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The Enemy Within-Chapter Ten: Dark Shadows Hold Dark Secrets
Posted By: Mind_Affecting_Parasite<pbplayer_24@yahoo.com>
Date: 16 June 2004, 3:32 AM

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       A high and powerful being looked over the holographic readouts in front of him. The colors emitted by the displays cast a glowing iridescence over the two-meter-high, white armored figure. He stood in the center of the command platform, positioned in the center of the bridge, located in the center of a Covenant destroyer. This was not just any destroyer; however, this ship was a flagship. One of the most powerful weapons in the Covenant's space going arsenal.
       The Black Bane sat motionless in the outskirts of the debris field. This commanding vessel was the replacement for the renegade, and now destroyed, Ascendant Justice. While many ships had been rallied, ordered to again mass, where the Unyielding Hierophant met its end; the task of scouring the remains of Halo was still a necessity. It was 'Fuilomee who oversaw the operations, under orders from the High Charity itself. He was chosen because of his elite status in the Covenant forces. He had fought for years in ground operations, and had been part of one of the legendary Black Special Operation Teams. But for 'Fuilomee, those days were over. He had seen many years pass, as his knowledge and experience grew with him. This is not to say the Elite was not a formidable creature. Reaching the rank of Fleet Master, or a rank close to what the humans called "Admiral," was no easy task. Many lives had been taken by 'Fuilomee's hands alone, some with hand held weapons, others obtained by means of a ship, but many of his kills had bathed his armored hands in alien blood.
       The Elite took a few moments to bask in his own pride. He sung his battle poem to himself, and let his thoughts of past engagements flash through his mind. Then he refocused on the tasks at hand, there was still much work to be done.

       'Fuilomee again scrutinized the display readouts. All ships were following their ordered search patterns, scanning every piece of debris in their sector. The Fleet Master clicked his mandibles, pleased things were going decently. He would have liked to relax but a little, to sooth his tired muscles, but he had to maintain his air of authority for those under his command. The Elite glanced towards on of his personal guard, who were stationed around the control center. 'Gargilee, the guard he looked upon, stood rigid, as solid as if the Elite had been made of the hardest stone. The armor let a faint trace of the lights around it reflect off, while still looking as if a great power was held within, waiting to be awakened and unleashed. From the angle that 'Fuilomee viewed his fellow Elite, the armor looked as if it had been fashioned out of the black of space itself. 'Gargilee was in his prime, 'Fuilomee thought, and had many kills ahead of him. The Fleet Master let his eyes return to the suspended displays. His face morphed into what one could call a smile, if not a sinister one at that.
       All was not totally well, though, and one ship still nagged at his thoughts: the Impending Incursion. The carrier was docked to what had seemed to be a likely section of the broken ring. This was not the problem; her Ship Master, Aknu 'Reigando, was. The Elite had lost several patrols in the ring, and still had not reported back as to the cause, or his findings of late. 'Fuilomee did not fear what could be the cause. He knew that it was possible that a few Flood had survived deep within the construct. He was frustrated and angry, however, that a Ship Master would be so naive as to not expect such dangers. All Fleet Masters looked greatly down upon incompetent commanders. Punishment is often needed to correct such stupidity, and 'Fuilomee knew, that for the situation to be fully corrected, he would have to issue punishment a plenty. This was not necessarily a bad thing, though. At least not in the eyes of 'Fuilomee.

       The black rubbery soles of combat boots thudded over the metal floor. Derrick thought it looked and felt like metal infused rock, but right now that didn't matter. A beam of white light illuminated the walls' contained spirals and faint designs as the end of the MA5B Assault Rifle jerked back and forth.
       Warrant Officer Hunter could hear screams and shouts drawing nearer, as he jogged down the hall and rounded another bend. He still didn't know why he was doing it. Maybe he was going insane, or perhaps all the combat had gotten to him. Whatever the cause, Derrick knew what he was trying to do was ridiculously stupid. A Navy pilot was trying to help a few Marines, that's what he was doing.
       While Pat and James were peering around a corner, apparently checking out some Covenant ground forces, Derrick came up with his own plan. The Sergeant and two other Marines were under attack, and were taking way to long to catch up. The word "heroism" wasn't at the top of reasons to do it at the time, but now the word played across Derrick's thoughts. He wasn't brave though, he just wanted to get the hell out of this place. A Halo of a hell. The Warrant Officer had gotten too nervous and jittery, just sitting next to an unconscious alien. So now, here he was, going to help some Marines out.

