The Draedean Threat

{Year- 3090}
{Place-Dreadean Space Territory}

Chapter 5 - Dead Dog Saloon

Taylor's dull eyes studied the cold, lonely vastness of deep space and he shivered. His tongue darted out over dried lips and he repositioned himself in his seat, praying for the men he killed, something he hadn't done for a long, long time. He began to wonder why he was thinking this way and his brothers' faces' flashed in his mind. Realization set in when he thought about it long enough through the foggy haze the murderous rampage had put over him.
"I guess they gotta have something to do with it. I haven't felt like this forever, not since the first guy I shot and that wasn't even on purpose! I was just trying to scare the dude.." He grinned morbidly.
"Clep, don't respond to this question, but alert me when we're within a thousand miles of Dead Planet." He ordered before returning to his thoughts.
"Ok....can't get drunk tonight.can't get drunk, can't get drunk. Do NOT get drunk Jordan Taylor Hanson!" He began commanding himself. He had a weakness for alcoholic beverages and had been saved more then a few times by friends when the Union Forces came after him while he was smashed. He knew now would be the worst time to let his guard down; it could get him arrested and Sankt busted, two things he didn't fancy. And then what about Sankt..
This had to be one of THE biggest smuggling missions going down from Draedon in history and HE was part of that. And why Sankt would want so many draetons of their home-world Taylor would never know, he only knew he had to keep the Union at bay at least until this was done. He wasn't sure if smuggling held the same charm it had at first but where could he turn now? Would Ike and Zac ever forgive him for the carnage he was forced to show them? How could they? Why would they want to?
Before he realized he was tired, Taylor fell asleep and his head leaned against the back of his seat. Clepsydra looked on with computerized compassion and her cameras observed goose bumps forming along his exposed skin. She went into her data banks and over rid the heating system and raised it a few precious degrees to offer comfort for the person who kept her systems running. She cared for this human as much as her programming allowed her.

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

"How could he lie to us like that? I thought we raised him better!" Diana cried, her shaking hands pressed against her pale face.
"Di..it can't be that bad, he's just smuggling. We can just...." Walker was cut off by his wife's tirade.
"No Walker! You didn't see what my baby did! He shot those men! He killed them and then threw a bomb and ran away to his ship! It's not just smuggling! Our baby boy's killing men!" She ranted, flinging her hands around for emphasis.
"Diana! Shut up!" Walker hissed, "Nobody needs to know about this. You, Ike, Zac, and I are it. The youngsters DO NOT NEED TO KNOW." Walker stated in all seriousness, grabbing Diana's flailing hands.
Diana finally broke down and buried her face in her husbands hands as a sob wracked her body, "I know..all those bodies.my baby killed all those men.." Walker quickly ushered his wife into their bedroom where little ones weren't allowed.
Zac poked his head around the corner, "It's clear." He said flatly, stiffly walking over to a chair and plopping his thick frame onto a cushionless seat.
Isaac, still feeling slightly numb, sat down across the table from him and stretched his arms straight across the tabletop, laying his head across them and groaning.
"God..why'd he do it? What kinda stuff goes through a guys head when he's shooting somebody?" He pondered.
Zac could only shake his head and wonder the same thing. He just couldn't get rid of the look of shock, pain, and/or disbelief from the Union officers' faces. They were just stuck fast just behind his eyelids, he feared closing his eyes because he knew that's what he could see. That or Taylor being shot in the chest and back that kept playing over and over on 'repeat' was his only other option. There was a certain grandeur to it all though, something that Zac couldn't quite put his finger on but he knew that sort of life seemed wild and out of reach. He knew he wanted to reach it but could he stretch far enough?
Isaac observed his little brother's facial expressions and he feared that sparkle in Zac's eyes when there should have been fear and disgust.
"Zac..what're you thinking?" Isaac asked carefully.
Zac shrugged his shoulders, "I dunno man... I'm so confused. This just sucks." He stood up and started to the door, "Come on. Just cause Tay killed a million people doesn't mean we get the day off. We gotta get back to the droids."
Isaac blew air over his lips, puffing his cheeks out before following after his sibling, happy to have a diversion from his terrible thoughts.

