Chapter 8:

From Tolokai’s Journal - Part 1

The Kitty: From Wives To Wormholes!

Light! The searing brightness of it hurt my eyes— no, it hurt all of us. The fiend, the puny Neko Sapien human got us reeling in the blinding light of sudden defiance.


It was the voice of our Kalsanian blood leader, the one whom our pact was bound until his agenda was fulfilled. He was angered, but that was the least of our worries. What of the woman? What of our prey?

Yes, as I, Tolokai, the 4th member of Alpha Squad, stood with this compromised vision, I was unfortunate to witness her spit out that cigarette directly at the center of my sight before our predicament unfolded.

The moment was nearly unbearable. My eyes tried hard to refocus, but I knew all I could do was stumble around in the pain and disorientation, groaning all through the experience, as did my brethren. We could not see, but I heard it: One of us grunted, then the sounds of something cracking apart like stone, before landing to the ground with a rumbling thud. Rapid footsteps. Footsteps too soft for us Hathgora, sprang forth, coming toward, then around where I was, only to disappear into the distance as I continued to recover my vision in vain.

This predicament lasted a good, say, 2-minutes before any of us could finally make out what was what or where we were; 2-minutes of blindness and pain. A lower being might’ve taken permanent damage from this, but it would take more for us Hathgora.

“What was that?!” inquired Uhbrok, leader of Beta Squad, shocked as he rubbed his eyes.

We did our best to look in the direction where our prey should be trapped. Impossible that such a small creature could ever outmatch Gorach’s mighty lock despite the unexpected trick. Surely she’d be there, this “Kitty,” and be prime not for our guns, but as a consequence for the blinding lights, would be torn apart piece by piece, limb by limb through our rage.

However, as we troopers looked in Gorach’s direction, the sight was just as shocking as it was improbable, at least that’s what it seemed before. Gorach, who was before doing his duty in trapping the human, was now on the ground, limp, unconscious and unmoving.

Our captain, who was just suffering as the rest of us, shook of his blindness and saw what we did, and clenched his fists tightly. I could see it, the rage brought upon by the mighty goddess of rage at our fallen comrade, or so that was always the explanation for times such as these. He turned to us without hesitation, ready to give his next order.


“ROGER!” we all responded.

“TOLOKAI! Check on Gorach!”

“YES, CAPTAIN!” I saluted.


“I have a name, captain!” the Kalsanian replied.

“Get inside the transport! We’ll deal with her!”

“You better.”

The Kalsanian promptly walked in the direction of the transport. While the captain and the others began a perimeter sweep, I ran over to Gorach. After all, I was the medic out of all us, with my medical pack carrying supplies, particularly the healing tonics Gorach surely needed after being bested by a human woman. Who was she to somehow overcome us Hathgora, let alone Gorach, the infiltrator specialist of our group?

Nothing added up, and there was clearly something we weren’t being told. Did the Kalsanian know anything we should? He called the woman “faker” and said something about “predecessor” as if he did. Then again, it seems she was an unanticipated factor in us being here, but just how much should we really take this “Kitty” character into consideration? Surely if she had any sense, the human would be gone by now, try to contact the authorities to our presence, and this sweep would turn into a hunt throughout the underground system.

We’ll get to it when we get to it. Until then, there was Gorach to focus on. He was down and out all right. Approaching him was somber to the emotions, seeing his cracked face and deeply unconscious expression and all, but I needed to bring him back to his feet. I knelt next to him and lifted him a little. taking out a glowing orange vial of healing tonic. I removed Gorach’s breathing mask and squeezed the vial’s tip. The cap fell and I swiftly fed it to him by using my fingers to open Gorach’s mouth and pour the stimulant down his throat.

I let him down and stood back up. It didn’t take long for Gorach to enter the convulsion phase of the healing tonic’s effects. He began to shake like a helpless worm, but this only meant the tonic was doing its magic, or whatever the scientists suggest it to be doing. His eyes came back to life, and he rolled over and began punching the ground. Punch after punch, slam and slam, so as to handle the stimulating effects of the tonic healing his wounded self, his heart and mind racing.

After a moment of punching the ground, he finally ceased and turned his stare to me. It took him a moment, but he recognized me, and realized the human was gone, in the shadows somewhere in this vast chamber.

