The Draedean Threat

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

Chapter 6: "Future business Sankt, sir?"

Taylor frowned dejectedly. The women he'd sat with weren't what he thought them to be. He sat flirting with them for several minutes before a few lagamorph males came in and the gorgeous Terran women he was seducing suddenly turned back to morphins and left the bar with the other males.
"Figures." He frowned. "Maybe getting drunk isn't such a bad idea." His thoughts were suddenly cut short when the bar tender motioned to him. Taylor frowned and raised his eyebrows, feeling far to lazy to stand up and see what he wanted.
"Com for you." The bar tender let him know.
"Link it over here man." Taylor held up a credit and the other man nodded.
He sat for a moment while the link was being over ridden and sent his way. Suddenly, the view screen lit up and Taylor sucked in a mouthful of air.
"Taylor, it is good to see you again."
Taylor blanched, wondering what he did wrong, "Uh.... Sankt.good... good to see you too man. What's up?" He felt sweat form on his upper lip as he wiped it away.
Sankt was in the same office he'd been in when he first met Taylor. He leaned back in his chair before replying, "I heard about the hanger.... impressive I'm sure. One minor detail you forgot."
"Shit... oh man I'm dead."
"What would that be Sankt sir?" His voice nearly wavered, but he fought it back and held his voice strong.
"My friend is still wondering why he has the case you were to pick up. Care to enlighten me?" Sankt asked in a pompous tone.
Taylor's eyes widened and his mouth was left open for a moment before his jaw clamped shut. He thought over his answer and thought "Screw it".
"I forgot about it. I didn't mean to but my brothers were on the com-link when I blasted the Union guys and I didn't want them to see it. I kinda bolted outta there while I had the chance. I can get back in if...."
"No. No it is not important. A mere challenge to test your skills Taylor." Sankt looked smug.
"Excuse me?" Taylor's stomach muscles suddenly relaxed.
Sankt looked plenty pleased with himself, "You would have had quite a fight had you remembered to gather the case."
Taylor closed his eyes and dropped his head to his chest in relief and anger, "Geze, scare the shit outta me."
Sankt's expression never changed but he said to Taylor, "I hope in the future you won't forget this lesson when you do business with me young Taylor."
"Future business Sankt, sir?" Taylor couldn't believe his luck.
Sankt tilted his head to one side, observing the frail looking Terran sitting before him. It was beyond his comprehension that such a soft looking creature led such a productive bootlegging career for so long and wasn't captured or prosecuted yet. Let alone killed. The Terran's skills were well known in the central systems and was slowly leaking out to the colony planets on the rest of the spiral the universe formed. He was perfect for later projects Sankt would need. He proved he could hack it and not buckle under the pressure. His brothers seemed to be his only weakness.
"Hmm.good information." Sankt decided he would ask Taylor about his brothers soon.
"Yes. You showed you are able to defend yourself and your ship from the Union. I saw the footage, did you know not one cargo handler was killed during your interlude?" Sankt looked impressed.
"Ah, no... no sir I didn't." Taylor allowed a small grin to press against his cheeks.
"Well.you left in such a hurry one would be doubtful that you did know. What is the time frame of you returning to the Selvmatej Galaxy?"
"About two weeks Sankt sir."
"Do you have anything to keep you occupied during the long trek?" Sankt wanted to know.
"No sir. I go under cold sleep for that." Taylor said nervously.
"Do you not worry about Union officers tracing your ship's trajectory?"
Taylor snorted before he could stop himself but continued to talk smugly, "Clep scrambles the signals, they land in a completely different squadron then I do. It's random too, can't trace my next move."
Sankt's purplish face took on a rare impressed look, "Your ship has such capabilities?"
"Yes sir." Taylor gave a one sided grin.
"Well then... I'll have to use you more often." Sankt thought of his brothers, "Who are your brothers Taylor? What planet are they occupied on?"
Taylor's gaze hardened and he shook his head, "No way Sankt. No. I'm a liability to them and there's no way you're finding out where they are." Taylor chopped the air with his hands in emphasis.
Sankt's face crumpled. "Smart young man. I'll keep that in mind."
"I am.sorry that you think I'm unworthy of your trust." Sankt acted surprised.
"Yeah, well don't be. I'm not as stupid as you take me for." Taylor sounded offended.
"So I see. I wish you a good evening Taylor. Is my cargo safe without your watchful gaze to protect them?" Sankt asked.
"Yes sir. The hold's depressurized and locked with my override codes. Nobody's gonna get in there unless it's me." Taylor straightened, sensing the conversation was coming to an end.
"Good. I will hope to hear from you soon Taylor."
Taylor watched Sankt reach for the 'end transmission' button and sighed heavily when the alien's image blipped off the screen.
"Oh... My... God." Taylor sat back and rubbed his eyes with his knuckles, "That sucked."
He snapped his fingers at the bar tender and pointed at his table and sighed deeply in appreciation when a service droid made its way over to the table. Taylor barked an order and sat back for the short wait before the calming liquid would reach him.
"God... heart attack and a half." He sat still at his table, motionless and thoughtless when the service droid beeped loudly for the third time.
"Oh, uhm.... sorry." He grabbed his liquor from the droid and placed the required credits into the droid's credit slot and two more for the com-link favor. He smelled the foul liquid and stuck his tongue in the bluish fluid, yanking it out and hissing when it burned his taste buds but, before he could change his mind, he tossed back in his throat, wincing at the burn it left as it traveled to his stomach. He ordered another of the same along with a beer. By the time his second order reached his table a fuzzy warmth was glowing and moving up from his stomach to his brain. He sucked the shot down and opened his beer on a handy-dandy bottle opener located on the side of the droid. He took a long pull and smiled when it settled nicely in his belly. He knew it was still a tad early in the evening for single ladies to be coming in, he scanned the area and prayed no more lagamorphs were around. That had been embarrassing.
"And what about Sankt?" Taylor's alcohol influenced mind wandered around subject to subject, random thoughts popping in and out of his thoughts.
For the life of him, Taylor still couldn't figure out why Sankt wanted to know where his family was. The obvious 'payback' theory was the strongest he could come up with. Somehow, if the cargo was lost, Sankt would turn to them to cover finances and profit lost. If proper funding couldn't be found, death was the only answer left. Slavery had been banned millions of years ago for Sankt's people but barely a millennia ago for Terran society. Lagamorphs didn't understand the word 'slave' so they were discounted for that. Taylor's buzzing mind noticed a Terran woman walk into the saloon with some female friends and he snapped his fingers at the bar tender once more. He had finished his beer.

