Chapter 9.
After some days Revi and Pachek became reasonably secure that they were not being hunted. They would have seen nothing, but if the Pinball Wizard had been looking for them, they would have easily been found.
They had begun to fit into their environment, by examining it rationally. This had meant a lot of adjustment by them rather than the environment. The larger carnivores would attack them whenever they had the chance, so they were to be avoided. Luckily most large dinosaurs had not had to evolve stealth, so they could be heard a long way away, especially as the Romulans had excellent hearing.
They were quite scientific about their investigation. On a typical evening early in their sojourn, Revi was vomiting over a small nearby cliff. Pale and trembling, she returned to the cave.
"Now, you had the yellow fruit and the stick-like insects. I had the stick-like insects and the brown berries. Obviously the brown berries are toxic and the others not," she noted. This was unnecessary elaboration, but both had adopted the habit of speaking even if it were platitudes, for the sake of breaking the eternal silence. They had noted this formally, of course, and had made a conscious effort to talk of the philosophies of their heritage. When the time came, these must be passed on in their entirety to their offspring. So far these offspring remained an abstract concept.
The repellent fields in their outfits faded with the passing of the weeks, and their clothing also became too hot as the season changed. The clothes were designed for the controlled atmosphere of a city or starship, not for hot, humid air. They had to experiment here as well.
"Small insects have been biting me," commented Revi in surprise. "Lumps are forming on my skin."
"And on mine," said Pachek. "It is to be hoped this will not have fatal results."
"A pity we could not have brought a knife," commented Pachek. "Or some implements of some kind."
"I think Lieutenant Commander Worf would have looked askance at us if we had carried weapons. A book on cooking of vegetation might have been useful."
"I'm sure Worf would have thought it a little suspicious if we had brought along a text, 'How to survive alone on a primitive planet'," smiled Pachek. Revi thought, We have changed. We smile, we talk. When we have children we will have to make the effort to return to the old ways. Our heritage is all that is important.
Their clothes would not have lasted long, in any case, although the material was very durable. But it was intended as decoration, not protection. Had they been dressed in protective clothing it might have lasted through their lives. During the warming months after they had arrived they eventually dispensed with clothing, but when winter came around again, it became quite cold, at least for Romulans. They tried stitching together foliage to make garments, but apart from being difficult to do, and not lasting very long, in many cases the leaves provided great irritating rashes.
Eventually they turned to making clothing from the fur of small rodents that they captured. It needed a lot of rodents to make a loin cloth. Unfortunately all the larger animals, although pretty stupid and easy to trap, were covered in scales, which proved impossible for them to work with. They did not know how to treat reptile skins to make leather, though their descendents soon worked this out.
Fortunately one of the things Malcolm had shown them was how to rub sticks together to make a fire, but for a long time they were unable to discover a container in which to boil water, until they discovered to their surprise that large leaves could be used over a fire. They were then able to try boiling roots and other vegetables, and once again go through the process of testing them through sickness and health. Purely by luck, neither of them died.
After about eight months they were sitting, as miserably as such philosophical beings could be, around a campfire. They were wearing basic clothing made from skins. They had not yet discovered the concept of curing the skins, which were just small mammals with their insides removed, and sewn together. The 'dress' they each wore looked interesting, with its row of animal heads dangling down, but the smell was somewhat disconcerting, even to those with great mental powers.
During the better weather they found it advisable to abandon clothing altogether. Especially as it was even smellier when warm.
"We have to some extent conquered our environment," said Pachek at length. "We have a safe cave, and sufficient food."
"Yes?" replied Revi.
"It might be advantageous for us to mate without awaiting the onset of Pon Farr."
"Yes!" she said brightly.

Life began to improve. Knowing by now what was and was not edible, and what was poisonous to the touch, and able to hunt smaller animals for food, they began to settle down into a happy lifestyle. They had to spend so much time working, making primitive tools from stone, collecting the food during the times when it was scarce, and eventually attempting to build very primitive shelters outside, that they simply became content.
In a fortunate statistical event, they had four children, two girls and two boys. This seemed an appropriate number, giving a reasonable probability of their race being able to continue, so they stopped there. They were not great frontierspeople, and throughout their lives continued to struggle to survive. They told their children all about their heritage, and instilled in them the great ideas of Romulan history and philosophy. They could do no more than give them ideas, though, of such concepts as houses, books, weapons and so on, as they could not actually demonstrate them. During their lives they never progressed beyond knives made of stone, and rocks used as hammers.
They instilled in their progeny those things which they believed in, contemplation, philosophy, and so on, but as they did not have the technology to make paper, this was not too useful in the embryonic colony. Going back to something even more primitive than paper never occurred to them. There were no cave paintings created by this civilisation.
