MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 53
" It will still take several years before construction begins. "  Trent stated.

" Anxiety building? "  Asked Pace.

" I have no sense of emotion.  Still, I find myself pondering what I will be able to do once it is competed.  I wonder what will be expected of me, and will be able to meet the expectations of all the many beings that are working to make my body possible. "  Trent said with a speculative sound to his voice.

" Your voice denotes emotion. "  Said Pace.

" Yes, it does on occasion, but it is a learned response.  Did I use the wrong inflection? "  Asked Trent.

" You're doin good there Trent. "  Pace replied.

" If I get it wrong, please correct me. "  Trent asked.

" I will.  Don't worry. "  Pace said.

A few hours later, Aukous Belloway showed up with a restoration tech that had worked on old mapping restorations for the military on the planet Botala.  Aukous was the military representative chosen by the alliance to provide marshal practices should they be necessary.

" Good morning everyone, this Hulmara Niff.  She has worked on mapping projects that covered part of the Great Corridor. "  Aukous announced as he and Hulmara entered the room.

After exchanging pleasantries, Hulmara opened a case containing a storage cell and handed it to Pace.

" This is the mapping done several million years ago by a race called the Niny.  It was recovered from a ship drifting near my home planet.  We have never gone there ourselves do to the distances.  Your friends did go there, so there is a possibility that these coordinates could be calibrated to provide a reasonably accurate map of a leased part of the Great Corridor.  Of course, I do not know if this will help you, but I thought you should have it just in case. "  Hulmara said.

" Thank you.  I'm sure this will come in handy. "  Pace replied.

" I thought Hulmara would make an excellent addition to our hearty flock.  Accurate mapping of our activities will be necessary, and the alliance should have as much info about the Corridor as possible. "  Aukous said.

" This mapping is of a region we did not travel. "  Trent said.

" Speaking of which, tell us more about the dinosaur plant.  I must go there some day.  Is there a waiting period, or restrictions of some sort? "  Asked Pace.

" Many questions.  Few answers.  I will state that it was one of the more interesting places we visited. "  Trent replied.

" There are actual 30 foot tall carnivores. "  Asked Aukous.

" One carnivore species is closer to 45 feet tall, but it is vary skinny.  The bulkiest is around 20 feet tall, and averages 8 tons. "  Replied Trent.

" Gotta get there some day.  Yes I do. "  Pace said in a kina voice that indicated she had little real expectation of making it.

" There is no telling where Ventans trail will take us. "
Added Aukous.

The rest of that day was spent interviewing prospective maintenance engineers familiar with Ree technology.

" Trent, did you encounter a race with a reptilian genome? "  Asked Orin.

" No.  The Rinthians are the only non mammalian advanced beings that I have encountered.  If you look in the national library on Kelgolor, you will find reference to a continent on Bolos with reptilian like beings with a written language.  Why to you ask? "  Trent inquired.

" I was referencing some lineage materials, and there was nothing on reptilians advancing beyond the primitive stage.  Seems like there would have been some segment somewhere that evolved like the Rinthians did. "  Orin explained

" Most reptilian lines come from very sturdy stock.  They survive when other life forms die out.  That toughness might be what helps them survive as well as prohibits advancement. "
Trent added.

" Did you talk to Dr. Mollaty? "  Asked Pace sitting on the window sill so she could see the sun setting.

" No I have not.  Should I? "  Asked Trent.

" He is working on a companian for you. "  Page replied.

" Companian?  What kind of companian? "  Asked Trent.

" One that will last as long as you probably will, and be kind of a sidekik.  You should talk to him. "  Suggested Page.

When they had finiched, Trent contacted Dr. Mollaty.

" Yes this is Dr. Mollaty.  Who might you be? "  He asked.

" I am Trent.  Pace said I should see you about your project.  She called it my companian. "  Trent said.

" Yes indeed.  This is the file. "  Dr. Mollaty typed the name.

" I do not understand.  What am I analyzing? "  Trent asked.

" This is the next step for this type of device.  You're having trouble understanding it because there are referances.  This is entirely new. "  Dr. Mollaty replied.

" I sense the data, but I have no idea what it means.  I have access to a lot of knowlage, which is not the same as understanding it. "  Trent stated.

" I understand.  Well let me teach you. "  Said Dr. Mollaty.

They spent the next three days going over Dr. Mollatys concepts.

Orin and Aukous were going over the rout Trent had proposed.

" Ventan is probably right where he was.  Why should he go anywhere? "  Orin surmised.

" I hope he is sitting at his desk when we find him.  However, the reality of the situation is that with as much excitement as there has been around here, he has probably been apprized of our interest in seeking justice. "  Said Aukous.

" Have you talked to Trent lately? "  Asked Orin.

" He was going to have a look at Dr. Mollatys project. "  Aukous replied.

" Here comes Pace and Hulmara.  They seem to getting along. "  Orin said looking though the open door.