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Dec 4, 2016

Take a Hint

In the Ekcolir Reality. Original cover art by
Reginald Rogers and Earle Bergey.
Two weeks ago (see this blog post) Yōd suggested that the "original Arkady" of the First Reality lived on the planet Tar'tron. Today, Zeta, Yōd and I turned our attention to the mystery of the analogue of "Arkady" in the Asimov Reality.

During the past few years, I've received many reports (usually from the Atlantis Clones) about science fiction stories that were published in the Ekcolir Reality. Yōd and Zeta tell me that they frequently have contacts with Thomas Iwedon and other members of the Retrofuturians, some of whom apparently have direct knowledge of the Ekcolir Reality.

According to Yōd, one of the writers who fell under the influence of the Writers Block in the Ekcolir Reality was Victoria Phillips. Apparently Victoria was trained as a geochemist in the laboratory of Scott Roberts at the New England Institute of Technology. She began writing and publishing fiction in the 1930s while still working towards her Ph.D.

Planet Arcady
Star Trek Seirius
Her story, "Living Stone", was later adapted as an episode of Star Trek Seirius. In the story, some miners on planet Arcady become convinced that several large almandine crystals are actually alive. During the course of the story, it is discovered that by subjecting the crystals to high pressure, the crystals can be made to have a demonstrable decrease in mass. Further study leads to the startling discovery that the missing mass is in the form of hierions, a previously unknown form of matter.

Invasion of the Zeptites
Eventually it is revealed that long ago the planet Arcady had a technologically advanced humanoid species. All that remains of that lost biological species are "zeptite endosymbionts", a form of artificial life that resides inside the rocks of the planet. Ultimately, a truce is arranged by which humans can live on the surface of the planet as long as they leave the planet's interior undisturbed as the domain of the natives.

According to Zeta, "Living Stone" is actually a mangled retelling of actual events in the Asimov Reality where humans first learned about zeptite endosymbionts after starting their exploration of distant exoplanets.

Asimov Replicoid
Through their own replicoids, Yōd and Zeta apparently have contact with a replicoid of Asimov in the Hierion Domain. This is the replicoid of the Asimov analogue who lived in the Ekcolir Reality. Unfortunately, Asimov's replicoid cannot provide much help to Zeta and Yōd in their efforts aimed at identifying historical truths about the Asimov Reality that might be contained in stories such as "Living Stone".

source
Asimov's replicoid apparently has encyclopedic knowledge of the science fiction stories that were published in the Ekcolir Reality, but he has no first hand knowledge of events in the Asimov Reality. This revelation was deeply disappointing. I asked, "How can that be? According to Ivory, Asimov's replicoid from the Asimov Reality came over into the Ekcolir Reality and established the Writer Block."

At that point Yōd heaved a deep sigh and turned her attention to her tablet computer. Zeta patiently explained to me, "Those are two different replicoids."

I sputtered, "Oh, ya. I keep getting confused by the multiplicity of clones, replicoids, teleportation duplicates and selfies."

source
"We don't know what happened to the Asimov replicoid from the Asimov Reality." Zeta sipped her coffee. "He disappeared after the Trysta-Grean Pact was put in place."

Yōd
Yōd set down her tablet and paced across the room, "I've been investigating another 'missing' Asimov replicoid."

Zeta and I watched Yōd traipse back and forth across the room several times. Out of respect for the cooler fall weather, she was wearing a set of thermal underwear that clung tightly to her curves. "The replicoid that once held all of the memories of the Asimov analogue from the Foundation Reality was apparently taken to the Galactic Core after the Trysta Truce went into effect. Just think of the progress that we could make in our investigation of the Asimov Reality if we could consult directly with a replicoid from the Asimov Reality!"

nanite extraction
Zeta shrugged, "It seems certain that efforts were made to restrict Earthlings from particularly dangerous types of knowledge about Deep Time. I accept as an axiom that detailed knowledge of alien technology such as hierion-containing femtobots would be catastrophic for we Earthlings. I have no doubt that the Asimov analogue from the Foundation Reality knew far too much about femtobots, so he had to be taken away from Earth."

Yōd suggested, "Everything that we think we know about hierions and sedrons and nanites might only be mis-information designed to confuse us."

I laughed nervously. "I have to believe that there is some truth in what I've learned about hierions and femtobots. Ivory paid with her life for sharing this kind of information with Earthlings. I've only been allowed to remain on Earth after having some of my own knowledge erased from my mind by the Overseers."

Pharithould
and also see the discussion here
Zeta added, "And the rules are clear: we can only discuss hierions and femtobots in the context of science fiction. When the Dead Widowers tried to go further, they were swept off of Earth and exiled to the Hierion Domain."

Yōd grabbed her tablet and sprawled across the couch. "According to Thomas, there is a connection between the discovery of zeptites on planet Arcady and the ancient Greeks. Apparently there were Grendels that operated out of Lake Stymphalia... they tried to teach folks like Aristotle about hadrons, hierion and sedrons, but that ancient Intervention failed."

Zeta nodded, "That intervention was crushed by the Overseers, but a few legends lived on, such as stories about metal flying machines that used to visit ancient Greece."

Analogue of Arkady
In Deep Time
Zeta spoke in a wondering voice, "We've been left with a smattering of clues about the importance of Arkady as a fixed point in time. Will we ever know the fate of the Arkady analogue in the Asimov Reality?"

Yōd finished munching on a lemon and guessed, "I'd say the Arkady of the Foundation Reality lived about 23 millennia in our future." She picked up a knife and sliced another lemon. "Has anyone ever put a date on the successful creation of the tryp'At in the Asimov Reality?" Yōd bit into another lemon quarter and juice ran down her chin.

I suggested, "Vance's Alastor Cluster stories might have taken place 230 centuries into the future. However, it boggles my mind to imagine how R. Gohrlay's system of replicoids could have been spread to the entire galaxy."

In the Ekcolir Reality
Zeta nodded, "I agree. It seems more likely that 'Arcady' and 'Arkady' are simply popular names. We can't assume that there was a true Arkady analogue in the Asimov Reality. And even if there was, she -or he- might not have been of any great importance to the galaxy."

I was not ready to abandon the search for Arkady. "We know that there were additional Alastor Cluster novels written in the Ekcolir Reality. They might have told the story of Arkady. There is still an outside chance that Akadie the Mentor is who we are looking for."

Yōd muttered, "Too many unknowns."

Nivsaham
I sighed. "If only I had known to ask such questions when Angela was available. Maybe a miracle will occur and Many Sails might bring Angela back to Earth from Tar'tron or where ever she's been hiding."

Next: meeting Nivsaham
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