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" Yap. "  Pace replied smacking her lips again.

" How did you come to be here? "  Asked Mr. Himm.

Trent explained, then asked if they were aware of the warships and usage of gravitirium.

" We received the technology from the Lingget hundreds of thousands of years ago, but we have not been able to improve or expand on it. "  Mr. Himm explained.

" Why did the Celder invade your planet? "  Pace asked.

" We don't know.  They arrived as many others seeking to do business.  Little by little their numbers mounted until there were at least a million of them, no one kept track of the aliens coming and going.  Then in the middle of the night they attacked.  Millions of us have been killed, our space works and communications destroyed, and we believe our home planet has also been invaded because we have not heard from them since we were attacked. "  Mr. Himm said.

" What type of business did they participate in when they arrived? "  Asked Trent.

" They bought bongas because they are an excellent red meat source.  They were vary private and did not interact with other species, but that's not uncommon.  They paid with gold and other precious metals and never expressed discordance.  In fact, they were model aliens.  In your travels have you encountered a situation like ours? "  Asked Mr. Himm.

" We have been at meetings exactly like this one with beings identical to yourselves, just not involving the Celder.  Speaking of which, do you know were they came from, and who sent them.  Why do they want this planet? "  Asked Trent.

" All records of transaction were kept at the Hall of Records which was lost a long time ago.  However, if they were hiding things, records would be of little use.  Why they want this planet is for it's natural resources I suppose.  Except minerals, wood, and food are easily produced.  We have not been able to find that answer, and they have made no demands.  In fact, they have not attempted dialog of any kind. "  Said Mr. Himm.

" Where were they located? "  Asked Pace.

" About four hundred miles down the coast in a town called Ulura.  Their company name was Celder Imports and located by the space port."  Said someone from the crowd.

" I would like to inspect that location.  Pace, wait for Ship and Handy to complete their mission, and find out a much as you can about the Lingget.  I will keep you updated. "  Trent added as walk out the door.

" Oh, he will need a transport.  We have one that works. "  Said Mr. Himm.

" Don't worry, he's probably already there.  Now, first things first, where's the happy juice? "  Pace said.

" There is a message from the Dover farm.  They say a hundred or so Celder have been killed by a space craft.  The Celder have taken hostages. "  Shouted a being somewhere in the background.

" We should notify Mr. Trent. "  Suggested Mr. Himm.

" It's just Trent.  No Mr., and I'm sure he knows.  Okay, scratch the happy juice, let's have look at you fortifications.  If the Celder can make that change in strategy, what else are the capable of? "  Pace stated.

" The Celder are fine tuning their DNA expression to be less easily targeted as well as talking hostages. "  OM reported to Trent and Pace.

" How fast can they change their physiology? "  Asked Pace.

" Changing their DNA expression and physiology are two vary different things.  I would guess several generations to actually alter themselves physically to match the standard being model.  In the mean time, for them life would be very painful. "  Answered OM.

" Rely on x-ray in the mean time, and anything attacking you. "  Ordered Trent.

" Find anything interesting? "  Pace asked.

" So far one thing stands out, there are piles of blue slightly radioactive crystals. "  Trent replied.

" The same blue crystals we have seen before? "  Pace asked.

" The very same.  Ask Mr. Himm if he knows what they used them for. "  Thought Trent.

" He says they used them as an energy supply.  When they had used the stored energy they just dumped them.  There were many complaints, but I do not know if there was a resolution. "  Pace thought back.

" The Celder seem to be well distributed. "  Thought Trent.

" Worry time. "  Pace thought.

" OM, priority message to Loma Dena if you would please. "  Thought Trent.

" On its way. "  Thought OM.

" Scan the Hoyla ships and weapons for required repairs.  Lets see if we get these guys up and running so we can have a look at their parent planet.  Pace, the Lingget. "  Thought Trent.

" No one here knows the Linggets origins, but there could be something in the records at the records repository center in the capital which is four thousand miles from your present location. "  Pace answered.

" On my way. "  Trent replied.

" Himm, Ship is going to see if any of your ships and weapons are repairable as he and Handy deal with the Celder.  How is your communications? "  Pace asked a lady standing near by.

" We have short wave.  When we put up land lines the Celder rip'em up.  I'm Silest by the way - they shook hands. We don't know how the Celder communicate sense the loss of electronics. "  Answered Silest.

" Pheromones, and they can run really fast for long distances. Start relaying everything we have discussed thus far to your network, and any insight to fixing ships and weapons should be relayed to me or Trent.  We'll refine the process as we go. "  Pace replied.

" It's been a long time sense we had hope of surviving this. "  Said Silest as she gave Pace a hug.

" Glad we can help. "  Pace replied.

" The Celder have a lot of tunnels.  I am afraid it will take entering the tunnels and fighting for the hostages. "  OM interrupted.

" Ya, and this is one of the creepiest things I have ever heard of, they prefer their food alive when they begin eating it. "  Pace thought back.

" That would be consistent with most predatory species. "  OM replied.