MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 80
    "I wasn't sure that would be effective.  And you have several hundred billion requests for help and personal appearances." said a tech.
    "I probably won't be able to oblige some of those requests." Trent said.
    "You will be even more popular as time drags on.  Thought of how you will handle the demand for your attention?" asked Dr. Mollaty.
    "No.  Not really.  I think being as open as possible might help.  But, probably not.  Beings will either take me as I am, or be very disappointed." said Trent.
    "For the moment I need to check in with the military.  I am certain General Hemm demands immediate attention.  Does the military know about the ship's capabilities?" Trent asked.
    Dr. Mollaty walked Trent into another room.
    "At the moment only you, I and one other know of your ability to change your appearance and your other brain.  There are twenty-two who worked on your transports enhanced capabilities, and they know how important it is to keep it a secret." said Dr. Mollaty.
    As Trent reached the door to his transport there was a blinding light, then the full force from the detonation of a thermal nuclear device emanating from a few yards away struck.  Trent's shielding served its purpose as the shielding on the ship.  Trent was blown out of the atmosphere aided by the shielding, and the ship was wedged against a retaining wall.  Trent was stunned for a moment, but soon regained composer although he had no idea how to get back to the planet.  After a few minutes, the ship pulled up alongside of him.  Trent climbed in.
    "How did you know where to find me.?" asked Trent.
    "We are linked remember?" Trent's other brain replied.
    "Still regaining my bearings.  Can you tell me what happened?" Trent asked.
    "There was a nuclear explosion approximately seventeen minutes ago.  The reaction is still in progress." Trent's other brain said as it turned the ship toward Loma Dena.
    There was a huge mushroom cloud towering over the city where the science center was located.  Dozens of transports were heading to the site.  The communications networks were jammed. 
     "Let's go to the Horizon.  The military will be taking charge." Trent asked his other brain.  Then added, "I think I will call you OM."
    "OM?" thought OM.
    "The other me." Trent thought.
    "That works." OM thought back.
    2" What about me?" said asked the ship.
    "Oh, I didn't know you could communicate.  I will call you ship.  Ship, to the Horizon please." Trent commanded.
    Trent met with the Horizon and was assigned to investigate the site of the detonation do to his protected from the radiation.
    "I can see ground zero.  Most of the sensors are off the charts.  The science complex is gone at ground level, perhaps the lower levels will be intact.  The gravitirium complex is gone.  The security doors seem to be intact, but their covered with a lot of debris." Trent reported.
    "The blast has an intensity of seven for eight hundred feet.  After that, it tappers of dramatically.  The radiation cleanup ships will be here in a few minutes.  Check the perimeter for survivors." the bridge officer ordered.
    "Ship, let's do a perimeter check.  OM, are you able to detect calls for help, or other signs of life?" Trent asked.
    "Several.  All beneath the rubble." OM stated.
    "I wonder how they got such a device past all the sensors?  Can you and Ship scan for a particular person?" asked Trent.
    "If I have a copy of one of their bio-signatures." OM said.
    "Expand search to more survivable parameters." Trent said.
    Ship sped up then stopped over a transport blast barrier.
    "There are six beings under this barrier." said Ship.
    Trent got out and began throwing debris to one side.
     "Hi.  The decontamination teams are working their way here.  They have been notified of your location." Trent stated.
    "What happened?" asked one the injured.
    "A nuclear device was detonated.  I must continue to search for survivors.  Good luck." said Trant.
    Trent spent the next few hours locating survivors for the rescue units.  Soon there were thousands of being working the site.
    "Any idea on how someone got it passed the sensors?" Trent asked.
    "None.  We can be assured it was General Hemm though.  The death toll is going to be close to a thousand." said a tech.
    "The hospitals will be over loaded.  There are four hospital transports on the way and Mesnal and Altho have their medical facilities ready." said another tech.
    "Where is the Commander?" Trent asked.
    "At a conference with the military in the Great Corridor." the lieutenant replied.
    Two days later the death toll was set at twelve hundred and five.  The injured numbered three thousand three hundred and forty-four and growing.
    Trent hung his head when Dr. Mollaty turned up on the list of those who had died.
    "Most of those in the lower levels have made their way out through the connecting corridors to the other complexes.  There are fifty or so still unaccounted for." a radiation specialist announced over the intercom.
    "We won't be able to open the blocked levels for a week." an officer mentioned to Trent.
    Trent thought to himself, "I seem to bring death to all those around me."
    "Trent, this is Pace.  Are you there?" Pace asked over Trent's link.
    "Yes, I am here." Trent replied in a said voice.
    "Are you alright?" Pace asked.
    "Yes. I am fine.  There is a list of the casualties on the Councils docket page." Trent answered.

    They spent an hour going over what had happened.
    "I must go to locate General Hemm.  I may not be back for a long time.  If we do not meet again, I hope you do well." Trent said with a thoughtful gaze.
    Trent knew he must change his looks and never reveal his abilities.  He took a look around Loma Dena wandering if he would or should return.  He then boarded Ship, transmitted goodbyes to those who were left and was on his way.