Aug 29, 2016

Zeta Gohrlay

A whimsical depiction of some Gohrlay clones (source).
Image credits.
The copyrighted "Mortal Instruments"
photographs provided courtesy of Gretchen Byers.
Three month's ago, I finally realized that I had been interacting with several clones of Gohrlay. These ladies had always been quite careful to only visit with me one at a time, until today.

Alpha Gohrlay told me that she had read my recent blog post about distractions and decided that she agreed with me. Alpha found it impossible to refute the proposition that she was distracting me from my task. She said sadly, "As long as I'm available to you as an almost limitless source of information about the past, you will keep finding excuses to delay your work."

Secret History of Humanity
Gohrlay believes that my assigned task is to tell the Secret History of Humanity, the story of how humans were created and given a chance to spread among the stars. Gohrlay has her own fish to fry, so she has never had much interest in the details of my work. I believe she resents my greedy desire to steal her time and endlessly question her about Deep Time.

In the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Lloyd Rognan
Ignoring the thrust of her words, I began questioning Alpha Gohrlay about the First Contact event that occurred in the Asimov Reality. She shook her head in dismay and said, "You really are hopeless. I must say farewell and go about my own business. You will never see me again."

Zeta Gohrlay
My mind was fixed on the hope that Alpha was joking, but right then another Gohrlay clone walked into the room. I felt a chill and gave a shudder as I watched the two twins. With a sly grin, Alpha Gohrlay assured me, "Zeta will be good for you."

Alpha Gohrlay
Zeta approached me with confidence and shook my hand. "I'm pleased to finally meet you." Zeta glanced at Alpha Gohrlay and said, "I'll take things from here." Alpha Gohrlay nodded, took a step backwards and disappeared through some sort of teleportation portal.

I was shocked by Alpha Gohrlay's sudden and dramatic departure. I began cursing myself for having driven her out of my life with my endless questions about the past. However, Zeta Gohrlay had no intention of letting me mope.

Zeta wore a shimmering synthetic cloak that generated its own light. Her dark hair floated in a cloud around her head, each strand moving under its own power, their movements synchronized like a flock of birds.

Zeta's outline
Zeta pulled up a chair, sat down beside me and directed my attention to the ultra-thin and flexible display screen that seemed to grow out of her hand. "Here is my proposed structure for the saga. I recommend that the events be told in five sequential volumes..."

I was not really listening to Zeta. At first, I was staring at her and trying to detect any physical features, no matter how small, that might distinguish her from Alpha Gohrlay. Zeta had a slight twang in her speech, as if she has spent many years living someplace exotic. Then my attention was grabbed by her morphing display screen. I reached out and touched it and felt its structure quickly solidify into the shape of a standard tablet computer. I asked, "You have access to nanites?"

the Trysta-Grean Pact
Special thanks to Miranda Hedman
( for the
DeviantArt stock photograph "Black Cat 9 - stock"
that I used to create the blue "sedronite"
who is in this image.
She shook her head and replied, "No, I'm now trapped on this world with you. Under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact, I had to give up all the conveniences of life. Ug! I'm even going to have to start brushing my teeth every day. I really don't know how Earthlings put up with their grungy and dreary lives."

I laughed and asked, "So this is your first time on Earth? Where are you from?"

"I grew up on Tar'tron. I've previously had just a few brief orientation visits to Earth. I even met you once previously, before you had reason to suspect that there are multiple Gohrlay clones."

I could discern no physical differences between Zeta and the other Gohrlay clones. While I watched and examined her, the material of her clothing stopped glowing and became indistinguishable from standard Earthly garments. Her hair settled into an unruly mop of curls and stopped writhing.

Zeta waited patiently while I inspected her. She seemed to be examining me just as carefully. Dozens of questions came to mind, but I was amused by the idea that she felt annoyance and anxiety about the prospect of living on Earth. I had to ask, "So why now? Did Alpha Gohrlay order you to move here to Earth?"

Zeta giggled. "My, my. Egrosū̆ did not exaggerate." Zeta shook her head slowly, "She warned me that it is impossible to keep you on task."

"I've been told that my entire life. If you plan to keep me on task, you better be prepared for frustration and disappointments. Egrosū̆? That is an odd name." When spoken, "Egrosu" ended in a strange warbling sound.

Zeta shrugged and shut off her tablet. "I'm in no hurry. I've waited for decades, often wondering if I would ever be given a chance to work directly with you." She seemed to reflect quietly on her past for a moment, then she continued, "My sisters and I all have real names. Egrosū̆ is a traditional name from an ancient and now dead language of Tar'tron."

