MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 98
" Transmission from the monitor states status as normal, but it should be transmitting a myriad of divisions of information. "  OM thought to Trent.

" Perhaps both companies pulled out. "  Trent thought back to OM.

" Even then the monitor would update us on most planetary activity. "  OM stated.

" Would you like to stop at the crystal caves? "  Asked OM.

" No, best to see what is going on at Glittia. "  Trent replied.

" Glittia is ten hours out. "  OM announced.

When Trent arrived on Glittia he found few living organisms.

" It seems that a highly lethal engineered virus has been released.  I can only locate a few patches of  bacteria that have survived thus far.  Most of all the electronically stored data has been erased.  The monitor has a record of an electro magnetic pulse around the time life  began to die, but I find no evidence of an apparatus capable of performing such a task on Glittia. "  Said OM.

" It would seem that Prigett Ol Amola or Brandon Newn triggered a device that released the virus and activated the electro magnetic pulse which then self destructed.  It could have been engaged by remote control,  pre-timed or an act of suicide in as much as the monitor would not have let anyone get near or leave. "  Trent stated.

" The monitor has no record for the origin of the release site of the virus.  Life registrations diminished to their present state over the last four days. "  OM said.

" Let's see if  Prigett Ol Amola left a record of some sort. "  Said Trent

Trent boarded Ship and they left for the VICLA office complex.

" It would seem these beings had trouble breathing during their last moments. "  Trent thought to  OM as he looked out the window.

" Go to the end of the hall and turn right.  The executive offices are on the right. "  OM instructed.

" Well,  Prigett Ol Amola stayed at her command post to the very end.  She wrote a rather scathing letter to Mr. Newn, and she gave herself and energy pulse to the head before she finished it. "  Trent thought to OM.

" No mention of what kind of virus, or reasoning for its use? "  Ask OM.

" None.  Which would indicate Mr. Newn was responsible. "  Trent surmised.

" Or, she knew she was going to lose Glittia and sought to deprive INOM of the lithium. "  Surmised OM.

" Let's have a look at the INOM headquarters. "  Thought Trent.

Ship stopped in front of the INOM headquarters.  There were bodies here and there just like the VICLA offices.

" I think the abundance and virulence is due to the establishment of a favorable environment of an indigenous virus, and not an intentional release.  There must be another reason that initiated it's rise to a concentration level high enough to cause this annihilation. "  Stated OM.

" Let's ask Mr. Newn if he would mind coming back here and give us a guided tour.  Ship!  To Solim please. "  Trent proposed.

" We will soon need to replace this cargo ship.  It will not be able to withstand more stress.  "  OM stated.

" Start scanning for a replacement.  I wonder if Mr. Newn will be gald to see us? "  Trent thought himself.

" I doubt it, but he will most likely be expecting a visit of some sort. "  OM replied.

" Yes he is.  We shall not disappoint. "  Trent said.

A few hours later they arrived at Solim.

" I am depicting no presents of Mr. Newn.  There is however a flight departure record indicating Mr. Newn is on his way to one of his companies operations on a moon orbiting the nest outward planet in this system. "  OM announced.

" Ship, please catch up to Mr. Newn. "  Trent asked of ship.

A few minutes later they were directly above the transport carrying Mr. Newn.

" The transport is taking evasive action. "  OM stated.

" Disable his engine. "  Trent ordered.

The transport began spinning.

" The occupants including Mr. Newn have succumb to the inertial forces created by the spinning of their transport. "  OM said.

" Lucky him.  I suppose we should suggest to the Solim authorities that Glittia be rendered unusable. "  Trent thought.

" That would be appropriate. "  OM replied.

When they returned to Solim they found the authorities skeptical.

" Well we tried.  Let's collect the monitor, acquire a new cargo ship or something like it and head for the dinosaur planet. "  Trent stated.

" They will probably wined up contaminating their own planet. "  OM predicted.

" Probably. "  Trent answered.

" There is a planet called Litus one hundred and fifty or so light years away that seems to be advanced enough to produce an acceptable cargo ship. "  OM said.

" Ship, set a course.  I wonder if we can get there without a detour. "  Trent ordered.

" Receiving distress calls.  Six are fuel problems, two are mechanical problems and one pirate attack. "  OM announced.

" Not even half way there.  Ship, to the pirates please. "  Trent requested.

" All but one of the other distress calls are in heavily trafficked routes. "  OM said.

" We will take care of that right after the pirates. "  Trent replied.

" The transport being attacked just exploded.  The pirates are leaving. "  OM announced.

" Are we close enough to cause them grief? "  Trent asked.

" No.  We will be in five minutes. "  OM replied.

" How many casualties were there? "  Trent asked.

" Four casualties.  It was a cargo transport. "  OM said.

" Anything on the pirates? "  Trent asked.

" There are eight pirates.  Their transport is slow and small. "  OM answered.

" Ship, set a corse for the disabled transport and take us there immediately after we deal with the pirates. "  Trent ordered.

" Their engines are reaching critical levels.  Detonation just occurred. "  OM stated.

Forty five minutes later they were at the disabled transport.

" Transport AC 29!  My name is Trent.  How can we be of assistance? "  Trent asked.

" You can hand over your transport. "  A voice replied as grappling lines attached to the cargo ship.

" Well, this is a new theme.  Are you sure you want to do this? "  Trent asked.

" Prepare to be boarded.  Do not resist, and you will be spared. "  They returned.