The Triads are made up of the smallest primate tribe of Humans –two.
The Triads are made up of the smallest canine pack of Kiiote – six.
The Triads are made up of the smallest camelid herd of Yown’Hoo – eleven, a prime number.
On Earth, there are three Triads – one in the US, one in India and one in China.
Protected by the Triad Corporation, they intend to integrate not only the three peoples and stop the war that slaughters Humans and devastates their world, but to stop the war that consumes Kiiote economy and Yown’Hoo moral fiber (literal in their case) – and eventually confront the extra-Universe aliens who created the Interstice.
According to the best and wisest of the Triad Societies, the Merger of Human-Kiiote-Yown’Hoo into a Congenic will produce a stable construct capable of incredible expansion, creativity, longevity...and wealth – for it seems that it is the Three alone who inhabit the Milky Way, though unknown to them, there is another called the Hive which must complete the Triad – hold it if you will.
Earth-Free Activists plan to blow up one of the Nurseries – places where the Yown’Hoo and Kiiote can actually breed and the young survive far from their homeworlds. One such is south of Winnipeg on the Canadian Prairies. It falls to the North American Triad to move to stop them without letting them know that they have been betrayed...or discover that Humans know that the entire Milky Way has been betrayed.
‘Shayla, the only other Human in the Triad and who is sometimes my girlfriend, stared at me.
“What do you mean by that? Why would the Kiiote and Yown’Hoo shoot up Earth? They birth and raise their kids here!”
I shook my head. “That doesn’t matter! They’ve been fighting each other since Cortes committed La Noche Triste on the Aztecs – they aren’t likely to stop just because we made the Triads.”
“But they signed the treaties not to fight on Earth!”
“Humans have broken enough treaties in their civilized life to know perfectly well how easy they are to smash and bash – and exactly how sincere they were when they first made them.” I let the implication hang. “Why would they be any different than us?” The bus traveling along a programmed route. Especially because we were in it. We were important and it was supposed to avoid the worst parts of the city. If the program messed up, the Human driver was supposed to take over.
Something smacked against the wide window of the bus. Suddenly we were surrounded by a silvery bubble. The driver screamed as she was automatically stunned. The rest of us were grabbed by robotic arms in the seats we’d been sitting in, dragged into them and locked down. The bus sped up, turning abruptly and throwing us into the belts. Seconds later, it slowed down and came to a stop. The bubble flickered then the doors snapped open, slammed shut then snapped open again.
Qil and Fax, the beta female and male of our Kiiote pack, leaped from their seats, one going to the front door, the other to the middle door, but not exiting.
Standing in the center of the bus, Dao-hi, the Herd mother – even though she was barely older than me but had five kids who were immatures – swung her llama head back and forth. The Middles – males Zei-go, Seg-go and Ai-gol and the female fighters Lan-mai and Ked-sah boxed Dao-hi and the immatures in with their butts.
After worming my way around her, I headed for the front while ‘Shayla headed for the back.
“We’re probably in front of the Dome,” ‘Shayla said.
“We hope you’re right,” Dao-hi said.
I went down the steps. It was dark and starry. Fax followed me. Qilthebitch followed ‘Shayla. Humans always went first. We use to think it was because the Kiiote and the Yown’Hoo thought they were better than us. One night they told us that Human physical flexibility and a mythic penchant for attracting individual luck – good or bad. Humans were in always led the Triads – or the few other places Herd, Pack and Tribe attempted to cooperate.
We weren’t the only interspecies attempt at working together – we were just the most successful.
Nothing happened except the bus abruptly powered down. ‘Shayla was standing at the far end of the but with Qil. The rest of the Pack followed a moment later, then the fighting Herd. Lan-mai said, “She-neh.”
Fax said, “Yoo-yeh *tail twitch*.”
I said, “What smells wrong, though? What kind of wrong?” The Human sense of smell was pitiful next to that of Herd and Pack – so we deferred to them in that.
“Food,” said Fax.
“Death,” said Lan-mai.
“Crap,” I said. We were in a bad part of the city. It had been bad before the Annexation of Humanity and the Birthing Treaties – both of them made in secret with different Human governments.
My mom had warned me about North Minneapolis.
The sound of lots of Human voices – ‘Shayla and I looked at each other. Some of the voices were angry and they drifted to us on the warm night air.