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)
I stood with the others in the underground garage, unmoving.
Zir and Pan were without their pack, though I suddenly noticed that Pan was heavy with pups. Ji-hi was without her herd, though I could see her pouch moving with what must have been a very young male – perhaps soon to emerge from her pouch. St. Admiral was without a partner, but I found myself suddenly wondering if her and Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh (ret)…I shuddered. There were some thoughts better left unthought.
St. Admiral said, “As the Corporation, boy child we are acting to move this Triad to a safer location.”
I couldn’t help myself, I said, “To do what?” The hairs on the back of my neck rose as the Triad fixed me with long gaze.
Finally Bakhsh said, “To keep you safe.”
I couldn’t help it. I snorted. “How are we in any kind of danger? This whole thing – us running is just to give us practice in case something happens, right?”
There was silence in the underground garage as all of us stared at me. Then Saint Admiral said softly, “I wouldn’t have put it that bluntly, dear, but we have little time to waste. We must send you into the North before this city is a radioactive crater and all of our hopes for survival of the Three are annihilated.”
“Why? The Yown’Hoo and Kiiote going after each other again?”
All of the Kiiote growled and the Herd surged forward. St. Admiral raised her hand and they backed up a bit. She said, “This time, no. The nuclear devices in place have been set by Humans who don’t want to see the war end. They want to see Humanity erased from the universe.”
Even Kashayla Kimpo bristled and exclaimed, “You expect us to believe that there are Humans who want to see Humanity dead? That would be insane!”
“There’ve always been Humans who hate Humanity. It’s a pathological condition we have named Taedet humano. They are out to kill all of us – or to encourage the Kiiote and the Yown’Hoo to do their dirty work for them.”
The female Kiiote said, “We need no help hating the Yown’Hoo. That is how we have been bred. But we care nothing for Humans.” It looked at St. Admiral.
The male added, “We do wish to survive as a people and if it is necessary to encourage the survival of the Herd and begin to take notice of Humanity, then it is necessary and who are we to fight the will of the universe?” His mate snarled her emphasis.
The Herd Mother said, “We need no help hating the Pack – their kind scourged our world until we destroyed them all. We discovered too late that the Pack is what drove us to superiority and when they were gone, we came so close to falling back to our non-sentient beginnings that...” he tentacles whipped out, both cracking in anger. “But we are not extinct and that is without thanks but in understanding that it was Kiiote who rescued us. Now we must not thank Humans.”
I only barely understood what she was saying, but I bowed to her. The others in our Triad pressed together. The lieutenant looked totally confused and so did St. Admiral. They all turned to me – the leaders of the intelligent universe.
The Kiiote howled, the Herd Mother stamped, Bakhsh clapped his hands, and St. Admiral nodded slowly. Backing away, I exclaimed, “What?”
“This is why we need all of you!” Bakhsh said. “You knew what she was talking about – you should see all of your faces! You knew what she meant and accepted it within your own psychological matrices. None of us understood her. That,” he jabbed a finger at us, “is why we risk everything to get you out of here.”