Aug 18, 2013

The Exode Trilogy

Reality chain leading to the universe as we know it.
Isaac Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity tells the story of how Noÿs Lambent and Andrew Harlen put an end to the Malansohn Reality.

The Foundations of Eternity is a fanfiction story that follows Noÿs and Andrew into the Foundation Reality where they become involved in efforts to establish a positronics industry on Earth in the 20th century.

The Foundation Reality was described in great detail by Asimov. His last book in the Foundation Series, Foundation and Earth, hinted at an immanent crisis...some type of confrontation involving the positronic robot Daneel and his creation, the forming group mind Galaxia...a confrontation with mysterious aliens from beyond our galaxy. Unfortunately, Asimov never continued his great science fiction saga past Foundation and Earth.

I was never satisfied with Asimov's account of the origins of the positronic brain and how Daneel (or more importantly, Giskard) came to have telepathic powers. The Foundations of Eternity is a fanfiction story that provides an account of how the first positronic brain came into existence and why the first positronic robot, R. Gohrlay, had telepathic abilities.  

When creating The Foundations of Eternity I adopted the assumption that positronic circuits facilitate the exchange of information using hierions, allowing for a form of telepathic mind-to-mind information exchange and what Asimov called "mentalics". R. Gohrlay and the other positronic robots discover that the transmission of hierions by positronic brains does not respect the normal rules for information flow through time. This observation leads to the invention of time travel technology by the positronic robots. Eventually, Eternity comes into operation on Earth and functions as the tool of R. Gohrlay in her attempt to satisfy the Zeroth Law.

The Foundations of Eternity is set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe. R. Gohrlay struggles against the Huaoshy, aliens from a distant galaxy, for control of Earth and the fate of Humanity. The positronic robots displace the Huaoshy from their secret base on the Moon, but R. Gohrlay fears that the the Huaoshy will realize that positronics makes time travel possible, leading to a time travel war.

R. Gohrlay uses Eternity as a laboratory for the development of advanced technologies. The positronic robots cannot completely catch up to the highly sophisticated technological abilities of the billion-year-old Huaoshy, but they do force the aliens into a negotiated settlement, a compromise for how to move Earth forward, past the battleground of the 20th century.

The End of Time Travel
I had originally imagined that The Foundations of Eternity should end with the defeat of R. Gohrlay and the Huaoshy performing one last great act of dimensional engineering that makes all further time travel impossible.

Viewing Realities
However, when I realized that Exode is a sequel to The Foundations of Eternity, I had to confront the possibility that the originally planned ending of The Foundations of Eternity should be modified. As described in my previous blog post, the events of Exode all take place after the end of time travel, within the universe as we know it, in what I call the Buld Reality. The Buld are a human variant that was designed for space travel in multi-generation spacecraft traveling below the speed of light. At the end of Exode, a Buld spaceship arrives at Earth and we Earthlings finally start to become aware of the true history of Earth and how the human species was designed and created by the Huaoshy.

The Buld Reality was brought into existence by Noÿs Lambent. From within the Noÿs Reality, Noÿs views possible alternative Realities and selects the Buld Reality. Working with her lover Ekcolir and their son Thomas, Noÿs engineers the complex Reality Change that establishes the Buld Reality. The Huaoshy then alter the dimensional structure of the universe, preventing any further time travel.

The Noÿs Reality
While creating the plot and characters of Exode, I began to realize that there is a rather broad gulf between where I left off writing The Foundations of Eternity and where the events of Exode begin.

My first reaction to this awkward situation was to imagine that I could simply modify the ending of The Foundations of Eternity and make the two novels mesh. However,  The Foundations of Eternity is already fairly long and the story of how our universe gets from Isaac Asimov in Brooklyn to the start of Exode has grown rather complex. I've started to question the wisdom of simply grafting that story on to the tail end of The Foundations of Eternity.
Asterothrope female

In the Noÿs Reality, the Reality that gives rise to the Buld Reality, Noÿs and Grean both look into the future and they must agree on the major features and shape of a Final Reality...they must find a Reality that is acceptable to both Noÿs and the Huaoshy.

In The Foundations of Eternity, Isaac Asimov is plucked out of the Foundation Reality and sent back into his own past where he plays a critical role in helping the Huoashy defeat R. Gohrlay and her team of positronic robots. Asimov's time travel causes a Reality Change: between the Foundation Reality and the Noÿs Reality is what I call the Asimov Reality.

The Asimov Reality
As told in The Foundations of Eternity, Isaac Asimov is the first person on Earth to notice that strange forces are at work in the 20th century, external forces pushing Humanity towards incredibly rapid technological advances. Within the Foundation Reality, Asimov is an investigative science writer, trying to penetrate what he suspects is some super secret government-run research project similar to the Manhattan project.

In fact, what Asimov has stumbled onto is really the result of positronic robots altering the course of events within the 20th century. In The Foundations of Eternity, I imagine that the rapid pace of development of positronic robots during the 20th century, as described in Asimov's Robot Stories, is made possible by technological assistance from R. Gohrlay and positronic robots who have existed on the Moon for thousands of years, hidden in their secret base under the surface of the Moon.

The Asimov Reality is initiated by Captain Hooski and his crew when they attempt to capture some positronic robots and put an end to R. Gohrlay's efforts to shape the future of Humanity. Asimov is "in the wrong place at the wrong time" and R. Fengtol tries to take over his mind. Asimov is knocked unconscious and taken to the Moon.

