Sunday September 1, 2002



One of the most respected works regarding the F'Sherl-Ganni, the Wormgate Network, and the Teraport Wars, is also the most mysterious. The Tinth-Philkra Dialogues was published anonymously, and is a collection of supposedly factual conversations. Historians fall into one of two camps regarding the Dialogues: either they consider 90% of the material little more than well-thought-out historical fiction, or they see it as a collection compiled by a shadowy conspiracy of key players.

The Tinth-Philkra Dialogues hit the hypernet from the Tinth III node in the Philkra system (hence the name) shortly after the flagship Athens, the frigate Sarasota, and two Nejjat shuttles disappeared, but they contain dialogues that would have been unknown to Admiral Breya, Commodore Haban II, or any of their staff. Conversations between Generals Xinchub and Aanders, Admiral Breya and Captain Tagon, Sixth-Lord p'd'k'Tag and Master g'd'p'Tawn, Gav2906351 and Triniko, and Hizzoner the Right Reverend Choka Mbutu and the First Assistant to the Deputy Elephant of the United Nations are all featured, and no common link among these individuals has ever been identified.

One utterly discredited theory suggests that the Fleetmind recorded each of the dialogs somehow, and dumped them into a repository prior to disbanding. The fact that this discreditation was executed with the help of ex-Fleetmind units has unfortunately not been the subject of sufficiently rigorous study.

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Epilogue: Send in the Clones

Transcript

Narrator:The repercussions of the assault on the buuthandi are many. For starters, Galactic trade in the western spiral arm suffers because an entire stream of wormgates no longer works, leaving nearly 20,000 star systems disconnected.
Grumpy Old Tourist:I'm sorry, Ethyll, but I'm not letting them rip my atoms apart for this trip. We can just vacation on mars at your sister's place.
Narrator:The cultural assimilation of twenty billion gate-clone refugees is also non-trivial. It goes without saying that more than a few reunions are unpleasant.
Gateclone's Husband:Ooh, Honey! I just had a great idea.
Gateclone Woman:If it rhymes with 'gleesome,' you're a dead man twice over.
Narrator:The impact of 950 million gav-clones results in some minor economic realignments.
Nejjat Barkeep:A month ago we could hardly give the stuff away. Now there isn't a 'pint' of this 'antique-style' guinness within a million miles of here.
Brewery Rep:Raise the price, quick. We'll brew some more.
Narrator:The extent of the impact of the teraport wars on galactic society becomes the subject of countless doctoral dissertations. Some argue that not one aspect of modern culture is unchanged. Others are quick to jump in and say "yeah, but since everything changes anyway, it's pretty stupid to say everything changed. I mean, DUH."
Narrator:Duh, indeed. This is not a dissertation. This is...
Sign:Schlock MercenaryBig Deals!(planet mercenary logo)
Narrator:History will attend to itself. We'll attend to a quick trip to the 'planet mercenary' outlet store.
DoytHaban:(haban) I'll be back in twenty minutes, sergeant. Please don't fire your purchases inside the store.
Schlock:I can read the signs, Haban.
PlanetMercSales1:Can I help you find something?
Schlock:Yeah... Where's the BH-209?
PlanetMercSales1:Planet mercenary doesn't carry that line anymore.
Schlock:But... but...
PlanetMercSales1:You'll be wanting the new AP-130 I think.
Schlock:but...
PlanetMercSales1:I've got one right here.
Schlock:It's so... small.
PlanetMercSales1:Don't let the size fool you. This baby is powered by a deuce-fifty annie-plant, right in the grip. That old microfusion tech was heavy, messy, and prone to critical failure. Strohl's new AP-series has ten times the power output with much lower risk.
PlanetMercSales1:And because it uses direct neutronium annihilation instead of fusion, it's easier on the environment. Until you fire it, of course.
PlanetMercSales1:The best part, though, is that there's no cycling time. Pull the trigger, and it starts shaving hot protons at maximum burn from a cold start.The only thing you lose is that 'ommminous hummm.'
Schlock:There's no hum?
PlanetMercSales1:If you'd like, I can have our shop guys mount it in a big, round case with some speakers.
Schlock:grrmble ...mount you in a big round case...
Narrator:Arms dealer, know thy market.
Gavclones: