Jared Aragona


THE STORY FROM OXINOPSES

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"Synopsis"

  The world of Oxinopses, two worlds away from Earth, is vastly different from the world that humans know.  It’s a much larger world, and the Attendant Beings (people) are nearly microscopic compared to most “Ground Creatures.”  Oxinopsid people live both in and upon the Ground Creatures, and much of society is organized around distributing resources from those creatures.  Oxinopsid people appear different based on their “role form”; the primary role forms are known as Rationalizers, Engagers, Handlers, Multipliers, and Stumps.  Each has its own variations and cultures, but together they sustain their world more successfully than the people of Riesa or Earth.

When Miles arrives on Oxinopses, he finds that he is a Stump stuck to the wall of a tunnel through the hind quarters of a beast called a Gutonaggy.  This seems strange since he connects with the Caretaker Dreams from his human childhood and remembers his Oxinopsid self growing toward being an Engager.  He then remembers the tragic circumstances that led him to the safer, duller Stump’s life.  Miles is forced to spend eight months among his Stump peers, but he learns while waiting that he’s undergoing transformation.  Role form metamorphosis is possible for Oxinopsid people, and Miles is becoming a Rationalizer.  

Still a Stump in appearance, Miles travels through the Gutonaggy’s body cavity and forces himself into the tighter tunnels of its skull, where Stumps never go.  After suffering some scarring gashes, Miles eventually arrives in a chamber of the skull where a group of young Rationalizers are being schooled, and one of them makes a mental connection with Miles.  Miles also encounters SOLVESQUICK, one of the leading Rationalizers, to whom he resigns as a Gutonaggy Stump.

Free from his worldly Oxinopsid life, Miles departs from the Gutonaggy into the vast world where he revels in the ability to fly.  He observes life at the ground level, in the Mid Air where floating islands service uncountable populations, and in the Upper Air above the canopy of immense Oxinopsid trees.  In the Upper Air are massive floating temples where Miles completes his transformation from Stump to Rationalizer.  He realizes how much he has grown as a Caretaker and that it’s time to depart on a long journey.

When Miles arrives in another region, his instincts lead him to pursue three Rationalizers who are “dyed and decorated Rooks players.”  “Rooks” is a game of strategy played on giant cubes, and the expert players hold key positions in the regional government.  Miles follows the three Rooks experts to a Rationalizer Training Island and meets a veteran Rooks champion, THIRDSCHAMP.  Miles plays a casual match with Thirdschamp, and he uses both experiences from his human childhood and Caretaker Instinct to play the game sufficiently enough to impress Thirdschamp.  The veteran then offers Miles a position as a trainer, and Miles accepts.

Miles finds it difficult to read his instinct on Oxinopses, and he is lost about the duties that his Caretaker Quest will entail.  Oliver is nowhere.  The only thing Miles knows he must do is play Rooks, and he begins a winning streak that draws the attention of people from around the region.  Eventually, Miles enters an expert competition where live Engagers play as game pieces under the Rationalizers’ control.  Victory begins a period of celebrity for Miles, which leads to a match with the reigning champion of the region, WINSALLOVER.  Miles believes his Caretaker Quest is leading to a position of importance in the regional government, but he is mistaken.  When the time comes for him to compete with Winsallover, Caretaker Instinct tells him to lose.  Miles feels especially lost when he feels certain he will encounter Oliver but never does.

After Miles loses, the leaders of the region introduce KEEPSINLINE, an envoy from another region where a catastrophe killed hundreds of thousands.  Leaders were killed, and in the region’s period of recovery, envoys were seeking help from other regions.  Miles knows this is the path he must pursue.  

The suffering region where Miles arrives is called “coastal” because it borders the domain of a life form called the “Living Mud.”  When Miles encounters the Living Mud, Caretaker Instinct tells him that Oliver is somewhere beneath its surface.  Miles is then taken to the “Jover,” which is the creature that houses the highest seat of government, and he meets THINKSPERFECT, the most powerful Breaker that Miles has thus far encountered.  Miles worries that his identity as a Caretaker is known, but he fills his role in the government nonetheless.  