An Ek'col male

Within the Asimov Reality, the struggle between the shattered band of positronic robots and the Huaoshy had disastrous consequences for Earth: a devastating nuclear war in the 20th century. The Asimov Reality is quickly converted to the Noÿs Reality by the Huaoshy, with the help of Asimov.

While trying to diagnose the causes of the horrific future of Earth in the Asimov Reality, the Huaoshy  learn that Noÿs is living within the 20th century on Earth. The Huaoshy try to capture her, but Noÿs mysteriously escapes. The Huaoshy are only left with a few of her cells and knowledge that Noÿs was operating on Earth in disguise: she is not human. Noÿs is a member of a primate species from the far upwhen, the Asterothropes, a designed and crafted species that replaced humans on Earth in the far future of the Hidden Centuries within the Malansohn Reality.

The Huaoshy devise a plan for how to get one of their agents close to Noÿs, win her trust and eventually arrive at a negotiated compromise for settling the future of Earth and the fate of the human species. Using their Reality viewing technology, the Huaoshy find the Noÿs Reality, an alternative Reality in which the fate of Earth is still in doubt, but a Reality within which they will be able find common ground with Noÿs.

To shift from the Asimov Reality to the Noÿs Reality, the Huaoshy travel deep into the past and initiate a program for the creation of a new human variant, the Ek'col. While the Asterothropes have gynodioecy, the Ek'col are designed to have androdioecy. This means that most Asterothropes and Ek'col are hermaphrodites, but some Asterothropes are female and some Ek'col are male. The Ek'col are designed to be interfertile with Asterothropes.

Noÿs and Ekcolir
Early asterothrope
embryo with a swarm of
development guidance nanites.
In the Noÿs Reality, a male Ek'col named Ekcolir is born on Hemmal, trained at Lendhalen and sent to Earth where he becomes friends with Noÿs. Ekcolir and Noÿs are both in disguise while they live within the 20th century on Earth. As shown above, the Asterothropes had an appearance that was similar to humans, but distinct. For example, Asterothropes have fewer teeth, long thin fingers with no nails and very little facial hair.

Both Noÿs and Ekcolir were physically modified so that they would appear to be human. Noÿs and Ekcolir had their body features altered during embryonic development in a process by which programmed nanites modify the developmental process.

For the orbho and pek, this kind of nanite-guided embryogenesis is a common use of medical nanites. For example, at Observer Base on the Moon in Gohrlay's time there were members of several different human subspecies. Genetically, Gohrlay was a Neanderthal and Overseer Doltun (like all Overseers at that time) was genetically another human variant that had already become extinct on Earth, but which was being retained by the orbho as part of Anagro's experiments in allowing humans to use tools and develop advanced technologies. However, the main purpose of Observer Base was to be home to Observers who sometimes went on missions to Earth where they had to blend in with the natives, so all human residents at Observer base were gestated in the presence of nanites that made sure they all developed the body form of of "modern humans", the human variant that had spread to all corners of Earth.

Penrhyn Castle, near Bangor
Similarly, although Ekcolir was genetically an Ek'col, he was phenotypically modified from the normal Ek'col physique and had the physical appearance of an Earth human, what was known as a "false" Buld on his planet of birth, Hemmal. Ekcolir grew up on Hemmal and then went to Lendhalen for training as an Interventionist agent.

At Lendhalen, Ekcolir worked closely with Syon, an artificial lifeform who was quite well informed about Noÿs. In fact, Syon was endowed with the advanced nanites that Noÿs had carried in her body throughout her entire life. Those nanites provided Syon with a copy of most of Noÿs' memories.

Genetically an Asterothrope, one of the first jobs for the "Noÿs nanites" had been sculpting her body into the form of a human. From an early age Noÿs was trained to travel from the Hidden Centuries into the human past and carry out a Reality Change that would terminate the Malansohn Reality and put an end to Eternity.

The humans who she interacted with (such as Andrew Harlen) never knew that Noÿs was not human. Syon's nanites provided her with a fairly good copy of the memories that Noÿs had accumulated during her life, including her memories of the house where she had lived with Andrew in Gwynedd county, Wales. Those memories were from an earlier Reality, but within the Noÿs Reality, Ekcolir found Noÿs living in the same place in the early 20th century.

Ekcolir arrives in Bangor, Wales, 1935
Although the Asterothropes knew nothing about positronic robots and their special type of hierion-based telepathy, the Asterothropes did have their own form of nanite-assisted telepathic communication. For Asterothropes, it was normal for a developing fetus to be in telepathic contact with its mother. Noÿs was shaped by her nanites and her pre-birth communications with her mother and guided towards the goal of traveling back in time, destroying Eternity, and living out the rest of her life among humans in the Primitive.

During her training for that mission into the past, to a time that was some 10 million years before her birth, Noÿs was able to view the Foundation Reality, the new Reality that she would bring into existence. She saw herself living in Wales with Andrew Harlen. However, the Reality viewing technology that she used could not follow Reality Chains...she could not anticipate the effects of additional Reality Changes that might come after the one she would be responsible for initiating.

