The Draedean Threat

{Place- Denabux}
{Habitation- Sammie's House}

Chapter 22 - We Need Your Ship

"Shut up Ike, I'm sure. It was like...three hours ago."
Isaac frowned at his little brother, "I know...but I don't want you passing out again and scaring the hell outta Sammie's mom. She'll think it was something she did."
Zac gave him an impatient look and put his hand on the palm-reader. The door didn't move but that was expected. They heard a loud bell within the interior of the small farmhouse. A moment later a short motherly looking women appeared. Her face lit up when she saw how was at her door.
"My goodness! But isn't it wonderful to see you two boys again! Come in, come in. Let me get you something to eat. Do you want some juice? I have some juice and I'm sure you'd want some." The portly little woman trundled into the kitchen, her stout bulk moving with grace that wouldn't be expected of her size. Isaac grinned at her enthusiasm. Zac laughed out loud when she mentioned that she was expecting.
"Really? I thought you were sterilized. Mom was, thank god. Sammie said you were too."
Isaac's eyes bulged at Zac's crude questions and he elbowed him sharply.
The woman laughed, "I was. But Sammie's father and I just had to have another since Sammie's so close to leaving." Her face clouded over, but not for long, "Juice! I think I must have left it outside. Now don't you go anywhere, I'll be right back!" And just like that, the room was emptied of her voice, bulk, and huge persona.
"Whoa." Was all Zac could think to say.
"She's so...happy." Isaac commented.
An older man's voice agreed with them, somewhere from the left "Yes she is. That's why I married her. Wonderful woman, hard worker, never down. Love her to pieces." He said quietly at the end, "But I suppose you're not here to be overwhelmed by her, are you? Sammie's out in the barn working on the ship. You can go out there and talk to him, if you like."
Zac nodded his thanks, "Yes sir."
The man's brows creased, "Well Zac my boy...that is one nasty lump you have there." His voice was questioning and Isaac saved him from a floundering lie.
"My fault. We were wrestling in Aunt Miranda's house and I just sorta flung him over me and uh...bam. Ya know?"
"Yeah...I grew up with eight other brothers and two sisters. Youngest of all of em. I got my share of ass kicking."
Isaac's mouth came unhinged and Zac shoved him through the back door, laughing the whole way along.
"Just cause he looks like a grandpa doesn't mean he talks like one."
Isaac glared at him, "Yeah well...he caught me by surprise."
Zac just shook his head and closed the door behind him.
Isaac was leading the way and pointed out something curious, "Look. The grass is all scorched. The ship must be running." He felt a small bit of hope surge through him.
Zac cocked his head, "Or they could've had a bonfire."
Isaac's eyes were filled with pity, "My poor, stupid little brother." He sniffed dramatically, "There'd be ashes from the logs if it was a bonfire smart one. On top of that, smell."
Zac inhaled and shook his head, "What?"
"Fuel, Zac. You can smell it."
"It could be from the barn. Sammie is working on-."
Isaac brought his defensive tirade to a halt, "But this fuel's been burnt. There's a difference."
"Fine! They're scorch marks! God damn..."
Isaac smiled smugly and gave the metal door a good, loud bang with his fist. He made faces at Zac, expressing his pain.
"It's Ike and Zac, open up!"
A second later the door was yanked open by a short little guy with red hair. He looked to be Zac's age, a little younger, though more proportionally sized for somebody his age, "Hey! You guys could've just called..." He let the doors swing open all the way and motioned them in, "It's kinda rank in here...spilled some oil earlier." He rubbed the back of his head, an old habit of his, and squirmed back up into a tiny space between the ship's outside thrusters and the main body of the craft, "What're you here for?"
Isaac beamed. This kid was no dummy, "We need help for Tay."
Zac raised a brow at him. Blunt. But hey, who had time to be sly and cunning?
Sammie's shocking red hair suddenly popped out near the front of the cockpit door, startling Isaac. He'd been just in front of them a moment ago, "Damn, no shit?" He disappeared again.
"Yeah...he uh, he got in some deep stuff the passed couple of months he's gonna need our help a week ago."
Sammie laughed, "That bad, huh?" He dropped to the floor on the other side of the ship.
Isaac shook his head and looked back to where Sammie had just been and blinked. This was getting kind of disconcerting.
Zac answered for him, "Yeah. We can't tell you everything until you actually tell us you can help."
He wiped his hands over the front of his jumper, "DAYUM...this is some serious business." Sammie and Taylor had been good friends for awhile, before Taylor left at least, the least he could do was try to give him some sort of aid, "Count me in. I'll try my damndest to help in any way I can."
Isaac frowned. He wasn't understanding the full deal, "No, see...if we tell you what's up and what we'll need," he flicked his eyes to the starship, "Then there's no turning back. You and your family would be at an extremely high risk of getting killed...or something."
Sammie shrugged, "Yeah, ok. It's for Tay, right? I'm in. What's up?"
He sat on one of the wings, preparing himself for a long listen.
Isaac motioned to Zac, "Be my guest."
Zac gave him a glare for his courteous gesture, "Asshole." Then he looked to Sammie, "Too long to go into detail. So I'm gonna sum up. Tay's a smuggler now. Has been for almost as long as he's gone. Somehow, his skinny ass got all the way up there to the top as one of the best. He's been running drugs, cloned experiments, weapons, whatever. Big clients began to hear about him and started hiring him out. Does the name Sankt sound familiar?" He asked.
Sammie nodded.
"Yeah....he was Tay's last boss...he uh, really screwed Sankt over. Sankt went wang-tang on his ass and beat the hell out of him. We know that Tay's still alive but we don't know how long it'll stay that way."
There was a long moment of silence, "How can I help?"
Zac was surprised. It was that easy.
Isaac jumped over Zac's words, "We need you and your dad's ship. You can't tell anybody, anybody," He stressed, "Where you're going or that you're even going anywhere."
Sammie's nose twitched, "Heavy duty...Yeah, ok. What do I need to take with us?"
Isaac's thoughts flew, "Anybody you know that'd wanna go with you? Zac and I are gonna be on Tay's ship, learning how to fly and shoot, and all that fun stuff. It'll be three boring ass days alone on your ship. But he has to be trustworthy. I mean it in every sense of the word."
Sammie leaned down, pressing his chin down against the palm of his hand, "There was this one guy. I grew up with him. Tay knew him really well too. His parents got killed in that raid a few years ago and his brothers are married and living on some moon or galaxy somewhere. He's got no real ties. He'd probably help if I asked him." He looked up at them, questioning his suggestion.
"What's his name?" Zac wanted to know.
Zac laughed, "Moffatt? No way! Dude...Tay and him took turns beating each other up to impress the girls." Zac shook his head, "That's insane. Awesome." He had a smile stuck to his face now.
Isaac grinned as well, "That's a good thing. I always trusted him like I trusted Tay. He'll do it, right?"
Sammie nodded slowly, "Yeah, probably. We can call him now, if you want."
"You got his codes? Zac brought his screen with him."
"Yep. Up on my view screen though. We can go get it. Come on."


