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)
Great Uncle Tim held up his hand, palm facing Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh (ret) – we called him Retired, and said, “Not so fast, Lieutenant Commander.”
“You are essential to the plan we’ve got for you.”
“That’s the second time you’ve referenced a group.”
Tim grinned, “Exactly. We would like to retain you for your services.”
Retired scowled then said, “Who are you?”
Tim gestured, “I’ll have to ask you to come in here in order to tell you anything more.”
Retired stepped backwards into the corridor as he drew his pistol. “I’m going to ask you one more time and then I’m going to start shooting: who are you?”
“If you came into the chamber, I could show you…”
“Yes, and then you’d have all of us in one place – one of only three Triads on Earth. One of only three real chances to bring this idiotic war to an end before Earth is devastated and the Yown’Hoo and the Kiiote leave us to ourselves to take their idiotic war to some other unsuspecting planet.”
There was a long pause until Great Uncle Tim said suddenly, “There aren’t any more unsuspecting planets. This is it. Either the war ends on Earth or the Yown’Hoo and the Kiiote return to their home worlds to breed and continue their war to extinction.”
The Herd backed deeper into the room Tim had opened to us. Retired backed further into the corridor, raising his weapon. The Kiiote unfolded themselves into their humanoid forms, backing against a side wall and Qap and Xurf shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the Pack somewhat behind them.
Me and ‘Shay moved toward the door but didn’t step out.
GU Tim glared at Retired then pursed his lips in an entirely human way, then finally said, “Impasse. You don’t trust me…”
“Why would I? You murdered one of the Herd.”
“I told you, the small one, the Yown’Hoo Ked-sah-ti, was murdered by the Humans in the helicopters. My root only found it and recovered the body,” said Tim.
I looked back to Retired, who said, “All we have is your word on it.”
Tim snorted, “If you think I wouldn’t have hesitated to kill the Herd mother if had suited me, ask your Human boy here what he felt when the robot had him around the neck.” They both looked at me.
I said, “It could have killed me, no problem. I about suffocated as it was.”
Tim nodded, then looked back to Retired and said, “I want this Triad to survive. I want it to prosper, and I want these aliens to go back to where they came from.” He looked to the Herd, then the Pack, adding, “No offense, Herd Mother, Pack Leaders, but I want the conflict your people started with each other off of the world of the Humans.” He looked at me and ‘Shay. “I want you to have a world all your own.” He sighed, “I may not be Human, but I was programmed to mimic Humans nearly a century ago. The hard wiring has started to become reflex. I respond without computation when certain things happen. There are even days I forget that I am not a flesh-and-blood Human, but a plastic-and-metal Human. I act no stranger than you act,” he gestured to me. “And I certainly act less suspiciously than you act,” Tim looked at Retired. “I may not be Human, but was programmed to act Human.” He paused a long time before he added, “I fail to see the difference between them,” he gestured at us, “and me.” He tapped his chest. Finally, he added, “I don’t want to see any of you dead. I want to see the Triads succeed. But there are other forces at work here. Forces I can barely stand against.” He paused, “I’ve said all I can say. You can believe me and stay in here tonight; you can disbelieve him and stay out there all night. But if you choose not to trust me, then you’re on your own from now on. I will not have anything more to do with your flight.” He crossed his arms over his artificial chest and stopped talking.
Retired looked at him, then looked at me. He stared for a long time, then finally said, “He’s your family, ‘Car. Do you trust him?”
“Who, me?” I staggered back into ‘Shay. She shoved me forward. “Why do I have to decide?”
“Like I said.”
I looked at my great uncle, Tim. I’d known him during the first ten years of my life – well. Since being stitched into the Triad though, we hadn’t seen each other. I shrugged and said, “I trusted him when I was a kid.”
“Do you trust me now?” my great uncle said abruptly.