The Enemy Within

by Jason Finigan

Copyright © 2010 -  

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

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Chapter 7


The next morning, Kiyel was roused from his sleep by a persistent knock on the door. Dragging himself out of bed, he stumbled to the door and opened it slowly. Standing in the hallway outside his and Jev’s room in the inn, and wearing a wry expression, was Tiela.

“Tiela, what’s wrong?” He asked while trying to rub the sleep from his eyes.

“Oh nothing,” she said. “We were just wondering when the two of your were planning on waking up is all. The shuttle carrying the telepath from Alien Affairs is on its way.”

His ears dipped slightly and a stream of low curses left his lips as it suddenly dawned on him that he and Jev had slept in. “I’m sorry, Tiela. We’ll be down in a minute.”

With an understanding grin and a nod of her head, she left and started back down the stairs.

Kiyel closed the door and made his way back to the bed where he gently shook Jev awake.

“Let me sleep for just a few more minutes, Kiyel,” Jev mumbled sleepily into his pillow.

“Sorry, Jev, the shuttle’s on its way. We need to get up.”

Groaning wearily, Jev grudgingly turned onto his side, facing Kiyel, and slowly opened his eyes, blinking them a few times in an effort to clear away the last remnants of sleep. “Already?” he asked with a tired yawn. “What time is it anyway?”

“It’s late. We slept in.”

Jev’s eyes suddenly widened with alarm and he abruptly sat up, now very much wide awake.

“Damn!” he swore, throwing the blankets off him as he stood up from the bed.

After they both quickly got into their uniforms, they hurried out of the room and down the stairs where they sped past a startled innkeeper, and out into the courtyard. There, they rushed over to the rest of the crew who they saw were unloading their gear from the shuttle —all of them, that is, except for Tiela, who was watching over Aiden, who was doing a great deal of watching himself. He was fascinated, as only a child could be, by everything going on around him. The only ones not present, that Jev could see, were Sam, Mikkel, and Janice, which he found very odd. He had very little time to contemplate their whereabouts, however, since Kel noticed them and waved them over to help unload the rest of the gear.

When the last crate was finally unloaded and placed with the rest, movement out of the corner of Kiyel’s eye caught his attention. He looked up and saw Janice and Mikkel storming away from the Council building in a huff.

“That unbelievable son of a bitch!” Janice exclaimed angrily as she and Mikkel neared the shuttle.

“Is something the matter, Janice?” Izha asked, looking at her with concern. She, like the rest of the crew, was startled by the vehemence in Janice’s voice.

“I’ll say! That bastard of a rebel leader actually had the unmitigated gall to proposition me!”

“You declined his advances, of course,” Jaffay said, ears and tail flicking in disgust.

“You’re damn right I did,” she answered, and then grinned at him wickedly, “with my knee to his groin.”

As one, they turned to look toward the Council building where a small gathering had formed near the entrance. Jev was just able to make out the prone figure of Captain Harris through the throng of people, and saw that the rebel leader was lying motionless on the ground in a fetal position. He cringed visibly and shook his head.

“I guess I should go see if he’s alright,” Kel said with a reluctant sigh.

Jev was about to suggest to Kel that he needn’t bother, that the rebel leader got what he deserved, when the loud roar of a ship’s engines suddenly filled the air. He looked up to see the shuttle they had been waiting for rapidly making its descent toward them.

He looked at Kiyel nervously as it suddenly hit him that for the second time in his young life, he was about to leave a world behind for another.

Feeling his nervousness, Kiyel put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Don’t worry, Jev, he sent reassuringly, I think you’ll like Caitar.

I’m sure I will, Kiyel, Jev sent with an appreciative grin. I guess I’m just a little bit anxious about leaving. There’s a part of me that’s really going to miss this world.

I know exactly how you feel. Alessi is a beautiful world, and what the colonists here have been able to accomplish, despite all that the T’kri have done to them, is truly remarkable. But I do miss my home world. I will be glad to step foot on her again.

Nodding his head, Jev watched with Kiyel as the shuttle began to slow its descent, its landing struts lowered, and was deftly maneuvered to land opposite them in the square. As soon as it had landed, and its engines shut down, Kel ordered Taaj, Izha, and Jaffay to begin loading their gear.

