Viking in A World of DifferenceEdit
The Viking Space Probe was an American space probe that explored the surface of Minerva in 1975. It landed slightly to the east of the Jotun Canyon and took pictures, giving evidence of life on the planet's surface. Domain-master Reatur discovered the probe while out hunting nosver and attacked it, permanently disabling it with an ice spear, but not before it took a picture of him and sent it back to Earth. Humans were now certain that Minerva was home to sentient life and the United States and the Soviet Union both planned expeditions to make contact with the Minervans. Both planned to land as close as possible to the Viking's landing site, as only there could they be certain that they would encounter the Minervans. Knowing this, the US government announced the Viking' landing coordinates as being fifty miles west of where they had really been, on the far side of the Jotun Canyon, and informed Emmett Bragg of the true coordinates in an encoded transmission only hours before he was set to touch down. This is why the American and Soviet missions came down on different sides of the gorge, and why each became involved with an opposing side in the war between the Skarmer and the Omalo.
After disabling the Viking space probe, Reatur could not be sure it was dead (he had believed it was a strange animal), but he dragged it back to his castle to display as a trophy. As it remained inactive over the years, he assumed he had killed it. He eventually made a considerable fortune charging passers-by admissions to see it.
Upon meeting with the American humans and becoming friendly, and learning that they had launched the Viking and that his destruction of it had caused them difficulty, Reatur apologized.