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Mar 10, 2013

You Are Being Watched

CoversByRobin
Are some people naturally susceptible to mind control? I've never been able to "buy into" one of the popular myths of our culture: that an all-seeing God watches everything we do. The origin of such myths and the power that they hold over some people puzzles me. It is fun to imagine science fiction plots that might explain such puzzling features of human culture.

For stories set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe, Observers are a small group of humans who live at a secret base hidden under the surface of the Moon. The Observers believe that their job is to constantly observe events as they unfold on Earth; they keep a record of the past course of human civilization. They believe that their observations are of vital importance for the Overseers, an even smaller group that functions as a kind of police force on Earth.

Policing a Planet
From the perspective of the Overseers, the worst crime possible is for members of some advanced extraterrestrial civilization to visit Earth and provide the Earthlings with new technology or knowledge that will alter the course of development of human civilization on Earth. According to the Rules of Observation, the people of Earth must be allowed to develop at their own rate and they must not be told certain truths: 1) Earth was first visited by space aliens millions of years ago, 2) there are humans living on other planets, 3) humans are "domesticated primates" that evolved under artificial conditions on distant worlds, 4) Earth is under constant observation.

Cherie Logan
In the story Exode, the Observers are not actually needed for making observations: the alien Huaoshy have a fully automated system for observing events on Earth. However, the Overseers do need the services of the Observers. In much the same way that you cannot look directly at the Sun, the Overseers cannot tap directly into the "Bimanoid Interface" that is available to the Huaoshy. The Observers function as a kind of filter that provides a "low fidelity" interface for the data stream from Earth; essentially, the data that reach the Overseers is restricted to just the information that the Huaoshy want the Overseers to have. By controlling the fidelity of the Observer data channel, the Huaoshy can precisely regulate the efficiency with which the Overseers can do their police work.

Of course, the Observers and the Overseers have no real understanding of the Huaoshy. What the Overseers do know is that in the Galactic Core there are many worlds populated by humans. They also know that there is an almost irresistible temptation for some of those extraterrestrial humans (the Interventionists) to visit Earth and try to alter the course of development of human civilization on Earth. This puts the Earthlings at risk of being rushed along towards an advance technological civilization before they are ready to make wise decisions about the use of powerful and dangerous technologies. The Overseers believe they are protecting the people of Earth from such dangers.

Cheryl Pelkey
So, within each human on Earth there is an invisible swarm of zeptoscale devices integrated into our brains. That swarm constitutes a "bimanoid symbiont" that is actually an integral part of the artificial lifeform that is the alien Huaoshy. Using that "bimanoid interface" the Huaoshy can monitor everything we do and think. Is there any way for we humans to make use of our bimanoid symbionts for our own needs and purposes?

In Forward the Foundation, Asimov described how Wanda and Stettin Palver discovered their "mantalic" ability to communicate telepathically. In Exode, humans can communicate by means of nanite-mediated telepathy, but for the most part the information that is exchanged is processed by unconscious brain activity. The Huaoshy have been designing a new primate species as a planned replacement for humans, the Prelands, who have mostly abandoned spoken language in favor of telepathy, but they are only mentioned within the Exode story...the Prelands remain off stage. In fact, the Prelands are only tentative, at best, as a species. They are at the border between biology and artificial life and cannot reproduce without the help of the pek.

Thus, we are all very close to having direct, two-way communication with the god-like aliens who have watched over us for millions of years, but the Huaoshy view we humans as primitive creatures. The Huaoshy are as interested in the lives of individual humans as we are interested in the individual blades of grass in a pasture.


Noÿs the time traveler
Noÿs
But what about Noÿs? Noÿs arrives in the 20th century from the future and she carries within her a type of nanite that is only available in the distant future of Earth. I imagine that her special nanites give Noÿs some capacity to tap into the "Bimanoid data stream" of Humanity...this gives her a chance to stay a step ahead of the Overseers and complete her mission in the 20th century.

