Chapter 18- Sadistic
The shuttle slowed down considerably, alerting the two kidnapped brothers that they were approaching their destination. Zac's sense of smell picked up on an acrid stench, one that filled his nostrils and seemed to engulf his entire body. He could taste it in the back of his throat and feel it on his skin. Zachary wasn't sure, but as far as he could tell, they had reached some sort of docking area or a loading platform.
"Ike?" A breath of a whisper.
Zac turned his head over, "Smell?" He picked up the end the word in askance.
Zac understood completely. Isaac had taken the blame for one of Zac's talking episodes, a bright red area of skin on his chest, produced by a swift kick from one of the men holding them. From then on, neither of them wanted to make any noise, lest they draw more anger out of their captors.
Suddenly, the metal floor they were laying on began to heat up rapidly, feeling as though the small shuttle was hovering low over the ground. Isaac and Zac's assumptions were deemed true when a whirring sound of a door opening hit their ears and a cool breeze of air, still tainted with metallic smells, washed across their blind folded faces.
"Get up you two."
Isaac felt hard hands under his armpits, lifting his upper body through the air. He pulled his feet up and set them down underneath his body just in time to feel Zac stumble into him. Isaac used his hands to steady him, not wanting Zac to get yelled at for his severe lack of grace. He couldn't help that he was made of rubber, always awkward and lacking the fluidity of adulthood. Isaac flinched at the tight grip Zac's hand gave to his as they were poked and prodded again, wanting them to keep on moving.
They obviously had little fear of being discovered, Isaac thought. Why else would he and Zac still be blindfolded? He decided that he only had use of his nose and ears at the moment, his little brother cutting off the circulation to his hand had ruled out being able to feel, and put those to good use.
The hum and dull roar of ships taking off and landing could be heard to his right. Heavy thuds as equipment was unloaded, muted laughter cut off abruptly by the sound of an engine igniting for take-off, clattering of tools against stubborn starcraft parts. Zac's assumptions were entirely correct, cut Isaac had no idea that Zac had already come to this conclusion, and felt that his little brother would need to know this new piece of information.
"Ship yard or docking bay." He murmured, turning his head to the left. He felt Zac's hair against his lips as he nodded.
"Shut. Up. Talk again and we'll make sure Sankt does more then just talk to you." The smelly breath was back in his face again and Isaac nodded as fast as he was able, wanting to get the putrid smell away as fast as he could.
"Damn…Sankt's gonna be a walk in the park compared to that asshole." Thinking, Isaac knew that he had to take that back. They hadn't been that bad to them yet, only when they tried to talk. But it still was far from fair to be treated like this for something Taylor had done. That thought caused Isaac's blood to boil. If Taylor hadn't gotten drunk or left home to be a smuggler or dealt with Sankt, or, or, or…none of this would be happening. If Taylor wouldn't have called him then this would have been avoided. If he wouldn't have said yes to Taylor-.
Isaac's mental tirade stopped there. Isaac had had a part to play in the current situation. And so had Zac. The older of the two boys suddenly felt the fiery furry flow from his body and a newer, less welcome cold terror take its place. All of the com-calls Zac had made to Taylor, and vice versa, could have made tracking them down so easy. But then Isaac remembered that his smuggler of a brother had told him he had a secure line that nobody could tap into. Then how had Sankt found them? Did these two men have anything to do with it? The stinky-breathed man had said something about Taylor getting him in trouble. What was he doing with Taylor anyway?
Isaac was prompted to move by the jab of the blaster in his side. Zac's death grip on his hand was still as strong as ever and if the men had tried to separate them they wouldn't have had a chance. They would have had to tranquilize Zac and drag Isaac away or cut off the younger man's hand. Isaac shuddered.
They were now in some sort of building, cold and harsh, not alive. Isaac winced at the thought. The men suddenly sped up, never once talking to each other, and Isaac then knew they had to have some sort of neural implant that allowed them to converse with one another without being heard by anybody else unless they had their codes. Isaac's stomach tightened up, his breathing becoming restricted. Those implants were able to pick up on any other transmissions around them at the same time, secured lines or not. What if he or Zac had talked to Taylor when one of these men were around? "Good grief, we're in a world of trouble…"
"Stop here and wait."
Isaac's head snapped back painfully as his blindfold was ripped off and his yell blended with Zac's as a door behind them slammed shut. The room was cool, much cooler then the halls they were walking through only moment ago were. The light was dull, muted a soft blue, and for that Isaac was grateful. His eyes were having a hard enough time taking in even this. Zachary's mouth was hanging open in shock.
"What the hell was that all about?" He suddenly blurted, using humor to lighten the situation.
"So what do we do now?"
Isaac shrugged uneasily and took in the room around them, "Well isn't this just spectacular?"
Isaac waved his arms around the square room, metal walls smooth from top to bottom, making it quite evident that they wouldn't be able to reach the air duct at the top corner of the room if they were by themselves. Hey now…
"Look." Isaac pointed up, "We could get outta here if we have to."
Zac shook his head, "They gotta have this place bugged man…you think they wouldn't have thought of that too?"
