Jul 15, 2017

Telepathy Time

Muldoon tangle-top "so named for the
squirming black tendrils at the top of its head"
I own a hard cover copy of Araminta Station by Jack Vance. It is a March 1988 edition.

There have been many different covers for Araminta Station, but I particularly like the cover art by Boris Vallejo (shown to the right) depicting the confrontation between Sessily, Glawen and a tangle-top (even though Vallejo seems to have left out the tangle).

Vance raised the possibility that Sessily and Glawen both had subtle telepathic powers. After the dangerous tangle-top runs away and allows Sessily and Glawen to escape in their flyer, Sessily tells Glawen that she used telepathy to make the tangle-top leave them alone.

We have to question the extent of Sessily's telepathic powers because 30 pages later into the story she is dead; murdered by Kirdy least as Vance tells to tale. However, her body is never recovered and I like to imagine that there might have been some tricky method for allowing her to live on. As Viole Falushe once said, "Life, death, these are imprecise terms."

Pussycat Palace, Yipton. The large, illegal and growing population of Yips
on the Lutwen Islands threatens the future Cadwal as a nature preserve.
It is almost as if the only reason for Sessily's existence is to make it possible for the planet Cadwal to be saved from exploitation by humans. When first discovered, the rich life of Cadwal was deemed worthy of protection and the entire planet was turned into a nature preserve. However, after a thousand years, forces are gathering that could alter the fate of Cadwal.

The planet Cadwal
click image to enlarge
"The first explorers considered it a world too beautiful and too full of natural wonders to be spoiled by human settlement, so they made Cadwal a Conservancy. Folk may come to visit and enjoy the natural conditions, but no one is allowed to alter the environment, or dig for volcanic jewels or bother the native beasts, no matter how savage and repulsive they are." -Wayness Tamm

Sessily's  mother, Felice Veder, holding a Parilia poster.
Original cover art by Douglas Beekman
Sessily and Glawen are born on Cadwal at the critical time when action must be taken to save the planet. In Vance's telling of the story, it is only because Sessily must go out from Araminta Station into the wild (to collect decorative butterfly wings for her Parilia costume) that Glawen tries to defend her against a hungry tangle-top. Strangely, his gun has no ammunition in it. This leads to the alarming discovery that the Yips were on the verge of killing all the residents of Araminta Station.

According to Vance:
Yip worker at Araminta Station

"The Yips were now so numerous as to overflow Lutwen Atoll. They threatened to spill ashore upon Deucus in a great surge and thereby destroy the Conservancy. The men were of good stature and supple of physique, with luminous hazel eyes, well shaped features, hair and skin the same golden color. The Yip girls were no less comely... "

From Araminta Station to the Lutwen Islands by ferry.
The residents of Araminta Station, originally a small group of about 100 legal residents on Cadwal, have become complacent and complicit with the forces that are gathering and threatening to open Cadwal to human exploitation of the planet's resources. Araminta Station now makes use of Yips as workers and participates in a lucrative tourist trade: visitors arrive on Cadwal, land at the Araminta spaceport, then take a ferry to Yipton, the Capitol of the renegade Yip population on the nearby Lutwen Islands.

Gateway Essentials
Here (image to the right) is another Araminta Station cover with a 2011 date. At the Gateway website, they say: "Owing to territorial restrictions, we regret that we cannot make this title available for sale in the USA or Canada."

Gateway functions as an ebook distributor in the UK. I don't see any evidence that they try to match their cover art to the novels that they distribute. The cover image shown to the right has nothing to do with Vance's story. However, a staple of Vance's future is the aircar (flyer) and in the case of Cadwal, there are no roads on the planet so travel is accomplished by boat (including a submarine), aircar and occasionally, a more expensive spaceship.

I've previously imagined that Sessily was an alien being who grew up at Araminta Station without realizing that she was an alien creature disguised as a human.

For the Exode Saga, I pretend that all of Jack Vance's stories about a future age of interstellar travel were inspired by actual events in the Asimov Reality.

