The Draedean Threat

{Year- 3090}
{Place-Dreadean Space Territory}
{Habitation: Dead Dog Saloon}

Chapter 7 - We gotta be scarce.

"Hey.buddy, wake up. Get back to your ship." A new bartender snarled at Taylor, who happened to be drooling all over the table he'd passed out on.
Taylor's blood shot eyes blinked open and he shook his head in an attempt to clear them. Bad idea. A massive headache exploded behind his eyes and his vision swam laps around and Olympic sized pool.
"Ohh...no." He moaned, and he proceeded to lay his head back on the table. A sharp poke with a disarmed stunner brought his head back up and his blurry eyes stared straight back into those of the bar tender.
"Leave or I'll call security. I know who you are and I know what kinda money I can get for turning you in. I don't wanna have that reputation so git!" He snarled, pointing at the door portal.
Taylor moaned pitifully and oh-so-slowly got to his feet and shuffled unsteadily for the hand monitor. The voice of the bartender stopped him.
"Hey, catch." He called.
Taylor turned quickly and, with cat-like reflexes, snatched the small blue vial of liquid out of the air. He smiled and nodded once to the man before slipping his hand over the surface of the palm reader. The door swooshed open. He walked dazedly down the hallway before stopping at a support beam in the middle of the hall. He looked down at the vial he held and the urge to use it became overpowering. He held the top of the container to the inside of his elbow and pressed the bottom. The blue fluid shot out the top and was immediately injected into his body through a series of tiny needles. Taylor flinched.
"Much better." He closed his eyes for a moment. It would be only seconds longer until he felt the headache vanish and the queasiness flashed away right along with it. His mind cleared to its normal sharpness as he strode on towards the ship. He glanced around as he did so. Good, no Union cops to see him use the illegal drug. The Clepsydra came into view a few moments later and he noticed something different. He couldn't put his finger on it from such a great distance, but he suddenly felt nervousness lick at his stomach.
"What's different..what's different.." His mind chanted. Then it struck him. It hit him like a load of photon missiles. The perimeter guard lights were off. They should have been flashing their warning colors.
Taylor pressed the implanted com-link in his jaw, "Clep.were you raided last night?" He reached the ship and stepped through the open portal.
An incredibly sad voice responded when he reached the inside of his ship, "No Taylor sir. Two lagamorphs came in with the access code and removed your cargo."
"And you didn't do anything to stop them!?" He screeched, looking at the ceiling.
"They had YOUR access codes Taylor sir. Do not put the blame on a computer who only follows protocol." A cold voice answered him.
An image flashed into Taylor's mind. A brief blip of a vague memory. He saw his hand poised over a pad of plasti-paper and beneath one corner of his hand were the access codes to get the ship open.
"Oh my God.the cargo Clep, you said it's gone?" Taylor's voice took on a childish tone.
"Yes Taylor sir." The depressed computer responded.
"Oh God..Oh God oh God oh God..no, no no no no!!! God! I told myself not to get drunk last night! Oh my God.... dead, I'm so dead Clep!" Taylor shrieked, pulling at his hair.
"Do not pull your hair out Taylor sir." The computer chided gently.
Taylor ignored her but he pulled his hands out on his own accord and stormed back to the cargo bay to make sure it was really empty... or full, he hoped. He held a shaking hand over the palm reader and grimaced, slowly placing his hand against the warm screen and closed his eyes. His hair was blown away from his face but a small piece stuck to his moist, pink lips. His cheeks flushed a more colorful red when he realized he was standing by the portal still and doing nothing. He opened his eyes.
"Oh Jesus... Oh Jesus.. Oh God." Taylor brought his hands up over his now-dry lips and sank to his knees, staring wide eyed and horrified at the empty cargo bay before him. He rocked back on his butt and landed there, not caring at the sharp pain of metal against his tailbone. He just sat, feeling the fear broil up his chest and before long, he realized that wasn't fear... that was bile trying to force its way out. He ran for the bathroom and slammed his hand against the screen, bolted for the toilet, and threw up all the unprocessed liquor. Clepsydra lowered the temperature of the room a few degrees for more comfort to her distraught master and stayed out of his way from there on out. He felt tears stinging his eyes as he pulled his sweaty hair from his damp face. He'd done the dumbest thing for some unknown reason. Why had a given out the codes like that? Why?
"Taylor sir." Clepsydra's hesitant voice ventured.
"Yeah." He croaked, feeling his throat burn.
"There wasn't a total loss. The beings tried to break into your cabin and steal your belongings. I wouldn't let them." She sounded a tad proud.
"Whoopty-shit." Taylor growled, still thinking.
"How in the hell do I get outta this one? I can't run. Sankt's got one hell of a reach. Back home?" He began to think hopefully, wondering what his other siblings looked like after he remembered the com-link chat with his brothers. Then his own words the previous night breezed into his head.
"I'm a liability to them."
"God I hate being right." He snarled, slamming his fist into the toilet basin.
He drug himself to his feet, air-flushing his stomach's remains away. He peered at himself in the mirror.
"Ugh." He stated. He dipped his hands under the faucet and felt the water flow over his fingers. He splashed his face twice and slicked his hair back before turning away and drying his face on his shirt.
