The hot sun beat down on the backs of three hundred Terrans hiking slowly towards cliffs they'd seen in the distance. Some were injured and were being carried tenderly by their companions and some were carrying the packs of the injured to further help them along. Unlike the drop zone the Hanson brother's had been dropped in, this one hadn't had the experience of Will Franklin to help them along. One Terran man had wanted to take control of the four hundred aliens in the drop, but a Raggenii male had wanted to position too. This started a massive fight between the two, both ended up dead as the closest thing to a riot that didn't end until all the Raggenii and Cadeska were laying in pools of each other's blood leaving 300 Terrans alive. A new man took over. Everyone agreed the man was crazy, but no one would object to what he said. If they did, he'd sick his thugs on them and that's where your life would end. This would soon spell disaster for Will's mixed group.
"Taylor, shut up. We don't care!" Isaac grumbled. The long march started again and the Raggenii scouts hadn't come back from wherever they'd scouted. Isaac wasn't worried, he was just tired of walking already.
"What?!" Taylor yelped. He'd been carrying on a pleasant conversation with his older brother when he suddenly snapped at him. Zac had a confused look on his features also.
"Dude, Ike? Chill man, Tay didn't say anything wrong." Zac tried to sooth his brother.
"Zac! Leave me alone!" Ike growled. He saw the hurt look on his sibling's face and instantly felt bad for bawling out his siblings out.
"Look guys? Just don't bug me for awhile, I'm jumpy." He confessed.
"Wh.why?" Taylor asked hesitantly.
"I'm tired of walking all day, I mean I know we've only been walking for a couple days, but I feel like a wuss." He set his tired brown eyes into Taylor's baby blues and saw compassion, no anger.
"Ike, we're all tired. It's not you to snap at people like that, just try not to give into it or anything." Taylor said simply.
"Yeah, or I might hafta stick my flowery sweet armpits in your face!" Zac threatened. He giggled when he saw Isaac's horrified face.
"Ugh, don't remind me of stinky crap! Sweet Jesus! Ike dropped his sock right on my face!" Taylor tattled to Zac.
"Oh my god Ike! What the hell were you thinking!?" Zac cried out. The entire Hanson family was aware of Isaac's foot odor problem. He made it a special mission to find any way to have his socks on Taylor's face when he woke up.
Laughing, Isaac replied, "He passed out in the middle of our master's hallway! Agot coulda come out and seen him on the floor!" Ike defended himself half heartedly.
"Oh man Zac, I swear I almost died. I mean I woke up like that!" He snapped his fingers in demonstration.
"LISTEN UP! I need an answer that we can all accept, so listen to what I'm saying!" Came Will's loud holler. "Alright, we're about five miles away from our destination, we could make it there by dark. But when we get there, it'll be pitch black and something out there could nab us. Or we could hike till it starts getting dark and sleep till then. What'll it be?" He finished.
Gentle murmuring turned into an uproar from rowdy aliens. Most wanted to stop for the evening and then there were the beings who agreed with the brothers; to push for the caves so they could settle in sooner.
"How about this? We'll have a rest stop a mile away from the caves. The men from each species'll check out the caves to see if they're suitable. Agreed?" Waves of "yes" "sure" "yeah" and what have you greeted his ears.
So the hike continued until dusk started it's descent onto the new world as Will had said, they stopped about a mile back and he chose his helpers to go with him and check the caves. All but a few males went ahead with Will, and this included the Hanson boys.
"Ok men, listen up! We don't know how big the native species on this planet are or how many or anything. So we go in pairs of twos and fours alright? Ok, pair up!" Will yelled in Galidia and Terran.
"Here, gimme the torch stupid. You're gonna catch your hair on fire." Taylor nabbed the torch out of Zac's stunned hands.
Zac was indignant, "I will not! Give it back Tay!" He wined. He started towards Taylor when he was suddenly lifted slightly off his feet by strong arms around his waist.
"Chill Prozac. Who cares if he has the torch?" Isaac asked.
"I do!" And Zac wiggled free and started towards Taylor who was starting to look sarcastically worried.
"Zac, whatever you do, just don't sit on me!" Taylor squeaked.
"Are you calling me fat? You did not just call me fat!" Zac yelled at Taylor and started a dead on charge right at him.
"Holy god! Zac, quit it!" Taylor shrieked running backwards so he could keep an eye on his fast approaching little brother. He started a snorting laughter trying to hide his amusement. This only added to Zac's mock anger and he sped up fully and slammed into Taylor's thin midsection and sent them both sprawling onto the hard rocky ground. Taylor had thrown the torch right before his temporarily insane little brother made contact so neither was in danger of getting burned.
"Stupid." Isaac muttered, he picked of the torch and ignored the occasional grunt or laugh from his wrestling brothers and peered into the cave, peering around for any sign of something living or any movement.
"Will?" Ike's voice wavered. What in god's name was that?
"WILL!" He screamed as something tore out of the back of the cave towards his squabbling brothers. All he knew was that something was HUGE and that something was heading straight for his brothers who'd looked up at his scream.