Isaac threw his hands down at his little brother's negative attitude and crossed the room in six quick strides and looked straight up the wall at the venting system. His shoulders dropped in defeat, "It's bolted down anyway."
Zac was about to make a smart-ass comment when a voice stopped them dead in his tracks.
"I would think that you would have a little more ingenuity then that with a brother like Taylor Hanson."
Zac's entire body grew light at the size of the alien by the door. He must have been at least nine feet tall, if not more. His dark coloring made him seem as if he were something out of a devilish nightmare. His massive frame filled the entire door that two men had easily fit in side by side, with room to spare. He lifted his hands slowly.
"You have no manners? Do you not speak?"
Isaac's temper flared up. So this is who caused Taylor so much grief and trouble. The protective feeling overcame his fear and Isaac stalked across the room to stand slightly in front of Zac.
"You're a fine one to talk." He snapped.
The Draedean's lips curled into the equivalent of a smile, "Am I? Please, through that door."
The smooth walls suddenly opened up and where there wasn't a crack before, now stood an opening for which they were to pass through. Isaac cast a wary glance over his shoulder to be sure this Draedean creature hadn't moved and tugged Zac's hand to get him to move.
The tall alien met them in another, small room and motioned them to two simple standard chairs. Isaac and Zac took the first step to talking after they had seated themselves.
"Are you Sankt?" Zac blurted.
"Zac!" Isaac's eyes were huge. Great…now Sankt knew that they had been talking with Taylor.
Sankt's cat like grace made itself known as he lifted one huge arm and swept it back, "You assume right. I am Sankt. You are Zachary and Isaac, correct?"
"You should know." Isaac spat hotly.
Sankt let out a short bark of laughter, "You two are a balance of your brother, this I can see. I would like to know if I had my men take the two boys I was searching for. Would be a pity for me to have to go through all that trouble and end up getting the wrong people."
Isaac could almost hear the gears turning double time in Zac's head as he decided whether or not to lie to this being but Isaac stopped him before he was able to consider speaking.
"I'm Isaac. Zac." He pointed to himself and then his brother in turn.
Zac's wide eyes met his in astonishment. But both kept their lips locked and faced Sankt once again.
He nodded slightly, "It is good to know that you trust me enough to admit-."
"We don't TRUST you. And we admit nothing because we have nothing to admit."
Isaac raised an eyebrow at Zac and looked to Sankt to see his reaction.
"Very well." He pressed a small button on the table. Zachary and Isaac tensed, waiting for something to happen. After a few moments of silence they started to lean towards each other, thinking it was just a way for the alien to play with their minds. Then the door opened and two towering Lagamorphs stood there.
"Take this one away while I talk with him."
Sankt had pointed at neither of them, so both Zac and Isaac were ready to put up a fight. One morpher looked at the other and shook its head. In a flash of inhuman speed, the first grabbed Zac's arm and hauled him up and over to the doorway. Isaac had time only to jump to his feet and knock his chair over onto the floor. The door hissed shut and Zac's yells were no more.
"He will not be harmed unless he tries to harm them. Please, will you sit?"
Isaac's breathing was skyrocketed with the happenings but he did as he was asked and wiped a hand over his face, casting looks at the door.
"I wish to get this over as quickly as I am able. Now, do you wish to cooperate? I can make it quite painful if you want to be difficult."
Isaac's glare slid from the door over to Sankt. He sat there, sizing up the creature and his intentions before sighing, "What do you wanna know?"
"Were you going to house your brother, knowing that he stole my cargo?"
Isaac's eyes widened, "Is that what you call it now? Stealing?"
Sankt regarded him for a moment, "What would you call it?"
Isaac snorted and leaned back, folding his arms, "A human mistake."
"Stealing is not a mistake, it takes thought and the desire for what is to be taken."
Isaac glared at him, "Taylor didn't STEAL anything. He got drunk and some Lagamorph played with his head and he sold your draetons to him. It was a stupid time for him to get drunk off his ass, yes, but it was still a mistake and you should understand this."
Sankt didn't look very understanding, "Why? Why should I understand anything that your brother has done that has cost me so much?"
Isaac crossed his ankles, "He made a mistake. A simple error."
"That 'simple error' has cost me more then you will ever see in your life span."
"I know, that's what Tay said. It was an error that was small but it started a huge chain reaction. Maybe to you it's huge deal because your kind's so perfect." Sarcasm was thick here, "But humans haven't had time enough to develop the abilities to just know what's right and wrong. We learn through our mistakes, however costly they are."
"But you know that you should have to pay the price while you learn."
Isaac hated to admit it, but Sankt was right. Taylor had to answer to what he did whether he wanted to or not, "What would you do to him if you found him?"
Sankt stretched his thickly muscled arms to the side, flexing them and then speaking, "I would make him pay for what he sold. Take all that he owns and sell it. Even that would not amount to the price of my draetons. I would work him…or sign him to a contract that binds him to me and all the profit he makes. Or I would kill him. Whatever suits me at the time."
Isaac was on his feet in an instant, "You can't kill him! Nobody's life is worth as little as a bunch of plants!"
