"I'll give Mr. Ventan Seil a call," Hiret volunteered.
"Artifacts can be illuminating," Trent stated.
"Or really boring," said Emmer.
Hiret weaved over the ships link.
"This is Hiret Tee. We thought we would take you up on those artifacts. You can reach us at this link address if it would be convenient," said Hiret.
"Maybe he will not return the call." said Trent.
As on cue.
"Hello! Ventan here. Anyone there?" Ventan asked.
Hiret shuffled to the mic.
"Yap, were here. How do we get a look at those artifacts?" asked Hiret.
"I'll send you the co ordinance to Laberen. When you arrive, one of my transports will bring you to my main estate," Ventan stated.
"Ok. See you shortly." Hiret replied.
"Main villa. One of his transports. Maybe I should reevaluate my opinion of Mr. Seil," Semma said.
"As should I," Cree chimed in.
"His villa might be a tree house, and his transports might not pass as useable by life forms," Trent inserted.
"Did I detect another intuitive thought process?" MB asked.
"Perhaps. Then again," said Trent.
"Well, we should make a stop at this distribution complex," said Hiret pointing to a spot on the display.
"Are we low on supplies already?" asked Emmer.
"Nope, but we don't want to find ourselves reliant on others if this artifact thing takes us to some remote location for an extended period," Hiret answered.
"Have you found anything on Ventan Seil?" asked Cree.
"There are 603 Ventan Siel references within star systems at plausible distances." said Hiret.
"How many are crooks?" asked Semma.
"There are few reliable criminal records available. There are two on wanted postings however," Hiret answered.
"How about you Trent? Picking up anything?" Cree asked.
"Nothing that would be specific to the person we met on Sairree," Trent stated, adding, "There are a great many references to criminal, and possibly criminal, activities attributed to variations of the name Ventan Seil on every link site out there. Far too many to sort though."
Not long after stocking up on supplies, they arrived at Laberen.
"Well, here we go. This is Hiret Tee, over," Hiret repeated the message three times.
A few moments later, Hiret received a reply from a being calling himself Mr. Amerish.
"This is receiver Amerish. Mr. Seil is expecting you. A transport is on its way," said Amerish.
Thirty or so minutes later, a transport arrived at the landing center.
"This is a very nice transport," Semma said while rubbing the inlayed wall paneling.
"Yes indeed. These fixtures appear to be gold and silver," said MB.
"Picking up anything Trent?" asked Cree.
"No communications with Ventan Seil. There is however a large number of transmissions coming from all over the planet. Mostly music," Trent answered.
The transport descended to a parking platform surrounded by gardens packed with a multicolored flowers, sculptured hedges, and trees with brilliantly colored leaves.
"Look at that. I had no idea that Vental Seil was a king. Is he a king?" Semma asked the pilot.
"No," replied the pilot, who was pointed to a pathway that led to what appeared to be a castle.
"Friendly sort," said Emmer.
They strolled down the path to the front gate. There were two huge bronze beasts guarding it. From there, they climbed the stairs to the front door, which was wide open. The doorway led to a large dark room where a couple of beings were scurrying about.
"I don't see a ringer," said Hiret.
"Hello!" shouted Cree.
An echo followed. Then, a heavyset older woman covered in jewels made her way to the entrance.
"He's expecting you," she looked towards a tall narrow door.
They entered a room which was obviously an un used library.
"Not much on reading," MB said making a line in the dust on a table.
There were sounds of several beings walking toward a passage near the fireplace. Ventan
and several others walked into the room carrying weapons.
"Ah crap," said Cree uttered in a low voice.
"That's what we want. Mr. Trent there," Ventan said pointing his weapon at Trent's link.
"I knew you were a crook," said Emmer.
Ventan shoot Emmer, who fell limp on the floor.
"What are you talking about. Trent is not is this link set. Trent is- "Those were the last words Cree would speak.
"Kill'em." Ventan commanded.
A moment later, Emmer, Semma, Cree, MB, and Hiret lay dead.
Ventan grabbed the link set, opened it, and tried to raise Trent.
"Speak to me Mr. Trent. I own you now. I am you're knew master," Ventan said in an angry voice.
There was no reply.
"Mr. Trent. Let's not play games. I can make extremely good use of the information you possess. You see, I run an extensive enterprise. Now, if knew account numbers, formulas for the cures to diseases, where secrets are kept, what the authorities know about me, then life would be much more pleasant. More pleasant for everyone. Get the meaning of where I'm going with this?" asked Ventan while pushing the buttons on the links control panels.
"It does'nt look like it wants to cooperate Mr. Seil. Should I stomp on it a while?" akaed one of Ventans associates.
Ventan drew one of his weapons, and dispatched him.
"The next idea someone has had better be something that sounds like it might work," Ventan yelled.
Those in the room looked at each other, and said nothing.
"To their transport. Perhaps there is an easier way to contact our Mr. Trent," Ventan said, patting the link.