The Draedean Threat

{Year- 3090}
{Place- Selvmatej Star System}

Chapter 3 - Cryogenic Freeze

"CLEP! Recharge launch tubes four and six! Fire side thrusters, I want a new position!" Taylor yelled at his ship's computer.
He'd been fighting a pretty even battle with the Union ships. He destroyed two of them straight off, neither of them showing much caution. It'd taken him a few more minutes to polish off the third and now all that was left was their squad leader who happened to be a polished veteran. The ship rocked hard to the left, indicating a strong, well-aimed hit.
"Damn.Clep? Shield status!" He cried.
"Seventy-five percent Taylor Sir." The computer replied. Taylor's eyebrows arched.
"Only twenty-five percent loss? Killer!" He grinned and, with the new found knowledge, decided to take on a new more aggressive approach.
He stopped his ship and swung the rear around so he was face to face with the Union ship. The officer must have realized what he wanted as he pulled the same maneuver. Both ships sat for a moment to allow the shields to power up and weapons to recharge. Taylor whispered prayers the entire time he sat waiting for a move from the other man. The computer turned on and announced:
"Taylor sir! Fire now! His missiles are being deployed! Suggest that side thrust be applied!" Clep's artificially panicked voice rang.
"Do it! If it saves our asses, do it!" Taylor screamed.
He felt the ship lurch and all forward projectiles leave the Clepsydra in a matter of a few seconds. An orange-red fireball stood churning and burning where the Union's ship had just sat with the missiles being sucked into a new gravity field a few million miles away. Taylor grinned as he ran a hand through his sweaty hair.
"Clep, ready my cryogenic unit. How long until we get to Draedon?" Taylor questioned.
"Two weeks Taylor sir. Your cryo bay is online and functions are running at maximum safety."
Taylor rubbed his chin thoughtfully. He hated cold sleep. Spending how long frozen solid only to come to with a massive ice cream headache all just to help pass the time? Was it really worth it? He glanced around his ship and saw no devices of entertainment, only his ship's computer would help him out.
"Do not worry Taylor sir. I'll have a medicine cart next to your bay the minute you are awake." Clepsydra soothed.
Taylor grinned and stated, "Man.if only mom had read me so well maybe I wouldn't be a smuggler huh Clep?" He chuckled and shed his shirt on the way to the cryo units and just dropped the shirt where it lay. He sat on a table and attached the heart monitor to his chest and winced when he felt the small 'teeth' anchor themselves to his skin. He wrapped his chest in the respirator monitor cloth and plugged the wires into a nearby cryo bay with its door open and he observed the number.
"Clep? I'm in 1520, don't forget." He smiled at the ceiling.
"Never Taylor sir, I would never forget!" The computer sounded indignant at being thought incapable.
Taylor giggled and finished the wrapping process. He tugged and yanked at the bottom of each pant let until the tronflex fabric released each leg and he sighed. He observed the groove lines the stitching left in his skin and smiled. "Pants are too tight." He dropped his rayon boxers and felt goose-bumps climb up his body, starting at the feet. He ordered the medical droid to come to the cryogenics bay with IVs and supplies of that sort. He tied the rubber strip around his upper arm and balled his hand into a fist watching his blood vessels pop out. By the time the droid arrived he was ready to rip the strip off. He closed his eyes as he watched the droid bring the long, hollow needle towards his arm and slide it in the vein.
"Ow!" He yelped loudly. They were still using IVs in the year 3090 and Taylor thought that ridiculous. Medical science had come so far but yet they still needed to stick little needles in you when you don't need it. The IV locked into place, pinching a little skin in the process as he barked an order at the droid to be more careful and sighed when it was. The tubing was attached below the locking section and Taylor sighed. The worst was over. The droid taped the tubing down to the back of his hand and pulled Taylor to bay 1520 and motioned him in.
"Clep? Is the course still set for the Hanger the chip indicated?"
"Yes Taylor sir."
"What's the duration of my cryo sleep?" He asked nervously, double-checking the duration of his sleep and the dials near his cryo bay.
"Two weeks Taylor sir. Get in the bay, the sooner you are asleep the sooner I am able to activate the drive units." Clepsydra reminded the blonde quickly.
Taylor smiled and stood, nude, against the mold shaped roughly like a humanoid figure. He called out one last time:
"Give Sankt a call and tell him when I'll be arriving there Clep."
"Yes Taylor sir." The computer responded.
Taylor felt the coolness seeping up around his legs and then up his waist to reach his chest and neck. Finally, his head was engulfed in the coldness and suddenly, with a scream he wouldn't remember, Taylor Hanson's body was frozen in place.
Clepsydra waited two more minutes to be sure her master was comfortably sleeping before starting the drive units. More ships were entering into the sector as Clep's human-ish side kicked in as she stated, "So long boys." and the hyper drive fired to full power, launching the ship on an impact free path to Draedon.


