A New Found Freedom

Chapter 20 - "I can't lose two of you!"

"How many did you say there were?" Jonathon asked, eyes like saucers.
"600 count sir, about that." Wentz let him know.
Jonathon cursed colorfully and said, "What's in the group?"
"Cadeska, Raggenii, and Terrans." Wentz answered reluctantly.
"Hmm..we gotta take em then." Jonathon scratched the back of his head and looked around the camp. He'd need to use everyone to destroy this enemy camp and definitely take the leader as his own personal prisoner.
"I wouldn't suggest this under normal circumstances, but I think we should use the whole camp. Take theirs by storm, but not kill many of em." Wentz replied.
"How do ya figure that?"
"Well, it's kinda dull just sitting around and doin nothin but makin spears and knives all day. That could be their job. Just wipe out all the Raggenii and Cadeska and we got some Terran slaves. Figure we'd each get our own personal slave, ya know?"
"I like that. I want that leader you were talkin about, describe him perfectly. I want him alive and uninjured. Set up a weapons council meeting for two hours." Jonathon instructed his friend.
"Right away sir!" And Wentz went off to perform his duties.

One hour later at Camp E

The meeting of the council had turned out to involve the entire camp and it was not up to Wentz to describe the man who would go uninjured in the raid.
"Listen up! The man we're looking for is between the age of eighteen and twenty-five! He's about six foot to six foot one, blondish hair about this short," He indicated the length compared to his own hair, "Wiry build, blue or green eyes, tall and lean. You should know him when ya see him. Any questions?" He hollered.
One man raised his hand politely, "Where should he be hanging around in this camp? And with who?"
"He's usually hangin around with three young men, aged fourteen to twenty-two I'd guess. And they're usually by the mouth of the large cave. When we arrive they'll be up front and ready to fight." He smiled.
"Why's that sir?" Another man called out.
"Well, when Boyle here stayed behind to check out the camp, he found out the Rag we killed was a hunting partner of the one I speared in the leg. One of the four men we're gonna be looking for." He smiled widely.
Everyone applauded for the 'bravery' of the four scouts who'd risked their lives to further the status of their home camp.
"Soon men, we'll be going out and capturing all the Terrans, none are to be killed. Rags and Cadeska only!" Jonathon called from his dais like seat.
"Sir yes sir!" Three hundred voices resounded off the stone canyon walls where the meeting was taking place.
"Now, no slacking off on our duties. I want it double time for field rations, knife making, and spear making. Get me?" Jonathon shouted out.
"We get you SIR!"
"Move it on out ladies and gents!" He concluded.
Jonathon smiled to himself, the next day and they'd be ready to take that camp over. He couldn't wait!


"Tay, can I talk to you man?" Isaac approached his little brother who'd been avoiding him since the fight in the hospital.
Taylor looked up and felt his heart start racing when Ike advanced in his direction. His brother looked awful, like he hadn't slept in awhile, and the crooked wooden crutch Will had given him didn't make him look any better.
"What about?" He asked back.
"I'm really sorry about alienating myself from you guys. It's kinda hard not to. We're building our lives here and I plan to build it as best as I can and that means not being able to be around as much as I should with you two. I mean I'm with you guys so much that I haven't even had a chance to scope out some girls. I'm sacrificing a lot for you!" He smiled slightly.
Taylor didn't even move a muscle as he waited for Isaac to continue.
"Yeah....well, uhm I'm just.I'm really sorry and I'm tired of not talking to you. I rely on you a lot more then I thought." He finished with a sigh.
Taylor looked his brother in the eyes, regarding him steadily and finally caved in and leaned in for a hug. Their arms were just about around them when a voice yelled out:
"GROUP HUG!" And Zachery Walker Hanson flew onto the scene, looking for an opening in his brother's arms. Finding none he shrugged his shoulders and made some room.
"I heard everything. I love....I love you man!" Zac gave off several mock sobs as he latched onto Ike's neck.
"And I patched this fight up for what reason again?" He raised his hands to the heavens. His reply was from his two brothers who dumped the contents of their cups onto his head and they walked off slowly, making fun of Isaac's limp.
"That's so not cool." He lisped and sounded like a dumb blond cheerleader.
His brother's smiled and began to walk off.
"Hey, where're you guys goin?" He wanted to know.
"Will needs to talk to us. Stay here and have lunch. We should be done by the time you finish eating." Zac let him know.

Three days later.