After arriving in the 20th century, the Huaoshy, using their own time travel technology, initiated two Reality Changes. The first brought into existence the Asimov Reality then subsequently Asimov helped bring into existence the Noÿs Reality. Noÿs had no way of knowing exactly when those Reality Changes took place. Her nanites provided the functionality of a local temporal field generator that protected her personally against the effects of Reality Changes, but when the Reality changed around her the differences between Wales of the 1930s within the Foundation, Asimov and Noÿs Realities were so minor that she never noticed the moments when those reality changes took place.

However, the nanites within Noÿs did have a limited capacity for providing Noÿs with the ability to view alternative Realities. This "portable" Reality viewing functionality was highly constrained by the limited quantum computational power available to Noÿs, but with careful repeated analysis of a wide random sample of alternative Realities, Noÿs was eventually able to detect changes in the probabilities of likely Realities, divergences in the statistics that proved to Noÿs that the Reality she was in was not stable. This information heightened her paranoia and strengthened her fear that other time travelers might exist in the Primitive, possibly working to counter her own actions.

A male gamete of
the asterothrope species
In the Noÿs Reality, Noÿs was making plans to have children. As far as she knew, her species had been eliminated from existence and there was nobody on Earth who she could breed with to naturally produce children. However, her nanites could easily initiate pregnancies within her and she planned to let Andrew believe that he had fathered the children she would have.

The Asterothropes had been created purposefully to facilitate interstellar travel and the colonization of newly claimed planets. The Asterothropes had been designed to utilize gynodioecy as a reproductive strategy.  While traveling in generation ships from star to star the Asterothropes existed as a stable population of hermaphrodites that only reproduced to replace aging members of the ship's crew. Upon reaching a new world, Asterothrope females were born.

Asterothrope females were designed to be efficient and enthusiastic producers of children, allowing for rapid population growth on newly colonized planets. Noÿs was genetically an Asterothrope female who retained a strong instinct to reproduce. In the far future of Earth, the Asterothropes had successfully colonize several marginal planets in nearby star systems, but by the time R. Gohrlay finally sent people out from Earth, most of the best planets in the galaxy had already been claimed by other spacefaring species within Genesaunt Civilization.

Noÿs and Andrew
When she met Ekcolir, Noÿs was struggling to adapt her libido to the cultural conditions in Wales in the 1930s. Andrew was frequently out of town, visiting centers of industry and research throughout the British Isles. Noÿs had already established a tentative relationship with a local woman which provided her with an occasional sexual outlet for times when Andrew was on the road, but Noÿs was still carefully exploring the local population for additional sexual partners.

Two weeks into Andrew's first trip to the European mainland, Ekcolir appeared at the front door and pretended to be a recent immigrant from New Zealand. He introduced himself as William Ward, a writer in search of a room to rent. Noÿs was immediately intrigued by the idea of renting a room to William, but Andrew was quite possessive and would certainly not tolerate another man living there in the house with Noÿs.

Noÿs and Ekcolir
Noÿs invited "William" in and he made himself so agreeable that Noÿs invited him to stay for dinner. After dinner and a bottle of wine Noÿs found herself in bed with Ekcolir and quite happy with his willingness to maintain a discrete relationship with Noÿs. Ekcolir rented a room in town and was always available to Noÿs whenever Andrew was traveling.

After a few months, Noÿs was dismayed to discovered that she was pregnant. She allowed Andrew to believe that he was the father, but Noÿs began a careful investigation of "William". Using her nanites, Noÿs was able to confirm that William was a genetically unusual human.

When Noÿs and William next met he could tell immediately that she was not her usual self, eager to explore their intimate physical relationship.

"William" appeared on her door step late in the evening after Andrew had departed for London; rather than let him into the house Noÿs left him standing outside.

Noÿs attempted some rather blunt verbal probing of his past and his self-proclaimed earlier life in New Zealand. Ekcolir, equally blunt, asked her to simply tell him what was on her mind. She did: "You're not from New Zealand. Who -or what- are you?"

He replied simply, "I was trained for a mission, to come here and help you and Andrew in any way that I could."

During her training for a time travel mission deep into her past, Noÿs had been warned to always be prepared for the possibility that Eternity might not be destroyed when she and Andrew arrived in the Primitive.

Noÿs spent hours each day using her Reality viewing ability to search for evidence of on-going time travel. Having found some hints of continuing Reality Changes, she wondered if "William" was a time traveler and, if so, exactly what was his reason for being in the 20th century? Genetically he was not an Asterothrope, although he did carry some genes that mysteriously hinted at a partial Asterothrope lineage.

In 20th century Wales, Noÿs and Andrew were using the names Trysta and Merion Iwedon. She was not happy to hear William use Andrew's real name.

Noÿs asked incredulously, "Why the trickish game? Why not tell me the truth the first time that we met?"

William replied rather uneasily, "I was trained to slowly gain your trust. I was warned that if I was too direct in my approach then you might not feel that you needed my help and that you might resent the idea of a helper being provided."

Noÿs demanded, "What else were you told? To get me pregnant?"

William smiled rather sheepishly and nodded. "I was warned that it was likely that you and I would have children. In fact..." He seemed to think twice about what he was going to say and fell silent.

Noÿs warned him, "Don't try to keep secrets from me. What else were you told?"

William was now being made nervous by her brittle tone of voice. "I was warned that you are dangerous and not to antagonize you. And I'm not sure that you really want to hear the truth."

