Part 1 can be found here. It ended with:
She said steadily, “There has never been any reason to doubt our word before. All of us have worked together and yet, here we are accusing one another of …, well, sabotage.”
There was silence in the conference room. Mental said finally, “She has a point. Yes, we have our differences. We have argued about our various domains and how they should interact, but we have never actually come to this. We have trouble happening all over and in very odd sectors. If it’s not us, then we have to face the thought of an intruder.”
Physical had stiffened. “Oh, God, I don’t like this. There have been no warnings. The adversary must be very good to have gone undetected all this time… Why, he’s managed to have us at each others’ throats without even being aware we’re being manipulated. He’s good.”
“Right,” Mental muttered. “The best offense is to divide and conquer.”
Emotion sighed. “Please, no philosophy. We need action, not thought.”
Mental said witheringly, “And, where would you be without it? Who’s guided you all these years?”
“Don’t you mean who’s sat on me all these years?”
“Well, that’s gratitude for you. You asked for control, you said you couldn’t deal with all the sectors’ fears. Who got you out of that one?”
“Got me out?” Emotion said in disbelief. “Will you tell me what kind of a solution is shoving feelings into a cellar, locking the door and throwing away the key? My entire territory is practically a bank vault now. Some solution!”
Mental sneered, “There certainly haven’t been any deposits lately.”
Emotion hissed at him, “And, who’s to blame for that? You keep Her so damn busy with your little projects, and as for Her work! God Almighty, when does She have any time to explore? You think we couldn’t use a little excitement? Well, I have news for you, buddy —”
Physical coughed. “I think we’re getting off the subject. What is the likelihood of an intruder? You two certainly sound as though there is little need of someone to cause mischief. You have been at war for years with few truces to show for it. Speaking of which, who has had to pay the price? I have.” He said bitterly. “If we have an intruder, we’d better find him or her. At the rate we’re going, She will split apart without any need of an intruder.”
The other two sobered quickly. With a glance, they formed an immediate truce and Mental took control. “Alright. I believe Emotion is right. To all appearances, logic would say there is an intruder. I suggest we fan out. We call our teams together and have them search every sector. Any signs, they should call for reinforcements, remember the two guards who have disappeared.”
Physical agreed. “I’ll send runners out immediately. Let’s meet in two days. Unfortunately, we’re covering a tremendous amount of ground. He has plenty of places to hide.”
Emotion shrugged. “Okay, I’ll keep searching. I suppose I’d better scan the vaults. I’d hide there if I wanted to escape detection. It’s filthy, but no one ever goes there.”
Mental sighed. “What a mess. I suppose a red alert?”
“Not on your life!” Physical responded instantly. “Do you want us to shut down all systems? I am still dealing with the after affects of the ulcer. When the situation warrants it, then we’ll go red alert, but not until then.”
“Okay. Sorry, Body.” Mental said penitently. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“God forbid!” Emotion chuckled. “In that case, we are truly lost!’
The lights faded as each went to their separate domains and began to call in their teams.
The Intruder waited until all was quiet and then moved out into the corridor.
To Be Continued…
Note 1: The Intruder is copyrighted 1986.
Note 2: This is part of the AWOL Manual, “When to Lay the Weapons Down,” copyrighted 1995, renewed 2008.