Foundations of Eternity: book 2 of the Exode Saga
Telepathy plays a major role in the Exode Saga because the story began as a fanfiction sequel to Isaac Asimov's great "future history" about telepathic positronic robots and how they guided Humanity towards creation of Galaxia.

And besides, like space travel, telepathy has long been one of the core themes of science fiction.

a Talosian
Telepathy in the Asimov Reality
One of the first science fiction novels I read introduced me to the Arisians, aliens with giant brains and telepathic powers.

One of the most disturbing science fiction images from television viewing in my youth (thanks, Gene) was the pulsing blood vessels on the large heads of the Talosians. I guess aliens with big heads makes for good TV, but telepathy does not require giant brains.

telepathic robots; cover
art by Stephen Youll
In the case of Isaac Asimov, he imagined telepathic robots with positronic brains. Those positronic brains were about the same size as a human brain.

In the Asimov Reality, at least one robot with a positronic brain remains: R. Gohrlay, a refugee from earlier Realities in which the positronic robots who inspired Asimov's fictional stories actually existed.

Yerophet: Alastor 1083
published 1975, Ekcolir Reality
In the Asimov Reality, R. Gohrlay is trying to genetically modify humans so as to make possible a Final Reality in which humans can inherit the Earth and not be replaced by Prelands.

What about the telepathic powers of Grean and the other Genesaunts who have been deployed by the pek in our galaxy? And what about telepathy among the various species that have been genetically modified by the Phari? Do they have the power to use telepathy for the purpose of controlling the thoughts and behavior of humans? Might tangle-tops have independently evolved their own telepathic abilities? Or were worlds like Cadwal once, long ago, visited by the Phari?

One of my major concerns in the Exode Saga is that characters such as the Editor (and the Asimov Replicoid who explores the Asimov Reality) might be mere puppets, tools of the pek and the bumpha.

Replicoid Telepathy
in the Ekcolir Reality
Original cover art: Edmund Emshwiller
Can replicoids exercise telepathic control of humans (or a tryp'At)? Are replicoids designed to be easily controlled by telepathic means, maybe by telepathic control signals originating in the hierion domain or the sedronic domain?

According to Zeta, back in the Ekcolir Reality there was much more information available about the woman who inspired Jack Vance to incorporate the Sessily character into Araminta Station. We really need an organized exploration of Deep Time to help us get to the bottom of this!

The popular rumor says that both time travel and telepathy were made impossible when the Huaoshy recently altered the dimensional structure of the universe. Fixing the date of that shift in physical laws of the universe has proven difficult. Zeta suggests that 1972 was the year when time travel became impossible.

Wayness on the planet Nion.
I have become hopeful that investigation of the Asimov Reality might reveal clues to how telepathy once functioned and how nanites and Replicoids might simulate telepathic communication and mind control.

One planet described by Vance as a center for research into telepathic powers was Nion. "The Gangrils of the Lankster Cleeks are experts" at isolating active agents from the pold (soil) of Nion and using those agents to trigger latent capacities of the human mind such as telepathy. "The Gangrils not only subsist upon pold but transform it into mysterious new substances, with unpredictable psychic effects."

The Standing Stones
"Tanjaree is the single cosmopolitan center of Nion. The first inhabitants of Tanjaree had included a clique of biologists dedicated to the creation of a super-race through genetic manipulation." In Ecce & Old Earth, Vance described two children who had been subjected to the mind-altering effects of Gangril "drugs". One of those children developed astonishing telepathic abilities. "Gangril drugs ..... are able to reinforce certain functions of the brain and suppress others. Clairvoyance is ability they can enhance.” Strangely, Wayness Tamm witnesses the telepathy-enhancing effects of Gangril "drugs", but like other people described by Vance in his "future history" of mankind's explorations of the galaxy, Wayness seems to take the occasional appearance of telepathic powers among humans for granted. I hope to obtain a copy of the second book in the Sessily Trilogy; rumor (coming out of the library of the Dead Widowers in Eternity) has it that some of the secrets of the Gangril "drugs" and the human genetic experiments that were performed on Nion are described in that book from Deep Time.

