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Integrated Combat Information System: Page 19


 

Once the propaganda and legend are stripped away, the Mantu seem to have been an insular, somewhat paranoid race of explorers and prospectors who reacted with extreme prejudice to Kilrathi aggression. Significantly, there is no suggestion in the historical record that the initial aggressor in the conflict was the Mantu. Probably the Kilrathi assaulted non-military Mantu vessels in much the same way that they did at the beginning of the Terran conflict.

The Kilrathi fear of the Mantu’s return is well documented, but may well be merely a paranoid, atavistic response to an enemy left alive and at large (another well-documented trait of Kilrathi psychology). There is nothing substantial in the historical record to suggest any explicit promises of vengeance from the Mantu civilisation against the Kilrathi.

Furthermore, there is nothing in the current enemy’s tactics or technology that corresponds to anything specific in the historical record of the Mantu. If the enemy is the Mantu they have completely changed their modus operandi in the last 250 years.

That being said, it must be admitted that the enemy’s known level of technology could well have been achieved by the Mantu in the last two centuries, and they remain suspect, or at least a primary line of enquiry. The possibility of an alliance between some Kilrathi faction and their ancient Mantu enemies seems preposterous on the face of it, but given the massive recent upheavals in Kilrathi society, it cannot be ignored.

The second possibility from Kilrathi history is far more ancient and more nebulous, dating back approximately four millennia, to the dawn of Kilrathi civilisation and the Cult of Sivar.

Kilrathi myth holds that in ancient times, warrior-gods descended from the stars and challenged the warriors of Kilrah to battle. But when the Kilrathi army assembled, the gods scorned the force, pronouncing the Kilrathi unworthy of their attention. The gods left, promising to return and fight the Kilrathi when they became worthy.

This myth is the source of the famous “Prophecy of Sivar” (which many xeno-historians believe predates its reported author, the prophetess Kt’lan, and even the historical prophet Sivar himself, by several centuries), which formed a philosophic cornerstone of Kilrathi culture. The Prophecy and its surrounding myth have been explicitly used by religious propagandists throughout Kilrathi history to justify the race’s militaristic and expansionist tendencies. All battles, including the Mantu, Hari

 

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