Dec 20, 2014

Investigative Science Fiction

I like to think of the Exode Trilogy as Investigative Science Fiction. Sadly, the phrase "Investigative Science Fiction" only gets a few hits in a web search, although I've seen a web page where The X-Files is described as Investigative Science Fiction.

The The X-Files was also self-referentially (script) placed in the genre of “non-fiction science-fiction”. I love the idea of a true story being so strange that everyone in the world will reject it as truth and instead assume it is science fiction.

Gohrlay the Neanderthal
see also
Even before the Exode Trilogy existed, Gohrlay was the first Exode sleuth. Gohrlay was born on the Moon, but her investigation took her to Earth.

Gohrlay's very existence was part of an alien conspiracy. The orbho commander of Observer Base on the Moon had noticed some odd and mysterious behavior among the humans of Earth. In particular, the Neanderthals showed an impressive tendency to live in harmony with their environment, a behavior pattern that had never previously been found among the other tool-using primate variants cultured by the pek on worlds of the Galactic Core.

After growing enamored of the Neanderthals, the orbho then had to watch in dismay when a typically-aggressive human variant (yes, I'm talking about US) arose on Earth and systematically exterminated the more peaceful Neanderthals.

Depiction of a Neanderthal woman.
Long before Gohrlay's time, the Neanderthals would have become extinct had the orbho not created an artificial refuge for them in central Asia. However, the dwindling population of Neanderthals could not be maintained on Earth without violating the Rules of Intervention. Orbho Anagro wanted to find an excuse for establishing a colony of Neanderthals in the Galactic Core.

At the same time, a few Neanderthals were still serving as Observers at Observer Base, although they had almost completely been replaced by the more aggressive subtype of humans who had, by that time, swept across Africa, Asia and Australia. Some of those more aggressive tool-using humans had been freed of their "Brake Nanites" and allowed to develop a technologically-advanced culture at Moon Base. Taking advantage of the relatively low level of empathy among the Lunar scientists, Anagro decided to allow them to target one of the Neanderthals from Observer Base for "destructive brain scanning", then, with a bit of high-tech trickery, that "sacrificial" Neanderthal would then be slipped out of Moon Base and serve as Anagro's "ambassador" to Rain World.

Neanderthal child
Development of electronics and robots was forbidden to all clients of the orbho such as the humans at Moon Base. When the scientists on the Moon started to develop positronics, Orbho Anagro was impressed by their ingenuity and so they were allowed to begin work on positronic robots. Technically, this was against the spirit of the standard practices of the orbho that restricted the technological advances allowed to Observers.

Gohrlay grew up as the designated test subject for Orbho Anagro's little science experiment. Nothing about her life was left to chance. Anagro's plans for Gohrlay piggybacked on the work of some humans who wanted to convert the pattern of neural networks in a human brain into positronic circuits. Within the small community of human scientists who had been allowed flourish on the Moon, a technology for "destructive brain scanning" had been developed, but their scanning method was lethal.

image source
Anagro created an elaborate plan that would trick the humans into thinking that Gohrlay was a criminal. The human scientists would then be led to believe that they had killed Gohrlay by destructive brain scanning, but in reality Orbho Anagro used advanced alien technology to non-destructively record Gohrlay's brain pattern. As a condemned and dangerous criminal, Anagro would have the right to remove Ghorlay from the Solar System and send her to the Galactic Core.

At the same time, the science of positronics and the development of positronic robots would be advanced.

Ghorlay's "crime" was that she illegally went from the Moon to Earth, a violation of the Rules of Observation. Of course, Orbho Anagro had to trick Gohrlay into committing this crime. Her entire life was designed and shaped to make sure that she would break the law and volunteer to undergo destructive brain scanning.

When Gohrlay sneaks to Earth as a stowaway on board a spacecraft, she wants to investigate evidence suggesting that the genes of the Neanderthals on Earth have been illegally tampered with. Of course, the tampering had been done by Orbho Anagro. Poor Gohrlay is punished for his crime.