“WHERE IS SHE!?” Gorach roared furiously.

“She escaped, Gorach,” I answered. “The captain ordered we perform a sweep of the chamber.”

“When I find her, she’s my meal!”

“What happened, Gorach? How did a mere human break your mighty hold?”

“I don’t know, Tolokai! She’s a strong one, but when I find her—“

“For now, let’s perform our sector sweep. She’ll be your meal yet.”

Gorach was justifiable in his anger. He clearly wanted to direct it at the one who put him on the ground, but it wasn’t the time to lose himself. He knew this as I did, and sighed.

“Let’s find her. Get this over with, but I tell you this, Tolokai: No one is to get her but me.”

I nodded. If anyone was to exact revenge, Gorach was most agreeable, for himself and for our two fallen. However, as we began to patrol the area, Gorach had other plans in mind and separated from me when I wanted to join the others.

“Where are you going, Gorach?” I asked curiously.

“You go with the rest of them, Tolokai. I plan to find this ‘Kitty’ alone, me and her, one on one!”

Gorach was still stumbling a bit from before, but I can see in his eyes the determination. Who was I to stop his personal crusade? I should’ve stopped him then, but at the time, I didn’t think much about factoring in an potential setbacks based on what transpired. It was decided then and there, without much thinking involved; Gorach would roam into the dark.

“All right,, but be careful, brother, for if what you say is true, I fear this human may not be too easy a prey.”

“All the reason the slay her! She’ll be my trophy.”

“In that case, may your hunt go well, Gorach.”

Gorach simply nodded as he proceeded to march onwards into the darkness if only his suit’s torchlight to guide him.


I regrouped with the others, all of whom stared at me with slight confusion. After all, Gorach had gone off alone.

“Where’s Gorach, Tolokai?” the captain sternly asked.

“He— He decided to go off alone, sir., I replied timidly. “To hunt this human on his own terms.”

“The fool…”

“He insisted, sir. After all, it was this human who knocked him out; personal revenge is but Gorach’s right in this.”

The captain grumbled, then sighed in annoyance. “Fine, I’ll let the idiot have his mindless fun. Meanwhile, we’ll be doing the real work, Tolokai. Group up with your squad, we intend to branch off for this objective. This chamber can only hide her for so long, so with all of us working in tandem, she’ll be found out—“

BANG! In the distance, a gunshot burst out North of the chamber, echoing forth with ferocity, like a cannon was shot. The event, so quick in its execution, gave us so little time to react.

“SCATTER!” shouted the captain.

None of us said a word when each squad ran to the nearest available pillar for cover. I remember nearly breaking my own pillar upon my arrival at it; I entered my pillar by ramming against it too forcefully, hurt my shoulder, but was still able to fight. As I awaited further orders, I could only look around my surroundings.

Beta squad was to the West, Omega to the Northwest, and Delta to the East. Alpha squad, my own, were the closest to being where the shot came from, so unluckily, we were the first to be chosen. Our sergeant, Mibrog, looked at me.

“Any visual, Tolokai?!” he loudly asked.

“Negative!” I shouted back.

“Negative on the tango!” shouted Alpha 5 (Moshtok).

Mibrog raised his wrist communicator. “Any signs, Omega?!”

“Negative on our end,” shouted Omega squad’s leader on the communicator.

“Find the dreg!” shouted the captain. “Delta and Omega squads, scout left! Beta scouts right! Alpha, move ahead!”

“Roger!” everyone shouted.

While the others performed their orders, me and my mates scouted onwards, albeit with caution. We ran pillar to pillar, this super-concrete jungle giving us an advantage assuming we’d find her first. But it would also be to a disadvantage as, the further we dug out away from the convoy, the darker it became, so we all turned on our armor’s light torches that, as would be unfortunate, could very well give away our positions.

The atmosphere changed when we did. There was no “Kitty,” not even a sign ahead, nor to our left or right. We Hathgora worshipped rage, but we felt fear like any other animal, though we troopers best controlled it more than others. As we changed positions, so did our fear, but we weren’t giving up just yet, to the fear or to this human.

