Pace tried to focus on the image through the dirty glass of the window with the sun glaring in the background. Suddenly the window shattered and a fire bomb wormed the room. Pace calmly waked through the fire to the doorway and sliced the Celder as it ran away.
"Those things really don't you like much," said one of the Hoyla fighting the fire.
Pace thought is best not to mention her shielding.
"Must be the way I dress," she replied.
" Yeah, that must be it," the Hoyla answered with a short laugh.
"I'm fine, shielding fine, and the rifle is fine. Everything is fine, so don't ask," Pace thought to Trent and OM.
"I was not going to ask," Trent replied.
"I also was not going to ask," OM replied.
"Can I ask?" asked Handy.
"No!" thought Pace, Trent, and OM simultaneously.
"Do you have the necessary materials to engineer a virus that can take out the Celder without harming any other life forms?" Pace asked OM.
"Why not gas the tunnels?" Pace thought.
" Well, we could defiantly give that a try. There are enough viable chemicals warehoused to do the job. We map the tunnels, chase them into the tunnels, guard the entrances, and apply the chemicals. It would make it easier to hunt down the rest. OM, how long would it take to map the tunnel networks?" Trent asked.
"Several weeks at least," answered OM.
"Pace, you and OM do a quick take out of Celder living above ground and map as you go. Maybe that will entice more of them under ground, and find a securable island where you can organize the tunnel program. Pace, locate one person from each area with Celder concentrations who knows the layout of land, and do not tell them what the project is until we have the whole planet represented. We then train them, and apply the project. Keep in mind there is no way of knowing who may be influenced by the Celder through holding a family member hostage for example, so think of a good cover story until the last moment," Trent ordered.
After five months Pace and OM had accomplished their task. They had collected two thousand and nine Hoyla who had first-hand knowledge of the land around the tunnel systems. Pace convinced them they were there to learn how to build water recycling and road repair equipment. Pace had group gather in a common area they had been using for a spot called lotter.
"First of all I would like to apologize for a deception, but secrecy was paramount. We are not here to rebuild the roads or recycle water. We are here to eradicate the Celder. Today is the day we begin that task," Pace stated thought an amplifier.
There was a silence, then a rustle, then applause, then a few thousand Hoyla asking how. After Pace explained the details, the entire group seemed transformed. They had been rather withdrawn and placid like all the other Hoyla on the planet, now they were showing real happiness and physically expressing enthusiasm. Trent and Ship, arrived with the cargo vessel and unloaded a barrel of sulfuric acid to give hands on demonstrations.
"We will start at the tip of the Dollen peninsula and move east. This drum is typical of what you can expect. It is marked sulfuric acid. However, it is around three hundred years old, so we have no way of knowing exactly what is going to out of this drum. Those we tested were still viable. You need to keep in mind that the chemical we bring you will be toxic and volatile, so you need to be very careful handling it. Basically, you tip it over at the mouth of the tunnel, through a covering over it to keep the fumes in and wait at the other end. Questions?" Trent asked.
"What about those not in the tunnels?" asked one of the Hoyla.
"The tunnel project is to reduce the number of Celder to a huntable number. This may might not work, it is simply our best option at the moment. Once this action has been competed, I will go to Hoylous, maybe they are in a poison to help. I will continue to other nearby systems for addition assistance weather Hoylous is capable of helping or not. Pace and Handy will remain here and provide assistance as best he can. The chemicals required are already loaded on our cargo vessel. We will start at the tip of the Dollen peninsula and move east, so let's get it done. Pace, I will begin the with an above ground attack with Ship and Handy, see you in thirty minutes or so," Trent said in a firm deep voice as he climbed into Ship.
"Grently and those picked to stay as guards, we will return. All others let's go. Hang on to the railing on the sides of the ship, not the chemical containers. The journey will be slow because we don't want anyone getting motion sickness," shouted Pace.
An hour later and four stops for motion sickness they arrived at meeting point on Dollen peninsula.
"It is clear to set down near the tunnel entrance nest to Ship. I am two miles west in an abandoned warehouse. There are a lot of Hoyla bones piled up, looks like the Celder used it for housing captives until it was dinner time," Trent thought to Pace.
"Thanks for that cheerful thought. I'll sleep better tonight. We have landed," Pace thought back.
A few seconds later Trent was there pointing to the tunnel entrance.
"Those white rags there, there, and there are team two, three, and fours positions. As soon as you are there, we pore. Go, go, go," ordered Trent.
The acid was poured. A few minutes later Celder came out of the other opening like water from a fountain. Trent, Ship, Handy, Pace and all of the other Hoyla on the cargo ship joined in.
"I had no idea there were so many in there," said Trent sounding surprised.
the fighting lasted for an hour with Celder breaking though the surface with new exits.
"That's must be the last of them," one of the Hoyla stated.
"Must be four or five hundred," said another.