MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 127
" Has the probe gone far enough to make a usable scan for possible locations of either company? "  Thought Trent.

" No. "  Replied OM.

" The warship looked like a toy soldier and a company called Entertainment Galactic.  I think I see a connection. "  Pace thought.

" Some toy. "  Trent returned.

" OM, you said they are making parts, but not completed designs.  Maybe they do not have an order to fill.  Do you have an idea as to how long they have been operating like this? "  Asked Trent.

" If I had to give an estimate, I would say about one to two thousand years. "  OM replied.

" There were no markings on the warship indicating ownership be Entertainment Galactic. "  Pace thought.

" Here is a design for a 100 foot tall dragon ordered by Entertainment Galactic.  It is a slide, no weapons.  Another one, it is a 100 foot tall male figure with an outstretched arm, and no weapons.  These explains the toy soldier design that looked incomplete without the weapons.  It was not ordered by Entertainment Galactic to have weapons.  I believe the robots altered the designs for their own purposes by adding the weapons. "  OM stated.

" Why would the robots soldier shaped weapon attack a planet so faraway as Heptom? "  Asked Pace.

" Unknown.  Perhaps it was simply programed to patrol and destroy anything it considered a threat. "  OM suggested.

" Which leads to another question, how many of those things are out there? "  Pace thought.

" Is there a central management location? "  Trent asked.

" There seems to be several, but most of the information flows through a computer bank four hundred miles to the west.  You will find a high concentration of robots there as well. "  OM replied.

" I will simply act like a Negen and infiltrate.  They might not pay attention to me. "  Trent thought.

" Other than you are twice the size of a Negen.  It's much better that I go. "  Pace stated.

" Your shielding is inadequate.  If something were to wrong, you would be in serious trouble.  Besides, with your shielding deployed you would be spotted immediately.   Without your shielding the radiation would cause great harm. "  Trent replied.

" OM, try and narrow down the location of the documents we are need.  Ship, position us over the target, and stay in the clouds to avoid detection. "  Ordered Trent.

" Underway. "  Announced Ship.

" Our guests seem to be content. "  Trent said noticing them asleep in the corner curled up with a pile of food chips.

" They didn't like the bunks.  I guess they've always sleep on the floor.  Left on their own they'll stave.  They don't seem to much a mental capacity. "  Pace stated.

" OM, other then radiation, what other contaminants are there? "  Asked Trent.

" All of the heavy metals, complex solvents and chemical soaps you can imagine. "  OM replied.

" Can we clean this environment to a point it can support healthy beings? "  Asked Trent.

" It would take millions of years.  Plus, I can detect only twenty nine thousand and six beings, each of which must have damaged DNA and RNA based on the scans I have completed and the overall state of the environment.  In short, they are on an inevitable extinction. "  Stated OM.

" Okay, we reprogram the machines so they can begin the cleanup and take care of the Negen.  Let me know when you can do it. "  Pace asked.

" What are the food and water stats? "  Asked Trent.

" They are sufficient to last two years, maybe a bit more. "  OM replied.

" That is good.  Shutdown the robots.  I will return our guests, and then we will have a look at those computers. "  Trent thought.

" Take the scanner. "  OM replied.

A minute later Trent, Pace and their guests descended to where Trent had acquired the two Negen.   After determining the pair were not going suffer heart attacks, Trent and Pace moved on to the largest coordination center.

" This is eery. "  Pace said looking at the robots standing in positions at the moment of shutdown.

They made their way to the front door which Trent pushed open.  Inside were rows of computers.  Most of which had black smoke markings indicating electrical fires.  Those computers that were functional had robots of a different design operating them.

" OM, we are in the computer room. "  Trent thought.

" Place the scanner on a main frame and set press the relay button.  This will take a while, these computers can only down load one four terra bites per minute. "  OM replied.

" These robots have a functional blue light on their wrists. "  Pace thought.

" They are turned off, not de-energized. "  OM thought back

The Negen began filtering into the computer room.  They looked dazed.  One walked over to Pace and poked her arm.  Pace just smiled.

" Me 14-83-JV.  Who you? "  Asked 14-83-JV.

Trent gave her a brief explanation and the 14-83-JV just stood there clearly not understanding.  Trent pulled one off the robots apart to show they no longer a threat when he notice a Negen walking around and bowing to them.  The effect was to send the Negen fleeing in all directions.

" I suppose they'll figure it out over time. "  Pace said with raised eyebrows.

Pace and Trent stood at the widows watching the Negen milling around waiting for instructions from the robots.

" These poor guys have been through so much it seems doubly tragic they"ll just die off. "  Thought Pace.

" Tragedies do happen, as you are well aware.  Trying to save everyone will simply drag you into well of dispar.  Just keep in mind that there is only one Pace, and to your own self be true. "  Thought Trent.

" Yeah, I know.  It's just tough sometimes.  How do you think their do in on Heptom? "  Thought Pace.

" Fine I suppose.  I hope there are no more Heptoms.  Being this close to so many solar systems I fear the worst.  OM, have you detected my essence on this side of the radiation barrier? "  Trent asked.

" No, and I believe we have enough data proceed to the gravitirium sourse. "  OM answered.