"What were the weak points with the process?" asked Trent.
"Switching the fluid back to water was less than a perfect process. With just one treatment there was enough residual fluid to cause long term deleterious effects to the mitochondria. Over four or five uses the residual fluid accumulated to the point that all electrochemical processes were compromised. The last paper published on the matter was two hundred and nine years ago. In short, they gave up," OM reported.
"How fast could they travel?" Trent asked.
"Records indicate their best propulsion systems were basic nuclear. That would provide them around five hundred thousand miles per hour after one hundred hours of thrust at best. They had armor, but no gravitirium based shielding," replied OM.
"What was their fatality rates?" asked Trent.
"Fatalities from the use of the water replacement fluid after thirty years was one hundred percent, even for those who used it only once. Fatalities from debris collisions during space travel was seventy eight percent, about the average for a region with debris densities of DCA-6 and at those velocity capabilities," stated OM.
Trent had a num feeling and said little for the next eleven hours. He gazed halfheartedly at the passing solar systems and the occasional rogue planet.
"We should be close to Paces transport," OM alerted.
Trent straightened his posture as he surveyed the monitors while glancing through the canopy.
"Picking up a Ree signal which just passed below us at five times the speed of light and on a trajectory which would suggest it is Pace on a heading for Hemtom," OM stated.
"Ship, intercept that transport," Trent ordered.
"Underway," Ship replied.
In moments Ship a few hundred feet away from Paces transport.
"Pace is incased in a stiff gel substance. I can only presume she has replaced her water with same or similar substance. The transport is on autopilot for Hemtom, and has a shielding one third that of Ships," OM stated.
"Can you take control of the transport?" Trent asked.
"Yes, but I suggest I complete an analysis of the gel substance, and the available documentation on it," said OM.
"Ship, take a position ten feet above Paces transport, and extend your shielding to maximum," ordered Trent.
"Complying," Ship replied.
"Apparently Pace knew you would take your present action. She has left a message. The jell you are of question was formulated by Dr. Mollaty and the electrochemical and physics department at the Science CeTnter. Theoretically I should be able to tolerate the physical effects encountered riding in Ship at the most extreme levels. That is the end of her message," thought OM.
"Stay in position. Keep monitoring, and if there is a change we will stop and get her out of there," Trent ordered.
"They call the gel stasis gel. They seem to have completed a rather large battery of tests. It can become ridged enough to protect the user against two hundred thousand times the base gravity force on Loma Dena, dead stop impact at one tenth light speed if coupled with a containment chamber with a seven or higher rating and a temperature fluctuation from minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit to forty-six hundred degrees Fahrenheit in twenty seconds. The down side is the user must replenish normal nutrient, water and oxygen levels every fourteen months," stated OM.
"What are the specifications on a containment chamber with a seven or higher rating?" Trent asked.
"They have six levels of spring concussion absorption and gravitirium shielding at about one tenth of what Ship is capable of. They have developed a portable personal shielding device that will provide shielding for the user when there is body contact," replied OM.
"How effective is it?" Trent asked.
"Temperature protection from minus one hundred and eighty degrees Fahrenheit to five hundred and twenty five degrees above zero degrees Fahrenheit. Projectile protection against weapons under the typical twenty-millimeter cannon. Radiation protection of eight to ten times the lethal levels for most organisms. Pressure protection of forty atmospheres and the vacuum of open space. The down side is the currant power pack is only good for eighty hours at maximum engagement," OM stated.
Trent stayed engaged with Pace until they reached Hemtom. Paces transport automatically entered orbit and began the process replacing the gel with water.
"How long will it take for the process to complete the transition?" thought Trent.
"Unknown," OM replied.
Thirty minutes later Pace moved her fingers up and down.
She could not quite open her eyes, but Trent could tell she was trying.
"Good morning. Welcome to Hemtom," Trent said in his interpretation of a cheerful voice.
"Wow!" Pace said in a low labored voice.
"You are orbiting Hemtom. I will stay here until you are fully reconstituted, or whatever the correct terminology might be," Trent stated.
Pace gave a short-chocked type laugh.
"Ah, so, today's weather forecast is sunny with mild winds. Hemtom is gradually regaining a semblance of civilized life styles, and we have a location on the beings who have gravitirium technology and wreaked havoc on these beings," Trent thought.
"You will need to transmit your communications to Pace, she cannot sense your thoughts," OM reminded Trent.
"Right," Trent then completed the transmission.
"Hi. Fancy meeting you here," Pace slowly said in a soft voice.
"How long until you know if you made the trip in good health?" Trent asked.
"The readings say it took one year, one month, two weeks, fourteen hours and five minutes to make the trip. That means I should be normalized and stable in an hour or so," Pace said in a relieved voice.
"Should! What do you mean should," Trent said in an elevated voice.
"Don't worry. I'll be fine. Tell me more about the ship with the gravitirium," Requested Pace.
"It is traveling at one hundred thousand miles an hour which means we can catch up with it in a few minutes. OM is piecing together an history from probe records so we know where it came from and perhaps where it is going," Trent replied.