A New Found Freedom

Chapter 12 - "I.I..you.Ike..Tay.I."


Gentle shaking woke up a pain filled Zac, he felt like some one had taken him into an alley and just beat the crap outta him and left him for dead. He mumbled and rolled over, or tried to roll over but his body wouldn't have it. He moaned and stayed where he was. His eye's shot open as he felt ice cold water thrown in his face and felt it dripping coldly down his neck onto his chest.
"Ok, who's the smart one throwing water on me when I'm trying to sleep!?"
He popped his eyes open further and gasped and started crying closing his eyes again. He couldn't believe it. Wouldn't believe this dream. It would only lead to disappointment.
"Zac? Are you ok? Hey, it's ok! Come 'ere!" Isaac said, trying to calm his now sobbing little brother. Ike leaned over and heaved Zac into his lap, feeling ice cold fingers grasping his neck.
"What's the matter man?"
He was concerned now, his little brother only sobbed in reply. "Tay, what's wrong with him?"
He felt Zac tense in his arms.
"I dunno, you'd think he'd be laughing or something!"
At the sound of Taylor's voice, Zac started sobbing even harder. Which surprised his brother's because they both thought he was sobbing pretty hard as it was.
"I.I..you.Ike..Tay.I." Zac gave up trying to tell his brother's how happy he was to see them, but instead buried his face into Isaac's neck once more and continued his previous activity of sobbing his heart out. He felt two sets of arms wrap around him and he finally was able to stop crying and let out a sigh. He looked up at his the two figures in front of him and gave off a weak grin.
"I love you!" He yelled and wrapped his arms around Taylor this time and sighed yet again and smiled when he felt his brother laughing.
He pulled back and looked at Tay, "What's funny?"
"You! You're never this lovey dovey at home!" Taylor grinned to show he enjoyed his Zac's actions.
"Uhm..Tay? This isn't home, this is...whoa, what's wrong with the sky!?"
All three stared at the sky in shock, they'd never seen a sky like that before. It was a freaky blue green, sorta scary too. It looked like their little brother had smeared his green and blue water color paints together to make the sky look so thickly colored.
"Where are we?" Came the slow, reluctant question from Isaac's chapped lips.
Licking his own dry flaky lips, Taylor's voice wavered when he softly answered, "I dunno. I'm scared guys."
"You three! Come over 'ere!" A harsh voice yelled towards the huddled brothers, causing Ike to bolt up quickly, which made Zac land in a crumpled giggling heap on the hard ground.
"Oh dang, sorry."
Zac hauled himself up and glared at the man that had yelled at them.
"And if we don't?" He questioned harshly of the man.
"Well, the rest of us," he gestured to a large group of various aliens and Terrans. "Will gladly leave you behind." The man gave him a look saying he hadn't meant to be harsh.
Zac paled at his answer and nodded feebly, gesturing for his brothers to follow him to the man. Upon reaching him, Zac stuck his hand out at the guy to be shook.
"I'm Zac Hanson, this is Isaac and Taylor Hanson." He giggled at the shocked expression on the man's face and the weak grip in his hand shake.
"I'm.uhm..I'm William Franklin. Will." He nodded to Ike and Taylor and motioned for them to follow him to the group of waiting beings.
"What took you so long to wake up?" Will demanded.
"I, uh, I dunno. What?" Zac asked, being flippant on purpose.
Will growled his response, "Don't get smart with me kid. We're all confused, scared, and what have you. Just don't get smart with me!"
Taylor frowned at Will and asked, "Hey, who died and made you king?"
Will's face turned dark red and he stormed up to Taylor, coming inches from his face as both men being of equal height.
"I've had survival courses on earth, years of em, I know what I'm doing. I didn't spend most of my life being a pansy assed teen super star. I know what I'm doing and how to survive here, do you!?" He yelled in Taylor's face. Ike's expression was born of shock, then anger as his older brother instinct kicked in.
"Who the hell do you think you are to start yelling out my brother like that? He asked a question and I doubt you needed to answer it like an ass and cause more stress around here then there already is. So if you would please not yell I think everything would be great!" Ike hadn't yelled this out, but kept his voice at a steady low level allowing no one but them to hear the words.
"Sorry Will." Taylor mumbled and stuck his hand out to show no hard feelings.
"I bet you are." Will huffed and turned on his heel to confront the group of milling people behind him.
"Dude Tay, can't you learn to shut your mouth once in a while? I'm used to Zac getting us killed, not you!" Taylor turned red under the ridicule and mumbled "sorry's" every now and then during Ike's ramblings. Bowing his head, Taylor followed Ike and Zac towards the large group of aliens.
Shyly, Taylor looked Will in the eyes and asked, "Yo, Will? Do you know why we're here, where's the Iosie or guards? Our masters?"
Will grinned, actually grinned, at Tay when he asked.
He studied the young man for a moment, then nodded and said, "We're free, or the closest thing we can get to free around here. I think they do this to make other planets livable. We, WE make it a colonized planet."