Guiding Earth's history.
It is possibly not coincidental that in the Ekcolir Reality a story called "The Sessily Replicoid" was published. According to Zeta, that story revealed the alien aspects of Svahr, the woman who inspired Jack Vance to write the Sessily character into Araminta Station in this Reality. Zeta suggests that Svahr was a recipient of modified genes that originated on planets such as Nion.

Even if telepathy is no longer possible here in the Final Reality, there seem to be forces at work trying to obscure the ways that telepathy was used to shape human history. Replicoids and the Bimanoid Interface probably still allow the tryp'At to exercise the functional equivalent of telepathic mind control over the people of Earth.

The League of Yrinna
No doubt, the tryp'At do not want we Earthlings to understand the extent to which our behavior and choices can be guided and controlled by our Overseers.

The possible modes of telepathic control are many. There is good reason to believe that in the past, when telastid-mediated telepathy was still allowed by the laws of the universe, even seemingly inanimate objects such as books could function as convenient and inconspicuous conduits for telepathic communication.

What about our post-telepathy era here in the Final Reality? Would we even notice if we were being manipulated by the functional equivalent of telepathic mind control?

A perplexed Scalosian contemplates
the broken transporter after it is sabotaged by Kirk.
Back in 2015, I speculated that books such as Araminta Station might be a logical place to install nanites or other submicroscopic devices that could be used to control my behavior.

But why should there be a need for anything as large as a book? And why not just place the mind-control nanites right inside of me? In the original Star Trek episode about the Scalosians, it just made for good TV when Captain Kirk reached into the teleporter console and pulled out some critical macroscopic component, the absence of which inactivated the transporter system. Sadly, I'm predisposed to expect a visible cause of all events and that makes me an easy target for mind control by my replicoid, a mysterious lurking force that I have never seen.

Wayness and her daughter at their home in
the Araminta enclave of Cadwal.
Sedronic Linkage
According to Zeta, Sam Jaqy wrote a 4th novel in the Cadwal saga called Return to Araminta (that was in the Ekcolir Reality). Wayness and Glawen spent several years exploring the galaxy, but they returned to Cadwal when Wayness was pregnant.

Wayness and Glawen soon discovered that heir daughter had potent para-psychic abilities that allowed her to cognitively link into the web of life (Phari network) that connected Cadwal to other planets such as Rosalia.

Published in the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Earle Bergey
Yōd suggests that pek nanites have been seeded onto every world of the galaxy and they are able to link together life forms on many planets by way of the sedronic domain.

Zeta has concluded that the Huaoshy always attempt to protect the ecosystems of planets and the easiest way to guard the native creatures of worlds like Cadwal and Rosalia may have been to "sensitize" some humans to the thought patterns of alien creatures that flowed from world to world through the Bimanoid Interface.
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Jul 8, 2017

Ta Ta

I've never been a good traveler. However, my mother and sister have often visited England, claiming that they were investigating ancestral links: distant relatives who lived in England before anyone in the family moved to the New World. Now Zeta informs me that there is another type of link between my family and England.

For perhaps millions of years the Grendels guided the evolution of protohumans and humans on Earth. Now, the tryp'At seem to be functioning as Earth Overseers and they may be trying to enforce a rule against tryp'At residing on Earth. This becomes pertinent if I am tryp'At.

I was not present when my mother died, but according to my sister, her last words were, "Ta Ta, for now." Growing up, I heard my mother use a thousand little quaint sayings, many of which I never heard anyone else deploy in their speech. In the case of "ta ta", that was also used by the mother of my best childhood friend. I recently mentioned this to Zeta.

Aunt Mayness (1974)
Zeta told me, "Well, Aunt Mayness and her sister were both tryp'At. They grew up in a society where individuals were designed to move their consciousness between bodies in much the same way that humans might change clothes. They used 'ta ta' to mean something like: 'keep up the good work until we return to our own bodies'."

"Wait a minute. I thought Aunt Mayness was Trysta Iwedon, in disguise."

Trysta: Foundations
Zeta shrugged, "You mean that you assumed Trysta made use of nanites to alter her appearance and take on the physical form of Aunt Mayness."

I asked, "How else would she disguise herself as another woman?"