From where they stood, Jev and Kiyel watched as a single female Caitaran emerge from the shuttle and begin walking down the ramp. She was dressed in loose-fitting, brightly-coloured clothing which covered most of her light-brown and grey pelt. Right away Jev knew that she was the telepath they were expecting.

Stepping off the ramp, she quickly made her way towards them until she was standing before Kiyel. Reaching up with her hand, she then placed her palm against his chest in the customary greeting for telepaths..

“Greetings, Kiyel. I am Eliya,” she said with a friendly smile, her voice soft and gentle.

“Well met, Eliya,” Kiyel said, similarly returning her greeting. “This is my Enassi, Jev.”

“Ah, so this is the one I have heard so much about,” she said, turning her gaze on him. “It is an honor to finally meet you.” As she did with Kiyel, she placed the palm of her hand on Jev’s chest in greeting.

“Thanks, I think,” Jev said, ears dipping in acute embarrassment as he returned her greeting.

This caused a bemused Eliya to laugh.

“Don’t worry; I’ve heard only good things.”

“That’s a relief,” Jev said with a shy grin. “I was beginning to worry.”

“Anyway,” Eliya continued, looking back at Kiyel, “I’ve been instructed by Ambassador D’lin to see you about getting a language imprint done.”

Kiyel flicked his ears in acknowledgment.

“I’m ready whenever you are, Eliya,” he said.

“No time like the present I guess,” Eliya said, signifying her readiness to proceed with a nod of her head.

The transfer took only a few short minutes, but when done, and Kiyel withdrew from her mind, she looked at him with a puzzled expression.

“That’s some talent you have there, Kiyel,” she said, absently rubbing her temple. “I don’t think I’ve ever encountered an Enassi pair so completely connected as you two are.”

“Our link is unique. We won’t know to what extent until we reach Caitar and the Telepath guild has a chance to evaluate us.”

“Well, I wish the both of you the best of luck and a pleasant journey home,” Eliya said. “By the way, you wouldn’t happen to know where I might find Ambassador D’lin do you.”

“We haven’t seen her, but she’s probably on board Captain Cael’s shuttle,” Jev told her.

“Thank you,” she said with an appreciative flick of her ears before turning from them and heading up the shuttle’s ramp.

At the same time she disappeared into the shuttle, Cael came down the ramp and beckoned Kel over to join him.

“Is your crew ready to go, Kel?” he asked.

“Just about, sir,” Kel answered. “We’re just waiting for Doctor Sam O’Riley.”

“Then let’s get your crew on board. You leave within the hour. Admiral Chuul will be waiting for you once you’ve docked with the Cetani.

“Aye sir,” Kel said, ears giving a little flick of acknowledgment before he turned to Jev and Kiyel. “I suggest that the two of you collect Aiden and get yourselves on board.”

“Where is Doc, Captain?” Jev asked.

“I saw him heading out of Clearhaven earlier this morning. He was in quite a hurry,” Kel said.

“I wonder where he could have gone to,” Jev said, wrinkling his nose in thought.

“Don’t worry,” Kel assured him, “I’m sure he’ll be back soon. He has to, now that he has a child to look after.”

“I’d like to say goodbye to my brother, if I may, Captain,” Jev requested.

Kel nodded his head in assent and Jev left with Kiyel to where his brother and Janice were helping Izha with some of the gear.

“Mikkel,” Jev said, getting his attention.

Mikkel turned, his smile turning to a frown when he saw the suddenly sad expression on Jev’s face.

“It’s time for you to go?” he asked.

“Cael just gave us the order,” Jev confirmed.

“I’m going to miss you little brother,” he said solemnly, drawing Jev into a tight hug.

“I’m going to miss you too.”

“You be sure to take care of yourself up there. And I promise, once things get settled here, Janice and I will come and visit,” Mikkel assured him, reluctantly releasing him from his embrace.

“Don’t take too long.”

“We’ll be there before you know it.”

After giving Mikkel and Janice a final hug, Jev said goodbye to them, and then he and Kiyel made their way to where Tiela was standing, holding a smiling Aiden’s hand.

“Are you ready for another ride in the shuttle, Aiden?” Jev asked.

