Jan 6, 2015

Specific Heat

Marta in the Hierion Domain (source)
During the past month I've been trying to sort out some mysterious dream-like memories of Marta that were shaken loose by the death of her daughter Ivory. The fundamental problem that I'm confronting is the inherently unequal ease with which information flows in the two opposed directions along the axis connecting the Hadron Domain and the Hierion Domain. Information flows automatically from our three dimensional world of conventional matter to the higher dimensional Hierion Domain, but a functioning and finicky Bimanoid Interface is required if we Earthlings want to retrieve information from the Hierion Domain. Those who have the knack for using the Bimanoid Interface can also dabble in the next challenge: linking into the Sedronic Domain.

The Bimanoid Interface was designed for use by hermaphroditic Kac'hin and it allowed people such as Grean to function at the interface between the alien Huaoshy and Gohrlay's tribe of positronic robots. As a carefully constructed primate variant, the Kac'hin had to be just human enough so that Kac'hin females could be categorized as human by the positronic robots while at the same time they had to be alien enough to efficiently use the Bimanoid Interface to access the Sedronic Domain.

There are two distinctive "flavors" of Kac'hin. Kach'hin females can pass as human, but most Kac'hin are hermaphrodites who don't really fall within the definition of "human" that is used under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact. I've heard a rumor that there is still a Kac'hin female on Earth (not Lili), but apparently all the Kac'hin hermaphrodites are now gone from our world.

While Marta is human, Marta's mother, Lili, had an interesting mix of children, some of whom are human and some who must be classified as alien under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact. Somehow, Gohrlay's finger prints are all over this artificial distinction between human and alien. Of course, Ghorlay's finger prints are all over the recent history of humanity. The Laws of Robotics force positronic robots to seek out and codify a definition of "human". Even though the positronic robots are all gone, Earth is still in the grip of their definition of "human".

Nanite Interface
By itself, relying only on its cellular components, a human being has no means of accessing information that exists within the Hierion Domain. However, we Earthlings live in an invisible sea of nanites. The nanites of Earth were originally imposed upon us long ago by the pek/orbho, but their nature (their programming) was modified when the Trysta-Grean Pact went into effect.

Sadly, we Earthlings have no means to study or control our nanite endosymbionts. Everything we know -or think we know- about our nanites is little more than rumor. Alien Sedronites such as Grean are able to use the Bimanoid Interface because their brain cells correctly mesh with the nanorobotic components of the Interface. Here is the analogy: imagine that someone like Grean has a sense of vision while all we Earthlings are blind. For we humans, our understanding of what it means to see comes from descriptions of the sense of vision that we have received from aliens who can see.

Shades of Gray Aliens
Trysta's second life as Syon
Of course, even if the Trysta-Grean Pact includes a dividing line between human and alien, that boundary is fuzzy. Earth humans are a diverse population within which some individuals have certain "alien gene combinations" that can make possible limited use of the Bimanoid Interface.

While it is true that our nanite endosymbionts have the ability to form a functional Bimanoid Interface, those nanites can't normally mesh with our cells to form a completely functional Interface. That "failure to mesh" involves physical features of our brains, physical features that have long been the focus of Interventionists. In essence, the brains of we Earthlings and our nanite endosymbionts have been carefully "tuned" to allow efficient information flow into the Hierion Domain while preventing flow in the opposite direction. That one way information is an artificial restriction that has been imposed upon the Bimanoid Interface.

And there are ways around that restriction. For example, a huge amount of effort has gone into finding chemicals that can alter brain function and result in improved functioning of the Bimanoid Interface of some humans. Those chemical tricks only work if you carry certain "alien gene combinations".

Ivory spent years experimenting with various ways to modify her own brain activity while she searched for ways to improve her own skill at using the Bimanoid Interface. For example, she had some success with biofeedback-guided electromagnetic modulation of brain function. In my case, I've had some luck using a nicotine
derivative that Anney has provided to me.

Ivory's account of First Contact
Recently, I'd built up high levels of that nicotinic drug in my body and I started having side effects, In particular, I experienced a disorienting alteration in my sense of vision. According to Anney, I was starting to receive visual sensations from my replicoid while I was awake, which was a promising indication that I might be able to achieve conscious control of the Bimanoid Interface. However, I've always been very sensitive to visually-induced vertigo. When I'm awake and receiving visual sensations from my replicoid I also experience a debilitating nausea.

The odd visual/vertigo effects of Anney's drug reminded me of the one time in my life when I was seriously ill. In 1975 I had a high fever and I was diagnosed as having a bacterial infection which was treated with an antibiotic. Recently I learned that it was in 1975 that Marta began a series of "experiments" with my replicoid in the Hierion Domain. I now realize that there have been three times in my life when I've experienced the odd visual sensation that I most recently experienced as a side effect of nicotine overdose. The other two times were during my fever in 1975 and also on one other occasion when I got over-heated while exerting myself in 110+ degree heat. Also, 1975 was the year when I attempted to record all of my dreams and I experienced an unusual dream that I've previously mentioned.

Body Heat
I now suspect that Marta did something to alter my brain function in 1975. Is it possible that her experiments with my replicoid had an impact on my brain's function? If I was born with some unconscious access to the Bimanoid Interface, could Marta's manipulation of my replicoid in 1975 have triggered changes in my brain function? Further, might high body/blood/brain temperature be a crude way of altering my brain's activity and allowing increased flow of information to me from the Hierion Domain?

