<-- begin transmission -->
date = 4531-09-10-01-12
from = stid1003@malu@244.21
to = central@rs001@4.0
importance = low
note = as related by unknown malic sage - translation may contain errors

The cat made her way back to her den annoyed. The four she had been watching had
followed the old road to her city. The road had wound this way and that and they
had followed it, as if they just wanted to follow the road and weren’t going
anywhere. They never hunted – never. Every night they made a strange orange sun 
that crackled and they sat near it together. It left a hot black residue and a
foul odor.

But that was not all. Not only had they intruded onto her territory, not only
had they left foul black tracks, but they had come into her city. As she neared
her den she let out a growl of surprise. They had been to her den! She entered
her home and as she saw that her treasure was gone she turned and ran to the
fools’ camp. They were competitors for her territory and for her gold and
silver, and they would not triumph over her. She would confront them plainly and
display her power.


“Look behind you, Provich,” Puma said quietly. The sky was cloudy and the air
was damp. They were camped not far from the center of the city, under a tarp
they had put up in case it rained. Above them rose a broad flight of stairs
leading slowly up to an old temple or church.

“What’d you say?” Provich asked, yawning.

“Look behind you,” Puma repeated.

“What is it, Sean?”

Sean looked. “Oh damn. Janet, it’s the lyncoor cat.” The size of a lion, it
walked gracefully down the stone steps displaying its muscle, its eyes fixed on
the four humans.

Janet jumped into action. “This is awesome. Where’s my camera?”

“Don't ask me. It’s in your bag somewhere.” Janet scrambled for her bag.

Sean looked nervous. “Oh my god, it’s coming closer.”

“Good, let me get a photo!” Janet said.

“No, not good.” Provich sat up. He yawned. “If it’s acting aggressive, kill it. Puma has the laser pistol.”

The lyncoor roared a loud, long roar.

“Yeah, kill it.”

“No, let me get a photo first!” Janet said.

Puma raised the gun and pulled the trigger. The laser beam was silent and fatal.
The majestic cat fell to the ground. A mile away, the marble tower began to
shine with a dim magenta light. It was not seen by the four humans.

“Aw, man, Provich!” Janet said.

Sean raised his eyebrows. “What, you wish we waited until after it pounced,
Janet?” Then he grinned. “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to skin it!”

Janet was still searching for her camera. ”It’s not in my bag, Sean. I put it in
the bag with the radio and GPS.”

“Well, get it from the bag, then.”

“Where is it?!”

“I think I . . . oh, well – It’s in the pyramid where you were taking photos of
the stash and the hair on the wall and stuff. Unless you got it, I mean . . .”

“Well I’m going to get it. Anyone going to come with me?”   

Puma stood up and nodded.

As they left, Sean grabbed his knife and headed out to skin the lyncoor. Provich
followed him. “So, how do you do this?” Provich asked. Sean grinned, excited to
have a willing audience.

<-- end transmission -->