May 3, 2014

Change Your World

The original "catch phrase" for Exode was "Change Your World". My idea was that Parthney would teleport Hana off of Earth and she would begin an adventure among the stars: she would literally change the world that she lived on.

Later, when I realized that Exode was just the final book in a trilogy, "Change Your World" took on a new meaning. In Book I of the trilogy, Trysta found herself rather desperately trying to find a way to change the fate of Earth.

Working within the Ekcolir Reality, Trysta and Grean devise a plan for how to bring the Buld Reality into existence. Within the Buld Reality, the universe as we know it, we Earthlings have a chance to prevent Earth from undergoing a technology-induced disaster. However, it is not clear how we can avoid continued fossil fuel use, rising green house gas levels in the atmosphere and eventual catastrophic sea level rise.

Time Travel
There are two different kinds of time travel in the Exode Trilogy.

First, there is Asmovian time travel in which Reality Changes can terminate an old Reality and bring a new Reality into existence. A Reality Change can impact billions of people, changing their lives, their personalities and even eliminating individuals from existence.

Second, there is a kind of personal time travel in the Exode Trilogy. The pek have teleportation technology that can transmit copies of people across vast distances. When the teleporter device is used it obtains a precise record of the structure of the teleported object. This allows for the storage of the "pattern" for individual humans and those patterns can later be "instantiated" as new copies of the original person.

Parthney and Thomas
Many such "copies" of Thomas have been made by the pek. Starting about 20,000 years ago, the planet Hemmal became one of the worlds of the Galactic Core where copies of Thomas were routinely made and prepared for missions to Earth. Parthney is the last copy of the "Thomas pattern" to be instantiated on Hemmal. The Parthney "copy" began as a "version of Thomas" that had previously been "stored" away at age five. Parthney's memories of being 5 years old center on leaving home and going off to a new village to pursue his education.

Upon reaching his mid-teens, Parthney still has "his" memories of growing up in a particular village on Hemmal, but when he tries to return to his place of birth, he discovers that it is now a place that is quite different from what he remembers. This is not really surprising since he was born there more than 10,000 years previously.

Age five is a good age for Parthney to go off to school because, as a hybrid Asterothrope-Ek'col, his brain development is unusually delayed. He spoke his first word at age 4 and is not really able to start constructing sentences until age five.

For 20,000 years the pek have worked hard to create an environment on Hemmal that can optimally prepare Parthney for his future mission to Earth. Many "copies" of Tomas have grown up on Hemmal, each one provided more clues for how to optimize social conditions among the Buld population that Parthney would ultimately live among. Nothing about Pelis Kel was left to chance.

The Buld of Parthney's time are quite different from the original Buld Clan. The original Buld were much more similar in their physiology to the Prelands. The pek had to make the Buld population of Hemmal more like Earthlings in order to create a suitable environment for Parthney.

The transformation of the Buld of Hemmal becomes a major source of consternation to the Prelands who consider Hemmal their planet and the Buld only guests.

Biologists could have a long debate over the question if whether the Prelands are a separate species from we humans. If they are not, then they are very close to being a new species. The Prelands are born with a rudimentary ability to speak, but in most adults that ability is lost.  Prelands normally communicate with each other by means of their nanite implants.

The entire Preland digestive tract is highly altered from our familiar human pattern. Preland skull structure is similar to the human pattern except for the jaws. The Preland jaw structure is much reduced in size and although some Prelands are born with a few "baby teeth", after they fall out the adult Prelands remain toothless.

plaxillus microstructure
The umbilical blood vessels of a newborn Preland remain intact and provide blood to an abdominal organ that rapidly develops after detachment of the umbilical cord. This organ is called the plaxillus. Among primates, the plaxillus is unique to the Prelands and it is specialized to work with nanites that supply nutrients. Although infant Prelands can nurse and digest milk, adult Prelands are dependent on nanites for a supply of water and nutrients that are shuttled to the plaxillus without the Prelands being aware of the on-going feeding process. In adult Prelands on Hemmal, some water is ceremonial consumed orally.

In adult Prelands there is no stomach and no continuity from the mouth past the rudimentary small intestine that fuses to the plaxillus. One kidney attaches to the plaxillus and most nitrogenous waste is removed from the body by the same nanites that shuttle food into the plaxillus. The adult Preland rectum has no remaining role related to digestion; it is structurally and functionally similar to the human vagina.

It is essentially impossible for Prelands to reproduce without assistance. The Prelands are hermaphroditic. One ovary never attaches to the uterus and instead is connected by a tube to the small Preland penis which is also connected to the other kidney by way of a small vestigial bladder. The other ovary connects to the small uterus. If in vivo fertilization occurs (this is rare on Hemmal where few newborns exist) the embryo only grows to about a centimeter in length before detaching its umbilical cord and migrating up the second uterine horn to a small small pouch that takes up part of the chest cavity.

The Preland thoracic pouch.
A significant portion of the Preland respiratory gas exchange function is carried out with the aid of nanites that control air movement through microscopic skin pores. Although the Prelands are never seen in the pages of the Exode Trilogy, the image to the right (by Jon-Lawrence at deviantART) might well hint at the features of a Preland as a near-human being.

The lungs still participate in respiratory gas exchange, but they are small and functionally redundant to the Preland skin's gas exchange capacity.

Preland embryos reside in the thoracic pouch for only about three months, receiving nutrient-rich milk from the internally directed mammary glands. Prelands have no external nipples on their bodies. At their (premature) births, Preland newborns must be transferred into an incubator, a function usually carried out by the pek on Hemmal.

Next blog post: a special feature of the Preland brain.

Image note. The image at the top of this blog post was made by modifying the Fantastic Adventures cover image shown to the right.

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