Noÿs, growing increasing exasperated by his evasiveness, insisted on the truth. "If you start lying to me and withholding information I will show you how dangerous I can be."

William chuckled. "Noÿs, I volunteered for this mission even though I was warned that you might kill me."

He reached out and gently placed one of his hands on hers where it rested against the door. "I'm years past the time when I was afraid of dying. Let me come in...let us talk this through."

Noÿs finally swung open the door and let him into the house. They sat down and Noÿs placed the candle she had been carrying on the low table that was between them. She said, "Please use the names Trysta and Merion. I suppose 'William Ward' is not your real name."

William nodded. "No, I adopted that name for this mission." He continued his story. "I was told that it would be a good strategy...that an effective way to gain your trust would be...if we did have children. I was specifically designed with the intention of making it very likely that we would successfully breed and have children together."

Noÿs, still upset over this bizarre turn of events, had to admit to herself that William had been well designed. She asked, "Designed by who?"

William spoke for twenty minutes about his training at Lendhalen. He ended his story, "I don't know how Syon knew so much about you and A-, Merion. I asked about the name 'Syon' -Noÿs spelled backwards- but I never got an explanation."

Inwardly Noÿs smiled. The name 'Syon' was like a coded message from the far upwhen that only she could possibly understand. Given Andrew's puritanical sexual mores and his inexperience and insecurity with women, Noÿs had never discussed with him the sexual practices she had grown up with as part of Asterothrope society. While being trained for her time travel mission, Noÿs had lived with an hermaphroditic partner who, following tradition, adopted the name Syon as a respectful reflection of 'Noÿs'. Nobody in the Primitive should know the significance of the name 'Syon' for Noÿs. So, if William did not know the reason why his trainer used the name Syon...

Noÿs asked, "Are you certain that Syon was a robot?"

William rubbed his chin, "Well, I suppose that might have been a lie, but, well...I had a pretty long and intimate relationship with Syon. I do think that she was an artificial lifeform, what they called a robot at Lendhalen."

Noÿs had to ask, "So, this robot was designed to have the physical form of a human female? Did this robot look like me?"

William thought back over the years he had spent at Lendhalen and replied, "No...not really, although I must say...there is something about the way you...move....and the way you talk that reminds me of Syon."

Syon at Lendhalen
Noÿs was intrigued by the story of William's training at Lendhalen and tempted to ask for some more details about Syon, but she said, "You never answered my question. Who designed you with the intention that we have children together?"

William shrugged. "I'm not sure what more I can tell you. The folks at Lendhalen call themselves Interventionists. They want to help Earthlings develop their technology...find ways to advance human civilization here on Earth. I was told that you share those goals and that my mission is to help you. The whole operation at Lendhalen is rather secretive. I'm just a foot soldier...I really can't explain the roots of Interventionist strategy."

Noÿs was far from satisfied by that answer. She pressed on, "Where is this mysterious Lendhalen?"

"I don't know exactly. I believe that Lendhalen is located on a world far from Earth, towards the center of the galaxy."

"You said that you were teleported to Earth. Exactly where and when did you arrive on Earth?"

near Wellington
"I arrived in Wellington about a year ago. I spent some time adjusting to Earth then I came here to Wales."

"What other Interventionist agents are on Earth? Who did you work with in New Zealand?"

"Sorry, but the only Interventionists I know on Earth are you and your husband. I was the only Interventionist being trained at Lendhalen. I got the impression that there has been a long history of sending Interventionist agents to Earth, but there have never been very many. I was taught that Interventionists are not welcome on Earth and there is danger that I might be captured and interrogated, so I was not told very much about other Interventionists."

"Captured by who?"

"I was taught that there is a police force on Earth. A team of Overseers watches for Interventionists."


"Maybe you know them by another name. I was taught that there has been a long struggle on Earth between the Overseers and the Interventionists. We Interventionists want to help the Earthlings advance their civilization. The Overseers try to prevent us from providing the Earthlings with new knowledge and advanced technologies."

Noÿs had sent some nanite probes into William's brain and she felt certain that he believed he had told her the truth about Interventionists and Overseers and his mission on Earth. She was still shaken by the implications of what he had said and not at all certain that he could be trusted. "I'm still upset that you deceived me and impregnated me."

He grinned and asked, "Are you really upset? I'm pleased that we have you know if it is a..." William hesitated. "...boy or a girl?"

Noÿs replied, "A boy. I've already named him: Thomas."

"Thomas? Fantastic! I can't wait to meet my son."

"Why did you hesitate...before asking about the sex?"

William shook his head and rubbed his chin in contemplation. "Syon told me some strange stories. I was raised as a human and you seem human to me, but Syon said..." William looked uncomfortable and fell silent.

Noÿs got up and moved across the room, her motion setting the candle flame flickering. She sat down in William's lap and draped herself across him. Noÿs whispered into his ear, "I think I can guess what she said about me."

William let his hands move over the soft contours of her body. "Syon said that you are not human."

"To be honest, I'm also very excited to be pregnant. That robot, Syon, told you the truth. I do want children. My problem is that I have always imagined that having children would be a very carefully planned affair. I'm more than a bit nervous about you being the father of my son. I think I understand why you had to be designed for this mission. If you were human then we would not have been interfertile."

