Mar 31, 2013

Exode Timeline

Isis (and Mr. Spock)
One of my goals for the science fiction novel Exode is to imagine how a story set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe might conform to the technological parameters established by Assignment: Earth. In that Star Trek episode, there was long-range teleportation, a shapeshifting cat/woman (Isis) and an intelligent computer.

For stories set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe, I assume that shapeshifting is made possible by nanites.

What can I say about the computer technology that was depicted in Assignment: Earth? Within the Star Trek fictional universe computers were big and clunky until the Next Generation. It never made sense to me that Gary Seven could teleport across the galaxy with Isis in hand and yet have such a primitive computerized assistant.

This technological incongruity might make sense if Gary Seven is simply using technologies that are provided by a much more advanced alien civilization. Gary is stuck with whatever technologies are provided for his use.

Beta 5 computer
Maybe the aliens had decided that providing Gary with a sophisticated robotic assistant would introduce too many opportunities for Earthlings to notice that something strange was going on. Imagine a humanoid robot out and about in Manhattan. While crossing the street the robot is struck by a car and its mechanical guts are strewn across Times Square. In contrast , the big, immobile computer just sits in one secret vault and can presumably be teleported off of Earth in an emergency or simply inactivated and its inner workings reduced to a puddle of melted circuits.

For Exode, I was not willing to adopt a primitive computing technology like "Beta 5". However, I did start thinking about the possibility of having relatively clunky robots at the secret Interventionist training base of Lendhalen. I've been imagining that the alien Fru'wu are the conduit/source of the technology that is available to Interventionist agents like Parthney. Actually, the Fru'wu are "front men" for the Nereids, so some technologies like the teleporters are made by the Nereids, given to the Fru'wu and then the Fru'wu make the teleporters available for humans to use.

I could easily imagine that the Fru'wu and Nereids were "alien Interventionists" who would provide advanced technology to the human Interventionist agents on Earth, but as discussed in my previous blog post, the Huaoshy are much more technologically advanced than the Nereids. I could imagine no good reason to account for a failure of the Huaoshy to step in and prevent the Nereids from using the Fru'wu to help the human Interventionists alter the course of events on Earth. I was in need of a way to trump the god-like powers of the Huaoshy. Finally, I realized that I could use Noÿs for that purpose. Thus, Exode became a sequel to The Start of Eternity, a fan fiction novel in which Asimov's famous time traveler, Noÿs Lambent, destroys Eternity.

Since deciding that Noÿs would provide the backstory for Exode, I've been sketching out the details of exactly how Noÿs can cause the Buld Reality (the timeline that we experience) to come into existence. Since I had originally decided that Gwyned was the daughter of Noÿs, I've been imagining some additional ways of knitting Noÿs into the lives of additional characters who appear in Exode. After a month and a half of this knitting project, I now feel like I can sketch out the timeline for the Buld Reality and the key events that allow Noÿs to shape the world as we know it.

a pek using
Preland facial features
Timeline of the Buld Reality

837,930,298 YBP. The Huaoshy achieve faster-than-light travel. Their home galaxy is far, far away.

~7,000,000 YBP. The Huaoshy reach the Andromeda galaxy and make contact with the Nereids. The Nereids have existed for several million years as a non-technological sapient species on their metal-poor home world.

~6,999,000 YBP. The Huaoshy reach our galaxy. Soon the pek (nanite-based artificial lifeforms that assist the Huaoshy) are domesticating the primates that they find on Earth.

~6,900,000 YBP. The interstellar civilization of the Fru'wu is destroyed by a self-inflicted technological disaster involving their primitive nanotechnology. The Huaoshy have preserved some domesticated Fru'wu on worlds of the Galactic Core.

~300,000 YBP. The Nereids finally establish a technological civilization on their home planet.

200,000 YBP. Needing a tool that will allow them to infiltrate and defeat the Eternals, the Huaoshy begin to develop the Kac'hin, a human variant that can be used like humanoid puppets by the Huaoshy. Captain Hooski is one of the Kac'hin who appear in The Start of Eternity. The Kac'hin are developed on the planet Luk'ru, a world that later becomes the home of Hana and Boswei and their children. By 50,000 YBP the Kac'hin project is complete and no further development of the special abilities of the Kac'hin is attempted on Luk'ru.

