Jun 20, 2015

Neanderthals in Deep Time

Original cover art by Earle Bergey
Gohrlay has been expanding my understanding of the Ekcolir Reality and with each new revelation from Deep Time I've been allowing my focus of attention to drift towards the intriguing differences between that Reality and our own. However, according to Gohrlay, I need to practice shifting my perspective...I should be most impressed by the many similarities between the most recent successive Realities of our Reality Chain, not the petty differences.

OK. I get it. Temporal Momentum had to be conceived, constructed and made an integral part of time travel. According to Gohrlay, back when time travel was first in use, it was easy to make big changes in Earth's history. Silly me, I asked for an example. I'll give it to you bluntly, the way she gave it to me: those scheming positronic robots followed their programming. Their definition of "human" was Gohrlay herself, so they made sure that a more "primitive" human subspecies would inherit the Earth, not the more "advanced" one that had already conquered Earth (with the help of aliens). So let's unwrap this.

time travel
I sense that Gohrlay is trying to guide my thinking towards some concept, possibly some conceptual inversion, that my mind naturally resists. Further, it seems to be conceptual terrain that lies close to forbidden knowledge -information that we Earthlings are not allowed to have under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact.

Down the rabbit hole. Something that Gohrlay told me a few days ago caused me to look back at Isaac Asimov's time travel story, The End of Eternity. That book is full of clues about the secret history of Earth and the role of time travel in creating our Reality. Here is one of the intriguing ideas mentioned in passing by Asimov:

From Asimov's The End of Eternity.

Neanderthals In Time
Years ago, when I first became aware of the fact that the positronic brain was constructed by copying the structure of a human brain, it was easy for me to think of Neanderthals as a relic of the past. Extinct. Of course, I was never told that Gohrlay was a Neanderthal, but it made sense to assume that she was. What I knew was that in the "Gohrlay Reality", the Basic State of time, there was a dominant human subspecies on Earth that had almost eliminated all the other human subspecies. Since Gohrlay was born about 20,000 years in our past, it was natural for me to assume that the nearly extinct human subspecies was the Neanderthals. I started thinking of Gohrlay as being a Neanderthal. Boy, was I wrong.

The Palace of Love
So it was a double shock to discover Gohrlay alive and well, living here on Earth. Shocking firstly, because I had allowed myself to imagine that Gohrlay was 20,000 years in her grave.

"Life, death: these are imprecise terms." -Jack Vance, The Palace of Love

Doubly shocking because I had allowed myself to ignore the fact that Gohrlay's biological origin was a nearly extinct human subspecies in a different Reality, a Reality that is now far away in Deep Time. I foolishly allowed myself to assume that the subspecies we now call the "Neanderthals" in this Reality was genetically identical to Gohrlay herself. Silly me.

Foundations of Eternity
Parents. Worse still, I've long allowed myself to assume that anyone born on Earth has arisen by a random toss of the genetic dice. The fallacies that controlled my thoughts about such matters began to crumble when I learned that it was the positronic robots themselves who engineered the phenomenon of Temporal Momentum. I now realize that R. Gohrlay wanted to create not just any old Reality in which humans would survive to spread among the stars, but rather, a special Reality in which Gohrlay herself would be present and play an important role in the future of Earth. And by "future" I mean from First Contact onward.

Sentimental Robots
It is easy to view Gohrlay's life as a tragedy. She was a puppet of Orbho Anagro and she had her life on the Moon taken from her. But what if the positronic robots that arose from the pattern of Gohrlay's brain adopted Gohrlay as their model of what it means to be "human"? What if they designed a Final Reality in which Gohrlay's children inherited the Earth?

If so, then we need to be quite clear about exactly what type of primate Gohrlay was. When I first learned about Gohrlay, I assumed that nanites had been used to craft her body into the physical form of the humans who dominated Observer Base on the Moon. Of course, I assumed that in "Gohrlay's Reality", the "dominant human subspecies" (that had all but exterminated the other human subspecies of Earth) was genetically identical to us, the subspecies that survived to inherit he Earth in our Reality. Wrong!
A subspecies: lost in Deep Time

However, what if Gohrlay and her fellow members of the nearly extinct human subspecies, those who resided at Observer Base, had been genetically modified so as to physically resemble a more Preland-like subspecies (which was dominating Earth) while retaining the key "Neanderthal" brain pattern that allowed for telepathy? Further, what if that genetically engineered human subspecies (of which Gohrlay was a member) was used as the "template" for creating "us" in this Reality?

