MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 157
" I will head for your location when Pace is fully functional, and the monitors detected no Celder escaped from their fortress. "  OM stated.

" Order them to stop firing on me, I am getting a sun burn. "  Trent ordered as he made his way along the roof of the Data Center.

" There are four small transports leaving a portal in a structure one and half mile to your right. "  Pace thought.

Ship hit them with a particle beam.  Three were reduced to small pieces, and one went down leaving a heavy smoke trail.

" Make sure the occupants are deceased. "  Thought Trent.

" There are Comons and Laba hacking the occupants. "  Pace thought.

" Pace, take Ship to find Essanit and give him three particle pistols, a scanner, and a handcom.  I want him and two friends to track down Celder hiding among the Comons.  I will talk to him thought the handcom when you drop it off. Then return to the space station. " Ordered Trent.

" My shielding will protect me from the radiation, and how do I find Essanit? "  Pace thought back.

" Essanit will be within a mile of the Main entrance.  Just page him.  Your shielding will not protect you from the particle weapons.  There is simply no way to know how many Celder are mingling with the Comons, or what their capabilities might be.  Safe rather than sorry, so return to the station. "  Trent thought.

Trent walked around the outer edges of the Data Center roof amazed at the devastation.  The monitors were stationed a thousand feet above the fortress waiting for further instructions.  The radiation was increasing, and Pace had found Essanit a few minutes later.

" I tried the scanner as we were paging Essanit.  There are several Celder among the Comons.  I showed Essanit how to use the handcom and weapons.  So go ahead and say something to Essanit. "  Pace thought.

Trent gave Essanit instructions on how to fight the Celder using the scanner.

" I know just the two for a team.  Thank you Trent.  We will forever be in your dept. "  Said Essanit.

" You are welcome.  When things quiet down I will equip more teams. "  Said Trent.

Ship returned Pace to the space station and then met with Trent on top of the Data Center.

" I will make a whole big enough for Ship to enter the structure.  You and Handy record as much info as you can.  I will search for the underground facilities. "  Trent thought.

Trent walked to the closest set of buildings that had been protected by shielding and began digging through the rubble.  Pace was giving the Comons and Laba on the space station an explanation of what was happening on the planet.

" We must fight.  We must help kill the Celder.  Please let us fix the docking clamps and fight. "  Begged one of the Comons.

" Most of the Celder are dead.  There are a few intermixed with Comons outside of the fortress, but there is no way to tell them apart without a scanner.  You might make a mistake and kill a Comons. "  Pace said in a sympathetic voice sympathizing with their desire to wipe out their enslavers, their murderers.

" We have families down there.  The Celder have held them hostage to make us work for them. "  A Laba stated.

Pace knew their families were dead.  They knew it as well, but pretending gave them a kind of hope.

" How long before we can leave? "  Asked another Laba.

" When the radiation stabilizes and there is some kind of organizational program initiated. "  Replied Pace.

" That could take a long time. "  A Comons stated.

" A day or two.  In the mean time think up a management program, there will be a lot of problems.  Is adequate life support up here to last a few days. "  Asked Pace.

" Yes, there is plenty. "  Answered a Comons.

They had that look of knowing how dire their lives had been, and looking into an empty unknown future.  Pace enlightened them on  past events and how other had coped in an effort to encourage them to contemplate possibilities.

" Pace, the radiation levels are rising, is there a ship up there with a loud speaker system. "  Stated Trent.

Pace asked, and there was a survey vessel with that capability.

" Okay.  Here is something you can do.  Keep everyone three miles from the fortress.  Each of you can make one run around the fortress ordering everyone to evacuate the area before the radiation effects your DNA. "  Stated Pace.

" That ship requires a crew of three. "  Said one of the Laba.

" I am the only one who can pilot it. "  Another stated.

" Alright then, one pass every three hours.  We will take readings after each trip.  No heroics.  Don't die, your expertise will be needed in the real near future. "  Said Pace.

" I understand. "  Said the pilot.

" A ship is on the way. "  Thought Pace.

Essanit and his two friends had put down two Celder and were in pursuit of another when they were ambushed two Celder carrying laser pistols.  Essanit lived long enough to state his condition and slide the scanner under his body.  The two Celder grabbed the laser pistols and ran back into the crowd fleeing the radiation.  Pace jumped into her transport and made a beeline to Essanits coordinates.

" I've found Essanit and recovered the scanner. "  Pace thought.

" Get out of there. "  Trent said in a terse voice.

" I'm going already. "  Pace replied.

" OM, have the monitors home in on laser pistols. "  Ordered Trent.

" They are there now. "  Thought OM.

Pace looked up to see if she could locate the monitors.  As she did, two laser shots made their mark on the Celder just twenty feet away.
Pace recovered the weapons and got a little shaky thinking of how close she had just come to dying.

" OM, I am at a metal door that is vibrating and is hot to the touch, but there is little radiation.  Station a couple of monitors overhead. "  Ordered Trent.

As Trent peeled the door from it's frame and a burst of fire shot from the opening and a heavy particle beam blew an escape rout  in the rubble for a small transport.