Apr 27, 2014

A Theory of Mind

In the past year and a half since I decided to write myself into Exode, I've tried to discover the strange twists of fate that have weaved me into the lives of a mysterious group of people including Thomas Iwedon, Izhiun (like a rock star, he only has one name) and Ivory Fersoni. Those are the folks who could reveal the hidden history of Earth.

So far, I've traced that weaving process back to the late 70s when Thomas was persistently annoying Isaac Asimov (yes, Asimov is also a character in the Exode Trilogy) and pushing him towards writing more science fiction novels. Thomas arranged for Asimov to visit a small university and speak to its science fiction club members. That was the first time I got to meet Asimov.
Exodus Towards the Light  by  Sabin Bălașa
by Katie Green
The meddling of Thomas in Asimov's life is what pulled me into the influence of the powerful magnetic field that surrounded Peter, a young man who was nominally attending college at the same time as myself. It was obvious that Peter was no average school boy, but only much later did I learn just how strange his family background was: Asterothropes from the far future on one side of his family tree and the pek-designed Ek'col and Kac'hin on the other.

Through the connivance of Peter, I was introduced to Hana. Although it was Peter who fathered (update) Hana's daughter Hilde, Hana mistakenly believed that I was Hilde's father. For many years Hana despised me for deserting her, particularly since Hilde, with her odd assortment of genes, was a special needs infant. Peter's trickery was ultimately revealed to Hana and her long-lasting anger at me was finally diffused, but I was one of the few Earthlings that Hana had spoken enough of to her grandson, Izhiun, that he eventually remembered to come visit me when he was on Earth. Thomas tagged along.

Asimov's return to Earth in 2017
Izhiun and Thomas both availed themselves of the opportunity to unload their vast stores of nanite-encoded information into my mind. Thanks guys. Their "little gifts" certainly expanded my consciousness. First, I realized that Peter would never have involved me in his schemes except for the fact that, like Hana, I've always carried a special combination of the pek-designed genes that were long ago seeded into the human population of Earth. Second, I realized that, if I were not to destroy my mind, then I needed help in finding a way to live with those nanites inside me.

When Izhiun completed his mission on Earth and revealed the fact that Space Energy Missions was the hard-to-find Nereid cover operation, he was suddenly thrown into contact with his aunt, Hilde. However, before they left Earth together and since Hilde had long been in contact with Angela (a kind of technology-assisted telepathy), it became possible for Ivory to become aware of my existence.

Sadly, I've never (update) met Ivory Fersoni and that might not even be her real name. I don't want to ask too many questions because (so far) it is Ivory who has provided me with the means to retain my sanity while working with the nanites that reside in my brain. Ivory claims to be a normal Earthling, except for her heavy dose of pek designer genes.

However, Ivory does not have a monopoly on her special gene combinations. Several clones of Ivory were made and exploited in order to provide Earth with at least limited access to the Bimanoid Interface. In particular, Ivory's "clone sister" Angela has taken on the task of using the Interface to explore the vast information deposits of the Sedronic Domain.

By providing a link between Angela and myself it has slowly become possible for us to start making sense of the lives of Parthney and Asimov. It continues to be a mind (actually two minds, both Angela's and my own) blowing task: sorting through all of the "Thomas clones" and the alternate lives of Asimov in the Reality Chain that led up to the world as we know it.

Theory of Mind
I know (update) that Angela's sister Anney departed Earth and there have been hints that Angela intends to follow.....she may already have left on her own Exode. What keeps Ivory here on this world? She has hinted at other projects.

Will the Buld provide a technological solution to the problem of global warming and sea level rise? Is Ivory acting as their contact on Earth to coordinate implementation of the Buld plan?

My best guess is that Ivory simply likes living on Earth. I hope she has found her mother and they are able to have some fragment of a normal life. However, If Angela has moved on then I fear that Ivory's "project" involves her own use of the Interface.

For those of us who did not have their brains crafted and shaped during their first months of life to accommodate the Interface, there is great danger in making contact with the Sedronic Domain. Doing so during the past 20,000 years has doubtlessly created some of the great visionaries and mystics of human history, but also a far larger population of mad men and corpses.

How can I know if the increasingly twisted glimpses into the Sedronic Domain being reported to me by Ivory reflect the fantastic nature of that domain or the shattering of her mind?

And what of my own mind, quivering under the weight of its own load on nanites? Can I trust my own feeling of recently being in partial nanite-mediated telepathic contact with someone -someone that I must suspect is Ivory? Oh, how convenient it would be to have such a communications conduit. Is my wishful thinking playing tricks on me?

Next: more about "the editor" and his continuing efforts to perfect a collaboration with Ivory.
more book and magazine covers

The original Asimov's Science Fiction cover image that I modified:

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