Zeta shrugged, "I'm not sure I should say. This is the sort of stuff that that got Ivory kicked off of Earth."

Yōd looked up from her tablet computer and said, "And besides, the truth might blow his mind."

The Ivory Infites
Zeta replied to Yōd, "He's had the knowledge of replicoid capabilities for years. This is nothing new."

Yōd gave her head a violent little shake, "He's been cognitively closed to the possibility of mind transfer."

I complained, "I wish you two would stop trying to protect me. I'd prefer to know the truth."

Zeta snickered, "No, you don't."

Yōd added, "You've repeatedly been told this truth and each time you've requested that the facts be scrubbed from your mind. There's no point in going through all that again."

After a moment of reflection I suggested, "Let's try the fiction gambit."

Trysta and Grean
Zeta laughed, "Ya, right. We're talking about a genie that won't go back in the bottle."

Yōd asked, "Fiction gambit?"

Zeta explained, "If the thinks the truth is fiction, then he can remain on Earth while knowing a hidden truth."

Yōd muttered, "Risky. How can the tryp'At Overseers know if he believes a truth? In the past, they've always kept this particular truth hidden from Earthlings."

I suggested, "By the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact, Earthling can know the truth as long as the truth is disguised as fiction."

Yōd objected, "None of us have seen the text of the Pact. There may be some truths that will never be made known to Earthlings."

Zeta wondered, "Maybe he has been pushed and guided to reach a cognitive state where the truth about the tryp'At can be viewed and understood as fiction. This truth may be so fantastic that he can't believe it to be true."

Yōd was skeptical, "That wasn't the case when Ivory told him the truth and it wasn't the case last year when you told him."

Zeta jumped to her feet and began to pace. "Okay...hypothetically... what is the tryp'At were designed to provide a way around the restrictions of the Trysta-Grean Pact, as a way to allow for Earth Overseers after the end of time travel and after all non-humans had been removed from Earth."

700 Investigations
I nodded. "And if I am tryp'At, I must be biologically indistinguishable from an Earth human."

Yōd sighed loudly and interjected, "This isn't about your genes."

Zeta placed her hand over Yōd's mouth, "Shut up." She looked at me and continued, "What do you think would be involved when moving a tryp'At agent to Earth?"

"I've been imagining that tryp'At can be created on Earth from two complementary human genomes, using specialized gene-sculpting nanites. That's the only way I can imagine that a tryp'At would be allowed to remain on Earth."

Zeta wanted to be quite sure that she understood my idea. "If such a tryp'At were genetically constructed from human genetic material?"


Yōd asked, "What if there were thousands of such genetic constructs on Earth? Would they all be tryp'At?"

Suddenly I realized just what Yōd and Zeta were trying to tell me. I shrugged. "Don't tell me that such genetically specialized humans are only receptacles... competent to become tryp'At..."

Yōd pranced out of the room and Zeta went back to her work. All she said was, "Ok."

I found myself unable to speak further about the idea of humans like myself and my mother being receptacles for the tryp'At minds that need to function on Earth. Is there a colony of tryp'At on Mars? Did my mother return to Mars and leave behind nothing but a receptacle body here on Earth?

I believe that my recent discussion with Yōd and Zeta concerning the tryp'At have triggered old memories that were given to me by Ivory. Ivory tried to warn me that in the Ekcolir Reality, the tryp'At first operated primarily out of a secret base in England. Unfortunately, those old memories seem to have been scrambled. Now more than ever I fear that my family and I have been engineered to be "puppets" of the tryp'At and we have been forced to play our specified roles here on the stage of Earth.

Next: investigating the end of telepathy
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Jun 24, 2017

Mars 123

Image credits: this image was made using
three images created by Ludovic Celle. See:
Mars canyon 01, Martian Oasis, and
Green Mars 01. This new composite image
(M1A2R3S) depicts an imaginary book cover
and is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.
Mars 123 tells the story of what happens next to the Editor after the events described in Exit Edit. Sadly, there does not seem to be a copy of Mars 123 on Earth.

Today I was discussing time travel with Zeta. Several years ago, back when I was told by Ivory that time travel became impossible sometime late in the 20th century, I was both skeptical and disappointed. It would be wonderful if those of us here in 2017 could be provided with a convincing demonstration of time travel.

