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 Xiomara; 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 Rion looked down, between us. When he looked back up, he said, “When we get to the safe room, we’ll lay all of our cards out on the table.”
I nodded slowly, pursed my lips then said, “All right. But it’s only because you’re better at comprehensible metaphors than Retired is. And he’s Human.”
GURion took me by the shoulders, shook me gently. I thought he was gonna yell at me. Instead, he said, “I want you to promise that you’ll say that to him at the worst possible moment.” He shook me again, “Promise, Oscar!”
Shaking my head, I grinned then said, “I promise.”
“Now let’s get caught up to the rest of the family.”
We kept on through the tunnel, the only light oozing down from the green glowing slime that covered the walls and ceiling. It looked like it should smell bad even though it didn’t. “Ten kilometers?”
“Give or take.”
“How far have we come up to now?”
“We drove about sixty kilometers, ran another two or three. Why?”
“It would have taken us twelve hours to come this far. And you said we have to make it almost to Winnipeg?”
He stopped and turned to face me, “Yes. Why?”
“I figure at the rate the group moves, it’ll take us two hundred hours of constant movement,” I paused. “And it’s winter and we’re moving north.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
GURion shrugged. “Why would I? No one said this was easy. The Triad’s greenhouse life is over. The work has to start now because Earth and the Kiiote and the Yown’Hoo don’t have much time left.”
“What are you talking about?” I was starting to feel sick. “What do you mean our ‘greenhouse life’?”
“We have to keep moving if we’re going to make the rendezvous.” He started walking.
I ran up beside him. “You’re scaring me, GURion!”
“It’s pretty much past time to get scared. The eighteen of you have a job to accomplish along with the thirty-eight other Triad members.”
“What did you mean about a ‘greenhouse life’?”
“The Triads are ready to go finally. You’ve had everything you’ve ever needed to grow strong and smart. You’ve got skills in all kinds of areas among you all. It’s time for you to join up and start creating a new society.” I opened my mouth to protest, but GURion took my arm and kept me moving forward as he said, “But you’re not going to do it today. We have to get up to Grendl before our next real move.”
“Oh, so between today and a hundred and twenty-two hours from now is nothing?” I asked.
He snorted. It was a realistic sound for someone who didn’t even breathe. “Hardly. Most likely it involves not only hiking, but more driving…”
“Not a bakery truck again!”
“No. More likely solar-powered four-wheelers. Maybe motorcycles.”
“How would the Yown’Hoo ride a motorcycle?”
“Sidecars.” The idea of the Herd Mother stuffed into a car alongside me, Xio, Qap, or Xurf…I laughed. My great uncle added, “I know. The very idea boggles the mind!”
I fell into step beside him and pretty soon we’d established a matched stride and the meters started to disappear below us.