Lieutenant Iver Grimes had walked from his temporary tent that had been set up in the tunnel behind the four hummers and one scout vehicle to the barricade that was still being erected. The noise in the tunnel was very loud as the men pounded the steel structure together that created the cell shaped wall across the tunnel. He stood and watched the progress for a moment and called over Sergeant Almaterski. “When this gets done Almaterski, I want you to take your squad and walk into the tunnel and give a SITREP. That damn Emperor and his stupid SS are so paranoid. He could have just shut the access off and no one can get in anyway. Captain Geebies and his men could have guarded the parking garage just fine. This tunnel is somewhere around 30 miles or longer and from what I understand there is no way anyone can access the parking garage from the other end but be that as it may we got to do our duty. So once you get to moving call in every 30 minutes and let us know what you find, you understand?” “Yes sir.” The lieutenant turned and walked back toward his temporary quarters. Damn thought Almaterski the stupid lieutenant is just as paranoid. This tunnel is completely empty and I don’t know how anyone could get into it from the other end. His men completed the bar system and he called Corporal Whitless over and told him to get the squad ready for walking. They were going to walk to the damn other end and back apparently to satisfy the Lieutenant. “Have everyone get their field packs prepared and let’s get on with this.”
The barricade had been set up just 1 mile inside the tunnel from the palace garage. Sergeant Almaterski had radioed in 3 times since they had been walking. That did not put him very far from the barricade and he was cursing the lieutenant for sending him and his squad on this worthless mission. They were going to have to sleep in this damn tunnel somewhere along the way. Alice and Jack had flown through the tunnel and Jack figured that they had driven maybe 10 or more miles before he heard the noise. Alice dropped down and stood on the road surface. She was listening intently and said in Jack’s mind there are people walking in the tunnel, I don’t know how far they are but they are definitely headed our way. Jack spoke back we are going to have to stop them somewhere and you can bet they are in radio contact with someone. They both levitated again and took off in the direction of the Palace.
Sergeant Almaterski stopped his men and told them to take a break. They had been walking steadily now and he figured they may have walked around 12 to 14 miles. The walking was easy and the low level lighting was just bright enough to see the road surface. He had already called in 5 times and those were not on the 30 minute schedule that the lunatic lieutenant had wanted him to do. The tunnel took a turn just ahead of where he decided to take a break. He was thinking of making this place a resting spot for a good 8 hour rest. Corporal Flammous had moved to the wall of the tunnel and slid his pack off. He was hungry and figured to open one of the K ration cans and munch down on the sardines. Some things never change it seems. The army has been carrying this crap around forever it would seem. God when are they going to feed us something better? Two of the privates were doing the same thing and Private Waters spoke up “I’ll tell you guy’s something, I would rather be out here than back at that barricade. Have you guys smelled that Lieutenant? I thought he was bad up top side but down in this tunnel his smell seems to permeate more of the air. That dead animal smell lingers on the guy and I was getting sick from it. Geez, can’t the guy take a shower once in awhile?” All the men agreed with him but most of them were afraid to say anything about it. Almaterski spoke up at this letting the air out conversation and said “you can speak that way out here Flammous but you know better when we are around that freak. I have seen him do some real nasty things to men if they said something to him or some of those others that seem to carry that smell around like it is a prize to them. We gotta do this job and then we have to go back to that putrid smell, I tell you I ain’t looking forward to that.” “Yeah Sarg, what is with those that smell like that? It seems that more of our men are contacting something that makes them smell that way. God if there was a way to reach the surface in this tunnel I sure would like to get some fresh air before we return.” Private Hause gave a little snort and said “you know Waters; those damn sardines you like to eat don’t smell much better than that Lieutenant.” All the men laughed at that and settled into eating their own K-rations.
