MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 158
As the transport left the rubble a Monitor shot it down.  Trent walked over to it to look for anything providing usable intelligence.

" Pace, I have some specimens for testing.  I think our Celder problem is much worse than we thought. "  Thought Trent.

" How much worse?  How dose it get worse? "  Asked Pace.

" I am looking at two new specimens of what could be different species of Celder, they have the teeth. "  Trent replied.

" Their not just morph's? "  Asked Pace.

" No.  These are defiantly much too different to be morph's of the Celder we are used to. "  Thought Trent.

" Great.  Just great. "  Pace thought back.

" After OM and Handy have collected what they can from the Data Center, I will load them on Ship and bring them to our cargo ship.  How are things at the space station? "  Stated Trent.

" Rotating between suicidal depression thinking about their families, and raw nerve homicidal anger for the Celder. "  Replied Pace.

" Are you at threat?  "  Asked Trent.

" None what so ever. "  Pace answered.

" OM, how is the data collection coming? "  Trent asked

" We are about one third through the first tier.  The radiation levels are rising to quickly to finish.  Perhaps we might complete the first two levels before corruption is too great. "  Stated OM.

" Ships shielding is not sufficient?  What if I add mine? "  Asked Trent.

" Small amounts of  radiation was absorbed prior to us providing shielding.   The data crystals design leaves them susceptible to most all types and levels of radiation. "  OM stated.

" Pace, have your new friends drop down and pick up our samples.  The radiation levels will soon be high enough to cause extreme degradation of their DNA.  I will carry them to a safe location. "  Thought Trent.

" On their way.  I'll relay the pickup point when you get there. "  Pace stated.

Trent grabbed the two new Celder types by the wrists and carried them three miles outside of the main gate.  When he dropped them on the ground, the Comons in the immediate area rushed toward them intent on doing additional damage.  Trent used his shielding to fend them off.  The transport arrived a few moments later.

" They are on their way back.  Now I am going back to search the rubble. "  Thought Trent.

" The monitors just put down another transport trying to escape at the far end of the fortress. "  Pace thought.

" On it. "  Trent said in acknowledgment.

" Radiation levels just took a jump. "  Pace reported.

" No survivors, and no new Celder in the wreckage.  On the way here I noticed a small complex that looked relatively untouched.  Heading back there. "  Trent thought.

As Trent approached the front door he was hit with a particle beam.

" I was going to tear you apart anyway. "  Trent shouted.

Several more blasts from a particle beam weapon followed Trent's announcement.  Trent then pushed the door down.  There were three small children running down the hallway with a particle beam rifle.  Trent ran around them and stood in their path.  The boy with the rifle fired three more times.  Trent gently pulled the weapon from his grasp.

" I am not a Celder.  They must not of had time to... "  Trent stopped in mid sentence.

The children were to scared to talk.  The youngest was naked except for a towel or cloth of some sort she was clutching, and she had bruises on her wrists and ankles.  Trent knew that meant she had been strapped to a feeding table.

" Come on, lets get you to safety. "  Trent said as he scooped them up and rushed them to a safe location.

" Comons survivors? "  Asked Pace.

" The Celder left in a hurry.  Lucky for these three kids. "  Trent thought.

" Excuse me, could you care for these children? "  Trent asked of a group of woman watching the smoke rising from the fortress.

Trent didn't wait for an answer, he rushed back to check for more children.  There were none alive.  Trent walked slowly to the doorway staring at the floor.  He felt a tear run down his cheek, that was a first.

" Any more survivors? "  Pace thought.

After as short pause, " Just broken bones.  Piles and piles of broken bones.  There is a press for making sticks of the bones.  I guess they used them to gnaw on between meals. "  Trent said still staring at the floor.

" The samples just arrived. "  Pace said without knowing what else to say do to the inflection in Trent's voice.

For the first time Trent felt true sadness.  Sadness without an anger follow up.

" He sounds depressed.  Has he never seen things like what the Celder do? "  A Laba asked Pace.

" Oh he's seen plenty.  Too much maybe.  Hereafter, I sure wouldn't want to be a Celder, or any other kinda scum. "  Pace answered.

" Maybe he wont want to continue fighting the Celder.  I have seen that happen a thousand times.  Beings just can't take anymore horrors. "  Stated one the Comons.

" Trent's not like anyone you have ever heard of.  You could say he's unique, one of a kind, without equal. "  Pace replied.

" How can he stand in the radiation? "  Asked another Laba.

" Like I said, he's unique.  How many transports do you have? "  Asked Pace.

" A hundred or so that work.  Another two hundred that don't.  Most of the problems come from parts connected to that grav material. "  The Comons answered.

" Ah, the gravitirium parts.  Has anyone around here worked at the gravitirum site? "  Asked Pace.

" No one even knows what it is.  Other then the name. "  One of the Comons replied.

" I wonder why the Ulavet's relatives didn't come to their defense? "  Pace pondered.

" Maybe they don't know.  Communication was the first to go. "  Said one of the Laba.

" The Celder control all transmission.  I guess controlled is a better word. "  Added another Laba as he pounded the wall and jumped around with a grin that won't stop.

" Possible I suppose.  We'll know more after we examine the records from the Data Center. "  Stated Pace.

" Pace, give me a currant scan on the structures. "  Trent asked.