Mount Inferno’s eruption nearly ended life as we know it on San Lucas. Nearly all life was wiped out in Hankou’s lowlands within weeks of the first blow, and the survivors fled into the low mountain ranges. But respite was only temporary for them. The ashfall would have killed everyone and everything in time if the Chinese had not gone to ruinous expense to fill the skies of Hankou with air purifiers, tied to power satellites holding station above the continent. It was a Herculean humanitarian effort to save an alien civilization from death. Many were mystified by their uncharacteristic generosity. Then we found out that the cats living on Hankou had been genetically engineered from Chinese tigers and lions and it all made sense.