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Jun 1, 2014

Trysta: Version 2.0

Trysta and Eckolir: version 1.0
When I had the sudden realization that I need to tell the story of the Ekcolir Reality, I quickly put up a new website to hold Trysta and Ekcolir. The images that I cobbled together and uploaded to that website were nothing more than place-keepers. The time has come to make some  new illustrations....so, Trysta (and Ekcolir): Version 2.0.....

The Exode Trilogy character named "Trysta Iwedon" was inspired by Isaac Asimov's heroine, Noÿs Lambent. However, Trysta is not human! She is an Asterothrope (see image). As an Asterothrope female, Trysta would be instantly recognized as non-human except for two facts.

1) During embryonic development the natural course of her morphogenesis was altered by nanorobotic reprogramming. She was born with a fairly typical human female body form, which was essential for her time travel mission into the far past.

image source
2) Trysta has some internal features that could be recognized as non-human (even using primitive 20th century medical imaging) except for the fact that she was sent into the Primitive Era equipped with zeptites. Those zeptoscale devices confer on Trysta the ability to morph and alter her physical form as needed. Thus, in an emergency she can hide her unusual internal anatomy from the scans performed by doctors.

Trysta can use her zeptites to transform her facial features into any convenient pattern and alter the appearance of her hair or the color of her skin. Bottom line: I have considerable flexibility in how I illustrate Trysta as an imaginary character. I wonder what Asimov would think is a suitable appearance for Trysta.

Ekcolir
Cover version 1.0
Similarly, Ekcolir is not human in the conventional sense of the term. He is an Ek'col, a human variant that was designed by the pek for a special purpose. Ekcolir was specifically designed to catch Trysta's eye and break down her resistance so that she would become willing to negotiate with the Huaoshy over the fate of Earth.

As an Ek'col male, Ekcolir is able to impregnate Trysta, a feat that would not be possible for a normal human. The first born of Trysta and Ekcolir, Thomas, plays an important role in the Exode Trilogy. Most dramatically, Thomas becomes the genetic prototype for a rather large collection of clones, the last of whom is Parthney. Asterothrope-Ek'col hybrids who, like Thomas, live on Earth, might simply be genetic anomalies, stuck in a reproductive vacuum and having no ability to reproduce with human partners. However, the pek also designed the Kac'hin, another human variant that is inter-fertile with Asterothrope-Ek'col hybrids. Ekcolir is morphologically quite similar to the Earth human male norm, so I have a significant amount of flexibility in how I choose to illustrate Ekcolir.

The Exode Trilogy (image source)
Cover Art
When I made the version 1.0 book cover for Trysta and Ekcolir, I was thinking that Foundations of Eternity should be the first book in the trilogy. However, I later decided to make Trysta and Ekcolir be the first novel in the Exode Trilogy. I still have not gotten around to making new cover art that corrects that altered sequencing.

Mixing Character Formats
I enjoy having the flexibility that comes from rendering images of characters and being able to create the exact pose that I'm imagining for a scene in a story. However, I'm not real comfortable mixing together my rendered character images with photographic images of live models (as I did in the v1.0 cover  image shown above and to the left on this page). Part of my challenge is that the software I use for photo manipulation is 25 years old and my old computer struggles to do high-resolution renderings of characters.

Version 2.0
version 2.0 cover art (image credits below)
A key component of the version 1.0 cover was Trysta viewing the future. I originally depicted Trysta at a point in time after she had met Ekcolir and after she had access to the advanced viewing equipment supplied by Grean.

My version 2.0 cover shifts into Trysta's past, to the time when she is only able to use her zeptite endosymbiont for limited access to the Sedonic Domain. In the upper let corner, I tried to depict Trysta's vision of a meeting between Ekcolir and Grean at which she is being observed and discussed. This is misleading, since in the story I imagine that Trysta has no knowledge of the fact that Ekcolir comes into her life having extensively studied her and planned for how to integrate himself into her affairs.

The bottom part of the version 2.0 cover is trying to show Ekcolir at work monitoring Trysta's life using the viewing equipment supplied by Grean. This image needs to be modified (see version 3.0) so as to have one of the inset images that is being studied by Ekcolir show a future time after Trysta and Ekcolir have met. I need to make an image similar to the one at the upper right corner of this blog post in which Trysta and Ekcolir are together. However, this is also going to be misleading because in the story Ekcolir arrives on Trysta's door step with no sure knowledge of how his relationship with Trysta will turn out.

Image credits
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Most of the component images for the version 2.0 cover were found among the stock images that reside on the deviantART website. Four of the images used are from the gallery of Sandy Manase.

"Whispering memories" was good for depicting Trysta as she sits in the window of her house over looking the ocean in Wales. She is deep in thought while viewing information provided by her zeptite endosymbiont.

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Two of the images are from photos of Georgia Stanwix in the gallery of Cathleen Tarawhiti.

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I wanted Trysta's "vision of Grean and Ekcolir to be slightly "off", so I tweaked the color for one of the two images.

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The two images that represent Ekcolir are of model Lee as photographed by Rachel and downloaded from the gallery of Random-Acts-Stock. (see also)

See Random Acts.

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