Zac shifted uncomfortably as he felt his butt going numb. He was being registered at the front gate of the convention and the wire mesh that was supporting his big frame was pressed tightly against his rump, cutting off circulation.
"Wonder what happens next?" He thought to himself.
He heard the sound of footsteps behind him but was unable to turn around because his cage was so small. He heaved a tremendous sigh when the Iosie wandered past him.
Then shuddered when he thought, "That belongs to the same species that took me from home, damn them! "
A commotion suddenly broke through his thoughts as he tried to peer through bodies and cages around him. He saw some alien dump a Terran out of a cage and winced when he heard the dull thud as he hit the ground, then grinned when a somehow familiar laughter of two Terrans filled the air. He couldn't quite place the sound of it, but it comforted him somehow. His grin vanished when he heard his brother's voice yelling at somebody to stop doing something. He heard another dull thud then crying.
"Ike! IKE! Tay, HANSON!" Gawd, please hear me! "GUYS!"
He started to sob when his brother's voices disappeared. He was so happy he'd found his brothers, but he was still separated from both of them.
"Why didn't they hear me? Please let me find them before the convention ends! PLEASE!"
Some Terran girl in the cage next to him told him to shut up and he had to comply because he was being moved to his pen.
"Number 980." He thought, "Dang! I wonder what number Ike has? Oh well, I just wanna find my brother and get the hell outta dodge!"
To his utter disgust, Tyto had put a collar on him earlier and left Zac curious why the entire morning. Now his curiosity was clarified when he felt a leash. A LEASH!!, snapped onto his collar and a bruising tug yanking him in the direction of his new home away from slave quarters home.
"Bluck, this place bites a weenie!" He thumped to the thick layer of "straw" with a sigh and began to day dream schemes of how he could meet his brothers.
Suddenly, a voice spoke next to him," Hello, what's the matter youngin?"
He glared at the Terran and crossed his arms across his chest then replied.
"I just saw my brother for the first time in months and now I can't find out where he is. I'm pissed so leave me alone!" He added harshly.
He'd upset the man next to him, but the man persisted.
"We're going to be next to each other for awhile. It's best we know who we are when they lead us to the arena so we can get back together."
"What's the arena and what's it for?" Zac asked bluntly.
"It is time we are given to move around, several shifts of people are sent out to stretch our legs every day. If you're lucky, you could find your brother out there."
"How come you know about it and I don't?"
"My master told me everything that happens here. Security is beefed up cause of us Terrans too." The man pointed to his chest with his thumb proudly. Terrans were very hard to control due to their lack of enthusiasm to being made into slaves.
"Yeah, well, my master beats me any chance he gets. I'm praying that I'll get traded while I'm here."
"Not mine. She's kind to us all. -*sighs*- I wonder what all those teeny bop girls would think if they heard one of the Hansons' was being kicked around."
Zac groaned and sat up.
"I can't even be a normal slave! I'm nobody anymore. I haven't sung with anyone for a long time, so lets drop it. You know me, so who are you?"
"Charlie. Charlie Ole. Nice to meet you..Taylor?" The man stuck a quizzical look on his face when he slid his hands between the bars for Zac to shake.
"Zac. Zac Hanson. No, Taylor's other brother. I know I saw Ike out there. I swear it up and down!" Zac started to get upset again and sank back into the "straw" with a huffy pout.
The man next to him felt pity for the young man next to him, he'd lost so much so fast, not like the rest of the "normal slaves". He'd not just lost family and friends..he'd lost family, friends, millions of fans, and most of all, his singing partners...plus the status he had above everyone else. He looked over at the now dazed looking boy in the next pen, then at the aliens filing past his corral and shuddered in distaste.
"Stupid things, go away!"
"I'm sorry, maybe you'll get to see 'em both sometime. You never know."
Charlie tried to be enthusiastic for Zac's sake, but Zac wasn't having it.
"No! That won't work! IT won't work! If I see 'em both, it'll only make me feel ten times worse! I just can't see em once and then never again. No. I gotta find em and get away with them or something. I...I can't not see 'em!"
He tried to hold back a thin wail that he felt raising in the back of his throat, but he failed miserably as Charlie looked on sadly. Charlie reached through the bars of his "happy" home and rubbed the boy's shoulder trying to make him feel better and much to his surprise, he saw a smile form on his refined features and heard a faint "thanks" come from his friend's thick lips.
"I...I just haven't seen 'em for a long time. I'm not used to being separated from those idiots for a long time." He grinned when Charlie snorted a good nature laugh.
"You really love em like that huh? It wasn't an act for all those kiddies you sing for?" Charlie frowned, trying to digest this turn in his thoughts.
Zac frowned back at him and stated, "Uhm.yeah! We're tight. We've been together forever and worked so well together. How could we not be sincere about it?"
Zac was getting mad at this guy now.
"How can he not believe us when we said that? Why would we lie about how much we love each other!?"
"Sorry! Sorry! I just thought, ya know, you was in it for the money is all. Forget I ever said anything, but uhhh...you do make good music ya know." He grinned now hoping his young neighbor would do the same.
"Yeah, we do. Before all this BS started up, I haven't been able to sing much either. I need to retune myself soon, or I think I'll forget what singing is!" Zac sighed and stood up, walked over to his watering trough to get a drink. He cupped his hands under the crystal clear liquid and relieved his thirst. He heard murmur's coming from the gate to his pen and looked up to see a large crowd of aliens looking at him in wonder. He glowered and then grinned. He giggled.
He didn't care if he got in trouble for this, so he didn't think anymore and just acted. Ducking down to his trough again, he cupped his hands in the water and waited for the group to lean forward to see his actions. When they did, he tossed a grin at Charlie, who's eyes were bigger then basketballs, and heaved his arms up in the air, sending water cascading all over the beings, who all reacted by screaming and backing up quickly. They all muttered and cursed at him as they left leaving the young blond man rolling around laughing and Charlie cracking a weak grin.
" Weird kid."
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