MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 113

" I am responsible for the deaths on billions of innocent beings, and I will probably be thinking about it for trillion centuries or so. "  Trent answered in a soft repentant voice.

" You did what you thought was right.  What more can you do?  Would you expect more from someone else?  Come on, the best anyone can do is what they think is right.  Why should you think differently of yourself? "  Pace said.

" Your question is correct.  However, I am not anyone.  I can not forget. " Trent replied.

" You might not be able to forget, but what would you have done differently? "  Pace asked.

" I could have not gotten involved. "  Trent answered.

" Then you have learned less.  They would have learned less.  We would have learned less.  Lets have dinner at Lazzy Winds.  They have a great selection from every part of the alliance. "  Pace suggested.

" I am probably not the best company at the moment. "  Trent replied.

" I was think more along the lines of I need someone nearby to stop me from eating myself to death. "  Pace said with a laugh.

" The food is that good? "  Trent asked.

" Yeah.  The food is that good.  Besides I want to know more about what it was like to be the first to enter another formation.  You answered a lot questions with that one. "   Pace stated.

They walked to Paces transport and went directly to the Lazzy Winds.

" Is anyone close to finding out who committed the bombing? "  Trent asked.

" The best we have been able to concluded is the bomber was a being from Lidil, who tried to get a gravitirium repair for his wife's heart.  They were turned down because she was too far gone to survive the surgery.  Then sense he worked at power nation three it was easy for him get the material.  But, he went up with bomb, so we'll probably never really know. "  Said Pace.

" Here we are.  I forgot to ask, have you got the eating thing down? "  Asked Pace.

" Yes.  In fact I have sampled cuisines on several occasions which I would highly recommend. "  Replied Trent as they walked toward the LAZZY WIND.

As they entered the waiting area someone said, " It's Trent. "

Trent waved as he and Pace turned around and went back to the Science Center.

" Ventan.  How was his last day? "  Asked Trent.

" Believe it or not there were thousands who wanted him freed.  Something about crule and humiliating confinement.  There were constant prayer vigils on one side, and beings bitting on body parts on the other.  But, the pain eventually did him in.  There were thousands of his victims relatives present, and the last few days were transmitted to most of the viewing channels in the Great Corridor.  He had pretty good ratings. "  Said Pace.

" Hmm.  Funny how some beings sympathize, and put value on. "  Trent answered.

" There are as many value systems as there are beings.  Which oddly enough takes us back to your conundrum, the emphasis you place on helping.  Not all beings recognize help as help when offered. "  Pace stated.

" I know what you are trying to say, and I appreciate your willingness to try and help.  However it is something only I can deal with.  My grief, my pain and I have to deal with it. "  Stated Trent.

" I'm not hungry anymore.  Let's get your physical out of the way. "  Said Pace.

" Right. "  Said Trent.

Trent stood with a hundred or so sensors sticking out of every part of his body.

" Now jog in place if you would. "  Said a tech.

" Now lift this weight ten times fast, and ten times slowly. "  The tech said a few minutes later.

This process continued for an hour.

" That should do it.  We will have your diagnosis in ten minutes. "  Said another tech.

" Now for the political aspects of life.  The new Chancellor worked on the dynamics of your spleen. "  Pace said with a smile.

" I seem to have an up close and personal relationship with a lot of beings. "  Replied Trent.

The Chancellor stopped the proceedings when Trent arrived so as to accommodate everyone curiosity.  As Trent entered the chamber everyone stood with a round of applause.

" Thank you, thank you. "  Trent said as he walked and waved to the gallery until he reached the stand in front of the Chancellor.

" Trent, we have all followed your travels.  And I must say I wish I could be out there at your side.  Fascinating is not a strong enough word for your activities. "  The Chancellor stated.

" Thank you.  I am of course incredibly grateful to yourself, and thousands of others for the chance to exist, let along explore the universe.  I am constantly overwhelmed with my good fortune. "  Trent said with a slight bow.

Trent received a short round of applause, and answered questions for an hour.

" We are aware that your presents attracts a great many overly enthusiastic fans, so we hope your travels will continue to be fruitful. "  Said the Chancellor.

Trent turned and left the chamber to another round of applause.

" Sounded like it went well. "  Pace said from a bench in the hall.

" Seems that way. "  Trent replied.

" Your physical shows perfectly normal.  Normal for a being with your abilities that is. "  Said Pace.

Trent stopped.

" Being...  I have never thought of myself as a being.  More as a project. "  Stated Trent.

Pace grabbed Trent by the arm.

" You can't be serious.  Of course you're a being.  You're a supper being. "  Pace insisted.

" I was made from scratch. "  Trent replied.

" Aren't we all made from scratch? "  Asked Pace.

" You know what I mean. "  Said Trent.

" You have feelings, you make decisions, you self-sacrifice, you help where ever you can, your considerate of others and you have lousy taste in cloths. "  Pace said with a smile.

Trent looked down at his choice of attire, then at Pace.

" Come on, lets get you a wardrobe.  One that won't raise a chorus of laughter. "  Pace said pulling him toward the commercial sector.