May 11, 2014

Starting Fluid

About three months ago I decided to change the starting point of the Exode Trilogy. I want the imaginary collaboration between Angela and "the Editor" to provide readers with an introduction to Trysta and Ekcolir, the novel that will come first in the trilogy. Since then, I've made progress in developing my understanding of Angela and Ivory. Also, I've looked back at my own life for missed clues about my first contact with aliens. I'm learning to be fluid in my thinking about just where the story told in  Trysta and Ekcolir should be starting.

A Feature, Not a Bug
The first clue I had of aliens among us was myself. When I went off to school it was a year later than normal. My teachers quickly noticed that I did not seem to be paying attention to them. I was quickly fitted with corrective lenses and two hearing aides. Years later I was given an official diagnosis of "Central Sensory Processing Disorder", a condition understandable because of certain gene combinations I inherited.

To this day people often believe that I am not listening to them. I'm certainly listening to something, but most of what I hear is not reaching the conscious part of my brain by way of normal sensory pathways. This "out sourcing" of information has gotten much worse since Thomas and Izhiun kindly donated swarms of nanites to the cause. Before that, I suspect I was always the beneficiary of some stray nanites, but I believe my brain has a fundamental feature that allows my own inner thoughts to compete unfairly with sensory inputs. If you were to tell me something, your words would trigger my memories and, in a second or two, I'd be paying more attention to my own-self generated information stream than to my sensory data about you.

A pek adopts human form if
it is interacting with humans.
This cognitive feature that I was "blessed with" could be catastrophic for a human living in the wild and needing to respond quickly and efficiently to dangers in the environment. However, the brain circuits involved were carefully designed and selected for by the pek. In a species such as the Prelands, these brain circuits are linked into nanites for generation of a type of technology-assisted telepathy. Prelands normally use the information generated by this system much as we can monitor tone of voice and body language.

For me, growing up without the proper nanites to guide my synaptogenesis, the internal dialog produced by this Preland-derived neural circuit was interpreted by my brain as a source of sensory input. Since it was a very active source of signals even before I was born, huge areas of my sensory cortex were adapted to processing these internally generated pseudosensory signals. Bottom line: I'm the way I am because of my "alien" Preland-like gene combinations and my unusual brain structure. I often wonder how may other Earthlings have brains like mine.

Possibly the first time I ever saw an alien was when I was about 11 years old. Of course, the pek and even advanced primates such as Asterothropes can easily disguise themselves and be mistakenly assumed to be humans.

Only recently have I understood that my childhood friend's "Aunt Mayness" was an Asterothrope (Trysta). It is rather astonishing that more than 40 years ago Trysta was conniving to make sure that I'd become "the Editor" of the Exode Trilogy.

Trysta viewing Realities
At the time (maybe it was 1970), I was simply startled that Aunt Mayness was so young in appearance and wildly unconventional, unlike any of my own aunts. Looking back on that time in my life, I'm most cognizant of the fact that she introduced me to science fiction novels. However, I suspect that she was also the source of the strangest dream experience I've ever had. It was only later, when reading Isaac Asimov's descriptions of dreams experienced by his characters, that I began to entertain the idea that my unusual dream experience might be a sensory phenomenon, not a sleep time hallucination.

The Dream
My dream started innocently enough. I was in room that I've since become familiar with: call it the Viewing Chamber. At the time of the dream, I became aware that I was dreaming, which is very unusual for me. Normally if I become partially conscious during a dream then I will wake up. During the dream, I was aware that I was not alone, but it was a strange sensation because I was alone in the room. Gradually I realized that I was being shown something. I shifted my attention and suddenly I could "see" what I was supposed to "see".

Prime Radiant
I have to put "see" in quotes for several reasons. First, let me say that I now believe everything in that dream was being transmitted into my mind by Mayness. She was sharing with me something that she had previously seen. However, I'm not sure that she was "seeing" what I "saw". Years later, when reading Asimov's account of what it is like to use a Prime Radiant I developed the idea that in my dream I was being made aware of images that had been artificially transmitted into the brain of Mayness.

To this day I don't know if "Mayness" was trying to show me something or not. What I saw in that dream might have only been stray information "leaking" from her brain. If she was trying to generate my dream then was I supposed to see something specific? I now believe that I was shown how it was possible for Trysta to look into an alternate Reality and see the future. This is how she was able to see my future and know that I needed to be guided towards being part of the kind of future that she was struggling to make for Earth.

Beyond those images of the dream there was also a more fundamental sensation. A type of internal vibration and exhilaration that I now know can be experienced by using the Bimanoid Interface. Sadly, my brain seems to be poorly adapted to the Interface. I can't obtain useful information when I try to use the Interface: my brain lacks the special components required to communicate with the Sedronic Domain. However, Trysta (Mayness) gave me an experience that allowed me to appreciate what it must be like for Angela to use the Interface.

The main element of that sensation was longing. A mournful longing to escape my own body and move my mind into the Sedronic Domain. I suspect that some humans have spontaneously achieved that sensation because of their lucky gene pattern, probably resulting in many historically relevant religious experiences. I received only a brief touch of that sensation, but it makes me appreciate what Angela has been subjected to because of her efforts to help me understand my own predicament. I would not be surprised if she has now retired from her efforts to delve into the Sedronic Domain. Her survival instincts should protect her.

Now my fear is that Ivory has tried to take over from Angela the task of using the Interface. Like me, Ivory did not have her brain shaped for that task during her embryogenesis. Lately, in her communications with me, Ivory has hinted at a growing interest in electrical brain stimulation. I fear that she has begun altering her own brain activity in an effort to use the Interface. Also, I seem to increasingly feel like I have attained some level of nanite-mediated communication with her. This might become useful for our collaboration, but right now it only adds to my sense of foreboding.
More posters.

Images. I've seen the image to the right attributed to the illustrator Peter Elson.

Below is the original can of starting fluid.

by Norman Saunders

More Magazine and Book Covers


No comments:

Post a Comment