“Uh huh,” Aiden said, looking up at him with wide-eyed excitement.

Jev smiled as he picked Aiden up into him arms and together with Kiyel boarded the shuttle, quickly getting themselves settled into seats at the rear of the cabin. Aiden, of course, wanted to sit in the seat next to the view port.

Not minutes after they sat down, several colonists walked in and sat down in seats opposite them. There was a mix of males and females, but mostly males. A few noticed Jev and Kiyel and gave them cursory glances before sitting down. Most, however, ignored them. Jev could sense no open hostility directed towards them, still he watched them nervously.

“What are they doing here?” Jev asked Kiyel in Caitaran. He kept his voice low so as not to draw any more attention to them.

“It was Ambassador D’lin’s suggestion,” Kiyel answered, leaning over slightly. “She suggested to the First Councilor that her people should have the opportunity to view Caitaran society first hand to allay their fears of us.”

“But why pick these people? They’re all rebels.”

Kiyel smiled at him wryly as he glanced over at the humans. “I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this bunch saw an opportunity to get away from Captain Harris, and volunteered.”

A light chuckle escaped Jev’s lips despite his nervousness.

After what seemed like hours, but was really only minutes, Tiela and the others finally began filing into the cabin. Each of them quickly sat down and began conversing amongst themselves. Their mood was jovial, and Jev could feel their excitement, as they were finally about to return to the Cetani.

Rather than sitting with the others, Tiela had opted to sit down in the seats facing Jev and Kiyel, folding her legs underneath her and draping her tail across her lap as she got settled in.

“How are the two of your doing?” she asked.

“A little tired, I guess,” Jev told her, with a slight shrug of his shoulders. “Certainly not as tired as we have been these past few days.”

“I really owe you both an apology,” Tiela said sheepishly.

“What the heavens for, Tiela?” Kiyel asked, his head cocked to one side as he regarded her with a perplexed expression.

“The two of you have been doing so much recently and I knew how exhausted you both were when I woke you up this morning.”

“It couldn’t be helped, Tiela,” Kiyel said, dismissing her worry with a wave of his hand. “You did what you had to.”

Just then, Sam entered the cabin, and upon seeing Jev and Kiyel, quickly sat down across from them in the seat next to Tiela. In his hand, Jev saw he held a somewhat large leather bag, which Sam then promptly placed on the empty seat beside him. Jev could see Sam’s chest heaving as he struggled to catch his breath.

“We were beginning to worry that you weren’t going to make it, Doc,” Kiyel said with a relieved smile.

“To be perfectly honest with you, Kiyel, I didn’t think I would either,” Sam admitted, wiping away the beads of sweat that had accumulated over his brow. “I had to get a few things from the clinic, and then rush back to get the adoption papers completed. It took as long as it did only because Janette wasn’t awake yet when I got back.”

Their conversation was abruptly interrupted when the intercom above them crackled, followed by the pilot’s voice informing them that they would be taking off in a few moments. Almost immediately afterward, the shuttle’s engines roared to life.

“Well,” Jev said, reaching over to hold Kiyel’s hand, looking at him with a nervous smile. “Here we go.”



The shuttle set down on the deck of the hanger bay with a dull thump. The entire trip from the surface of Alessi had lasted only minutes, during which time Jev had been captivated by the breathtaking view outside the shuttle.

Like all of Alessi’s colonists, Jev had never before seen Alessi from space. He had been asleep in his cryo-tube during the journey from Earth. It was only when the colony ship had landed in what was now Clearhaven that he, along with the rest of the colonists, woke up. Many had been lost during the crossing, including his mother.

The intercom above them crackled to life once again as the pilot informed them that the shuttle was secure and that they could now disembark.

Aiden, who amazingly enough had begun to doze off during the flight, awoke with a start.

“Are we there yet?” he asked, yawning deeply.

His question made Jev chuckle lightly, as it was an oft-repeated refrain asked by antsy kids since time immemorial. “Yes, we’re here,” he said.

“Cool!” Aiden exclaimed with delight, turning to look out the view port at the hanger.

As Jev began unbuckling Aiden from his seat, he turned his head to look at Kiyel. “So what happens now?”