Miles grows increasingly disturbed by Oliver’s absence and his ignorance about the Caretaker Quest, but eventually he receives a gift from some fans – Rationalizers working in an “amphibious Basagulo.”  Carved into the gift is an English word, which only Miles can recognize.  This message from Oliver acts like a spell on Miles’s mind, giving him directions to recruit a precocious child, LITTLEBRIGHT, to become his pupil in the Jover.  Littlebright’s recruitment sparks a movement of Breakers against Miles who, led by Thinksperfect, conspire to deter Miles.  

Miles continues to receive gifts from his fans in the Basagulo, each bearing a word from Oliver that hones Miles’s skills to recruit six more pupils from peripheral areas.  Thinksperfect, however, is able to use Caretaker strategy by arranging for Miles to take additional pupils, all of whom are Breakers, and the precise combination of these individuals continually defies the future that Oliver and Miles are trying to construct.  Miles becomes frustrated with his position, especially as he senses a likely failure in the Caretaker Quest.

Miles then encounters THE EMBODIMENT of the true destructive force, who appears to Miles as a twin of himself.  Miles faces a near lapse in sanity, which is one of the ways that Caretaker Lines have been broken.  However, Miles is able to escape and soon has a Caretaker’s Dream that brings him back to his human self, although he retains no volition.  In the dream of his human life, he is visited by Oliver, who seems to be in full command of his human self because Oliver has had a vision of the FIRST CARETAKER.  The dire circumstances for creation have made new powers necessary.  Oliver reveals that one of the missing Caretaker Lines, the “Oor Line of Riesa” has been resurrected, not by the “creative energy” that drives creation forward but instead by a “destructive force” behind the surface of reality, one that seeks to bring creation to an end.  A rogue Caretaker creates potentially catastrophic consequences because it puts Breakers on nearly equal ground with Caretakers.  Oliver reveals the way that the new Breaker strength has trapped his Oxinopsid self inside a Basagulo, but his communion with the First Caretaker allows him the power to communicate with Miles in unprecedented ways.  Oliver also reveals that their Caretaker Quest relies on their assembling a super group of minds that together will overcome the future challenge of mutating life forms called “Steelskin Onodrids” whose impenetrability hormone will otherwise lead to a Lifedrain Scenario.  Now that Miles and Oliver have communicated, they have the ability to overcome their adversaries.

When Miles returns to his Oxinopsid self, he has a “diamond of clarity” in his mind that allows him to overcome Breaker efforts against him.  He recruits LONGSHOT, his final pupil for Oliver, but then through an unexpected act of mass murder, Thinksperfect is able to kill one of Miles’s key pupils, HIGHMIND, and the super group is fragmented.  Thinksperfect is caught, accused of the crime, and put to death, but that sacrifice is a victory for destruction because the Caretaker Quest appears to be lost.

Through an unlikely alliance between some of Miles’s remaining pupils, however, a way to success becomes possible, but it requires that Miles return to the region where he first arrived on Oxinopses.  He must recruit LASTCHANCE, the young Rationalizer that Miles had connected with in the Gutonaggy’s skull chamber, during the time when Miles was a Stump.  Miles successfully recruits Lastchance and also reconnects with a sibling, TAKESTRIDES, whom he remembers from his childhood Caretaker’s Dreams.

When Miles brings Lastchance back to the coastal region, the Caretaker Quest is still not complete.  Only after Oliver’s chosen pupils compete in a game called Quabfrogs and miraculously survive a “Warzack” attack do they become the team they will need to be some day.  Miles finds that the Warzack attack was engineered by the “blank and scarred twin,” the embodiment of destruction, who Miles now knows is a descendant of the Oor Line of Riesan Caretakers.  Although the rogue Caretaker wants to ally with Miles, Miles is able to overcome the lure, and he knows it won’t be the last time he encounters his adversary.

With his story from Oxinopses complete, Miles knows that the events of Luzciel’s life in the present, together with what she has read, have prepared her to accept her calling as the next Apprentice Caretaker.  She is ready to find Miles in the Xalapa Caretaker Shrine where their story can continue in Book Four: The Story from Joriana.  




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Jared Aragona