When they passed through the radiation layers OM pick up the first transmission concerning Pace's discordance. Not knowing how Trent would react, OM decided it would be wiser to wait until he was not inside Ship.
"Trent, we are on Hoyla," OM announced.
The Hoyla who were in the immediate vicinity gathered around Ship.
" I have seen happier faces at one time or the other. Someone provide an update?" asked Trent.
They stood in silence.
"Pace is missing. She's been missing for thirty-four days," someone in the crowd said with a shockingly timid voice.
"Handy is at the location where her transmissions ended," OM thought.
Trent climbed back into Ship, and they were at that location in seconds.
"Update please," Trent thought Handy.
"This is the exact point at which the her transmissions ended," Handy thought.
Trent looked around and could see open ground for a hundred yards.
"Ship, begin a scan here and work your way outward until you find a tunnel," Trent ordered. Then he said, "Stop! Look at these rocks. They have been moved. Look at the color differences where they were laying in the ground. Ship, deepest scan you can do please."
"There is a grove in the terrain which is comprised of less compacted dirt than the immediate surroundings," Ship stated.
Trent began throwing the rocks the Celder had used to bury Pace. Those who were standing around ran for cover as rocks began to fly. At eight feet Trent discovered a tunnel entrance.
"It would seem that the Celder have Pace," Trent said aloud.
There was a gasp from those at the scene.
"What about her shielding?" asked Handy.
"It may have been strong enough to protect her from the rocks for a while. The Celder obviously arranged this trap to catch something, Pace may have been the target," Trent said.
"Then she may still be alive," said one of the Hoyla.
"Perhaps. Supporting the weight from this quantity of rock and dirt would have depleted it at a rapid rate," Trent added.
That was when a Celder came walking down the side of the hill waving a white flag.
"Trent. The legendary and much feared Trent. We have your female. We want you to leave this place. If you do, your female will remain alive," stated the Celder.
"No," said Trent as he through a rock through the Celders chest.
"Good use of a rock," thought OM.
"Start scanning for everything related to Pace and calibrate the monitor for finer detail. Bring it into a lower orbit if necessary. Everyone back to base. I have brought gifts," shouted Trent.
"Congratulation's, I was sure you would go Berserk and trash the planet," OM thought.
"Later," Trent replied with smirk.
The fighters who were left and support staff gathered around the transport container Trent had brought back. Trent spent the rest of the day explaining how the weapons, communications, generators, food packets, and medical packs were to be used.
"Enhance the security around the island until I return. I will stay in touch," Trent said as he boarded ship.
They all waved and wished good luck.
"Update please," Trent thought to OM.
"One new monitor in orbit, more on the way. Scanning shows nothing new in regards to tunnels. However, time lapse shows a lot of activity nine and half miles from where Pace was captured," OM stated.
"Must be the place. Back to the island," ordered Trent.
"We have a plan of attack. We think we know where Pace is being kept. What we are going to do is march away from that location so the Celder will not consider it a trap to reduce their numbers guarding Pace. When they begin their attack Handy will sterilize the area. After that we will play it by ear. The more Celder we can draw out the better. At some point I will inter the hive and reclaim Pace. The cargo ship will take you to the debark point. Good luck," Trent said in a commanding voice.
"Twenty-six Hoyla will not last long against such a large concentration of Celder," OM thought.
"Handy is more than enough to even things out. Stay high, I do not want to announce my intentions," thought Trent.
An hour later a small Celder attack group headed for the Hoyla.
"The attack has begun," OM thought.
An hour later there were two hundred or more Celder joined in the attack.
"Ship, I am going to make a disturbance in the trees to the right of the tunnel entrance. I will take out the Celder who respond, and you sterilize everything around the entrance for a mile or so," ordered Trent.
"Internal attack may not be necessary. A half mile on the other side of this hill twenty Celder carrying Pace have just emerged from a tunnel," OM stated.
"Are you sure they have Pace with them?" asked Trent.
"What they are carrying is covered in wet mud and fibrous materials. Her personal locator is very faint. They failed to cover her rifle. I guess they are unaware it has a location device as well.
"Can you detect explosives, spring, or chemical traps around her?" Trent asked.
"None," replied OM.
"I will collect Pace. If it is Pace. OM, keep scanning. With a prize like Pace, I would think they would leave little to chance when it comes to keeping her," Trent said.
In a moment Trent was standing in front of the Celder making there way down dry gulch carrying what they wanted anyone watching to be Pace.
"Hello! Where is the lady who owns that rifle?" Trent asked.
The Celder stopped abruptly.
"Take him!" shouted one of the Celder.
Trent slaughtered all but one of the Celder.
" Where is she?" Trent asked the last standing Celder.
The Celder looked around at the bodies and the blood hanging in the air.
"Your friend was good," the Celder said with smile.
Trent removed its head.
"It was a diversionary tactic. She is probably still in the tunnel system," said Trent.
"There are more Celder leaving the tunnel system two hundred yards to the right. They are carrying Pace. Bio markers are positive," said OM.