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TIAMAT'S WRATH - Book 8 of Expanse (SPOILERS)


Kalnestk Oblast

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On 4/20/2019 at 3:07 PM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

He said he was “waiting for his moment” and that once he met the kid it seemed kind of shitty to him to kill her.

I just read the section today and that was his reason - he couldn't kill the kid. Whether that was just a way of him justifying not killing Holden or because he saw a way of maybe rescuing Holden via Teresa is up for debate. It's been well established throughout the series that Amos has a weak spot for kids (probably because of his own shitty childhood) and while he knew there must have been hundreds of kids who'd die in a nuke the way his mind works he probably saw it as too abstract until he came face to face with one of the kids.

I also wonder whether he knew the repair drones were capable of bringing humans back? It seemed a bit of a coincidence he was living with them. It was good to see the kids from "strange dogs" although I can't remember how the older sister died? Also what happened to the "catalyst"? I guess it died in the attack? Also the fact the two kids didn't die means they are either less protomolecule than has been claimed or Cortasa actually put Duarte in the vegetative state. That or the other aliens have "hacked"Duarte which would be a good move when he was emperor.

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6 hours ago, red snow said:

 I also wonder whether he knew the repair drones were capable of bringing humans back? It seemed a bit of a coincidence he was living with them. It was good to see the kids from "strange dogs" although I can't remember how the older sister died? Also what happened to the "catalyst"? I guess it died in the attack? Also the fact the two kids didn't die means they are either less protomolecule than has been claimed or Cortasa actually put Duarte in the vegetative state. That or the other aliens have "hacked"Duarte which would be a good move when he was emperor.

It was hinted in Strange Dogs, but confirmed in this book that Cara died while eating some of the local flora, which doesn't agree with terran life at all. 

My wife wondered what the hell happened to the catalyst. It got dropped like a rock after the slow space incident.

My theory on Cara and Xan (and Amos) is that they weren't affected by the protomolecule killer attack that scrambled Duarte because unlike Duarte, they have zero protomolecule bits in them. They were repaired by effectively really, really advanced autodocs, their organs and brains and eyes were enhanced mechanically and improved upon, but this wasn't done by the protomolecule in any way. Whereas Duarte specifically had organs modified and brain functions changed similar to Cara and Xan, it was done not with advanced devices but instead with actual Protomolecule bits inside him.

It's the difference between the code that runs a printer and the paper that the printer prints on. If you hack the printer's code, everything that uses it will be hosed - but the artifacts that it creates aren't going to have any problems at all. 

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46 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

It was hinted in Strange Dogs, but confirmed in this book that Cara died while eating some of the local flora, which doesn't agree with terran life at all. 

My wife wondered what the hell happened to the catalyst. It got dropped like a rock after the slow space incident.

My theory on Cara and Xan (and Amos) is that they weren't affected by the protomolecule killer attack that scrambled Duarte because unlike Duarte, they have zero protomolecule bits in them. They were repaired by effectively really, really advanced autodocs, their organs and brains and eyes were enhanced mechanically and improved upon, but this wasn't done by the protomolecule in any way. Whereas Duarte specifically had organs modified and brain functions changed similar to Cara and Xan, it was done not with advanced devices but instead with actual Protomolecule bits inside him.

It's the difference between the code that runs a printer and the paper that the printer prints on. If you hack the printer's code, everything that uses it will be hosed - but the artifacts that it creates aren't going to have any problems at all. 

That theory actually fits well with the convergent evolution theme which is incredibly strong throughout the book. Are the repair drones even protomolecule related? Until this book i thought it was just a planet with lifeforms that could do really useful things. I've been trying to fit things from the story into that theme. I guess the obvious one was elvi's realisation that our consciousness was different from the ringbuilders acquisition of consciousness.

If elvi concludes the kids are largely still "human" would she consider using the repair drones on duarte?

Pretty scary that the other aliens are actively working on a way to end humanity with a new bullet.

It was almost funny that in duarte's attempts to communicate/teach the aliens he never considered they had been doing the same thing trying to tell us not to use the gates.

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5 minutes ago, red snow said:

That theory actually fits well with the convergent evolution theme which is incredibly strong throughout the book. Are the repair drones even protomolecule related? Until this book i thought it was just a planet with lifeforms that could do really useful things. I've been trying to fit things from the story into that theme. I guess the obvious one was elvi's realisation that our consciousness was different from the ringbuilders acquisition of consciousness.

