(urth) Oldest altar

Jack Smith jack.smith.1946 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 6 03:16:42 PDT 2010

Good, well-reasoned post.

On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 2:19 AM, Roy C. Lackey <rclackey at stic.net> wrote:

> Take two. Let me give the Tartaros quote again:
> "When the first people came, Auk, they were shown how we desired to be
> worshipped. Soon, they were made to forget. They did, but because they had
> seen what they had seen, a part of them remembered, and when they found our
> altars on the inner surface, they sacrificed as we had taught them. First
> of
> all, here."
> Interpretations aside, it is indisputable that the worship preceded the
> forgetting. Why? I mean, why did the Typhons want to be worshipped at all?
> Lemur said the monarch's doctors had erased "as much as they dared of their
> patients' personal lives." Okay, I can accept that erasing the first
> people's personal memories might keep them from becoming disaffected with
> their new environment, but I have a hard time believing that the best way
> to
> go about making people forget someone is to first teach them to worship
> that
> someone.
> I can accept, in theory if not in practice, that an absolute dictator of a
> whole planet, who also had an unbridled ego, might have made himself so
> prominent in the lives of his subjects that he would leave an indelible
> mark
> on their memories, but why and how should that be the case for his wife and
> young children? His seven kids would have ranged in age from about 13 to 7
> at the time they were scanned. We know that the eldest, Cilinia, died soon
> after being scanned.
> In Typhon's eyes, all of his children were found wanting in some way, if
> only by gender. Molpe was crazy, Tartaros blind and Hierax was a psycho who
> "inherited his father's virile indifference to the physical sensations of
> others to the point of mania." "He allowed himself to be seduced by it, to
> the point that he came to care for nothing else and while still a child
> slaughtered thousands for his amusement." (LAKE, chap. 12, 300) Under what
> possible circumstances would a boy of about ten have been allowed to slay
> thousands of people?
> Speaking confusedly of the Monarch's small second daughter, Mamelta said:
> "I
> remember seeing her often at home, dancing through my dreams. She was a
> wonderful dancer, but we cheered because we were afraid. You saw the hunger
> in her face for the kind of cheers the others got." (LAKE, chap. 10, 262)
> Why would Mamelta (and others) have feared how a little girl reacted to
> audience response? Had she feared the girl or one or both of her parents?
> Kypris also described a scene in which Typhon, apparently, had killed a
> thousand people who had been forced to kneel in a public square, while she
> was made to watch from a balcony while he watched her from another balcony.
> (NIGHTSIDE, chap. 12, 296-97)
> Scylla (in Chenille) told her newly appointed prophets (Auk, Dace, Incus)
> to
> kill fifty or a hundred children to attract her attention if Kypris made
> another theophany. When she departed Chenille at the Window at the lake,
> Auk
> saw "the sneering features of a girl a year or two from womanhood." (CALDE,
> chap. 1, 31) She was said to be "as strong-willed" as her father. The three
> youngest girls were: "Thelxiepeia with her spells and drugs and poisons,
> fat
> Phaea, and Sphigx, who combined her father's fortitude with her mother's
> vile temper. In a family such as hers, she would be forced to cultivate
> those qualities or die, unquestionably." (LAKE, chap. 12, 299-300)
> These things paint an ugly picture of the Typhons while they were
> flesh-and-blood people on Urth, and explains why they might not want the
> first people put aboard the ship to remember them. However, Mamelta, though
> she seemed not to have remembered Molpe's real name, remembered the dancing
> and the girl's hunger for adulation. The girl became the goddess of music,
> dance and art on the ship. The boy who slaughtered thousands became the god
> of death on the ship. Scylla said of her father, "In the beginning we chose
> up, with Daddy to be the god of everything--that's what his name meant--and
> boss over everybody." (LAKE, chap. 11, 274) Aggressive Sphigx became the
> goddess of war. Each family member's role as gods in Mainframe was a
> reflection of their personalities when they were flesh-and-blood people.
> The Typhons' names were changed when they became digitized entities in
> Mainframe, became gods with as much or more power than they ever had on
> Urth, now over a captive congregation rendered meek and unable to even
> think
> about opposing them, but that was *after* the first people on the ship had
> been taught how to worship them by burning animals on a sacrificial altar.
> So, again, what really changed when the Cargo was made to forget?
> Like Mamelta, Duko Rigoglio (aka Roger) had been a Sleeper forced to board
> the ship. Also like her, he could not remember what Pas' real name had been
> on Urth. But he remembered Nessus and the fact that he had lived somewhere
> south of the Citadel (IGJ, 218-19), which is where he received his fatal
> wound while on that astral trip there with Silkhorn. His rise to power on
> Blue had been modeled on Typhon's rise to power on Urth (279). When
> Silkhorn
> and Fava made that astral trip to the Duko's palace in Soldo, Rigoglio was
> curious about Oreb. Silkhorn explained that the bird had originally been
> intended as a sacrifice. The Duko admonished Silkhorn, saying "You failed
> repeatedly to honor the gods as is their right." "You wakers on the
> _Whorl_.
> In Nessus the gods walked among us, lords and ladies of Urth, even unto
> Shining Pas." (217)
> Note the plural, gods, flesh-and-blood entities seen by the public in
> Nessus. By Pas he means Typhon, the man with a single head. As I have said
> before, I don't care what religion(s) had been practiced during Typhon's
> reign or what the state religion may have been. But Rigoglio claimed that
> the Typhons had been regarded as gods on Urth, and that helps to explain
> some of the outrageous behavior attributed to them that I outlined above,
> and the sense of fear felt by people who had known them on Urth; gods can
> get away with anything, so long as they have the power. It also explains
> why
> Typhon's kids were so prominent in the minds of people put on the ship that
> they could not be forgotten.
> Rigoglio came to realize that some of his memories were false. If you want
> to argue that his memory of the Typhons as gods on Urth was false, then
> that
> directly contradicts the idea that Typhon wanted both sleeping and waking
> Cargo to forget him and his family.
> Though flesh-and-blood on Urth, in Mainframe they could only be virtual
> people, computer personalities who manifested themselves in computer
> terminals when they chose, or when summoned by sacrifices made in proximity
> to a computer terminal. The point is, they wanted to be worshipped, which
> brings me back to the oldest altar and the forgetting. Typhon elected to be
> portrayed as a two-headed freak, his wife with snakes in her hair, and
> their
> children not as little kids but as adults with physical attributes
> appropriate to their chosen roles as gods. An image on a computer screen
> lacks the presence and authority of a living physical being, but the
> Typhons
> had little choice and the worshippers they commandeered none. The people on
> the ship depended on the ship's gods for everything from day and night to
> the weather and almost everything else they needed to live.
> It seems to me that to maintain their positions as lords of the _Whorl_,
> when they were actually only virtual beings in a big computer, the Typhons
> used their god-like powers, which existed only by virtue of Mainframe, to
> intimidate those subject to their whims and utilized their
> computer-generated images as an interface, as their medium of command. On
> Urth, those people subject to their whims had been conditioned to obey real
> people, but on the ship those lords and masters were no longer real. On the
> ship as on Urth, the Typhons conducted themselves as gods, and they had the
> power to get away with it in both places. The altars and the burned
> sacrifices on the ship may have been new, but not the egos and behavior
> that
> prompted them.
> -Roy
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Best wishes,
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