"Night Ike."
"Night Zac."
"Night Tay.
"Good night Zac."
A short pause ensued.
"Tay, now ya gotta say it to Ike and Ike to Tay." Zac replied frustrated.
"Night Ike.
"Night Tay."
"Thank you."
Suddenly the sentinels called out from their position on the cliff side of the camp's lookout positions, "MOVEMENT, A LARGE BODY TO THE RIGHT!"
Will's voice cut in through the night air like a hot knife, "Report! NOW!"
Scuffling could be heard from several directions as half of the teams of watchers came tearing down the paths to the front office where Will always seemed to be, and report the current situation and the number of the large body moving in their direction.
Isaac, Taylor, and Zac bolted upright from their sleeping pallets, reaching for spears and spear throwers and ran up to the front area where Will was stationed. The past four days had been spent practicing to the point of boredom and deadly accuracy with the spear thrower. They weren't going down without a fight. And if they did go down it would be with a bang!
"..fifty or so from the left and a hundred fifty from the left spread out to the middle. All of em got spears." One young woman reported nervously.
Darkness on this planet didn't come early, so far it'd always turned to dusk around midnight Earth time. It was only around ninish on good 'ole' Terra Firma.
The three brothers stood listening to the report with fearful ears. It was happening, the past three day's work was gonna be put to the test.
"Just like we planned. Raggenii in the back because they can cast the spears farther, Terrans in the middle and Cadeska in the front line mixed in with us. Nobody throw a spear until I give the order. The formation is coming from that direction." He pointed to one of the many streams and continued, "We're here to survive. Isaac, you're watching your brother's backs and they're watching yours." He looked pointedly at Taylor and Zac who would be vulnerable to an a new experience like this.
"We have about an hour before they get here. We can get the perimeter 'snipers' in and hope for the best. Everybody else, take your stations once you get your equipment up and ready. Move it move it move it!" He yelled in a deep parade level voice.
Taylor knew about the sniper spots. They were the ones who could cast a spear farther and with more accuracy then most of the camp combined. He himself had applied for a spot and nearly received it before backing out when he started telling Zac about it. It was a dangerous occupation and you had twice the chance of being K.I.A. then everybody else. Zac had spent the better part of that day begging him not to do anything like that, to just stick with him and Ike. He'd finally caved in when Zac lost control of his emotions and started crying on his shoulder. Anyway, they were hidden deeply in little grass huts positioned sporadically around the outline of the camp with at least ten spears at the ready. It was a lot more dangerous, too, then using a gun because you could tell the direction it came from depending on where your spear landed in a person's body, it's butt end always pointed in your direction and you had to stand up to cast your spear.
"Will, where're you gonna be through all this?" Zac asked nervously.
"With you three naturally." He replied with a grim smile, "Just don't leave my side and everything'll be great." He slapped Zac lightly on the back.
"What're your duties?" He asked the fifteen year old.
"Uh....I'm supposed to bring water up to the front so we can get to it easier." Zac recalled.
"And you're standing here because....?" Will questioned him.
"Oh, right!" And off he went to get the water.

