(urth) Re: Shaving Clones

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 6 22:08:53 PDT 2005

I said:
>>I am saying that Tussah KNEW he is a clone of Typhon. It is likely
>>he even knew that Pas had that name on the Red Sun Whorl (the
>>Rajan was aware of it). Lemur knows a lot of details about the
>>family of Typhon.

Chris responded:
>I think this is a bigger assertion than you appear
>to think it, at least based on the cursory treatment of it so far.
>Knowing some details about the history of Typhon, knowing that Pas is
>Typhon, these are significant things to be sure - and one can imagine a few
>vectors this knowledge might be acquired.

>The only way I can possibly think of for Tussah to know *who*
>he was a clone of is to get it directly from one of the gods. Presumably

I'm just supposing here, but if I were writing this story, having
established Silk's remarkable perceptiveness, I would would have had Tussah
*deduce* his nature. That said, I could imagine lots of ways for Tussah to
know up to and including be *told* by his guardians. Nevertheless, it is
*almost* essential that he be aware of it (although subconscious knowledge
cannot be ruled out since this a Wolfe story).

I said:
>>SILK and TUSSAH and were part of the Plan of Pas with respect to
>>Viron. But it was not necessary for Typhon to plan it from Urth. Tussah's
>>implantation could be argued to be timed with the Whorl's arrival to Blue,
>>but Silk's was done by after Pas's erasure."

Chris responded:
>But this puts Pas/Typhon in the position of doing *just* the kind of
>planning that seems most problematic...And there seems no reason at all to
>go to the trouble of raising Tussah from an embryo and engineering his rise
>to Calde-hood, instead of just working with whoever happens to be in place
>the time.

Today in Iraq, there are over a hundred thousand US soldier organizing
patrols and public works projects. I presume this is part of the Plan of US
General Abizaid. But it is not necessary for Abizaid to have personally
planned the current any specific activity. He has layer upon layer of
individuals who are working to have his Plan succeed. They derive their
daily duties from that Plan, but their focuses change from day to day as
circumstances require.

Since it is an *inequivocal* fact that the embryos *were* on the ship to
with added abilities to unite and direct the colonists, it seems obvious to
me that they would start dropping those embryos a couple decades before
the colonists' planned departure. Who did that? I would guess the
technicians at either end of the Long Sun. Typhon did not have to *plan*
that being done per se. It probably wasn't even his idea. The colonists on
the Whorl came in three types: the Cargo who maintained varying cultures
(presumably artificially created), the Sleepers (who also had their memories
tinkered with to prevent them overawing the Cargo), and the Embryos,
and  the embryos with their pimped out genes. But the Plan went awry.
Pas was murdered by the other Mainframe modules, Tussah--one of the hyped up
embryos--was murdered, and some of the embryos were stolen
and sold on the black market.

Tussah's implantation was *probably* part of the orderly Plan. But Silk's
implantation and any subsequent similarly purposeful implantations (Mucor's
type does count) only required parties with means to emplant them and a
desire to see the Plan to succeed. It was CERTAINLY not necessary for
Silk's ascension to the Caldeship be planned from Urth.

>Well, Silk meets Mamelta
>rather than Kypris in Mainframe would imply that the same would apply to
>his father; since we know Typhon doesn't make it on the Whorl, it would
>imply that Silk's father is someone other than Typhon. So I don't think
>that interpretation is favorable for your purposes.

Buuuut, the father is NOT identified and Mamelta *is*. However, if
Mamelta = Kypris then Silk's bio dad is Typhon (unless you think Ty was
being cuckholded).

>>If it were important to hide a child from the eyes of the powerful, then
>>the best schools might be the worst place for his welfare.
>>Putting [child who was the image of Tussah] in the best schools
>>probably would have been murder.

