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)
All of a sudden, I was lifted from the ground. Fax, Pack Second of their part of our Triad, tried to run, but a white hand grabbed his tail and gave it a yank. He yelped, then fell to the ground unconscious – something to do with the tail being a fifth limb and yanking it hard enough to dislocate the bones, it caused an electrical surge into the brain stunning him.
My attention went back to the owner of the hand as it turned to me, at an angle impossible for a living Humanoid. When it’s eyes began to glow and when I lashed out with a judo kick and hit solid plastic...I knew I was dead.
The hand tightened around my throat. Gasping, I could feel myself start to blank out when I heard a voice shout, “Oscar?”
That voice I recognized just before the world around me started to fade away – it was my great uncle, Tim Orwell. I tried to say his name, but it came out a strangled wheeze.
I heard him shout, “Drop him!” The hand released me and I fell to the cold ground. I threw up. I heard Fax snuffling and a moment later, he stood up in his canine form and horked up a blob as well.
My great uncle said, “Don’t you two make a fine couple.”
Scrambling to my feet, I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and knelt by Fax. Looking up at him, I said, “What are you doing here?”
He snorted then said, “I live here. I think me asking the question would make more sense.”
“We’re left the Cities because the Dome was attacked and someone’s trying to kill the Triad.”
My great uncle went to one knee, scooped me and Fax up, and shouted something in a language I’d never heard before. The humanoid robot – not a realistic-looking one like my great uncle – took off for the barn. Great Uncle Tim said, “We have to get all of you undercover. Those choppers will be back when they realize you couldn’t have gotten much farther than my farm.”
“This isn’t a farm! It’s a dump! Nobody would think Humans lived here!”
“Perfect,” he replied and with a leap that landed us on at the foot of the steps of the farmhouse’s back porch. He strode up and with a shoulder, pushed the door open. It was like passing through a portal into another world. I’d have figured that we’d gone through some sort of spacetime portal but I knew perfectly well that Humans certainly didn’t have that technology – we’d barely started exploring the asteroid belt and the atmospheres of Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Neptune when the Ideology War of the Kiiote and Yown’Hoo spilled all over Earth. But as advanced as their tech was over ours, neither of them had managed to jump distances instantaneously. The run down farmhouse we’d been Peeping Tom-ing into had vanished and we appeared to be in a corridor leading to a well-guarded checkpoint. GU Tim carried us past unmoving robots identical to the one that had tried to strangle me.
Before we reached them though, ten of the white plastic robots appeared at a place where the farmhouse door intersected this space. Each one carried two unconscious Kiiote or Yown’Hoo – except the last one, who carried an unconscious ‘Shayla, bleeding from a head wound; and a blood-smeared robot carrying what was left of the immature Yown’Hoo Ked-sah-ti. I squirmed until Tim released me then raced back, shouting, “What did you do to it, you monster?”
The robot held the immature out in its arms and said, “The Humans in helicopters shot the immature. I had nothing…” I cut it off by taking Ked-sah-ti and shoving the unfeeling thing away.
I ran back to GU Tim and said, “You can save it, can’t you?” I admit, I was choking up. The blood, the emotion, the fact that there were people chasing the Triad, the fact that ‘Shayla wasn’t awake to help me decide anything made my already hyper sensitivity rocket into full-blown hysteria.
Tim didn’t take it, but reached out instead and touched the immatures neck then shook his head. “It’s far too late. Its body is already cooling.”
Dao-hi, Herd Mother to one third of the Triad clacked on her sharp hooves over to the dead one, snuffled it, sneezed then walked back to me and said, “Its death will be charged to all Humans and to you in particular.” Then she stepped back and reared, pawing the air with her hooves. I knew better than to move even a centimeter in any direction. While the act was symbolic; representing the vicious battles fought millennia ago on the Yown’Hoo homeworld, the swipes of her hooves could both crush a Human skull and gouge out gobs of Human flesh.
I’d seen it happen in real life once. That was enough. After three swipes at me, she dropped back down onto all fours and said, “We are of the same Herd, Os Car, but we are no longer allies. At the end of the corridor, the portal opened again.
Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh (ret), whom I’d started calling Retired; stepped through the portal, a white plastic robot flung over his shoulder, and said, “What are you all looking at?”Image: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/11/02/12/07/robot-513775_960_720.jpg