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)
“Why are people trying to kill us?” I said.
Great Uncle Rion shrugged and said, “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.”
He looked startled. I said, “If we go that way, we might as well give up. If everyone is motivated by hatred, then there’s no reason for us to take one more step. There’s no reason to keep on with the Triad, either. If all that’s going to come of it is Humans loathing the Kiiote who loathe the Yown’Hoo, then what we’re trying to do is against nature and against all of our natures.” I stepped up to it and leaned forward, “So, are you exempting yourself from that statement? Your nature is somehow different – because if you’re going to try that, I’m going to mention briefly that you said that you were created by Humans – who somehow managed to keep their hatred out of you. Right?”
GURion held up both hands and said, “I will amend my statement only.”
“Go ahead,” I said. Right now, I was thinking I wanted to deactivate him and continue on in my delusion that the nature of the universe was to NOT hate. Hate required energy; apathy required nothing.
He said nothing for a while. Finally he spoke. We were all there – the Herd, the Pack, the Tribe along with Retired – waiting. Finally, he said, “I will amend my statement to say that it is the nature of the universe to be neutral. It requires intelligence to expend energy to choose to accept or hate; but I posit that hatred is more entertaining than acceptance.”
“What about love?” Xio said. “Love can be more entertaining than hate.” She glanced at me. “I can be fun as well.”
“I will concede the point. But not all intelligences link love and sex. For some, hatred is the choice that leads to sex.”
I was getting embarrassed, so I cut into the conversation. “We need to leave. We’re all awake and we have a long way to go to our next destination.” I turned to Retired, aka Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh. “Where’s our next stop?”
He jerked his chin sideways as he said, “Nowthen Station. We’re under a burned out school that used to be called Ramsey. From here we go north, this tunnel follows the bank of the Rum River, then turn west and exit under an old greenhouse. We’ll rest there, take a ditch farther to the Station. From that point, we’ll have to go overland to Sand Dune State Forest. There’s a supply cache there where we can spend a night.”
“How far is that?”
“About thirty-five kilometers.”
“What?” Xio exclaimed, “I can’t walk that far!”
He shrugged. “GURion can carry you or you can ride one of the Yown’Hoo…”
The Herd Mother reared in alarm. Retired just shook his head, then stuck his fingers in his mouth and blew. The resulting whistle stunned everyone except for GURion, and I’m pretty sure even he was surprised. Retired glared around at the Triad. “You people have no idea what kind of danger you’re in, do you?” He let the words just hang there. I had no idea what we were doing. For a while, it’d seemed like the adventure we were made for – literally. “We’ve a trip of nearly a thousand kilometers.” Everybody made a sound that was like me and Xio screaming. When we calmed down, Retired continued as if we hadn’t interrupted him. “That’s quite a walk, but we have to do it under fire. Granted, we’re not always going to have Human or Yown’Hoo or Kiiote military hot on our trail, but there are people against us! Against YOU – and that’s because you’re strong enough to cause a paradigm shift not in just one society, but it three societies on three different worlds.”
“But how can we travel that far?” said Lan-mai-ti, then youngest and smallest member of the Herd.
“We have to work together. Me, or GURion, or Qap or Xurf or Car or Xio or Dao-hi or Zei-go, Seg-go, and Ali-go – will beg, borrow, steal, or outright buy various modes of transportation to get us to Grendl. When we DO get there, there’s a way to join all of the other Triads in the Antarctic. That’s were the real work will begin. You’ll continue to learn all the way there – but you’re academic days are pretty much over. Your educations will be practical now. You’ll all be armed when we leave here…”
I couldn’t help it, shouting, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”
Retired stared me down until I hung my head and cleared my throat and said, “Sorry, boss.”
“You’ll be trained how to use them, but more importantly you’re going to learn WHEN to use them. There will be no alien star wars in this Triad. Discipline and hard work will be all you do.” He swept us with a withering glare, “And you will take orders from me and me alone.” He looked directly at GURion and said, “Protocol A, Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh, Alpha Five Seven Omega.”
GURion’s head tipped to the side and it said in a voice I’d never heard before, “Acknowledged. A57Omega.”
“Everyone get your gear, we’ll break camp and head north in fifteen minutes. Make sure you use the facilities here. All that’s between us and Nowthen Station is bare walls.”
The group scattered, but I stayed behind. “May I speak to my great uncle?” I asked.
Retired nodded and grabbing his own pack, went out to stand in the hallway, closing the door behind him. I looked up at Great Uncle Rion and said, “Is this really what Dad wanted for me? For all of Earth?”
He didn’t say anything right away. Finally, “It wasn’t he best-case scenario plan, but it was one of the plans.”
“What was the worst-case scenario,” I said, feeling ghoulish.
It lifted its chin and said, “The one where I’d been caught, had my memory yanked and been melted down for parts – and following my information, you’re captured, tortured, then you brain is injected with a flesh-eating bacteria and you get to suffer some more.”
My eyes reached their maximum bugging-out distance and I gagged. “Worst-case?”
It nodded. “Best case was than none of this happened, the Yown’Hoo and the Kiiote made up, and they helped us rebuild Earth and formed a strong, interstellar alliance.”
I nodded, then said, “Let’s try to stay as close to the best-case scenario as we can.”