"Entering final limit of Rammas's gravity well, warp engines are fully charged. Course to Ecythn System is plotted in. Captain, all systems green, ready to enter warp." The pilot announced.

"Do it."

All along the sides of the hull, purplish blue streaks of energy crackled and sparked. Everyone onboard felt the ship vibrate and hum all the way deep into their bones. A cosmic storm started formed about a 100m away from the bow of UNS Singapore, purple lightning flashes across and reach out to in arcs, seemingly pulling the ship into the depths of the storm. Soon the ship covered by the cosmic storm vanishes away.

Blake held down a wave of nausea threatening to vomit out. He gulps down a mouthful of coffee from his fluid pack and asks, "How long to Ecythn ?" He noticed some unfortunate soul vomiting inside their helmets.

"Sir, about 9 hours before we exit warp space."

Blake nodded and turned to Ford, "XO get more men to help the Marines. Once we can get the Swarm onboard contained, then we can start repairs." And count our dead, he thought to himself.

Section 3 I/C Sgt Kai Xiang peered over the wrecked forklift, dozens of Swarm warrior drones corpses laid scattered along the narrow deck. Some of the bodies are still twitching and moving. He looks back at the medic trying to stop the bleeding of Sgt Collins. "Doc." He called out. "How does it look? He will be ok?" He asked.

"His armor absorbed most of the blow, no major organs hit. Will need some surgery, he should be alright. He is just knocked out from the shockwave." The medic hooked a pack of nano blood onto Collins's harness and the inserted the catheter into his suit's medical port. He checked his medical readouts and gestures to the 2 medical assistants, "Alright, send to sickbay, he's stable for now."

Sgt Kai Xiang cocks his head as he thought he heard something. "Guys, is that gunfire?" He asked.

The rest of the section also started to listen intently. "Yea sounds like those pop guns the crew uses."
Someone said. "Sounds like below us."
"Shit!" Sgt Kai Xiang cursed. He activated his comms, "All units on alert, we have unknown contacts other than deck 12. Repeat unknown amount of contacts other than deck 12. Be on the lookout!"

"Hey Sgt KX." Cpl James leading his section arrived. "More trouble?" He nodded to other members section 3. "Where do you want us?"

"Good, just in time. I want you to head down 1 level. Check it out. Hearing shots fired."

"Roger that." Collins turn and said, "Alright let's go scum hunting!"

As Section 2 entered the lower decks, after turning around a split way, what they saw turned their stomachs. Claw marks scarred the walls and decks while blood, pieces of human parts and bullet casings litter the walkway. Several of the lights were damaged in the fight, leaving parts of the walkway in the dark or flickering.

"The fuck. This is like those horror 2d movies we watched." Pvt Mills muttered. "Where did those scum went?"

"Over here!" Pvt Ed stood over a ripped up section of the deck plates. A section of the floor has a huge hole torn up, large enough for a Swarm warrior drone to enter. "I think they went down there."

Cpl James shone his tactical lights down into the hole, revealing an engineering service duct which appears to lead towards the port side of the ship. He debated should he send his people down, when screams and gunfire echo off the sideway.

"Ok Ed, David, Shawn, and Hong. You 4 down the rabbit hole and check it out. The rest on me." He hefts his weapon and headed towards the direction of the screams and gunfire.

When the spore seeds slam onto the hull of the ship, the outer layer consists of a highly corrosive agent, that is able to melt through several inches of thick armor. Once a breach is formed, the spore seed will cover the hole made and naturally seal it and starts to disgorge its cargo of warrior drones.

Following the signs of battle and the sounds of fighting ahead, Cpl James and the rest managed to approach from the rear of the Swarm. As the back carapace of the Swarm warrior drones is thinner compared to the front side, the 6.5mm rounds might not penetrate the hard carapace but still managed to cause enough broken bones and inner trauma to the warrior drones attacking the group of crew members ahead.

"Thank the stars you Marines are here!" An ashen-faced crew called out. "We nearly died."

"Is this all? Are there any more of them around here?" Cpl James asked the survivors.

"I'm not sure. We were mostly running and shooting, didn't have a chance to do anything else."

"Alright. Stay here and hole up here." Cpl James turns and jerked his head back to where they came from and the rest of the section formed up behind him.

"Pocking hell. This is like a death trap!" Pvt Shawn cuss as he can only advance in a half crouch manner in the tight service tunnel. "Yup, they went by this way." He pointed to the side of the tunnel where scratches made by claws could be seen and reported their progress to Cpl James. "Ok, we are told to keep going." He said to the rest behind him before continuing.

After walking less than 20m a corner appear, where sounds of metal tearing could be heard. Pvt Shawn raises up a fist and the rest behind stopped and stay alert. He peeked around the corner to find several meters away, 4 Swarm warrior drones were ripping the through the bulkhead and tearing pipes and cables out. "Cpl James! We spotted the scums! But they are doing something strange." Pvt Shawn whispered into his comms. "Do we engage?"

"What are they doing?" Cpl James asked, curious about the actions of the Swarm.
"Eh, digging in the walls?" Pvt Shawn replied. "All 4 of them. They are tearing up the place pretty bad."

"Wait, what?" Cpl James stopped and rush back towards the group of crewmen they just saved. The rest followed in confusion wondering what is going on.

"HEY, Do you know whats in the service tunnels?" He yelled as he approaches the crewmen.

"Which service tunnels?" They asked back.

"What tunnel is it you are in?" Cpl James held his palm up to indicted the crewman to wait. "He says MT-E-B-13C." After a short pause.

"That's the main conduit from the reactor to the engines and warp drives." The crewman replied after double checking his tablet.

"What happens if the conduit is damaged?" Cpl James asked urgently.

"Erm, lost of power to warp drives and engine until backup kicks in or power are rerouted. If the ship is underway in warp space as the warp drives require a high amount of power to keep running, an energy leakage will vaporize everything within 50m or more." The white-suited crewman said.

"GET OUT OF THERE NOW!" Cpl James shouted to his comms after hearing what was being told to him. Next, he switches to the command net and reported to everyone about what is going on. "Get out here! The Swarm is tearing the power conduits!"

Horrified the crewmen turn and ran towards the center of the ship, followed by Cpl James and the rest.

Hearing the shout to get out, Pvt Shawn turn and shoved David who was at his back "Go go go! Retreat!"

Less than a second a burst of bluish white flame erupted out between the warrior drones, instantly vaporizing them before turning Shawn and the rest into ashes. The blast expanded, melting decks and turn hull plates to slag before tearing the ship into half and sent the halves spinning in the warp space.


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neo Koh


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