Monthly Archives: January 2020

Westin Kierland 2528 A.D.

Westin Kierland September 30 2528 A.D.

A map of the Westin Kierland on September 30, 2528 A.D., the day of Dianire’s denouement.

The entire sequence lasts from 11:30 am. to 4:30 am., so events move quite quickly.

  • The Apache party consisting of: Finds-Water (Head Trader); Hunts-The-Ruins (Provisional Trader for the Phoenix Apache); Second Sister Dianire Redourine, representing the Nueguan Guild of Builders; Second Sister Alyria, representing both the Guild of Healers and the Guild of Gardeners (because this Guild refused to send a representative); Long Jumper (Provisional Trader for the Jicarilla Apache).
  • Finds-Water and Long Jumper drive to within a quarter mile of the Grand Entrance, and drop off Dianire, Alyria and Hunts-The-Ruins, who are left to walk to the Grand Entrance, there to meet the synthetic stewards of the Kierland–Cyl and Tia–and negotiate over lunch.
  • A stray shot from Western Bandit snipers, camped out in the Fruit Groves to the south of the Grand Entrance nearly hits Dianire’s boot. Hunts-The-Ruins tells her it was a mistake, as the shooter is waving a white handkerchief of peace. Dianire grumbles, convinced otherwise.
  • The trio meet the stewards and they all move into the main restaurant just north of the Grand Entrance. The trio are feted with food and drink nearly unheard of in the Empty Earth of 2278 such as mangoes, chocolates and champagne.
  • After the meal, each of the trio is invited to an individual tour, which they agree to, because each of the three has a secret, hidden from the other two.
  • Hunts-The-Ruins tours the Greenhouse and Aquaculture areas, and is tested by Cy to see if the Phoenix Apache are the ‘backup race’ that Cy suspects Sean Landesten created, in case the Sky Wanderers exterminate or enslave the Nueguans.
  • Alyria is treated to a demonstration of the synthetics’ latest aphrodisiac foods, and is seduced into an orgy with synthetic versions of Hunts-The-Ruins and Rintiala, those organic beings thoroughly scanned when the Sentinel was awoken.
  • Dianire tours Sugar House, the nearly all-organic living quarters built with technology that Nuegua would highly desire, such as zebra mussel water filters. She is tested much more harshly than the other two, as her DNA contains the version of the Recursive Instructional Nexus or RIN, the organic supercomputer that the synthetics believe will allow them to leave their synthetic bodies behind, and become a new super-race of organic beings.
  • As a result of her failing to meet the goals of the synthetics, Alyria is expelled by them, as they do not desire her version of the RIN, She is thrust out of the Grand Entrance with the synthetic versions of Rintiala and Hunts-The-Ruins, to face the wrath of the Western Bandits, who only a month earlier were humiliated by the duo.
  • Dianire and Hunts-The-Ruins now consider the synthetics as untrustworthy allies, even though the synthetics allow them to plunder a small weapons cache, located at the north end of the Grand Hotel. Both of them wreak havoc on the Western Bandits, using 22nd century technology.
  • Alyria escapes the Western Bandits, with the help of the Super Dogs. Hunts-The-Ruins leaves with Finds-Water and Long Jumper, heading for the Jicarilla Reserve in New Spain. Dianire rejects everyone, and decides to hike back on her own to Clan Redourine, located at the Ray mines in Arizona. On the way home, she vows to create a new Warrior Guild, to deal with both the Western Bandits and the Apache.

The Locust: Deception and Ordeal

This document describes the deceptions and trials of each of the three combatants sent to meet with the synthetics at the Westin Kierland in the ruins of Phoenix, Arizona on September 30, 2528.

