Act I chapter V

'Twas brillag and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe
all mimsy where the boro groves
and the momeraths outgrabe

"beware the jabberwok my son!"
"the jaws that bite the claws that chatch!
beware the jub-jub bird and shun
the frimous bandersnatch

he took his vorpal sword in hand
long time the manxom foe he sought-
so rested he by the tum-tum tree
and stood a while in thought

And as in uffish thought he stood
the jabberwok with eyes of flame
came whiffiling through the Tulgy wood
and burbled as it came

One two! One two! and through and through
The Vorpal blade went sncicker-snack
he left it dead an with it's head
he went galumphing back

"hast thou slain the jabberwok?"
come to my arms my beemish boy!
O Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy

'Twas brillag and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe
all mimsy where the boro groves
and the momeraths outgrabe
-Lewis Carol

The planet had no orbital station, or large cities, actually it showed no signs of harboring an advanced culture at all. None whatsoever which was rather odd for such a beautiful planet. It was somewhat unusual to find a planet this nice without some sort of vacation resort. Although it was a little out of the way.
I landed Maiden's Cradle on an open plane just north of a thick forest. The forest was a dense tropical jungle. My eyes were dazzled momentarily as I stepped out the ship's hatch by the brilliant colors of the foliage. The general background color was a rich shade of blue-green but speckled throughout it were plants and flowers of every color imaginable.
In the palm of my hand i held the map. The intricate silver patterns glowed at me from the orb's midnight surface. Some how i knew which way it was telling my to go even without the aid of Maiden's Cradle's onboard computer.
"this way," I said pointing to the forest. I took a step forward and Alex and Senna followed close behind. We walked into the Forest. The air was thick with the with the humid redolence of the forest. The distinct scent of sodden earth and rotting vegetation. My feet booted in sturdy united elements issue leather sunk down with each step. I could hear Alexander swearing vividly under his breath each time his own leather and steel spacers boots were sucked into the tepid mud.
"That's some wonderfully colorful language Kage," I teased. I could practically feel his hot glare on my neck.
"Oh Shut. Up. Pryde." he grumbled, "its not like your doing much better in your preppy little StarGuard booties," He said snidely between sclopping steps. I Looked back at him and noticed that some how Senna had managed to escape the sinking feet.
"Aren't we joyful"
"Don't get me started Pryde. You know what I ca--" Alex was cut off by a sharp hiss of "shht," from me.
"Did you hear that?"
"Heat what," I heard the strange sound, like air rushing over something smooth and sharp.
"that? Raven its probably just an animal or something." He took my hand momentarily and dropped it like a hot fruit when he realized what he had done.
"Than it's a very big animal." I glanced down at the map again.
"Quiet you." Senna. I studied the map intently. Alex had at least shut-up at last.
"Thanks Senna," I looked up. "Senna?" I whirled around the midnight-haired woman was nowhere to be seen. "Senna!" I stamped my foot in frustration causing it to sink and splash mud up at the same time. "Fuck where could she be?"
"Dunno, Anything could have happened, you know just as well as I that she does that all the time.'
"You know that you really didn't need to say that right Alex?"
"Uh hu." I looked over at Alex he was scanning the area with his wristcomm. Mine had more powerful sensors than his so I gave it a shot too. Neither of us turned up anything. After half a standard our Alex spoke.
"Yea..." I wasn't really paying attention. Whatever it was couldn't be more important than finding my friend.
"Maiden's Cradle's sensors are picking up a storm front moving into this area, it should be here in under an hour. We should probably find shelter."
"but Senna..."
"I know...but honestly if we say out here were dead meat anyway. She's a Kage and half-Feloryn she can take care of herself."
"How far is Maiden's Cradle from here?"
"Five clicks. No big deal in space but hell out here."
"I know, I took us what? Three hours to get this far?"
"According to my wristcomm timer 3.95 hours, so more like four."
"I see." I raked my fingers through the rough-cut locks of hair that framed my face. "Shit." I pulled up a three dimensional topographical scan of the area on my wristcomm. "There seems to be an extensive cave system about half a kilometer east of here." I looked at the map. "And its the same direction the map is pointing too."
"Good let's go."

The trek to the caves was harsh and grueling just as the rest of the expedition had been more so now because it had started to rain. There was still no sign of Senna. Alex and I were at the moment crouched in the entrance of a cave catching our breath.
"Lets go." I stood up and brushed dust of the front of my uniform. Still not quite used the bands on the wrists being gold rather than crimson.
"Already Raven?"
"Yes Alexander. Already"
We lit the lights on our wristcomms and began the walk down the tunnel. The floor slopped downward there was something very odd about the tunnel however the walls were worn smooth as if by water. That made me uneasy. But I decided that it was probably just that the tunnel used to be part of an underground water network. In the Past. I hoped. I pushed it from my mind and kept walking our footsteps echoing hollowly on the warn stone floor.
I felt a slight tremor.
"What was that?"
"What?" the earth shook again. This was far from a tremor.
Rocks fell from the ceiling tumbling down all around us. Suddenly the word went dark.

A/N: Blarg!! BlargityBlargBlarg!!!! The last chapters sucked horribly, so looks like I'm going to have to edit them. But however there is good news, this whole project is finally starting to move along. I have up to chapter VII finished and a paragraph or so of VIII started by hand. Just to edit and type them. When act one is finished it will be posted with the full CGI images that go with it on the Ethereal Dreamers site, (proudly co-owned by me.)