Paradigm - June 1997
The Hunter, Hunted? - L'Morte
Histories of Earth Vol XXIV - Anonymous
(page 17/20)

The Hunter, Hunted?

Jakobar Hills, Deneb IV, late morning local time

Rhys Montgomery. The man that bore that name savoured it, it and the utter lack of notoriety around, as he scanned the hills and the mountains they became for any sign of the Op on his trail. He smiled slightly, thinking that Sanctioned Operative Jerrard Santiago would have no idea of who he was. gunHis smile broadened as thanks to Sarah's offhand comment about the "nasty man's scar" he knew exactly who he was dealing with.

No longer clad in a rough settler's garb he looked ... predatory. The slick tan-coloured jump-suit he wore outlined the hard musculature on his arms and shoulders, accentuating the danger he presented. At his side lay a sniping rifle - one any black marketeer would pay handsomely for - and from his belt hung a bulky sidearm.

Motion to the east caught his attention; a pair of contrails from something entering the atmosphere. He stood silently and slung the rifle over his shoulder, then started towards where the craft appeared to have set down.

Jakobar Hills, Deneb IV, midday local time

The shuttlecraft in the ravine was one of the newer models - possibly a Marswerks Mark VIII - and its sleek aerodyne curves looked out of place among the tangleweed and red dirt of Deneb. The ravine was reasonably wide at this point, though narrow enough to suggest its occupant definitely possessed some form of V/STOL capability. A hatch on one side lay open, crates stacked around in, and Santiago was inside - fishing out another judging from the sound.

Rhys smiled, almost eager for this confrontation now as he soundlessly positioned the rifle to sight on the cargo hatch. The tripod secure and the necessary parameters programmed into the remote unit on his belt he began to make his way down the cracked rock face. "Santiago!" he called, about halfway down and on one of the few ledges wide enough for him to stand freely, "Can we talk?"

He paused, leaning nonchalantly against the ravine's wall and awaiting his prey's reply. Soon enough the small dark-haired man stepped out, placing the crate he was carrying atop another. On Rhys' belt a small light winked green - target acquired, "Who are you?" Santiago replied, though recognition lit his eyes. Rhys ignored the question, instead asking, "May I come down?"


Histories of Earth Vol XXIV

Since ancient times there have been philosophers who have tried to argue that all existence and all thought and action, pervade all space and time - and that those who learn to listen to the universe can know and understand all that is, was and will be. Then an event occurred which moved these ideas from the realms of philosophers and mystics and into the world of science.

The arrival of the Klingons caused the first ever case of worldwide embarrassment. Initially this was because the First Contact was mistaken for a supposed collusion between a bunch of bored Trekkies and David Copperfield. Then, when the confusion was over and that was cleared up, it began to emerge that the Earth ideas about the Klingons were right in all but one respect. The Klingons were the most gentle, peaceloving race ever to walk the Earth.

The Klingons always suspected that the mistake over their nature was a result of their philosophies being filtered though the human mind. Trekkies muttered darkly about alternate universes and temporal rifts in the space - time continuum. Both theories were ignored by the majority of the populace and to this day the mystery of the Big Mistake has never been solved.

Eventually relations between the two races were normalized. Trading between them become commonplace - Earth provided the Klingons with resources and manpower in return for their extraordinarily advanced technologies, including interstellar space drives - the most influential lump of metal in human history, not counting microwaves ovens.

Of course communication between the races was at first very difficult indeed. Previous to First Contact there had been very few people who bothered leaning to speak Klingon. It is from this point in history that we can trace the meteoric rise to power of the now elite center of excellence, the Klingon Language Institute. For many years the KLI dominated trade and inter-racial relations with the Klingons. So influential was the KLI that I have devoted the whole of the next chapter to it's role in shaping history.