A New Found Freedom

Chapter 15 - "He smells like family."

"Huh?" Isaac asked quickly.
"We got a warm supper lined up for us." He said in a low voice with an evil smirk stuck on his features.
"What?" Taylor asked, getting impatient already.
"Whatever that thing was that tried to eat Ike...well, that's dinner." He said grinning wider then before.
"How about..no? That's nasty! I'm not eating that thing!" Isaac stated seriously.
"Dude, if you were on earth and a bear tried to attack you and your friend killed it, would you eat it?" Zac questioned Taylor and Isaac.
"Yeah, but that's different!" Taylor spat out.
"Totally different!" Agreed Isaac.
"How so?"
"We don't know if we can eat that thing, I mean it could be poisonous for all we know!' Isaac rambled on. Taylor only nodded, but he didn't seem to upset about eating the creature now. He'd caught a whiff of the thing cooking on a spit.
"Well, Will ate a chunk raw, so I don't think you got too much to worry about Ike." Zac was clearly fed up with Isaac acting the way he was.
"Ike, it smells good." Taylor put in quietly. Neither boy knew Isaac didn't want to eat 'it' because 'it' had almost eaten them.
"Tay? That's just....it's gross. No. I'm not touching it." He crossed his arms stubbornly.
"This isn't bad Ike, come on! It tastes like...bacon and chicken and beef. Right Zac?" Taylor said, trying to lure Ike into eating.
"Mmmmhmmm. It's good. Come on Ike, Will's gonna think you're a pansy if ya don't." Zac said, grinning ear to ear in triumph. He knew just how to push Ike's buttons.
"Zac, he won't think I'm a pansy." Isaac said, giving his little, though not by much, brother a death glare.
"Ikey, he ate a RAW piece of this thing, imagine how nappy that was." He paused for a second and continued. "Yeah, now this is cooked and nothing's gonna hurt us. So tell me he won't call you a pansy." Zac leaned his back against a large boulder located conveniently close to where his brother's were sitting by the fire.
Isaac was stuck, he now knew he couldn't admit he was grossed still from the drool incident to eat what almost ate him, so what could he do? He heaved a heavy sigh, ran his hands through his hair, and walked up to the young Cadeska female serving dinner.
Walking back towards the fire, he plopped down the ground, ignoring the high fives his younger brothers passed between each other in victory. He took his 'Rambo' knife and dug it in deep enough so the meat wouldn't slide off.
"Here goes." He whispered to himself.
He was about to take a bite when Zac gave off a high pitched girly scream and scared the living day lights out of him. He looked up sharply and saw Taylor's head thrown back, laughing like nothing else and Zac's face turning bright red under Ike's accusing glare.
"Zac! What the heck!?" He shook his head and kept his eyes glued to his red faced little brother when he took his first bite. He ignored Taylor who was still laughing like an idiot next to Zac.
"Whoa, this isn't all bad." He said loudly, his eyes the size of a dinner plate.
"Toldja ma girl, it's good!" Zac said lightly.
"He does look like a girl." Came a female's voice behind them.
Ike whirled around and there stood Angela, holding a small piece of meat.
"Come on over girlie, we got some room here for the likes of you." Zac welcomed her warmly.
"The likes of me?" She asked, slightly amused.
"Yup, you saved Tay here from getting his butt kicked by muscle man over there." Zac indicated Will.
"Zac!" Taylor warned.
Laughing, Angela replied, "No problem. He's all skin and bones anyway. Somebody's gotta defend him and his big mouth."
"Uh! How rude! That's it, I'm gonna sit by Ike now." Taylor shot up quickly, swaying a little because he stood up to fast, and deposited his thin frame close to his older brother.
"So, Angela...." Isaac began.
"K, Angie. What's your story?" Isaac started again.
"How do you mean?" She asked quietly, though she already knew the answer.
"Where'd you get taken? What happened?"
"I was on my way to drama club after school to hang out with some friends, since they were in drama, and I felt like...air being pushed down on me and I looked up. Shit, that scared me beyond belief. There was one of the slave ships right above me. Everyone around me in Penn dropped like flies' and I guess I did to. When I woke up I was in one of those pens on earth, ya know? The slave pens?" She questioned.
"No. We were shipped straight to Kuat." Taylor said confused.
"You were? Weird. Cause everyday we'd have new people being crammed in with us."
"New people, as in other people from earth or other aliens?" Zac wanted to know.
"New Terrans from all over earth. Somebody said that we were stuck in those pens for two to four weeks, something like that, then shipped off to Kuat or Turgia. That's where I went."
Zac wanted to know about Turgia.
"What? There's more then one slave planet?" He asked, disgusted at the Iosie's tactics of slave selling.
"Yeah, I wasn't sent to Kuat, lucky enough for me." She said gently.
"What do ya mean?" Isaac asked politely.
"Well, Kuat was all green and lotsa trees right?"
"All the other planets are mainly made of cities with a few 'parks' I guess you could call em, and those are set aside for the aliens to roam in when the need to feel 'out doorsy' came up ya know?" Angie asked.
"No, but we'll pretend for your sake." Taylor said with a grin.
She made a mock swipe at him, but continued, "Well, Kuat's going under a bit. Nobody seemed to want to ship slaves there anymore. That was how your planet managed to survive, it was mainly selling slaves."