~90,000 YBP. The Nereids help some Fru'wu rebels of the Galactic Core achieve independence from the pek. There are some interactions between the Nereids, the Fru'wu and the Buld. The Nereids monitor events on Earth and occasionally they manage to bring a human from the Galactic Core to Earth. However, there are Overseers stationed at Observer Base on the Moon who prevent Interventionists from interfering with the course of events on Earth.

~20,000 YBP. Ekcolir, a human from the Galactic Core in the Noÿs Reality who had been brought to Earth as an Interventionist agent, arrives from the future. He lives among a group Earthlings near the end of the last glacial period and passes his genes into the human gene pool of Earth. He is captured by Overseers and taken to Observer Base on the Moon where he completes his mission to the past by preventing the development of positronic robots. At about the same time, the pek allow the Fru'wu rebels to make it possible for some Buld to transform themselves into the Pla, a group of rebel Buld.

In the Galactic Core the pek begin selecting for human variants on worlds like Hemmal. These variants will be able to breed with Noÿs, a human from 10,000,000 years in the future (in the Mallansohn Reality). Ekcolir is one such human who is born on Hemmal about 1910.

~15,000 YBP. The Fru'wu provide the Pla with the location of Earth. A Buld spaceship, traveling close to the speed of light, begins a journey from the Galactic Core to Earth which will take about 15,000 years.

~10,000 YBP. Noÿs arrives from the future and lives among a group of Earthlings who have retained genes from Ekcolir. Noÿs helps them develop a written language and learn to read and write. Noÿs talks to these primitives and tells them about the far future of Earth. This initiates the popularity of flood myths on Earth.

Noÿs is present when the Fru'wu establish the first teleportation terminal on Earth. Noÿs is teleported to Klyz where she transfers her advanced nanites from the far future of the Mallansohn Reality into a primitive Fru'wu robot. Robotic assistants containing "Noÿs nanites" can be used on Earth by Interventionist agents and they also become the robotic assistants at Lendhalen.

The pek collect genetic material from Noÿs and use it in their human breeding program on planets such as Hemmal.

~5,000 YBP. Lendhalen is established as a training base for Interventionist agents. Robin the robot is present from the very start. The "magnetic pulse" method that is used to inactivate pek nanites has no effect on the "Noÿs nanites" that are inside Robin.

1910. Deomede is born on Hemmal. He is later trained at Lendhalen and teleported to Earth.

1936. Noÿs arrives from the future and meets Deomede. They have a daughter, Gwyned (born 1939).

1940. Thomas arrives from the future. In the Noÿs Reality, he was the son of Noÿs and Ekcolir. He carries nanites of several types that provide Thomas with an unusual collection of memories, including some from the Isaac Asimov of the Foundation Reality. Thomas transfers his nanites into John Campbell. This allows Campbell to help the Asimov of the Buld Reality start writing science fiction stories that are based on events from the Foundation Reality. Without the nanites in his brain, Thomas needs intensive psychiatric care during the 1940s.

1949. Thomas retrieves the nanites from Campbell. Thomas develops close friendships with Janet Jeppson and Asimov. Ideas from Thomas help stimulate Asimov to write The End of Eternity and to develop an interest in global warming.

1964. Gwyned is teleported off of Earth by Deomede. She arrives at Klyz and then moves on to Lendhalen. She tries to understand the advanced technologies that are available to the Buld like the robot assistants of Lendhalen.

1967. Parthney arrives at Lendhalen for training as an Interventionist agent on Earth. Gwyned and Parthney both suspect that there is more to Robin than meets the eye. Robin has a physical appearance that reminds Gwyned of her mother and Robin tells Gwyned that she has 10,000 year old memories of Noÿs from the time when Noÿs arrived at Klyz. (note: Gwyned knows Noÿs by the pseudonym "Trysta Iwedon"...the name "Noÿs" is never used in Exode.) When Parthney stops his training with the expectation that Gwyned should be the one to go to Earth, the Huaoshy step in and "take control" of Robin, eventually convincing Parthney that he must go to Earth. Parthney asks Robin about Noÿs and the robot suddenly and mysteriously delivers a message from Noÿs: "Thomas, remember to meet Izhiun on the mall". This is the last time that Robin acts outside of the normal behavioral pattern for the robots of Lendhalen. Gwyned asks Parthney to look for her mother (Noÿs) and brother (Thomas; who Gwyned has never met) when he reaches Earth.