Tamara and Sergeant Major Jack Bollard had come around the corner in the tunnel just as one of the men was talking about a Lieutenant that smelled like a dead animal. They hovered above the men that seemed like they might be taking a long rest. It would appear these men may have a symbiotic controlling there lieutenant and there could be others inhabiting other soldiers in their company. Yes those worms are being quite busy I suspect in taking over this army. We must hurry if we are going to try and save as many humans as possible. We should get these men out of the way and perhaps give them a choice. Tamara dropped to the road surface and stood in the center of the soldiers. She became visible and just stood waiting. The soldiers were so involved in eating and resting that it took a few moments before Private Hause noticed her. He dropped his can of corn and fumbled for his rifle. Tamara froze him and as the reaction spread she froze each man. Six men sat or squatted in a frozen position. They could see what was in front of their eyes but they could not move their heads. They could not speak and they could not move any part of their bodies. Sergeant Almaterski watched with a complete anxious feeling the little girl walk up to him. He did not know who or what this child was and he was in fear that she was going to kill him. “I am not going to kill you Sergeant; I am not going to kill any of you. I am going to give you a choice to remain human and stay alive.
Almaterski and those men that had been looking at him heard this little girl tell them that she was not going to kill them. In their minds this was a calming. They heard her say that she was going to give them a choice and when she said to remain human and stay alive it made them all wonder what she meant. Tamara could hear their thoughts and unfroze the Sergeants mouth so he could speak. Almaterski felt his mouth loosen and he spoke immediately. “Who the hell are you and what are you doing to us? Tamara almost giggled from this outburst. “Well Mr. Kyle Almaterski, I am not from hell and I am containing you and your men at the moment. It is something that I remembered how to do that all humans could do at some point in their past before they were locked up by something that you might truly call from hell as you think of it. I am going to tell you what is happening and give you a choice. As I have said that choice is whether or not you want to live as a human or an alien species and die as a human being.” “What are saying? There are no aliens on this world as far as I know.” “Well Kyle you are wrong in many ways. You had a thought that I am an alien did you not?” Kyle was stopped at the idea that this little girl could read his thoughts. “Okay, suppose you tell me, tell us just who and where these aliens are. I certainly have not seen any.” “I heard one of your men speaking of a Lieutenant that smells like a dead animal and it would appear that there could be more that have this same type of smell to their bodies. How am I doing so far?” “Yes there are those that stink so bad it makes one want to vomit when they are too close. So how can that be a sign they are aliens. Lots of men and I might add women can smell pretty bad at times.” “Yes Kyle this is true but most people will wash themselves when the chance is given. Does your Lieutenant ever smell any different and does he even wash?” “Yes I have known him to shower but that smell does not wash off of him so you are saying that he could be an alien because of that smell?”
Jack had remained cloaked and in the air. The conversation with the Sergeant seemed to be heading in the right direction but he decided to show himself and help Tamara. He dropped down and stood next to her and turned his cloak off. He had talked with Sergeant Rockford in the mind and told him to drive forward. The cloak and stealth gear would keep the hummer from being heard. Sergeant Almaterski’s eyes grew in size and he blurted out, “how many of you are there?” Tamara heard Jack in her mind and remained silent as Jack was going to get to the point. “There are many of us Sergeant; we are the patriots and the militias of this country. We are the ones that are going to take back this country and you can be part of that if you so choose.” “So one of the choices is to join up with you and fight against this Emperor?” “Yes Sergeant that is one of the choices, the other one is to die in the service of an alien creature that has taken control of the Emperor and is in the full process of taking over our world.” Jack spoke to Tamara in the mind and asked her to search these soldiers to see who was patriotic to the Emperor and who wasn’t and then he asked his question. “Who wants to live and fight against the forces of the aliens and the Emperor’s dictatorial regime or who wants to remain in the Emperor’s power and the aliens that are taking over this world?” Tamara had searched each one of the soldier’s minds and hearts and found one that was a dedicated Emperor minion. He was still human but she knew that he would most likely be taken over by either the symbiotics or the Xzanturs. She reached deeper into him and found a black heart. The man had been raised to hate the free peoples of the world and had acted on that by killing as many as he could encounter until he was placed into the forces that were given the honor of protecting the Emperor. She walked to the man and looked into his eyes. The hatred he exuded was palpable so she touched him and he disappeared. The other five men were of doubt but willing to abandon the Emperor’s army and fight for their freedom. She showed them the aliens, both species that were invading the earth and unfroze them.
