"You don't want to land?" asked Pace.
"No. I want to check to see if Ventan had connections here," Trent replied.
"Why would he make a connection here?" Aukous asked.
"I do not know exactly, but prior to our time here, there was no real contact with anyone outside the of the Ree," Trent replied.
"What's here of any significance?" Pace asked.
"Arrangements were made to place an energy production unit in Dullay, and every household on Balu got a personal unit," answered Trent.
"Blueprints are available openly on the link," Pace said.
"Yes, but, only the Ree have the ability to make gravitirium. Therefore, maybe Ventan and his associates simply want the gravitirium components for other purposes," suggested Trent.
"A thought. But, the actual quantity of gravitirium in any one object would be very small, and they would not be able to change it's shape in any way. It would be easier to have the Ree make customized gravitirium components," Pace said.
"Perhaps there is an entirely different reason. Perhaps we just need to look at more angles. Think more like a Ventan then a Ree," suggested Trent.
"While your buzzing around the circuits, we'll be on the beach," said Aukous.
After presenting their credentials, Pace and Aukous were firmly attached to sands of Minn Beach.
"Wouldn't it wonderful if the entire universe was nothing but Minn Beaches?" stated Pace.
"Question! Who are the most powerful beings that we know of," asked Aukous.
"The Ree I guess. Why?" replied Pace.
"Capture the Ree, and you would control just about everything. If you were to think along those lines," said Aukous.
"The Ree have no weapons to speak of. Certainly no military," said Pace.
"Ventan and his associates think they can coerce the Ree to make weapons once they conquered them," Aukous said.
"I was here a few years ago, and I don't think those were here," Pace said pointing to the contrails marring the sky.
"Progress, I guess. Not for the better," Aukous said in a low tone.
"What's that?" Pace asked staring a large ship coming into view.
"Looks like a fishing ship," Aukous replied.
"Excuse me, is that a fishing vessel?" Pace asked a attendant.
"Sure is. They're taking everything out of the sea. Nothing we can do," the attendant said.
"What do you mean there is nothing you can do?" asked Pace
"Nothing we can do. They just take," the attendant said walking away.
"The attendants were more friendly last time as well," stated Pace.
"Let's find out who they are." Aukous said.
Pace and Aukous went to the news office on Dullay.
"Hi. We were curious as to why the over fishing?" asked Aukous.
"Over fishing, over logging, the best beaches, strip mining you name it. OXTA has pretty much bought everything we have at bargain prices," the desk clerk said.
"OXTA?" asked Pace.
"There some kinda conglomerate from some place out past the Del Nebula," the answered.
"Past the Del Nebula. Does the Great Corridor sound familiar?" Aukous asked.
"Yap. That sounds about right," the clerk replied.
Pace and Aurkous looked at each other, hurried out the door, and back to the transport.
"Trent! Are you here, there, somewhere? Reply please," Pace said talking into the com link.
"Yes, I am here," Trent replied.
Pace brought Trent to date on OXTA.
"Yes. I have discovered much the same. OXTA publicly accessible locations, and their encrypted data can be found in a folder titled 1111-Dd in their main data storage for this region on a planet called Umbote in the Sirous system. The access code is PP-1c-VS. Guess what VS stands for," Trent said.
"Ventan Siel?" Aukous replied.
"Correct," answered Trent.
"We should meet with the Ree council. No transmissions. We don't anyone to know that we're on to them. No one knows you got this info, right?" Pace asked Trent.
"I have not discussed this information with anyone other than you," Trent answered.
A moment later, they were on their way to Loma Dena.
"I wonder when Ventan decided to capture Trent?" Aukous asked.
"When Trent was first contacted, beings from all over the place came to see the new being that most of them thought, or hoped, would be a god of sort or the other. Maybe that's what drew beings form the Great Corridor to this region," Pace suggested.
"Beings from the Great Corridor have been developing commercial contacts on this side for hundreds of thousands of years. I do not believe Ventan was thinking of me as a god. He probably thought of me as a device of some sort. One that he could control like any computer. Maybe he thought I was produced by the Ree as an aid like a computer. If that was his thinking, perhaps he may have considered me as an encyclopedia of Ree knowledge, or a link to Ree technological secrets concerning gravitirium," Trent suggested in return.
"Would a being like Ventan have the patience to gradually take over the economy of enough worlds to eventually gain control of the military in order to conquer the Ree? And why would anyone think something like that would work?" asked Aukous.
"Doe's seem like a long drawn out process. Unless, other beings he could subdue were already exploiting this region," said Pace.
"I will go with Ventan thinks, or thought, of me as a way to obtain Ree secrets, and that he had no real plan to speak of," Trent said.
"Sounds the most likely," Aukous said.
"Yeah, it does," Replied Pace.
"I feel drained. Like I just got real old or something," said Aukous.
"You! You're the fittest being I've ever met," said Pace.
"We have just been through a lot, and you seem fresh a super nova," Aukous said with an observant eye.
"I'm Ree. Several of my parts have gravitirium components, or some other synthetic replacement for parts that wear out. I rarely get tired to speak of. That's why I heel so fast. Look, my arm is almost completely healed," Pace said pulling up her sleeve.
Aukous fell fast asleep, and stayed that way until they reached Loma Dena.
"Coming up on Loma Dena. Something else I just noticed. Your surgery is failing. You're reverting back to your original form," Aukous said with an over tone of amazement.