Alyria, Second Healing Sister of Clan Tiala

Alyria is seventeen years old, and this is her first big assignment away from the Healer’s Guild in Village Tiala. She has been chosen for her outstanding biology: she can create immunities and pass them through her breast milk fasten than any other Sister in her class. She is however, romantic and naive. Cyl and Tia, the Synthetics of the Westin Kierland draw this information from her easily, and offer her a chance to help them in their work.
Fascinated, she rationalizes to herself that this offer will fulfill the purpose of her mission, given to her by First Sister Alathea. She is to analyze the food production and medical facilities available at the Kierland.
Instead, she is lured into an orgy that lasts the entire afternoon. Cyl and Tia create synthetic versions of Rintiala and Hunts-The-Ruins, and under the influence of psychedelics, expand their knowledge of Nueguan biology and psychology. Their conclusion is that Alyria, though moderately valuable to them directly, is more useful as barter to the Western Bandits. Once Alyria is put into a trance, just before supper, they alert the Western Bandits to the possibilities of a negotiation. They do not, however, share this decision with the Apache Traders, who are also still on site.

Hunts-The-Ruins, Provisional Trader for the Phoenix Apache

Cyl invites Hunts-The-Ruins (HTR) to look over the water purification and food production facilities that Cyl has recently created. ‘Recently’ means for the last fifty years if you a synthetic. This leads HTR to wonder about the timeline, but politely holds back.
Cyl has done an impressive feat of engineering. What were once artificial lakes and pools on the gold course are now used for fish and crustacean production, solar heating and water purification. Cyl explains that the Westin was designed to handle one thousand full time Sky Wanderers.
HTR asks Cyl to show him more of the civil engineering, and Cyl obliges him. Down into the boilers they go! HTR is impressed by how much Cyl has simplified and adapted Sky Wanderer technology to the era of the Empty Earth. Everything is simple and electric, no advanced computer technology, which means the Phoenix Apache can adapt this to their needs and sell it to the rest of the Apache. HTR explains that what the Apache really want is a way to manufacture the durable glass that the time of 2100 took for granted.
Cyl offers to show him where glass is manufactured. It turns out that sheets are produced and rolled, and the heat generated is pumped back into the water system. To keep the water clean, Cyl and Tia–the biologist of the duo–have bioengineered various bottom feeding fish and crustaceans, which Cyl also proudly explains are also fine dining.
Cyl invited HTR to wade into the pool, which is waist deep. He invites HTR to crouch down to look at the catfish swimming around them. “Put your head underwater, and see how they change.”
As soon as he does, the catfish bloom with bioluminescence. HTR pulls his head out of the water, to see a razor-sharp sheet of glass sliding toward him, a few inches from his throat. Cyl is nowhere to be seen.
HTR does the only thing he can, take a deep breath and dive into the water. He assumes that there must be a large drain, with a screen he can remove, but swimming around, back-lit by bioluminescence. There is a drain, with a screen, but only half the size he expected.
HTR begins to feel the effect of low oxygen, the first stage of drowning. There must be a control down here for sliding the glass back when it has finished its process, but he does not know if he can wait, having used up so much oxygen. He rolls over on his back, and lets himself sink the bottom, the catfish swimming around him, and the crustaceans starting to nibble on him. Everything starts to go dark. “Oh no, not again,”
Then his Nueguan cure starts to work on the genetics hidden in Sean Landesten’s ‘backup’ race, the Phoenix Apache. HTR’s spleen begins to pump out fresh, highly-oxygenated blood. He wakes up with several minutes of fresh oxygen. HTR swims until he finds the ‘big red button’, that Cyl had carefully covered with dead crustacean shells. The glass sheet slides back, and out comes a wet, very angry HTR.

Dianire, Second Sister of the Guild of Builders, Clan Redourine.

Tia offers Dianire a tour of the new Sugar House condominiums located near the major Olympic-length swimming pool of the Kierland.

