(urth) Travelin' Jahlee

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Thu Aug 11 23:29:17 PDT 2005

Thalassocrat quoted and wrote:
>>I believe that when the _Whorl_ first reached the Short Sun
>>system, landers
>>were sent down to scout the planets. That could have been the
>>point of
>>contamination, whether it involved the Neighbors or not. I think
>>that's what
>>Silkhorn was hinting at in his talk with Abanja. (ibid., 370-371)
>Just to be clear, Silkhorn does say later that the Neighbors took
>inhumi to the Whorl, and using them studied humans for a long time
>(RTTW 235-6).

Yes, the Neighbors took inhumi to the _Whorl_. But I don't think they
studied humans for a "long time". Just for the time (beginning
thirty-something years before the exodus?) the _Whorl_ was in orbit around
the Short Sun. Vadsig asked, "To greet us it was?" Silkhorn answered, "You
might put it so, though they were sensible enough to find out a good deal
about us -- and infect us with inhumi -- Before they ventured to greet even
a few of us." He goes on to say of the Neighbor's, "the civilization they
had built had failed them".

That's what I meant about the "point of contamination". I think that point
was reached when the _Whorl_ first reached the Short Sun system and sent
down exploratory landers. The Neighbors were effectively extinct on Green
(as on Blue), therefore there were no sentient inhumi there then. The few
Neighbors remaining on Green (as on Blue) were little more than ghostly
caretakers. Their technology, like their cities, was in ruins. Maybe they
had some magical (to humans) means of transporting themselves and other
cargo from one place to another, but I don't recall any evidence of it. I'm
suggesting that they made use of the earliest landers to move inhumi (and
perhaps themselves) between Green and the _Whorl_. That's how Quetzal got

>In the passage you quote, he says that landers must have been sent
>down from the Whorl before Auk's party left. But it seems clear to
>me that at this point he doesn't know about the Neighbors'
>responsibility for the inhumi on the Whorl, and my guess is that he
>here surmises (incorrectly) that landers are the only way inhumi
>could have reached it. (Jahlee establishes in this passage that the
>Whorl is too distant for inhumi to reach unaided from Green.)  Is
>there any other evidence in the text for such pre-exodus lander
>traffic, apart from this passage?

Offhand, I don't know.


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