Zeta insists that I have been a time traveler and she has consistently encouraged me to make efforts to access old suppressed memories of my trips through time. Zeta keeps telling me that I might not be able to experience those suppressed memories in a normal fashion. Today, when we had again reached that point in our discussion of time travel, Yōd looked up from her tablet and joined the conversation.

In the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Michael Whelan.
Yōd said to Zeta, "You might shake loose some of his suppressed memories if you told him about the Martians."

Zeta muttered, "Ivory got kicked off of Earth for that."

Yōd shrugged, "Don't be such a coward."

I asked, "What about Martians?"

Zeta replied, "One of the stories that the Dead Widowers published was about Mars, but the tryp'At Overseers erased that little publishing effort from history and Ivory got her ticket off of Earth."

Somehow that revelation matched with an idea that was already in my head. I wondered if Yōd had been correct and old memories were being triggered just by me thinking about Mars and the idea of Martians. I tried fishing for information that might be common knowledge on the worlds of the Galactic Core. I asked, "Two billion years ago, when the pek arrived in our galaxy, did they find life on both Earth and Mars?"

Click image to enlarge. (source) image credits
Yōd exclaimed triumphantly, "See!"

I didn't know what she meant. I wondered out loud, "See what?"

Zeta scowled at Yōd, then she replied, "Yes, the pek found life on Mars when they arrived. However, their main interest in Mars concerned extracting the planet's sedrons."

Zeta fell silent and I believe she would have let the matter drop. I was aware of the fact that the real source of Huaoshy power and technological dominance in the universe depended on their sedron monopoly. The main job of the pek was to extract all readily available deposits of sedrons, depriving other life forms of access to naturally occurring sedronic matter.

I was lost in a train of thought about the Huaoshy and sedrons when Yōd added, "According to Ivory, there was a Nereid base on Mars and-"

Zeta complained, "There's no evidence for that!"

Yōd never paused, "...and there will be a future base for Martians."

Zeta was glaring at Yōd, but I hardly noticed. In my mind I could see a strange "dream scene" that has haunted me my whole life. For many years I'd imagined it was a scene set at Observer Base on the Moon, but now I no longer believe that there was ever actually an alien facility under the surface of the Moon.

But what about Mars?

That thought triggered an odd memory fragment to bubble up in my mind. I've long suspected that somehow my family was constructed as a device for inserting a tyrp'At agent into Earth's timeline, an agent who would play the role of "the Editor". Part of that family was my "uncle" George.

I never knew if George had any real genetic relationship to me. The first time I ever met him was right after I had died. I can only remember an image of George and my parents talking; I have no idea what they were talking about... I was just a little kid. However, the last time I ever saw George has returned to my awareness after decades of that memory being blocked. That occasion may have been the only time that George actually spoke to me.

in the Ekcolir Reality
At the time, (I was about 12 years old) what George told me made no sense. I realize now that he was trying to warn me about my future, particularly the fact that Gohrlay would come into my life. George warned me to never think that I could trust a woman and he put it in a strange way: "You never know. A woman who you think you know might actually be from Mars."

When I was 12, I laughed at George's remark about Mars. He looked at me rather sternly, took my hand in his, and asked me to promise to not forget what he had told me. Now I am left wondering if Gohrlay really did "come from Mars" and if she has returned to that world. The tryp'At seem to be enforcing restrictions on who can reside on Earth. It may be that Gohrlay, having originated in Deep Time, had too many bumpha-derived genes. She might be more comfortable on another world.

Lately, I've gone back and forth in my speculations about Gohrlay's fate. Sometimes I have imagined that she is still here on Earth, in hiding. Other times, I feel that she was teleported off of Earth and is now on some planet of the Galactic Core. But now I must wonder if she is on Mars. Ivory tried to tell me the truth and I might have once actually traveled to a future time when I will join Gohrlay on Mars.

Next: investigating the tryp'At
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May 26, 2017

Perfection of Joy

advertising brochure
Jack Vance died four years ago. Ever since back in August 2013, I have been doing Vance tribute posts every August (he was born on August 28th; last year) and May (died May 26th; last May).