Taylor had long since disappeared to transfer the fist sized stones from their hiding spots to the front of the cave. These were used in a last ditch effort to save their lives, which they didn't know weren't at stake, if you ran out of spears and you lost your knives.
Will stood watching in approval as his camp ran back and forth as the minutes ticked quickly by. He jogged back to his office and pulled out his marked spears and went around checking the dark niches of the cave for anybody that might happen to be hiding from their duties. Finding none he raced back to the front of the giant hole in the ground and was amazed at the transformation in the short five minutes he was gone. The stone piles had reached knee height in most places, the water containers were nearly full, the spear slots were full up with extras laying along side those, and the security fires were built up high enough to catch any trees on fire if any were in the area. He felt pride blossom like a flower in his stomach as his camp scurried around to protect itself.
Isaac came limping/running in his direction and said, "We have.we have about ten minutes before they're here." He stated, breathing heavily from his attempt at running.
"Thanks, you best find your spot and stand by it." Will reached out and shook hands with Isaac, but was surprised when Isaac pulled him into a hug and said:
"Thanks for being there for Tay when I wasn't."
They looked each other in the eye and each finally accepted each other on good terms and the turned on their heels, marching off to his assigned spot. Will was on the way to his when Taylor and Zac ran up to him bright eyed and smiling.
"What's up guys?" He thought he knew, but he wanted to be sure.
"This is so cool!" Zac smiled along with Taylor.
"Yup, adrenaline high." He thought to himself.
"Guys don't let this go to your heads. It's dangerous. Deleriz found that out the hard way, she got too brave for her own good. Don't try to play hero. You're not in a video game, you don't get any extra lives this time. Don't do anything foolish, Ike needs you. Understand?" He lectured them quickly but effectively.
Both boys lost their grins and nodded solemnly and took off for their posts, located fairly close to each other. Zac was hidden behind a thick tree while Taylor was more out in the open, half hidden by brush a little bit behind himself. Zac had been a little too hyper while collecting water for the tanks and he grabbed up some of the red ocher and rubbed war paint symbols on his cheeks like a football player did. He grinned back at Taylor and smiled slightly and nodded. Taylor didn't smile, but he nodded his head forward instead. The attackers were in sight.
Zac began a little chant to himself at the sigh unfolding in front of him and it went something like this, "Oh crap..oh crap oh crap oh crap." Quietly, but loud enough to carry and give his position away.
Taylor looked in his direction for a moment, hoping he'd stop soon. It became obvious that he wouldn't so he took action, "Zaaaaac, shhhhh!" He hissed.
"Sorry." Zac said loudly, not on purpose.
"Shut up!" Taylor whisper tensely. Zac blushed and turned back to the men and women creeping towards the "sleeping" camp. He felt his legs tense up when a man jumped across a thin, shallow part of the stream and head in his direction. A spear suddenly whizzed out of nowhere and struck him square in the chest, knocking him over flat.
Zac felt himself going green as he turned and, as quietly as possible, he started throwing up into the dead grass around the base of the tree. A short time later his stomach had finished emptying itself and Zac's legs wobbled his body back to an upright position. He looked up to see spears in the hands of the enemies who were closest and thought that they were hiding themselves. Clearly they didn't see the man get speared. He heard a hissy whisper coming from behind and looked back. Taylor motioned for him to throw a rock into the middle of the pack but to stay hidden. Zac grinned slightly when Taylor gave him the one handed "I love you" signal and duck back behind his cover.
Zac looked for a suitable missile. He felt dumb when his eyes fell upon his large stack of back up weapons that he himself had planted there, and he reached for a medium sized stone. Looking up and taking careful aim, he launched the rock with a perfect arc right into the center of the sneaky Camp E. All the heads jerked in the direction of a howling man, who'd been hit with the rock. Zac buried his face in his hands to muffle his quiet laughter and peeked back at Tay. He was squatting with a wide smile on his face. He looked for Ike and Will, seeing them on hands and knees talking to each other slightly in front of Taylor and to the right. He glanced up and gulped hard. One of the men had spotted him. It was the man who'd killed Deleriz and he was staring right into Zac's eyes with an evil grin plastered all over his face. He turned and spoke to several people around him who looked in his direction and grinned at his pale face. Soon the entire area was staring at him, spears at the ready, when suddenly:
"FIRE!" Will screamed from his hidden spot.
Dozens of spears were cast in the middle of the group, while dozens others flew into Camp H's territory, striking few and killing none. That didn't apply for camp E as spears were exchanged back and forth while they were scrambling for the many hiding spots the treed side of the river supported.
Will thought over what to do next....if it were chess he would be in a check right now, he knew it.
"What do you think Ike? Snipers?" Will smiled.
Ike nodded quickly and smiled back. He crawled a few feet and grabbed stone from his nice sized pile and knocked it against a nearby bolder four times, the signal for the snipers to let loose at will.
None of the four spears were seen flying through the air until they struck their target with a crunching 'thwack!" and an accompanied scream if the person was still alive.
An insane voice suddenly screamed out, "CHARGE! KILL THE RAGS AND CADESKAS! KEEP THE TERRANS ALIVE!" And that opened the flood gates as two hundred and seventy-five surviving Camp E members ran for the stream.
"Hold it steady, wait until they reach this side!" Will called only loud enough for his men and women to hear. They obeyed easily.
Spears flew, many missing the targets, some connecting. Either way, men and women flooded the field killing any Raggenii and Cadeskas in their paths, while just knocking the Terrans over or out.
Will smiled when a crazed man ran at him swinging knives like a maniac. He needed a good fight like this to help him remember the good 'ole' army days. A spear from Isaac stopped him dead in his tracks as he fell to the earth and felt nothing.
"Good shot!" Will commented, amazed at Isaac's abilities, "Why weren't you a sniper?"
"Tay and Za-." He began when an enemy without warning screamed out:
Isaac wondered what that meant when he heard his brother's muffled yelling and screaming. He looked up terrified as two men carried Taylor off with a third holding a knife to his throat and another covering his mouth. He clearly heard the men talking.
"He looks a little young to a be the leader doesn't he?" One said.
"Yeah, but he fits the description perfect! Nobody else looks like him." Another concluded.
"Yeah, Jonathon'll like him either way!" The first one concluded.
"Oh my God. TAAAAAAYLORRRR!" He screamed, dropping his spear and making a mad limping dash in his direction. Taylor was looking straight into Isaac's eyes, pleading for help from the confusing predicament when he was suddenly knocked upside the head and his eyes lost focus. He was still remotely conscious, but the second blow fixed that soon enough. Isaac hated the look of his limp body hanging in the arms of these men and he was out to stop them.
Isaac continued to try and run out after them but a body abruptly flung itself on top of him and he fell to the ground.
"Ike, hold still please don't move! Please! I can't lose two of you!" Zac sobbed into his ear.
"Zac.... they got Tay....they got him! They got him..oh God why!?" He screamed.
"Shh. They got Angie too. We're gonna get em back." Zac continued to try and console his brother while sobbing at the same time.
"Noo----, not Tay....oh God why? Why're you doing this to us?! Why!?" The brothers screamed into the night air, heard by the two hundred surviving members of Camp H.
"Not Tay....oh my God why!?"

<< Next Page of Story>>
<< Previous Page of Story>>

<< Back to Story Page>>
<< Back To Index Of Chapters Page>>
Back To Main Page>>