{Year- 3090}
{Place- Denabux}
{Habitation- Hanson Family Home}

(Two weeks after Taylor's Cryogenic freeze)

Zac trudged tiredly up the stairs to his room and slumped down to his bed, sitting heavily while staring at his shoes. He wondered if he should bother with removing them and realized he had to, it was his turn for the shower. Muttering about his lack of sleep, he tore one shoe off and chucked it across his room, watching with satisfaction as it left a small trail of mud on the wall and the second shoe followed soon after.
"Shower's yours." Isaac said, walking pass Zac's room in a towel.
"Ugh Ike..don't prance around naked." Zac chided tiredly, giggling softly when his mother said the same thing although it wasn't phrased the same.
Zac was about to leave his room when his com-link screen started beeping. He groaned and pondered if he should make the long trip over to the communicator to take a call that was probably for Ike. It beeped again, almost sounding impatient.
"Fine!" He yelped, forcing the fatigue to leave his bones and muscles.
He hit the 'open link' button and an image filled the screen that made Zac catch his breath.
"Zac man! Wow! You're huge! How ya been? Where's Ike? How's the farm?" Taylor spat out in a matter of a few seconds.
Zac stared at his brother in shock. His hair had been cut in a much different fashion then it had been when it left. His face held a quiet laughter he'd rarely seen before and he seemed so self-assured like he'd never been before.
"Uh, Zac? Dude if you're gonna stand there and let the birds in, lemme yell for Ike real quick." He joked.
Zac started shaking his head in confusion, tiredness only making it harder to connect anything.
"Zac! Mom needs the com-line! How long are you gonna be?" Isaac's voice drifted up the stairs and down the hallway. When no reply came, and Taylor stood there grinning at his younger brother, Isaac was forced to run up the stairs to give his brother a whap upside the head and ask again, but he too stopped short at what he saw.
"Ike! Dude wow! Hey, you cut your hair! Looks smooth man. How ya doin?" Taylor asked.
Isaac shook his head in anger and confusion, much like Zac had but he was able to speak, "Why're you calling here? After all this time why bother?"
Taylor's smile didn't falter, but his stance took on a defiant one as he answered, "This is the first chance I've really gotten. It's been go, go, go since I left. You know I'm sorry about not calling, why bother calling now?"
"You probably need credits or something." Isaac mumbled.
He jerked his head back to the screen he'd looked away from when Taylor laughed and said, "Look," He pulled the hefty pile of credits from his pocket he'd lifted from the man at the trade center, "Does it seem like I need some credits? Didn't think so. Let your guard down guys, I'm not gonna kill ya, I wanna.." A harsh voice in the background caused Taylor to jump but he turned aggressive and told the screen, "Hang on for a sec k?"

Zac turned to Isaac and raised an eyebrow in query as Isaac merely shrugged. All of the sudden the sound of somebody being punched and a long string of cursing cut through the com-link as Isaac and Zac stared in disbelief. A lagamorph had tried to jerk Taylor away from the coms so he could use it and Taylor just wailed on his butt, sending him scurrying away.