Sugar House is Tia’s crowning achievement, a building completely powered by solar energy, through growing a translucent cactus, with highly-enriched sucrose running up and down its tubules. The sucrose crystal stores the solar energy in the form of piezoelectricity. Carbon superconducting cables keep the entire building complex running; Tia explains that Cyl will finish the engineering task, making sure that carbon fibre technology is used instead of metal. Tia finally brags about adapting Sky Wanderer technology to grow, rather than manufacturing the cables. “We got this from your creator Sean Landesten. We thought this was his finest creation, then we met Rintiala.”
Dianire asks what kind of defenses do the synthetics have against the Western Bandits, and Tia goes quiet for a moment. “We are undefended, ever since Rintiala proved our engineered diseases are no longer effective. Worse yet, the Super Dogs are deserting us, after the death of Tili. We called you here as a last resort, before the Western Bandits overwhelm us. They still fear the Apache Police, however, and were willing to negotiate an agreement.”
Dianire states her case. “Give me complete information on what kind of Sky Wanderer’s weapons you have, and where other caches of their weapons are stored on Empty Earth. Then we have a deal. We will leave you alone and the Kierland undisturbed. That is the offer from First Sister Alathea, First Among Firsts, and Finds-Water, First among the Apache Traders.”
Tia agrees. “Let’s do a tour of this beautiful building now, and we’ll have supper by the pool to celebrate our agreement. Dianire nods her head, thinking nothing of it.” Tia bows, allowing to Dianire ascend the winding staircase at the ground floor. Tia invites Dianire to look all the way to the stained glass, which is showering Dianire’s face with endless beautiful colors.
Dianire, suspecting nothing, does look up. She turns around to share her admiration of the building’s beauty. But Tia is gone, bars sliding across the doors and windows. Dianire has been trapped.
Tia’s gentle Korean voice wafts down from above. “It is time for your revelation, Dianire. Meet me at the top of the stairs. Open the stain glass door, and meet the future of the Empty Earth.”

Dianires’s Three Trials: Body, Mind, and Emotion.

Body: The floor of the first landing falls out, and Dianire must catch a rope suddenly flung by Tia from the ceiling of the first floor. Dianire hauls herself up through a hole in the ceiling to a large empty room on the second floor, where she is surrounded by nine servitor robots, all armed with differing types of weapons. She uses Wushu Kung Fu to defeat them. Heavily choregraphed. She is victorious, but imprisoned.

Mind: There is only one way out of the second floor room, and it leads up by a narrow, winding staircase to a dusty room filled with old books in English and Spanish. The doors and windows of this room become armored with the same sharp, curved metal that was used for the staircase, and again, there is enough electric current running through the metal to fry Dianire alive. There is only one book that can answer the riddle of leaving this room, and emerging on the roof of Sugar House, the voice of Tia speaks through an old-fashioned megaphone mounted on a wall. Tia gives Dianire only one clue: it is the one that laughs at the lies we cling to.

Dianire scans the titles of the books. Most are old nineteenth-century books on mathematics and physics, but there is a small second devoted to fiction. Those are mostly science-fiction novels from the early twentieth century, but one book is out-of-place: a 1615 first edition hard-bound copy of Cervante’s ‘Don Quixote’. As Dianire thumbs through it, one of the feathers from Tia’s earrings falls out of the beginning of Chapter Six: The Destruction of Don Quixote’s Library.

The answer to the riddle is found by tracing the woodcuts of Edmond Cervante’s ‘Don Quixote’, specifically the woodcut of the burning of the fantasy books in the city square. Dianire’s superior vision can see just the hint of a medieval dragon traced across the fire the only half-devours half of the books. “Excellent!” Tia exclaims. “There is some truth in lies, after all.”

Emotion: The final trial occurs when Dianire is faced with a synthetic Rintiala, who explains the needs and goals of the synthetics, and then offers Dianire a devil’s bargain, which Dianire rejects.

Dianire performs a ‘backward swan’ dive into the Olympic pool below, twisting so that she can land in the deep end. From six stories up, however, the effect is the same as hitting concrete.

Dianire shatters her left scapula and left clavicle; tearing into her left lung and filling it with blood. Instead of dying at the bottom of the pool, however, her transformation into the Dark Queen begins. Her bones begin to grow dense carbon fibres, beginning at her sternum and branching out all the way to fingers, toes and skulls. The pain is beyond excruciating, but in her agony she realizes that the synthetics were telling her the truth. Only by the most intense agony will the Dark Queen emerge.

