"Ship, I think we could use some assistance," Pace thought as she more and more Celder came running into the crowd from out of the dark.
"On my way," replied Ship.
Ship and Handy arrived within a minute, and began firing on the Celder, who then retreated.
"Thanks, we needed that," Pace thought to Ship.
"Is further assistance required?" Ship thought.
"Not at the moment. We were about to be over run. Can you scan the tunnel system around here and send it to my link?" asked Pace.
"Certainly," Ship replied as he complied.
"How goes the battle elsewhere?" Pace thought.
"There are many Celder, and they are smarter than I first determined," OM answered.
"That's not a good thing. These guys are going to be a real terror," Pace stated.
"Yes. They are going to be a severe problem in many systems if the blue crystals are an indicator of their infestation. Do not hesitate to call if our assistance is required," OM answered.
"Stay out of the tunnels. That is an order, and demand," Trent's thoughts injected.
"I'm not afraid," Pace replied.
"Bravery has nothing to do with being wooed into a tunnel and having it collapsed in on you, or filled with smoke," thought Trent.
"Point. What would you suggest?" asked Pace.
"Start filling the tunnels with smoke, the Celder will escape leaving the hostages behind. Then you flush the smoke out of the tunnels and rescue those who may have survived," Ordered Trent.
"How go's the search?" Pace asked.
"I will need OM, Ship, and Handy to scan the mess left by the Celder. I meet two Hoyla who told me of a settlement under attack three miles or so from here, so I thought deal with that if you have things under control there," Trent thought.
"Everything is good on this end, relatively speaking. Good luck," thought Pace.
When Trent arrived at the settlement it seemed abandoned. Trent could hear and seen many Celder moving around in the dark, but if there were any Hoyla left alive they were well hidden. As Trent approached the front gate of the main compound the Celder attacked. There were thirty Celder trying to break though Trents shielding when he a strong electrical charge through it.
"Hello in there. The Celder are smoldering out here. They are dead. There are no more living Celder for many miles. Hello," Trent shouted.
A small child walked out of the doorway.
"Hi. Anyone else in there?" asked Trent.
The child shook its head, and was obviously terrified. Trent could see a wire around the child's ankle and leading back into the building. As fast as he could Trent was standing next to the child while severing the wire.
"My name is Trent. What is your name?" Trent asked as he reached around the corner and grabbed the Celder holding the wire.
"You are safe now. Are there others being held?" asked Trent.
The young girl pointed to several bushes about fifty feet away.
"That must be where to find a tunnel entrance. Fist let's get you to some relatives," Tent said assuming her parents were, or about to be deceased.
"OM, can you guard a child while I go tunneling for Celder?" Trent thought.
"Of course. We have just finished with an infestation, and thinking of which direction to head next," replied OM.
"Let's put you in this nice space ship. You will be safe in there. A friend of mine named OM will talk with you while I go do a few things," said Trent as Ship arrived.
"What is the young ladies name?" OM asked as Trent sat her in the pilot's seat.
"I do not know. She does not talk much. I believe she is to traumatized," Trent stated.
"We will protect you whatever your name is," OM said to the child as the hatch closed.
"I can hear them moving around down there. Can you get a layout?" asked Trent.
"Scanning now. As you can see the network goes from here under the hill to the right, then spreads out. There are indications of large cavities a few hundred yards from the entrance nearest you, but they are too far in to distinguish Celder from Hoyla. From this scan, I would estimate forty or so beings in the two largest cavities, and three nest to the tunnel entrance. One is peering through the leaves of the bush by the entrance," OM thought.
"Take the child to Pace, and stay aware of the child's fragility. then come back and takeout those escaping from the tunnel." Ordered Trent.
"Analyzing and accommodating the physical and mental limitations of passengers is part of composition," Ship replied.
Trent sat on the steps and listen to Celder moving underground.
"Pace, here is your package," OM thought.
"Well. aren't you the cutest little thing. Come on in, let's get you some cleaned up and find you something really good for dinner," Pace said.
"Where would you like to start?" OM thought to Trent upon returning.
"Movement is escalating near the tunnel entrance. What can you scan around the hill?" thought Trent.
OM displayed the scan.
"Looks like they are just about ready to jump out and get me. Have a look on the back side of the hill while I disappoint them," thought Trent.
When they boiling out of tunnel Trent started swinging a stick until they were all out and surrounding him. Trent used the electrical transfer to take all but two who had entered the building. Trent provided them with neck adjustments.
"I am going into the tunnel," Trent thought.
"The best view was the first one. There are however three openings on the back side," OM stated.
"I will herd them your way. Just stun anyone coming out just in case some are Hoyla," Trent thought.
Trent entered the tunnel without confrontation. As he drew closer to the base of the hill the tunnel spit into larger passages. He could hear what sounded like many Celder coming toward him in all but one of the passages.