"Get outta there! Run!" "Oh my gawd! Please no!" "Oh Jesus, guys move it!" He started sprinting as fast as his legs would carry him towards his fast retreating brothers and met them as Zac flew into his arms and Taylor started clawing at his shirt to drag him away. He could hear the snorting breathing of the giant gray colored beast gaining ground behind them and Isaac suddenly felt calm. He knew what he had to do to save his little brothers.
"When I say jump, you guys jump as hard as you can in front of me and keep running!" He yelled, making sure they both heard him.
"Please god let them live through this, take care of them since I won't be able to." He prayed in his mind. "Promise me you'll keep running!"
He watched Taylor looked at him suspiciously and slowly nod. Which was an accomplishment in it's self since they were running full tilt away from the strange beast. Isaac took a deep breath and looked behind him to see how close the creature was.
"Oh crap! Do it NOW Isaac, now!" He demanded himself. He knew he wouldn't hesitate to save his brothers' lives over his.
"OK! JUMP!" He put his hands on Zac and Taylor's back and shoved as hard as he could. He pushed so hard he tumbled to the ground as planned and stiffened his body to wait for the attack he knew was coming. He heard an ungodly scream and something slammed into him and knocked the breath from him. He lay there groaning and gasping in an attempt to get his breath back and felt something thick and sticky land on his cheek and roll down. Shakily he looked over his shoulder and screamed a deep throaty scream and rolled away from the thing and jumped to his feet.
"Ike, oh god Ike!" He heard some one's voice calling him. He felt arms envelop him and he leaned against them appreciatively. His knees buckled and he felt another set of arms around his waist along with the set around his back and shoulders.
"Set me down." He rasped out. As he wished.
"What the hell were you thinking? Ike! You coulda died!" He heard Zac wail.
Isaac groaned, "I know guys, I had to. I promised mom and dad I'd watch out for you." He opened his eyes and crinkled his eye brows together. "Zac, what happened to you?"
"You shoved me and Tay so hard we fell on our faces." Zac said in all seriousness.
Isaac studied Zac first and felt bad for the damage done. His bottom lip had a large gash in it with blood still flowing down his chin and the cut continued it's way down from his lips to the bottom of his chin. His hands were scraped up with pebbles stuck in the deeper cuts. His knee was scraped up to, but not badly. He was surprised Zac was even talking to him considering what he did.
"God Ike, don't do that kinda thing ever again." Zac demanded and wrapped his arms around his big brother's neck. Isaac was so stunned he couldn't hug back for a moment and by the time he did his little brother had already left his embrace.
"Right here." Came the voice he'd heard first. Isaac couldn't tell if anything was wrong with Taylor at first, except that he was holding his wrist to his body. Then he noticed a slight limp and that he wasn't using the wrist at all.
He limped over to Ike and slumped to the ground, "What do you think you were doing?" Taylor demanded in a fatherly voice.
"I dunno. I knew I couldn't let that thing get you. What the heck? Where is it!?" He asked, trying to jump up to run off again.
Taylor and Zac held him down and Zac explained, "You screamed for Will before you got us and it took him a second to grab some knives. He got some and chased that thing down and threw all four of em in its side." He explained.
"But it tackled me!" He objected.
Taylor laughed a little and explained, "No, it collapsed on you. Then it got it's drool all over your face." Taylor stated happily.
Just then, Will loped over to see how Ike the hero was doing.
"That was something Isaac. I knew I wouldn't do anything like that for my brothers." He said, patting Ike on the shoulder for his bravery, "Even if you did smash that kids face into the dirt."
He ruffled Zac's tangled hair and wondered back towards the creature.
"Why does everyone treat me like a two year old? I'm almost fifteen!" Zac complained.
"It must be those pudgy widdle cheeks we all love!" Taylor cooed.
"Shut the hole before I smack you." Zac warned. He brought his palm to his chin and wiped the crusty blood away, the look of utter disgust covering his fine features.
"Gross, this bites. I'm gonna go wash my face." He reported to Ike and Tay.
"Don't go near the caves, there could be more of em in there." Isaac said.
"No, the rest of the guys checked it out real quick. Nothin else in there Ikey-poo." Taylor stated. "You stay here, I gotta plan."
And Taylor darted off as fast as his limp would allow him, towards a large patch of dried yellow grass.
Isaac lay his head down on the cool earth and thanked god for letting him survive the ordeal. Thinking about it, Isaac started shaking all over and closed his eyes; remembering the fear he felt when he thought about losing his brothers. He knew he couldn't let that happen, not in a million years. Surely they could live without him, couldn't they? I mean they're almost-
"Uhmph! Here ya go Ike, just spread your blanket over this stuff and you'll have a sweet mattress." Taylor stated triumphantly.
Isaac jumped and glared at his little brother, "Geze Tay, if ya wanted to scare the crap outta me just gimme a friggin laxative!" He joked.
Taylor giggled and told Ike, "Yeah, Will says we'll move in tomorrow morning. It's too dark now. He's bringing the rest of the aliens up here with us. Maybe we'll see Angela again." Taylor said.
"Yeah, she'll save you from Will if he gets pissed off again." Isaac giggled.
"Ike, shut up I swear to god I'll kill you!" Taylor squealed.
Zac approached his arguing brother's and said, "Hey guys, guess what!!?"
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