Line art by the Author
The Shillh were discovered in 2139, but the fledgling Star Union decided to delay direct contact because of the significant technological gap that existed at the time: the Shillh had progressed to the level of sails and gunpowder, similar to the Mediterranean city-states of fifteenth-century Earth.
That isolation ended when the Trogarai attacked the Sol system, touching off the Interstellar War. Rather than risk Trogarai conquest of the developing Shillh civilization, the Union sent a contact delegation in the hope that an alliance could be established. A deal was struck with a wealthy local merchant when a member of the delegation inadvertently traded his advanced-technology survival knife for a piece of cheap Shillh pottery.
© 2018 Gerald and Angela Blackwell.