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Caius stared out the rather large window on the FNS Silent Slumber. A Dreadnaught, her powerful lasers could literally melt away the powerful alloy that they had created, and literally didn’t have a name for, as it was classified by the Forerunner technophiles in the Naval Intelligence Agency, which frequently attempted to keep the over five-hundred fleets of the Navy up-to-date on Inferi redivivus outbreaks.

Caius had remembered the first Inferi redvivus outbreak, so, so long ago. His people, the Forerunner, were working on the key for everlasting life… to increase their already long life-span of nearly twelve-hundred years… and they thought that they could find it by studying the new species…



FORERUNNER SURVEY PLANET G617G, MILKY WAY GALAXY

Caius’ expedition team walked through the lush forests of the world that they had found. It was perfect for colonization, full of life and wonder, and the view of its star was amazing.

The trees fluttered with the sounds of reptilian flying species, and the scampering of small creatures, all of whom sought food and shelter from the new explorers.

However… the paradise was going to change…

The team, entering even further into the jungle, stumbled across a most peculiar lifeform…

It looked like a pod of sorts, quietly pulsating…

Caius watched as one of his team members prodded the pod with a stick…

And the pod exploded.

Soon afterwards, dozens of pods all across the forest exploded, sending what they contained inside, these small creatures, scampering towards the team.

The team, at first, was slightly amused…

But then, one of the creatures latched onto Navalia, and she screamed in utter horror as it did its duty.

It first sent its tentacles through her body, reaching her spinal cord, and then, began to synch hers with it’s… and rendered her legs useless.

One of the team members attempted to pull it off; however, for the sake of study… they let it do what its biology told it to do.

After doing so, they watched as she began to mutate from the changes in her DNA caused by the form, and they watched in horror… and curiosity… as the form borrowed itself into the cavity caused by the liquefaction of her organs.

The new creature stood up, tall, and turned towards the team… and lashed out.

Caius watched as Ramal attempted to strike their new foe with an energy staff, but upon doing so, the enemy only seemed to be enraged…

… picked up Ramal… and he screamed, as he flew literally dozens of units towards the growing army…

There were more, no longer the tiny sacs… these were large forms, and they watched as one mutated itself…

This time, it had dozens of spikes, and Caius took one in the arm.

They knew what they had to do.

They ran, faster, attempting to get back to their ships…

They failed.

Caius however, made it to the safety of the ship… and upon sealing it off from the outside… entered into a deep sleep into the Pod that kept his body locked away, somewhere in the safety of that sub-domain…



That was nine-hundred and twenty-eight years ago.

Caius was now a warrior, and his first encounter with Inferi redivius served as the basis of Forerunner Military doctrine during this war.

Commanding his own ship, the Silent Slumber, he had stalled their advance at numerous planets… only to be pulled out, and to watch from a remote distance as planet after planet fell to their onslaught.

Their new target was the star only known as Procyon. In its system was one planet, utterly beautiful. In addition, there was another planet, equally beautiful… however, it held the crystal that powered their facilities… and one of the primary research bases into Inferi redivius.

His fleet was sent to protect them both from the Inferi redivius surprise attack, and he was going to keep these two planets from falling…

One small victory in this war of endless defeats.
He ordered the ship’s pilot to turn towards the largest infected ship, which was using the standard tactic.

Use the larger ships to just rush the Forerunner defenses, crash onto the planet, and run rampant.

Caius watched as his weapons officer fired off one of the Silent Slumber’s powerful lasers, obliterating the first ship and killing whatever lifeforms were inside.

However, they kept on coming. Hundreds… thousands… millions.

The fight was on.


They were on the ground now, Caius’ ship crash-landed into the Forerunner research planet, and he now sought shelter in The Labyrinth.

Walking through its large, dark corridors, he saw many of the enemies he hated.

Stasis tanks, being studied, being constantly subjected, to see what could stop them.

They only had one solution… they hoped that they would not have to use it.

A series of seven rings had been stationed around this galaxy… to kill any and all sentient life.

They had come into the facility, in force.

Caius reached for his primary energy staff, and began to fight.

However, he soon drained of energy, his old age finally getting to him.

He ran.

He finally reached an isolated room… and then… they stopped.

He could hear them, moving outside of the small door… if they rushed, they most definitely could take him…

But, they didn’t.

They just kept on moving around… then they started to speak.

It laughed… demonic… evil… death.

“I remember you…”

“What?”

“So long ago… when you unleashed us… do you regret your decision?”

“Wha… what?”

“You freed us… your mistake… you are now going to be food.”

First, a few of the smaller forms moved in… he killed them easily…

Then the bigger ones… the infected Forerunner… some of his crew…

Then the even bigger ones…

He was afraid.

And saw darkness.


He awoke, a tentacle squeezing his body, choking the air out of him.

He saw it…

It looked like a large plant… but it was something more sinister…

Its teeth were the skulls of the dead… its skin was from the dead… rotting…

Then… it spoke… just like they had before.

“This will be fun… I remember you, Caius.”

“Who…”

“Before I became what I am… I was Navalia.”

The look on Caius’ face said it all.

“You left me to become one of them… the pain… but… afterwards… I began to see the light…”

“What?”

“The plan… to consume everything in this galaxy… and make the perfect society…”

“Navalia…”

“Do not call me that name… she no longer exists. I am Gravemind… the fourteenth of my kind; I am made of the hundreds of bodies of the dead… mine, and yours. And Caius… I want my revenge.”

Caius screamed, attempted to get away… but could not.

Every bone in his body was broken, and he was lifeless…

And he attempted to scream… and all he could do was look up at the ceiling…

As he was eaten.



When he awoke… he heard a constant ringing in his ears…

His vision was clouded… but he was most definitely alive…

However… there was something controlling him from afar… and all he could hear was this constant voice…

It seemed to hum at most times… but at the end… it said one word.

“Feast”.

He started to move… wondering where he was going…

The hum changed to a chant.

“One of us… one of us… one of us…”

Although it was scary at first… it seemed… calming…

The hum returned…

He saw his target… turned… and leapt…

And was met with an energy staff.

Undaunted, he struck out again.

It died… only to be resurrected by a spore.

He was one of them.

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