Later, when Gohrlay's brain pattern is instantiated in positronic circuits, the resulting positronic robot, who is known as R. Gohrlay, discovers that her positronic brain endows her with telepathic powers. "She" can look into Orbho Anagro's mind and see how he tricked Gohrlay into becoming a criminal. R. Gohrlay's revenge is swift and thorough: she takes control of Observer Base and drives all of the aliens out of the Solar System.

Investigator Asimov
Later in Foundations of Eternity, Isaac Asimov appears as a character. In a previous Reality, Asimov was an investigative science reporter. While trying to obtain information about secret government projects, he ends up investigating a spaceship crash site. During that investigation, a damaged positronic robot desperately transfers its memories into Asimov's brain (see).

The origins of Asimov's Universe
Stranded on Earth after Gohrlay's revolution, a handful of Observers, free of "Brake Nanites" and now able to spread their genes on Earth, produced descendants that triggered the developed of technological civilization on Earth.

Mean while, trapped at Moon Base, Gohrlay's tribe of positronic robots discovered that the same "trick" of physics that allowed for positronic brains to have telepathic powers also makes time travel possible.

A galaxy of primates.
My original idea for Exode was that Hana would be the central character of the story. She was intended to depart from Earth and explore Genesaunt civilization. Hana's journey between the stars became linked to another character, Kach. Within Exode, Kach was intended to be the prototypical Kac'hin, a human variant that had been designed to play a special role in ending the Time War.

Along with Hana, Kach and Parthney go of to the Andromeda galaxy as "investigators", seeking to make contact with the Creators. From the perspective of readers, the question is: who was the Creator of the human species? As a Kac'hin, Kach has a different goal, although it is even less practical.

In a very real sense, humans were created by the Nereids. However, the Nereids no longer exist. You could say that Kach wants to dig deeper, since she would really like to meet the Huaoshy, but the Huaoshy exist only within the Sedronic Domain.

During her search for the Creators, Kach does not know it, but all her efforts are actually bringing her closer to contact with Gohrlay who was ultimately the one who is responsible for forcing the pek to create the Kac'hin.

Trysta and Ekcolir
Lili's family tree.
Between the "ancient history" that is told in Foundations of Eternity and the contemporary events of Exode is the third part of the Exode Trilogy. Trysta and Ekcolir tells the story of how a bridge was constructed between the Foundation Reality and the Buld Reality (the world as we know it).

Ivory and her "clone sisters" (including Anney) make it possible for we Earthlings to become aware of the secret history of Humanity. Since many of the key events that have shaped human history actually took place in the Galactic Core, it is important for telling the Exode Trilogy that there be a kind of "Rosetta Stone" for providing clues to we Earthlings about the Galactic Core. Resh^Ki plays that role.

Voyage 2
Immortal: Helen of Troy (Crosby)
Clues obtained from Resh^Ki send Kach and Parthney off on their second voyage among the stars, their new destination being the worlds of the Galactic Core where they hope to find Gohrlay and discover her reasons for leaving Earth under the watchful eyes of the typ'At.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker
morgue attendant Gordy "The Ghoul"
(John Fiedler) and Kolchak (McGavin)
One of the major sources of inspiration for The X-Files was Kolchak: The Night Stalker. For me, fantasy and horror-laden television shows like Night Stalker are unwatchable. Darren McGavin (and others such as John Fiedler) brought the same fourth wall-penetrating aura of off-key humor and disdain to Night Stalker as David Duchovny later did in The X-Files.

Epilog: "What fourth wall?"
20th century Helen
However, in one episode of Night Stalker,  "The Youth Killer", Cathy Lee Crosby played the role of an immortal woman who somehow lived off of the "life energy" of young people. This story was "crafted" as fantasy and horror and, since it had to be wrapped up in a neat bundle by the end of the hour, poor Cathy "pissed off the gods" and got herself stoned.