But as I moved, rifle ready, finger on the trigger, at some point my torch failed to reveal something it should’ve. At some point, I hit it, or rather I tripped over it. I fell after doing so, rifle out of my hands, hitting the ground with a clank along with me, and I groaned like a pathetic swamp-ant.

“Tolokai, was that you?” asked Mibrog. “Status!”

I clumsily collected my rifle and got back up to my feet. “I’m fine, I just— I tripped.”

“Kaarshaa! Again?”

I felt embarrassed, but yes, I had a tendency to trip more than others do; ran in my clan I guess. But what I tripped over was nothing to be embarrassed about in the least. I sought to glance at what caused me to fall and— I guess it wasn’t that I didn’t see it, but in a way, I didn’t want to. I had tripped over an arm, but not any other arm, but one belonging to a corpse. The corpse was big, looked much like us, or rather it looked like Gorach… with one exception. There was now a hole where the head was once complete, bleeding like sludge, streaming across like a riverbed among the cracks and imperfections of the chamber ground. The corpse’s eyes, once glimmering the white we all glimmer was but a lifeless, lightless husk that resembled the husk of a skeleton without eyes; only darkness existed there.

It… was Gorach. Slain by Kitty’s hand, or rather her gun. In the act of running away, she must’ve found her thrown firearms and wielded them once more. We outnumbered her, we certainly would find her, but this was a setback no matter what. I couldn’t help but feel sorrowful for Gorach and his fate; such as it were, revenge was in the cards.

“Gorach is down,” I said to my communicator, “Gorach is down at my location!”

Didn’t take much time for my squadmates to arrive and see what I saw; the body of Gorach slung on the ground like a pile. Mibrog growled, the others too.

“She must pay,” Mibrog uttered. Under his mask, I could tell his fangs were pressed so tightly he began to bleed. Gorach wasn’t the smartest, but his will was such that it radiated to us like the greatest pieces of art, something the sergeant admired and now was lost to us. “He will get a proper burial yet, once the blood spilt today has been repaid and he return home. You can count on this, men.”

Then another BANG! This time in to the West of our location. Then another! And another!

“WE FOUND HER!” yelled Delta 1 on our communicators. “Ralmar is down! I repeat, Delta 2 is down along with 4 and 5! It’s me and Delta 3 now!”

“We’re coming to your position, Delta 1! Where’s the shot coming from?!”

“My 7! I repeat, my 7! I’m popping a flare!”

Sure enough, we saw it; a red light to the West, in the distance.

“Omega and Beta squads, regroup!” shouted the captain. “Alpha squad, you’re the closest to Delta 1! The wench has been spotted to the Northwest sector of the chamber! Lend support!”

“Roger!” we all declared.

Using the fading light from the flare and structures to guide us, we proceeded to run to where Delta 1 was pinned. How can a lone human commit such a feat of nearly wiping out an entire Hathgora squad, and without the explosives she inflicted upon Beta squad? How can she do this with just two puny guns to aid her?

The more we ran, the more tense we all must’ve felt at that moment. The fear going through Delta’s last remaining troopers, the fear going through Aliban’s and Vemtar’s systems, was palpable even to us. We could only hope that it wasn’t too late, though this would turn out to be wishful thinking on our part as the sounds of more gunshots rang off ever more.

“Just die already!” Aliban yelled from the communicator, clearly to our supposed prey.

We began to sprint as the time ticked down for him. He could very well be dead in the next second for all we knew in this darkness. I could imagine it; the torches of our suits being beacons to a watchful eye from above, making us all targets, which made the next announcement less surprising.

“Delta 3 is down!” Aliban declared. “Delta 3 is—“

Then… silence. It would be the last time Aliban would speak such words as a gunshot rang out from the distance in front of us, their deaths shrouded in the dark, a mystery we couldn’t see yet.


We eventually reached the sector where Delta held their ground and the sight was what we anticipated, but did not welcome. Around us, Delta squad was gone. They put up a fight, but judging by the placement and look of their now lifeless bodies, it painted stories


Delta 5, Hemchi, was the first to go, having been moving from pillar to pillar, trying to attain a solid view of our target within a gunfight, only to make an error and move in the wrong direction. Judging by his head wound and the location of his rifle, she shot him in the head while he was in a dash to his right; an instant, painless death.

