The Nanomites are a microscopic life-form living on Tarizon. They are highly intelligent as evidenced by their building and engineering skills and their ability to communication almost instantaneously. They live in swarms. Each swarm is controlled by a swarmmaster who communicates and controls all of the individual Nanomites. They are very small by themselves but together in a swarm they can be quite large. Still, you couldn't see them with the naked eye as they usually live inside a solid object. The buildings they construct are designed by architects whose designs are communicated to the swarm through the swarmmaster who controls them.
The swarmmaster communicates with the swarm in a similar manner as the human brain controls the cells of our body, except the Nanomites donít have to be connected. They only have to be in the swarm field to be under the control of the swarmmaster. This gives them the ability to avoid barriers and slip through cracks and voids in an object they are penetrating. It takes many people to culture and nourish the Nanomites swarms and care for them between building projects and it takes months for the building to grow into fruition.
Prior to unification, the Nanomites had never been considered an intelligent life form. Being extremely small, so small a human could only see them in a microscope, it was thought they were like plants with little or no intelligence or ability to communicate. But a scientist name Baldridge became interested in the Nanomites after the great eruptions and went to the Nanomiteís desert homeland to study them. He estimated there were about five million swarms at the time. In the course of his study he discovered that their numbers had remained fairly stable since scientists had begun studying them shortly after unification under the Supreme Mandate. He wondered why their population hadnít grown and expanded. Was it that they needed certain chemicals and nutrients that only existed in their desert homeland, or did the desert climate have something to do with it? His finally realized it was both. The Nanomites needed a dry environment to build. Moisture slowed them down and made it impossible for them to work efficiently. They also needed a chemical called bacuum that was naturally produced in the desert where they lived.
Baldridge conjectured that the number of swarms would multiply almost geometrically if they were put in an ideal environment and given all the chemical ingredients they needed. When Baldridge asked his fellow scientists if they could reproduce bacuum in the laboratory, they assured him they could. This excited him since it meant he could take them anywhere on the planet to build, as long as he kept the construction site dry.
Of course, increasing the Nanomite population would do Baldridge no good unless somehow he could communicate with them and get them to build structures that would be useful to the government in the recovery effort. So, his study turned to figuring out how to communicate with them and get them to build structures that would be useful to the government in the recovery effort. So, his study turned to figuring out how to communicate with them.
In researching previous pre-eruption studies of the Nanomites, he learned that the swarmmaster, a loosely connected array of super-Nanomites, acted as the brain of the swarm and controlled its members within a swarm field. Nobody knew exactly how the swarmmaster communicated with each of the individual Nanomites in the swarm field, but it was presumed there was some kind of common will within the swarm. This led Baldwin to experiment with telepathic communication.
To do this he enlisted the help of those most gifted with telepathic abilities. Although, none of these persons were able to establish reliable communication with the Nanomites, there was some reaction from the Nanomites to their efforts. This made Baldridge believe he was on the right track. What he needed was someone with stronger or more precise telepathic abilities. This is when he was told about Threebeard, the mutant Peter mentioned earlier.
It was said the three-headed mutant Threebeard was the most intelligent person on the planet, and he proved it by quickly establishing telepathic communication with the Nanomite swarmmasters. He confirmed that they were indeed intelligent, disciplined, and a vibrant life form that could be quite useful to the Central Authority. Even better was the fact that the Nanomites were a docile life form. Their primary concern was survival. They were natural builders, because they had to protect their population from the environment, specifically rain and moisture. That was why they had learned to build such strong and magnificent structures.
Using his telepathic abilities, Threebeard could communicate with the swarmmasters almost instantaneously. In time Threebeard taught other humans with telepathic abilities to communicate with them too. This was fortunate for Central Authority, for Threebeard soon withdrew from the project when he realized that it cared little about the Nanomites as a life form and only sought to exploit them.