The Cold War between the Kiiote and the Yown’Hoo has become a shooting war. On Earth, there are three Triads one each in Minneapolis, Estados United; Pune, India; and Harbin, China. Protected by the Triad Corporation, they intend to integrate not only the three peoples and stop the war that threatens to break loose and slaughter Humans and devastate their world.; but to stop the war that consumes Kiiote economy and Yown’Hoo moral fiber. The Yown’Hoo know about the extra-Universe Braider, aliens whose own “civil war” mirrors the Cold War. The Braiders accidentally created a resonance wave that will destroy the Milky Way and the only way to stop it is to physically construct a sort of membrane that will produce a canceling wave – generated from the rim of the Galaxy inward. The Braiders don’t DO physical stuff on that scale – the Yown’Hoo-Kiiote-Human Triads may be their only chance of creating a solution. The merger of Human-Kiiote-Yown’Hoo into a van der Walls Society may produce a stability capable of launching incredible expansion, creativity, longevity and wealth – and building the Membrane to stop the wave.
The young experimental Triads are made up of the smallest primate tribe of Humans –two; the smallest canine pack of Kiiote – six; and the smallest camelid herd of Yown’Hoo – a prime eleven. On nursery farms and ranches away from the TC cities, Humans have tended young Yown’Hoo and Kiiote in secret for decades, allowing the two warring people to reproduce and grow far from their home worlds. Grendl, Manitoba is one such place. No one but the Triad Company has ever heard of it and the physical plant goes by the unobtrusive name of Organic Prairie Dairy.
The city Triads never hear of anything they aren’t spoon fed in their luxury worlds and have heard only rumors of the farms and ranches. Surrounded by a Humanity that has degenerated into a “duck-and-cover” society as the Big Boys fight their war, the Triads don’t care about anything but their own lives. Oblivious, cocooned, manipulated, they have no idea that their privileges are about to be violently curtailed and all of their biology ransacked for the correct Membrane pattern. (update: 5/2/2014)
Kashayla Mary-Natalia Kimpo fell to her knees. She had every right to, I guess, because we were talking with a ghost of a Human woman who had both commanded the All Earth Defense Fleet and died spectacularly and very publicly when the Kiiote and Yown’Hoo had blown a hole through the same Fleet as they’d invaded Earth. She’d become not only a hero, but among the poorest of the poor on Earth, she was a saint. Popularly known as Saint Admiral, she even had the blessing of the Catholic Church.
The Kiiote and Yown’Hoo had their own versions of saints – and those were the ones standing in front of us now. I looked over at Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh (ret), who nodded and said, “Sorta makes you want to fall down and worship me, don’t it?”
I scowled and said, “I’m not a very religious person.”
He laughed, drawing the attention of Saint Admiral, and the leaders of the Yown’Hoo and Kiiote attack on Earth at the outset of their shooting war something like thirty years ago. The Herd Mother of Herd Mothers, Ji-hi had personally accepted the surrender of the old United States and the European Union. The Kiiote Pack Leaders Zir and Pon had each accepted the surrender of China and Russia. All of them had commented on the eventual destruction of St. Admiral.
She gestured to Shay, who stood as she walked past her. Shay’s eyes were practically bugging out of her head as she mouthed to me, “Don’t be stupid!”
From her two meter height, St. Admiral said down to me, “Who exactly do you think we are, young man?”
Shay made slashing motions across her throat, probably hoping I’d follow suit with a real knife. For whatever reason, this woman had made my normally sarcastic and skeptical partner a total religious fundamentalist.
Zir and Pan grabbed each member of the Pack by the loose skin at the throat and bit just hard enough to draw blood, then allowed them up to follow. Ji-hi had already butted Dao-hi into submission and led the Herd without challenge. She did have to kick one of the males in its pointy little head to make it back off. It finally got the message and now stood close by Dao-hi, trembling. Both Pack and Herd moved over to where I was speaking up at Saint Admiral. I said, “I think the three of you are the original Triad.”
She and Bakhsh laughed outright, but the Lieutenant was the first one to glare at me. St. Admiral grinned, her white teeth startling in her dark-skinned face. She said, “I suppose you could call us something like that, though I don’t remember signing a contract with the Corporation, do any of you?” Zir and Pan growled, Ji-hi pawed the ground. She looked down at me, not speaking for so long, I almost dropped down to the ground in a bow despite my agnosticism. She paused, then said, “We are the Corporation, boy child. You and your Triads are the invention of the four of us. Zir and Pan and Ji-hi are my tribe as we are each other’s Pack and Herd.”
Dao-hi couldn’t contain herself any longer and blurted, “But there’s no dominance among you! Herd Mother, how can you allow these other,” she used a word I’d never heard her use before. It was a strange sound, part whinny, part jaw-snap, part humming. No matter – it sounded insulting and the hairs on the back of my neck rose, “to dominate you?”
Ji-hi reared up, her tentacles pulling free of their sheaths with a pop as she whirled on Dao-hi, and said, “There can be no more ‘domination’, Herd Parent! The longer we attempt to dominate, the weaker we grow!”
There was silence in the underground garage as all of us stared at Ji-hi. Then Saint Admiral said softly, “I wouldn’t have put it that bluntly, dear, but I suppose we have little enough time to waste. We must send our children into the North before this city is a radioactive crater and all of our hopes for survival of the Three are annihilated.”