Delta 4, Sa’rook, died shortly after, shot multiple times in the chest, causing him to fall over and, helpless, was finished off with a clean headshot to his forehead, the sheer force of her weaponry sending his mask flying backwards to the ground, along with him.

Delta 2, Kolmiya, had taken cover, but something curious happened with him. The pillar, in which his dead body leaned toward, was severely damaged. Heavy impact craters adorned it and smoke drifted, the blasts still fresh from her revolvers. My guess was she damaged it so much to the point where it became useless as cover and, pinned, was gunned down by a penetrating energy blast strong enough to pierce him through cover. Her arms, her revolvers, were clearly abnormal, and it explained how, despite our Hathora bodies being as resilient as they are, they were but mere molds of wet clay compared to what she wielded.

Delta 3, Vemtar, was unlike the rest. He wasn’t shot, but… stabbed to death, as his head wounds indicated. By what was lost to me, to us. What human wieldable blade could penetrate the hardened shell of us Hathgora, let alone the skull of a Hathgora, some of the strongest shelling we possess? What material and what density of this material? This Kitty showed nothing to indicate she was carrying any blade. Was it hidden somewhere?

Delta 1, Aliban, was shot point blank, leaving the greatest wound of them all. With his position and the numerous upon numerous blasts on the pillars in front of him, he was firing his rifle wildly in a panic, but missed our prey entirely. She must’ve have gotten close, but no sign of a fight or a struggle; she just sent him to the goddess right then and there.

It was becoming more and more obvious that we weren’t the hunters anymore. This human was intent on striking back harder than we could, killing us one by one. For all we knew, she could see us right now, surveying her path of bloodshed. The fury was turning to apprehension as the fallen beneath us flooded our minds. Was this a point of hers? To remind us of mortality and that we were next on her sights?

“Delta squad is KIA,” declared Mibrog to his communicator. “They’re all dead, captain.”

“Impossible!” replied the captain. “How could a mere human do this?

“Should we turn back?”

“No! Continue your sweep! Don’t stop until this meatbag is shot and seasoned for dinner, Alpha 1!”

Mibrog sighed. “Roger.”

That was it. No reinforcements, at least not yet. The captain entrusted us to take on the human ourselves first. This would be but the first… nay, the latest in a series of errors we or any of us would make today. We continued to walk into the darkness with our rifles steadfast.

“Do not separate,” Mibrog ordered. “It’s what this human wants. Check your corners.”

We checked left, right, center, 4-o’clock, 9-o’clock, 6-o’clock, wherever she could come at us from, we made sure to look for, forming a circle while we moved. Every direction was in our vision, so surely, surely, surely! Surely the human would make a mistake, appear before us, fight us, fail.

The air was still. Our enlarged fingers on the triggers, I swear I started to hallucinate the “human,” a figure peering from the darkness that wasn’t really there. I knew that, but I felt my heart going off and it was beating faster and faster. We Hathgora can’t sweat, but if we did, I’d be drenched with the tension this… creature was giving us.

It was only the sound of our thunderous steps now, reverberating around us, but where was this woman? Where was her footsteps? Questions; that was all I had besides me, my brethren, and my rifle.

But just as the sight of the dim chamber began to blend together, Mibrog’s torch gradually revealed a peculiar object on the ground.

“Wait a second,” Mibrog said, “there’s something ahead of us, men.”

Eluding itself in the shadows, we shined our light upon what was to be revealed. Hidden no longer, but the revelation did little to satiate my wondering and frightened mind. There lay something: A hat — a familiar hat laid there, brown, rounded off with a curved bulge that answered for itself upon observation. It was the human’s hat, simply there on the dirty floor all alone. But why?

We looked at each other in confusion. Who would go forth to gather closer to this thing, little, lonely, yet somehow menacing in its existence?

“I’ll go,” said Mibrog. “Cover me.”

We looked at him with concern, but it was clear he was the least afraid of us all, not just that he was our squad leader. He moved up ahead with caution, his rifle’s gaze centered on the object. Upon reaching its position, he crouched down and picked it, stood back up. Mibrog observed the wearable in question. Why was it here?

