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The Enemy Within-Chapter One: In the Shadows
Posted By: Mind_Affecting_Parasite<pbplayer_24@yahoo.com>
Date: 12 February 2004, 7:25 PM

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(Authors Note: My name was previously "PBP", and I decided to change it to something more suitable.)

Pwalomi's boots clicked as he strode down the hallway of the destroyer, the Lancing Blade, followed by his own dual personal guard. His chest was held high, with the pride of a newly commissioned Ship Master. As he approached the bridge entrance the two maroon colored Elite guards protecting the entrance stiffened, moving one arm to their holstered plasma pistol and the other to the door controls, a practiced procedure. Pwalomi walked with the attitude of one who could walk right through the blast doors of his destroyer's bridge, but was forced to stop in front of the unyielding alloy plates. Normally a Ship Master would be let past in the blink of an eye, but recently, security measures had been increased. The destruction of the Unyielding Hierophant was not taken lightly, and now forces were being assembled at a almost frantic pace.

The gold armored Elite paused for but a moment to stare into the compact retinal scanner. The door locks glowed bright green along the center and the two guards simultaneously depressed the door activation key, bowing their heads. Pwalomi stepped onto the bridge and took a look around his new vessels bridge, while his personal guard moved to their places on the adorned deck. His crew was already manning the holographic control stations atop the suspended platform. Engineers twittered and chirped as they monitored the functions of the systems, making sure nothing would falter. In the center of the raised platform, an esteemed figure stood, a Fleet Master. His white armor shone with an almost holy glow in the light of the bridge, and his personal guard clad in black chrome armor only strengthened his powerful aura. The presence of such a powerful figure on his ship was unnerving for Pwalomi, but a visit from a Fleet Master made all Ship Masters nervous. Fuilomee was here to greet the new commander however, not to issue punishment, thankfully.

"Welcome Pwalomi," boomed Fuilomee from his armor, turning on his heal to Pwalomi. "I assume you have looked over your vessel."

The approaching Elite bowed low in front of his commanding officer, "Yes Master, I am privileged to be granted command of such a fine vessel." He was purposefully flattering to Fuilomee, seeing as he had been the one who had helped gain his current position and craft.

Pwalomi had been a Special Operations Elite for the last ten years, fighting against the human scum. Fuilomee had seen him in combat, and apparently took a liking to his style. After taking command of a small vessel in a skirmish and showing his commanding ability, Pwalomi had
been promoted to Ship Apprentice, and recently, Ship Master. Of course, Fuilomee wasn't about to let a new Ship Master out of his sight yet.
"When will we complete the search?"

"Have patience young one," answered Fuilomee. "These tasks take their own time, and we cannot take the risk missing the slightest of details."
he embarrassed Elite lowered his head, his face darkening, and took a moment to look over the surrounding data screens. Chunks of debris were scattered about the space around the fleet of ships. The remnants of a once grand construct were now only pieces, orbiting silently around a gas giant. From the remains, it seemed as if a giant explosion had caused the gigantic ring to rip itself apart. The surfaces of the remaining chunks were glassed over, lumps and valleys indicating where mountains and gorges had once been. Craters marked where smaller pieces of wreckage had implanted themselves. The infidels responsible for this disaster would be punished severely, but that duty was not for Pwalomi to pursue.

His duty was the situation at hand, and that was searching the field of wreckage for surviving troops or, more hopefully, undamaged components of the holy ring. Pwalomi watched the six other ships floating in the vacuum, smoothly gliding through the jagged edged debris, while his Fleet Master's vessel stayed adjacent to his own. Fuilomee turned his head away from the main display to listen to an incoming report from a nearby ship.

"Master, we have lost contact with several of our search parties within the tunnels," came the voice of the Ship Master commanding the Impending Incursion, Reigando. His ship was currently docked to a portion of the broken ring, attempting to find something within the depths of the remains. "They are two full units behind in reporting, and five units past the time they should have returned to my vessel as scheduled."

