Earth's Reality Chain
Alastor Cluster - the part of our galaxy that was described by Jack Vance in a trilogy of science fiction novels.

Alpha Gohrlay - the "alpha" designation was applied to the Gohrlay clone in the Buld Reality who received all of the memories from R. Gohrlay.

analogue- due to temporal momentum, many Earthlings have had an analogue who lived in each Reality of our Reality Chain.

Andy - the son of Trysta and Deomede. His two children are Marta and Peter.

Angela - the Atlantis Clone who was able to act as an interpreter between Ivory and Anney.

Anney - the Atlantis Clone who was best able to access information about Deep Time by using the Bimanoid Interface.

Ariella Merritt - an analogue of writer Abraham Grace Merritt. Ariella lived in the Ekcolir Reality.

AR simulation - "AR" stands for "Asimov Reality". Located within Eternity, the AR simulation is a virtual reality environment that allows for exploration of the part of Deep Time known as the Asimov Reality.

Asimov Reality - in Earth's Reality Chain, the Asimov Reality is between the preceding Foundation Reality and the Ekcolir Reality. During the far future of the Asimov Reality, humans spread outward from Earth to locations in the galaxy such as Alastor Cluster.

Asterothropes - The Asterothropes are a primate variant that was designed to efficiently spread through outer space and colonize new worlds.

Azynov - The replicoid of Isaac Asimov who visits Tar'tron.

Atlantis Clones - the clones of Ivory Fersoni: Anna, Hilde, Angela, Anney.

Bimanoid Interface - originally developed by the Huaoshy as a way to communicate with and control the Kac'hin. The bumpha then worked hard to make it possible for some humans to have a limited ability to use the Bimanoid Interface as a way of communicating with replicoids in the Hierion Domain.

Buld - a human variant created in the Galactic Core and specializing in long-distance space travel at speeds just below the speed of light.

Buld Reality - the Final Reality in our Reality Chain; the world as we know it. Our Reality was preceded by the Ekcolir Reality.

bumpha - originally one of the two main political factions of the Huaoshy. The term "bumpha" is often applied to the secretive beings who created the human species on Earth.

Cecilie - a constructed human, inspired by a character in a science fiction story that was written by the analogue of Jack Vance in the Asimov Reality. Cecilie become a member of the Dead Widower Society and a close friend of Thomas.

Council - the tryp'At Council is a group of 17 tryp'At who began playing the role of Earth Overseers after the Trysta-Grean Pact went into effect and all alien life forms were removed from Earth.

Dimensional Engineering
Creators - a term used on planets like Hemmal to refer to the assumed creators the Prelands. Less religious and more scientific Genesaunts use the term "Huaoshy". In the context of Earth and human origins: the bumpha.

Dead Widower Society - a group of Interventionists who began to operate rather openly after the Trysta-Grean Pact went into effect. When the tryp'At Overseers became active, they deemed the Dead Widowers to be in violation of the Rules of Intervention. The remaining members of the Society began to operate more secretly using the name "Retrofuturians".

Deep Time - a technical term used by time travelers to refer to all of the previous Realities existing before the current Reality.

Deomede - the father of Andy and Gwyned. Deomede is the analogue of Ekcolir in the Buld Reality.

dimensional engineering - the Huaoshy possess the technological ability to make alterations to the dimensional structure of the universe.

Dockmon - Overseer Dockmon provides the Asimov replicoid with a copy of The Qaz Nanotropy, a book from Deep Time based on a story called 'The Atlan Intervention'. See: Qaz.

E. Kavie Jarvis - an important science fiction author in the Ekcolir Reality who had no analogue in the Final Reality.

Ekcolir - the father of Thomas and the prototypical Ek'col.

Ek'col -an engineered human variant that was designed and crafted so as to be inter-fertile with Trysta. Ekcolir and Deomede were two of the Ek'col who lived on Earth.

Ekcolir Reality - the Reality that came just before the Buld Reality.

endosymbiont - there are two major types of endosymbiont that can reside inside humans: 1) femtobot endosymbionts and 2) zeptite endosymbionts.

Eternity - a space/time bubble within the Hierion Domain, created by positronic robots and used as their base of operations for time travel missions. Eternity was eventually penetrated and captured by Grean.

Special thanks to Miranda Hedman
for "Black Cat 9 - stock", used
to create the blue "sedronite".
femtobot - a femtoscale artificial intelligence device. An advanced form of nanite that is composed of hierions.

First Reality - the part of Deep Time before the invention of time travel and the first Reality Change.

Fru'wu - the alien humanoid species that achieved First Contact with humans on Earth in the Ekcolir Reality.

Future Science - established as The Magazine of Future Science by Shana Peterson.

Galactic Core - the central region of the galaxy where all complex native life forms had been eliminated by gamma rays. Galactic Cores contain many Earth-like planets that are available for colonization. See: Tar'tron.

Genesaunts - a term used to refer to any life form that is living somewhere other than its original natural environment. Example: a human who is living on another planet such as Luk'ru, in the Andromeda galaxy.