"Clep, any ideas on what I should do?" He queried of the ship.
"Tell Sankt the tru-."
"NO! NO, he's so not finding out about this one Clep, no way." He sliced his expressive hands in a cutting motion over and over through the air to show how much he disapproved of the idea.
A computerized sigh, her programming was good, "Then you are on your own Taylor sir. I am sorry YOU got drunk last night and gave the access codes away."
Taylor snarled at the ceiling, "You.just.. go offline for an hour until I can think you piece of crap!" He screamed at the roof.
A tinny snick sounded, indicating the intercom was now off. Perfect.
Taylor sank to his butt in a small but comfortable chair and grabbed two handfuls of hair after he ran his fingers through it. Clep was 'mad' at him, he'd lost cargo worth more then his life and many others combined, and now to top it all off those Union officers had died in the hanger for no reason.
"Just peachy." Taylor sneered at himself.
"What's Sankt gonna do to me." He gasped, rocking back into his seat.
His thoughts raced and he knew what he had to do. He had two weeks to make himself as scarce as possible. Sankt would think him still in cryo sleep so that gave him a good excuse for no com contact. What about Zac and them?
"Oh God I messed up this time." He concluded.
"That's an understatement." Taylor said to himself harshly.
"Ok... put a com-link through to the family.... then lets see where we can go with this." He climbed to his feet and approached the communication array that was tucked snugly away in the side of the ship. He sighed and brushed his hands through his hair, gliding his delicate fingers over the equipment and finding toggles to dial to reach his family on a secured line, one that was untraceable. He bit his lip, rehearsing a short speech he'd give when the line was safe to speak freely on.
"God.. I really screwed this up." He hit the 'send' button and prayed that either Zac or Isaac would answer.
A moment later the circuitry board reported that, "Nobody is answering your summons. New number?"
Taylor's teeth returned to the small chapped piece of lip he had been gnawing at and he decided, "No. I'll try again in a minute." And he hit the toggle that shut the com-link down.
He returned to the bathroom after the ten paces it took to reach from the com-array. He peeked at himself hesitantly.
"Ew." He rinsed his face again and turned to the wall.
"Clep online."
"Taylor sir?"
"You got an hour before I leave this hole. Fill up all the reserve tanks with water and the fuel tanks need to be refueled if they haven't been already. Put the charge on Sankt's account." He grimaced but didn't stop himself from asserting his devious mind one last time.
"And uh... stock up the cargo hold. We gotta be scarce for awhile." He ended.
He jogged passed his open cabin door and gave new codes to the cargo bay incase the lagamorphs came back for more and he turned on his heel to return to his room as muttered the new codex to Clepsydra.
"What supplies do you wish Taylor sir?"
"Good question."
"Whatever this place has that I've eaten before and liked. A couple new things. And absolutely NO alcohol. Ever." He spat out, humiliation spattering his cheeks a bright pink.
"As you say Taylor sir." Clepsydra's voice vanished as she rushed to perform her duties.
"Uhm.. room." Taylor pointed to his room, ignoring the anxious feeling he was getting in his stomach, "Clothes.. normal clothes." He mumbled unintelligent things as he opened his cabin door.
He picked up a tronflex shirt and peeled his old, sweat encrusted shirt off from the night before and pulled the new one on. He sucked in his stomach and wiggled around a bit.
"Since when did this get so tight.?" He grimaced, looking in the mirror and giggling a little.
"That might be why." He yanked it off.
A female visitor had somehow left that unusually small garment behind on an impromptu visit with a most likely drunk Taylor since he couldn't remember seeing that particular thing before. He tossed it in the corner and grabbed a shirt modeled after a tank-top from much earlier Terran days back on the planet of the human race's birth. Dark blue with small green patches of fabric placed sporadically around the width of his shoulders and chest. He gave a quick glance at his pants. Passable.
"Anywho." He ran a brush through his insanely short hair and left the room, giving a verbal command for the lights to be turned off.
He walked passed the com-link and went to the small galley and pulled out a nutritious ration bar to snack on while he waited for his family to grab the com. He smiled and reached in the freezing unit and drank directly from the cold picture of water that sat within. He shut the metal door and took a step to the side, grabbing a new ration bar to replace the one that sat satisfyingly in his belly. He sighed and shook his head, feeling very tired and very stupid for what he'd done. He took a final glance at a gel mirror and thought.
"I look ok for what just happened." He smirked, "Get down with your vain self!" Came a second later. He turned and marched out the door. He pressed the memory button on the com-board and dialed his family's house again. No answer, just the automated voice.
Taylor thought long and hard before punching in Zac and Ike's speeder numbers and felt his stomach knot up with nervousness when the automated voice said:
"Transmission accepted. Wait a moment for the recipient to respond please."
"Whatever you say." He muttered. He leaned back against the board that was thigh-high and crossed one ankle behind the other and folded his arms across his chest and waited.

<< Next Page of Story>>
<< Previous Page of Story>>

<< Back to Story Page>>
<< Back To Index Of Chapters Page>>
Back To Main Page>>