Several search teams composed of the highest trained Elites had already entered the many passages. This must have been what the report referred to, thought Pwalomi. Although usually it would have been much easier and more preferred to land directly on the surface of the ring and enter through an ancient doorway, this possibility was negated the surfaces current condition.

"What could have caused such a delay?" questioned Fuilomee, clicking his mandibles, agitated. "And why were the troops allowed to stay out longer than planned?"

"I gave them permission to stay out longer, Master," stated Reigando. "They said that they had come upon an undameged and unsearched portion of passageways."

"You should have told them to mark their position on scanners and report back," Fuilomee said, frustrated with Reigando's ignorance and lack of good judgement.

"I appologize, Master, as for why they have not reported on their new position, we are unsure," responded the immensely nervous Reigando. "It is possible that they
have become lost, perhaps became confused in the large subterranean system of tunnels after wandering too far."

Pwalomi stepped up beside his superior and timidly offered his opinion, "Would that not be highly unlikely Excellency?" Fuilomee gave him an encouraging glance, but only made Pwalomi nervous. "I have read the reports of what happened on the construct, as required of me. Could not they have been attacked or have become trapped or injured by some remaining defenses or enemy forces."

"A wise assumption, but only an assumption Pwalomi," commended Fuilomee. "Reigando, send a search party to find out about this immediately, but be sure to place transmitters on them, and keep constant contact."

"Yes Master," replied Reigando, letting his superior cut the connection.

Fuilomee gestured almost indecipherably to his personal guard, they move towards the main bridge portal.

"I will return to my ship to monitor the situation," announced Fuilomee, moving towards the exit himself. "You may initiate your ordered search pattern."

"Master," answered Pwalomi, bowing low and bending his knees.

Fuilomee followed the foremost of his alert and elite personal guard through the opening doorway, closely followed by the other two. Pwalomi saw his own guards stiffen as if they had become solid rock statues, most likely terrified of such a presence so close to them. As soon as the triangle of black Elites rounded the far corner of the corridor the door slid shut, hissing as the
secondary seals slid into place. Pwalomi stood at his station, reflecting on his just passing experience. As he saw his Masters personal shuttle leave his own ship, he turned to his crew, eager to get them all underway.

"Activated ordered search pattern," he commanded with a voice filled with self pride. "Engage an active search at maximum radius and strength, alert me of any anomalies immidiately."

"Yes excellency," responded Jualimae, standing stiffly for his orders before jumping to them.

Pwalomi turned back to the displays, confident he would have a grand time aboard his new vessel, fulfilling his new command.


Cavilin whimpered in the dark, curled into a little ball. The small Grunt was paralised with fear. He had come along with one of the many Elite groups sent to look through the deep tunnels of the remains. He was now alone in a small room, and he didn't know where. All Cavilin knew was that he wanted to get back to the ship and into his quarters. He was slitely comforted by the fact that his brother, Vilf, was sleeping in the far corner of the room. A couple of Jackles were in the next room as well.

They were all there because of an accident. The two foremost Elites in the party had been overrun with monsters. The rest of the team had barely made it to the current set of tunnels, tempoarily sealed by the Elites. Cavilin didn't think it would make a differece though. All he knew was that monsters were lurking everywhere but came from nowhere. The three surviving Elites had gone to contact the ship a full unit previous, but where they were at present was yet to be found. Now Cavilin and his companions were alone in the dark with nothing to do but dwell on their fear.

Gacom would have turned off his small light and knelt down by the door to relax, if it hadn't been for the movement behind him. He let out a warning sound to alert the others within the two small rooms. His light shown upon the glittering surface of the walls but nothing was there. Now Gacom was very afraid. Again he saw something move in the shadows, but this time he didn't have time to make a sound before he was knocked over and covered with an odd soft form.

Cavalin was just about to drift into a deep sleep when a screech from the other room brang him back to reality. He looked around, seeing nothing in the black. As he sunk lower towards the floor and fumbled with his small light, a sharp pain ripped through his spine. He body went numb and Cavilin the last thing he saw, was his brothers form being covered by round creatures in the beam of his dropped light.