Turtledove
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Ontinil
Fictional Character
Chicxulub Asteroid Missed
POD: 66 million years ago
Appearance(s): "Bonehunters"
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Unnamed
Species: Greenskin
Religion: Polytheist
Occupation: Paleontologist

Ontinil was a paleontologist from back East.[1] As paleontology was a new field, Ontinil was in competition with another scientist named Trinka.[2] Ontinil held himself out as the more "scrupulous" of the two, based in part on an incident in which Trinka succeeded in routing a shipment of Ontinil's fossils to Trinka's college.[3] As part of his quest for fossils in the West, Ontinil established a relationship with King Red Cloud, who ruled part of the land in the Black Hills.[4]

Ontinil traveled to Fort Ironclaw to assemble his expedition. He engaged the services of Rekek a frontiersman, and Rekek's adopted native son, Junior as guides threw the Black Hills. It was his practice to treat the brownskins with respect, a fact that both Rekeks appreciated.[5]

The group set out two days later,[6] reaching the initial fossiliferous bluff just before sunset.[7] They spent the remainder of the day digging, then ate, and went to bed. When they awoke, the brownskins of Red Cloud had surrounded them; Ontinil defused the situation by explaining why they were there, and Red Cloud himself arrived to greet the group. Red Cloud and his chieftains were impressed that Rekek had raised Junior when he could have killed him as a hatchling.[8] Ontinil then invited Red Cloud to view the dig, and the Rekeks joined in as well. Ontinil also gave a brief explanation of the scientific method. After a time, Red Cloud and his fellows went on their way.[9]

After a few days, Rekek set out on his own, and stumbled upon another greenskin bonehunter, Sterba, who worked for Trinka. Rekek confirmed that Sterba and Trinka did not have Red Cloud's permission to be there. When Sterba protested that they had permission from Fort Ironclaw, Rekek reminded Sterba how little that mattered, and that without Red Cloud's permission, Trinka's presence might start a war. Sterba said he'd share this with Trinka.[10] Rekek returned to camp and altered Ontinil, who was furious. While he initially didn't intend to tell Red Cloud, Red Cloud had already found out and confronted Ontinl, who confirmed Rekek's report.[11]

Rekek told Red Cloud about his contact with Sterba, and Ontinil pointedly reminded Red Cloud that he'd secured permission to dig, but that Trinka had not. Red Cloud commanded that Rekek and Junior accompany him the next day to confront Trinka, acting as witnesses.[12] The band, along with Rekeks, found Trinka and Sterba, and Red Cloud commanded Trinka to leave while his warriors all pointed their muskets at him.[13] They seized the bones Trinka's expedition had recovered, and gave them to Ontinil, and most of their firearms and ammunition. When Trinka protested, Red Cloud informed Trinka that if they protested, his men would kill the intruders. Trinka and his people returned to Fort Iron Claw before the day was over.[14]

Ontinil was pleased with the bounty, and pledged to tell the world of Red Cloud's role.[15]

See Also[]

References[]

  1. Analog, May/June 2019, Vol. CXXXIX, nos. 5 & 6, pg. 11.
  2. Ibid., pg. 13.
  3. Ibid. pg. 21.
  4. Ibid. pg. 14.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 12-14.
  6. Ibid., pg. 14.
  7. Ibid., pg. 16.
  8. Ibid. pg. 18.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 18-19.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 20-21.
  11. Ibid. pg 21-22.
  12. Ibid., pg. 22.
  13. Ibid., pgs 23-24.
  14. Ibid., pgs. 24-25.
  15. Ibid., pg. 26.
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