"How's this. Radiation is still increasing," Pace replied.
"Try using just the inferred," requested Trent.
"Done," answered Pace.
"Okay. OM, have the monitors divide up on the cool spots. I will explore them as I go," Trent thought.
Trent walked to the front door of the first building and pushed the door down. As he did, a door closed in an adjoining room.
"Knock knock!" Trent said as he pushed that door down as well.
There was a stairwell leading to a hallway that seemed to extend for miles and lined with doors spaced at hundred-foot intervals. Trent found a small reactor intentionally set to overload at every other door. He shut them down as he went. The other doors led to collapsed hallways until about two miles in. There he found a chamber with dozens of transports with Celder loading scurrying everywhere. Trent noticed several Laba and Commons chained together. One Celder noticed Trent standing in the door way. He approached Trent with neck chain. Trent waited until it placed it around his neck and gave it a pull. Trent then pulled the chain apart. The Celder looked astonished a Trent's strength. Then Trent used the chain the whip off the Celders head. Other Celder watching the activity rushed for their weapons. Trent made his way around the room decapitating, empaling, and ripping the Celder in half amid laser and particle beam fire. The Commons and Laba who had been in chains suddenly found themselves free.
"Pace, we have two hundred and twenty-three Commons and Laba that need transport. Can some of the pilots on the station make a quick trip?" asked Trent.
"Two on their way," Pace replied.
As soon as the captives were on the transports, Trent continued down the hallway shutting down reactors. When he was near the end, Trent found a passage leading to series of chambers holding a tremendous number of Celder in hibernation. Trent went back to several of the reactors and carried the reactive material to those chambers, and soon the radiation levels were many times a lethal limit.
"The universe is shy a few more Celder," Trent thought.
"Not registering complaints," Pace replied.
"Continuing the search," thought Trent.
"Another problem, with the barriers down the less useful creatures are roaming through new territory," Pace thought.
"You mean vampires, gremlins, and the like," thought Trent.
"Precisely," returned Pace.
"We will organize a round up or hunting party or something after this Celder problem is under control," Trent replied.
"A vampire hunt to break the monotony of Celder hunting. Who would have thought," thought Pace.
"Approaching a large metal door with heavy hinges and several security steps required to open it. It does not seem to have been opened for quite some time. I think it will be best to have Ship and Handy scan it before entering, there could be something worthwhile on the other side. OM, how much longer will you need?" Trent thought.
"Ten minutes before radiation levels will leave no recoverable information," OM answered.
"I am going to the next series of chambers, but we need to scan this door as soon as you are finished," Trent thought.
"Understood," OM replied.
"There is a dragon eating Commons. I'm going to take it out," Pace thought.
"Let some of the pilots up there do it," Trent thought.
"I'm bored. Really bored," Pace replied.
"Send the Laba. They will appreciate the practice," Trent thought.
The Laba set down a short distance from the dragon and approached on foot with laser pistols. A few steps from the transport a Celder stepped from the crowd running from the dragon and cut them in half with a particle beam weapon. Then it took the transport and headed for the space station. Pace and the others thought the Laba had killed the dragon and was simply returning.
"Dacen must have been injured. He's flying is terrible," stated the Laba watching the monitor.
"Let's see. Very bad flying. Very bad. Dacen, reply. Dacen reply," requested a Laba named Rein.
They waited for a reply, but there was none. The transport weaving and bobbing toward the station.
"Show the cabin cam," said Rein.
"Not showing. It's going to land bad. Hanger B3," said Dacen.
They all ran to hanger B3. The transport was wedged sideways against in the corner with smoke billowing from the engines. The cockpit was open, but there was no one around. Rein was the first to reach the transport. As he did, the Celder opened fire with its particle weapon. Pace was right behind Rein and got the Celder with her knife.
The automatic fire suppressant system kicked in so they retreated back to the control room. Once again Pace thought of how close she had come to being killed if she had gone to kill the dragon.
"The dragon is still rampaging. Who's up for it?" Pace asked.
"I. I go. I kill the dragon," volunteered a Laba named Ossoa.
Ossoa completed the task without incident.
Trent and Pace said nothing about the deaths that occurred during the first attack on the dragon, but Pace knew that staying
out of harm's way for the moment was the best overall strategy.
"We have retrieved what we can, and are ready to scan that large metal door area," thought OM.
"From here it appears the door leads to a room with many other doors. Each of those doors has a hallway which intersects with other hallways, a labyrinth if you will. It soon leads to depths I cannot scan, and I should say that there seems to be no radiation in that area," OM stated.
Trent peeled open the smallest portion of the door he could to gain entry and prevent as little radiation as possible from leaking in. He then pressed the door back to seal the entry point. As he made his way through the passages there was a humming sound that grew louder with each step. Finally, after the fourth level, he entered a chamber he could not believe had gone untouched by the Celder.