A New Found Freedom

Chapter 16 - "Touché little brother."

Jonathon Peters opened his eyes slowly, breathing in the crisp morning air. He glanced around to establish his position and broke into a twisted grin. All these Terrans, male and female, belonged to him now. He'd helped kill the stupid Raggenii that wanted to take over the small troop of aliens. But he didn't kill him soon enough; the Raggenii was able to kill Jonathon's only good friend.
"Raggenii." He growled through harshly gritted teeth. Now all he had were his dead friend's thugs to watch over him, which they did because he'd honored the man's death by killing the Raggenii.
This group, now known as Camp E, were dropped only seventy-five miles away from Will's drop group. Everybody in Camp E were painfully aware that their new leader was very much insane. Tasks that he "needed" to have done were little more then silly requests to make him feel more powerful. A rock in his path had to be moved, no matter the size before the group could move on. He wouldn't allow anything to get in his way of power. Some requests didn't make sense, but the camp's subjects eagerly participated in some of these. One was being spear making. Each night spears were fashioned of the tough trees growing along the route he'd chosen to walk, the route that'd lead the group straight to the cliffs in the distance. Now each man was armed with two spears, deadly enough without the sharp points Jonathon demanded that they had to have. Spears that were deadly enough to kill a man. A man like Will.

Taylor cussed softly to himself as his knife blade sank into the soft webbing of flesh between his fingers. He swung his torso around, absent-mindedly grabbing his nap sack to find his Iosie issued first aid kit. Having found it, he dipped some cloth in the antiseptic fluid and watched the wound change colors.
"Taylor?" A stranger's voice called.
"Yo?" He answered.
"Will says you're done on skinning duty, clean up and come to his office."
"I will, thanks!" He called at the retreating back.
Will's "office" was little more then a circular indent at the front right hand side of the cave entrance Will had called 'first dibs' on. It had taken fifteen of the camp's strongest men to lift up a large flat faced boulder for their leader to use as a desk and also as his own personal eating plat form. Raggenii, Cadeska, and Terrans alike were all assigned tasks daily to get the camp in top shape. Top shape for what, was the general unanswered question among the mixed group.
Taylor yawned deeply, thinking wishfully of his bed trough in hopes of laying down in his shortly. The first duty of each colonist was to dig their own bed trough in the soft dirt of the cave, and most were encouraged to try and keep the digging towards the rear end of the deep throated cave. After that was completed, you could either just sleep in your dirt like some of the lazy campers chose, or you could go painstakingly cut massive amounts of dried grass to use as a mattress. The latter being preferred because it supported tired bodies when the day was over and allowed for deeper sleep.
Taylor walked up the cleared dirt path towards the office and stopped momentarily to take a good look around. The area on the left and the right of the cave was in the process of being cleared out. If any edible crops were found, this is where they'd be planted. The strange six legged beast that nearly attacked Isaac had been seen roaming around the distant hills, causing Will to post sentinels all around the perimeters of the camp to give them all a warning of impending danger. Will also demanded that the extra knives, taken from the dead bodies at the drop field, were to be latched onto the end of the spear shafts that were painstakingly cut for protection.

Glancing up from his study of the ever so interesting dirt, Taylor looked at the yawning mouth of the cave that reminded him of a perfect half circle. The mouth of the cave yawned open widely, looking like it wanted to swallow it's inhabitants whole. Hearing a twig snap, Taylor turned around sharply to glare into the bushes. Nothing. He shrugged his shoulders uneasily and turned to the mouth of the cave. All of the sudden something smashed into his back and he was introduced to the dirt in a harsh manner. He felt mad clawing at the back of his neck and held back a scream. He rolled over, which wasn't easy considering the weight of the thing on his back, and started to swing his fist in defense.
"Wha....Zac! You little shit! You gave me a fricken heart attack!" Taylor angrily shoved Zac off his stomach and jumped do his feet. Isaac darted out of the bushes laughing like a mad man and gave Zac a firm pat on the back.
"Well, you're good at stalking. How ya gonna use that here little man?" Isaac held a make shift mic to Zac's mouth.
"Ya see Bob, I was thinking I'd like to develop my skills with my two ugly brothers. Lord knows they're skinnier then crap." Zac replied grinning.
Taylor shook his head in a disgusted manner and made his way towards a scowling Will, mad that he'd had to wait so long for his subject to finally listen to his order.
"Taylor, finally. Just a question. Would you be comfortable being separated from your brothers?" Will regarded him with a level gaze.
"No! No, why?" Taylor yelped in panic.
Will held his hands up in a placatory manner and said, "Whoa, hoss. Don't worry. I'm not planning it. I was just curious on how you three could be useful together all the time. I saw that stunt Zac pulled." He commented, a smile playing at his lips.
"Yeah, scared the crap outta me Will. He's good at keepin quiet. I mean you wouldn't expect it considering he's on drums and always making noise. At home you could never keep in quiet, I mean it was next to impossible...." Tumbled out of Taylor's mouth in a matter of a second or two.
"Jesus, Taylor, slow down son!" Will smacked Taylor upside the head lightly in a joking manner, interrupting his steady flow of words.
"Sorry." He replied, looking at the ground.
"He's quiet is he? Coulda fooled me! But that's good, I'll send you three on a hunting party soon then."
Taylor paled, "Hunting...hunting party? Hunting for what exactly?" He questioned fearfully.
"Oh, god. No not the beasties, something smaller. It's stupid, size of a dog. Looks really.dumb. Big eyes, two legs, two arms. The arms are really small, like a t-rex I guess. Yellow hide, well not so much a hide more like a covering, no feet to speak of. Somebody thought up 'tola'. It's Raggenii for 'not smart'," Will laughed, "Go figure."
"What if a beasty comes up on us hunting, like smells the blood on us or something?" Taylor asked wearily.
"You're not going alone, it's a hunting party. Ten to fifteen men total. But lemme tell ya, those tola taste a hell of a lot better then guttott. That's a promise!" Will emphasized by slapping the desk in front of him.
"When will we be doing this?"
"Few hours. Go get your brother's gathered up and fill em in. After that, take a look around and report back here for a new duty." Will flicked his hand at Taylor to indicate he was done with him.
"Thanks Zac, hunting party my ass." Taylor thought sourly. He saw his brother's kneeling in the grass a hundred feet a way or so and shook his head. What were they doing?