William said, "They told me that I'm an Ek'col, a special type of human. Most Ek'col are hermaphrodites. They told me that you can also have children who are hermaphrodites."

"That's true, either hermaphrodites or females. I was amazed to discover that our child is male. I never imagined having a son."

"I was told that there a few Ek'col males. Actually, Syon told me that the Ek'col were designed and created specifically so that a male could be sent on this mission."

Noÿs laughed, "So, you were designed and trained to come here and seduce make it possible for me to have a son?"

William relaxed, pleased that Noÿs was able to laugh about their situation. "I'm sorry I tricked you and sprang such a surprise on you. But it is a wonderful surprise. And now you know that I am here for you. My official mission...was to help you and your husband, but my personal to always be here for you...with you, when I can be." They kissed and William started to slowly undress Noÿs, one button at a time. Then a strange memory bubbled up inside him. "Thomas, eh? I'd forgotten something from Lendhalen."

During her own training, Noÿs had worked closely with a mentor named 'Tomaught', transliterated from the language of her homewhen. Noÿs had long planned to name her first daughter in honor of Tomaught, but upon realizing she would have a son she decided on the English name Thomas. Now she asked, "What about Thomas?"

"You probably don't want to hear this, bed, Syon was like you, frisky and playful...insatiable. At other times Syon seemed as old as a mountain...maybe senile. She'd start mumbling and have conversations with people who were not there. One time, she probably thought I had fallen asleep, she was lying there in our bed talking. I remember now, she kept talking about someone named Thomas...who had a sister...what was her name? Goldie? Gertie? Gwen? I don't remember...I was half asleep."

Noÿs asked, "What was she saying about this Thomas?"

William shook his head. "Nothing that made sense. I have a good memory, but I have not thought about this for years... There were many other names, too, besides Thomas, all in a jumble. 'Izhiun', 'Deomede', 'Rechmain' many others....I can't remember. They were names that meant nothing to me. But this reminded me...when Syon was telling me that I should try to become your secret lover she once said that you and I would have a son. At the time I laughed, but looking back at my memory...I think she knew. Does that make sense? How could she have known? In fact, I asked her that."

"What did she say?"

"She said that there were some things I was not allowed to know, but...well, she said, 'Noÿs will know.' Syon often spoke as if she knew you very well. I assumed that she had visited Earth and met you, although she always denied that." William dismissed the mysteries of Syon from his thoughts and returned to the pleasurable process of undressing Noÿs.

Now Noÿs was infected by doubts. What did it mean if Syon knew of the existence of Thomas years before he was even conceived? She almost asked William a question about time travel, but she stayed silent. Was this mysterious Syon her future self? Noÿs wondered: at some future time would she find a way to travel back through time and try to send messages to her earlier self? Was the most fundamental of such possible messages the mere fact that, even with Eternity destroyed, time travel was still possible?

Noÿs wanted to trust William, but she still could not fathom the way he had suddenly appeared in her life, knowing so much about her, but also knowing so little about her origin in the far future, all at the same time. Noÿs thought that she would be wise to send William away and tell Andrew the truth about her pregnancy, but in her heart she knew that she did not want to tell Andrew such truths, truths that would be so painful for him to hear and adjust to. She decided that William was a source of information that she could not afford to send away. Somehow she would get to the bottom of the puzzle that he had revealed to her. And besides, William was a source of other things, too. She told William to get upstairs in her bed.

The Kac'hin
Above, I repeatedly refer to interactions between the Huaoshy and humans and actions taken by the Huaoshy. Saying that the Huaoshy have interactions with humans is similar to saying that human have interactions with bacteria. A typical human interaction with bacteria might be defecating and flushing away the feces and the bacteria there in. A typical Huaoshy interaction with a primitive species like we humans would involve the Huaoshy establishing the system by which the pek direct the evolution of humans then discard the human species after a superior replacement (Prelands) is ready. In such an "interaction", the Huaoshy might not ever actually become aware of the existence of our species.

In general, the Huaoshy have very little interest in primitive creatures like we humans. However, the Huaoshy did develop an unusually high level of interest in Earth and Humanity after R. Gohrlay and her team of positronic robots develop time travel technology. The Huaoshy had mistakenly believed that time travel is impossible, not realizing that their own meddling with the laws of physics eventually made time travel possible.

After the development of Galaxia, the Huaoshy finally realized that positronics make possible a form of hierion-mediated telepathy and time travel. In order to deal with the threat posed by R. Gohrlay and her team of positronic robots, the Huaoshy make use of the Kac'hin. The Kac'hin are a human variant with some of the advanced features of Prelands that allow their brains to efficiently interact with sedronic nanites that allow for a form of communication with the Huaoshy.

The Huaoshy utilize the Kac'hin to deal with Earth and R. Gohrlay's positronic revolution. The Kac'hin can blend in with other humans and act both as an information channel to the Huaoshy and as a way for the Huaoshy to most directly control events within the domain of conventional matter.

During the billion-year-long history of the Huaoshy, there has been a persistent tension about the optimal form of Genesaunt Civilization. "Genesaunt" is an ancient Huaoshy word that might be translated as "embryonic" or possibly "childish". After the Huaoshy established a stable spacefaring civilization, they confronted the problem of interacting with the many biological species that were evolving on billions of planets in the universe.