>To fly under the radar you have to place him in the worst place you can
>find? A nice middle-income neighborhood would have done just fine for

No it would not. The essence of middle class is social mobility. If you want
hide someone from the eyes of the powerful in a limited space (such as a
city), you have to place that person as far from the eyes of the powerful as
possible...such as a neglected neighborhood. What difference would it make?
With the leadership clones' innate skills they could overcome any social
obstacles to rise like a cork from the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Doesn't
Sik's ascension prove that?
What was the plan in placing a clone in Horn's neighborhood?
Have you read "A Confederacy Of Dunces"? There's a pivotal scene where Burma
Jones, in an act of sabotage writes information identifying his employer on
a bag of pornography. Why? How would that be sabotage? "Because it doesn't
belong there," he says. He doesn't have a plan beyond that. By the same
token, I doubt whoever implanted Horn had a specific plan for how he would
be used either, but such a clone would be a powerful tool and it would have
Tussah's face and it was against the Ayuntamientos perceived interests...so
that would be enough. Quetzal looks like a better and better choice since
Silk was MOVED to that neighborhood by the Charter. But, truth is not really

>>Based on Mark Millman's hint found the relevant quote on page 139 of
>>"Sword and Citadel". What Typhon says of his face is that "it is the face
>>that men are customed to obey". Obviously that is not an issue on the
>>Whorl unless Typhon intends the colonists to be ruled by physical
>>representations of monsters.

>Incorporating Mark's insight here creates something of a pretzel of logic
>that is difficult to straighten out...

Well lets start by quoting the text then:
"Why should you desire to have such a thing done?"

"That I might have life, of course...My physicians, of whom I naturally had
the best of many worlds, told me it might be possible for me to take a new
body, their first thought being to enclose my brain in the skull previously
occupied by another. You see the flaw in that?...The face--the face! The
face would be lost, and it is the face that men are accustomed to obey!...
I told them it wouldn't do. Then one came who suggested that the entire
head might be substituted. It would even be easier, he said because the
complex neutral connections controlling speech and vision would be left
I promised him a palatinate if he should succeed."

"It would appear to me--" I began.

Typhon laughed once more. "That it would be better if the original head were
removed first. Yes, I always thought so myself. But the technique of making
neural connections was difficult, and he found that the best way--all this
was with experimental subjects I provided for him--was to transfer only the
voluntary functions by surgery. When that was done, the involuntary one's
transferred themselves, eventually. Then the original head could be removed.
It would leave a scar, of course, but a shirt would cover it."

"But something went wrong?" [...]

Mostly a matter of time." The terrible vigor of his voice, which had been
unrelenting, now seemed, now seemed to wane. "Piaton was one of my
slaves--not the largest, but the strongest of all. We tested them. It never
occurred to me that someone with his strength might be strong, too, in
holding to the action of the heart...It was a period of great confusion as

>The first question is, did Typhon possess special genetic powers of
>leadership, or not?
>If no, then Silk/Tussah (who *do* possess such special genetic abilities)
>are not of Typhon's line. So your answer here has to be "yes".

I disagree. Are you saying that if you had a grandchild with a genetic
disorder who benefited from gene therapy, that he would not be of your line

Or are you saying that a clone who has had his genes tinkered with to some
degree is by definition no longer a clone? Well then what of the multi-armed
twin Number Five found? This is an interesting case for Sci-Fi family court,
but it doesn't matter in this case, because I assert:

1) Tussah considered himself to be a clone of Typhon.
2) Tussah knew Silk's genetic relation to Typhon.
3) Tussah, therefore, called Silk "the son not of my body", NOT in order to
differentiate his unnamed successor from all other claimants (since
of that was clearly and ultimately not necessary), BUT because he considered
it a fact. A simple fact.

>The second question is, if Typhon did possess special genetic powers of
>leadership, then why did he have to worry so much about his face?

Well, I hope I shown that it is not necessary for Ty to have such special
manufactured powers. And the text shows that that was not the reason
for his concern over his face. The issue is that the people are
ACCUSTOMED to obey his face. Enclose his brain in another body
and to that extent he is starting from scratch. Enemies might even let out
that he is NOT the real Typhon, but a ursurper. The power of dictators
lay in their ability to prove that coming against them is fruitless. If
were any question about who was really in there. The whole farce
would collapse.

>the whole two-headed monster thing isn't exactly
>familiar (or positive, either).
But Pas did not originally intend to have that head very long. His testimony
states that Piaton held on to the involuntary bodily functions longer than
expected and the do to all the "confusion" the an occasion never arose where
it was convenient to figure out how to help it along.
>[And of course even without connecting the leadership genes to facial
>features, one still expects Typhon's son (if he is to have similar
>abilities) to take after his father quite a bit.]
Sons don't always look like their fathers. Sometimes they look like their
mothers instead. It happens. But Silk did inherit his father's blonde hair
and physical supposed physical significance.

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