(urth) Travelin' Jahlee
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Sat Aug 13 09:01:45 PDT 2005
On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 23:46:36 -0700 "Roy C. Lackey"
<rclackey at stic.net> wrote:
<Snipped for brevity.>
Horn thinks about how Quetzal might have come to the Whorl, in OBW
(pp182-3): "As with so many other riddles, it is easy to speculate
but impossible to know which speculation is correct - if any are."
That seems to sum up the situation pretty well :)
Anyway, Horn gives three possibilities: the Whorl's orbit brings it
into conjunction with Green from time to time, allowing inhumi to
fly there; landers left the Whorl "much earlier" than Auk's,
unknown to the Crew, and perhaps even to Pas; inhumi built their
own lander and sailed it to the Whorl.
Mulling over the first possibility, he tries to work out what the
period of Whorl/Green conjunctions might be. His baseline is his
sure knowledge that Quetzal was prolocutor for 33 years.
Now, in COTLS, Quetzal tells Silk he has known about Pas' supposed
death for "thirty years, since shortly after his death, in fact"
(p130 in Epiphany). So presumably Quetzal was already prolocutor a
couple of years before Pas' death.
Horn speculates that it would have taken Quetzal at least 15 years
to work his way up the hierarchy & attain the prolocutorship. I
don't know how good that estimate is, but assume it's roughly
correct. Then if Quetzal did arrive on the Whorl on a lander, the
Whorl must have been in orbit for more than 15 years before Pas'
During that time, he didn't trigger the "Plan" and order everybody
out; why not? A sensible seculation might be that he was studying
Blue & Green, sending down scouting parties etc etc, before making
the decision - presumably if the planers didn't check out he could
set the Whorl on course for another star. This would fit well with
the Quetzal-on-lander speculation.
But then wouldn't the Crew be aware of the scouting? Why would Pas
hide it from them? Silkhorn makes it clear in the Abanja passage in
IGJ that he believes the Crew were not deliberately lying about
Auk's lander being the first. And wouldn't Pas know then that Green
wasn't a good destination, even if he didn't recognize the threat
of the inhumi? But when the landers go, the passengers get not the
slightest hint of what's down there - no maps, no nothing. If Pas
had been spending time studying the planets, it certainly doesn't
When he comes back to life, he orders everybody out almost
immediately. I don't think he was alive whe the Whorl entered
orbit. I think if he had been, he would have started chucking
people out right away. Most likely, his family killed him as the
Whorl approached the Short Sun system, to stop him from doing this.
But if that's true, it puts Quetzal on the Whorl before it went
into orbit, perhaps at around the same time as the Neighbors first
"boarded" it, as it neared the Short Sun.
Just quickly on Neighborly astral travelling: it might be different
from what Silkhorn does, but I don't know of any reason to suppose
so. The Neighbors Silkhorn encounters seem generally to be present
in astral form - eg his first encounter, in OBW. Their sleeping
bodies are presumably on "the Neighbor Whorl". The Neighbor who
names it thus gazes towards the "Western stars" when he does so,
which makes me think it is a "real" place, located amongst them.
And on stealth Neighbor spacecraft: the Quetzal-on-lander
hypothesis seems to require the Crew to be similarly ignorant of
the pre-Exodus lander traffic the hypothesis requires.
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