He observed the hat as if forgetting the situation at hand; it was just him and the hat now, which made him prime for what would happen next. We should’ve seen it coming, but in all the directions we looked for, the one we never took into account was up.

As Mibrog inspected the hat, I heard something the others seemed not to — I heard subtle crackling from above where he was standing. I didn’t fully register it at the time, but it would soon be clear what the source of that sound was as I looked up and finally saw a shadowy figure right above our squad leader.

A couple seconds past before I finally processed and realized who that figure was, and she was looking directly down at Mibrog. Then, as if on cue along with my glare, the figure started to drop downwards, directly to him like stray debris.

“ABOVE YOU!” I shouted as I reached my hand out, but it didn’t matter. As soon as I was finished shouting, I saw her and something else: A blade from her wrist— no, from one of her gauntlets on her forearm, as it cleanly pierced Mibrog’s head like a fruit. She had gotten the better of us and performed an aerial strike on Mibrog, landing upon his limp corpse before retracting the blade back into her gauntlet, to which her presence was now clear to us once more.

The human was silent as she stared at her latest kill, but curiously she didn’t choose to stare at us next, but rather the hat to which Mibrog’s hand was still withholding. She grabbed it, pulled it away, but didn’t put it on. Instead, she inspected it as if looking for damages. It looked like she didn’t even care that we saw her or that our rifles had her in their sights; she cared more about the hat than us trying to hunt her down.

Still stunned, it was then that we mindlessly pulled our triggers; a hail of mini, blazing-hot Cryptinium bolts flying at the human who killed our squad leader in burst fire. I could feel their heat even if I wasn’t the one in their direction. Bang bang, bang bang! The bursts let out their deafening shriek from the barrels, as if they sought revenge as much as we did.

She should be dead in no time — there was no escape for her at this distance. The commander would be pleased, we’d finish the job, we’d go home at last. As she looked in our direction— no, as she looked in the direction of her demise, her face remained stern. I noticed it, and in that split second, my thoughts reacted to it with confusion. Why was she not afraid? Not dreading the fact her doom was very much assured in the rush of our firepower’s fury? Her doom down the barrel of our rifles?

She lowered her stance, slightly bending her legs as if anticipating a wild animal’s charge, raised and tilted her hat toward the hail of gunfire and, before the pellets could reach her, the answer came.

The hat, which was once inanimate, began to glow blue at its rims, coming to life in an instant, then burst out a blue energy field around itself. The bolts met their target, but instead of searing through the human’s flesh, they met the impenetrable might of this field.

“Forcefield!” N’arasha (Alpha 2) yelled.

One by one, each of our rounds came into contact with this forcefield, becoming enraptured by its energy, then fizzling out like dull flames. More and more, burst after burst, round after round, breaking down this forcefield seemed improbable.

“ALPHA SQUAD!” the captain shouted from the communicator, “WHAT’S HAPPENING?!” WE HEAR GUNSHOTS!”

“The target is pinned down and using a forcefield!” replied N’arasha, “We can’t break it down!”



At last, we’d be getting backup, but whether we’d make it alive was the question on my mind. We continued firing upon the forcefield with no effect, but it seemed the hail was enough to keep the human at bay, unable to move in any real way. What was her plan, if she had one at all? It befuddled me as to her play here as we fired at her, charging into the middle where she’d be hailed like this.

Unbeknownst to us, however, due mostly because of our anger and the captain’s orders, we were actually playing into her hands due to one key reason that, in hindsight, would’ve changed our priorities significantly if our heads were on the narrow. The more we fired upon her, and the more the forcefield ate our ammo, the less of it we had.

Squeezing the trigger, I had the sudden notion of looking down at my rifle, particularly its ammo counter on the stock, ticking down more and more during the seconds.






At first, it didn’t hit me at all, the implications of this decreasing number, until realizing one fact: We’d have to reload eventually and be unable to fire by then, and restocking the Cryptinium chamber takes about the lifespan of a makain’ra beetle back home, which is to say, short, but not short enough to keep her pinned, and we made the mistake of firing upon her simultaneously!

Shocked, I stopped firing my weapon and had to warn my brethren right now.

“STOP!” I shouted.

