(urth) Travelin' Jahlee

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Wed Aug 17 20:06:29 PDT 2005

I wrote
>Anyway, I need to mull over this some more. 

Mulling outcomes:

Some of the Jahlee problems go away if you can push her birth back 
to pre-Exodus times. That's easy enough, by itself. I continue to 
believe that the Neighbors must have been using Green as the 
spawning ground for the inhumi they placed on the Whorl. If Jahlee 
is a result of this program, she could have been born many years 
pre-Exodus, spent years learning to fly, crossed to Blue at a pre-
Exodus conjunction, eventually stumbled on Horn's family, and flown 
back to Green, perhaps invigorated by Sinew's blood.


Why would she make a pre-Exodus Crossing, without the prospect of 
human prey? A straightforward reading of her comments in the cliff 
tower scene is that inhumi aspire to fly to Blue so that they can 
hunt humans, and give birth to sentient children when they return.

But it is possible the aspiration to make the Crossing isn't simply 
a matter of wanting to go where there is less competition for human 
blood. "That little scratch of fire, and you're gone forever. I 
wanted to try just the same. We all do ... It's something we get 
from you, a need to become more & more like you, until we're as 
human as we can possibly be." 

Why would going to Blue to prey on humans meet a need to become 
more human-like? Why not prey on humans on green, if preying on 
humans is the point? 

Are inhumi really ready to give birth at the age of two or three? 
Of course it's possible - we know very very little about them. But 
still ... in the cliff tower scene, Jahlee makes it sound to me as 
if she has a lot of growing up to do before she will be ready. And 
if she is ready, and there are humans on Green at this point, then 
why not with blood from one of them? Perhaps there aren't very many 
humans, and competition is fierce - but is it really *so* difficult 
to get access to a human on Green that the hugely risky alternative 
of a Crossing becomes attractive? 

I think that the Crossing may be more of a rite of passage; 
something a sentient inhuma might aspire to even without the lure 
of human blood as a reward. And when she says she was thinking 
about flying up to the top of the tower before she had decided to 
hunt Blue, we have to remember that of course inhumi do not prey 
only on humans. If competition is such a big problem, would it not 
also apply to other kinds of prey - so that Blue becomes an 
attractive hunting ground, with or without humans?

The final difficulty with this piece & my theory is bound up in her 
comment that she had day-dreams of returning to the tower room 
after making the Return Crossing, to spend time there thinking 
about herself and "what she had done for her children". Why should 
a Crossing & return do anything in particular for her children, if 
there is no human blood involved? 

Dunno! I can speculate that it may have something to do with how 
Neighbors select sentient inhumi for placing on the Whorl - the 
"most human" and the strongest, who have made the Crossing & 
Return. In the absence of humans elsewhere, being slected would be 
the only way of ensuring sentient children. But Jahlee disclaims 
any knowledge about how Quetzal got to the Whorl. She could be 
lying, for reasons which can be invented upon request :) 

Jahlee's comments about being just a little girl when she was "put 
on the lander" on Green: I don't mind sticking with my original 
reading, that she's just pretending here. 

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