She stopped talking for a minute, hoping the guys would understand what she was saying. It didn't happen, "Ok, if that would have happened, know what they woulda done with you?"
"Nope, enlighten us." Isaac leaned forward to look more deeply into her blue eyes.
"They would've turned you loose when they packed up to abandon the planet. You'd be attacked and killed by escaped slaves cause you were in 'their territory'. If that didn't happen, the animals there would've gotten you." She sat back silently as she felt anguish fill the air.
A few tense minutes passed by before Zac spoke, pressing his hands against his eyes, "So, you're telling me there wouldn't be a chance at surviving, that I'd never see Ike or Tay again?"
"Yeah. Scary isn't it?" She said.
"And why're you freaking us out like this?" Taylor demanded swiftly. Angie suddenly seemed more like an enemy to him now.
"I'm not meaning to, but I'm just saying be considered lucky you're dropped with an ass like Will then having to fend for your self." She said coolly.
"I hate to break this up before it gets nasty you two, but I wanna hear more on Turgia, if ya don't mind." Isaac broke things up saying this.
"Well, it's made of huge ass buildings, I'm saying like, majorly huge. Mount Everest height for the smaller ones and up to ten miles high for the largest. We, the slave scum, were kept in the smaller older buildings with the other animals for sale. They treated us like livestock. We were all stuck in there forever. We were starting to hope we'd get bought, just so we could see the sun again. I was in the slave pens on earth for two weeks. Then I woke up after they drugged us and I was in the livestock building. I stayed there for a couple months until we got gassed again and I woke up here." She finished.
"Dang. We thought we had it bad." Isaac muttered, staring in the fire's flames like he was under a spell or a trance.
"What happened to you guys?"
Isaac was about to tell the story when Zac broke in, "We were doing a show in Dallas, more like a small sound check with fans there actually, when the lights started flickering around. I ran off stage when a wall kinda caved in. Ike and Tay ran the other way with each other I guess, I mean I didn't see em or anything. I was looking for em when I saw this huge dude with a stun whip coming at me so I ran away. Duh. Anywho, when I was running I ran into Ike and Tay here. They were standing right in my way."
He acted annoyed, "Then the big dude I ran from told us, er, showed us out of the venue and Ike and Tay passed out from the same kinda gas you got, but it took me longer for some reason. I remember being really pissed at the Iosie cause he tossed Ike and Tay in the ship like they were bales of hay. Then I passed out and woke up on Kuat, in the slave pens." He concluded.
"What happened after that?" Angie asked, deeply interested.
"We were just held in the pens for a few days, didn't see anything. No aliens, no buyers. Nothing. Then one day it was like somebody opened the flood gates cause slave owners came pouring out at us like nothing else. The day after that I got bought." Zac looked heavenward as his voice cracked and his eyes filled with tears.
Isaac sat undecided on the ground opposite Zac. He didn't know if Zac wanted some one to hold him or comfort him or what. Taylor suddenly fixed the problem when he got up and slid behind Zac and the rock and wrapped his arms around the younger boy's waist. He hugged Zac to him softly and began murmuring comforting words into his ear. Isaac watched Zac's eyes close slowly as he nodded and finally, a few minutes later, Zac was asleep leaning against Taylor's chest; arms wrapped around his older brother's shoulders. Taylor looked up and Isaac felt in his chest contract when he made eye contact with him. His eyes were filled with tears of wanting. Isaac knew what he wanted, all three of them wanted it just as badly. They wanted their family. Isaac stood up on shaky legs and crouched near Taylor.
"You okay?" He asked, his voice wavering.
"Yeah, it's just.never mind, it's stupid." Taylor blushed, both boys forgetting Angela for the moment.
"No, what's wrong?" Isaac pressed.
"Well, he.he smells like family." Taylor tried to say.
"Duh, he's our brother." Isaac said, even though he knew what Taylor meant.
"No, I mean he smells like everyone. Mackie, dad, mom, Jessie..everyone." His voice broke like delicate ice in rough serf.
"Gawd Tay, I wanna go home." Isaac suddenly felt overwhelmed by a painful enormous bout of homesickness.
"Come 'er Ike." Taylor said softly.
Isaac sank gratefully into Taylor's open arms, wrapping his arms around his neck with a small chuckle.
"I'm the big brother, so what am I doing being held by you?" Isaac said, poking Taylor in the side causing him to squeal quietly.
Ike pulled himself and pulled Taylor's head against his chest so they were all three laying against each other and soon the comfort of sleep washed over all of them.
Angela stood up with a sad smile splayed on her lips, she knew she'd been momentarily forgotten. Glancing around, she soon found the blankets for all three of the sleeping Hanson brothers and spread them carefully over their sleeping forms and sighed. What a twisted life they had, no where near as twisted as hers though. But then again, she hadn't lost as much either.

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