“Are you out of your mind?!” N’arasha replied. “We have her pinned! Keep firing!”

“We’re wasting ammo! It’s what the human wants!”

But it was too late. In no short order, my brethren had ultimately blasted through their Cryptinium magazines; their rifles ceasing, lifeless, as if they no longer had a soul left in them. It was then that, audibly, the human scoffed, pulled out her right revolver and aimed it at N’arasha. I still question why she never had it out after all that time. Had she intended to strike us down silently from the shadows using her blades?

Whatever the case, it didn’t matter in the end. She pulled the trigger, and let out its powerful blast of fusion plasma; a small blast so powerful it could practically be felt from a short distance, like an explosion, hot-to-the-touch even when it isn’t hitting you directly.

The plasma fire was quick, too quick to dodge. And against a target the size of us? There was no chance N’arasha would move out of its path, a path aimed for his head. It’d be then that we’d lose yet another leader to the human’s wrath.

“NOOO!” Gar’ash (Alpha 3) yelled as he leaped in front of the oncoming plasma fire.

Gar’ash, whose friendship with N’arasha spanned decades, since they were but small kindlings, would come to its end upon which the plasma round hit his large chest. The plasma fire tore through his armor and his layers of skin, like flames to grass, burning inwards toward what would be both his heart and lungs.

His body hit the ground with a loud, haunting crash. like a falling boulder hitting the floor beneath itself, rumbling the area beneath our feet. To us, this was the real turning point, out of ammo in the chambers, against an enemy with a look that communicated that she wanted us dead. It was time to run, or that was the case for me and Moshtok.

For N’arasha, this message was but noise to be ignored, for he had vengeance on his mind. I could see it. His face twisted into sheer rage, his breathing flaring endlessly in his mask, over and over, with the fact that his best friend was now dead to him. He wanted revenge, no matter what it took.

N’arasha let out a mighty roar as he threw his rifle toward her and charged onward to the woman that killed our brethren, creating a rampaging air about him as he did. The woman did not react, but merely fired at him in silence. Each shot hit; his left leg, twice to the stomach, the right hand, right arm, seemingly any shot hit onto places besides the head. In his fury, these did not stop N’arasha, ignoring the pain, the agony of his being torn asunder by powerful plasma bolts. He was going for her up close and personal, to which he could very well succeed.

He was at closing distance, his raging voice calling out for human blood. The woman stopped firing as he leapt toward her, and swung his right arm downward, ready to initiate the a killing blow to her head, to squish it all into paste with all his furious strength.

This did not come to pass.

The woman, instead of letting the blow hit her, grabbed his arm and, in a scene that defied any belief in laws of mass, she slammed N’arasha to the ground, leaving an impact crater. Dust, smoke, and debris formed around them and, for a moment, me and Moshtok were blinded by it all. That was to alleviate, however, as it eventually cleared just enough to witness the aftermath, and it wasn’t good.

N’arasha, his body broken by this human who, despite being nearly a fraction of his size, was able to utterly overpower one of us. Our eyes widened, our hearts beating uncontrollably faster, as the woman aimed her weapon at his head and pulled the trigger, blasting half of it off in a partial silhouette among the particles around them.

“ALPHA” yelled the captain. “ALPHA, TALK TO ME!”

We didn’t bother responding to the captain’s words, for our minds were stunned with fear. The woman turned her stare towards us, with a look that told us to run, for she really was going to kill us all.

Moshtok and I mindlessly bolted in the opposite direction, for what our legs would allow us to run at.

“HELP US!” I yelled into the communicator.








I knew the captain wouldn’t believe us by word alone. We could only hope to encounter the rest of our kind somewhere on the path we ran. Luckily, it wouldn’t be long.

“We see lights ahead! Is that you, Alpha?” asked Omega 1.


“We’re gonna pop a flare!”


A flare was designated up ahead, a bright red in its light. It’d be a saving grace in any other circumstance, but now the woman, this “Kitty” knew where we were now; where all of us were.


“Who knows?!”


“Calm down, we’re ready for the broad!”

Exactly as advertised, there was the rest of our brethren, rifles ready for the pickings. I looked behind me, expecting her to be chasing us, but alas, she was nowhere to be found.