La'harrh radioed for his ship, an Amaronian heavy destroyer, Omega Blaze. Suddenly, with a whooshing sound, the large, black form shrouded the crowd in a dark shadow. It landed a few hundred yards beside La'harrh.
"I am ready when you are, my friend." Samsa murmured.
"Prepare for the worst, scum. Usually, foreign visitors are welcome. You are an exception. And it won't we amusing when your ship shatters. Amaron will prevail."
The crowd of Amaronians stared at the two enemies; tension was growing in the very air itself. They prepared for the showdown. One of them was going to come out on the top; the other on the bottom, his destroyed cinder of a ship drifting through the darkness of space. Both destroyers lifted off from the ground, leaving clouds of dust in their wake.
La'harrh's face was contorted in concentration. Samsa was surprisingly calm and confident, as if he was commanding an entire fleet against La'harrh.
"Let the battle...begin."
The Omega Blaze fired a string of white-hot pulses. The Ixxor Ovrat fired sizzling electric blue pulses. The pulses collided, and created a titanic explosion in the midst of the two ships.
Suddenly, a torpedo was fired at the Amaronian destroyer. Before La'harrh had time to react, the powerful projectile hit full force, knocking him clear out of his seat. The ship was severely dented, and there was a gaping hole in the fuselage. He regained control of his ship, but had suffered some minor concussions.
He spotted Ixxor Ovrat. He fired at it all-out. However, the enemy ship did not bother to evade the onslaught. It merely quivered.
"Hah hah. You are a major letdown to your kind, La'harrh. You are far too inexperienced to face me. Amateurs are of little threat to me, perhaps even no threat."
La'harrh's concussion seemed to be impairing his vision. The Na'ario ship was behind him, recharging its beam weapon. A red beam lanced out of the Na'ario destroyer.
Finally, La'harrh came to. He turned, and fired at the Ixxor Ovrat as viciously as possible, deflecting the beam. His sudden outburst took its toll on the Na'ario ship. It keeled over in mid-space, emitting smoke from its left wing. It crackled, and an explosion rocked the ship.
"Well, it seems as though I am the victor. You are merely an arrogant, worthless creature."
La'harrh followed the escape pod that was ejected from the burnt cinder of the ship.
Samsa cackled. "That was extremely rude. I assume you cheated? Or one of those Ishiman clowns planted a projectile inside my ship?"
The pod landed with a thump. A figure crept out of the ship and hurried in a northeasterly direction. The Omega Blaze landed directly on top of the escape pod, demolishing it. All that remained was a cloud of dust. "Hmph, lucky for that parasite. I would have crushed that...that...imbecile." La'harrh leaped out of his vehicle, and followed Samsa to Eqinoas Complex.
Samsa approached his destination. A mechanical voice droned, "Only authorized members may enter Eqinoas Complex. Entry requires a DNA scan." La'harrh arrived, breathless.
"Ah, a bit of security." He pondered for a moment. "Ah, yes! La'harrh, I require some assistance," he said mockingly. Samsa clutched the Amaronian's hand, and forced it into the pad.
"DNA scan complete. Access granted."
Samsa rudely tossed him away, as he entered. Samsa placed a small device near the doorway. He sped down the vacant, silent hallways of Eqinoas Complex.
"Which floor are you on?" Samsa asked Hr'asaam. He stared at his minuscule computer screen.
"Floor seventy-five. The top floor."
La'harrh attempted to enter the building. However, all his attempts were in vain. The doorway was sealed with a force field which Samsa placed. All he managed to do, was maybe damage his ribs.
"I have arrived."
The Na'ario admiral entered the vast, empty room. Hr'asaam was seated in a hover chair in the center of the room.
"Excellent. Those Amaronians do not even have the slightest knowledge that this room is our new headquarters. Now, to discuss our plan." Hr'asaam glanced out of the glass wall. He peered down at La'harrh, crumpled on the ground. "That disgusting vermin. Well, no more nuisance. We will execute the last phase of our plan, and the galaxy will be ours."
Admiral Samsa shook his head grimly. "I scanned the contents of my ship. However, there were some objects missing - namely an escape pod, and some important documents stored inside a computer chip.
"It seems that those Ishimans have found the weakness of the virus."