"What is your real name?"

"Another word that would mean nothing to you. It is best if you simply call me Zeta."

I complained, "Fine, Zeta, but it bothers me that you have been watching me for decades. I suppose you know me so well that you expect to be able to trick me and bend me to doing your will."

Zeta laughed rather loudly. "Your psychological profile indicates that you despise being told what to do. That's okay, I don't mind continuing to indirectly manipulate your path through life."

Irked, I warned her, "If you've been watching me for years then you should know better than to admit that you've been trying to manipulate my behavior."

The Final Reality Change
Zeta took me by the hand. "Let's walk."

Five minutes later we were outside and in a calm and peaceful place. I was content to walk and listen to the noisy insects in the trees. My own speculations about Zeta and her mission on Earth buzzed in my thoughts.

Finally she spoke again. "Sure, I know you resent being controlled, but what I've done is nothing less that build and shape your life. Knowing the depths of your resentments, I'd hoped never to be forced into direct contact with you, although I had been warned that there was a high probability that I'd be forced to live out the end of my life on this primitive planet. However, I do agree with Egrosū̆." She corrected herself, "I really should call her 'Alpha'. Anyhow, you left us no choice but to move me onto the playing field of Earth. We might have tried to make do with one of my clone sisters, but that would have simply frustrated you. Since you and I have shared interests, we can work together, so this is for the best."

We walked for more than an hour and Zeta told me about her childhood on Tar'tron. She'd grown up enjoying stories and from among all of her clone sisters she had become the obvious choice to guide my development as a science fiction fan.

By the time she had completed the story of her life on Tar'tron, we'd returned home and settled back down at my writing desk. Zeta pointed to the screen of my computer and my recent blog post mentioning the possibility of a Final Collaborator.

With Zeta's eyes fixed on mine, a strong feeling of déjà vu came over me. I wondered, "Did you put the idea of finding a Final Collaborator into my head?"

She nodded, "I've spent decades preparing you for your task and frequently used the Bimanoid Interface to insert thoughts into your mind. During the past few years, I've been moving you along from one collaborator to the next, allowing you to learn about Deep Time. You now have all the knowledge that you need about the past. We will be able to work together and finally tell the Secret History of Humanity in the way that has been planned."

I had to ask, "Planned by you?"

"No." She giggled. "No, I'm only playing my assigned role, just like you. As you know, Trysta and Grean long ago anticipated and planned out the shape of the Final Reality as a universe in which you would tell the History of Humanity as a science fiction story."

Zeta sounded so confident and self-assured that I wondered if she had been shown the future. Was it possible that she knew how our lives would turn out? I asked her, "Why do you need me? Can't you write the Hidden History of Earth yourself?"

The Bimanoid Interface
Zeta seemed shocked by my suggestion. "Of course not! It is you who carries the memories of Parthney and Izhiun as well as Ivory and Thomas. And you still have your access to the Bimanoid Interface. Besides, it was specified by the Trysta-Grean Pact that the Secret History of Humanity must be told by a tryp'At."

"You know, nobody has ever explained to me why the Secret History of Humanity must be told at all."

Zeta shrugged, "Don't expect me to provide any deep insights into our predicament. I think we both understand and accept that telling the Secret History of Humanity will be beneficial for Earth. If nothing else, we can provide descriptions of past Realities in which things did not turn out well for Earthlings. I have to believe that when Trysta and Grean peered into the future they could see that by providing information about past Realities, you would help Humanity towards a better future here in the Final Reality."

I nodded, "Yes, that is what I tell myself, but I am haunted by doubts. There is a danger that I might tell people something that will alter the historical timeline, change Earth's future for the worse and lead to a new sort of catastrophe, maybe even an early extinction of the human species."

Planet of the Gods
Zeta gave a tiny nod of her head, but tried to dismiss my fears. "Well, I must trust that you and I would not be here today unless we could do some good."

"I don't think you share my background and training in science. Still, I suspect that you can appreciate the fact of my training in skepticism and the existence of my ingrained habits of thought that prevent me from trusting my hopes and wishes. I prefer to have my actions guided by evidence and reason."

Zeta gave my hand a reassuring pat. "We are now in possession of all the evidence that has been made available to us. Between us, we have plenty of reasoning power. Now, let's get busy." She turned on her tablet and we began discussing her plan for how to organize the story of how humans were created and then sent to the stars.

Next: Yōd, another Gohrlay clone.
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