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. All three intelligences hover on the edge of extinction. The merger of Human-Kiiote-Yown’Hoo into a van der Walls Society might not only save all three – but become something not even they could predict. Something entirely new...
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 said, “The cost of creating such havens is so prohibitive that neither one of the super powers can afford to keep them.”
“Why would the cost make them stop doing that if they can?” I asked.
There was a long pause, then ‘Shay said, “Because if they make places like that, they also have to defend them.”
GURion said softly, “And success by either side at destroying the places carries its own cost.”
I almost said something without thinking then shook my head, looking at the door leading from the Human quarters toward the ones occupied by our Triad-mates. “You’re telling me that neither the Kiiote nor the Yown’Hoo likes killing kids.” The others nodded slowly, looking all sad. I said, “They’re upset when they kill each other’s kids on purpose,” I took a deep breath, for a second feeling sorry for them. “But they kill us on accident and it doesn’t make anyone feel anything – except irritated.”
GURion reached out and almost put his hand on my shoulder. I confess I flinched. He pulled away, and I felt like a jerk. He wrapped himself with his arms as if he were cold. He said, “They pay real Humans to do the husbandry while they provide tactical cover – and treaties. That cuts the cost of reproduction.”
Retired suddenly spoke. He’d sat himself down in a big chair that sat in a pool of yellow light coming from a lamp. “It’s the treaties that were so controversial, though. Making them meant that Yown’Hoo and Kiiote had to interact – and because we were the ones doing the actual work, we had to be part of the talks at the table.” He paused a long time, leaned over and unlaced his boots, grabbed a low, backless chair and pulled it toward him. Settling back in the chair, he put his legs on the backless chair and sighed. “It was out of those talks that the idea for the Triads grew.”
‘Shay said, “You were there, weren’t you?”
Retired shrugged. “It doesn’t make any difference either way. Even if I wasn’t there, I was around. I think I was off-world.”
“So, the Yown’Hoo…” I started.
Retired held up a hand. “Not all the Yown’Hoo. Ji-Hi, the Mother of All was there when she only had ten. But her scent was so powerful that she swayed other Herds to hear in her register.”
GURion spoke this time, his voice eerily sing-song, like the chanting of the Dwarves in that one fantasy flattie, saying, “Even I know that Pan and Zir, Kiiote Pack Pack Leaders with the four strongest of their litter, nearly full grown; and St. Admiral, Martyr for Humanity with her mate, were there. After senseless arguments, snarls, stamping, and the drawing of imaginary weapons, it became clear to all that something needed to change. The Yown’Hoo couldn’t fight much longer as the actual fibers of their heart muscles had begun to show irreversible genetic drifting. The Kiiote litters shrank as their bodies sensed that there was less prey, so there needed to be fewer young mouths to feed even while the generals called for more.”
Retired said, “There was no solution in war.”
Suddenly ‘Shay said, “The only answer was peace.” I stared at her. He voice had changed. Her stance had changed. I didn’t recognize her.
But I did grasp the implication and all I could whisper was, “And we were the offerings of peace.”
I barely heard GURion say, “No one knows yet if the offering is one of honey…or one of blood.”