Perfection of Joy
In Jack Vance's novel Araminta Station, the protagonist is Glawen Clattuc, a young policeman who is sent on a trip away from his home planet in search of the criminals who have been arranging for "Perfection of Joy" outings on Cadwal. The planet Cadwal is a nature preserve, governed by the Cadwal Conservancy. In the interest of raising money, a small tourism industry has been allowed to develop on Cadwal.

The Perfection of Joy excursions have been arranged by Simonetta Clattuc, a renegade member of Glawen's family who hopes to destroy Araminta Station. Simonetta, an outcast from Araminta Station, has taken control of the Yips, a group of 100,000 runaways and their descendants who reside illegally on an island not far from Araminta Station's location on the mainland.

cover art by Boris Vallejo
In need of cheap labor, the administrators of the Cadwal Conservancy, who reside at Araminta Station, have for centuries issued work permits to Yips. These temporary laborers can be granted six month work permits at the Station, but often these permits are extended indefinitely for the trained Yips who perform particularly useful functions.

Vance never mentions the exact population of Araminta Station, but the legal residents of Cadwal number only a few thousand. The Cadwal police are desperate for money to defend themselves against invasion of the mainland by Simonetta and the ever-increasing population of Yips. The leaders of the Cadwal Conservancy also hope to buy passage for the Yips on space transports so that they can be settled on nearby worlds.

One of the islands on Cadwal
One of the tourists who came to Cadwal for a Perfection of Joy "vacation" is a wealthy bank owner. The Araminta Station police threaten him with prosecution and extort a large sum of money from him. Vance never describes in detail the horrible crimes that are committed during Perfection of Joy excursions on Cadwal, but those illegal excursions result in the deaths of several young Yip women.

To investigate these crimes and discover who is behind the Perfection of Joy excursions, Glawen travels to the planets of origin for the tourists who have participated in Perfection of Joy excursions on Cadwal. He discovers the identity of the woman who has distributed Perfection of Joy brochures on those worlds and learns that she is the new wife of one of his own family members. Before he can report this discovery to his superiors at Araminta Station, Glawen is double-crossed by a fellow policeman and thrown into a prison. Eventually, Glawen escapes, returns to Cadwal and takes revenge.

The Sacred Shin
The Sacred Shin by Anney Fersoni
In The Palace of Love, the poet Navarth tries to hide from Demon Prince Viole Falushe in Edmonton. The story takes place about 1,500 years in the future. Edmonton has become a destination for pilgrims who want to gaze upon the Sacred Shin.

I like to imagine that Vance's stories about the Demon Princes and Cadwal reflect actual events from a previous Reality. In my recursive science fiction story A Search Beyond, the replicoid of Isaac Asimov investigates Deep Time and reveals the secret of how new human gene combinations were devised during the far future of the past Reality in which Glawen existed.

Viole Falushe became involved in a study of special gene combinations that originally existed in the Earth girl Jheral Tinzy. Clones of Jheral were constructed and studied in order to explore those unique gene combinations.

Alien Gene Transfer by Ivory Fersoni
I like to imagine that the Sacred Shin was a geological artifact containing evidence that the pek first visited Earth about 2,000,000,000 years ago. The human species arose through a long process of genetic manipulations and alterations imposed on the creatures of Earth by the pek and bumpha.

The Genetics Cluster
Some past related blog posts about genetics in Vance's universe:
Genes of Dar Sai
The Junius Revolution
Alastor Cluster as laboratory for DNA modification

Next: secrets of Mars
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May 6, 2017

700 Collaborators

Last spring I had a blog post called 7 Collaborators. Last summer I continued my tradition of celebrating arbitrary numerical milestones when I reached 600 posts to this blog. This is my 700th wikifiction blog post and this is a good time to celebrate another large round number by reflecting upon the importance of collaboration.

700 Collaborators
For many years I felt like I was all alone in my search for an explanation of the odd world we inhabit. I sensed a hidden mystery that always remained just out of sight, just beyond the grasp of we Earthlings. The existence of that lurking mystery did not bother me. With time, a team of collaborators assembled and they helped me begin to understand where we humans come from and why we are such unusual creatures.

