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Oct 29, 2016

A Short Search

A Search Beyond (image credits)
Back at the start of this year I gave myself a writing challenge: to write a short "abstract" that would serve as an introduction to the Exode Saga. Originally, I imagined that the "Exode Saga" would be a fairly simple story about how a woman from Earth (Hana) would travel among the stars and discover the inner workings of Genesaunt society.

Investigation
Exode was to be a kind of investigative science fiction story. While writing it, I would discover some of the details of how Interventionists and Overseers functioned as the two major political forces in the universe and Hana would tell the story of Genesaunt society from the perspective of an Earthling who had just discovered that some humans have been living on other planets for a very long time.

Foundations of Eternity
Then something went terribly wrong. I realized that the Exode story was part of a much larger saga that I had begun previously. Upon making this startling discovery, I began knitting together Exode and Foundations of Eternity.

Trysta and Ekcolir
The easiest way to unite Exode and Foundations of Eternity was to add a third novel (Trysta and Ekcolir) that would link them together.

When I entered into my knitting project and began investigating the complex history of Earth's Reality Chain, several collaborators came into my life who have helped me explore the Hidden History of Humanity. Ivory Fersoni, by making use of her clone sisters, was able to provide me with important information about past Realities such as the Foundation Reality and the Ekcolir Reality. Additional collaborators, particularly Gohrlay, stepped up to assist me in my investigation of Deep Time after Ivory departed from Earth.

The First Reality
After several years of imagining that the Exode Saga could be told as a trilogy of novels, I felt that it should be relatively easy for Gohrlay to write a short introduction to her life in the First Reality. However, during the course of this year, that fantasy of mine was shattered.

Gohrlay finally "spilled the beans" and told me some details about her first life, back in the First Reality. Gohrlay was friends with a small group of science fiction writers who lived at Observer Base and who tried to imagine an explanation for Humanity's odd predicament: the human species was almost extinct and everyone at Observer Base imagined that the Prelands would inherit the Earth.

stories of Deep Time
According to Gohrlay, her three friends were the First Reality analogues of three famous science fiction authors who also had analogues here in the Final Reality. Gohrlay has been rather tight-lipped about their identities, but I suspect that these three authors are Isaac Asimov, Jack Vance and Arthur C. Clark.

Back in the First Reality, most of the human residents of Observer Base were made to have an hermaphroditic phenotype, and it was not by chance that Gohrlay was one of the few females. The hermaphrodites of Observer Base imagined that they were evolving into a new humanoid species that would eventually replace the Prelands. The mystery of her own existence as a female is what led Gohrlay to her study of the small population of humans that remained on Earth.

the clones of Gohrlay
Since it was Gohrlay's brain that was used as the template for positronic brains, it need come as no surprise that R. Gohrlay took pains to make sure that a "copy" of Gohrlay would be present in the Final Reality. However, I was surprised to learn that there are many clones of Gohrlay here in our Reality.

Alpha Gohrlay
My rather recent realization that there are multiple "copies" of Gohrlay implies that what I dreamed of ten months ago (that Gohrlay would write a short introduction to her first life) was really the hope that "Alpha Gohrlay" would share with me an honest summary of "her" life in the First Reality.

The Yōd Intervention
Sadly, Alpha Gohrlay has more important issues to deal with than my selfish desires to understand human origins in Deep Time. Worse still, she believes that there are some facts about the past that I should not know. Thus, Alpha Gohrlay has abandoned me to my two remaining collaborators, Zeta Gohrlay and Yōd.

The Asimov Reality
Because of my interactions with Zeta and Yōd during the past few months, I've grown comfortable with the idea of starting the Exode Saga with an account of events in the Asimov Reality. However, Yōd simply laughs at me when I try to persuade her to write a brief account of events that might serve to introduce readers to A Search Beyond.

Short Search
Realities of the Exode Saga
When Isaac Asimov first traveled through time, he brought into existence a new timeline for the future history of Earth. In that future, Grean (working in coordination with R. Gohrlay's tribe of positronic robots) accelerated the pace of technological advance on Earth.

Reality Chain
In that Reality (the Asimov Reality), the humans of Earth were provided with access to advanced space travel technology. However, while humans were provided with the means to easily travel between the stars, all aspects of scientific research and other avenues of technological progress were severely restricted.

Humans quickly spread into the galaxy and settled on thousands of Earth-like exoplanets. The populations of those worlds became experiments in directed evolution.

Three groups of aliens, the Phari, the bumpha and the pek each tried to find favorable human gene combinations that would allow human brains to exercise some level of control over their zeptite endosymbionts.

Humans had evolved on Earth with zeptites as obligatory physical constituents of their bodies. Zeptites are sub-microscopic artificial life forms. Under the watchful supervision of the pek, humans on Earth should never have become a technologically advanced species: they were to be replaced by another humanoid species, the Prelands.

However, the bumpha managed to derail those plans. Right under the noses of the pek, the brain of a human, Gohrlay, was transformed into the template pattern for the positronic brains of robots. Those robots discovered the secret of time travel and they set out to make sure that humans would not become extinct. The leader of the positronic robots, R. Gohrlay, was determined to provide the humans of Earth with a chance to spread among the stars.

Pheni of Yrinna
In the Asimov Reality, during a truce in the Time Travel War, human gene combinations were eventually found that allowed humans to become masters of their own fate. A Search Beyond tells the story of how the alien Phari of Alastor Cluster were made use of by the bumpha Interventionists as part of their scheme to liberate Humanity from the constraints imposed by zeptite endosymbionts.

A Search Beyond is the first novel in the Exode Saga.

Next: men of steel

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