Feb 16, 2013

Time Trace

time twist
Last month I decided exactly when Exode takes place then I complicated the story's temporal setting by dropping a time traveler into the plot. I was driven to this time twist by the need to provide Parthney with some additional technology.

I have been struggling with the issue of what kinds of high-tech gizmos might be available to Interventionist agents like Parthney while they live on Earth. Last summer when I started writing Exode, I wanted Parthney to have a robotic assistant as well as access to nanites and teleportation equipment so that he could send Hana off of Earth. A major source of advanced technology for Parthney is the Fru'wu species. However, the Fru'wu managed to destroy their home world in a technological disaster, so they are cautious when it comes to providing advanced technology to the primitive humans of Earth. Rather than take the easy road and imagine that the Nereids would be less cautious than the Fru'wu, I realized that Asimov had already provided another solution. I decided to make use of Asimov's famous time traveling heroine Noÿs Lambent as a new source of nanotechnology that Interventionist agents on Earth could obtain without the involvement of aliens.

Noÿs/Trysta 1964
I need never mention the name "Noÿs" in Exode, but I can provide plenty of hints suggesting the true identity of Trysta Iwedon...providing a hidden nugget for Asimov fans and a tip of the hat to Asimov.

Similarly, I'm in no rush to inform readers about exactly when the events of Exode take place. Part of the fun of Exode is allowing for lingering doubt among the readers over just when the Buld spaceship will arrive on Earth.

At this time, I need to settle my thinking about Noÿs/Trysta and the nature of the nanites that she brought to the 20th century from the 111,394th century. I've written the first 6,000 words of Chapter Three of Exode and Parthney has just met Gwyned at the secret training base of Lendhalen. Gwyned is the first Earthling that Parthney gets to meet while he is still in the Koly star system and being trained for his mission to Earth. Gwyned is the daughter of Noÿs/Trysta and an Interventionist agent named Ekcolir (in the Noÿs Reality, he is called Deomede in the Buld Reality) (although while on Earth, Gwyned knew her father by the name "Merion"). When Gwyned is transported off of Earth the Fru'wu at Klyz are able examine the nanites that Noÿs brought from the future. They begin to realize why the pace of technological advance on Earth is spiraling out of control, but the Fru'wu mistakenly suspect that the Nereids are the source of the mysterious nanites found inside Gwyned.

The Robots of Eternity
Gohrlay the robot
In the same way that the pek are a source of nanites that infect human brains, I imagine that the positronic robots who secretly established and guided human time travel (The End of Eternity) developed and used primitive nanites (primitive when compared to the more advanced ones of the ancient Huaoshy). In particular, those robot-derived nanites were used to replace/displace the nanites that had originally been placed in human brains on Earth by the pek. Prior to the arrival of Noÿs in the 20th century and her collaboration with Ekcolir, the Interventionist agents on Earth had no way to detect and remove pek nanites from human brains. However, the Interventionist agents on Earth had slowly been introducing new gene combinations that limit the ability of pek nanites to inhibit human capacities to read, write and create and use tools.

In order for Noÿs to carry out her mission to destroy Eternity, she was made aware of the nanites that she carried in her body and how to use them to modify and guide the behavior of Eternals like Andrew Harlan. However, those nanites did not allow Noÿs to share her knowledge of nanites with anyone else. With the help of Ekcolir, Noÿs was able to remove the blocks imposed on her behavior and memory by the nanites in her brain and together they learned how to replicate those nanites and use them to remove pek nanites from the brains of Earthlings. Of great relevance to Exode, Gwyned became a carrier of the type of nanites that her mother brought to 20th century Earth from the "Hidden Centuries".

Betty the Robot
Ekcolir and other Interventionist agents on Earth have been provided with some Fru'wu technology. They have nanites that they can use to modify the behavior and memories of Earthlings and they also have a few robotic assistants of Fru'wu design. Ekcolir's robotic assistant eventually gets passed along to Parthney. In the scene of Exode where Parthney agrees to send Hana off of Earth, Hana meets Parthney's robotic assistant who is using the name "Betty" at that time.

With time travel and Reality Changes in the Exode backstory, things get a bit complicated. Ekcolir is replaced by a different Interventionist agent (Deomede) in the Reality that we live in (The Buld Reality). Deomede has "Betty" as his assistant at that time, and it is actually Deomede who hands Betty over to Parthney. Betty is composed of a mixture of nanite components and macroscopic parts. If an Overseer suddenly arrives, Betty can decompose and the nanites slip away, able to reassemble into a functional robot at another location.

Gwyned's Fears
Betty the robot
When Gwyned is sent off of Earth, her mother hopes that Gwyned will have a chance to discover why the Interventionist agents who arrive on Earth have never been told that Earthlings have pek nanites in their brains. Gwyned is not at all sure that the Fru'wu are working with the best interests of humans in mind. Gwyned tells Parthney the truth about there being nanites inside Earth humans, but she asks him to keep that knowledge to himself. Also, Gwyned has been told by the Fru'wu not to warn anyone about the fact that Interventionist agents are never sent directly from the Koly star system to Earth. Gwyned fears that the Fru'wu do not want others to know these truths, but she goes ahead and tells Parthney and encourages him to take as much Fru'wu technology a possible from Klyz to Earth. Gwyned asks Parthney to seek out Noÿs/Trysta when he arrives on Earth and provide her with a report describing what he learns on Klyz.

Gwyned has learned from Pla'mak that although the Buld have been given access to teleporter technology by the Fru'wu, the Fru'wu retain control over where teleported humans go. Gwyned is trying to reverse engineer the teleporter device at Lendhalen and discover how to control the destination for teleportation. Pla'mak is worried that the Fru'wu will be upset if they find out what Gwyned is trying to accomplish. Rather than allow Gwyned to experiment with the existing teleporter, Pla'mak insists that Gwyned build a second teleportation device. During the time that Parthney is at Lendhalen, Gwyned is very busy with her attempt to make a functioning teleportation destination control device.

When Noÿs was sent back in time to the 20th century she was aware of the existence of alien species on other planets in our galaxy, but she did not understand the extent to which the Huaoshy and the pek control the development of technological civilizations throughout the galaxies of the nearby universe. Upon learning from Ekcolir about the interactions between pek and humans on worlds like Hemmal, Noÿs/Trysta guesses that the pek must be allowing the Fru'wu to help prepare Earth for the imminent arrival of the Buld spaceship. Noÿs/Trysta remains frustrated by the continual cat and mouse game that must be played with the Overseers. She begins to formulate a plan that will allow the Interventionists to penetrate the Overseer Base of operations that is located on the Moon.

Noÿs, as a human from 10,000,000 years in the future, has some biological differences from contemporary humans. Most dramatically, her brain is adapted for constructive interactions with the nanites that are inside her body. Significantly, her natural life span is longer than that of "modern" humans of the 20th century. Noÿs is still alive when Izhiun reaches Earth in the 21st century well, almost....I later decided that Noÿs could not wait around for Izhiun to reach Earth...before he arrives, Noÿs travels through time again into the deep past of Earth).

Just saying....

There have been more than 25 posts to this blog about Exode and Parthney.

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