“Now we get the two of you settled into your new quarters, and then tomorrow I want to see you both in the medical bay for some tests,” Tiela answered for Kiyel as she rose from her seat.

Kiyel looked at her quizzically, his head cocked slightly to one side in confusion. “What’s wrong with the quarters I was assigned?” he asked, “It’s more than large enough to accommodate Jev and me comfortably.”

“But you didn’t have an Enassi then, and it doesn’t have sufficient shielding for Enassi-linked telepaths. As I understand it, Enassi pairings can be quite ... intense ... or so I’ve been told,” she said with a knowing grin.

“I’d forgotten about that,” Kiyel said quietly, cringing slightly as his ears dipped in acute embarrassment.

Tiela laughed at his embarrassment.

“Don’t worry about it, Kiyel,” she assured him. “Before we left, I arranged for Ardem and Sanaa, an Enassi couple here on the Cetani, to meet you. They’ll take you to your new quarters and help you get settled in.”

“Thank you, Tiela,” Kiyel said.

They were the last ones off the shuttle, following after Kel and the rest of the crew, who were themselves guiding their human passengers out of the shuttle. Jev stopped at the bottom of the ramp, hesitating for a moment as he took in their surroundings. The hanger bay was bustling with activity as flight support crew hurried to carry out their assigned duties. Jev could feel Kiyel place a steadying hand on his shoulder, reassured him through their link, and together they continued forward, following the others.

They were headed for the far end of the hanger bay where a group of Caitarans stood, waiting for them. Among them was an older female wearing a uniform much like the one worn by Captain Cael, only more elaborate. Jev did not have to ask who she was, for she had an air of authority about her that it could only be Admiral Chuul, the one Captain Cael had indicated would be waiting for them. Jev was also able to sense right away that two of the Caitarans, a much younger pair, were telepaths.

“Welcome home, Captain Kel,” Chuul said in greeting as soon as they approached.

“Thank you, Admiral,” Kel answered, acknowledging her with a respectful flick of his ears. “It’s very much a relief to be back.”

“So these are the human colonists I’ve heard so much about,” Chuul said, indicating the group of humans who were huddled together and looking more than just a little out of place amongst the Caitarans.

“Indeed they are,” Kel said. “I understand from Captain Cael that you wish to debrief us right away, so may I suggest we get them squared away in guest quarters until someone is assigned to show them around?”

“An excellent suggestion, Captain,” Chuul said with a nod of her head. “Ensign Leit here has been assigned to see to their needs for now.”

Kel turned to Izha and directed her to have the humans follow the ensign.

“At some point, we’ll need a member of the Diplomatic Guild imprinted with the Alessian language, who will then be responsible for them,” Kel said to Chuul as soon as the humans and the Ensign had left the hanger bay.”

“Of course,” Chuul said. “Well, shall we head to the briefing room then?”

“Just a moment, Admiral,” Tiela interjected suddenly. “I’m afraid I have to insist that Jev and Kiyel be excused from the debriefing, at least for now.”

Chuul turned to her, the set of her ears showing her displeasure.

“Captain Cael warned me that you would. Surely, Commander Tiela, whatever your concerns are, they can be dealt with after the debriefing.”

But Tiela shook her head. “In my professional medical opinion, I have to insist that both of them be given time to recuperate. They’re both of them only recently linked as Enassi, and they have been under a great deal of stress, far more than is normal for telepaths their age. Especially Jev.”

“Just as stubborn, like your mother,” Chuul said with a scowl, her tail lashing from side to side in agitation.

“Thank you, Admiral, she’ll be pleased to know that you remember her,” Tiela replied, grinning mischievously. “She, of course, remembers you quite well.”

“And I suppose it was you then who asked them to be here,” Chuul said, pointing to Ardem and Sanaa. “They wouldn’t explain to me why they were here other than to say they were here for Kiyel and Jev.”

“That’s right, Admiral. I asked them to meet us to help Kiyel and Jev get settled in, and to watch over them for me.”

“I see,” Chuul said.

“Believe me, Admiral,” Ardem said, speaking up and getting her attention, “we were just as surprised to receive Tiela’s call. Kiyel is listed as a grade three telepath. At that level, it’s unusual for a telepath to form an Enassi link.”

