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)
“It’s not a ghost,” I said out loud into the warm air of the underground hideout. “It’s a physically constructed life form that only the Kiiote knew about.” To myself, I continued the logic train. The conjure was not a monster. It was 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.
The conjure had attacked my Great Uncle Rion…and GURion was as artificial as the conjure was. He had been built in a Human form by someone. Why was it preposterous to think that he was a construct of Humanity? Clearly he set the Kiiote being – if it was a “being” at all – off. Was GURion the same thing as the Kiiote things? What did they have against each other?
I was so deaf to the world, that I about jumped out of my skin when Xio spoke from a dark corner of the room, “You ever wonder what we’re involved with?”
“This wasn’t a good time to sneak up on me, Xio!”
“I didn’t sneak.” She came out of the shadows and sat down on one of the chairs facing the fireplace. “I couldn’t sleep, heard someone out here, and came out. I figured anyone would have heard me.”
“I don’t have Kiiote ears.”
“I’m pretty sure a deaf Human would have heard that door open.”
I grunted and shook my head. My heart rate was down again. I slid back to a chair and sat. After a bit, I managed, “I was just wondering that now.”
“Yeah. Everything’s so crazy all of a sudden…but,” she paused and sighed, “This is what we’re supposed to be doing. We have a job and all of a sudden, after the training and learning and jackin’ around, we’ve been called up.”
“Called up to do WHAT?”
Long silence. I thought she might have gone to sleep when she said, “To bring everything together. The Triads were created to form something new…”
“Now you sound like a news report or an advertisement.”
“It’s what we were made to do. None of us is random. We’ve been trained to work together…”
“To do WHAT? What’s this conflict between the conjures and my great uncle…”
I could see her face in the flickering firelight. She was totally confused. “What do they have to do with each other?”
“The conjure didn’t attack anyone in the Triad. It went after GURion.”
“That’s…” she stopped.
“So these alien things are like your great uncle – they were both manufactured. I thought your great uncle was made by the Kiiote or the Yown’hoo?”
“I never asked who made him…”
Another voice out of the dark said, “I was made by Humans.” Great Uncle Rion stepped out of the dark. I’d known him since I was a kid, but standing there, in the firelight, and having said what he did after destroying the conjure, he looked way scarier than I’d ever seen him. He didn’t come into the light, saying, “I was created to protect your grandfather’s family. This whole situation – with Earth playing a space-aged Korea – was never meant to be. We were supposed to be neutral, a nursery for both sides until they finished their stupid war and learned to live in peace. That never happened and now we have you and the other Triads. You’re the last gambit; the last hope of peace. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.”
“Why are people trying to kill us?”
“That seems to be the nature of the universe – hatred…”
I couldn’t help it, I guess Xio couldn’t, either. At the same time we said, “No.”