Aug 25, 2013

Trysta and Ekcolir

The website for book 2 of the Exode Trilogy is now in place. I'm fairly satisfied with the transitions between the three novels.  

The Foundations of Eternity ends with Asimov in the heroic role of an intrepid time traveler, sent into his past to capture a meddlesome robot who, if unchecked, will push Earth into a disastrous nuclear war.

Trysta and Ekcolir begins with a brutal and efficient mop-up operation that seemingly puts an end to R. Gohrlay's interference in the course of human history. However, Trysta somehow manages a last second escape. Only then do the Huaoshy realize the full strength of R. Gohrlay's persisting influence on the fate of Earth.

Trysta is unlike any biological that the Huaoshy have ever had to deal with. Trysta is an Asterothrope, designed, equipped and trained by R. Gohrlay to beat the Huaoshy at their own game. Trysta is not human, but she is the tool that can carve out a place for Humanity within the vast intergalactic Genesaunt Civilization.

The Huaoshy notice that the fate of Earth is caught in the whimsical twists and turns of a strange temporal attractor. With the Huaoshy tugging in one direction and Trysta pushing in another, Earth cannot avoid a technological disaster: Earth either ends up dangerously radioactive or devastated by global warming and catastrophic sea level rise.

To engineer a third option, the Huaoshy do what they do best when finding a course of action that will ease them past their ethical qualms: they task the pek with designing and creating a new human variant that can fix the problem.

Ekcolir is the result. A 200,000 year-long development program has brought into existence the Ek'col, a human subspecies with the best features of Asterothropes, Prelands, and the Kac'hin. Ekcolir is trained to slip past Trysta's defenses and make possible a new, brighter future for Earth.

Before Trysta realizes that Ekcolir is the tool of the Huaoshy, she finds that the impossible has occurred: she has been impregnated by a human. Slowly, Trysta comes to understand that her son Thomas is part of the means by which her mission in the Primitive era of Earth can be completed.

Trysta and Ekcolir tells the story of how Ekcolir provides Trysta with the one critical piece of technology that was never developed by R. Gohrlay: an advanced Reality Viewing device that allows examination of "reality chains". To her surprise, Trysta can now see that it was possible for the Huaoshy to select the Ekcolir Reality from among all possible Realities just because it provides Trysta with an opportunity to make a final Reality Change that will bring into existence the Final Reality, a timeline for the universe that is acceptable to both the Huaoshy and Trysta.

At the end of Trysta and Ekcolir that Reality Change is complete and the Huaoshy carry out a final act of dimensional engineering that makes further time travel impossible.

The final book in the Trilogy is Exode, which takes place entirely within our Reality, which is the Final Reality. Both Trysta and Thomas have slipped from the Ekcolir Reality into the Buld Reality where they pay important roles in preparing Earth for the arrival of a Buld spaceship. That spaceship is to be the "messenger" by which we Earthlings can become aware of the fact that there have long been humans living on other planets in the galaxy.

In the end, neither Trysta or Ekcolir is on hand to welcome the Buld to Earth. In order to complete their missions, they each had to travel deep into the past, abandoning their life together.

Remaining Question
One of the features of time travel as imagined by Isaac Asimov was that due to the "momentum of time", alternative Realities tend to be quite similar. For example, in both the Ekcolir Reality and the Buld Reality there is an Ek'col agent trained for a mission on Earth. In the Ekcolir Reality, the agent is, of course, Ekcolir. However, in the Buld Reality, Ekcolir has died 20,000 years in our past and there is another Ek'col agent who is sent to Earth in the 20th century: Deomede. Deomede is not identical to Ekcolir, but they are very similar: Deomede is the analog of Ekcolir in the Buld Reality.

Similarly, Trysta has children in both the Ekcolir Reality and the Buld Reality. In the Ekcolir Reality, Ekcolir is the father and Trysta names their two children Thomas and Gwyned. However, in the Buld Reality things are just a little different. Trysta is now almost four decades older when she has her third and fourth children. Also, the father of children #3 and #4 is Deomede.

I've been imagining that Trysta simply goes ahead and names the children of Deomede Thomas and Gwyned. I'm willing to allow child #3 to be another Gwyned because the first Gwyned is lost forever in the now non-existent Ekcolir Reality.

Thomas is another matter. I'm imagining that Trysta's fourth child is a boy, but I'm reluctant to name him Thomas. The original Thomas is from the Ekcolir Reality, but he lives out the end of his life in the Buld Reality. So, what should child #4 be named? Right now I'm tempted to let Trysta name him "Andy".

When Thomas is finally certain that his mother's mission has been successfully completed, he frees himself of his nanites and tries to live a more "normal" remainder of his life, although he is old by this time and does not live long after giving up his nanites.

I need to give some thought to the fate of Andy. Should he be a writer like his brother Thomas or have other interests? One possibility is that Andy develops an interest in biology and explores the genetic difference between himself and his fellow Earthlings. I'm thinking that it might be possible for Andy to discover that there is a simple means by which his Asterothrope-like genome can be "slimmed down" and made compatible with the human genome for reproductive purposes.

If Andy has several children in the 1970s then it might be possible to have an amusing scene at the end of Exode. My plan has been that there be a dearth of real evidence to support the claim by the editor of the Exode Trilogy that Exode is a true story. However, "the editor" of Exode might mention some recently discovered genetic evidence from Andy's grandchildren that supports a more complex history of the human species than is generally recognized on Earth.

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