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Aug 13, 2016

Trilateroids

in the Ekcolir Reality
Special thanks to Miranda Hedman
for "Black Cat 9 - stock"
that I used to create the blue "sedronite"
who is in this image.
Original cover art by Lawrence Stevens
Only recently have I begun to appreciate how little Skaña knew about the end of the Malansohn Reality. As the story was told by Asimov in The End of Eternity, Skaña explained to Andrew Harlan that because humans were so slow to spread to the stars, other beings colonized our galaxy, marginalizing humans and forcing the miserable remnants of the human species to remain isolated on Earth.

In that version of the story, since there were no exoplanets available for humans to colonize, the human species languished and died out. According to Gohrlay, the story is more complicated than that. R. Gohrlay and her team of positronic robots were trapped by their own programming. They were programmed to preserve Humanity, but the human species was programmed to destroy itself if given access to advanced (for example, hierion-based) technology.

In the Ekcolir Reality. Original
art work by Harold McCauley
In desperation, R. Gohrlay crafted and brought into being the Asterothropes, a derivative species that could safely colonize exoplanets if supplied with a carefully selected set of hierion-based technologies. R. Gohrlay's plan was for the Asterothropes to colonize and terraform exoplanets, then humans would be transplanted from Earth to those new worlds.

However, that plan had a flaw: it was like balancing a marble on a knife's edge. In Asterothrope Realities, either the secret of hierions also became known to humans who then proceeded to destroy themselves or the Asterothropes would successfully spread out from Earth to other planets of the galaxy but the human species would stay behind and eventually just die out. There was no happy intermediate in which humans both survived and spread to the stars.

Asterothropes
During the Time War, in any Reality where the Asterothropes flowered and began spreading between the stars, the pek countered by allowing humanoids from the Andromeda galaxy to begin colonizing our galaxy.

In the Malansohn Relality, at a point in time after the human species had become extinct, Skaña and a group of Asterothropes were allowed to imagine that they were humans. Skaña was sent back in time in order to put an end to the long sequence of failed Asterothrope Realities. Skaña brought into existence the Foundation Reality.

In the Foundation Reality, it was the positronic robots themselves who played the role of colonists on exoplanets and humans were allowed just enough advanced technology to create a population force for expansion into the galaxy. As described by Asimov in his Foundation Saga, under these conditions it was inevitable that Earth became dangerously radioactive and uninhabitable, but humans did spread to all of the 25,000,000 Earth-like planets of the galaxy.

clones of Gohrlay
Trilateroids
According to Gohrlay, there was one particular type of humanoid from the Andromeda galaxy that was able to spread into our galaxy whenever the Asterothrope/human diad languished in a Asterothrope Reality: these aliens were the so-called Trilateroids.

"Trilateroid" is an exonym that refers to the three-sided eyes of these alien humanoids. The Trilateroids had three-lobed brains, three eyes, three lips and a nose with three nostrils. Much was published about the Trilateroids in the Ekcolir Reality and I have access to accounts of various stories told about the Trilateroids by way of Angela Fersoni.

origins of Asterothropes and humans
Gohrlay has also provided some insight into the unusual origins of the Trilateroids. Apparently, the Trilateroids can be traced back some 2,000,000,000 years to the home galaxy of the Huaoshy. One of the original humanoid species that merged to become the Huaoshy was very devoted to exploring the extent to which "better" biological brains could be produced by means of genetic engineering. This was the origin of the three-lobed brain of the Trilateroids. Eventually, that primordial humanoid species abandoned their efforts, but later, as the bumpha had need, they would occasionally make use of some their genetic tricks, including the developmental control genes that allowed for growth of a three-lobed brain.

telastids
Gohrlay claims that the bumpha worked hard to create a humanoid with telastid-based telepathy. Eventually, the bumpha had to concede that biological cells can only allow for low bandwidth telepathy powered by telastids. They abandoned research on hadronic telepathy and developed hybrid cellular/electronic telepathy. Of course, the pek outlawed any and all bumpha efforts to help primitive species (such as humans) develop either electronics or telepathy.

At Observer Base, the bumpha created an artificial environment where a small population of humans could explore science and simple technologies.

Gohrlay's brain
The human scientists of Observer Base developed electronics, but their progress in that field was stopped by the pek just short of the level required for electronics-based technology-assisted telepathy.

Mutants of Ys
original cover art work
by Harold McCauley
Click on the image
to enlarge.
The scientists of Observer Base then went in an unprecedented technological direction. They developed a sophisticated science of positronics. Eventually, their positronic computers reached the level of sophistication that normally triggered the pek to impose restrictions on the further development of electronic computers.

It was into this unusual technological milieu that Gohrlay was born and it was her brain that served as the template for the brain of positronic robots. That story is told in Foundations of Eternity.

Next: human genetic engineering in Deep Time
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