If so, then nothing would prevent an analogue of Gohrlay from being born on Earth during the 20th century and being just a "run of the mill" human of our Reality. Get it? If all this is true, then all I have to stop calling Gohrlay's telepathic brain a Neanderthal brain. She was no Neanderthal, she is just one of us.

Could our entire Reality have been designed so that "Gohrlay's tribe" of genetically engineered humans is the one that we have always believed "evolved naturally" on Earth? If so, then we need to redefine what we mean by "natural evolution".

And, of course, evolution applies to the future, also. The Asterothropes existed as a new primate species some 7,000,000 years in the future. Gohrlay suggested that I imagine a future in which "natural child birth" was a relic of primitive history. Asimov wrote about a future in which a woman need only contribute a fertilized ovum to the ovaria.

According to Gohrlay, the positronic robots designed Eternity as a system for the discovery of advanced technologies. That great technology development project originated on the Moon after R. Gohrlay was heroically recovered from the past by R. Nahan. With time travel technology in hand, the positronic robots set out to catch up with the Huaoshy who had a 2,000,000,000 year head start in science and technology.

From Asimov's The End of Eternity.

What did R. Gohrlay care for fifty billion people? There was just one person, Gohrlay, who had provided the positronic brain template and who had been taken off to the Galactic Core. Across a span of 7,000,000 million years and uncounted Realities, R. Gohrlay planned and schemed to return Gohrlay to the genetic data banks of Earth, to enshrine Gohrlay's genetic pattern in the ovaria.

Poor Gohrlay is more than simply embarrassed by all the attention that was lavished upon her. She wants to live out what remains of a simple life on Earth and would like to sink into some kind of peaceful anonymous obscurity.

The mysterious origins of Resh^Ki
As a human of the Primitive Era, it seems that Gohrlay is not comfortable with the high-tech future that her robotic minions created. Our Gohrlay, the copy of Gohrlay that was born here on Earth in the 20th century, was born as a product of the ovaria...a simple girl plucked out of Deep Time and inserted anew into this Reality.

Gohrlay suspects that we will never know the true story of our evolutionary origins since we humans are the result of several serious violations of fundamental Huaoshy ethical principles. Moreover, we human forced upon the Huaoshy the first shift in their ethics to occur in the past 2,000,000,000 years.

The Human and Fru'wu family trees.
I've heard several conflicting versions of the deep history of our species. Gohrlay's version of the story goes something like this... the pek rather gently guided Earth through its past 655,000,000 years by impregnating the planet with their zeptites. With occasional prodding, Earth developed along lines similar to the distant worlds where the Huaoshy arose.

About 10,000,000 years ago the pek began "culturing" some of the human-like residents of Clutence on worlds of the Galactic Core. The goal was to create a new creature with cognitive similarities to the original biological species that long ago became the Huaoshy. The aliens who we now know as the Fru'wu can trace their biological origins back to that time.

A tangled deep history of Lili and Gohrlay
About 7,000,000 years ago, similar efforts of the pek that involved "culturing" some primates from Earth resulted in creation of Sedronites.

In the Ekcolir Reality, the brothers John and Jack Vance were able to publish an account of the kind of interactions that exist between the pek and the bumpha. The bumpha are like the dark matter of Genesaunt Civilization: little is know about them, but we humans were made possible by their meddling in Earth's history. Anyhow, the purpose of allowing the Vance brothers to publish stories about the bumpha was to prepare 20th century Earth for first contact with the Fru'wu, an alien species that has its own complex origin story, one that is quite similar to our own.