Taylor's jaw wasn't the only one to hit the ground with this announcement. Isaac just stood rooted to the ground, mouth agape shaking his head dumbly. Zac on the other hand, was used to sudden twists and turns from his relationship with Tyto, so he quickly recovered and asked him how he knew this.
"Well boy, I have my head outta my ass once in awhile, which is more than I can say for some people, and listened to my master's ramblings and there ya have it." He'd been staring at Taylor when he made the open ridicule.
Again, Isaac got mad at the young man who had some ill-tempered hatred towards his little brother, and just let loose yelling at him.
"You have no right, NO RIGHT, to talk about him like that! He didn't mean to get uppity about anything back there, he tried to mend it all up, but you and your dumb ass wouldn't listen! If you're gonna lead us around, grow up and act like Tay, like a freakin adult!"
Will's face registered nothing, leaving people wondering what was going on, while Taylor just shuddered and felt Zac's subtle body heat against his back, announcing his brother's support for him and pressed against him.
"We're moving out ladies and gentlemen, lets get a head count and get in gear. Uhm, your sir, name!" Will pointed to a man in his later thirties or so, Zac guessed.
"McKarther, Jason." The man answered.
Will nodded sharply, "You then, getta head count and report back to me, right?" The man nodded.
"Good, now." He was choosing his next victim when he spotted a nervous looking Taylor and snapped out. "You! You do a body count, race doesn't matter either way, nor sex. Git!"
Taylor glared at the man, but chose to listen and went off to perform his duties.
Will grinned at Taylor's slim figure walking away and quietly said, "Good doggy. You'll be whipped in shape soon!"
Turning around, he spotted Ike and Zac on the ground, what looked like a map in the dirt in front of them.
"What're ya doin'?" He squatted next to them, an interested look on his face.
Isaac sighed, "Well, we're trying to decide which way we should go. That way, or thatta way! I like the hills and stuff." Ike stated, pointing out various directions.
Will studied the surroundings to the left.
"Hmm..hills, mountainous areas...kids got some smarts, he does!"
The area wasn't so much to look at, but he knew he'd feel safer if he was sleeping on or around rocks. He remembered that movie "Tremors" all too well, he didn't want a graboid eatin him! Distant mountains could be seen far off, gentle hills with streams pouring down them being closer. Seeing the water, he got antsy and hoped the counters would hurry up and get done. He went back to looking around. He looked to the right, and all he could see was open ground, new vegetation just growing in, suggesting that this was spring or early summer. Without high grass or trees, he could see in all direction for quite a ways and cussed silently to himself. Whirling around, he looked back at the rolling hills and the streams.
"Oh gee golly, which way should I go?" He thought sarcastically to himself. Making his choice, he looked down at the two boys who were both staring at him, like lost children almost.
"I say we move that way, towards the hills. What's taking your stupid brother so long?" He ignored the glares from the boys and cupped his hands around his mouth to make a make-shift mega-phone and screamed.
He couldn't help but laugh when he saw Taylor jump and cringe, scurrying towards him to tell him the number of casualties.
"About 150 didn't make it sir. I couldn't tell if some were living or not." Taylor stared at the ground while admitting this.
"And why couldn't you tell Mr. Hanson?" Will had the biggest smirk on his face when asking.
"You....uh....you wouldn't stop yelling at me to give me a chance to check." Taylor brought his eyes to this ignorant man's face and declared. "So it's not my fault now is it?"
Not bothering to check his strength, Will slapped Taylor to the ground, then grunted heavily when he felt two bodies smash into his back, causing him to become one with the grass stubble.
"Cool it now! This is getting old! You've known him for what? Fifteen minutes and you hate him!?" Isaac held the man down while Zac hurried to his dazed brother's side.
"Tay man, you okay? Hey, how many fingers?" Zac asked him softly, holding two fingers up jokingly.
Taylor frowned and got up from the dirt and glared at Will. He nodded once to Ike, telling him it was cool to let him up now. Having done this, Will looked at Taylor and sneered, and got the attention again!!!! of the large group of beings.
"Look here! We're moving out, Raggenii, Cadeska, and Terrans! We're all going as one unit to those hills, for water and shelter! Now, lets hop to it!" After he repeated the message in Galidia, he shot a glare at Taylor and stalked off to organize the group of 600 various beings.
Taylor shook his head and thought to himself, "What did I ever do to you, nutcase!?".
This thought making him feel better, he hung close to his brother's as the line of former slave species started the long haul towards the streams. Shuffling his feet in the dirt, Taylor reached up and felt the hot welt across his cheek and frowned. He couldn't figure out what crawled up Will's ass. Looking up, he studied the man closely.
"Hmm.. Brownish blond hair, my height, 160 lbs. or so, green eyes, wide shoulders. Dang Tay, he can kick your ass if you're not careful!" He thought to himself.
Continuing his thoughts, he studied the way the man carried himself. He had a cocky jolt to his walk, suggesting that he knew how good looking he was and how stuck up he IS. Shaking his head, he sighed.