{Year- 3090}
{Place-Dreadean Space Territory}

"Taylor sir! We are closing in on Dead Planet. Taylor sir!" Clepsydra yelled.
Awareness cut through the thick veil of sleep that was lying across Taylor's eyes as he pulled his lids apart, yawning and stretching.
"Oh.ick. Clep? Did you mess with the thermostat?" Taylor whined, peeling his shirt off his chest and back.
Clepsydra was reluctant to say anything but her programming ordered her to, "You were cold Taylor sir. You needed the heat to help you sleep."
Taylor tried to ignore the anger he felt boiling up because he knew it was for a stupid reason, but he couldn't hold back. The stress from the earlier situation reached an unbearable peak, "I own this ship do I not?" He growled.
Clep's meek voice, "Yes Taylor sir."
"Do you own MY ship Clepsydra?" He bit back a yelling voice.
"I do not Taylor sir."
"THEN do NOT TOUCH ANYTHING UNLESS I ORDER IT!" Taylor screamed, pounding the back of his seat in a authoritative manner.
"I am sorry Taylor sir. I will not disobey protocol again." A slightly offended, cold voice answered.
"See that you don't or I might get a more reliable companion for this craft." He muttered.
"Yes Taylor sir."
"Clep, set an orbit around the planet and give them my codes for this sector." He commanded, walking towards his sleeping quarters.
"Yes Taylor sir."
Taylor looked in the mirror and grimace. "No girls tonight." He figured. He picked up a brush and ran it through his short hair, attempting to pull it back into a ponytail like he did when he was younger and smiled softly when most of the hair slipped out of his grasp. He looked towards his bunk and noticed the bottom drawer was hanging out with his clothes lying in a heap near it. He squatted near the large pile and observed, with a certain note of shame, that every piece of clothing there was made of tronflex. Even his boxers and socks. He knew that you couldn't tell it was tronflex from outward appearances but the inside looked like metallic material. He sighed and reached down and picked up dark green snug fitting pants and a black long sleeved shirt. He didn't wish to show off his laser gun scars tonight, not looking as he was already. He looked at his hats on a hat rack nearby and decided against wearing one. His hair had come out nicely. He smelled his armpits and grimaced. He stood still, by the door, for a moment pondering the idea of showering and smiled when he thought about the dry shower. He through his clothes off and ran to his shower stall, jumped in, and pressed the desired keys. He made sure the programming wouldn't mess up his pretty hair.
"Clep, did they accept the codes?" He called through the noise.
"They did Taylor sir." A bored answer replied.
Taylor felt ashamed for hurting his computerized friend, "Look, I'm sorry for buggin at you like that Clep. I'm stressed right now and Ike and Zac really didn't need to see what went on back there ok? I'm sorry."
The oppressive atmosphere left and Taylor stepped out of the shower and put his clothes on, smelling himself once more and noting that the stench of fear, guilt, and pain had left his body along with the dirt, grime, and sweat.
"Don't open this door for anyone unless it's my over ride codes. I want the cargo bay locked and depressurized so no one can snoop around." Taylor ordered, walking around the ship and cleaning up incase he brought back a young lady for the night.
"But Taylor sir, that would kill the plants in the hold." Clepsydra whined.
"No it won't, they have their own supply of air and moisture in their boxes. Reroute all the air and stuff into the main part of the ship. No wait. Better yet, I want you to flush out the air system and get some fresh stuff from the docking units while I'm out." Taylor responded.
"It will be done Taylor sir." Clep let him know.
"Sweet..don't wait up for me sista." He called, walking towards the door.
He waited for the signs that the ship had connected to the docking bay and felt the ship jolt lightly before placing his hand on the palm reader and strolled out when the door slid quietly open.

{Year- 3090}
{Place- Dead Planet}
{Habitation- Dead Dog Saloon}

Taylor sauntered into the bar he'd been to a few times before and perked his eyebrow at the bar tender in askance. The server glanced to the right subtly and Taylor's head swung slowly in that direction, a lewd look spread across his fine features. Several young beauties sat at a table and smiled invitingly at him. He grinned and started to make his way over to them.
"This night might not be all that bad afterall.."

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