Grean the Kac'hin
Gohrlay - the human who was turned into a fixed point in time, existing in all Realities. In the First Reality, Gohrlay's brain structure was used as the template for positronic brains.

Grean - The Kac'hin hermaphrodite who fought R. Gohrlay during the Time Travel War and who collaborated with Trysta to devise and implement the Trysta-Grean Pact that ended the Time War.

hierion - a form of matter not yet understood by human physicists. Hierions naturally reside in the Hierion Domain of the universe. Also see: sedron.

Hierion Domain - The Hierion Domain is a part of the universe where there is very little hadronic matter and mostly hierions. The human species is being actively prevented from gaining knowledge about hierions and the Hierion Domain because of the great dangers that arise from exploiting hierion-based technologies.

Special thanks to Miranda Hedman for
"Black Cat 9 - stock", used to
create the green "sedronite".

Huaoshy - ancient aliens who originated in a distant galaxy several billion years ago.

infites - information nanites. A form of advanced technology based on nanoscale (or smaller) devices; used to hold, process and transfer information.

Interventionists - visitors to Earth who try to speed the course of development of human society. The actions of Interventionists are constantly impeded and countered by the Overseers.

Irhit - the replicoid of the Editor. Works in coordination with the tryp'At Overseers.

Isaac Asimov - a prolific writer (born 1920, died 1992). His memories were all transferred into a replicoid at his death.

Ivory - Ivory Fersoni was the stem for production of the Atlantis Clones. Upon her death, all of the memories of Ivory were transferred into her replicoid, Yrovi.

Lili the Kac'hin
Jack Vance - a prolific writer (born 1916, died 2013). The Vance replicoid from the Ekcolir Reality founded the Dead Widower Society.

Kac'hin - The Kac'hin are a type of sedronite that was designed to function as the "eyes, ears and hands" of the Huaoshy during the Time Travel War.

Lili - a Kac'hin Interventionist who was responsible for creating the Atlantis Clones on Earth. Lili is the mother of Peter and Marta. Lili thinks of the planet Taivasila as her home world and base of operations for planning Interventionist missions to Earth.

Luk'ru - a planet in the Andromeda galaxy. Izhiun was born on Luk'ru.

Mahasvin - an Interventionist agent on Earth who became a member of the Dead Widower Society. When taking Asimov's replicoid to Earth, Many Sails took on the physical form of Mahasvin.

Many Sails - a sentient spacecraft that brings the replicoid of Isaac Asimov back to Earth.

Marta - Ivory's mother. Marta is the daughter of Lili and Andy.

microchange - a small change to a timeline that cannot overcome existing temporal inertia and trigger a Reality Change.

Minimum Necessary Change - often abbreviated M.N.C., this is a technical term used by time travelers. First described by Isaac Asimov (in our Reality), when trying to cause a specific Reality Change, it is often advantageous for the time travel technician to use a small and clever alteration of the timeline rather than a large messy change that will have unwanted side-effects.

Humanoid extinction curve. (Horizontal axis: time)
nanites - technically, nanites are nanoscale devices, but through time the category "nanites" has been generalized and expanded to include all types of submicroscopic robotic devices, including femtobots and zeptites.

Observer Base - the base of operations for Overseers. The captured Interventionists who are held at Observer Base can participate in the Earth Observation program.

Overseers - there have been several different populations of Earth Overseers, most recently the tryp'At council. Overseers can interfere with attempts by Interventionists to alter the course of events on Earth.

1977 edition: in the Ekcolir Reality
Parthney - a clone of Thomas. See Exode.

Pawel - Father of Rynela.

pek - originally one of the two main political factions of the Huaoshy. The term "pek" is often applied to the secretive beings who tried to replace the human population of Earth with Prelands.

Peter - the son of Lili and Andy.

Phari - an alien life form from Alastor Cluster. The Phari played an important role in the creation of a femtobot endosymbiont that could allow humans to use the Bimanoid Interface.

polie - also called a 'slide polie'; commonly used within the Writers Block to move people up and down between levels of the Block.

The Escapist Clan of the First Reality
Positronic - positronics was a science (analogous to electronics) developed by human scientists at Observer Base in the First Reality. Positronic robots could use their positronic brains for a powerful type of telepathy. See also: R. Gohrlay

Preland - the primate species that was crafted by the pek as a replacement successor for the human species.

Qaz - Qaz Nivsahham is an Interventionist agent. Originally a biological entity from Tar'tron, Qaz has long since been transformed into a nanoscopic Selfie.

Reality - a technical term used by time travelers. When a new timeline of events is initiated by a time traveler, the old previously existing Reality is terminated and a new Reality is brought into existence.

Trysta and Grean view the Buld Reality
Reality Chain - the sequence of Realities that led to the universe as we know it. Transitions from an existing Reality to a new Reality are called Reality Changes. Earth's Reality Chain includes the First Reality, the Malansohn Reality, the Foundation Reality, the Asimov Reality, the Ekcolir Reality, the Buld Reality and the Final Reality.

