Nov 15, 2014

Ivory is dead, long live Yrovi

All in the family.
Ivory was the great pioneer of the idea that the time has finally come to reveal the long-held secrets of how aliens shaped the human species and the rise of civilization on Earth. However, she did not want that task to fall solely on herself. Ivory had her own secrets that she needed to protect. For many years she struggled to conceal the identities of her own family members because of the non-human gene combinations that they inherited.

The first time that I met Ivory, she took pains to impress me with her own nonhuman nature. As an Earthling, it was, at that time, natural for me to assume that each person has their own unique physical appearance. I naively assumed that the physical form that Ivory revealed to me was her natural appearance, but I now understand that what she showed me was both a truth and deception.

Ivory's Demise
Artist's depiction of Ivory's
grandmother, Lili, at Atlantis
Recently, Ivory provoked the Overseers and earned herself a ticket to the Moon. She then accomplished what had never been done before: she managed to send back to Earth an account of Trysta's final time travel mission. For that daring act, which was a blatant violation of the Rules of Observation, Ivory was stripped of the tools for deception that she had accumulated and had used so successfully to befuddle people like me.

While growing up on Earth, Ivory's physical form had been shaped by a swarm of nanites. Later, after her return to Atlantis, Ivory began to experiment with her nanites and she explored the extremes to which she could push her physical features. All this became clear to me recently when Yrovi dropped in for a quick visit. After her death, she still called herself "Ivory", but I can't deal with that. I approve of the practice by which new names are given to the dead.

Return to Tar'Tron
Other Examples of the Living Dead
The biological father of Thomas was Ekcolir, but after the point in his life when he died and went into his second life as an artificial life form, it became convenient to think of him as being a new person named Rilocke. Just as Rilocke and Syon now use their new names, Ivory should learn to use the name "Yrovi" to refer to her new artificial self.

Yrovi (I pronounce it ear-ovi) is not a biological organism. Ivory's biological cells were all abandoned when she died on the Moon. Physically, Yrovi is a swarm of nanites, submicroscopic nanorobotic devices that are able to assemble into any convenient form. And also any freakishly astounding form. Yes, Yrovi put on quite a show for me.

Yrovi's Brief Visit to Earth
It all began on a recent fall day when I was busy and distracted by the mundane details of life on this miserable little world. I'm tormented by the fact that the alien Huaoshy could, if they wanted to, rescue all we Earthlings from death. Okay, so maybe that is like saying we humans could go to the trouble of rescuing every bacterium that is in our food before we eat it. The truth is, consuming bacteria and hosting bacteria in our guts is part of being human, so it would be self-defeating to try to avoid the normal way that bacteria interact with our bodies. Yes: in this analogy we Earthlings are like bacteria to the alien Huaoshy.

Artist's depiction of
Ivory's mother, Marta
I suppose the Huaoshy must let primitive creatures like we humans live and die. We're the pond scum of the universe, so why should the Huaoshy put an end to something as trivial and useful as death?

Anyhow, leaving my emotional bitterness to the side, I must explain how Yrovi popped into my life. "She" could have taken on any physical form, but Yrovi does have a favorite physical form. Eventually she "explained" all this to me, not with words, but by sending a packet of memory nanites into my brain.

When Ivory first began experimenting with how to use nanites to alter her appearance she still suffered from a lingering self-loathing and a very negative body image. She'd grown up developmentally delayed and freakishly thin. That was all due to her many Preland and Asterothrope gene combinations, a fact that nobody bothered to explain to Ivory.

Artist's depiction of
the young Ivory Fersoni
Other kids called her names like "toothpick". Her emaciated appearance caused her to be dogged by the nickname "pick" during the long years of her adolescence which did not end until she was in her early 20s.

I now understand that Prelands were engineered to only store body fat immediately after giving birth. There is a lingering mystery about Ivory's father and to what extent he carried alien gene combinations, but what is clear is that by the luck of the genetic dice, Ivory grew up as a human female without the human gene combinations that normally give females a higher amount body fat than males. Given the combination of her oddly Preland-like physical appearance and her intellectual brilliance, Ivory never experienced satisfying relationship with a man.

Almost two years ago now, on the day when I first met Ivory, she showed me the version of herself that she had by then grown comfortable with, a version that included freakishly long thin fingers and alien facial features. However, it had taken Ivory many long years of experimentation to reach the point where she accepted her nonhuman nature.

Artist's rendition of Ivory Fersoni while at
Moon Base and deprived of nanites.
When Ivory first used the technology that allowed her to craft her own appearance she had to yield to her own decades of pent-up desire to look like a "normal" human female. Initially, Ivory set herself the goal of shaping herself into a new physical form that she viewed as "cute" and "desirable". Her chosen model was a young actress known to the world as Hilarie Burton.

