On Earth, there are three Triads intending 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 Braiders accidentally created a resonance wave that will destroy the Milky Way and the only way to stop it is for the Yown’Hoo-Kiiote-Human Triads to build a physical wall. The merger of Human-Kiiote-Yown’Hoo into a van der Walls Society may produce the Membrane to stop the wave.
The young experimental Triads are made up of the smallest primate tribe of Humans – Oscar and Kashayla; the smallest canine pack of Kiiote – six, pack leaders Qap and Xurf; and the smallest camelid herd of Yown’Hoo – a prime eleven, Dao-hi the Herd mother. 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.
“We had nearly fallen into stagnation when we encountered the Kiiote.”
“And we into internecine war when we encountered the Yown’Hoo.”
“Yown’Hoo and Kiiote have been defending themselves for a thousand revolutions of our Sun.”
“Together, we might do something none of us alone might have done…a destiny that included Yown’Hoo, Kiiote, and Human.” (2/19/2015)
“I don’t care!” I shouted. My voice even hurt my ears. There was silence as the truck hummed along in the dark.
I drove a long time before Retired said, “I can’t give any other answer, kid. That’s the only one there is. The Triads are the only hope we have of forging a viable civilization of Kiiote, Yown’Hoo, and Human that will not be dependent on war and dominance.”
From the depth of the truck’s cargo area, a tiny voice – probably one of the immature Herd, Ked-sah-ti, I think – said, “Without civilization, every last one of us…and the populations of all three…will die out until there is nothing left but semi-sentient ameba on Y’eh, Kii, and Earth.”
I don’t think anyone else felt like saying anything after that. Not even me.
We drove for a long time, Retired only speaking when he gave me a direction. As we moved farther and farther out of the developed parts of the state, things got worse and better.
The asphalt had started to break up and I had to slow down and concentrate harder. I’m pretty sure Retired could have put us on some kind of autopilot – I’m sure the delivery truck had lots of hidden enhancements. Instead he let me drive. He suddenly said, “We’re almost there. If you turn right here, we’ll be not only off the road, but off the grid.”
“It’s an old-fashioned phrase. ‘The grid’ used to refer to how power was transmitted through electrical cable. Your uncle’s farm has been ‘off the grid’ since there was a grid. The Kiiote he worked for outfitted his farm with a micro-fusion reactor. Nothing’s changed since the Kiiote made First Contact here.”
“My uncle was the First Contact for the Kiiote?” I couldn’t believe it. “You’re sure?”
Retired snorted. “Seventy-two years ago. Twenty-eighteen.”
“When did he die?” The truck hit a hole in the gravel road and we sloughed to the side. Screams, snarls, and whistles erupted from the back of the truck – and one Human female cussing like she was a soldier. “Sorry,” I managed, as I fought the steering wheel.
Retired didn’t move, but I felt the truck leave my control. It steadied, slowed down and stopped a few moments later. Abruptly, the interior lights went dark. Retired cursed as well.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
“That wasn’t me.”
“What wasn’t you?” Xurf snapped.
“The power cut off. I took control of the truck so we wouldn’t crash...”
“You didn’t even move!” I said.
There was another long silence and I said, “What are you – and how well did you know my uncle?”