The same basic plot of "The Youth Killer" was also used for the Star Trek episode "Requiem for Methuselah". That Star Trek episode did a fairly good job of adapting the "immortal Earthman" plot to the science fiction genre.

Of course, The X-Files also had to explore immortality (example: "Tithonus"). Long-lived aliens and artificial lifeforms are also an important part of the Exode Trilogy.

Mr. Burt, the writer, Annabeth, 3, 6, 9.....

For the 9th season of The X-Files, Chris Carter wrote an episode called "Improbable". What if "the gods" were always watching us and taking special interest in "miracles" like an occasional human gaining "immortality" (oh, damn, that was a mighty temporary form of immortality!) or random acts of "evil", eh, Wayn-o? That would be enough to get most people questioning their own free will.

The more Parthney learns about the pek, telepathy, the Kac'hin, the Bimanoid Interface and (well, etc. etc.) the more he questions his own free will. After all, he plays out his mission to Earth according to script; his actions having been foreseen. "The Editor" inherits Parthney's doubts about free will.

Lendhalen and nicotine saga
If we were created, can we really have free will? With someone like Gohrlay around, can we really have free will?

The Δ-Files
Even further back in time, "The Δ-Files" brought investigative science fiction to television. In one Delta episode, "Hannah", a spiritualist, is consulted by a scientist. The plot of that Delta episode reminds me of The X-Files episode "Improbable" in which FBI agent Reyes consults a numerologist.

"Lincoln's ghost"
Seance in the White House 
I previously described a time travel mission that involve Preland Interventionism during Lincoln's presidency. In the Ekcolir Reality, conditions were somewhat different during the Civil War. Anney has been investigating the events that led up to Lincoln's assassination.

In the Ekcolir Reality, The Delta Files was a popular television show. In one set of episodes (the so-called Nicotiana Saga), Emanuel Swedenborg was able to use the Bimanoid Interface as a source of information. His investigation of the Hierion Domain led to him being teleported off of Earth and duplicated in 1743.

Experiments on children
How did Swedenborg gain access to the Hierion Domain? According to Anney, it was all part of a 500-tear-long plan hatched by the Lendhalen Intervetionists. When Pocahontas arrived in England her death was faked in 1617. She was sent on an expedition to South America by Lewis Stukley, in order to bring back a plant that when used in combination with tobacco was able to allow humans to have access to the Hierion Domain.

In raw form, the botanical combination was only effective for those Native Americans who had certain gene combinations. Research into the chemicals involved eventually culminated in the creation of a synthetic version of the naturally occurring "nicotine helper". The breakthrough was accomplished by William Cullen and William Hunter in Glascow, some time around 1740. One of the early test subjects who used the synthetic drug to gain access to the Hierion Domain was Thomas Wright. It was Wright who "turned Swedenborg onto" the drug in 1743.

The Delta Curtain
Experiments begun by Wright led to several children being given access to the Hierion Domain, including Mary Wollnstonecraft (as told in Exodemic). About a century later, Nikola Tesla became another "nicotine child". He was able to learn (by way of the Hierion Domain) that President Lincoln's assassination was made possible by alien Interventionists.

Hierion Domain and Replicoids
Within the Ekcolir Reality, the people of Earth became aware of the existence of the Hierion Domain during the 1860s. Attempts were made to develop nanotechnology and a new science of hierion physics during the 20th century, but rapid industrial development and fossil fuel use caused the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets to melt, resulting in catastrophic sea level rise.

In the Ekcolir Reality, during the golden age of television science fiction, the entire Lendhalen and nicotine saga was played out in prime time. In the final episode of the saga, the Delta investigative team was sent back in time to prevent Lincoln from being assassinated.

In that episode of Delta, two different timelines were shown. In one, Lincoln "returned" from the Hierion Domain when his replicoid was able to contact his widowed wife on Earth.

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