(urth) The face of Pas

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Sat Sep 11 20:51:08 PDT 2010

Jeff Wilson wrote:
> Or perhaps the commonality of clones of various Typhonian family members
> prevents Silk's resemblance to Pas from being particularly remarkable,
> because lots of people on the Whorl have a similar degree of resemblance
> as a young adult clone would have to his octagenerian original.

There are no references to clones in LS or SS, but there are the khaibits of
NS who do closely resemble their originals. Severian gives no indication
that the Typhon face/head he twice saw was that of an old man, which would
have been in stark contrast to the gladiator body it was attached to.

When Silk was buried in that tunnel collapse and made his brief sojourn to
Mainframe heaven, he saw his biological parents. The male bio parent had
blue eyes, like Silk. A clone necessarily comes from the same genetic
lineage as the original. In other words, the bio parents of the clone are
the same as the bio parents of the original. Had Silk been a clone of
Typhon, the bio parents he saw in Mainframe would have been Typhon's
parents. Typhon supposedly wasn't native to Urth and claimed not to have
been born at all in the usual sense. There is no logical reason for Typhon's
parents to have been on the _Whorl_ or in Mainframe at all.

It is possible that Typhon and the bio female parent Silk saw in Mainframe
contributed the basic genetic material that went into the embryo that became
Silk, but that would make them more-or-less conventional parents whose
genetic material had been modified to produce particular genetic
improvements, making Silk a "designer baby", but in that case he would not
be a clone of Typhon. Further, the bio parents should have been dead on the
_Whorl_ in order to be in Mainframe heaven. Typhon, at least, died on Urth.

When Silk tried to use the glass on the airship, Kypris appeared and tempted
him to go to Mainframe for a god-grade scan, so that he could become Pas and
Pas him. She, apparently meaning the bio woman who had been Typhon's
mistress on Urth, claimed to have been scanned at Mainframe: "As I was
scanned, Silk, with him. He held my hand. . . ." (EXODUS, chap. 15, 346) She
then showed him an image of "a bronze-limbed man with rippling muscles and
two heads", one of which was Silk's.

Granted, the image she showed him was probably photoshopped, but only one of
the heads looked like Silk. Which of Pas' two traditional heads did she
replace with Silk's? If she substituted Silk's head for Piaton's, then the
Typhon head didn't look like Silk, even to Silk. If she substituted Silk's
head for Typhon's, then Silk's still didn't look like Typhon's, otherwise
there was no point in making the switch. If you want to say that she didn't
make a switch, that Typhon and Silk had always looked alike, then Mint and
Remora should have seen that Silk looked just like Typhon during the earlier
Pas theophany at the Prolocutor's Palace.


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