“But not unheard of,” Sanaa quickly added.

“Very well, Physician,” Chuul said with grudging reluctance. “But I expect to be constantly updated on their status. The moment you deem them fit for duty, I expect them to report to me.”

“Of course, Admiral,” Tiela agreed.

“The rest of you, follow me,” Chuul said, before turning and leading the group out of the hanger bay, leaving Jev and Kiyel, along with Sam and Aiden, behind with Ardem and Sanaa.

“Well met, Kiyel, and welcome home,” Sanaa said. Both she and Ardem placed their hands on his chest in the traditional telepath greeting.

“Thank you, Sanaa,” Kiyel said, returning their greetings.

“And this must be your, Enassi,” Ardem said, as he and Sanaa both greeted Jev similarly.

“This is Jev,” Kiyel said, introducing him to the pair.

“I didn’t think there were other Caitarans on this world,” Sanaa said.

“There wasn’t, until Kiyel and the crew of the Lekur were shot down,” Jev told her.

“I don’t understand,” Ardem said, looking at Jev quizzically, his ears pricked forward.

“It’s a rather long story,” Jev said, “but right now I need to ask you something.”

“Of course,” Ardem said, indicating for him to continue.

“Do you think it’s possible that Kiyel and I could get something to eat? We were in such a rush getting ready to leave that we haven’t had a bite to eat since waking up this morning.”

Ardem let out a laugh, and nodded his head.

“I think that can be arranged.”



Having powered down the engines, Hraka exited the shuttle, stopping at the bottom of the ramp when he saw Jev and Kiyel leaving the hanger bay with a pair of Caitarans he didn’t recognize. Following after them were two of the humans he recognized from the shuttle.

“Was that him?” he heard a voice suddenly ask.

Hraka turned to find a young technician finish securing a fuel line to the shuttle’s undercarriage while staring after the departing group. Recognizing him, Hraka nodded his head.

“That is the abomination, yes,” Hraka said, his nose crinkling in disgust.

“He doesn’t look all that dissimilar from us.”

“No, he doesn’t,” Hraka agreed. “And that’s what makes him so dangerous.”

“So you still intend to go through with this plan of yours then?”

“To protect the purity of our race, I am.” Hraka’s eyes narrowed slightly as he regarded the technician carefully. “You’re not having second thoughts about this are you, Tiimo?” he asked.

“No, of course not,” Tiimo hastily answered.

“What about Daac and Ghien, are they here yet?”

“They arrived about an hour ago,” Tiimo confirmed. “They’re waiting for us in the crew lounge on E deck.”

“When does your duty shift end?”

“As soon as I’ve finished refueling this shuttle.”

“Good,” Hraka said, and for the first time smiled. It was not a pleasant smile.

Leaving Tiimo to finish his duties, Hraka left the hanger bay and made his way through the busy corridor until he reached the lift. Seconds later he was on E deck, where he immediately headed for the crew lounge. He quickly spotted the two individuals he was looking for as soon as he stepped through the doors. They were seated at a table at in the far corner, and away from prying eyes and ears.

“Hraka,” a dark-furred male greeted him, acknowledging his presence with a flick of his ears as he approached.

“Daac, Ghien,” Hraka said, nodding to each in turn at the table as he sat down in an empty chair.

“Is it true then, what they’re saying, that there’s a hybrid on board?” Ghien asked.

“It is. I saw him for myself on the shuttle,” Hraka answered.

“What does he look like, this hybrid?” Daac asked, leaning forward in his chair.

“He’s like us in many ways, except he’s shorter than most males and he has light-coloured fur, just like a female.”

“I understand he’s a telepath as well,” Ghien said.

“Our ancestors warned us that this day would come,” Hraka said, his eyes narrowing in thought. “And a day would come when a Caitaran not born of Caitar would walk among us, and he would be the harbinger of death to our people.”

“You quote from Chemia’s prophesy. Do you think that this hybrid is the one Chemia spoke of?” Ghien asked.

“I do,” Hraka answered, a wicked grin forming on his face. “And that’s why the abomination must be destroyed, along with any who would support him.”

Daac and Ghien both nodded their heads in agreement just as the lounge doors opened to admit Tiimo into the room.