Hearing the sigh, Ike reached over and rubbed Taylor's back and said, "Don't let him scare ya, we'll back ya up all the way. It's gonna be cool k?"
Taylor surprised him by grinning and telling him, "I like a good fight Ike, what are you talkin about?" Turning his head to catch his brother's reaction, he grinned at Ike's wide eyes and mouth hanging open.
"Tay you can't be serious? He'll kill you if you're not careful!" Isaac said, half joking, half being serious. For some reason, this man hated Taylor, he just didn't know why.
"I gotta find out why or Tay's gonna get hurt. I gotta get him to shut his mouth, but not act all submissive so Will won't think he's afraid, which I wouldn't blame him if he was."
Laughing, Taylor answered, "Like he'd kill me? Knowing you, you'd sig Zac on him and then he'd join me in heaven or hell.his pick." Jerking his chin the direction of their cocky leader.
Zac, hearing this, giggled out, "Yeah, just what he needs. A 14 year old beatin the crap outta him. Naw, I don't think I could." He finished, looking sad.
"What the heck? Why not!?" Taylor yelped out.
"Cause then he won't be there to yell at later! Didja see how weak he shook my hand?" The young man asked grinning.
"Yeah, I caught that. What's up with all that? He acted all macho!" Ike said, joining Zac in a grin.
"Well, he knows we're famous...or were famous, cause he called Tay a pansy assed super star, right Tay?" Zac asked sweetly of his older brother. The only response he got was a swift kick to the butt.
"Guess that one's a yes then." He stated smugly. "I guess he didn't expect to see Hanson standing right in front of him or something."
"Yeah Zac....that's probably it!" Ike said sarcastically, giving his brother a look.
Taylor then spoke up, "What're the chances that three pop stars are gonna be dropped on an unsettled planet and get in some dude's face, who I'll mention is some on super ego trip, and all three of the pop stars being related? I mean what're the chances?" He asked, gesturing heavily with his hands, a habit he had.
"Hmm...well Bob I'd say the chances are pretty slim!" Isaac said in a game show contestant voice. Taylor looked at him and grinned.
Zac looked up ahead at the walking aliens. He still didn't know what to think of them. He'd always thought aliens would look like huge slugs that left slime all over the place and ate people by looking at them or something. But Tay had always thought differently. He's used logic and guessed aliens would look like humans so to speak. Eyes being in the same place if they relied on sight like humans did. Their noses in the same spot so it would be above the mouth that could interfere with that sense. And the mouth being in the same place to make downward foraging, like human evolution nearly all other animals on earth.
"Earth..I wanna go home!" Zac thought, bitterly holding back tears. He was still having a hard time believing he'd never see his home world again or his family. When he glanced at his two bickering brothers, the tears seeped through his lids and he started crying silently. He couldn't believe after all this time, after all the crying, after all the doubt of ever seeing them again, here they were! Flesh and blood standing right next to him!
"I never thought I'd..."
"Zac! What's wrong?" Ike asked looking concerned. "Are you hurt?"
Zac shook his head slowly, staring at the ground in front of him as if in a trance almost tripping over a large rock, the tears still pouring down his cheeks. He didn't want to tell them he was glad to see them after the long months separating them from each other.
"Tay, do ya know what's wrong with him? Zac?"
Taylor shook his head and poked Zac in the arm a little to get his attention. Zac turned his reddened eyes towards him and sniffed hard and shook his head with a sheepish grin on his face.
"It's stupid guys, just never mind." Zac said looking at the dirt that seemed so interesting.
Taylor frowned and grabbed his brother's shoulders and started shaking him softly from behind as a joke to get him to talk. Hearing a giggle from the smaller, not that much smaller actually, boy ahead of him, he asked him if he was gonna talk now.
"It's dumb guys, it's nothin', really." Zac stammered out, eyes down.
"Tell us Zac, who else are ya gonna talk to?" Ike said hip checking him.
Smiling with a vacant look on his face, Zac recovered from Ike's hit and shook his head once more. Taylor, losing his patience gripped Zac's shoulder's harder then he'd meant to trying to get his point across.
"Owww, Tay! Come on guys, I really don't wanna say..please?" Zac gave his best puppy eyes, but both his brother's were immune to such treatment. Seeing the look Ike and Tay's face, finally made him relent and tell them.
"Okay... fine, this is gonna make me sound whipped, I know, but it's just I'm so happy to see you guys! I mean the whole three months I was gone, I never thought I'd hear Ike being a dork or you being.a dork too. I'm just happy." He stated earnestly, looking both his brother's in the eyes during his whole speech.
Taylor's eyes watered as he nodded agreement as Ike looked on smiling and put his arm around his little brother's shoulders. Ike would never admit it, but he'd missed it when Zac did his puppy eyes, they made him look so lost and innocent. Taylor had missed everything about Zac period. He knew that Ike and him were never quite complete without him. Now if they could only find the rest of the Hanson clan, everything would be peachy.

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