Eventually, the Huaoshy transcended their conventional existence as biological organisms and transformed themselves into an artificial lifeform instantiated in sedronic matter. The Huaoshy lost most of their interest in the universe of conventional matter and the concerns of biological organisms. Genesaunt Civilization is essentially an automated system by which the pek, a form of artificial life used by the Huaoshy to explore the galaxies, assist biological species towards the goal of merging into the Huaoshy. During the past billion years, thousands of species from many galaxies have become part of Genesaunt Civilization and eventually converted themselves into artificial lifeforms and merged with the Huaoshy for continued existence in the domain of sedronic matter.

However, there have always been some biological organisms who objected to the purpose and methods of Genesaunt Civilization....thus was established the Interventionists. Interventionists aim to give all biological organisms an opportunity to escape from the clutches of Genesaunt Civilization and find their own unique pattern of existence within the universe of conventional matter.

For the Interventionists, there is a major source of frustration that haunts their well-intentioned efforts. Biological species that develop advanced technology tend to destroy themselves and become extinct. The Interventionists cannot deny that Genesaunt Civilization and transcendence to existence as Huaoshy provides a safe path towards long-term existence for biological species. Still, the Interventionists view the transformation of biological life from patterns of conventional matter into patterns of sedronic matter as a kind of death. The Interventionists struggle to provide biological species with an opportunity to continue existing as biological organisms composed of conventional matter.

In general, the Huaoshy allow the Interventionists to pursue their goals as long as the Interventionists do not seriously disrupt Genesaunt Civilization. The pek are constrained by the Rules of Intervention, a set of principles that leads the pek to protect each newly discovered world that holds advanced life with a system of persistent Observation. Each world like Earth is watched over by a kind of police force, the Overseers, who constantly watch for disruptive efforts by Interventionists to alter the course of development of primitive species like humans. Worlds like Earth, caught between the competing interests of the pek and the Interventionists, establish a dynamic tension where the pek try to safely guide a biological species into the safe confines of Genesaunt Civilization while the Interventionists seek to speed the species along towards independent technological development and, particularly, the development of space travel. The pek prefer a slow process of directed evolution by which they shape a version of each species that is well suited to existence as a technologically advanced biological species. The Interventionists are always in a hurry to speed along the cultural development of species like we humans, unable to accept a millions-of-years-long painful existence of such species in a pre-technological state.

In the case of the human species, Earth came to the attention of the Nereids, a species not too different from we humans that evolved on a planet in the Andromeda galaxy. The Nereids were assisted by other Interventionists and about 300,000 years ago some of them liberated themselves from the conventions of Genesaunt Civilization, allowing some Nereids to start freely developing a technologically advanced civilization.

The pek plan for Earth was to replace humans with the Prelands, a newly designed species of primate that is better suited for existence as a technologically advance species that can merge peacefully into Genesaunt Civilization.

About 90,000 years ago the Nereids had become friends and supporters of some Fru'wu who broke away from Genesaunt Civilization and developed an interest in the Interventionist philosophy. There were some tentative interactions between the Fru'wu and the Buld and some minor efforts by the Fru'wu and the Nereids to alter the course of events on Earth, but the Earth Overseers managed to keep on course their long-range plans to phase out humans and establish Prelands as the first technologically advanced primate species on Earth.

When R. Gohrlay and her team of positronic robots liberated Earth from the pek, the Nereids were first. However, Gohrlay could never completely trust the Nereids. When, after long effort, Gohrlay gave up hope of ever discovering the secret of faster-than-light space travel, she helped guide the humans of the Hidden Centuries (seven million years in our future) into a new pattern: what became the Asterothropes, a primate species designed for space travel using slower-than-light generation ships. By spreading out into the galaxy, the Asterothropes and the positronic robots of Earth mingled with Genesaunt Civilization. Eventually, Gohrlay obtained an understanding of how sedrons can be used to make interstellar space travel convenient. With that key to technologies such as faster-than-light space travel, R. Gohrlay pushed the people of Earth to quickly develop space travel in the 20th century, creating the Foundation Reality.

Many Sails
When I was creating The Foundations of Eternity I introduced Many Sails as the space ship that carries Captain Hooski and his crew to Earth. Many Sails has a mind and is really one of the characters in the story.

I later used Many Sails as the spaceship that is present near Earth when Orboh Anagro removes Gohrlay from the Observer community on the Moon. Many Sails hauls Gohrlay away from Earth when R. Gohrlay takes over Oberserver Base.

I'm now thinking that I should include a Kac'hin on Many Sails for this early mission to Earth. I like the idea that Many Sails and Jeed could do the job of collecting Gohrlay and taking her away to her new life among the stars. I also like the idea that R. Gohrlay, using her telepathic powers, is able to "see" Gohrlay on Many Sails and learn some important facts, particularly that aliens created the human species. However, I also like the idea that R. Gohrlay mistakenly assumes that the Kac'hin are the alien Huaoshy.

Just how biologically different are the Kac'hin from we Earthlings? Could R. Gohrlay really mistake a Kac'hin as an alien? If R. Gohrlay knows that humans have been designed and crafted by aliens, she might be willing to accept that those aliens have a similar appearance to humans. However, a Kac'hin's thoughts would tell another tale.