       As Derrick skidded around yet another bend, and he saw light spilling through an opening, he became somewhat confused. He no longer heard the sounds of fighting; there were no guns firing, or detonations. Just shouting; screaming, yelling, and shouting came from the next room.
       The Navy noncom sprinted into the room, but what he saw he didn't expect. None of the Marines present so much as glanced in his direction. The two male members of the party were staring down their gun sights at the lone woman. A Flood Infection form had latched onto her shoulders, and was in the process of trying to take over her nervous system. Derrick had always been told he made quick, and often irrational, decisions-but he had never payed attention enough to change the habit. He let the attachments clips on his vest catch his AR, and implemented his, come-to-be, trusty pistol.
       Seeing as Private Jones wasn't taking the initiative to shoot the monstrosity, and Sergeant Ferring was in the same emotional and physical condition, Hunter decided to take things into his own hands. His hands trembling, he was careful to aim well in the half-second he had available to him. The Warrant Officer carefully aimed his barrel around Kyle, who was now running towards his wife whilst screaming, and felt the cool touch of the curved metal under his forefinger. Letting his reflexes and instincts take over the job, Derrick pulled the trigger.

       The orange armored Grunt teetered side to side on his legs uneasily. Fvilop looked out into the shadowy expanse between himself and the end of the tunnel. Although there was no light at the end that Fvilop could see for himself, or the rest of the fleet for that matter. He tapped his Plasma Pistol on his side and stretched as much as he could in his bulky and cumbersome environmental suit. His bladder of methane was sixty-eight percent full, and he had already used the excuse to make a lengthy trip to refill it earlier. An Engineer chirped as another short section of the shield generating array hummed into working order. The overall shield was far from operational, however.
       Several other Covenant soldiers stood and paced around the open portal of the docking bay. All treading on the still moist remnants of the fallen Flood bodies. Four Jackals stood guard on the edge of the large door, using their senses to keep an eye out for unwelcome visitors. More paced between the many Grunts standing in place. Only two Elites were near the opening; though, one on either side of the portal, both of low rank, clad in blue armor.
       Fvilop wanted to waddle over to a corner and just sleep, but his Elite masters would have none of that. So he was stuck, not able to talk to anyone, just waiting for another attack to come. With nothing else to do, the Grunt went back to examining shadows.

       It was quiet, too quiet as far as 'Ipnaimee was concerned. The Field Master was not content with the situation. He didn't feel right about the Flood's attack. It wasn't their way to just stop, give up so easily, or so the Elite thought. From the reports he had read, 'Ipnaimee had come to believe that they usually never stoped attacking until either their enemy was dead and mutated, or all of their own resources have been expended. That was not all, though. There wasn't any movement in the tunnel at all. The Flood had totally withdrawn and now had either used up their numbers, something that 'Ipnaimee did not think likely; or were lying in wait just beyond the black filled doors along the large passageway's length.
       Progress, in means of shield mechanism repairs, was progressing slowly. Also, 'Ipnaimee wondered what was keeping 'Itlaee. He should have reported back by now, but perhaps he was discussing matters further with the Ship Master. It wasn't a Field Master's preferred choice to have a discussion with a Ship Master. 'Ipnaimee was glad he could implement those certain rank related privileges.
       This Field Master would have liked it if the ship he was stationed on would be ordered to leave this ring in the very near future. He was getting jumpy, and the weighing darkness and stillness was getting to him. It was unnerving, to just sit in front of an open portal, knowing what had been on the other side. 'Ipnaimee was starting to think that all the Masters that had been on Halo had gone insane.

       'Itlaee stood, ill at ease, while his Ship Master seemingly thought over all the details and pondered the situation. He had just announced that he was going to depart this section of the ring, but now the process of how to conduct it was at hand.
       "Shall I inform the Field Master 'Ipnaimee to cease his repairs?" 'Itlaee suggestively asked.
       'Reigando kept silent for a brief moment. "Yes, tell the Field Master to evacuate the ship bay," he responded. "We will close the external blast doors once we have cleared the segment."
       "Yes, Master," replied 'Itlaee, glad with the realization that this nightmare would come to an end . "I will go and instruct the Field Master, with your orders, at once."
       'Reigando watched as the blue-armored Elite turned briskly, and walked out of the control room. He clicked his mandibles in worry, there was a situation higher up that he would now have to attend to. The Fleet Master would not take this situation well and 'Fuilomee, 'Reigando knew, was already angered with his results. But a Ship Master had to report to his Master, no matter what his feelings, and so 'Reigando made his way to the holographic communications console.