1971. Noÿs travels back in time to 10,000 YBP (see above). Parthney is teleported to Earth where he meets Deomede and the robotic assistant Betty. Deomede tells Parthney that Noÿs is gone, but they begin searching for Thomas.

1972. Ekcolir (an Interventionist from the "Noÿs Reality") is sent back in time about 20,000 years to initiate the Buld Reality.

1973. Thomas (from the "Noÿs Reality") was kept inside the time travel device on the Moon during the time when the Noÿs Reality was changed into the Buld Reality by Ekcolir.Thomas is now sent back to 1940 (see above).

1974. Noÿs of the "Noÿs Reality" is finally sent back in time to 1936 (see above). Before this final time travel event, she gets a chance to look into the future of the Buld Reality. After she travels back in time, the Huaoshy initiate a shift in the dimensional structure of the universe which makes time travel impossible.

1977. Parthney's search for Thomas is mostly futile, but the trail of people who have known Thomas and have corresponded with him leads Parthney to Janet and Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov digs out an old manuscript from Thomas: a "science fiction story" about a man named Izhiun who meets a "Buld spaceship" that arrives on Earth in the year 2012.

Asimov comments that the story could never be published because it was written like a report describing an actual event (actually it is based on an actual report from the Noÿs Reality that Noÿs saw while looking into the future). Janet is not able to say much since Thomas was her patient for many years, however she tells Parthney that Thomas believed that his "science fiction story" about the Buld was not fiction, that events would actually happen as described in the "story". Asimov has only corresponded with Thomas. Janet further mystifies Parthney by asking him, "Is Thomas your brother?"

1980. Deomede tells Parthney that he will test the idea that the Overseers can now detect teleportation events. He gives Parthney his list of contacts among the Earthlings in case he is captured. He is captured by Overseers shortly after he teleports an Earthling to Klyz.

1984. Parthney has come to believe that one of Deomede's contacts, Hana, might be the "Hana" mentioned in Thomas' "story" about Izhiun and the Buld. Parthney has discovered that Hana has been having "email" communications with Thomas by means of messages sent over CSNET. The man on Earth who meets the arriving Buld spaceship is described in the "story" as, "Izhiun, son of Hana, born in the Andromeda galaxy." The story describes Hana as having been born on Earth. Parthney teleports Hana off of Earth and soon he is captured by an Overseer and taken to the Moon. Thomas uses his nanites to sneak into Observer Base when Parthney is taken in.

Thomas and Parthney confirm that Observer Base is being phased out in preparation for the arrival of the Buld spaceship. Thomas uses the teleportation terminal at Observer Base to send Parthney back to Klyz. Thomas takes the place of Parthney since they are genetically identical.

1985. The Fru'wu at Klyz want to send a human delegation to the Andromeda galaxy to make contact with the Nereids. Believing that Parthney was responsible for the death of her husband, Hana refuses to work with Parthney.

1987. Kach and her son Boswei leave Hemmal and go with Parthney to the Andromeda Galaxy. Hana, Muchlo and Steph go along.

1991. Hana and Boswei settle on a planet in the Andromeda galaxy. Their son Izhiun is born.

1998. Kach goes to Earth on a mission to help make it possible for the Overseers to capture the secret Nereid station on Earth. She is captured by the Overseers and taken to Observer Base. Kach meets Thomas who is still living at Observer Base.

2011. Izhiun arrives on Earth with a clone of Kach. The secret Nereid station on Earth is destroyed during raid by the Overseers. To the Overseers, it looks like Kach was killed in the raid, but Kach is teleported back to Klyz. Izhiun contacts Hana's husband who is still living on Earth.

2012. The Buld spaceship arrives in the Solar System. The existing Overseers retire. The Nereids explain to the Buld that the Overseers have quit and that the Earthlings need a clean, safe energy source. Izhiun meets the Buld at the Washington Monument and obtains instructions for how to build an energy receiver that will collect energy transmitted by hierions from a solar energy collection station that the Buld can put on Mercury. The Huaoshy make the remaining Observers on the Moon into the next Overseers, but they begin operating under a new set of rules that allows Earth to receive some technological assistance from the Buld. Hana's husband begins placing the Exode story on the internet. Izhiun leaves Earth and goes with the Buld to start terraforming Mars.

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