Hr'asaam replied, obviously annoyed, "Do not be discouraged. Our plan should have no flaws. It is foolproof, and there is no way those Ishimans are going to defeat the Na'ario. Clearly, we are greatly superior to the Ishimans. Their inferior technology is merely a tiny obstacle in our way, a small pebble lying on our road to victory. Nothing will oppose us, and when that happens, we shall be prepared..."
There was a moment of silence. Then, Samsa interrupted the silence, "The last phase of our plan will be executed tomorrow at 1900 hours."
Hr'asaam nodded. "That is exactly what I have in mind."
"Our goal is drawing nearer and nearer..." Samsa said evilly.
"Thank you. Thank you."
"Now, Birmingham, how did you accomplish that feat?"
"I launched myself out into space, using an escape pod of my own. I boarded the enemy destroyer, through what seemed to be a hole caused by an asteroid. I was risking myself, risking my own life to accomplish a task for my fellow people here. I found a computer chip, just lying there, so I bestowed it.
"Then, I used one of their escape pods to transport me safely back to our fleet."
"Thanks to your success," said a scientist. "We have found some valuable information." He studied the chip. "Hmm, this computer chip seems peculiar."
The scientist placed the chip in a high-tech device. The computer's monitor displayed nothing. The scientist grumbled impatiently. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the monitor turned red. Multicolored horizontal lines streaked across the screen. The computer emitted a spark, and hummed loudly.
The lights dimmed. People were murmuring, and staring at the computer. The scientist gasped, staring in awe. He called an engineer to fix the computer.
The engineer worked busily at the computer. Its humming became less high-pitched, and quieter. Next, the unexpected happened. A deafening crackle shook the room, as the engineer zoomed across the room, and hit the wall with such force that the impact was felt in the floor.
"An-an-an electric shock!" Someone stammered. The lights suddenly burned out. The room was shrouded in darkness.
The scientist, unable to speak, stood in the pitch-darkness, shaking.
The lights were finally repaired hours later, with much difficulty.
Another engineer was sent to repair the computer, this time with the computer chip safely removed. He successfully repaired the computer, and the screen flashed back to life. But the problem wasn't over yet.
An alarm rang from the computer's speakers. "WARNING. THIS COMPUTER WAS INFECTED BY A VIRUS. WARNING." Letters appeared on the monitor. Bright, glowing, blood red letters.
An officer typed a series of commands on the keyboard. The deafening alarm instantly stopped. The blood red letters faded gradually, and its red glow left an afterimage on the screen, as though it was some supernatural illusion.
"Well, well. It seems that we have reached a dead end. This chip is totally useless."
The scientist looked disappointed. "This is trash." The computer chip sailed over the heads of three people, and into a high-tech waste basket.
The television screen on the ceiling was showing the news.
"Cantharis, despite all of its past faults, does not deserve such a disgusting and evil fate. Over 75% of its population is now affected.
"The virus brought the Prophets of Salril down to their knees, after infecting over 5 million Salrilians. The Prophets' technology were no match for this new menace. Our only choice is to watch, as the ever-spreading virus destroys many worlds, completely stripping it of its lives, leaving them deserted like abandoned houses. Who will stop this outrage? The best we can do is watch and wait..."
The scientist said, "I guess capturing our friend Samsa may help reveal the solution. Wouldn't you say?"
"Yes." Came the reply.
The general said, "Prepare the crews. We are heading for Amaron."
The television screen on the ceiling droned on, "Watch and wait. We still have a glint of hope."
"Last phase: Galactic domination."
The vast, spacious room was cold, unforgiving, and indifferent. The vacancy of the complex was almost frightening. The floors of Eqinoas Complex supported the weight of no people, but just two calm, evil Na'ario intruders.
Samsa said quietly, "If it goes according to plan, all of the worthy infected life-forms in this galaxy will obey us. We will be virtually invincible."
Hr'asaam said, "Any more rubbish from those Ishimans will be eliminated. Our plan is so far, successful." Then silence. Silence so heavy, that it was as if the air itself had stopped moving. Not an atom stirred.
Samsa ended the silence with, "It is now 1600 hours. We must prepare."
The admiral looked somewhat uncertain. "Will our plan succeed?"
Hr'asaam replied, "Yes. All unworthy hosts will be killed by the virus. I am sure of myself. There will be no anomalies in our plan, no?"
"You are most correct, Hr'asaam. We are superior!"
(This message has been edited by Laguna (edited 08-22-2002).)