The Draedean Threat

{Year- 3090}
{Place-Dreadean Space Territory}
{Habitation: The Clepsydra}

Chapter 9 - "That IS the other end!"

Taylor sat in the pilot seat in his ship, The Clepsydra, deep in thought. How could a farm boy on a planet like Denabux make up 40-50,000 credits? How long would it take? He sighed, puffing his cheeks full of air momentarily. He spied his bangs hanging before his eyes and used his lungs to force out a spurt of breath from his soft lips to send the hair flying straight up in the air and falling quickly to frame his face. His tongue darted out of his mouth to wet his chapped lips. He made a quick mental note to break out a new tube of chapstick before they left port. He stood up slowly, arching his back and pushing his arms above his head to deliver a back-popping stretch and told Clep to come online.
Taylor stood still for a moment before speaking, "Clep, if you were Sankt... what would you do to me if you found me?"
A quiet moment passed as the information she needed for an answer was processed, but Clepsydra replied, "I do not know Taylor sir. I am not Sankt nor do I have any programming to assume his thought patterns."
Taylor felt stupid, realizing she was right. "God! I shoulda stayed on the farm.I could be happy right now.not trying to rip my hair out." He pulled his hands from his hair; feeling disturbed that he didn't know he'd even reached for the locks in the first place. He was feeling restless. He wanted to get out of port, but the supplies wouldn't arrive until later that night and he still had to put the com-link through to Isaac and Zachary to set up a time to come home. He wondered if his old room was still set up like it was.or had it been collecting dust the entire time he was gone?

{Habitation-Hanson Family Home}

"No..the other end needs to be over there."
"No! The OTHER end!"
Zac dropped his corner of the bed and threw his hands in the air, "That IS the other end Ike!"
Isaac's face turned from one of anger to one of amusement and he plopped himself onto the clean surface of the newly washed blankets. They didn't know when Taylor would be home, but they knew he'd want his room to have a 'lived-in' feeling so they decided to pull all of his stuff out of storage on their rare day off. The far right corner from the door held a small view screen with many of Taylor's favorite movie-chips stacked on the stocky gray shelves. Zac went over and started sifting through the waist high shelves for an interesting chip to watch while they cleaned. Isaac waved him off and motioned to the small bed instead. Zac pulled his ample lips back over his teeth and assumed his previous position by the black, sleek looking bed, not happy at the continuing work even if it did mean Taylor was finally coming home. Both boys picked up the ends of the heavy piece of furniture, Zac rotating to the right while Isaac moved to the left. The sharp corner of Taylor's view-book disc holder jabbed Zac in the spine and he grunted loudly, shuffling forward quickly and, again, dropped the bed with a very audible 'whump!'

"God Zac! What's wrong now?" Isaac growled angrily.
"The viewer got me in the back, don't shit a brick Ike." The fifteen-year-old grumbled.
Suddenly a motherly voice sounded in the doorway, "Boys what on earth do you think you're doing up here!?" Diana Hanson did not look happy, "What are you doing with Taylor's things?" She questioned sharply.
Ike and Zac looked at each other, mouths agape and panic easily evident in brown and caramel colored eyes. Their jaws opened and closed a few more times with no sound ensuing. Diana crossed her arms in an impatient manner. Nothing came from either young man.
"Zachary Walker, do you care to explain to me WHAT you are doing with your brother's things?" She asked again, in a tone that none of her children ever ignored.
Zac gathered his thoughts quickly before responding, "I uh.knew his uh..I knew we weren't gonna use Tay's stuff for awhile so I decided to take his room. I uhm, I asked Ike to help me."
Isaac nodded hesitantly.
"Why wasn't your father or I told of this first?" An angry glare was stuck in her eyes that showed no signs of being replaced with belief.
Zac gulped, "I didn't think you'd say yes." He spat out at last, knowing he was going to be killed soon.
Their mother shook her head and muttered something incomprehensible as she strode off, shaking her head this way and that.
Isaac looked at his little brother in confused awe, "How did you just do that?"
Zac shook his head and motioned to the sleeping pallet stating, "Ya got me.."
"How long till Tay calls do ya think?" Isaac resumed picking up the side of the bed he was responsible for.
"Soon.. a few hours I'd think." Zac grunted, lifting the head of the bed up.
"To the right you idiot!" Isaac hissed.
Zac shook his head, "This is gonna take forever."
"Too true.. too true." Isaac thought.

