Quih’l – the opening pages …

The following is the opening pages from one of the many unfinished manuscripts lying about in my office drawers. Something possessed me to try my hand at a Star Trek novel. I completed enough plot for a trilogy – or at least a very thick novel – then realised that the market was so saturated, there was probably no point writing any more than I have.

I got about a chapter’s worth of actual content written before this sunk in.

It was to have been about an escaped slave from the Romulan Star Empire, whose desire to free his people (Spartacus style) brings the Romulans and the Federation to the brink of war.

Enjoy the beginning of what I’ve written…

***

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

QUIH’L

 

 

In the last years of the Generation before

The Completion of our Captivity

There rose one

Whose heart beat strong

Whose wisdom ordered his deeds

Whose courage took him

Beyond the Known

Beyond Captivity

Beyond the stink of Romulus

To a place where no one has gone before.

And from this place he carried our Freedom…

– From the Book of the Remnant

“One of the greatest challenges to the stability of our glorious Empire came from an entirely unlikely quarter. Though primitive in many ways and while occupying only one planet, the Quih’l came to pose a serious threat to Romulan power. It was always known that these creatures were an intuitive and intelligent species. When first encountered (and subsequently subjected) the Quih’l had no knowledge of extra-planetary travel – neither in practice nor in concept. They had barely discovered fossil fuels and their industrial applications.  However they were possessed of phenomenal memory and a sharp intelligence. They grasped new concepts as easily as Romulan children and could apply them quickly and with great skill. For this reason, it was decided that the brightest of their spawn – each generation hatched every nine years, a singular peculiarity – would be sent to the farthest reaches of the Empire to serve us in research and development. These were sequestered from their own kind and thereby prevented from organising for purposes of using our science against us.

“This was a successful stratagem, for no challenge ever came from these individuals; they instead served our advancement well. The remainder of each generation went to work in agriculture and mining – their homeworld became a series of mines and farms. We allowed them no exposure to an education which could work against us

“The Quih’l fascination with the Number 40 came from their religious lore. To them it signified Completion. Absurd as it may seem, the Species’ priests – who survived our purges and continued to scheme beneath the surface of their homeworld  – attributed a mystical power to that number that defies reason…

“It was on the 40th anniversary of our glorious reign over their world that the treacherous creatures rose up against the Proconsul Prachek – and a pitiful effort it was. Our garrison lost a mere twelve foot soldiers, while Quih’l losses numbered nearly 9,000. It is true much of this loss of life amongst them was due to Romulan reprisals – a ‘lesson that could not be taught by rhetoric but by the twin tutors of grief and pain’ to use Prachek’s own words. In the face of it, one would assume that the Quih’l’s blind faith in a number would now evaporate and yet  – primitive fools that they were – it surfaced again at a much later date…

“The Quih’l had developed an ‘underground’ society – a population of non-registered individuals who evaded our detection until the end. They secretly plotted and prepared over decades for the advent of the 40th Generation. While blindly believing that this number would guarantee that the time of their subjection was complete, they had obviously learned enough from Prachek’s ‘twin tutors’ to prepare carefully – and to look for some kind of leverage against us. Their only strategy was to quietly amass a small fleet of warp-capable runabouts at a secret deep space location. These they used to launch their agents out into the unknown in the belief that at least one would come across some ally or some technology which would facilitate their emancipation. As the 39th Generation was born, the Quih’l’s time was running out and yet as Fate would have it, their luck was not. It is a curious irony that the events that lead us to the brink of catastrophic war began with a minor incident involving the infamous Enterprise  on the far borders of the Neutral Zone…”

[A Greater History of the Romulan Empire,  Entry 97: “The Quih’l”,  Sections 11, 43, 48 and 49]

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