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)
My great uncle Rion grinned, “We would like to retain you for your services.”
Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh, the man we called Retired scowled then said, “Who are you?”
Instead of replying, my great uncle bowed him in. “I can’t tell you anything you’d believe while we’re standing here. Once we get inside, I think I have something for you to verify what I said.”
Retired scowled and passed Rion, refusing to look at the smiling…man? Robot? Android? The door closed and from deep inside, a rumbling whir began to blow warm air around us. GU Rion said, “If the Honorable Herd Mother would follow the left-hand corridor to the end, you will find a grazing and exercise room.”
Dao-hi gave a snap of her tentacle and the entryway filled a scent I knew meant “no-longer-in-a-circle”, Yown’Hoo for “Take five!”
He looked down at Qap and Xurf and lifted his leg in the direction of another corridor and said, “Leaders, a den appropriate for your needs is to your right at the end.” I definitely heard him fart. After a sniff, the Kiiote leaders padded away, the youngsters following. I twitched a finger. My great uncle held up one finger – the local version of, “Hang on, kid.”
With Pack and Herd gone, he turned to Retired and said, “I’ve got evidence here that I am exactly what you think I am.”
Retired said in a low voice, “A fraud?”
I stared at GURion. He shrugged. “As you wish.” He turned and went to another door. Weirdly, the six rectangles of light-colored wood, shiny and for some reason, really warm looking. It also had an old-fashioned door knob. It was old-fashioned to us because we lived in the Bankstadium. It didn’t have knob doors except in certain rooms of the Understory. We’d seen pictures of them and even seen lots of old ones in the ruins surrounding our home. He turned the knob and pushed it open. “Come on in.”
Beyond it was a room I’d only seen in dramas – and there was a fireplace with wood in it that was burning. “Is that a real fire?” ‘Shay said, pushing past me into the room like it wasn’t an anachronism from our world’s ancient past. Once, burning wood had been common. Then the population of Earth had soared past fifteen billion.
Not long after that, the war between the Yown’Hoo and the Kiiote had tumbled from the sky…I stared at the robotic simulacrum that had been my great uncle and said abruptly, “How long had you been aiding the aliens when they brought their war here?”
He stared at me for a long time before he said, “That’s the proof I have for your friend here.”
Retired blinked in what I’m pretty sure was stunned surprise. I was also sure me and ‘Shay were giving him the same look. I also know why the thing had sent the aliens to their own rooms. I managed to say, “You have proof of your treachery?” My voice cracked. Hadn’t done that in a long time.
GURion smiled a little, shook his head, and said, “This whole thing started long before me, Kid.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” said Retired.
My great uncle stepped back, spread out his arms, lifted his head and said to the ceiling, “I’m the end line of guilt. I’m old enough – even if I wasn’t an android – to have seen the first time Humans had anything to do with the aliens.”
“Which aliens?” Retired asked. His stance was suddenly loose, his hands open, hovering near his hips, he leaned forward slightly. He looked like he was ready to attack GURion.
Great Uncle Rion smiled and said, “Just the question I was waiting for!”