"Transmission from the monitor states status as normal, but it should be transmitting a myriad of divisions of information," OM thought to Trent.
"Perhaps both companies pulled out," Trent thought back to OM.
"Even then the monitor would update us on most planetary activity," OM stated.
"Would you like to stop at the crystal caves?" asked OM.
"No, best to see what is going on at Glittia," Trent replied.
"Glittia is ten hours out," OM announced.
When Trent arrived on Glittia he found few living organisms.
"It seems that a highly lethal engineered virus has been released. I can only locate a few patches of bacteria that have survived thus far. Most of all the electronically stored data has been erased. The monitor has a record of an electromagnetic pulse around the time life began to die, but I find no evidence of an apparatus capable of performing such a task on Glittia," said OM.
"It would seem that Prigett Ol Amola or Brandon Newn triggered a device that released the virus and activated the electromagnetic pulse which then self-destructed. It could have been engaged by remote control, pre-timed or an act of suicide in as much as the monitor would not have let anyone get near or leave," Trent stated.
"The monitor has no record for the origin of the release site of the virus. Life registrations diminished to their present state over the last four days," OM said.
"Let's see if Prigett Ol Amola left a record of some sort," said Trent
Trent boarded Ship and they left for the VICLA office complex.
"It would seem these beings had trouble breathing during their last moments," Trent thought to OM as he looked out the window.
"Go to the end of the hall and turn right. The executive offices are on the right," OM instructed.
"Well, Prigett Ol Amola stayed at her command post to the very end. She wrote a rather scathing letter to Mr. Newn, and she gave herself and energy pulse to the head before she finished it," Trent thought to OM.
"No mention of what kind of virus, or reasoning for its use?" ask OM.
"None. Which would indicate Mr. Newn was responsible," Trent surmised.
"Or, she knew she was going to lose Glittia and sought to deprive INOM of the lithium," surmised OM.
"Let's have a look at the INOM headquarters," thought Trent.
Ship stopped in front of the INOM headquarters. There were bodies here and there just like the VICLA offices.
"I think the abundance and virulence is due to the establishment of a favorable environment of an indigenous virus, and not an intentional release. There must be another reason that initiated it's rise to a concentration level high enough to cause this annihilation," stated OM.
"Let's ask Mr. Newn if he would mind coming back here and give us a guided tour. Ship! To Solim please," Trent proposed.
"We will soon need to replace this cargo ship. It will not be able to withstand more stress," OM stated.
"Start scanning for a replacement. I wonder if Mr. Newn will be glad to see us?" Trent thought himself.
"I doubt it, but he will most likely be expecting a visit of some sort," OM replied.
"Yes, he is. We shall not disappoint," Trent said.
A few hours later they arrived at Solim.
"I am depicting no presents of Mr. Newn. There is however a flight departure record indicating Mr. Newn is on his way to one of his company's operations on a moon orbiting the nest outward planet in this system," OM announced.
"Ship, please catch up to Mr. Newn," Trent asked of ship.
A few minutes later they were directly above the transport carrying Mr. Newn.
"The transport is taking evasive action," OM stated.
"Disable his engine," Trent ordered.
The transport began spinning.
"The occupants including Mr. Newn have succumb to the inertial forces created by the spinning of their transport," OM said.
"Lucky him. I suppose we should suggest to the Solim authorities that Glittia be rendered unusable," Trent thought.
"That would be appropriate," OM replied.
When they returned to Solim they found the authorities skeptical.
"Well, we tried. Let's collect the monitor, acquire a new cargo ship or something like it and head for the dinosaur planet," Trent stated.
"They will probably wind up contaminating their own planet," OM predicted.
"Probably," Trent answered.
"There is a planet called Litus one hundred and fifty or so light years away that seems to be advanced enough to produce an acceptable cargo ship," OM said.
"Ship, set a course. I wonder if we can get there without a detour," Trent ordered.
"Receiving distress calls. Six are fuel problems, two are mechanical problems and one pirate attack," OM announced.
"Not even half way there. Ship, to the pirates please," Trent requested.
"All but one of the other distress calls are in heavily trafficked routes," OM said.
"We will take care of that right after the pirates," Trent replied.
"The transport being attacked just exploded. The pirates are leaving," OM announced.
"Are we close enough to cause them grief?" Trent asked.
"No. We will be in five minutes," OM replied.
"How many casualties were there?" Trent asked.
"Four casualties. It was a cargo transport," OM said.
"Anything on the pirates?" Trent asked.
"There are eight pirates. Their transport is slow and small," OM answered.
"Ship, set a course for the disabled transport and take us there immediately after we deal with the pirates," Trent ordered.
"Their engines are reaching critical levels. Detonation just occurred," OM stated.
Forty-five minutes later they were at the disabled transport.
"Transport AC 29! My name is Trent. How can we be of assistance?" Trent asked.
"You can hand over your transport," a voice replied as grappling were being lines attached to the cargo ship.
"Well, this is a new theme. Are you sure you want to do this?" Trent asked.
"Prepare to be boarded. Do not resist, and you will be spared," They returned.