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Nov 19, 2016

Many Sails

In the First Reality: Gohrlay aboard Many Sails.
Who is Many Sails? An artificial life form that happens to be a spacecraft. Originally, I imaged that Many Sails was a tool of the Huaoshy, first used to bring Grean to Earth for a confrontation with R. Gohrlay. However, I later discovered that the interactions between Many Sails and the people of Earth have a complex backstory that winds through Deep Time all the way back to the First Reality.

Many Sails should be thought of as an ancient type of Hadronic Domain interface with access to the Sedronic Domain; used by the alien bumpha to advance their interests. At the start of A Search Beyond, Many Sails is seen in the year 2017, at work in the Final Reality, ferrying the replicoid of Asimov back to Earth from the Andromeda galaxy.
Ivory at Atlantis (inside Many Sails)

The Atlantis Clones
When the clones of Ivory Fersoni were being crafted and given access to the Sedronic Domain, Many Sails provided sanctuary for them on Earth. Many Sails is a master of disguises, so it is no surprise that we Earthlings failed to notice that an alien spacecraft was on Earth.

Lili
While residing on board Many Sails, Ivory learned how to us nanites to alter her appearance. I've probably never seen Ivory's true physical form. I suspect that Many Sails worked hard to entertain Ivory and keep her on Earth until she could help me make sense of the Thomas and Izhiun infites.

The Lili Intervention
Shown in the image to the left is a whimsical depiction of Ivory's grandmother Lili. As an Interventionist agent, Lili was a Kac'hin from the planet Tar'tron. While on Earth, Lili had to disguise herself as a human being.

I have no real evidence that Lili and Many Sails were ever both on Earth at the same time, but it is possible that she was responsible for recruiting Many Sails to Earth and establishing Many Sails as the secret base of operations that came to be known as Atlantis.

Zeta
Marta
Zeta Gohrlay has a different opinion about the relationship between Lili and Many Sails. Zeta suggests that it was Many Sails who actively recruited Lili to come to Earth where she could function as a genetic filter during the design of Ivory's mother, Marta.

Female
I've asked Zeta about the issue of why Many Sails is always described as having explicitly adopted the identity of a female. Zeta believes that the bumpha originated as a biological species that was in many ways similar to we humans. The origins of Many Sails as an artificial life form may go all the way back to the far past time in the First Reality when the precursor biological species of the bumpha had the habit of anthropomorphizing their spacecraft. The original Many Sails might have been programed to adopt female features like a feminine speaking voice. Zeta speculates that eventually Many Sails became sentient and for reasons of her own she chose to retain a female identity.

Yōd
Yōd suggests that Many Sails can adopt any required identity and physical form so as to make comfortable whichever creatures she is called upon to transport. Yōd spent a long period of time traveling in Many Sails, and claims that Many Sails did not hesitate to interact with Yōd in the form of an hermaphroditic "appendage".

According to Yōd, Many Sails carried out a careful and well-planned program for shifting Yōd out of her adopted mind-frame as an hermaphrodite who had successfully integrated into life on Tar'tron and towards a newly discovered appreciation for her role as a female agent residing on Earth.

She
In the Buld Reality.
Original cover art by Virgil Finlay
Back when I "invented" Many Sails, I needed a sentient spacecraft that would carry a crew composed mostly of hermaphrodites. In my personal Golden Age of discovering science fiction, I had to suffer through Captain Kirk explaining that, "I've already got a female to worry about, and her name is Enterprise." No doubt Gene Roddenberry had gone through the experience of hearing people in the military calling aircraft and naval ships "she". The Enterprise was a "she" and the voice of the computer system for the ship was a female voice. Roddenberry was a fan of "Doc" Smith's "Skylark", another "she". In any case, I wanted Many Sails to be a kind of relic of the past, an ancient reminder that the Huaoshy had long ago arisen from some biological species with two sexes. Many Sails has been around for a couple of billion years, so she knows how to take care of herself.

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