(urth) Travelin' Jahlee
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Fri Aug 12 05:31:19 PDT 2005
On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 23:29:17 -0700 "Roy C. Lackey"
<rclackey at stic.net> wrote:
>Yes, the Neighbors took inhumi to the _Whorl_. But I don't think
>studied humans for a "long time". Just for the time (beginning
>thirty-something years before the exodus?) the _Whorl_ was in
>the Short Sun. Vadsig asked, "To greet us it was?" Silkhorn
>might put it so, though they were sensible enough to find out a
>about us -- and infect us with inhumi -- Before they ventured to
>a few of us." He goes on to say of the Neighbor's, "the
>had built had failed them".
>That's what I meant about the "point of contamination". I think
>was reached when the _Whorl_ first reached the Short Sun system
>down exploratory landers. The Neighbors were effectively extinct
>(as on Blue), therefore there were no sentient inhumi there then.
>Neighbors remaining on Green (as on Blue) were little more than
>caretakers. Their technology, like their cities, was in ruins.
>had some magical (to humans) means of transporting themselves and
>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
>perhaps themselves) between Green and the _Whorl_. That's how
Damn - I was sure some explicit mention was made somewhere of the
Neighbors having spacecraft, but now I can't find anything. I do
have the Neighbor testifying at Silkhorn's trial: "I was one of
those who boarded your Whorl when it neared our sun." So Neighbors,
and probably inhumi, went to the Whorl before it reached orbit.
Now obviously that doesn't necessarily mean that he had his own
space-craft: scouting landers could have been sent out from the
Whorl before it went into orbit - but is that very likely? Or the
Neighbor could have astral-travelled there. But we don't know (do
we?) of any other occasion when anybody gets to astral travel to a
place they or a companion haven't visited previously. Perhaps the
Neighbors can do it; I don't know.
But if they can't, when they went to their new home (the "Neighbor
Whorl" or whatever it's called), they must have gone physically -
At the end of IGJ, Silkhorn says to some Neighbors: "Will the
inhumi really drive us away as they did you?" One replies: "Back to
your ship, you mean?" Silkhorn says: "that isn't possible ... There
are very few landers in working order ..." And the Neighbor
responds: "Then they cannot drive you away as they did us."
Again, nothing definitive, but to me it suggests that the Neighbors
did indeed leave in spacecraft. Obviously, they can return in
astral form, but the going was physical.
Now as to the Neighbors transporting inhumi to the Whorl: all of
the above aside, the Neighbors might have some magic matter
transfer way of doing this, but there's nothing in the text to
suggest it. Any astral type of travelling would not have delivered
blood-drinking inhumi, unless it was totally different from any of
the astral travelling in the text. So I get left with
transportation via space-craft, probably Neighborly, not human
landers, because it probably happened before the Whorl went into
orbit, and it seems unlikely that any kind of human scouting of the
system would have happened that early.
The final issue is whether any of these putative Neighbor space-
craft might be present in the Short Sun system. I think the answer
is probably yes. Silkhorn tells Vadsig in the relevant passage that
the Neighbors took inhumi with them as "mirrors". But they can only
function as mirrors (I believe) if they are allowed to breed. As
far as we know, that can only happen on Green, and only when they
are present on Green in their physical form.
So there must be some way of transporting them physically to Green,
as part of a continuing process. Which leads me back to the bird-
gaited figure and the squat dome on top of the cliff tower, the
place where apparently the Neighbors had their last permanent
presence, and a natural candidate for a place to drop off blooded
inhumi and collect their offspring.
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