Is there a reason why R. Gohrlay's telepathic powers would work on Orboh Anagro but not on a Kac'hin? The brains of the Kac'hin have been specifically adapted to work efficiently with advanced "sedronic nanites" so that the Kac'hin can be an interface for the Huaoshy within the universe of conventional matter. I'll assume that the presence of swarms of sedronic nanites in the brain of a Kac'hin can block R. Gohrlay's telepathic powers and prevent her from reading the mind of a Kac'hin.

I like the idea of having the Kac'hin be constantly watching for Nereid Interventionists, waiting for them to get out of line and act too boldly to alter the course of events either on Earth or on one of the human worlds of the galactic core. Based on past history and how the Nereids helped "liberate" some Fru'wu from a world of the galactic core, the Kac'hin focus their efforts on the core human worlds and also monitoring Buld spaceships. However, for a special occasion such as Gohrlay's simulated death, Many Sails could be called to Earth.

Thousands of years later, the commander of Many Sails is Captain Hooski, a hermaphroditic Kac'hin. The commander of Many Sails in the time of Gohrlay is a Kac'hin named Ayoost. Ayoost is annoyed when thon is called away from the galactic core to pick up Gohrlay. Ayoost believes that Earth is a dismal hell hole where humans struggle for survival while their inevitable replacement by Prelands draws ever closer.

Ayoost can barely generate any interest in Gohrlay and so lets Jeeds and Many Sails interact with her. Ayoost remains linked into the distributed network of Kac'hin who systematically patrol the galactic core in search of any trouble that might be caused by the Nerieds or other Interventionists. False Kac'hin often go "under cover" and live among human populations. Reports from these Kac'hin agents must be constantly monitored and integrated into a complex database. Ayoost continues that work during the time when Many Sails goes to the Moon to pick up Gohrlay.

Ayoost becomes interested in Orboh Anagro's unusual "science projects". Shocked to learn that Anagro has allowed some humans to play with advanced technologies at Observer Base on Earth's Moon, Ayoost finally decides to speak to Gohrlay after regular communications with Anagro are mysteriously terminated. Concerned that something horrible and unprecedented has happened at Observer Base, Ayoost orders Many Sails to set course for Tar'tron, the central Kac'hin base in the galactic core.  On the planet Tar'tron, Ayoost initiates a project aimed at understanding what happened at Observer Base and aimed at regaining Huaoshy control of Earth.

Note: in the Foundation Reality, Tar'tron becomes a human world known as "Trantor". When humans spread through the galaxy, R. Gohrlay had to deal with the worlds that were already populated by Prelands and other species. Some worlds like Imfulri were quarantined and kept hidden from humans. The populations of some worlds like Tar'tron were sent to the planet Terminus at the edge of the galaxy. R. Gohrlay allowed the pek to transport refugees off of Terminus and take them to worlds in other galaxies.

A Trilogy
The Foundations of Eternity
I've decided that the story told in The Foundations of Eternity and Exode should take the form of a trilogy of novels.

I'm fairly satisfied with the existing structure of The Foundations of Eternity. I want to insert a prelude to Part II that shows Gohrlay reaching Tar'tron. That will provide an introduction to the Kac'hin by way of Gohrlay's interactions with Ayoost.

Of course, there will be a temporal gap of 20,000 years between that prelude and Chapter 6! However, Asimov provided us with the story of how humans reached the stars, how the Galactic Empire rose and fell and how the Foundations and Galaxia followed after the Empire.

The Foundations of Eternity will only hint at the idea of the Huaoshy having the means to make time travel impossible. Part III will end with a cliff-hanger...with the time traveling Asimov helping track down R. Fengtol on Earth, trying to prevent nuclear war. Of course, Asimov has already provided the critical information for how to find R. Fengtol and the Asimov Reality will soon come to an end. However, the transition to the Noÿs Reality is slightly more complex than just capturing R. Fengtol, so I'll leave that transition for the sequel to The Foundations of Eternity.

I've spent the past several months trying to imagine Exode as the direct sequel to The Foundations of Eternity. I've now abandoned that idea because it makes more sense to provide adequate room for the story of the Noÿs Reality.

What is a good name for the novel that fits between The Foundations of Eternity and Exode? That book will need a chapter that shows the Huoashy trying to capture Noÿs. However, Noÿs has established a working relationship with the Nereids and she is teleported to safety just before the Huaoshy agents can capture her.

The Huaoshy will use their Reality viewing technology to find a solution to the problem of the remaining renegade Interventionists on Earth. To bring the Noÿs Reality into existence, the Huaoshy will initiate a project that designs and creates the Ek'col (see the diagram, below).

The Pla will also be brought into existence and, over the course of thousands of years, be shaped into a tool that can efficiently deliver Interventionist agents to Earth.

Thomas is born within the Noÿs Reality where his life becomes entangled with that of Isaac Asimov. Noÿs becomes comfortable working with Ekcolir and eventually he is able to "trick" Noÿs into cooperating with the Kac'hin to bring into existence the Final Reality: the Buld Reality.

The Buld Reality is structurally very similar to Noÿs Reality. Each of these realities is shaped by a chaotic vortex of three possible futures for Earth and Humanity (diagram to the right).

In both the Foundation Reality and the Asimov Reality, the surface of the Earth becomes dangerously radioactive. In the Noÿs Realities, a radioactive Earth remains a danger (yellow). Almost any effort to prevent Earth from becoming radioactive results in another disaster: global warming and catastrophic rises in sea level (purple). These undesirable outcomes are the nearly unavoidable result of the dominance of Interventionist forces (Noÿs and the Nereids) on Earth.

