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)
Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh bowed to the Yown’Hoo, Dao-hi and said, “Primate tribal behavior has roots in the Herd behavior, Mother.” He added, “That’s everything. The Pack will be scouts and muscle. The Herd transportation.”
“Of what use is the Tribe?” Qap, the Kiiote Pack mistress said.
Retired looked at me and ‘Shay, winked, and said, “Any kind of dirty work that has to be done, us monkeys will handle.” ‘Shay made a weightlifter’s pose, I puffed my chest.
Deflating, I said, “I want one thing. Can you give me fifteen minutes to go upstairs?”
“You can’t go up there alone!” Retired exclaimed. The rest of the Triad’s leaders shouted objections as well. I sure wasn’t gonna get any help from them!
I opened my mouth to say that I was going up no matter what anyone said, when GURion said, “I’ll go with him. I think I know what he wants.”
Retired looked like he was about to object then shook his head and made a flicking motion as he said, “Fine then, make your Hajj. We’re moving out. The two of you will have to catch up.” He looked at GURion. “If you aren’t back with us in an hour, I’m blowing the place.” My great uncle nodded, Retired and ‘Shay shouldered their packs and the Triad moved out of the rooms.
That left me and GURion standing in alone. I said, “This is all gonna be slag, right?”
He shook his head. “Elemental atoms. It’s not a simple thermonuclear buried under us. The thing is meant to completely eliminate all traces of extraterrestrial manufacture. It’s so Humans don’t suspect that there are aliens out there.”
I snorted. “A little late for that.”
“Agreed, but there’s still technology here that would hurt the Yown’Hoo and the Kiiote if Humans got hold of it. Not to mention turning it on each other. The three meganationals still don’t like each other.”
I grunted – the American Block, the China Block, and the India Block all controlled vast swaths of Earth’s surface, though “control” is usually used loosely. They were the ones who’d funded the Triads. “You think they’d really go after each other while the Yown’Hoo and the Kiiote are beating us up?”
“Human nature,” he sighed. “What do you want from upstairs?”
“I’m not going to tell you. You won’t let me go.”
He sighed then said, “Let’s go before the Kiiote or the Yown’Hoo nuke the place for us.” He led the way back up through the narrow stairway. Once we were on top – and my heart was pounding and I was gasping – we stopped. “You can rest for sixty seconds. Then we have to go.”
“I’m ready,” I gasped. I followed him into the main part of the old farmhouse and stood in the middle of what had once been the living room. “Can you give some low light?”
“Sure.” The room lit with a very dim, reddish glow, almost like it was on fire. Which it would be shortly. The place was a wreck. It really looked abandoned. It probably was in real life.
There wasn’t much, but then I saw what I wanted. Even in the dark, I blushed. It was stupid and not only would ‘Shay and Retired laugh at me when they found out what I’d come back for, GURion wouldn’t probably help me. But they were significant – and they had been eye-level when I last was here. I was like four or five. Just old enough to walk around the place on my own. But I saw the things all the time and unlike the ones in the Cities, these had character. I walked up to the door that led from the living room to the kitchen and suddenly remembered someone baking. Cake? Cookies? I dunno. I was little. But I remembering it smelling really good. I reach out to open the door…and saw a light through the dirty window over the sink where my aunt had stood that day she’d baked me cookies…
I opened my mouth to warn GURion as the back of the farmhouse began to dissolve.