Pachek and Revi were probably happier in this life than they would ever have been in their original culture. Arrogant misfits on Romulus, they had drifted into a terrorist underground because they had nothing to do. Full of ambition and energy, here they had challenges every day, and not a lot of time to sit idly and philosophise. But one of those challenges was to instil in their children and grandchildren the heritage that they were to recreate. Their descendants would all know that they were part of a glorious continuum. They reached a good old age together, not as long as they might have lived in their original home, but with a feeling of achievement, and died in quick succession.
What they knew was quickly lost after their deaths, but their mode of life lasted a long time. Their people were a tribe of primitive thinkers, not doers.
The huge predators and the low fecundity of the Romulans made progress slow. The Romulans were quite long-lived by earth standards, and not naturally an adventurous people, but after a few thousand years they had developed a stable civilisation. True to their heritage, they did not spread out in a swathe of exploration, but consolidated where they were, gradually building into a strong but compact little Romulan empire.
The continent they were on did not connect naturally to any others, and the seas in those days were inhospitable. When the community had grown a little there would be an ice age, which would cut their numbers back decisively. Over the centuries they would develop housing able to withstand the cold, usually in caves, but as the ice retreated and it became warm again, they would revert to simple lean-tos again, until the next ice age suddenly appeared and cut them back again. As a result they spread only slowly through the inhabitable part of the country, which was named New Romulus.
Nobody knew why the country was so named. Revi and Pachek never managed to invent a method of recording language. Without padds they were forced to rely on verbal communication, so that their stories became "oral tradition" and changed greatly over the centuries. While the philosophy of Romulus and Vulcan was carried on, resulting in a fairly unadventurous populace, it took a long time for real building to develop.
But eventually architects were born, and a great civilization developed, all on the one continent. True to the tradition of their ancestors, the people simply populated the area in which they were comfortable and safe. By this time they were able to repel the marauding dinosaurs, and even tame them.
The cities of New Romulus were first brick, and wood, until the discoveries of the metals. They had not yet discovered any sources of energy, but clever uses of glass and insulation enabled them to heat and cool their buildings, which were thus able to become quite large. The country was subject to severe earthquakes, and had many volcanoes. While these were dangerous, they provided heating and fertile soil.
Over the next few million years the scientists became aware that the land on which they lived was shrinking, being drawn down in the center. The seas had become more amenable, though still a source of superstitious terror, and some adventurers set out in small vessels to search over the horizon.
Unfortunately the land which did exist over the horizon was a long way away, and for some time none of these venturers returned. But it was inevitable that one day someone did, and the Romulans spread out throughout the surface of the planet, to which they spread the name New Romulus.
They had always known that the other stars were like the sun, and astronomy had been a major study for millenia, but because they were more thinkers than doers it took a long time for them to make the leap into space. As the other planets were all uninhabitable interest waned, and they did not happen to make the leap to interplanetary travel.
Meanwhile the Vulcans, Romulans and Klingons were spreading out, absorbing or destroying whatever other cultures they met in the latter two cases, merely observing in the former. After an uneasy coexistence boundaries were breached, about sixty-five million years after Revi and Pachek's deaths, and the three were at war.
Treachery was the main weapon of the Romulans, who exploited the ethos of the Klingons to destroy them. They concentrated on eliminating Klingons from single areas. The Klingons' beliefs did not allow them surrender, and they fought to the last person. As their numbers lessened the proportionately greater numbers of Romulans hastened their demise, until all were gone.
The Vulcans were immediately handicapped by their unwillingness to kill, and were brought into subjection, or killed. Bereft of emotion, they were not resentful of their subject state, and made good slaves, though they always thought about the possibilities of reversing their status.
When the Great Romulan Empire found New Romulus they prepared to wipe it out. They appeared in great starships and overawed the locals.
A number of the earth people were taken for experiment, and it was a great puzzle when it was discovered that they were genetically truly Romulan. Even more amazingly, their language was still recognisably Romulan, allowing for dialects. Nobody understood how, but they were accepted into the Romulan empire. They were in fact a minor moderating influence on the empire, where absolute power had corrupted absolutely; somewhat ironically, since they were descended from two fanatics.
New Romulus was, in fact, something of an anomaly. There were two genetically distinct evolutions. Because they had arrived on earth already evolved, the Romulans were able to compete successfully even though outnumbered. When they spread over the planet their ecological concerns led them to create great game parks for the dinosaurs, and the earth became a sort of giant holiday park for the galaxy. They had forgotten any history of having come from an extraterrestrial source, and had wanted to preserve as much of their terrestrial heritage as possible.


On to Chapter 10, or back home to my place.