By viewing alternative Realities, Noÿs identified the Buld Reality, a slightly different Reality in which the essential tension between Interventionists and Overseers is once again established. To bring the Buld Reality into existence:
Ekcolir goes back in time and prevents Gohrlay from starting her positronics revolution. Noÿs goes back in time and passes her nanites on to Syon.
Thomas slips from the Noÿs Reality into the Buld Reality and plays his role in the course of events that end up with Parthney on the Moon in the 20th century.

Within the Buld Reality, by using the communications equipment at Observer Base, Parthney is able to contact the Buld spaceship as it enters the Solar System. The journey of the Buld spaceship to Earth (blue) provides a way to avoid both a radioactive Earth and melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Ekcolir, Noÿs and Andrew form a love triangle. Within the Noÿs Reality, Ekcolir and Noÿs have two children, but Noÿs is in a stable relationship with Andrew. Thomas and Gwyned grow up thinking that Andrew is their father.

Thomas is a precocious writer. He and his family go to New York City in an effort to get his science fiction novel published. At a meeting with the time traveling Asimov, a confrontation takes place between an Overseer who has been monitoring Asimov and Noÿs. Noÿs, in an act of desperation, slips the nanites from Asimov into her son. Andrew is sacrificed to the Overseers. Noÿs and Gwyned move to Australia and Ekcolir continues his discrete romance with Noÿs.

I previously made the decision to not mention the names "Noÿs" and "Andrew" in Exode. All of the events in Exode take place in the universe as we know it, a Reality in which Andrew never existed and Noÿs died thousands of years in the past, long before the events of the story.

Similarly, in the second book of the Trilogy, Noÿs and Andrew are working "undercover" on Earth during the 20th century. They use the names Trysta and Merion Iwedon.

Trysta and Ekcolir
My first impulse is to call the second novel in the trilogy "Trysta and Ekcolir". Trysta (Noÿs) and Ekcolir are major characters, playing important roles in the events of the Noÿs Reality. Trysta and Ekcolir have a rather dramatic love affair, at first keeping their romance hidden from Andrew and their children then having to deal with the "loss" of Thomas and a painful estrangement from Gwyned. Finally, Trysta and Ekcolir must part ways, each going on a special mission into the far past in order to bring the Buld Reality into existence, a Reality where Ekcolir will not exist.


Report images
In the Exode Trilogy, one of the major characters is Noÿs, Isaac Asimov's heroine from his time travel novel, The End of Eternity. In the 20th century, Noÿs uses the name Trysta Iwedon. I imagine that Trysta is not human and that upon arriving in the 20th century Noÿs and Andrew caused a Reality Change that erased all other members of her species (the Asterothropes) from existence. However, as an Asterothrope female, Noÿs has powerful reproductive instincts.

In The End of Eternity, Noÿs took advantage of Andrew's inexperience with women in order to efficiently terminate the Malansohn Reality. In the Exode Trilogy, the Huaoshy turn the tables on Noÿs. They take advantage of her sexual proclivities in order to terminate the Noÿs Reality.

I imagine that R. Gohrlay selected Noÿs to be the agent who could enthrall Andrew and turn him into her ally in the struggle to destroy Eternity. Similarly, the Huaoshy select Ekcolir as the agent who can get close to Noÿs, win her trust and bring her into negotiations over the fate of Earth and the human species. Thus, the second book in the Exode Trilogy, Trysta and Ekcolir, tells their rather twisted love story.

One of the major twists on the way to their romance is that the Huaoshy take the time to design a human variant (the Ek'col) that is inter-fertile with Noÿs, a project that takes about 200,000 years. The Huaoshy notice that there are some nice design features in the Asterothropes, so when Noÿs forces the Huaoshy to abandon their plan to replace humans with Prelands, they work towards creating a modified human variant that has a mixture of useful features from the Prelands, the Buld, the Ka'hin and the Asterothropes.

In the 20,000 years leading up to the arrival of Noÿs in the 20th century of the Buld Reality, some of the "designer genes" of the Ek'col are gradually slipped into the population of humans on Earth. Thus, Hana's daughter, Hilde, is similar genetically to Izhiun, an advanced human variant that needs the help of nanites to achieve a normal pattern of brain development. Due to the environments where they were born, both Hilde and Izhiun don't get the assistance from nanites that their brains were expecting, leading to delayed development. However, in the end, Hilde and Izhiun both turn out fine and they end up together at the end of Exode going off with the Buld to Mercury.

During the past year I've been selecting images to represent the characters in the Exode Trilogy. Some of these images for the characters are computer generated (such as Parthney and Muchlo) but most are just people who I find in internet image searches. When I did an image search for the Hilde character I came across some pictures of Teresa Moore, who I had never heard of. In my mind I was imagining Izhiun searching Earth for his half sister, Hilde, and finally finding her. With the important role of the Moon in the Exode Trilogy, originally I imagined a picture of Hilde in Moon light. I guess Teresa Moore has modeled swimwear for a company called Moontide, so my google search for a model in moonlight brought me to Teresa Moore. The images of Teresa Moore come about 1 minute into the "Exode Trilogy" video.
2014: The Exode Trilogy.

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