"Do you want to absorb your free form mental essence before we depart?" OM asked.
"No. I want to stay here and continue concentrating myself. Could be handy someday. Ship, keep in mind the fragility of our guest, we do not want him to parish before we make it to Loma Dena," Trent said.
"Understood," Ship replied.
Trent made his way back to Loma Dena without incident.
"Pace, are you awake?" Trent transmitted to her link.
"Yes, I am. Where are you?" Pace asked.
"Forty feet or so from your front door," Trent replied.
Pace raced out to greet him.
"Hello!" Trent said standing in the hatch opening waving.
Pace stared at Trent not recognizing him.
"Oh, I forgot. I changed my appearance," Trent said looking at his hands.
Pace through her arms around Trent and said in a loud voice, "I can't believe you got him. Take me to him, I want to see him."
"Let's go. I parked the cargo vessel in the commercial parking orbit around," said Trent.
On the way there Trent gave Pace an account of how Ventan was captured.
"You really do look a lot different. That's got to be useful," Pace stated.
"What progress has been made?" Trent asked, referring to the restoration of Loma Dena.
"Well, the radiation has been removed, and the structural damage has been repaired. The gravitirium production components are still a few thousand years from restoration. Everyone wants to know what happened to you of course," Pace said with her head facing down and eyes looking up at Trent.
"Of course... I think it is best to leave Ventan in the council's custody, and for me to just leave. If I stay the confusion caused by the mass interest will be more detrimental then beneficial. At some point he should be turned over to the military in the Great Corridor," Trent stated.
"I wonder what the Council will do with him?" Pace asked.
"I wonder that myself," Trent said adding, "And here we are," as they entered docking bay "A".
They walked over to a six-foot cube terrarium sitting the middle of the bay.
"This is Ventan Siel," Trent said with a wave of his hand.
Pace just stared with her hand over her mouth.
"He changed his body to a Freneer. This is his pain session. It will last six hours. Then the pain stops and he can eat. Then back to the pain. Unfortunately for him the body style he chose has a life span of over twelve hundred years." Trent stated.
Pace turned away. "I can't watch that," she gasped.
"The chamber is self-cleaning, and from the inside it is mirrored and sound prof. Just add food though box there in the corner. Plus, it is nuclear powered so it should last several thousand years. On Jamva they build them for their penal facilities. The pain cycle is my doing, and it cannot be reversed, to avoid a rescue attempt," Trent stated.
"He deserves every moment of it," Pace said still looking away.
"We should drop this off at the alliance military headquarters, and I should be on my way," Trent said with regret.
"Doesn't seem right," Pace said staring at the floor.
"Perhaps things will change someday. How are Aukous and Orin doing?" Trent asked.
"Oh, about the same. They will be unhappy if they don't get to see you," Pace said.
"Let's drop this off and go say hello. Then I really should go," Trent replied.
Trent and Pace delivered Ventan to the alliance military, paid respects to the science center personnel and the Council. Then after an interview with the media, spent several hours with Orin and Aukous.
"Crowds are starting to gather around the Science Center," Pace said when she received a message from the center.
"Time to go," Trent said.
"Where ya headed?" Aukous asked.
"No idea. You guys take care of yourselves," Trent said holding out his hand.
"We'll be right here. Good luck," said Orin.
"Dido. I'll keep up on the link. And thanks, again. Nobody else could have done it," Pace said giving Trent a goodbye hug.
Trent boarded ship and took the a round a bout way back to the cargo vessel.
"Ship, set a course between Kyk and Dolomat at maximum safe velocity. I am going into suspension mode. OM, wake me when we come across something interesting or at one trillion light years," Trent ordered.
"Understood," OM replied.
Two years, nine days and nine minutes later OM woke Trent.
"That was refreshing. What do we have?" Trent asked.
"We passed the outmost probe four months ago. We are just now receiving info suggesting an unknown system some three hundred billion light years straight ahead," OM stated.
"The probe has not transmitted any info on it?" Trent asked.
"The electromagnetic emissions have not yet come in to contact with the probe. And I am sure no one from our system has come this far," OM stated.
"Time of arrival?" Trent asked.
"We were at max velocity until we made contact with the electromagnetic emission. We are now slowing by ten light years per minute. Therefore, I estimate visual contact with the outer most galaxies in one hour and twenty-five minutes if its structure is similar to ours," said OM.
"An entirely new system. This means that at the time we first made contact with its outer most edge our system and this one became combined," stated Trent.
"Yes," OM replied.
"So far it seems identical to ours," OM said.
An hour later the first solid matter was coming into sight.
"Sensors indicate a solar system is coming up to the right. Not far behind it is a galactic formation," OM said.
"Let us say hello. Are there transmissions?" Trent asked.
"Not from the solar system, but we are just now receiving what could be transmissions. I will have a better idea in a minute," OM stated.
"Intriguing to say the least," thought Trent.