The Ties That Bind Them

Chapter 22 - Our Brother We Love

Walker gently caressed Ike's head lovingly watching him sleep. Worry filled him sensing that somehow there was something different about his oldest son. He remembered when Nadroj came back, once again defeated by this terrible creature who held them captive on this world, that Isaac didn't seem the same. He was scared but he didn't seem to want his closeness. It was as if Ike didn't want anyone to fawn or pity him over the fact that he must have went through a dramatic experience after being with the creature. Walker was afraid that maybe this creature somehow damaged his mind or worse took away his feelings toward others. Ike wouldn't talk about what happened to him in there. All he told them was that the creature hurt him by trying to get into his mind. Walker looked up and noticed that Neque was sadly watching him glowing in a shade of light green.
"He will be alright my Walker. Just let him rest now." Neque cooed wanting to sooth his fears even though she was just as much concerned over Isaac.
"I don't like how he... he didn't need anyone's comfort before. What did that thing do to him out there Que?" Walker whispered licking his lips nervously and saw Neque stand up and walk up to him and sat down on the cushion next to him.
"I think he just needs his rest. Later on Rotcod can check him out further to make sure he is okay." Neque stated and then reached out her hand running her finger gently down Isaac's cheek with concern filling her heart.
"That is the other thing that was weird. Ike didn't want anyone touching him and all we wanted to do was heal him if in any way he was hurt. I don't like this Que!" Walker rasped angrily and looked toward Taylor and Zac who were sleeping peacefully on some cushions a few feet away.
"It must have been the experience he had with the creature. I think my Ike is repressing his fear and pain." Neque concluded seeing Walker look up searching her eyes intently.
"You know? I think that is it Que. He is holding it all inside of him. Poor Ike what he must have went through." Walker sadly said when he noticed that Ike's eyes fluttered open looking at him with a confused expression.
"Just rest my Ike." Neque cooed gently running her finger over his forehead.
"Where is Taylor?" Ike asked looking anxious.
"He's sleeping Ike. Taylor is okay and so is Zac." Walker smiled liking the fact that Ike was concerned over his brother.
The creature smiled back and turned his head seeing Taylor just a few feet away from him. Hungrily he looked at him sensing the power he wanted so badly. He turned and looked up at this being who seemed to be the head one of these younger creatures who looked like him. He knew that he must somehow not give it away of who he really was to these creatures who disgusted him. He felt sick feeling the positive energy of his surroundings spread through the shield that he created taking the form of the creature that they called Ike. He closed his eyes searching the memories of this form and then realized that the being looking down at him was called their father. Through him he created these beings and the one that he sought and needed.
"I love you Dad." Ike crooned and smiled up at him noticing that the creature smiled back with tears forming in his eyes.
"I love you to Ike. I think you should get some more sleep. Okay?" Walker whispered feeling relieved that Ike said those words. He watched as his son closed his eyes and looked content.
"See my Walker? He will be just fine." Neque happily stated glowing in a light shade of gold.
"Yeah. I... I guess he just needed some time." Walker agreed sighing deeply and then got up and walked up to a cushion that was near Zac and sat down feeling exhausted. He laid down feeling the comfort of the bed falling asleep quickly while Neque kept watch over everyone while they rested.

Ike woke feeling extremely cold and then desperate fear struck his heart remembering where he was.
"Oh God.... help me! Tay!" Isaac screamed in his mind as he blinked seeing only pitch black darkness around him. He reached out his hands feeling a weird sticky substance that seemed to surround his entire body.
"What is this?" Ike gulped hard feeling afraid as he tried to move inside the cocoon. Desperately he ripped at the sticky film with his fingers, but only noticed that the more he tried the more the stuff would form around his fingers. Anger filled him wondering where the creature was right now at this moment. Suddenly he jumped when his mind opened up and strangely he saw his father's concerned face looking down at him.
"DAD!" Isaac yelled with agony realizing that the thing was with his family. He could see Neque next to him looking just as sad. Ike knew that everything this creature thought and felt he could feel too. He saw him look toward Taylor who was sleeping a few feet away and felt the hunger of the being for his innocent brother.
"Stay away from him! You stay away!" Ike cried out as he started to shake with tears running over his cheeks.
"NOOOOOO!" Isaac screamed flinging out his arms and started to pound against the cocoon that trapped him, with fear and frustration overwhelming every fiber of his body and soul. Exhaustion took its toll after a few minutes as he rasped for air with uncontrollable sobs racking his body.
"Please don't hurt my brother. Please." Ike begged sucking in a rasping breath wishing he could somehow connect his mind with Taylor and Zac. He reached out his mind but felt the creature block him as he licked his dry lips nervously. He knew then that the creature could sense his every thought and action.
"He will be mine." Ike jumped hearing the creature speak to him knowing that he was acting as though he was sleeping. Ike crinkled his eyebrows together angrily as a shiver went up his spine.
"They will find out who you are. You can't hide it and if there is anyway I can stop you..... I WILL! Do you hear me?" Ike thought boldly back hating this creature as he balled his hands into fists with his heart racing.
"They will never sense who I am. I have them fooled completely." The creature hissed with joy.
"I feel that your body is sick... so don't... ahhhhhhh...!" Ike began when he felt a bolt of pain fill his mind.
"I warn you... if you try anything you will die." The creature stated calmly watching and enjoying how the being writhed from his energy.
Isaac sucked in a breath desperately trying to take back his control. Suddenly he felt drowsy knowing that the creature was inducing sleep. He blinked his eyes trying to fight the feeling but then his world grew dark falling into a deep slumber with the creature feeling content as he shifted over onto his right side.