Sergeant Kyle Almaterski had waited for this moment. He never liked the Emperor and he definitely believed in freedom. It was for his Dad and Mom that he joined the Army so he could support them. The measly pay that he received gave them the means to barely survive but that was his goal. He was held captive to that and hated being a slave to the ideal of keeping his parents alive in a world that had gone mad. He stood up and saluted Jack. “Sergeant Major, I would be honored to serve in your unit. The other men joined in and Sergeant Rockford uncloaked the hummer. They all looked in surprise but smiled. Kyle told them about the bars that had been erected across the tunnel and how many troops and vehicles were stationed about a mile in from the parking garage of the palace. All the men got to know each other and Jack now had 11 men and a little girl to protect on this dangerous mission. The 5 new comers climbed on the top of the hummer as it slowly made its way toward the barricade in the tunnel.
On the North side of the blast zone where the parking structure had once stood, in between two building that were still semi whole stood the hummer. It was cloaked and had the stealth gear operating. Six men sat inside while a woman dressed in Army fatigues stood by the driver side window. She was invisible just like the hummer and told all the men inside that she would be with them in a moment. She touched the hummer and it truly disappeared. She turned sideways into the no-time and stepped back into the time next to the hummer once again. The tunnel was dark except for some very low level lighting up ahead. Janice climbed into the hummer and Keegan slowly moved forward toward the palace. This road took many turns as it was built to follow some of the streets above. Janice spoke to everybody and told them that she would get them through the locked doors at the palace when they arrived. “There could be some military soldiers guarding the parking structure so we will have to get around them.”
One mile inside the tunnel from the parking garage under the palace, 2nd Lieutenant Judas Shamar/GuummpphIct stood watching the squad of men erecting a thick bar wall across the tunnel. No one would get to close to him, and he often wondered why. When ever he gave orders and stood to close to the humans they would gag and try to back away from him. Those of the clew had discussed this but could not figure out why the humans did this action. It was determined that this species had some kind of reaction to their inhabitation. The Aquatic that controlled the top leader had ordered him and the group of humans to block this tunnel off with the heavy metal bars and to guard the area. Inside the large open structure that was directly under the main building were more human soldiers that were commanded by another of his species. The other tunnel that ran from the open space called a parking garage was also being guarded with the same kind of structure and around the same distance inside the tunnel. He did not know what to expect from this tunnel but it was a priority for the Xzanturs/human leader to make sure the tunnels were guarded. He had set up a temporary quarters and the humans had set up some of their heavy weapons close to the metal bars. He could hear the humans grumbling about this place and some had said that the other end of this tunnel had been destroyed. It was plain to him that this could be a human move to do something that was unnecessary. He turned and walked back to the temporary quarters and entered the cloth like structure that had been erected.
The hummer was cloaked but the 5 men on top were visible. The men inside knew this was a problem but Jack decided to stop before they could be seen from the barricade that Sergeant Kyle Almaterski told them about. The bars could be a real problem along with the soldiers at the barricade. They all knew there was a symbiotic, inhabiting a lieutenant that could be another problem. Jack figured that he would take his men while they were cloaked and walk up to the bars and take out the soldiers that were close to the other side. He wanted to check how many were there and what it looked like further back. Once they took out the soldiers they could get through the others that were behind. Kyle had told them there were four hummers and one 8 wheel scout vehicle parked in the tunnel and that in it self was a barricade. They may have to walk from that point to the parking garage. Tamara had told them she could get through the key locked door system but they would have to deal with other soldiers it was certain. Once they were inside they would have to make it up to the 5th or 6th floor to take the emperor out. That was the ultimate mission to accomplish.