Hana and Hilde
Significant progress towards that ultimate understanding began with the Exode saga and Hana. I originally viewed Hana as my tool, someone who I could safely depict as a fictional character, an explorer who would reveal the role that humans play within a greater galactic civilization.

I had briefly known Hana back around 1980 after my friend Peter had introduced us. Later, in this millennium, I was surprised to learn about the strange medical condition that made impossible a normal life for Hana's daughter, Hilde. Even more shocking was the fact that Hana had disappeared when Hilde was still a small child. Those mysteries began to make some sense when I learned that Hana had departed from Earth.

Parthney and friends, 2012
Hana's removal from Earth and her adventure among the stars became an opportunity for me as a story teller. I imagined that Hana would be the protagonist in an investigative science fiction story that would reveal the structure of Genesaunt society within our galaxy. I already had the vague idea that there was a far-flung population of humans on other worlds besides Earth and it would be through the telling of Hana's story that the details of Genesaunt civilization would be revealed.

At the start of my investigation into Hana's interstellar adventures, there was no Exode saga, there was only a single story called Exode in which Hana, an Earth woman, was taken away from Earth and allowed to visit some of the other worlds of the galaxy where humans reside. I could not avoid asking: why among all the billions of people on Earth had Hana been selected to go on her great adventure among the stars?

Parthney: secret agent
That was a mystery and to resolve it, Parthney stepped forward as a second character in Exode who could provide an account of why Hana had to be removed from Earth. From the moment when Parthney first appeared in Exode he was trouble. As an Interventionist agent working on Earth, he had been carefully trained for his mission, but above all, Parthney had been trained to never reveal his secret identity to the people of Earth. Lucky for me, Parthney's grandson, Izhiun, was able to pass along to me what he knew about Parthney.

The Buld use nanites so as to make
possible technology-assisted telepathy
As long as Exode was only going to be a small story about Hana, there was absolutely no need to reveal the details of Parthney's mission on Earth. However, as soon as I became aware of Parthney's existence I realized that shedding light on the motivations of Interventionists like Parthney was exactly what Hana's journey to the stars was supposed to accomplish. So, rather than exist as a tiny plot device for the sole purpose of removing Hana from Earth and sending her on a great adventure, Parthney instead became the subject of a complex investigation.

My investigation of Parthney revealed a strange symmetry between his life and that of Hana. Parthney was "born" on the planet Hemmal, a world located in the Galactic Core. On Hemmal, Parthney grew up among the Buld, a people for whom Earth was only a place of myth and legend. In an alternate Reality, Parthney might have been happy to remain on Hemmal and devote his life to singing the traditional Hemmal ballads about Earth. But that was not to be. Parthney was subjected to his own personal exode: he was kicked off of Hemmal and sent to Earth as an Interventionist agent.

Ivory's whimsical depiction of an
alien pek Overseer. The pek can take on
any convenient physical form.
The task of removing Parthney from Hemmal was assigned to Muchlo, a pek. I believe that during the past million years or so, during the time when humans have existed on Earth, the pek have been unable to visit our world. This travel ban is self-imposed: the pek try to follow the Rules of Intervention. However, Hemmal is an artificially crafted world, designed by the pek as a place where they could craft "designer people", new human variants that better suit the needs of the pek than do we Earthlings.

Originally, Hemmal was a laboratory where the pek could craft a new type of primate called the Preland. "Preland" is an exonym, derived from the misguided concept of a "pre-landing species" of primate that had theoretically been designed and constructed at Observer Base. When dealing with Earthlings, the pek could get no closer than Observer Base and they had to work through proxy agents if they needed some task performed on Earth.

Biologically, Parthney was not a Buld. It was obvious to everyone on Hemmal that Parthney was unique and he did not really fit in with Buld culture. Perhaps most importantly, Parthney could not achieve the telepathic mind links that the Buld take for granted.

Parthney is actually a clone of Thomas. As such, Parthney is a special hybrid humanoid who retains some of the Asterothrope gene combinations that Thomas inherited from his mother, Trysta.

