This page provides a detailed outline of The Start of Eternity. This can be useful for making sure that each scene has a coherent beginning, middle, and end with a meaningful conflict/challenge in each scene and an obvious reason for the reader to continue on to the next scene. A less detailed outline is at the main meta page. For the reader: Table of Contents.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: this needs to be updated for the new order of chapters.
"A phase might be a snippet of conversation, how a character feels about something, or an action or event. Each phase is small and should focus on one thing." (source)
This scene is a kind of "teaser". The reader should wonder why Gohrlay is willing to die and participate in the mind downloading experiment...will there be a new version of Gohrlay's mind generated by positronic circuits?
1. Observer Gohrlay's dream of being trapped on the Moon.
2. Overseer Doltun and Orbho Anagro, Dulton's aide, arrive at Gohrlay's home, interrupting her sleep.
3. Gohrlay is identified as a Neanderthal and Doltun's genetic origin is from another human subspecies, but they live on the Moon at Observer Base.
4. Gohrlay's aide is a robot, but Gohrlay views robots as the "prison guards of Observer Base". Overseer Doltun and Anagro have come to take Gohrlay to her death.
5. A tram ride through the underground city of Observer Base takes Gohrlay to the "research station" where her brain will be destroyed.
6. Gohrlay's participation in the positronic brain project is introduced as a way to escape from her futile existence under "house arrest" and being subjected nanite-mediated mind control.
7. Anagro is more clearly identified as a robot. Gohrlay views the "godlike" robots as having a mysterious origin.
8. Gohrlay's worries about the "mind downloading" experiment; can it produce a positronic version of her mind?
9. Gohrlay's crime involved going to Earth and trying to help the earthlings.
10. Arrival at the research station where Gohrlay hopes that Klempse will safe-guard her diary.
11. Gohrlay's thoughts and fears as she enters into the brain scanning machine and faces death.
12. Gohrlay's rather incoherent suspicions about Anagro being "responsible for Earth's fate".
13. Gohrlay's last thoughts and her hope that humans can be freed from nanite control of their minds.
Gohrlay is told about the Huaoshy and that she is on her way to a distant planet.
A story about how humans came to be on the Moon.
Commentary about religious tensions on the Moon.
Gohrlay comes to view herself as a prisoner.
Why Neanderthals became extinct.
This chapter jumps ahead many years after scene #1 and shows R. Gohrlay making use of time travel technology.
1. R. Nahan and R. Fengtol are introduced as robots working with R. Gohrlay and using time travel technology. R. Fengtol is sent into Time on a mission.
2. R. Nahan and R. Gohrlay discuss the fate of Encyclopedist Pavao in the latest Reality.
3. The time travel kettle carrying R. Rycleu approaches R. Gohrlay's workshop.
4. When R. Rycleu arrives, the two robots establish a telepathic communications link; they discuss the creation of Galaxia.
5. The Foundation-Galaxia time vortex is described and compared to a similar feature in the Malansohn Reality.
6. Galaxia described as a requirement for proper use of the Zeroth Law of robotics.
7. R. Gohrlay thinks about the origin of the Zeroth Law and how humanity was liberated from the manipulative Huaoshy.
This scene introduces the plan for how best to establish Galaxia, but it is at the cost of removing all life from Earth.
1. Safely inside R. Gohrlay's workshop, R. Rycleu's memories are restored to her and she then agrees with Gohrlay about the suitability of the current Reality.
2. R. Gohrlay tells R. Rycleu about the next Reality Change, which should speed formation of Galaxia.
3. R. Gohrlay thinks about the risks from placing R. Rycleu on Earth through most of the twentieth century.
4. The two robots discuss having to render Earth's surface uninhabitable in order to make possible the formation of Galaxia.
5. The two robots discuss the idea that they are close to ending their use of time travel technology.
6. R. Gohrlay's fear that aliens might discover positronics and create a mind static weapon that could be used against telepathic robots.
7. R. Gohrlay explains that sedronic physics must be quickly brought to the attention of humans in the 20th century.
This scene reveals what happened to Noÿs and Andrew in the decade after they traveled back in time to live in the twentieth century.
1. Noÿs and Andrew are introduced as time travelers who stimulated the study of nuclear fission in the 1930s.
2. Noÿs is happily married to Andrew, they have two children and they believe that their time travel mission was a success.
