(urth) Travelin' Jahlee

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Aug 17 23:36:42 PDT 2005

Andrew wrote:
>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.

An objection I have is her presumed imprinting with Chenille's spirit. I
don't think her mother(?) fed on Chenille on the _Whorl_.

>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?

Jahlee expressed similar sentiments on her death bed, a time when she had
nothing to gain or lose by lying.

I keep thinking of Tennyson's "Ulysses". I won't presume to quote it, but I
can see (or think I do) so much resonance with _Short Sun_. Recall it, or
read it again is all I can ask. I first thought about it when you reminded
me about the Neighbor looking toward "the western stars" when speaking of
his new home. Maybe I'm just getting to be an old fool, but that's my
answer. The poem also puts me in mind of Silk's return to the _Whorl_ at the
end of RTTW.


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