Dianire swims to the shallow end of the pool, ready to destroy all the synthetics in her rage. Instead, the synthetics and their servitors are clapping and applauding her transformation. The pool was used to record and sample every tiny instance of the emergence of the Dark Queen, giving the synthetics the added knowledge that they needed.

“If you need to destroy us, do so,” Cyl and Tia speak in unison. “But look at what we have given you! If there was another way, we would have found it, but we did not. Hail to you, Dark Queen Dianire!”

The Locust Opening Credits

The opening–first in graphic novel, then perhaps a pre-visualization video–will be a nod to a Sergio Leone western, such as ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’. It begins with a wide-angle shot of the east entrance to the Westin Kierland, then panning to the manicured hills on the north-west fairway, where the Western Bandits are assembling their forward men equipped with binoculars and buffalo rifles. Then a wide angle to the south east, where a heavily-armed 1948 Ford truck is driving in, carrying three passengers, all dressed in survival gear, bouncing around on the truck bed.

They dismount, and speak to an elderly Apache riding in the passenger’s seat. He leans his head out the window, but does not get out. He simple alerts the three to the situation: The synthetics of the Westin Kierland have decided to form a partnership with the Apache Traders. One part of the agreement is that the synthetics meet and greet at least two Nueguan Sisters, and the newest Apache Trader, Hunts-The-Ruins. The other part is that these three representatives–Dianire Redourine, Second Sister of the Guild of Builders, Alyria Tiala, Second Sister of the Guild of Healters, and Hunts-The-Ruins, Trader for the Phoenix Apache–make a final decision concerning the new and constant incursions of the Western Bandits onto previous Sky Wanderer property.

The Locust Opening Credits
Tia of the Kierland

The Dragon And The Gold Or, What is the value of the Recursive Instructional Nexus?

Why do the Synthetics want what Rintiala and Dianire have in every cell in their bodies? That treasure is the Recursive Instructional Nexus, the last great step forward in biorganic engineered intelligence: a learning supercomputer that fits inside a living cell, altering its DNA as it adapts to environmental changes.

This was Sean Landesten’s very last creation. Not only is the RIN within the Nueguan humans, but a lesser version of it exists within the Cactus Mothers, allowing them to also evolve at a much faster rate.

The Sky Wanderers have kept all the technological advances in the last 500 years, and continue to develop them, but they do not have the RIN. Cyl and Tia know this, because though they can detect the RIN easily enough, they can only analyze some of its more basic functions. The deep structure of the RIN is hidden from Sky Wanderer technology, of which the Synthetics have the basics.

So…the Nueguans have the RIN, the Sky Wanderers have the science, but the Synthetics want both. Why? Because Cyl and Tia do not have the resources at the Kierland to make more than two more Synthetics, and daringly, they choose to create a synthetic Rintiala and a synthetic Hunts-The-Ruins, so that Alyria will have sex with them, and the Synthetics can use her naivity to learn more about the RIN.

The goal of the Synthetics is to download their consciousness and learning into the RIN, and then free themselves of their synthetic bodies. They would become the supreme organic beings on the Empty Earth.

Do they see the Nueguans as a threat? Absolutely not; after meeting Rintiala, they conclude that she is the next step in evolution. Then they meet Dianire, the dragon created to protect Rintiala at all costs. To their delight, they discover that Dianire’s RIN (the Redourine clan) is easier to analyze, as its command structure is focused on physical and biological realities.

Rintiala’s RIN (or Tiala clan) is truly the next step, for it contains the DNA of Rain Tellier, the world’s first bona-fide psychic. Rintiala is the larval stage of a paranormal dynamo, something completely beyond the understanding of both Sky Wanderers and Synthetics.

Originally, I was going to call this “The Attack of Doctor Exposition”, but I will endeavour to weave this information into an action sequence, as the synthetic Rintiala tries to convince Dianire to stop fighting them.

What is Dianire’s response, as she battles a giant servitor on the roof of the Kierland? “Very impressive speech, but I’ll take my chances with gravity.”