Sep 9, 2013

The Nereid Interventionists

Nereid male
The best stories don't end...we must follow them forever.

Earlier this year I became convinced that the Nereids must play an important role in the Exode Trilogy. In my initial conceptualization, I thought of the Nereids as rather aloof and afraid of interacting with least directly.

The Nereids seemed to prefer an indirect approach. For example, the Nereid Interventionists support the Fru'wu and the Fru'wu support the Pla and the Pla train humans for missions to Earth as Iterventionist agents.

Nereid female
Kach goes off to the Andromeda galaxy in search of the mysterious Nereids, but she never finds any who seem to be other than conventional elements of Genesaunt Civilization with no knowledge of the Fru'wu or we primitive humans. Her unsuccessful search does not mean that a hard-to-find Interventionist faction of the Nereids doesn't exist!

Nereid hermaphrodite
I've previously decided that the Nereids evolved on a metal-poor world and I've previously developed the idea that physically they were not too different from humans, but more aquatic than humans.

There is a long backstory for the Nereids that is not part of the Exode Trilogy. The Nereids developed a technological civilization about 300,000 years ago. When Kach reaches the Nereid home world, she finds the Nereid equivalent of the Prelands: hermaphroditic Nereids of pek design.

It is not certain how long ago the Nereid Interventionists first reached Earth, but there is clear evidence for Nereid-Fru'wu interactions going back 90,000 years. If the Nereid interventionists had interstellar spaceships 90,000 years ago, just how far have they progressed technologically since then?

I originally imagined that the Nereids would have some understanding of sedronic matter, enough to allow them to build their own spaceships and even use advanced teleportation devices to "transmit" material objects like people across vast interstellar distances.

I've started sketching out some chapters for Trysta and Ekcolir and found myself in need of a decision about the sophistication of Nereid nanite technology. Today I've decided that the Nereid Interventionists have made use of their advanced nanite technology to leave behind their original biological existence in the domain of conventional matter. The Nereid Interventionists have a long history of using nanorobotic artificial lifeforms as helpers. Those shape-shifting robots can use the body form of Nereids.

Symbiont activity pattern
In the Exode Trilogy, anyone who thinks they have seen a Nereid Interventionist has only seen such a robot. The Nereid Interventionists long ago gained access to array sedrons and transformed themselves into an artificial lifeform that exists in the sedronic domain. When they need to interact with primitive creatures such as we Earthlings within the universe of conventional matter they use one of their nanorobotic helpers as an interface. However, for advanced human variants such as the Kac'hin, the Nereid Interventionists can communicate by means of a nanite symbiont implanted in the human's brain.

M-hierions and array sedrons
Within the imaginary technological world of the Exode Trilogy, "M-hierions" make possible "zeptoscale nanites", the building blocks for artificial life forms like the pek. While developing the Exode Trilogy, I've come to imagine that by using time travel technology, R. Gohrlay was able to develop advanced nanites similar to those used by the pek. However, R. Gohrlay was forced to retain her positronic circuitry and could never personally take full advantage of technologies like hierion-based nanites.

When R. Gohrlay finally sent the Asterothropes out from Earth, it became possible to recognize finer distinctions between the many alien species encountered among the stars. Up until then, R. Gohrlay never trusted any aliens, and had given the Nereid Interventionists a cold reception when they showed up on Earth. However, R. Gohrlay eventually realized that in order to fight the Huaoshy to a stand off and win humans the chance to establish a space-faring civilization on Earth, the Nereid Interventionists could be a valuable ally. And, of course, the entire Interventionist movement goes beyond the Nereids. Just as the pek are a tool of the Huaoshy, the Nereids are "clients" for even more technologically advanced Interventionists. After all, the root of the Interventionist movement is a faction of the Huaoshy thonselves.

In Part I of Trysta and Ekcolir, Grean the Kac'hin, fresh from seeming to have defeated R. Gohrlay and the positronic robots of Earth, is increasingly frustrated. Seemingly invisible pockets of resistance still remain on Earth.

Grean goes back in time and tries to reason with R. Gohrlay. Grean selects a time point not long after R. Gohrlay has consolidated control over Observer Base. With the help of Grean, R. Gohrlay uses Huaoshy Reality Viewing technology, but is unable to find an alternative Reality that will satisfy her positronic programming and the Huaoshy simultaneously. In frustration, R. Gohrlay accuses Grean of trying to trick her into accepting defeat. With no other option, Grean uses a "mind static" device to incapacitate the positronic robots and return Observer Base to the control of Overseers.

Temporal Inertia
R. Fengtol
Grean is surprised at how hard it is to find an alternative Reality that can snap 20th century Earth out of the grip of the bistable temporal attractor that flings humanity either into nuclear catastrophe or global warming. Returning to the 20th century from the past, Grean finds very little has changed on Earth even though Overseers have regained control of their hidden base on the Moon after being temporarily displaced by the positronic robots. Grean searches for a way to shift Reality in a new direction.

By careful analysis of available data collected in the time leading up to the capture of R. Fengtol, Grean is able to track down the remaining positronic robot,  R. Rycleu.

R. Rycleu
To find Rycleu, Grean studies all of the Overseer data on Fru'wu and Nereid interventionism on Earth. Grean recognizes a similarity between a hierion signal transmitted by Fengtol and a suspected Nereid signaling protocol. On a hunch, Grean searches Earth for similar signals and finds one that leads to R. Rycleu. However, when Grean tries to capture R. Rycleu, the robot is teleported away to safety, leaving behind only the arm that Grean had grasped.

Careful analysis of the arm reveals biological cells on the hand. Asterothrope cells. Grean realizes that an Asterothrope from the far future of the Malansohn Reality is on Earth, and apparently cooperating with the Nereids.

R. Rycleu warns Trysta that her presence in Wales may have been revealed. Trysta moves her family to Australia and R. Rycleu goes into hiding, no longer daring to use the hierion-based communications systems provided by the Nereids. Now aware of their Interventionist mission on Earth, Trysta begins to develop a working relationship with the Nereid agent who is on Earth.

Frustrated by their inability to find the Nereid agent on Earth and fearing that the Asterothropes and the Nereids have developed array sedron technology, the Huaoshy are eager to carry out a final dimensional engineering project that will end time travel, inactivate positronic brain-based telepathy and also give the Huaoshy a monopoly on production of array sedrons.

Grean can't find a way to defeat Trysta and the Nereids, but a plan is devised to put a Huaoshy agent into close contact with Trysta. It will then be possible to negotiate a truce. The Huaoshy will lose control over Earth, but that is a small and acceptable loss.

In Chapter 8 of Trysta and Ekcolir, Grean again travels back in time and establishes the Ek'col project, bringing into existence the Ekcolir Reality. Part II of Trysta and Ekcolir describes events in the Ekcolir Reality.

Related reading: more on the mysterious Nereid agent in my next blog post.

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