MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 144
" Tough way to grow up. "  OM thought.

" If she grows up. "  Thought Trent.

" Trent, how many of these probes do you want before we get the additional sensor technology? "  Asked OM.

" Enough to cover the planet for tunnel net works.  We can upgrade later.  Plus we know the Celder seem to congregate in numbers of two hundred or so at the tunnel complexes.  Therefore we should enhance sensors to be more able to detect the absence of wildlife, lower oxygen levels, higher carbon dioxide levels, higher thermal levels, and inferred time lapse would be of great benefit if possible. "  Trent suggested.

" We need to obtain more raw materials for probes. "  OM thought.

" First I will visit Pace.  Do you have logistics? "  Thought Trent.

" I have locations for all but Iridium. "  OM thought.

Trent stood looking at Pace.

" That looks terrible? "  Trent said to Handy.

" The movement under the skin and over the wounds are her molecular repair devices fulfilling their programed duties. "  Handy replied.

" Seems like a great many of them. "  Stated Trent with raised eyebrows.

" There are more of them being made as we speak. "  Handy answered.

" Ship, take the coordinates provided by OM please. "  Thought Trent.

" Complying. "  Replied Ship.

" While I am thinking about it, there have been no positive results from the scans for Linggets, or your mental essence. "  OM thought.

" I do believe we headed in the wrong direction for that. "  Trent replied.

They made their way to an asteroid for the Iridium and around the planet for the other materials OM required for more probes.  When they got to the location for the Nickle there were a hundred or so minors at work.

" Why are they running? "  Thought OM.

" Probably because they are Celder and slaves.  Did you notice those on the perimeters.  They were the last to enter the mine and carried swords of a sort. "  Trent thought.

" Celder mining Nickel.  What could they do with Nickel? "  Thought OM.

" I will get out and ask for directions.  They will yell something from the entrance, and we will go.  Then we will watch from a distance, and when they are back to work, we will rescue the Hoyla. "  Trent thought.

" Attack plan? "  Asked OM.

" You make a quick sterilization of the perimeter, and I will take out the Celder among the Holya.  Then I will enter the mine and kill the Celder therein.  The Hoyla can tell us were their families are being kept, and we will rescue them. "  Trent stated.

The plan worked reasonably well.  Ninty Celder dead, seventy two Hoyla rescued, a supply of Nickle acquired.

" My name is Trent.  Now we rescue your families.  Where are they being kept? "  Asked Trent standing in front of some vary stunned Hoyla.

The Hoyla fell silent.  Some sank to the ground and cried.  Trent knew what that meant.

" I see.  Well, from here you can go on your way, or to our training island and fight the Celder with very lethal weapons.  Take your time, I know this is a lot to have happen all at ounce.  Handy, bring the cargo ship to this location. "  Ordered Trent.

" Complying. "  Answered Handy.

The Hoyla did not have to talk long, they all wanted to fight and had the usual questions.

" They will board to the compartment under Pace. "  Trent thought when the cargo ship landed at the mine site.

" I thought non of the space ships worked any more and where is this island? "  Asked a Hoyla.

" I am from a planet called Loma Dena.  The training island is four thousand miles to the west.  The fight against the Celder is well underway, and you will be fully updated when we get there.   Which will be in about four minutes, so strap yourself in.   "  Trent replied.

" Mr. Trent sir.  The Celder are many.  They control most of the territory around here. "  Said on of the Hoyla.

" For the moment perhaps, but that will change. "  Trent replied.

Soon they were on the island and going through a debriefing.   They learned that there were many mining operations in that region which would provide good conditions for Celder hives.  Plus the number of Celder roaming around went from the thousands to the dozens in just a few weeks.   Apparently it took them a while to prepare the mine sites to be transformed into hives.

" It will take you a month or so to be able to use these weapons and return a healthy state of body and mind.  Omnis will show you how to use the weapons.  Gisum will work with you on everything else.  I will be out there scouting. "  Said Trent as he entered the cargo ship to see Pace.

" She is holding her own.  I have to periodically readjust the bone fragments. Considering the damage, that is a minor problem. "  Stated Handy.

" OM, let us check out a few more mining sites. "  Suggested Trent.

" Scan wise the mining operations to the south are the most extensive, and there is very little wildlife, and no domestic facilities of any kind. "  OM thought.

" Sounds like it merits a closer look.  OM, provide Ship with the coordinates please. "  Thought Trent.

" Complying. "  Ship thought back.

" I wonder if they are stock piling quantities of several different elements? "  Thought Trent.

" Would seem to be a waste of time.  They have no smelting, refining, or manufacturing capabilities.  Although Nickle may be something they need as a nutrient, or reproduction. "  OM stated.

" Are there Hoyla in that area we have not contacted? "  Asked Trent.

" Two. "  Thought OM.

" Let's land by the closest one to the mining region, and just watch for a while.  Maybe we can pickup on some Celder behaivier we are not aware of. "  Thought Trent.

The community they landed by was called the Upper Klick.  Population four hundred and thirty. 

" They have well defined security lines. "  Thought Trent. 

" There are well used pathways between the Upper Klick and a mine complex two miles to the right.  They disappear close to Upper Klick.  I would guess they are tunnel entrances. "  Thought OM.