When the Prologue is too long, but …

It’s necessary. I swear it.

The first upright, tool using anye ancestor to shed his lemur ways was called Purva Maula — Sanskrit, meaning Early Indigene.

By the time his rule ended, the only plug of dry dirt on the planet had split asunder and a new breed of flat faced hominids emerged — still descended from lemurs, but not very different from Homo Erectus.

After the plates finished moving, Vidura’s habitable regions settled out as the Daza Island Chain, MahaDviPa, the North Islands, the Laghu Continent, and the Grahana Archipelago. This happened just in time for an ice age to isolate variants of the new species in their respective homelands, except for the Nivi — who escaped from the North Islands to MahaDviPa.

40,000 years later, when the glaciers receded, Purva Maula’s successors had matured into Anye Nava, a smooth-skinned, modern race evolved for modern times. And, when it warmed up, the Nivi crossed the pole to reclaim their territory, arriving with a written language, carbon steel, farming and a seagoing tradition.

It didn’t take long for them to sail across the Nivi Strait to Laghu, where they came upon the Vanya — who, unlike almost every other tribe on the planet, had yet to discard the habit of killing anybody not connected by family or clan.

After getting their noses bloodied a few times, the Nivi withdrew — with a grim resolve to forever keep the Vanya at arm’s length. This lasted until just before the industrial period. By then, the Concordance of Autonomous Provinces had been formed, and — over protests by the Nivi — the Vanya were invited to join.

They never signed up, but they were happy to immigrate to a land of easy spoils. Cities and towns on the east coast became divided, unsafe and deeply scarred. Locals lived in fear, and those who could, moved farther inland to get away.

Two hundred years into the machine age, it was discovered that Vidura’s population had fallen into sharp decline. The Vanya, aware of how unwelcome they were on MahaDviPa, imagined that the Concordance had carried out biological warfare against them — thousands of citizens died in riots on the east coast.

The government — desperate to appease the Vanya — commissioned a gene tailoring remedy for impaired fertility. Medical researchers tagged a phyletic marker, developing a treatment applied through a bio-engineered virus — which was then rushed into testing.

The Vikara virus, designed to be transmitted only via serum injection, mutated and spread outside the test group. In less than a year, the first regressed-evolution newborns emerged from the birth canals of their distraught mothers.

Anye Adya had a muzzle, fangs, thick fur, and retractable claws. Eight distinct breeds appeared, all pointing back past Purva Maula to primitive lemur genotypes — Mahat Limar, Raji Limar, Iravat, Manu, Azanta, Kopin, Samudri and Vyala.

They didn’t have tails, but it was small consolation — in every other respect, it was clear that the Vikara virus had awakened the Anye’s inner lemur. Worse, the treatment had no effect on fertility.

The event was called the Change.

The Vanya, already convinced the Concordance had provoked the population crisis, exploded in a fit of psychotic rage — a fission bomb was set off in an east coast city, killing 30,000 inhabitants.

The Concordance collapsed. With no structure in place to direct a police response, the western states organized the Cadre — a merchant military force, with orders to expel the Vanya from MahaDviPa.

After being quarantined in Laghu, the Vanya warred with each other until all the fields were burned and all the grain was eaten. Then, ill-prepared to rebuild, and having no industry inside their own borders, the Vanya reached across oceans for an educated workforce.

The Quarantine, it turned out, was porous, and the Cadre lacked both funding and political capital to do anything about it — hundreds of citizens of a newly formed Anye Accord were taken by pressgangs every year.

Their economy now fueled by slave labor, the Vanya stripped the northern half of their continent of all its resources and invaded Grahana to the south. On MahaDviPa, Vanya operatives roamed as far west as Kendra. Grahana, despite having won independence from Laghu, emerged as a port of departure for Vanya insurgence.

And the Change reached its inevitable conclusion — not a single smooth skinned Anye Nava remained.

Within civilized provinces, medical science had lengthened lifespan. Machine intelligence was getting smarter by the day. Farming was mechanized. Clean energy flowed from methane and fission technology. Ambient temperature superconducting motors turned wheels and propellers.

Even so, the future the Anye envisioned had not quite arrived. They still depended on rocket planes to reach orbit. Fusion power hadn’t scaled well. Anti-gravity was a forgotten dream. Their sun was dying, their birthrate declining and a brutal enemy tested their borders every day.

It was the eve of vIkSaNa Antara — the Glance Within. Twelve hundred years after the Anye built their first steam engine, Physicist Bishen Parsanda prepared an experiment based on equations authored by his student, Rivan Saraf.

Regrettably, trans-dimensionally induced matter/energy conversion arrived sooner than expected. Parsanda died in the accident, leaving his apprentice to carry on the work.

A resurgence of technological advancement followed, with Rivan Saraf at the helm. The Anye went into space with vigor, establishing industrial facilities in a nearby star system and moving nearly all manufacturing into orbit.

It has been forty-eight years since the Anye broke out of a stalled industrial revolution. Eight hundred kilometers off the Great Continent’s west coast, a young Daza Islander dreams of following in Rivan Saraf’s footsteps.

A time of discovery has only begun to flourish — the Anye are about to unravel the quantum nature of the soul.

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