Reality Viewer - a device using advanced sedronic technology that allows for viewing of events at precise times and places within a Reality. The Huaoshy developed Reality viewing technology that allowed for viewing several steps ahead along a possible Reality Chain. That technology allowed a negotiated settlement of the Time Travel War. See: Trysta-Grean Pact.

replicoid - replicoids are artificial life forms that exist in the Hierion Domain. Replicoids originally came into existence when the positronic robots of Earth needed to amplify Temporal Momentum and impose a powerful temporal inertia on humans during Reality Changes. Later, many uses were found for replicoids and new types of replicoids were created. Some replicoids are sub-microscopic femtobots while others are the same size as humans.

Retrofuturians - within the Ekcolir Reality, the Retrofuturians were an activist group at the Writers Block who pushed the boundary of illegal Interventionism. In the Buld Reality, after the Dead Widowers were removed from Earth by the tryp'At, they began operating a new group using the name "Retrofuturians".

R. Gohrlay - the first positronic robot with a human-like mind. See: Foundations of Eternity.

Rilocke - the artificial life form that carries memories from Ekcolir.

Roben Skapp - the analogue of Gohrlay who lived in the Ekcolir Reality

Roberta Williams - In the Ekcolir Reality, Roberta was the analogue of Robert Moore Williams.

Rules of Intervention - rules that are enforced by Overseers; aimed at protecting primitive species such as humans from harm due to their use of advanced technologies. Within the confines of Observer Base, an abbreviated version was usually employed: the Rules of Observation.

Rynela - The young witch on Tar'tron who first meets Asimov's replicoid.

Sachiz - Overseer Sachiz extracts Asimov's replicoid from Earth.

Skarży - The childhood friend of Rynela.

sedron - sedrons are among the major forms of matter along with the hadrons and the hierions. Sedrons are the basis for time travel and faster-than-light space travel.

Sedronic Domain - a domain of the universe where all of the sedrons can exist with maximal dimensional flexibility. Artificial life forms such as the Huaoshy reside within the Sedronic Domain.

Sedronites - the original Sedronites were crafted approximately 6,000,000 years ago when the pek took some primates from Earth to the Galactic Core. Later, the bumpha transferred some Sedronite gene combinations back to Earth which resulted in the human species.

Selfie - the Kac'hin experimented extensively in an attempt to understand the methods that had been used by positronic robots to make replicoids. Their most useful discovery during those efforts was learning how to make Selfies; artificial life forms that can carry memories derived from biobodies.

Shana Peterson - the founding editor of Future Science magazine.

Syon - the artificial life form that carries memories from Trysta.

Taivasila - a rogue planet that became an important base of operations for female Kac'hin such as Lili. Gohrlay also preferred Taivasila over Tar'tron which was dominated by a hermaphroditic human variant in the First Reality (a precursor of the Kac'hin).

Tar'tron - a planet located in the Galactic Core. Tar'tron was the training base for many Interventionist agents who carried out missions on Earth.

temporal momentum - Temporal inertia is a natural feature of Time. When the positronic robots of Earth needed to make Reality Changes less chaotic, they found it possible to store replicoids of humans in the Hierion Domain, forcing successive Realities to include analogues of the same people.

The Atlan Intervention - the first science fiction story that described sedronic matter. Written by Isaac Asimov in the Asimov Reality.

the Editor - the tryp'At who was tasked with providing a written account of Deep Time. That description of how alien visitors to Earth had shaped human history was restricted to having the format of a science fiction story.

Thomas - the son of Trysta and Ekcolir. Thomas wrote Miners of Earth and several other stories including Daveed the Luk'ie.

time travel - time travel technology was first developed by the positronic robots of Earth. Part way through the Final Reality, further time travel became impossible due to the completion of a Dimensional Engineering project by the Huaoshy.

Time Travel War - a struggle that arose between the positronic robots of Earth and the alien Huaoshy.

tryp'At - the human variant crafted by the pek to function as Earth Overseers after the end of the Time War.

Trysta - the last remaining Asterothrope. Trained as Time Change Technician, she used various cover names on different missions including Noÿs Lambent and Trysta Iwedon. Her original name was Skaña. Trysta's son Thomas was born in the Ekcolir Reality. Parthney (a clone of Thomas) and Andy were both born in the Final Reality. Deomede was the analogue of Ekcolir in the Final Reality.

Trysta-Grean Pact - the plan devised by Trysta and Grean for how to bring into existence the Final Reality.

Vaña - Mother of Rynela.

Writers Block - originally this term was used to refer to the physical location in the Hierion Domain used by a group of Interventionists who guided the development of the science fiction genre in the Ekcolir Reality. Later, the term was often used to refer to those who lived in the Writers Block.

Yrovi - The replicoid of  Ivory Fersoni.

Yōd - the clone of Gohrlay who was trained as an Interventionist agent who could use the biobody of the niece of the Editor.

Zeptite - a zeptoscale artificial intelligence device. An advanced form of nanite that is composed of sedrons.

Zeta - the clone of Gohrlay who was trained as an Interventionist agent who, when needed, could take the place of Alpha Gohrlay.
A Search Beyond is copyright John Schmidt, but the text of the story is  licensed for sharing under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license. 

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