Ike fearfully stared at the tiny creature who sat on his chest making a hissing sound at him.
"Oh man!" Ike whispered afraid to move seeing the tiny claws of the creature which was inches from his face. He turned looking at Neque who slept soundly next to him. He slowly and carefully reached out his arm touching Neque. The creature showed him his sharp teeth still hissing at him.
"Que! Please wake up!" Ike screamed in his mind as he gulped hard and licked his lips wanting to bolt, but thought better of it. Neque woke up and wondered what was upsetting Ike, when she sat up seeing a small Nettik sitting on the young one's chest.
"Get it off me!" Ike shouted fearfully waking the whole camp. Walker and Zac looked up confused bolting up into a sitting position staring at the tiny creature.
"Just stay calm my Ike. You are upsetting it." Neque softly cooed feeling amused seeing the terror cover Ike's face. He looked up at her with a frown and then jumped as the creature hissed at him again cocking it's head.
"Just get it off! Please!" Ike begged as he tried to slide to the right, but felt the claws digging into his chest holding on as it hooted at him.
"What is it?" Zac asked crawling up near Neque to get a better look and smiled at the silly looking creature.
"Que?" Ike pleaded again as Neque moved slowly forward waving her hand near the Nettik.
"Go! Go away!" She yelled but still the creature held on and looked curiously up at Ike, flattening it's round ears upon his head.
"Oh man! I think it is getting angry." Ike stated swallowing hard watching it's every move.
"Is it dangerous?" Walker asked squatting down in front of his son feeling concerned.
"It is just a Nettik. They are nothing to be afraid of my friends." Demi informed them watching Ike's face twist into a frown.
"A what? But why is it hissing at me? I... I don't like this guys." Ike moaned starting to shake a little.
"It is afraid of you because you are showing fear young one." Mayte said feeling amused watching the creature cling onto to Ike's shirt.
"It is kind of cute!" Zac chuckled as Ike threw him a dirty look. Zac smiled weakly, noticing the tiny thing had huge black eyes and a flat nozzle with a tiny mouth. It had no hair covering the body which was white in color with tiny brown spots over it's entire body. It did seem to walk on all four legs and had no tail.
"My Ike just try to pet it. It may like you." Neque instructed as Ike turned giving her a 'are you crazy' look.
"I... I don't know about that. Does it bite?" Ike asked bringing his hand near the creature who watched his hand come toward him.
"They can." Demi informed him as Ike jerked his hand back fearfully.
"Please just get it off... somebody." Ike begged starting to feel exasperated.
"Just pet it Ike." Zac declared moving up near him.
"Oh no! If you want to Zac, be my guest." Ike exclaimed as Zac reached toward the creature when suddenly it jumped and snapped at Zac's hand, making him jump backwards fearfully.
"Umm... I don't think so." Zac answered looking at his hand to see if it bit him.
"That's it! Get off ME you stupid thing!" Ike screamed swishing the creature into the air with his arm, as he bolted up and stood, stepping back away from it. The Nettik hooted when it hit the ground and hissed at him as it ran toward the rocks near them. Zac broke down into rolling laughter.
"It's not funny Zac!" Ike yelled as Zac still laughed looking up at him.
"Yes it is!" Zac bellowed holding his sides. Walker couldn't help but start to chuckle seeing the confused look covering Ike's face.
"Great Dad! You too?" Ike exclaimed throwing his arms up in the air.
"Ike it was funny. I'm sorry son, but I can't help it!" Walker declared as he burst into uncontrollable laughter joining Zac. Ike looked around him noticing everyone else found it amusing also with lights floating in the air around them.
"Oh fine!" Ike fumed, then cracked a small smile remembering the shocked expression covering the creature's face when he threw it into the air.
"My young one that Nettik is nothing to be afraid of. They are very rare on this world. It is amazing that it was attracted to you. They are very docile like creatures." Neque informed Ike who looked into her eyes.
"I hope I didn't hurt it. I just..." Ike began when the creature came out of the rocks and slowly approached him. Ike stepped back bumping into his father. It cocked it's head and started to make hooting like purring sounds at him.
"It does like you young one!" Haelz exclaimed squatting down near Zac who was wiping his tears off his face from laughing so hard.
"Why?" Ike asked as it ran back into the rocks again.
"I don't know why. He just must feel a attraction towards you." Neque said looking lovingly into his eyes.
"Well I hope not to much." Ike smiled shaking his head.
"I think it loves you Ike!" Zac teased still chuckling a little.
"Zac... shut up!" Ike said casting him a look.
"Well I think you just found another friend." Zac smiled up at Ike who rolled his eyes at him.
"Actually it is nice to have the Nettik around. They can see the Emots when they are close to us." Haelz said seriously.
"What do you mean?" Zac asked turning to look at her.
"The Emots are very translucent beings and the Nettik's can see them young one." Haelz answered as Zac nodded his head.
"Well it is almost daylight and maybe we should pack up and continue our journey young ones." Neque announced suddenly noticing Nadroj wasn't in the camp. She scanned the area and felt his presence a distance away. While the others started to pack things up she headed toward the spot he was in. She saw him gazing into the distance weeping as he sat on a rock.
"My young one? What is wrong?" Neque consoled in a soothing voice as she sat down next to him. He turned looking into her eyes and blinked at her.
"My Taylor. They want to hurt him again. Neque I can't stand this. How can I protect him?" Nadroj cried resting his head on her shoulder sadly. She wrapped her arm around him trying to sooth him in his agony.
"What are they doing my Nadroj?" She fearfully asked rubbing his shoulder gently.
"He ran from them my wiseone, because he sensed what they are planning to do to him. They know about healing him. So they think by hurting him they will discover our bond. Oh the terror! I want to go to him NOW!" Nadroj shouted with frustration overwhelming him.
"But you know you can't. They may hurt him even more. This area is very sensative to psychic waves and that is why I think they brought our Taylor here. We will save him! Don't worry my young one." Neque cooed softly as Nadroj continued to cry.
"They found him and are bringing him back to that complex. I fear for him. I feel so helpless just sitting here doing nothing for him. What he must think of us. He probably doesn't understand why we won't save him. I want to... to..." Nadroj moaned wiping his tears.
Neque turned and grabbed his face, gently cradling it in her hands and looked deeply into his eyes.
"Can you somehow let him know that we are coming for him without the Faction knowing?" Neque asked seriously searching his eyes.
"I don't know my wiseone. Right now Taylor is not conscious. They filled him with extreme pain before he passed out."
"Well when you feel him awaken again... try my Nadroj, but only if you know for sure they won't detect your presence with him. We must give him hope if we can. He must hold on!" Neque declared as Nadroj cracked a small smile loving her more intensely at this moment.
"Yes my wiseone." Nadroj nodded sitting up and sucked in a deep breath trying to get his emotions under control.
"Well... we have to get back to the others and begin traveling again." Neque stated standing up as Nadroj followed her back to the camp.
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