The Asterothropes were a human variant, crafted by R. Gohrlay in the far future. Under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact, the descendants of Trysta were special: they were designed to be nearly human so that they would be allowed to remain on Earth.

As shown in the family tree, above, Trysta had two sets of children who managed to reach the Final Reality. Thomas was born into the Ekcolir Reality while Andy was born here, in the Final Reality. As Trysta's first born, Thomas was given special treatment: he was taken into a space-time bubble and transferred from the Ekcolir Reality to the Final Reality. Thomas was used as the root genetic stock for a large number of clones. Parthney was the last of a group of Thomas clones who served as Interventionist agents on Earth.

Andy's descendants became involved in another cloning project that resulted in creation of the so-called Atlantis Clones. The original template for the Atlantis Clones was Ivory Fersoni. Ivory and her clones became some of my most important collaborators. It was Ivory who made it possible for me to begin to receive infites from Thomas and Izhiun. While sifting through the information provided to me by the Atlantis Clones, I was surprised to learn that Hana's daughter, Hilde, is actually an Ivory clone.

Syon (source)
I first began thinking in terms of collaborators four years ago in the context of Parthney and the people he knew at Lendhalen. Eventually I realized that Parthney is just one of the many clones of Thomas and the character who I originally named "Robin" was actually Syon, an artificial life "copy" of Trysta. Parthney was trained for his Interventionist mission to Earth by Syon, but there was a group of collaborators at Lendhalen 

Everything suddenly changed a few years ago when I was given the "gift" of a swarm of infites by Ivory Fersoni. The information content of those information nanites quickly expanded my conscious awareness and I discovered that I was part of a secretive collaborative effort aimed at salvaging a future for the human species.

Why secretive? As far as I can tell, the existence of we humans is a serious violation of the ethical laws that have guided the evolution of life in our universe for the past two billion years. The human species was brought into existence by the bumpha. The bumpha and the pek function like two political parties within the Huaoshy-sanctioned effort to bring order to the Hadronic Domain. We can view the bumpha as the liberal wing, always pushing to expand opportunities for primitive species such as we humans.

The pek are more conservative. They take seriously the fact that hadronic lifeforms like we humans almost always manage to make a mess on their home planet and eventually they become extinct, after doing vast damage to ecosystems and other lifeforms. The basic problem is that tool using primates such as we humans can be counted onto miss-use advanced technologies.

Ivory and her clones such as Anney became the core of a group of collaborators called the Dead Widowers. Sadly, the Dead Widowers were kicked off of Earth by the tryp'At Overseers. Lucky for me, the Dead Widowers have been able to provide me with useful information obtained from the Hierion and Sedronic Domains.
the Trysta-Grean Pact

In addition to infites from Parthney and Ivory, Thomas was "kind" enough to pass on to me the infites that he had originally obtained from Asimov. With all of the clues in my infites, I finally realized that there was a copy of Gohrlay residing on Earth here in the final Reality. In fact, there is a group of Gohrlay clones, several of whom I have met. Also, it became clear that I am tryp'At.

Zeta is one of the Gohrlay clones who has recently become a major collaborator. Zeta has hinted that in addition to my replicoid, there may be another "copy" of me in the Hierion Domain. This information apparently originates with Zeta's replicoid, who has heard a rumor that "my copy" is on trial at Observer Base. Some Overseers believe that under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact, there should be no tryp'At on Earth. According to that interpretation, I should have long ago been removed from Earth.

Zeta seems hopeful that Mahasvin will be able to arrange for me to continue to reside on Earth so that I can complete the task of reporting to Earthlings the Secret History of Humanity. However, Zeta seems to be preparing me for the possibility that I might have to go into hiding from the Overseers. How that might be possible she cannot explain.

My most recently arrived collaborator is Yōd, another clone of Gohrlay. Yōd is currently functioning as an information channel, relaying reports about the Asimov replicoid's activities in the Hierion Domain. Apparently Yōd's replicoid is assisting Asimov with his Deep Time investigation of the Asimov Reality.

Next: Celebrating the stories of Jack Vance.
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