Sankt inclined his head thoughtfully, "Your brother doesn't seem to think so. He killed quite a few Union officers for only one hundred thousand credits. So many lives for so little credits… What makes him so special when compared to the men he killed?"
Isaac felt like a child, "Because he's our brother. He's done some stupid stuff, but nothing that deserves to be killed."
Sankt gave a heavy sigh, "So did those Union officers but they lie dead now. I do not think I will kill your brother unless he causes me too much trouble. Now, answer me when I ask this: Is Taylor coming here to hide himself?"
Isaac shook his head no in a negative. He wouldn't give this damned alien any information unless he started prying fingernails off. But he doubted Sankt had the dexterity to do such a thing.
"Do not lie to me, I know that he is. I have ways that I have found out. But I do not know where it is he planned to stay. With you and your family, as much as I could gather."
Isaac's nostrils flared. He stretched his lips around his teeth and said nothing.
Sankt nodded deeply, as if he suddenly was told the answer. They sat there, Isaac unmoving and Sankt as well, when the door suddenly opened and Zac stood there, his lip swollen and turning purple and the two Lagamorphs on either side of him.
Isaac jumped up from his chair and grabbed for Zac. Sankt flicked his wrist and suddenly Zachary and Isaac were in opposite places and the door slid shut once again.
Zac's breath came in deep, panicked draughts. His eyes drifted from the door slowly, as if his last hope of seeing his brother alive lay behind it. He took a shuddering breath and looked at Sankt.
"Sit young one, you may have little to say but I need to ask you some things."
Zac's legs ceased to exist now that he was forced to face Sankt alone. He had heard so many evil stories about him in the trade markets and from Taylor, that he knew that he was about to be eaten alive, or have his hands chopped off, or have his brain sucked out through his nose…He whimpered.
"You have nothing to fear from me. Just answer me what I need to know and I will not harm you in any way."
Zac nodded breathlessly. As long as he got out of this alive and he was able to get back to his family, that's all that mattered to him.
"Taylor planned to stay with you, did he not?"
Zac stayed silent, wondering what Isaac would say, and he finally gave up and just nodded.
"Where do you live?"
"Fuck that!" Zac nearly slapped his hands over his mouth in amazement but kept going a moment later when he realized he wasn't going to be killed, "There's no way in hell you're gonna go slaughter my family out of spite for Tay."
Sankt's laughter caused Zac to start, the harsh sound of it echoing around the small room, "I'll drag it out of you somehow, if I needed to. You seem like the kind of person to withhold information no matter what the cost to you. I have ways of getting it."
Zac's fear was mounting, his thoughts on his family, but he didn't' have much to lose if Sankt was telling the truth, "Then you'd best use those ways. Since Ike didn't talk, I'm not talking."
"What makes you think your brother didn't already tell me?"
His stomach churned but he held his head high, "Then you wouldn't have a reason to ask me."
Sankt inhaled deeply, "Very well."
Silence. The soft whoosh of the door opening.
"Give them to the other two, take them back to the market. They're of no use to me anymore. I have what I need."
Zac gawked. That was it? After all the trouble they went through, that was it?
"You're just messing with our heads! You sadistic freak! What the fuck?"
Sankt took in the image of the young man in front of him. Hair mused, lip swollen, eyes incensed.
"To prove to you that I had it in my means to find you. And to prove it to your brother."
Zac's mouth gaped open, "Taped…this was all taped."
"Smart boy." Sankt smiled, waved his hands at one of the Lagamorphs, and Zac was being dragged away.
"You sick fuck! You SICK bastard!" The door slid shut with Zac's screams still resounding through the larger metal room.
Isaac was shocked at the outburst. Zachary wasn't like this normally; it must have been his nerves and the thought of losing Taylor, and the thought of his family being killed. It was all a blur as they were drug back out of the building and into the entrance. The blindfolds were suddenly backed in place, the artificial light cut off abruptly, as did Zac's yelling.
The walk back to the shuttle was uneventful, the sneers on the faces of their escorts apparent in their snide remarks. Zachary seemed to stumble a lot more on their walk too.
"He's emotionally messed up for awhile…"
"Lift your legs up. Higher…"
Isaac still managed to stumble into the small craft and, from the sound of it, Zac did too, but he could hardly be blamed for that.
"We'll drop you off where we found you. You can find your way from there."
Stinky breath just spoke. Isaac shuddered against Zac.
True to Stinky-Breath's words, they were lead back to the very place they had been taken, and even told to find the plasti-paper.
In the confusing hubbub of the quarreling crowds and loud voices, the two men were lost. Isaac roared and ripped off his blindfold, screwing his head around to look for Zac. He was right behind him, tears of frustration running down his cheeks as he spun around in an effort to find who had taken them from the market in the first place.
He suddenly had his arms full of a crying little brother, too warm, and clinging fiercely to him. The deep rumbling bass of his voice was right next to his ear and his words made so much sense.
"We gotta get to mom and dad and get em off the farm."
<< Previous Page of Story>>
<< Back to Story Page>>
<< Back To Index Of Chapters Page>>
Back To Main Page>>