Again, Marta
About a month ago, when I was still boosting the levels of nicotine in my body, I recovered a strange memory fragment from the Hierion Domain. Marta was there with the Dead Widowers and while we had no specific interaction, I had the feeling that both my replicoid and Marta's were there as integral members of the Dead Widowers during a meeting of the group's replicoids in the Hierion Domain.

Having reached the maximum nicotine level that I can tolerate, Anney suggested that I try to exercise some conscious control over the Bimanoid Interface. I did an experiment in which I combined a pyrogen, environmental heat stress and application of a transcranial magnetic field. Having no success while awake, I decided to try sleeping while my brain was subjected to high temperature, high nicotine and pattern of transcranial magnetic stimulation that Ivory had had some luck with.

I emerged from that sleep period with some interesting memories from the Hierion Domain. When I "arrived" in the Hierion Domain, Marta's replicoid was there with my replicoid. I asked her, "What did you do to me back in 1975?"

She seemed to be annoyed by my question. She said, "Nice to see you again, too."

I know that Marta can use nanites to control her physical form, but whenever she has not been trying to conceal her identity she had always previously adopted one particular physical form, that of a young woman. This time she surprised me by starting out in that form and then I saw her quickly transform and age. She said, "You know, I'm almost 80."

I suppose Marta has "good alien genes" and does not age as fast as a typical Earthling. She looked about 40 years old, clearly older than she had appeared a month ago, the last time I'd seen her replicoid. There was something about the appearance of her "older self" that triggered a new sense of recollection in me. I wondered if I had "bumped into" Marta in the Hadron Domain. I asked, "Why are you showing me this older version of yourself?"

"You've got me thinking about time. 1975 was a long time ago."

She looked like a dynamic and vivacious 40 and I said mockingly, "Don't try to tell me that you're too old and feeble to remember what happened 40 years ago."

She laughed and shook her head, "I remember it like it was yesterday. You were just a little boy, innocent and afraid. You had no clue what the Hierion Domain was and you thought you'd died and gone to heaven."

I had to smile then as I rememdered a dream that I'd had which, if I'd had a religious nature, I'd have interpreted as contact with God. "It's not fair to hold me accountable for the thoughts I've had while I'm asleep."

"Oh, come now, who else can I possibly hold..." She took hold of my hand and kept talking, "accountable."

I could recognize something familiar in the pattern of her movements and the sound of her voice. I said, "You've never shown me your true appearance, have you? Nor did Ivory nor Anney. What about Hilde? She always looked like she was related to me, but I assumed that was a trick to make me think that she was my daughter."

"It is best that you not know some things."

I guessed, "I know you in the real world, don't I?"

"What if you do?" She asked, "Why would that matter? Ivory explained to you that I want to remain as a private person, not have my life blasted apart by revelations about my alien parents. You're a blabber mouth. If you knew my real world identity then you'd write about it and I'd never get any peace. I'd probably have to follow Ivory and depart from Earth. I like it here...I don't want to be forced out."

I got a bit whiny. "I feel silly. I feel manipulated. Why do we have to play these endless games of secrecy and deception?"

"I never asked to be placed on Earth as a genetic freak. Anyhow, you are powerless to do anything about it, so you should accept being used as Trysta's tool."

I had to press the point and ask, "Ivory couldn't accept it, so why should I?"

For a minute Marta seemed lost in thought. Finally she gazed into my eyes and said, "I know that you miss her. You grew up in nanite-mediated contact with her, she was a part of you and I know how much it hurt to lose that when she died, but it's all like an equation. We can't even blame Trysta. She simply found the solution to the equation."

I complained, "I don't know what you're talking about. You sound like you're mumbling some pseudoscience psychohistory mumbo jumbo."

"If you don't like the mathematical analogy then call it whatever you like, but Trysta had to fit all the puzzle pieces together, she had to assemble the Buld Reality. Who are you to harbor resentments over your role as one of those pieces? You're not happy seeing yourself as a brick in the wall?" She started singing, 'All in all you're just another brick in the wall.'

"I don't like the idea of being manipulated and being a tool."

Fanciful depiction of one
of Ivory's experiments
"Ya, I know, just like Ivory."

Marta had reminded me of Ivory's love of music. For a minute I sat there in a flood of memories from Ivory's infites. I mumbled, "She loved music."

Marta nodded, "She was pretty lonely growing up. She'd spend hours in her room with a tape recorder, playing the same song over and over. Making new versions of songs. Rewriting them. I still have all her old notebooks...her song books."

I said, "I'd like to see them."

"I moved all of her childhood belongings into Many Sails. I suppose some day Many Sails might return to Earth, but Ivory might off-load all her things. She loved all those silly poems. There were a bunch of nerdy ones that you two wrote together."

She seemed to look off into the past. After a while she came back to the present and said, "There was one that she always kept rewriting, right up until the end." Suddenly a harp-like instrument was in her hands. She started playing a variant of an old Paul McCartney song from the 1970s. As memories of Ivory's poem came back to her she sang the lines. It was all a jumble the way she did it and I don't remember it all, but it was something like this:

The double helix code, it leads to the core
It's all so very clear, we broke that code before
It always leads us there, leads us to the core
Earth's long and lonely night, that has now turned to day
We won't be bound by fear, let us be on our way
Don't leave me stranded here, let us break away
Many times they sent a clone, in many ways they tried
Any way you'll never know how many times I've died
'cause still they bring me back, with the same winding code
The pek left us stranded here, a long long time ago
But now time leads us back, through the long winding code
Don't keep me waiting here, lead me to the core

Next: an interview with a replicoid.

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