I originally posted this story almost one year ago to the day, but thought I would resurrect it in honor of PAC-MAN's 30th anniversary. It's the least I can do for a game that has given me countless hours of enjoyment and is still lots of fun to play 3 decades later!
They stood silently at a crossroads bordered by endless blue barricades of energy. Four space travelers from as many times and dimensions brought together for a common purpose. Arquem Pheyden broke from the group and moved slowly down a corridor. He paused at an opening in the partition and cautiously stepped into the void and out of view. A moment later his head appeared from behind the wall.
"It hasn't come this way yet. The power orbs continue down this passageway and around the corner." Arquem quickly looked back over his shoulder before rejoining his brethren.
"It must still be feeding around the perimeter," Red Guardian Pheyden said quietly. "We must split up and begin to drive it towards a southern corner of the labyrinth. Remember - do not let it reach one of the large spheres or our shields will be temporarily deactivated."
The other Pheydens nodded in acknowledgment and moved out. As Andromeda Pheyden made his way down the hall he heard something in the distance and stopped. From somewhere up ahead came the faint sound of metal on metal. It grew louder as he slid stealthily along one of the blue barriers separating him from his quarry. The noise built to a roar as the creature approached, its gnashing steel teeth devouring power orbs as it went. Andromeda ran to meet the circular being head on and saw that it was being pursued by Red Guardian! Despite its panic the half machine, half organic golden yellow monster continued to ingest balls of energy at an impossible rate. Just as the Pheydens were about to close in, it deftly turned into a warp zone and was gone.
On the opposite side of the maze, Pulse Pheyden was about to change course when the beast appeared out of nowhere right in front of him! It saw him and reversed direction, Pulse in hot pursuit. By the time he realized a large sphere lay up ahead it was too late. The creature swallowed it whole and spun on Pulse as his shield short circuited, encasing him in a glowing dark blue aura. Partially paralyzed, he tried to escape but was vaporized in an instant! The ghostly outline of his eyes floated eerily down the corridor and out of sight.
Andromeda and Red Guardian emerged from the warp zone as their shields were flashing back into operation. They sprinted after the yellow fiend, herding it towards a corner. The Pheydens struggled to close the gap but it managed to stay one step ahead of them, rounding the bend and continuing down the long southern passageway. As they came around the corner they saw Arquem leap out of an opening up ahead. The creature was surrounded! The trio charged mercilessly and rammed full speed into the beast's fleshy curved sides as it let out a high pitched death warble. Its mechanical jaws malfunctioned and opened on to itself as the monster imploded!
Pulse found himself whole again in a small rectangular chamber. The only break in the walls was protected by some sort of force field. Without warning, Andromeda and Arquem suddenly appeared on either side of him. Red Guardian spoke from just outside the room.
"We are not done here. There will be another..."