While the Rabit at LC-5437 fight for their lives, Ambassador Woren Garek on the Haul home world has her very own worries.




Bad News

Ambassador Woren Garek of the Rabit embassy on Haul Prime checked her uniform dress in the mirror. She looked forward to the meeting with the Haul Chancellor Hauror. In the past days she had trained many hours with Raor to improve her mastery of Haul. It would be her first major speech in the language of their hosts but she was confident she would do well. When the door was ripped open by someone from the staff, she drooped one ear. Her personal assistant Maike Limen was about to let a sharp remark drop when they saw the expression on the face of the intruder.

«Terrorist attack at the challenge!» he blurted out.

«Dear Tar, no!» Woren groaned. «What happened?»

«We don't have many details, yet. Apparently, the HARIE was attacked and sustained severe damage.»

«Oh, no!» Maike cried out. «General Rowarl


«Damn them!» Woren cursed. «How could that happen? After all the effort we spent here!»

«No pill against folly.» Maike shook her head. «We feared this would happen.»

Woren rubbed her brow. «I'll have to explain that to the Chancellor. Get me Madam President or Dreick or someone else from the government. Kick them out of bed if you have to!»

Another Rabit appeared in the door. «Ma'am? Chancellor Hauror would like to talk to you.»

«Of course, I'm coming,» she nodded, not at all surprised by the swiftness of the Haul reaction. She decided to take the call right here. Letting the most important Haul wait would send the wrong signal.

When his face appeared on the screen, she smiled. Haul would always look like beasts from a nightmare to Rabit but she was proud that she could see deeper. The contact with the Haul was probably the best thing that ever had happened to the Rabit race. They were considerate, careful and wise. Anything a young race like the Rabit could wish for, which had just started to explore space. 'But there's always the fools. Too afraid of the future so they try to burrow into the past.' She pushed the thoughts out of her head, concentrating at what lay ahead.

«Good morning, Embassador Garek The Chancellor lisped heavily like all Haul and the clicking sounds of her family name were especially hard for them. Still, he put an effort into pronouncing the title and name correctly. Woren took it as a good sign. Also his ears were perked, showing relaxed, polite interest.

«My life for the house,» she answered with the traditional Haul greeting. «I just heard that something has happened at the challenge. Do you know any details?»

His ears flicked in delight when he heard her talk in his own language. «My life for the house,» he repeated. «Your were correct to warn us that someone might use the cover of the challenges to put an end to the progress we have made in the past few months. We have lost one of our ships when a surprisingly strong explosion was triggered close to it by a Rabit figther.» On the screen, a small window opened, displaying a graphic view of the event.

Woren's mouth fell open when she saw that the "ship" the chancellor was referring to was in fact a Haul carrier, a 1.5 kilometer behemoth. Her mind went numb when she realized that the terrorists must have managed to smuggle a nuclear bomb to the challenge. «Chancellor, please take my word that we will do whatever is necessary to prevent something like this to happen again. I will immediately contact my government to let them know of this incident. As soon as I hear anything from them, I will let you know.»

The Haul nodded. «I would like to suggest that we do let the challenges rest until the safety of the participants can be guaranteed again.»

«An excellent idea,» Woren agreed.

«My life for the house,» the Chancellor said goodbye.

«My life for the house.» After she had repeated the words, the connections was cut. Woren leaned back in her chair and took a deep breath. She wished she could be as calm as a Haul in the face of such a disaster. The automatic plants of the Haul would need just a few days to build a new ship and she knew that death meant little to the Haul. Still, she felt a horrible sensation of guilt. 'A star system for an implant,' she thought and frowned when her wrib[1] chimed.

1: personal wristband communicator

She held it up to find a message. The movement activated the screen. 'Hauror sent me a message?' She felt confused. 'If he wanted to give me additional information, why use a private channel instead of the official ones?' She opened it and found: «Instead of saying "take my word", I suggest to use "rest assured."»

Woren laughed. «Polite to the last hair.»

«He really took that well, didn't he?» Maike said.

«He's a Haul Woren stood and went to the door. «We should really praise Tar every day that we met them.»

Her wrib chimed again. This time, it was a member of the embassy's staff to let her know that they had managed to reach the Rabit Minister of Defense, Dansy Dreick. Woren didn't look forward to this talk at all. She understood perfectly that Dansy had to take a different stance, always trying to uncover some secret plot against their race, be it by the Haul or someone else, but after living on a Haul world for close to six months, the constant distrust started to annoy Woren. Life was just so much more simple when you could speak your mind without the other one always trying to find a hidden knife between the words.


Table of Contents Last Changes Characters Places Items Wiki

Other languages: Deutsch