Neanderthal News Network, Vaucluse, France. Vaucluse is the home to Mont Ventoux, the grueling mountain climb for the Tour de France, the largest truffle market in the world in Richerenches, and the last surviving Neanderthals.
Yes, that is correct; Neanderthals are living in and around Richerenches and supporting themselves cultivating fruits, vegetables, and black truffles. The stocky big-brained group of several hundred survivors, many interbred with homo sapien sapien, has probably been living in Valcluse for thousands of years and easily assimilated into human society when they actually showed up. Extremely intelligent, this isolated group doesn't have too much difficulty in looking the part of a typical farmer or laborer, and after a few wines the women look pretty good too.
Genetic anomalies have always been prevalent in Vaucluse, but now giant computers can match the DNA of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens and the secret is finally out. Neanderthals are selling truffles right along side the other vendors in the Richerenches Truffle market and they can easily be spotted by what they do, and not what they look like. The Neanderthal traders are the most clever and successful truffle traders.
By chance the existence of Neanderthals in Vaucluse was realized after an argument that came to a head when a Neanderthal was knocked silly by a barrel of truffles, which was thrown by a disgruntled truffle trader who lost a big sale to the shrewder Neanderthal.
A visiting Doctor, Dr. Heinz Ruhmann, who happens to also be a genetic research specialist, treated the wounds from the altercation. Dr. Ruhmann sent blood and tissue samples to Paris for analysis and being curious asked for gene sequencing of the injured truffle trader. A week later the results reported an identical gene sequence match with twenty thousand year old Neanderthals from elsewhere in France.
Medical records are private except when the visiting doctor is sleeping with the mayor's wife, who happens to be one half Neanderthal. In a passionate moment the excited Dr. Ruhmann disclosed the genetic discovery to Mrs. Bernard, mayor's wife and becoming busy body. Needless to say the word is out and this lucky reporter had the first scoop.
Who is, and who isn't at least part Neanderthal. has the Vaucluse community in an uproar. The scientific community had descended upon the entire Vaucluse province seeking more information.