The Draedean Threat

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

Chapter 23 - Untitled

Taylor's head pounded. It felt as if his brain had been locked away for years and was finally demanding its freedom. In his tired state he would have been more than willing to set it free if he could, but the pain, coupled with the straps at his wrists and ankles, was holding him back from being able to do so. The drug the droid had given him earlier was still creating a nice little fog in which his battered mind could hide behind but slowly, the fog began to dissipate, and the bright beacon of pain in his head gave him something to focus on. He began to hear a whirring noise to his left and the small IV in his arm moved slightly. The medical droid. Something was just injected into his line. Taylor moaned in pain and the sudden shock of clarity in his head, the fog was no more.
"Ahhh.god." He cried out softly.
The deep laughter of a Draedean met his exclamation of pain and Taylor Hanson cringed away from the sound. Sankt only laughed a bit louder, his obnoxious tone not missed by the young Terran.
"Did your rest do you well?" He enquired.
Taylor took a moment to get used to the fog-free state of his brain before answering, "Not in the least, thanks for asking."
Sankt laughed again. Before this being there had been very few sane creatures who would talk to him in such a manner. It was almost a relief to be brought down several notches, Sankt thought. Almost, but not quite. He took a deep breath as he stood.
"I would like to make this as short and painless as possible, for you and I both. Why did you sell my draetons?"
Taylor's breath hitched slightly. Questioning him so soon was unexpected, but probably a deliberate play on Sankt's part.
"You know just as well as I do. I was drunk. There weren't any girls around and I-."
"You were being a hormone driven Terran, bent on getting, what's the word..laid, and you were bound and determined to get it any way possible, yes?" Sankt turned his back to Taylor to better hide his reaction.
Taylor rolled his head against the metal medical bed and decided sarcasm wasn't needed in this situation, "Basically." Ah hell, maybe just a little.
Sankt felt the poison wanting to boil up in his fists, "What excuse do you give for selling something as valuable as draetons for your own needs, needs that won't be satisfied forever, but only for a few moments?"
Taylor shifted, "I was drunk." He winced against the sharpness of his voice in the sterile room, "Haven't we been over this before?"
Sankt clenched his teeth plates together, "That we have. I was hoping you might actually have a credible answer this time, one that might not require me to kill you or drag this out for as long as possible.for my benefit."
The laser burn in Taylor's side began to itch and swell with heat, the pain was minimal.
Sankt realized no answer was coming and began to pace, planning out the next thing to say. He lifted his head in satisfaction as his mind fed him a fact to use, "You say that you do not know who you sold my plants to?"
"Yeah." He answered warily.
Sankt spun around, "What if I could tell you who it was."
Taylor squinted as his headache returned five-fold, "I'd care less, actually. Ah." A particularly nasty jab behind his eye quieted his wit.
"It was a lagamorph male. From one of our many discussions he and I held, he informed me that you had raised some trouble in a certain hanger the day you got my shipment. He was part of that trouble."
"I didn't kill any morphers in the hanger.just Union Officers." He was confused, not sure where the Draedean was taking things.
"You were on a com, talking to your brothers when a lagamorph tried to take you from the unit so he would be able to make a call of his own. You proceeded to get physical with him and send him scurrying away. Does this ring a bell?"
"Damn it."
"As I thought it would. He claims to have morphed into a Draedean to take advantage of you, to get his revenge, and leave you to be dealt with properly." Sankt sounded smug.
Taylor looked up at him, "I suppose that means you got your precious draetons back and he got off scott-free."
Sankt gave a bark of laughter, "Far from it. But I did get my draetons. The lagamorph and his female are dead." He listened to Taylor's sharp intake of breath, "They may be able to take advantage of you, Terran, but they knew who they were dealing with when they got into this. They just expected the outcome to be different."
Taylor could feel the tears welling up already, "And mine?"
"The same as theirs. But not here. Not now. I don't fancy the thought of having Union Officers on my ship if they should find me here with a dead Terran body on my hands. Even if it's (your) body. Rest well. We're leaving soon."
Taylor's heart raced, "Leaving? Where?"
Sankt gave him his best smirk and said, "To meet your fate, young Terran."


