MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 126
An hour later Trent dissented to the food storage building and returned with some of what was there.

" Dinner is served! "  Trent proclaimed placing the food on the table.

616-D-6 and his friend pounced on the brown chips.

" This is worse than that cereale. "  Pace said after nibbling on one of the brown chips, but she eat some of them anyway.

" They seem to like it. "  Trent thought.

" Have any trouble down there? "  Pace asked.

" None.  OM, is there progress on deciphering their language? " Thought  Trent.

" Yes.  Handy lived up to his name and found a coding program. "  OM replied.

" This robotic device quite old, and its parts are close to catastrophic failure. "  Handy injected.

" It seems the original manufacturing facility was fully automated, and specialized in entertainment devices for recreation properties.  Although records do not indicate how the present circumstances came to be, I believe the artificial intelligence programing led to the machines reproducing themselves by enslaving the beings who made them in the first place. "  Stated OM.

" Where did they get the gravitirium? "  Asked Pace.

" Unknown.  Not all records are attainable do to degradation from radiation exposure. "  OM stated.

" How long have these beings been enslaved by the machines? "  Trent asked.

" It appears to have been a gradual process as the beings who ran the factories died and the machines took their places.  At some point the machines could repair and replace themselves.  The beings may have been forced labor all along, perhaps a penal colony which explains the guards. "  Thought OM.

" There are several underground structures with heavy lead lining.  There are what appears to be file cabinets, disk racks and computers inside.  Those records might have been protected from the radiation. "  OM thought.

" Which one would be the easiest to get into? "  Asked Trent.

" None of them are guarded.  Apparently the machines consider them unimportant. "  OM said.

" Ship, park us over the largest one. "  Trent ordered.

" Understood. "  Ship replied.

" How are we going to free these beings? "  Asked Pace

" Break or reprogram the machines when we know the beings can survive without them. "  Thought Trent.

" OM, where are the young? "  Asked Pace.

" There are young in the dormitories.  I cannot detect beings older then fifty years of age. "  OM answered.

" I suppose they're worked to death. "  Thought Pace.

" We are in position. "  Announced Ship.

" I want to go with you. "  Said Pace.

" Our two new friends might get into mischief if left alone.  Besides, the lead may be there to keep radiation in and not out.  Your shielding may not be adequate.  OM, have an idea as to whether or not these beings can survive without the robots? "  Trent asked.

" The beings to the work, but I do not know if they could manage without constant guidance. "  Answered OM.

" Back in a moment. "  Declared Trent.

" How long have these beings been enslaved? "  Asked Pace.

" I have not located that data.  However, based on the general degradation of the planet, I would estimate at least ten thousand years. "  OM replied.

" Is there any info on their civilization? "  Asked Pace.

" None.  The robots have numerical designations, and they are operated by the Imperial Design and Manufacturing Company which apparently runs the entire planet.  Presently the are making parts for machines they can not complete do to the lack of raw materials and production machines they are unable to replace or repair. "  OM stated.

" Anything on the warship? "  Asked Pace.

" Records are highly degraded, but there is what I believe to be diagrams of what could be part of a similar design. "  OM replied.

" I am inside the building.  Nothing looks familiar so I will bring back a variety of things.  On my way. "  Trent stated.

" How was the radiation levels? "  Asked Pace.

" Quite low, and yes you can come with me, if, I go again.  So, what do we have here? "  Trent thought.

" Place the disk on no the table with the glossy side up.  Those other items are unusable.  What was in the cabonits? "  OM asked.

" Paper files that disintegrated when I touched them. "  Trent replied.

" This appears to be a payroll log.  Take the remote scanner with when you return. "  OM said.

" We have a remote scanner?  Ha.  Okay, let's go scan some disks, and take a light band. "  Trent thought to Pace.

" How's this work? "  Pace asked.

Trent put his arm around Pace.  " Like this.  Hang on. "  Trent thought as he stepped off the cargo ship.

" Aaaaah crot..."  Pace said in a loud squeak with her hand over her mouth.

They gradual came to stop on the roof on target building.

" Safe landing.  How do you feel? "  Asked Trent.

" Find.  Just fine.  That's one breath taking trip.  Let's do it again. "  Pace stated scrunching up her solders.

They entered through the hole in the roof Trent had made in the first trip.

" Smells like wet almeret hair. "  Thought Pace.

" There is a robot walking on the roof.  It is moving toward our entry point. "  Trent thought.

" OM, is it transmitting? "  Pace asked.

" Yes.  It is saying something fall on the building and made a large hole at point of impact.  There is no reply. "  OM thought.

" It referred to us as something.  Our shielding must interfere with it's ability sense our forms.  It's not moving, must be waiting to receive instructions. "  Replied Trent.

" It's sure to sense us if we move. "  Pace thought.

" Thought transfer is quit handy.  How is the implant? "  Trent thought.

" It's fine.  How long should we wait? "  Pace asked.

" OM, is it omitting a signal? "  Asked Trent.

" No. "  OM thought back.

" I will shut it down.  Maybe it will not be missed.  Pace start scanning. "  Trent thought as he jumped up, grabbed the robot and removed it's head.

After a few minutes of scanning OM thought, "  That is useful information.  They received the gravitirium from a company called Beam Technology. "

" Trent, this disk has a blue label. "  Pace thought.

" Beam Technology seems to be their only supplier.  It also seems they have only one client, a company called Entertainment Galactic. "  Thought OM.