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Mar 3, 2013

Counter Revolution

I'm in the middle of writing Chapter Three of Exode where Parthney meets his first Earthling: Gwyned. She was trained as a physicist and now trying to understand the advanced technological gizmos at Lendhalen, the secret Interventionist base where Parthney is being trained for a mission to Earth.

Gwyned has a chip on her shoulder. Nothing seems to work out well for her. First of all, she got booted off of Earth. Second, she got booted out of Klyz, the Fru'wu base that controls Interventionist missions to Earth. Third, when she finally meets Parthney, things are not going well for Gwyned at Lendhalen. Surrounded by amazing technological devices, the secrets of their functioning are not revealed by Gwyned's systematic attempts at reverse engineering.

While on Earth, Gwyned did not develop a good working relationship with Deomede, the Interventionist agent who preceded Parthney to Earth. As far as Gwyned can tell, Parthney is just a younger and even more ignorant version of Deomede. Gwyned has been asked to help train Parthney for survival on Earth, but her heart isn't in it.

Pla'kao
When writing fiction I don't usually go out of my way to create a villain, but I've started wondering if I should paint Gwyned as an outcast, possibly a Trotsky-like figure within the revolutionary cabal at Lendhalen. Gwyned does not stick to the party line. She is asked to help keep secret from Parthney several of the important ways that aliens have helped the Earth Interventionists, but Gwyned blurts these out at her first meeting with Parthney.

If this analogy holds and Gwyned is like Trotsky then who plays the role of Stalin in Exode? Some of the Buld begin to wonder if the Earthlings are rushing towards their own destruction because of their inability to avoid technological disasters. Gwyned has some sympathy for those who are beginning to question the wisdom of the 20,000-year-old Interventionist program on Earth, but her perceived solution for Earth's troubles is more technology for Earth, not less. The top two directors at Lendhalen are Pla'mak and Pla'kao. Pla'kao has been the main developer of the idea that it is time to stop trying to push the Earthlings ever faster towards science and technological advance.

The fake magazine cover featuring Pla'kao is silly: in 1925 the people of Earth certainly don't know about the existence of the Buld Clan and their rebel off-shoot group, the Pla. However, there is information transfer from Earth to Lendhalen and soon after the application of 19th century science and technology such as chemical warfare during the "Great War" become known to Pla'kao, thon has the realization that the Buld, by living in an artificial and protective environment designed by the pek, are unable to imagine the kinds of technological horrors that can arise on Earth. After 20,000 years of scheming to bring Earthlings out of the stone age, the Buld begin to feel a moral responsibility for the misuse of advanced technology on Earth. Pla'kao can't avoid the thought: maybe there is a good reason why the Overseers have worked so hard for so long to prevent Earthlings from developing a civilization based on science and technology.

Gwyned
When Deomede is trained for his mission to Earth, he becomes the first Interventionist agent to shift away from helping Earthlings to develop new technologies. Rather than help Gwyned with her plasma physics research, fearing that she will greatly advance nuclear technology on Earth, Deomede teleports her from Earth to the Interventionist base at Klyz.

After spending time at Klyz, Gwyned resents the fact that the Interventionists are not doing everything that can possibly be done to bring to the people of Earth the advanced technologies that have been available to the Buld for thousands of years.

Another fanciful magazine cover is shown to the left. Gwyned is born in 1939. By 1953 Gwyned is already scheming to involve herself in physics research. Unfortunately, her efforts to research fusion power as an energy source are derailed by Cold War military research.

By the time Parthney arrives at Lendhalen, Gwyned is trying to find a way to get back to Earth. Knowing that Pla'kao's cautious position is now dominating Lendhalen, Gwyned doesn't trust Parthney to take needed action on Earth to help the Earthlings move away from primitive "first generation" technologies like burning coal towards more advanced and cleaner energy technologies like fusion power. Gwyned is also feeling guilty about being tricked by Deomede and losing her chance to stay on Earth and work to prevent nuclear war.

Gwyned views the people of Earth as being trapped in some kind of horrible experiment that is being conducted by the pek or the Huaoshy. She is willing to risk her own life in an effort to get help to Earth, even in the face of dire warnings from the Buld and the Fru'wu about past events when Interventionist forces pushed their cause too aggressively, provoking push back with resulting elimination of entire Interventionist bases. Pla'kao tells Gwyned that prior to the existence of Lendhalen, there was an earlier Interventionist base in the Koly star system that was simply obliterated, presumably by the Huaoshy.

Pla'kao is not a dictator. Pla'mak and Pla'kao are co-directors of Lendhalen and Pla'mak favors Gwyned's bold strategy for trying to help the Earthlings towards a level of technological sophistication more on par with that of the Buld who will soon arrive in the Solar System. With support from Pla'mak, Gwyned is able to get access to even the critically important teleportation terminal at Lendhalen that is used to send agents to Earth.

Initially dismayed by her inability to understand the control circuits of the teleportation terminal, by the time Parthney arrives at Lendhalen she has begun to imagine that the Buld revolutionaries have never had a viable research and development program. The earliest recorded history of Lendhalen describes success in creating humanoid robots, but Gwyned can find no detailed description of robotics research or evidence of any further progress in robotics research during the past 5,000 years.

Gwyned suspects that all of the technology in use by the Buld has been given to them by the pek. If Lendhalen is a hot bed of revolution against the pek, then why does it seem that nothing has ever happened in the course of that revolution without the help of the pek? Gwyned manages to pass these doubts along to Parthney before he is sent off to Earth.

Counter Revolution
How can it be a "counter revolution" if it comes 20,000 years after the start of the revolution? Slowly grinds the mill of the Huaoshy. Key Buld revolutionaries like Yandrey and Pla'kao have worked together in their rebellion against the pek for thousands of years. It is Pla'kao who pioneered use of the term "Huaoshy" to refer to the hypothetical alien creators of the pek. Pla'kao is a pragmatist, willing to accept that the Buld are puppets of the Huaoshy: any puppet who gets out of line and defies the wishes of the puppet master will be harshly punished. Pla'kao is willing to work for change on Earth within the constraints imposed by the Huaoshy. Pla'kao is sympathetic to Gwyned's idealism, but unwilling to risk violating the fundamental rules of the game being played out on Earth.

Pla'kao hypothesizes that the Huaoshy do not allow themselves the luxury of revealing their existence to the people of Earth. However, the Huaoshy long ago removed primates from Earth and "cultured" them on worlds of the Galactic Core like Hemmal, thus creating "domesticated" primates. In a slow and gradual process of gene flow, new gene combinations that arose in the Galactic Core were transferred back to Earth. All such intervention into the course of events on Earth is made possible by the Interventionists and regulated by the Overseers. Pla'kao does what is possible to help the Earthlings while working within the constraints that have been imposed on the Interventionists. Gwyned is far too undisciplined to function as an Interventionist agent on Earth, but Pla'kao wants to make use of Gwyned as an agent of change so that the Interventionists can remain flexible and quickly adapt to changing conditions on Earth.

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This is the second part of three blog posts in which I sort out the end game for the Interventionists who have been working for 20,000 years to bring we Earthlings out of the stone age.
Part One.
Part Three.

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