{Year- 3090}
{Place-Planet Loctoe}
{Habitation: None}

Taylor knew his head was going to explode. He just didn't know when. He pulled in a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down and try to take in his surroundings. He was in a metal room. It was freezing cold and the walls reflected the light painfully back into his eyes. A soft whirring sound was to his right and he had already identified that as the medical droid...the damned thing had been sticking him with weird stuff all morning, keeping him weak and pliable to whatever purpose Sankt had for him.
He felt real fear boil up inside of his body. He had tried so hard to escape, to keep this from happening, but in the end, it still did. He was upset that he had even tried in the first place. Weakening himself and putting his brothers through so much grief and forcing them to lie to their parents. All for nothing. They hadn't gotten a thing out of it but more turmoil and hurt feelings. He held back a cough, not wanting to upset the laser burn on his side, instead thinking of clean air and being back on the farm. Of seeing Clepsydra flying over the farm, with him in it.
Taylor had been awake all morning and the only thing running through his mind for the first few minutes of consciousness was a great relief that they hadn't shot Clep out of the air. He still had all of his implants working and no static coming in from his ear-piece from his ship. If there had been static, that was all the proof that Clepsydra had been blasted to burnt metal and melted plastic.
A door slid open near his head, from the right. He tensed up his aching body, wanting to yell out the pain of his laser burns, but not ready to show any sign of weakness. He opened his pain-filled eyes and saw the same guard that had been talking about his ship, his Clepsydra, standing there, staring at him.
"You are lucky, youngling. Sankt does not feel the need to speak with you for another few hours. Cherish that time in any way you can." He turned sharply, his soft tenuous body flowing as he did so, and left the room.
Then another being filled his view. Taylor sucked in his breath at the sight of the creature from the Gheldeth but this brought back the coughing he'd suppressed earlier. His chest felt like it was tearing apart and a blinding white pain flashed behind his eyes, blocking out everything but the searing flesh of his chest and stomach. He whimpered between the coughing and the times when he sucked in more air to fill his rebelling lungs. He felt a warm heat running over the area of his lungs and a needle sliding into his neck from the medical droid. Taylor prayed it was something to calm him down and not something to cause him more anguish and pain. He wanted to cry in relief when he felt the spasms in his stomach ceasing and the pain lessening. He opened watery eyes and stared back at the Gheldeth-creature. His vision blurred slightly and his head started to feel heavy.
"Who..." Taylor figured he had a right to know the identity this alien was, causing him a fit like that.
The being's voice came out like silk over milky smooth skin, "I am Thattle...and I have something special planned for you, youngling." He hissed out a laugh, "Very special."
Taylor dropped his head back to the table in defeat, finally giving up to the struggle against the drugs and against all that he'd been fighting.

{Place- Denabux}
{Habitation- Sammie's House}

Zac leaned back against the headboard of Sammie's bed, taking in a deep breath of satisfaction. He knew the feeling would wear off quicker than he'd like but for the time being, it was something other than grief. For that he was grateful. Scott Moffatt had said yes. And to add to that, he had sounded eager to help.
Sammie rubbed the back of his head, looking between both of the young men he'd so recently been reunited with. He didn't doubt his choice in the matter in the least. His only real fear would be the state they would find Taylor, if they could find him at all.

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