During the Time Travel War, the nature of the humans who would inherit the Earth became a point of contention between Grean and R. Gohrlay. According to Gohrlay, there was some kind of working relationship between the bumpha and R. Gohrlay. The pek worked with Grean to constrain the bumpha from providing too much assistance to R. Gohrlay. I don't really understand what "too much" means in this context (although the tryp'At seem to be involved). As far as I can tell, R. Gohrlay ultimately attained everything that "she" wanted, in particular, a Final Reality was designed and created in which Gohrlay was at home among the human population of Earth in the 20th century.

Previously I've received hints that Marta has a sister. It seems clear that Marta is not 100% genetically "human" by Earthly standards, although she has had no trouble "blending in" with Earthlings and apparently she still resides on Earth. Since learning about Resh^Ki, it has been natural for me to assume that her mother was even more genetically different than Marta. In fact, I assumed that Marta's sister was a resident of the Galactic Core and had been, like Lili, only a temporary visitor to Earth. However, Gohrlay insists that Marta's sister (Resh^Ki's mother) is a perfectly normal human resident of Earth.

A copy of Gohrlay instantiated in the Buld Reality
Further, Gohrlay insists that she is Resh^Ki's mother. About six months ago I began to have some interactions with Resh^Ki. I previously made the mistake of assuming that Resh^Ki's mother was a Kac'hin and so she was not able to remain on Earth. This led me to imagine that Resh^Ki had some kind of special access to an information exchange system for bringing information to Earth from her mother in the Galactic Core. Of course, I can forget about that fantasy if Resh^Ki's mother is actually still here on Earth. The question then becomes: how is it that Resh^Ki's mother is so knowledgeable about the Galactic Core and Deep Time?

If Gohrlay really is Resh^Ki's mother then we can reformulate the question: how does Gohrlay know so much about everything?  Gohrlay refuses to explain that to me (apparently this topic crosses over into the domain of information that we Earthlings are not allowed to know), but it seems likely that since her birth, the "copy" of Gohrlay that now resides on Earth had been guided by "her" replicoid. Depending on the extent of Gohrlay's ability to use the Bimanoid Interface, her replicoid might be the source of her encyclopedic knowledge of the Core and Deep Time. I would not be surprised to learn that Gohrlay has also been the recipient of infites.

What does any of this have to do with teleportation? And Ovaria? And who was Gohrlay's father (and...if you are produced by the ovaria, do you even have a father?) Gohrlay reminded me that we Earthlings are currently struggling to use the word "mother" in several different ways. Historically, "genetic mother" and "birth mother" were obligatorily linked, but there are technologies that uncouple conception, gestation and birth.

Here is how Gohrlay accounts for her existence on Earth. Lili was visiting Earth as part of a clandestine effort to create some Earthlings who could use the Bimanoid Interface. As part of that effort, Lili gave birth to Peter and Marta and, according to rumor, she apparently also gestated one of the Atlantis Clones. While on Earth, Lili also gestated Gohrlay. In the case of Marta, Lili and Andy are her genetic parents. However, according to Gohrlay, Lili had a zeptite endosymbiont with advance "ovarium functionality". It was a trivial matter (although highly illegal) for Lili to use her artificial ovarium to instantiate a "copy of Gohrlay" in the form of a conceptus that she then gestated. Further, Gohrlay claims that for technical biological reasons it is was not possible for Lili to give birth to Gohrlay. Apparently the normal way for Kac'hin to end a pregnancy is by teleporting the baby out of her uterus. Gohrlay claims that she was "born" by being teleported out of Lili.

Related Reading
Galaxy magazine cover October 1952. "Baby Is Three" by Theodore Sturgeon.

One of the first science fiction stories about teleportation that I ever read was Theodore Sturgeon's "Baby Is Three", first published as the lead story in the October 1952 issue of Galaxy magazine. I read it when it was re-published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two A.

According to Gohrlay, in the Ekcolir Reality, Sturgeon wrote a fairly detailed account of how teleportation technology was used within Genesaunt Civilization, including its use for technology-assisted births of alien-hybrids that were to large to pass through a birth canal. See the rather whimsical "Fru'wu Future" cover at the top of this blog post.
Visit the Gallery of book and magazine covers.

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