3. Noÿs has an interest in the development of genetic technology because, being from 10 million years in the future, she is genetically different from 20th century humans.
4. Noÿs' mission was to end the Mallansohn Reality, a timeline in which time travel was used, but humanity never made use of interstellar travel to spread among the stars.
5. Andrew has a special interest in computers and is trying to help people like Alan Turing speed development of electronic memory storage technologies.
6. Noÿs' effort to stimulate the study of DNA structure in the laboratory of William Astbury is described.
7. Noÿs is happy at home with her children, but she plans to return to genetics research after the children are grown up.
This scene shows R. Rycleu introducing Noÿs to the idea that a positronics industry must be developed on Earth in the 20th century.
1. R. Rycleu arrives in Wales and introduces herself to Noÿs using the cover name "Smith".
2. Noÿs almost immediately suspects that "Smith" is not from the 20th century.
3. "Smith" explains that she is R. Rycleu, a robot, on a mission to speed the development of technologies that will make possible interstellar space travel.
4. Noÿs is shocked since in her experience robots were only known as mythological beings.
5. Rycleu insists that Noÿs' mission was a success, even though time travel is still possible.
6. Noÿs realizes that R. Rycleu can telepathically read her thoughts.
7. R. Rycleu must carefully modify Noÿs' thinking so as to gain her trust.
Andrew learns about R. Rycleu's mission.
1. Three days after R. Rycleu arrived in Wales, she has integrated herself into the routine of the household.
2. R. Rycleu reveals to Andrew that she is a robot with a positronic brain.
3. R. Rycleu and Andrew discuss the idea that an understanding of sedronic matter can be provided to Earth humans in the 20th century.
4. Andrew's thoughts must be guided away from resentment over the existence of robots who control of the fate of humanity.
Noÿs and Andrew adapting to the the idea of working with R. Rycleu.
1. Andrew is skeptical about the idea that positronics can be developed in the 20th century.
2. Noÿs reveals that she has seen R. Rycleu's positronic brain and that R. Rycleu has provided her with a supply of sedronic matter.
3) Noÿs explains the idea that the development of quantum computing can be accelerated by helping to speed the creation of high-temperature superconductors.
4) R. Recleu adjusts the minds of Noÿs and Andrew so as to remove their concerns and allow them to focus on the task of helping with R. Gohrlay's plan.
This scene introduces both Galaxia (in the form of the people on Tokishira) and the aliens.
1. Social Engineer Lorn-Kru on the planet Tokishira, returning to Many Sails and interacting with humans.
2. Flashback to Astrogator Fint explaining some fine points of human behavior.
3. Lorn-Kru contemplates the fact that humans make little use of robotic assistants.
4. Lorn-Kru wonders why humans never react in surprise to the sight of his alien body.
5. Lorn-Kru thinks back to his Captain asking why humans were able to dominate their galaxy.
6. Lorn-Kru is puzzled about how humans who are moving in crowds avoid collisions.
This scene introduces the rest of the crew of Many Sails.
1. Lorn-Kru is greeted by the artificial life form that is the mind of the spaceship, Many Sails
2. Lorn-Kru goes through a decontamination treatment
3. Lorn-Kru grabs a snack from Robot Jeed
4. Lorn-Kru and the rest of the crew discuss his failed effort of that day; seeking permission to visit additional human worlds
5. Captain Hooski decides to ignore the wishes of the humans and continue their mission in search of answers about the mystery of how humans took over an entire galaxy.
Alkeirs is a rather mysterious crew member who seems motivated by more than just the need to fulfill his role as a Giuld Observer.
1. Lorn-Kru contemplates the flirtatious Astrogator Fint.
2. Lorn-Kru and Alkeirs discuss prospects for finding the human home world.
3. Alkeirs is pleased that they will press on with their mission, but Lorn-Kru wonders why it matters if humans want to be left alone in "their" galaxy.
Lorn-Kru, Fint and Jeed try to make sense of some of the oddities of the mission.
1. Lorn-Kru goes to the dining room for dessert.
2. Fint informs Lorn-Kru that she has a secret that cannot be revealed until they are in deep space.
3. Lorn-Kru and Fint discuss possibilities for why she was selected for the mission.
4. Lorn-Kru cannot understand why Many Sails" has such a small and "rag-tag" crew, but Fint thinks that she can provide insight into human behavior.
5. Jeed notes another unusual feature of the mission: a large number of robots are on board.