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)
There wasn’t much left in the old kitchen, but then I saw what I wanted. Unlike the ones in the Cities, these had character. Around the corner of the kitchen door, beams of light pierced through the dirty window, penetrating the dusty air. I opened my mouth to warn GURion as the back of the farmhouse began to dissolve.
“Go! Go!” my great uncle shouted.
“I want the doorknob!” I shouted back. The back wall vanished.
“We have sixty seconds – they’re using an analyzer! That’s why we’re still alive!”
I glanced around for something to break it free – but there was nothing. I grabbed the knob that led into my great aunt’s kitchen and yanked. Nothing happened. GURion hip-checked me into the wall and wrenched the knob free bare-plastic-handed with a deafening crack of wood. “Run!”
If GURion hadn’t grabbed the back of my jeans, I’d have fallen the entire way into the underground hideout. Instead, I dangled as he dropped multiple steps at a time. Overhead, the roof began to vibrate as the farm’s attackers disassembled it. We hit the bottom of the shaft and he shoved me forward. I staggered. He called, “Here! Take this!” He tossed the doorknob, with the accompanying splay of shattered wooden door. He spotlighted it as it flipped through the damp air. “Now, go!”
“You can’t stay here! We need you!”
“You have Retired, the Herd, the Pack…”
“But I need you, too! I don’t have a family without you!”
“What about ‘Shay?”
I chopped the air, “She’s just friend – an annoying one!” The ground above us had started to shake. Higher up the shaft, a light pierced sideway, the glare making me wince even this far down.
“I have to close the shaft. Go! I’ll be right behind you!”
Visions of my great uncle – android or not, he still had Rion’s memories! – sacrificing himself for our escape flashed through my head. “You’re not gonna…”
He but me off, “And leave that elderly, addle-pated Human in charge of one third of the group that’s going to save Humanity? Are you crazy?” He shoved me deeper into the shelter. “Go! I’m not going to leave you!”
My face was suddenly hot – and it had nothing to do with the light pouring down from above. It turned and ran down the tunnel. A moment later, there was an explosion behind me. Whatever had blown heaved the floor and flung me into the wall. I landed face down flat on the cold stone, the force knocking the wind out of me. I struggled to my knees as the walls around me vibrated, almost as if they were being repeatedly pounded by a tremendous force. I couldn’t my feet under me, so I crawled. The floor bucked again, rising up to slam me in the chin, snapping my head back. Everything around me – already dark as cave night – exploded in sparkles and faded away.
I sank to the floor, but just before I passed out, something grabbed the back of my pants and lifted me up. Startled and relieved at the same time, I shouted, “If you keep doing that I’m NEVER gonna be able to pass my genes on!”
“Who’d want those scruffy old things?” said GURion. He lifted me to my feet and shouted, “Run like the wind, Bullseye!” A line from my favorite movie as a kid – one I’d watched over and over when I was little. Right in the house that was probably a disintegrated fog of ashes blowing in a cyclonic wind over our heads.
“My name’s not Bullseye!” I managed to shout over the increasing rumble around us.
“I don’t think we’re gonna make it to the blast doors before your boss blows the nuke!”