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)
After he finished his tirade – it was a tirade for Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh (ret), anyway – he said, “On the shoulders of this Triad more than either of the others…”
I was sure he was going to say something like, “Rests the future of Humanity.” Or something inspiring like that.
But he concluded, “The burden of learning your roles in this hideous world we’ve left for you.” Shaking his head, he said, “Get some sleep. We’ll leave when everyone wakes refreshed and we’ve eaten.” He left us in the room, still sitting. One-by-one; two-by-two; or as a herd, we went to our rooms to await the morning.
I was too tired to sleep and couldn’t forget the conjure either. To be able to create life, even weirdly twisted life, gave the Kiiote, and by implication my best friend, Fax, a completely different image in my head. I knew it shouldn’t, but…man! How had they done something like this? How could they have done it – supposedly accidentally? Making life was supposed to be done intentionally – and how had one of the things gotten here to lay in wait for them? Had there been locks on the place and if there had, how’d it get in?
Now I was too wound up to fall asleep at all and I laid, staring at the ceiling for a long time before I finally sat up. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I got up as quiet as I could and slipped into the main room. No one else was there and the chair Retired was sitting in was empty. I sat down, wishing I could somehow light the fireplace standing across from me.
Startled, I leaned away from it until I felt the even heat. It took the cold, mustiness out of the air almost immediately. There was no smell at all, so I figured it was some sort of Yown’Hoo or Kiiote technology, maybe nanotech or even…I slid to my knees and crawled on them across the room, holding out my hand.
I snatched it back when the air shimmered near the fireplace and an image appeared. The face of a conjure. It vanished a moment later and I was left sitting on my butt. Qap had said that the things who looked like the Panthera genus of Earth life except that they stood upright, had a language, were made of something called “coherent matter” and had been accidentally let loose on Earth, made by the Kii who were incidentally terrified of them. Add to that the curious fact that my great uncle Rion was equipped to disintegrate them. Oh, and Qap, Pack Leader, had said, “These are the demons of a shameful past, we believe they are sent to torture our minds.” He paused a long time before he said, “We had no idea they had come to Earth. We have poisoned your world with these demons…”
Now one had appeared to me in the fire. “It’s not a ghost,” I said out loud into the warm air of our hideout. “It’s a physically constructed life form that only the Kiiote knew about. It’s not a monster. It’s a life form. It was here, waiting to meet us during the most important time in the life of this Triad. The last thing was most disturbing of all: it hadn’t attacked any of us in the Triad.
It had attacked my Great Uncle Rion…