MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 131
Two weeks later.

" Trent.  We have arrived at the afore mentioned solar system. "  OM thought.

" Stats? "  Thought Trent.

" Average star, three uninhabitable planets and a barrage of sensors and automated weapon platforms.  There are small amounts of gravitirium in some of the components which are part of the devices which now surround us. "  OM stated.

" Nice to be noticed.  Have they made demands? "  Asked Trent.

" Not as of yet.  They are still analyzing. "  OM replied.

" Ask to communicate with the being or device in charge, and what have we picked up from Hoyla? "  Asked Trent.

" Transmissions from Hoyla are corrupted by static from radiation fields. "  OM stated.

" One of them sent a message to Hoyla.  It will take three years two weeks to arrive. "  OM thought.

" How fast can we arrive there? "  Thought Trent.

" There are still no charts or sensory abilities to detect debris.  I can only estimate a one month journey at best with a two year margin of error. "  OM replied.

" Do these devices have weapons? "  Asked Trent.

" Yes.  None we need to worry about. "  OM answered.

" Explain to them our intentions to make a quite transit to Hoyla. "  Ordered Trent.

" They seem uninterested. "  OM thought.

" What have you derived from their data storage? "  Thought Trent.

" These devices are primarily sentries designed to protect the minerals in this system.  There is some info on the Hoyla mining but not much else.  They are programed to fire only on anyone attempting to mine. "  Stated OM.

" Okay, we are on our way to Hoyla.  Wake me. "  Thought Trent.

Eight months four days later they were one hour from Hoyla.

" Trent. "  OM thought.

" Update please. "  Thought Trent.

" The radiation interfering with the transmissions from Hoyla were due to nuclear weapons used three hundred years ago.  Hoyla has been in at war with the Celder for about three hundred years.  There are few electronic devices intact so information will be limited.  They seem to be in a state of relaxed hostilities. "  OM stated.

" What caused the trouble? "  Asked Trent.

" Unclear.  However, there is a distinct alteration in the genetics of the Celder.  I can not determine if it is a result of radiation or a bio weapon.  In fact, it could be a self in posed survival technique. "  OM replied.

" Wake Pace.  Have we been challenged? "  Trent asked.

" Not as of yet, and they have no functioning transports capable of space flight. "  Returned OM.

" There is a great deal of activity regarding food and other essentials.  I detect no references to space or spaceships.  There are guarded medical centers, residences and agricultural sites.  The beings in the guarded sites are the Hoyla and have genomes similar to the average being constant.  The Celder are physically superior, mentally inferior and are from very old stock. "  OM stated.

" Very old stock? "  Trent thought.

" Yes, very old.  I can only estimate from the chemical structure of the DNA and RNA, but I would say at least in the hundreds of thousands of generations without variances.   The Hoyla and the Celder are not divergences from a common ancestor or even the same galaxy. Their chemistries are quite dissimilar. "  Stated OM.

" Keep talking, I'm listening. "  Pace said as she left her transport and headed to the pantry.

" How do you feel? "  Asked Trent.

" Fine.  Stop asking.  If I felt even the slightest bit ill I would say something.  What ever this is, it's wonderful.  You should try it.  So the strong ones are invaders? "  Asked Pace.

" Yes.  Another question is why there seems to have been no assistance from the parent planet Hoylous. "  OM thought.

" Here is a disturbing article, it warns of transforming infections transmitted by contact with the Celder. I just picked up a transmission. "  OM said.

Pace and Trent moved to the main monitor.

" All markets are currently reporting safe conditions for purchases.  Two more Celder hibernation sites have been destroyed.  Only one infection reported in North Ess.  Tubullia is pleading for assistance as Celder have been reported in the forests near the city of Loph.  This is Rull Roamer signing off until 9:00. "  Said the voice.

" Is that the only station broadcasting? "  Asked Pace.

" It is the only one received thus far.  The devastation of facilities for communications, medical treatment, transportation and the military is almost total on a planetary basis.  The Celder seem to have faired total losses of their transports and the weapons they brought with them.  The Celder have also lost around three fourths of their numbers, and the Hoyla have lost less then two percent of their population. "  Stated OM.

" How far is it to Hoylous? "  Asked Pace.

" Six years and one week at light speed. "  Replied OM.

" We should have a look.  Maybe they were wiped out or are fighting like these guys as we speak.  What do they look like by the way. "  Pace thought.

" They resemble the average being constant on their outward appearance.  However internally they are more of a cross between a parasite and a mutation capable mammal.
"  OM replied.

" Pace, lets pay a visit to some of the Celder.  I feel the need to have a first hand encounter. "  Thought Trent.

" Ya.  Ship, coming aboard. "  Pace thought.

" OM, provide Ship with coordinents to a small group of Celder. "  Thought Trent.

" Fourteen Celder one hundred yards straight ahead.  They are in a dwelling painted blue. "  Ship stated.

" OM, suggestions? "  Thought Pace.

" Their weapons are of the projectile type, and pose no threat to your shielding. "  OM replied.

" Stop by that wrecked  transport.  We will walk from there, and make a loud beep to make sure they know we are approaching. "  Ordered Trent.
The Celder came running out of the dwelling and surrounded Pace and Trent.

The largest of the Celder approached Pace with weapon at the ready.

" You will be my next meal. "  Said the Celder while turning his head toward Trent, " You will feed the others. "

He went to grab Pace by the neck, but Trent grabbed him by the neck instead.