{Later that Evening}

"Avery, sweetie, will you please pass me the salt?" Walker asked of his younger daughter.
Avery's tiny arm poked Isaac in the side and Isaac responded by lifting the salt from his side of the table and passing it to his left over to her. Avery smiled brilliantly at her father and set the salt down next to his plate.
"Thank you darling." Walker purred, patting his daughter's long hair with on hand and picking up the salt in the other.
Zac sat tapping restlessly on the side of his plate and prayed that Taylor wouldn't call during dinner. It was hard to get excused from mealtimes with the family just for a com call, something all the children in the Hanson household knew. Zac sighed.
Diana finally dropped her silverware on the sides of her plate and sighed exasperatedly, "Zac, honey, what's wrong?"
Zac smiled inwardly Score., "I justÖ I dunno, I don't feel good. May I please be excused?" He caught the hurried motion of Isaac's fork lifting his food to his mouth at an alarming rate, his cheeks puffing out as he shoveled in more then he could chew.
"You know I'm not talking about that." Diana scolded him.
Zac tried his best to look perplexed, "Huh?"
Isaac's speed slowed and he was finally able to swallow a portion of the hydroponically grown greenery and take a much-needed breath. He watched on with silent anxiety, eyes darting from brother to mother nearly as fast as he'd been eating.
"Don't play that game Zachary," Diana turned to the rest of her brood, "Why don't you go outside for awhile? Make sure to stay in the perimeter-fence, it's getting late and the elagans may be out soon."
Choruses of 'yeah!' were heard as six legs tumbled out of the kitchen area and into the outdoors, with Jessica issuing orders left and right, asserting her age over her younger siblings. ZoŽ had long since been sent to bed after an early dinner and a cranky mood.
Walker looked at Diana now, confused.
"Now tell me why you were REALLY in your brother's room with his things." The tone came again, the one you didn't ignore.
Zac pretended great frustration, "Is that what all this is about? God mom! It's nothing, I wanna stay in Tay's room now!" He whined loudly.
"Then why not just take your things to that room instead? The storage shed's a lot farther away from the house then your room is." She stated sharply.
"I'm looking for change in my life. Tay's stuff was different. Be glad I don't feel the need for such a large change that I follow in Tay's footsteps." He ended softly, crossing his arms over his chest and hiding his face behind a long, thick curtain of hair. He hoped his lies would be believable. He heard two sighs sound; one of anger from his mother and one of relief from Isaac.
"And then why aren't you eating dinner?" She pressed.
"I told you I didn't feel good." He stated plainly, suddenly feeling that lie turn into truth as his stomach started twisting around.
His mother didn't know what to believe, so she turned to Walker with a questioning gaze. Walker shrugged.
"Alright then, you're excused."
"May I be excused too please?" Isaac beseeched.
"I don't see why not." Walker cut off Diana, who was shaking her head 'no'.
Isaac nodded once and took his and Zac's plates to the sink and dropped them in. He passed back through the kitchen, failing to make eye contact with his parents. He stopped by the living room to turn off the com-link and divert all calls up to either his viewer or Zac's but he found his little brother already doing that.
"Cool." Isaac gave his brother credit. He watched Zac jump a mile high.
"God Ike!" His voice came out shaky and quiet, "Don't sneak up on people!"
He faked great distress as he stepped around the furniture in the room and made his way to the stairs, taking them two at a time. Isaac followed suit.

{In the Kitchen}

"Walker I didn't appreciate that, Isaac wasn't finished eating yet." Diana pointed out.
Her husband reached for her hand, "Di, they're up to something. It doesn't look like it's a bad something, so lets just let them work it out."
Diana nodded, rubbing her fingers over Walker's wedding band, "You don't think Taylor's coming home, do you?"
Walker looked troubled, "Why would you think that? Why would he come home after being gone for so long?"
Diana's eyes turned misty, "Were you listening Walk? Zac and Isaac were in Taylor's room with Taylor's things back in his room. Do you really think Zac would give up his room like that? After all the fuss he put into getting it decorated?"
Walker thought back to the time when one of the few occurrences Taylor had sent credits. They'd taken all their children into the trade center in town a few thousand miles inland and let them loose to choose things to give their rooms make-overs. Zac had taken more then three days to finish choosing his things and had been quite satisfied with what he chose. He then dragged Isaac back into the trade center and had chosen things for Taylor's room, much to the annoyance of his parents, who didn't think Taylor would be back anytime soon.
Walker then said, "Maybe he's telling the truth luv, maybe he isn't. Let this play out. And if Tay comes home, he comes home. Let's not question why, lets en joy it as long as we can."

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