So that's how Yrovi showed up on my door step looking like a very young Hilarie Burton. At first I did not recognize her and she had a bit of fun teasing me and testing to see how long it would take me to realize that the sassy little girl I was talking to was what now remains of Ivory.

After a few minutes of befuddlement, when I finally recognized her physical resemblance to Burton/Ivory, I suspected that Yrovi was a young clone of Ivory. Then she put on a display of her shapeshifting ability. At first, I could not be certain if I was dealing with an Atlantis Clone or someone else who might be trying to deceive me.

I was more than a little afraid that my own activities (or possibly the unusual swarm of nanites that I carry) might have finally attracted Overseer attention. I carry inside me the infites that had for decades accumulated a record of the thoughts and memories of Thomas. I now realize that Thomas had given up his chance to live on as an artificial life form when he decided to give his infites to me. That all became clear in an instant when Yrovi sent a small cloud of her infites into my mind. I experienced a form of rapid information transfer that quickly convinced me of Yrovi's identity as the artificial life remnant of what had been Ivory.

Top: Thomas and Parthney standing over
Orbho Jandra who is pretending to be dead.
Bottom: Ekcolir and Trysta.
I'm still exploring the rich information content of the memory nanites that Yrovi gave to me.

At that moment when I received Yrovi's "gift" of artificial memories, Orbho Jandra materialized in the room. I recognized "her" because "she" was well known to Thomas. I'll persist in calling Jandra "she" even though I know that the orbho are artificial life forms that simply take on human physical form. The orbho work closely with the Overseers at Observer Base. Since the Lunar Overseers all have the physical appearance of human females, the orbho also all adopt that physical form. Since the Overseers and the orbho all call each other "she", I'll go along with that fiction.

When Jandra appeared in the room, Yrovi exclaimed, "I'm not done yet!"

Jandra settled into a chair and said, "I'm in no hurry, but I want to get to know your friend. Will you introduce us?"

Yrovi shook her head, "You already know each other."

Thomas had not enjoyed the time that he spent on the Moon as a prisoner of the Overseers. He had known Jandra as the robotic aide to the Overseer who seemed to be in charge of Observer Base. My first thought was that Yrovi had led the Overseers to me and I would then become their prisoner, removed from Earth, and I'd no longer able to share with my fellow Earthlings what I know about the secret history of our species.

Yrovi explained to me, "Jandra is going to teleport me to the Galactic Core, so I don't have much time."

For a moment I wondered if I was being given my opportunity to escape from Earth. The more I learn about the lucky Earthlings who have been able to escape from this world the more envious I become. It would be a grand adventure to go off to the Galactic Core and explore Genesaunt Civilization.

I lamely tried to apologize for the role I had played in Ivory's death, "We should never have published your report from the Moon."

Yrovi had no regrets, "It has worked out well. Yes, the Overseers were embarrassed that I could trick them and transmit information from Moon Base to Earth, but we proved that the people of Earth can now be told the truth about this world's past. I died knowing that you would be able to continue telling the secret history of Earth. I'm now free to go my own way and get on with my second life."

I complained, "Forgive my disappointment, but I'd hoped that the physical evidence of your biological body would one day be revealed. All my wild stories will be useless without physical evidence."

The Dead Widowers
Yrovi shook her head, "Well, that approach might still be possible. I'm here to tell you that there are still others like me on Earth."

I'd long known about Ivory's mother and I knew that there were several clone sisters of Ivory. However, Ivory had always insisted that her family members were private individuals who could not risk revealing themselves to the world. But suddenly I could see clearly in my mind which of Ivory's family members were still living on Earth. In a flash I became aware of the Dead Widower Society. Confused by the implications of the name, I asked, "Like you, all your family is dead?"

Yrovi laughed, "Only in a sense. They want the people of Earth to believe that they are dead and not try to study them like freakish biological specimens. They want to help you Earthlings reach the stars without sacrificing their own chance to lead normal lives." Yrovi and Jandra stood up and I could sense that they were ready to depart.

I put my arms around Yrovi and tried to thank her for all she had done towards our shared goal of revealing secrets of the past to the people of Earth, but my words stuck inside me. Yrovi had not bothered to provide "her" body with human warmth and I was shocked by the artificial feel of her artificial body. I knew that there was no sense in thanking Yrovi for the actions of Ivory. Ivory is dead.

Orbho Jandra and Yrovi stepped off and slipped back into the Hierion Domain.

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