Part of that mission is to pass important information on to her daughter, Gwyned, who will in turn share knowledge of the future with Parthney. At Lendhalen, Gwyned is asked to make a written record of her experiences on Earth. In Chapter Three of Exode, Gwyned passes along to Parthney an account of a strange story that Noÿs told to Gwyned shortly before Gwyned was teleported off of Earth. Noÿs never explicitly told Gwyned about time travel, but Noÿs hinted about the idea that certain myths and legends might contain meaningful information about Overseers.

Noÿs spends more than 30 years in the 20th century and near the end of that time she finally gets to meet an Overseer. Noÿs is briefly given full access to the "Bimanoid data stream": she learns the point in Earth's past when the Earthlings began to develop and use written language. That closely corresponded to the point in time when a Buld spaceship began its 15,000 year journey to Earth. Noÿs believes that it is her advanced nanites from the future that give her access to the "Bimanoid data stream", but the Huaoshy "step in" to the Overseer and give Noÿs access to the data she is seeking.
Joseph Finley

A few years after Gwyned leaves Earth, the Interventionist agent named Ekcolir travels through time, going back to near the end of the last glacial period. Noÿs is sent back only about half as far into the past where she tells stories to the primitives about the fateful decision that must be made for Earth: will humans have the chance to develop a technological civilization or will the humans simply be thrown into the trash heap of evolution, replaced by the Prelands?

One of the central myths of humanity is derived from their stories of the future. Their description of how sea level rises when glaciers and ice caps melt in the future gets warped into tales about a great flood of the past. Noÿs helps get the ancient Earthlings started towards using written language. 10,000 years in our past is when Interventionists start frequently arriving on Earth; new gene combinations are made available on Earth that might help the Earthlings survive in a technologically advanced civilization.

After Noÿs and Ekcolir reach their destination in the stone age, the Huaoshy pull the plug on Eternity. But that is another story.

Robert Henry Charles

Fallen Angels
One of the major plot elements in Exode is the process by which genes are transferred to Earthlings from worlds of the Galactic Core. Last summer I staked out my position: There are no angels in science fiction. However, it is amusing to hint in Exode that that various human ideas like "angels" might have been influenced by visitors who came to Earth from other planets. How would stone age humans make sense of someone like Noÿs telling them stories about trying to introduce gene combinations into the human population of Earth so that Earthlings could survive entry into a coming age of science and technology?

The text of Exode only hints at the possibility of time travel. When Parthney arrives on Earth he tries to find Noÿs, but Noÿs is gone by then; she went into the past, to a time about 10,000 years in our past.

I'm having trouble deciding if Parthney should become infected by the nanites that Noÿs brought to the 20th century from the future. Right now, I'm thinking that only Deomede carries those nanites and not Parthney. However, those nanites somehow need to be "smuggled" into Observer Base on the Moon.

The Great Flood
Noÿs is from a Reality in which human-induced global warming melts the Antarctic ice cap and causes the sea level to rise 200 feet above current levels. She is also allowed a peek into the future of our Reality (the Buld Reality) and she knows that Earth is at risk of suffering a technological disaster. It is fun to imagine that stories told by Noÿs to stone age humans might contribute various "flood" stories that become converted into ancient myths about a great flood in the past. Noÿs lives out the end of her life on Earth during a warm period about 10,000 years in our past. The rising sea levels of that time are hardly noticed by stone age humans.

As told in Asimov's The End of Eternity, Noÿs was able to view alternate Realities. Her goal was to go back in time and cause a new Reality to come into existence, one in which there would be no further time travel. At the end of Exode, hints are given suggesting that with the help of the Buld and information passed from Noÿs to Gwyned and on to Parthney, it might be possible to prevent the Antarctic ice sheet from melting.

In general, the "Bimanoid symbionts" that are inside everyone on Earth automatically prevent anyone from "spilling the beans" and informing Earthlings about the existence of Genesaunts. Noÿs is an exception, since she is from a future time when Earthlings have the technological means to liberate themselves from their "Bimanoid symbionts". While living in to 20th century Noÿs is amused by certain ancient myths that she suspects came into existence because of things she will tell stone age humans before she dies.
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See: Prophecy by Time Travel, my next blog post, which describes how Noÿs helps to bring our Reality (the Buld Reality) into existence.

Bimanoid Interface. For more about the Bimanoid Interface see my blog post about the  "Kac'hin".

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