{Place- Denabux}
{Habitation- Frontstreet Market}

"Zac, you and Sammie go and get whatever he and Scott are gonna need on their ship. Clep said she still had a full cargo from Tay's escapades. I gotta find the man-of-the-hour at one of the restaurants on the other side of the market." Isaac was already walking away by the time he finished his orders.
He glanced over his shoulder, trying to be discreet, to be sure that Zac and Sammie were on their way. He was happy to see they were taking at least (this) task seriously. They'd agreed earlier to meet back in the building supplies area in a little over an hour. One last look confirmed that Sammie was leading his larger counterpart to the weapon's area, and Isaac relaxed a bit as he was swept up in the flow of people going to the food venders for a meal.
Isaac realized that selling all the farming droids hadn't been the wisest idea he'd ever come up with. It was a good cause, no doubt, but if they returned empty-handed to the farm, there'd be hell to pay.
Isaac recognized one of the sub-streets he needed to get onto in order to find the (Leshira), a new eating establishment. Scott declared this is where they would meet. Fighting the flow of beings, he managed to get where he wanted [amid much tripping, cursing, and rude gestures], and breezed through the door. He automatically turned to the right to get away from the influx of people at the entrance, and looked over the occupants of the moderate-size diner.
(Sammie said he'd have black and magenta hair.) Isaac's eyes continued taking in the appearances of those around him. He felt close to giving up when a waving arm in a dark corner caught his eye. Ah, so he'd been spotted first. He gave a nod to indicate that he'd seen and started to make his way to the table.
The young man motioned to a bench on the opposite side of the table, "Sit down. Scott." He inclined his head in askance.
The younger man nodded, "It's been awhile, Ike."
Isaac gave a sad smile and a quick nod, "Too long. I'm sorry about your family, man.but I'm happy to see you so willing to help us get Tay back."
Scott's eyes had clouded over, his jaw clenching slightly as he looked into his drink, "I know how it feels to lose family. The triplets are living on Owllint, married already. Idiots. Too young." He sighed and shook back his shaggy hair, "But enough about me, when do we leave?"
"As soon as we're able. Sammie and Zac are off getting weapons, rations, and whatever else strikes them as a must-have."
Scott gave a wolf-of-a-grin, "You just lost a lot of money doin' that."
"Doing what?"
"Letting those two babies out on the market buy themselves, no babysitter." His wry grin grew wider.
Isaac picked at a hangnail, "Yeah, well.I didn't trust them to find you without spending everything on girls or what not. Weapons are something Zac and Sammie can handle though, we went over it."
Scott scratched at his stubble with one hand, picking the top of the table with the other, "Sammie's got a bit of spacer in him, he knows his toys. I wouldn't worry about 'em either."
"I hear that." He nodded his approval, "So what does that leave for us to do?"
The other man grinned and ordered another drink, "Sit on our asses while the babies do the grunt work."
Isaac gave a short laugh and raised his hand to indicate he'd have the same, "I think I might have a new respect for you, Moffatt."
Scott gave a cheshire grin, "Likewise."


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

Taylor lay in a cloud of numbness, as if every thought going through his brain was nothing more than a tiny prick of feeling, but gone a second later. He was worn out.physically and emotionally. He'd put so much into his effort to get home and all of it had ended up being for nothing and now he was paying for it. He knew he was going to die soon. There was nothing that could stop that sort of knowing. Some small part of him told him to keep fighting, that it's not over until it's over. But defeat had taken a sharp hold of him and was reluctant to let go. Taylor shifted a bit, pulling his arms as far up as he could. The position was beginning to make him ache. Slowly, his eyelids drooped lower, gained substantial weight as his body melted into the table, and sleep took him.
Taylor didn't know how long it was before something woke him up. He was confused for a moment and the earlier numb feeling left him. Panic clawed his stomach madly, forcing him to take action against his captivity. He yanked his arms up and down, kicked his legs up, and thrashed about as much as he was able. Nobody around seemed to notice or care. The droid hovered nearby, motionless and without orders for a situation like this.
All of the sudden, Taylor could feel the weight of liftoff pressing him down, forcing him into the surface he was lying on. It didn't last long. A muffled boom and the rocking of the ship caught his attention. The straps at his wrists and ankles snapped away and the Terran's was flung from the medical bay onto the floor. The bottom of the starship made a violent crashing sound, heaving Taylor into the air, and filling the air with the sounds of screeching metal, exploding systems, and warning sirens. Taylor scrambled to his feet, only to be tossed down a second later as the ship settled itself again. The young man pulled himself up, bracing for something incase the ship decided to move again. All went still and the only noise to be heard was hissing pipes and screeching alarms.
Taylor ran for the door, looking for some sort of palm-reader, and finding none. A small hole the size of the medical droid's arm was the only evidence that somebody could even get out of this metal room. He spun around and started for the cabinets in search of any type of weapon he could fashion. The door behind him opened with a protesting squeal and Taylor spun on his heels.
There stood Thattle, brandishing a nasty looking blaster and a sinister smile.

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