirrored what his eyes spoke perfectly. What Zac saw was desperate fear and nothing could take that away from either of them.
Isaac couldn't really hear what was being said except for, 'flush him out.' and that had been enough for him. His eyes darted around the grass laden area around him and he spied nothing to conceal him. He decided the best thing he could do would be to flatten himself down into the dirt and wait it out. He took a final look at his imprisoned brothers then made sure to note the position of the line of men from Camp E and he pressed himself into the dirt, making sure to keep his face pointed at the Camp. As a last ditch effort to save himself, he threw a light dusting of dirt over his tan leather clothing and prayed to Him.
Ten agonizingly long minutes later, the foot falls grew closer and closer, causing Isaac's heart rate to go soaring and he had to fight himself to constrain his breathing. The loudness of it could give his position away. Despite his best efforts, his breathing intensified and he felt tears sting his eyes as frustration overwhelmed him. Why couldn't he control his own body!?
The seconds passed by uninhibited as a pair of bare, dirty feet stopped a few feet to his left. Isaac caught his breath as whispers floated around him as he tried to decide whether or not to run or stay put. He heard movement in the surrounding area, but the feet were still in the same place. Isaac couldn't suppress a slight, quiet moan of fear when all movement suddenly stopped. He cursed himself silently and cast his eyes back to the dirty feet.
Isaac froze. The feet were gone.
"Tay? What'd they do to you?" Zac whispered hoarsely.
Taylor drew in a shaky breath and hung his head so his hair covered his eyes. He was in need of a hair cut.
"They didn't do anything. I did it." He mumbled.
Zac's eyes went wide, "Uhm...what'd I miss?"
Taylor still kept his hair in front of his eyes but glanced up, "I shoulda listened. They wouldn't have done this if I woulda listened."
Zac wasn't able to comprehend this for a moment before he whispered back angrily, "Tay! You know you didn't...."
Taylor cut him off before he could finish, "I know! It's their fault for taking me. It's their fault for tying me up, yadda yadda yadda. But if I would have listened, like Angie, I wouldn't be half this bad."
Zac nodded in understanding, but still wouldn't let his brother off the hook, "Tay, you shouldn't even be taking orders like these! I mean, back on Terra...."
"We're not on Terra anymore Zac! We're stuck on New Terra." Taylor mocked the name.
"And we're making it ours, trying to make some sorta law before these jack offs came in and ruined it all. Don't even try to blame yourself for what they did to you. Don't even."
Taylor blushed and nodded. All of the sudden the hunting party screamed out in surprise and both brothers focused their attention to that area on the out skirts of the camp.
Isaac turned to see feet near his feet, feet near his arms and the same for the other side of his body. They knew he was there, it was his move and if he had to go out, he was going out big.
He took a deep breath and took his short spear and launched himself, spear-head first, straight into the stomach of the nearest warrior and watched with morbid satisfaction as his eyes went wide as he screamed and fell to the dirt. The hunters behind him all jumped back in surprise and their spears fell silently into the dirt. Isaac pressed all his weight against the spear, making sure it went all the way through the man before he pulled it out and turned on the rest of the half circle, ready to die if he couldn't defend himself.
"Oh God, Ike! IKE, LOOK OUT!" Taylor screamed.
Isaac heard the most wonderful thing, Taylor's voice, and listened to its advice. Some inner instinct told him to move to the left and duck and he did as he was told. A man's spear fell to the ground as a booming voice made itself heard:
"I WANT HIM ALIVE DAMN IT ALL! DON'T KILL HIM!"
Isaac knew that had to be Jonathon, but he paid no mind to it as he started creeping towards the open end of the horseshoe the men shaped and he nervously darted his eyes around at the men. Only a few more steps to freedom. Or a few last steps left of freedom.
Taylor watched in pained silence as the group of men moved in closer to his older brother. He watched as he soon turned to something like a caged animal as the circle grew tighter around him. Taylor watched as one man lunged at Isaac and the rest of them followed. Taylor could only watch as his brother disappeared under the pile of men. He could only watch, watch and cry silent tears.
Isaac felt the circle closing around him and knew if he was going to run, it had to be right then. He was about to spring into action as a man on the edge of his peripheral vision jumped at him. He stuck his spear up in defense and nailed the man in the shoulder but he was unable to pull the spear out in time to fend off the throng of men that suddenly piled on top of him. The injured man only pulled the spear out and dove atop the mass of people and try to keep the struggling man in control. Not likely.
Isaac erupted from the right edge of the group and started running like mad away from the camp, his pursuers, and his brothers. He only missed one slight detail as he would soon discover.
Taylor heaved a mammoth whoop as Isaac emerged from the pile and he stomped his feet, as he'd managed to press against the wooden pole and slide up the thing to see.
"HE'S ONE MAN! HE CAN'T BE THAT HARD TO CATCH!" Jonathon screamed loudly, red faced.
Taylor prayed Isaac would escape, nobody should be exposed to Jonathon's temper, and if he was caught, Isaac would be catching the brunt of it.
Zac suddenly said something that Taylor didn't catch. Will, who'd just regained consciousness, heard it though.
"Oh no, Ike.....no."
Isaac felt his pulse in his ears, pounding against his skull like the bass at a concert, as he pumped his legs harder and harder. He took a quick glance back to see his foes. He smiled as he started turning his head back. He just might make it after all, he just might....
The grass in front of him blew up as two unidentified warriors flung themselves up towards him. Isaac dug his feet into the dirt as he twisted to the side, desperately trying to move away from the inevitable.
"Uaghh!" Isaac hit the ground hard as the two young men slammed into his upper body.
He struggled harshly against the two on top of him and landed a well aimed punch right in the mouth of one and started for another when the pounding feet soon stopped. He looked up to see the angry mob and said:
"To hell with it!" And he slammed his fist into the other man's jaw as hard as he was able and watched in satisfaction as he slumped to the ground.
"Sorry we don't do that here!" A voice sneered and Isaac's world went dark before he could see the spear-butt coming at him.
Tears from three of the four captives tied to the pole smeared dirt off filthy cheeks as Isaac's valiant efforts were dismissed with the strike to the head from the blunt end of the spear.
Taylor's eyes flowed over the most from the knowledge of what would happen to the brother he loved so much as he prayed to Him, "God, save him please! Let him get away somehow....please."
Taylor knew God answered you every time you prayed for something, but more often then not, the answer was 'no'.
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