{Four Hours Later}

"Gawd damnit. None of theesh ladies know what they're mishin... goin home with those loshers." Taylor slurred drunkenly. He smacked his lips and reached into his pockets for more credits to buy himself another drink. He frowned irritably when he came up empty handed and smacked the table in anger. He swung his head towards the bar and shook his head when his vision blurred. He saw a familiar green shape slowly expanding in his field of vision. He blinked his eyes and rubbed at them harshly with his fingers. When his vision cleared a bit a Dreadean came into focus, sitting where a lagamorph once had.
"Huh?" He spat out in confusion. "Where'd the morpher go?" His mind tried to decide., "Oh well."
He sighed and heaved himself up from his booth and staggered to the large being sitting at the counter, wondering how he could manage to get a drink out of him.
"Hiya friend.... late night?" Taylor managed not to slur, blinking harshly to focus his eyes.
"Yes... you too I see eh?" The large being asked back.
"You hvvve no idea." Taylor slurred to him.
"Perhaps it is time for you to return to your star craft?" The being asked.
Taylor waved unsteadily on the bar stool he was sitting on and grabbed the counter for support. The alien next to him leant a helping hand by grabbing the drunk teen's shoulder and helping sit up.
"Thanksh. Say.... you wouldn't want to buy me a drink wouldja?" Taylor spat out, suppressing a groan as his head spun again.
"I can not buy you a drink....but perhaps we could barter for credits?" The being asked craftily.
Taylor leaned back and jerked himself forward when he felt his center of gravity fly out the window and he decided to keep a firm hand on the counter as he turned to eye the Dreadean sitting next to him, "Whatdja got in mind?" He squinted one shut and peered at the being to better his vision.
"I heard you're packing something serious around with you. I could take the worry off of your hands for some credits.." The being led in a sweet tone.
Taylor wobbled in his stool, "I dunt think sho..that's Sankt's stuff I'm packin." He turned an angry eye on the beast beside him.
The being sat up straighter, "You could buy that pretty lady over there a drink....bed her for the night eh?"
"Huh?" Taylor asked, his drunken mind immediately interested.
A gorgeous brunette sat in a booth all by herself. She caught Taylor's gaze and blushed furiously, burying her face under her long hair. Taylor smiled.
"How musch ya got mister?" Taylor asked, leaning extremely close to the man next to him.
The being smiled and pulled out a large stack of counterfeit credits surrounded snugly by a few real credits. Taylor's eyes grew to the size of a small moon and he quickly agreed to the deal.
"Gimme em! You gotta deal." Taylor snatched the credits and went to pull a credit out to buy the woman a drink but she'd just got up to leave, "Ahhhh man! What do I do now?" He complained loudly.
"What docking bay is your ship bedded at?" The alien asked.
"What? Uhm... 2018.. do you want the override codes? It could blow ya up if you try to get in right now." Taylor tried to remember certain details.
"Yes, that would be helpful." The being purred at him in his strangely liquid voice.
"That doesn't sound like a Draedean." Taylor dismissed the thought because he could in his state of mind. He frowned at he scribbled down the codes and the docking bay number and he nodded to the man as he slunk back to his booth, hoping to get a girl to come to Clepsydra with him. He looked at the credits and smiled, pocketing them so he wouldn't misplace the precious items.


The lagamorph walked out of the bar shaped as a Dreadean and slowly he melted back to his previous form, shuddering once as his cells assumed their normal size. The brunette approached him with a smile, morphing as she approached him. She slid her arm up her mate's chest and they quickly ran for docking bay 2018 and the valuable cargo The Clepsydra held, nestled carefully in her cargo hold. The beings approached and called out the codes and, somewhat reluctantly, Clepsydra allowed the hold to pressurize and the hold door opened. The beings drew in a sharp breath at the sight and lunged into each others' arm, hissing in what would pass as laughter in the Terran species. A half an hour later the cargo bay was empty and the beings decided a little pilfering of "The Taylor Hanson's" cabin could be quite profitable. However, Clepsydra refused adamantly and threatened to call Union police on the two lagamorphs. The beings sulked somewhat before running for the loaded cargo truck and sped off to their own docking bay to make themselves scarce until this daring act blew over. The lagamorph knew he would get revenge on Taylor for pushing him around in the hanger like that but he didn't know it would be so soon and so profitable.

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