Was there any reason I could think of that the Spinward Searchers for Knowledge Valued clan might have a grudge against the Hrnnna?
Whatever was going on here probably had its roots in alien politics, and I didn’t know anything about alien politics beyond the fact that pretty much everyone hated humans. Did I know anyone who might know more? Lee, probably, but he wasn’t always available when I needed him.
Plus, I had two alien AI’s here in HQ with me. Cassie’s gun wouldn’t be much help. From what she’s said, the Nine had found it as part of some sort of archeological dig. It might have been out of the action for thousands of years. The jet’s AI, however, might not be up on the latest events in space, but it probably knew the basics.
I made the window with SuperTV smaller on the monitor, and increased the size of the messaging program.
Sitting on a stool in front of the computer, I decided to get comfortable, as comfortable as I could get in the middle of a room that smelled of motor oil and half a dozen otherworldly substances I used to maintain the jet.
I typed, “What can you tell me about the Hrnnna?”
[The Hrnnna are a well known tragedy of the last period where the Abominators ruled. The Abominators’ soldiers, all modified humans, hunted down practically every Hrnnna on their home planet. The incident transformed the remaining Hrnnna from a relatively apolitical species to one of the greatest supporters of the Abominator extinction faction.]
I thought about that for a moment, and then typed. “OK, all the Abominators are dead now. What’s left for them to do?”
The answer appeared in a blur of text. [The Hrnnna became one of the species funding the Xinitis’ search for Abominator remnants in our galaxy as well as other galaxies.]
“Wait, what are they, rich?”
[Immensely. Though they’re best suited for dwelling on plains, the Hrnnna have been highly involved in mining operations since relatively soon after entering space. They’ve been providing materials for their own extensive exploratory missions, but along the way they became well known for creating great spacecraft. Many species buy Hrnnna ships, and Hrnnna traders appear all over the galaxy, appearing soon after the Hrnnna explorers open a planet. Barely a tenth of the Hrnnna died when their home world was attacked.]
That put another light on the whole thing. From what the Hrnnna we’d met said, I would have expected the Hrnnna to be the last remnant of their race. Could someone be after their money? I didn’t see how destroying life on Earth got them anything but the Hrnnna’s hatred though.
Maybe a little bit more specifics might help though. We had asked some locals in the Ukraine to check out the aliens near Kiev. It turned out that that Larry had had connections, former Soviet heroes who had fought the Abominators back in the 70’s.
I opened up the email the League had received by a hero whose name had been translated as Citizen Fire. It probably wasn’t the best translation, but whatever.
Rereading it brought me back to a passage that I’d found interesting when I’d first read it, but hadn’t made quite as much sense a couple days ago.
“The aliens near Kiev claim to be part of a group called ‘The Collective,’ a name that would have been of great propaganda value back in the old days. We would have been pointing to it and saying, ‘See, communism is written in the stars.’ Unfortunately, it has little or nothing to do with that. It appears to be some sort of political faction, or possibly a philosophical cult. I talked with a Hrnnna that claimed, ‘My parents would be enraged if they knew I was here, but they fail to understand what we’ve learned. Your kind aren’t the fanatical warriors we learned about in the vids. You also demonstrate compassion to each other, and create great artistic works.’ The Hrnnna wasn’t the only one to say such things. I heard the same from members of other alien races as The Collective appears to be an organization composed of many species.”
I emailed Citizen Fire for more details. Had only the Hrnnna there died or had everybody in The Collective been attacked?
Then I sat up on the stool, and looked over my conversation with the jet’s AI. “Hey,” I wrote. “It looks as though the Hrnnna in Kansas didn’t trust us much while the Hrnnna in Kiev were big fans or something. At any rate, they seemed to like us as a species. Any idea what that means?”
[That’s what The Collective is all about. They’re a political faction that believes that Earth and the various human offshoots should be brought into our society. You’re aware that Earth has not been allowed to use the jump gate system? They’re for allowing interstellar travel whereas the average Hrnnna believes the jump gates should be closed to you till the end of time.]