"Look at it Zac, it's so...gross." Isaac pointed at the creepy crawly in front of him.
"It's not..that bad." Zac hesitated. It DID look kind of disgusting though. Two heads, one on each end, a bright neon orange exoskeleton, too many legs to even consider counting, and to top it all off, it oozed a reddish sticky fluid out of one of it's 'heads'.
"Psssha, right." Ike imitated Wayne Campbell from Wayne's world perfectly.
Giggling, Zac reached down to pick it up when Ike suddenly slapped his hands away, "What??" Zac demanded.
"Some toads on earth secrete crap that makes you sick or it kills you. What do you think this things color means? And the oozy crap?" Ike reprimanded Zac.
"Sorry Ikey." Zac said quietly. Ignorance wasn't the best trait to have here on, wherever they were.
"Hey guys, how's it goin?" Taylor asked as he wondered up.
"Pretty good, lookit Tay. We found a buuuuug." Zac pointed out.
"Oh man, that's gross you guys. Ewww, what's it squirting out?"
"Ike thinks it's gonna kill us." Zac stated.
"Yeah, that stuff could poison us pretty easy huh Ike?" Taylor looked up into his brother's deep brown eyes, the humor lost. Concern shown through his brown pupils like a beacon shining through thick fog on a stormy night.
"Yeah. Don't touch anything like this unless Will gives the go ahead. If you do go and find a stream and scrub your hands off with sand or something ok?" Isaac assumed a fatherly tone while saying this.
"Will do have done." Taylor nodded sharply.
"What did Captain America want?" Zac asked.
"Huh?" Taylor stuck a clueless look on his face.
"Oh, uhm...yeah. Thanks to you Zacy-poo, we're on a hunting party now." Taylor shoved his little brother hard enough to knock him from his squatting position to flat on his butt.
"Oww, why thanks to me?" He remained seated.
"Cause he saw how you attacked me and I said how quiet you were and he said that we should all hunt togeth..."
"Aaaahh, see? If you hadn't said how quiet I was, none of this woulda happened." Zac stated Triumphantly.
"But if..."
"Shush." Zac made a zipping motion.
"But Zac..."
"Nope, not listening."
"Please stop..."
"Shut the hole man! We don't care!" Zac had now thrown Isaac into a fit of laughter that wasn't letting up any time soon.
Taylor started to get angered by Zac's constant shushing and decided to do something about it. He scooped up the orange not-bug and jumped to Zac's face and smashed it's gooyness into Zac's greasy hair and watched his little brother's face scrunch up into disgust.
"Fucking Christ Tay! That thing could kill me!" Zac whined and rushed for the nearby stream to wash his hair of the disgusting little not-bug.
"Oh man Tay, don't go to sleep before him tonight hear? He's gonna kill you for that one." Isaac said chuckling.
"He deserved it, he wouldn't quit interrupting..."
"You two, Hanson brothers?"
Taylor grit his teeth in annoyance at being interrupted yet again and hissed out, "Yes, why!?" Isaac was still laughing in the background.
"Will says come to the cave for a debriefing on the hunt later tonight. Weren't there three of ya?" The man asked.
"Yeah, uh....Zac's washing his hair. A rare thing for his species." Taylor commented.
"Thata fact? You Zac?" He questioned again.
Taylor looked confused when suddenly he felt the same sickening sensation Zac experienced and he shook his head slowly and while heading for the stream he said to Zac:
"Touché little brother."

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