Lagamorphs were strange beings at an average of six feet tall with a gray-ish green pigment. Their eyes rested in a similar position as Terrans with the exception of spacing. A lagamorph's eyes were like a giraffe's; the spacing held them towards the side of the head rather then the middle of the face. This trait allows them a wider range of sight around the front and back but sometimes would block a small space in the immediate center in their field of vision. The beings had ears located in various spots on their heads as well as an ear on each foot that detected vibrations called infrasonic waves that they emitted when they didn't wish to speak verbally. Infrasonic sounds were well below human hearing but could be felt to a degree. Their noses were located all over their body in a way, they were able to smell anything and everything caught on updrafts of wind. Their mouths contained razor sharp, serrated teeth that were kept sheathed in a hard, cartilage based husk that kept the lips, gums, and tongue out of danger. Body hair was obsolete on these aliens. One of their most amazing traits was the way they kept warm.
A lagamorph was born with a large amount of copper sulfate in their anatomy. When water was added, an immediate temperature rise occurred that didn't endanger the species well being, but rather it sufficiently raised their body heat. The creature could live without the reaction but if they were in a cold environment and they ran out of water they would turn sluggish and have a hard time moving, eventually resulting in death. As many knew, they came from a water world, eighty-five percent of the surface was covered in fresh water. The way water was added to the copper sulfate was to be ingested or long periods spent submerged in the liquid so the body could soak it up.
The last and most astonishing thing lagamorphs had was the capability to morph. A lagamorph was able to take on any shape of any object it saw or remembered. Their trait of survival on their planet was to morph into an inconspicuous looking animal, rock, or coral and wait for prey to come to them. Atoms, cells, and molecules with the beast could be sized down up to a tenth of their size and still be able to function perfectly. An adult lagamorph could safely shrink down more then a tenth of their size. The species evolved to be as thin as possible to pick up the morphing speed and they evolved tallness as a form of intimidation to anything threatening them or their young. Their ears could be morphed to various spots on the head the better their hearing range, much like a deer does by swiveling its ears around its own head. All in all... they could be quite a formidable opponent if challenged but that didn't stop Taylor.

"Get outta here.Jesus of all the things..sorry guys. I was just... what? What's wrong?" Taylor asked, noting his brothers pale faces.
"That....was... a... morpher. What the hell was that about? He coulda killed you!" Isaac spat out in a worried tone.
Taylor smiled, knowing full well why that morphin ran off so quickly. He was well known, "I'm uh... not the kinda guy to mess with around here."
Zac narrowed his eyes, "Where's here?"
Taylor flushed red and realized the truth would soon be known... or he would have to lie to his brothers, something he didn't want to do. But he'd already done it once and that was the biggest lie he'd ever let pass over his lips. "Now or never."
"Guys. I'm on.Dreadean right now." He left it at that to see their reactions.
Isaac curled his lip in distaste as Zac's jaw took a second trip to the floor.
"God... Tay if mom and dad find out their gonna disown you!" Isaac shrieked.
Zac looked slightly confused, "What's wrong Ike?" He asked, sounding much like a five year old.
"He's smuggling Zac!" Isaac hissed quietly.
Zac's eyes matched the size of his fist as he asked Taylor, "Why the hell would you leave a LEGAL job on the farm for something like smuggling??"
Taylor looked contrite but didn't answer. A commotion was heard over the com-link and Taylor turned sharply to see what was the matter.
"HEY! Just because it's beat up doesn't mean you can treat it like shit!" Taylor screamed in a booming voice. Several docking attendants looked back at the owner of the ship and frowned, but made sure they were more careful.
"Tay.... what's goin on? What're you doing out there?" Isaac had to ask.
"ISAAC HANSON IS YOUR BROTHER OFF THE COM YET?" Diana's voice was flung up the stairs.
Taylor smiled wide at first, trying to see passed his brothers bodies before realizing what he was doing and shook his head and whispered, "Say no! I gotta tell you guys something."
"NO MOM! IT'LL BE A MINUTE!" Zac yelled out the door.
Taylor looked at the ground gathering his thoughts and looked at Isaac first and then Zac, "You guys ready to hear this?"

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