Taylor walked outside into the early morning light feeling a gentle breeze hit his face. He looked up at the sky seeing the green mist floating thickly above him.
"Looks bad." Taylor mumbled to himself and walked over to a stone chair that sat against the complex wall and sat down feeling depressed. He thought over the last few days casting his eyes up and down.
"Wish we could go home." Taylor whispered resting his head back and closed his eyes. He hated that this creature held them captive here. He wanted to think of a way to defeat this thing as he sat trying to figure out a plan for the next time they would face this evil energy.
"What are we missing here? I know that thing wants me because I am the source of Nodrow's power. How? How do we destroy that thing!?" Taylor thought crinkling his eyebrows together. He jumped when he heard someone else come outside. He turned seeing Zac looking angrily up at the sky.
"Looks bad... doesn't it?" Taylor stated seeing Zac turn to look at him and nodded his head.
"Ike is still sleeping. I just wanted to come out here and get some fresh air." Zac said walking up to his brother and sat down beside him leaning back crossing his arms over his chest.
"Yeah I felt the same way. I hope Ike is alright. I noticed before I came out here that he still looks very pale." Taylor said leaning forward putting his elbows on his knees and looked down at his feet sadly.
"I wonder why he didn't want Nodrow to heal him?" Zac pondered looking out across the landscape.
"I think he was just scared and didn't know what he saying or doing yesterday. I wonder what that thing did to him." Taylor angrily stated sitting back against the wall again.
"I wish we could get rid of it. I can't believe how powerful it is. Nodrow has to find out some way to draw it out of that black hole. I mean how long before this... world will...?" Zac began.
"I don't know Zac." Taylor cut in and then they both looked up seeing something come toward them from across the plain.
"What's that?" Zac asked leaning forward as Taylor got up taking a step away from the bench and then smiled.
"Saber! It's Saber." Taylor shouted happily watching the Noil running toward him. Taylor took off as Zac watched smiling when he saw Saber stop in front of his brother and lean in toward Taylor and rubbed his huge head against him.
"Glad to see you to again! How've you been?" Taylor cooed petting Saber between the eyes as Zac walked up behind them.
"Saber looks good." Zac mumbled smiling up at the Noil who turned and looked down at him.
"Yes he does!" Both Taylor and Zac jumped when they heard Ike behind them and turned seeing him smiling by the doorway.
"Are you feeling better today?" Zac asked as Ike sauntered out toward them. He slowly looked up at the sky and then came up behind Taylor smiling. Saber sniffed the air sensing something but couldn't figure out what it was. He looked at the third creature knowing that for some reason he meant harm to Taylor. He pushed pass Taylor and bumped Isaac pushing him gently away from him.
"What is he doing?" Ike groaned angrily wanting to be near Taylor.
"I think he is jealous of you." Zac laughed noticing that Saber stopped and then sat on his hind quarters as he started to hum softly.
"Well he didn't have to get so pushy about it!" Ike sputtered knowing that this huge beast somehow sensed who he really was.
"Chill Ike. Why are you so angry?" Taylor asked walking up to the right side of Saber and reached up petting his huge side.
"Sorry. I... I guess I am still a little jumpy yet... from yesterday." Isaac gulped hard trying to calm down.
"That's okay Ike. I understand. Is Nodrow up yet?" Taylor asked as he watched Zac walk toward him and then stood next to him.
"Um.. I saw him talking with the two females just before." Isaac told them seeing them both look at each other and smile wondering why. He wished that this Noil would go away so he could be next to the Taylor one but knew he couldn't and just had to bide his time. He sucked in a deep breath feeling a little off center. This positive area was making him feel sick.
"I think that Nodrow is in love." Zac smiled noticing that Taylor nodded smiling too.
"I am glad that he is finding his mates. I know that Que was worried that due to his powers that maybe he would never find his equals in this world." Taylor stated noticing that Ike kept looking fearfully at Saber as he stood a few feet in front of them.
"I'm hungry. I wonder if Dad is up." Zac questioned watching his brother pet Saber gently as he hummed enjoying Taylor's attention.
"I feel like going for a ride." Taylor exclaimed as Saber slowly blinked contently liking the fact that Taylor was near him again.
"But maybe we should eat first and then we could ride him later." Zac said licking his lips seeing that Ike was staring at Taylor intently. He crinkled his eyebrows together never seeing a look like that on his brother's face. In a way he didn't like it thinking that Ike was gazing at their brother with a look of hunger in his eyes.
"I'm really not that hungry right now. If you want to Zac go ahead." Taylor said wanting to be with Saber for awhile.
"Um.. okay. Ike? You coming with me?" Zac asked wanting to stop Isaac from his intent stare. He noticed that Ike didn't hear him.
"Ike? Hey!" Zac shouted louder making Ike jump and then looked at him with a look of disgust.
"No. I want to stay out here with Tay." Isaac said and then smiled at him.

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