I think the drones are related to - or activated by - protomolecules in the area, just like the artifacts were in Cibola Burn, just like the antimatter forges and the shipyards were on Laconia, and just like  the catalyst does with the diamond. They are listening on the same frequency that the protomolecule uses for nonlocal communication, but they don't have active protomolecule tech in them. They're just incredibly useful machines.

Ah, there we go. Sorry, it's not the protomolecule that matters - it's whatever that allows for nonlocal communication and interaction. So the gates are 'run' by nonlocal behavior, the drones aren't. The shipyards and even the ships sans the magnetar beam are all not. They have self-healing construction and whatnot, but that isn't nonlocal, so it doesn't count as being affected. Cara and Xan got fixed up to the molecule, but they don't have any nonlocal interaction in them. They have knowledge, but not communication. 

But Duarte? Duarte, unfortunately, is entirely wired with it. He didn't have to be - he could have in theory been upgraded like Cara and Amos and Xan were - but because Cortazar didn't know any better and didn't have the drone tech, just the drone results, he used what he had to ape the results - but also added in this nonlocal element. 

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Good theories there regarding the nonlocal communication as being key factors.

So Amos knowing the other aliens want to kill them is sort of hardwired information as opposed to him being told by the network? 

Does this make duarte more in line with protomolecule miller? Although miller was much more influenced by the protomolecule possibly because there was no human meddling in the takeover.

 

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Cortazar also misunderstood what the drones did to the kids. He only saw the kids as these constructs that resemble their former selves, with memories of the originals planted in them. His research was focused on extending Duarte's life, and eventually his own. 

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But But.. Duarte new abilities re cortazars demise is very goth like, the similarities to what is experienced during a consciousness attack is striking, so what do we get from this, has he been somehow coopted  by the protomolecule killing aliens, will they use him as  a communication device if so? Has there been any instance of the "goths" taking over or controlling protomolecule aliens artifacts in any of the books before? 

Edited to add that i think Duarte will have a more central role going forward than just as a figure for Elvi to study

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22 minutes ago, shortstark said:

But But.. Duarte new abilities re cortazars demise is very goth like, the similarities to what is experienced during a consciousness attack is striking, so what do we get from this, has he been somehow coopted  by the protomolecule killing aliens, will they use him as  a communication device if so? Has there been any instance of the "goths" taking over or controlling protomolecule aliens artifacts in any of the books before? 

Edited to add that i think Duarte will have a more central role going forward than just as a figure for Elvi to study

I've been thinking this too. I think establishing communication with the substrate creatures will be important and Duarte will be central to that. Going toe-to-toe with the Goths by blowing shit up isn't going to cut it since these entities had no problem obliterating a civilisation billions of years more advanced - it's only a matter of time before they get the correct consciousness-breaking formula for humanity. Shutting down the ring gates isn't a solution either since that didn't work for the Romans.

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I'm of the mind Duarte is completely brain dead.

They made a lot of Warhammer 40K allusions with the Laconians.

The Laconians setting up Duarte as a figurehead while he's permanently out of it fits with them perfectly.

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53 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I'm of the mind Duarte is completely brain dead.

They made a lot of Warhammer 40K allusions with the Laconians.

The Laconians setting up Duarte as a figurehead while he's permanently out of it fits with them perfectly.

I believe this is also the plot of Weekend at Bernie's

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11 hours ago, Consigliere said:

I've been thinking this too. I think establishing communication with the substrate creatures will be important and Duarte will be central to that. Going toe-to-toe with the Goths by blowing shit up isn't going to cut it since these entities had no problem obliterating a civilisation billions of years more advanced - it's only a matter of time before they get the correct consciousness-breaking formula for humanity. Shutting down the ring gates isn't a solution either since that didn't work for the Romans.

It might be a solution. Weren't they implying that transition through ring space was what physically harms the aliens? If so, a truce could be had by ceasing to use the gates then maybe a caesefire could be found? But this obviously requires a form of communication.

My hope is the series concludes via a peaceful solution than humans finding a weapon to strike the aliens with. The closing of the gates would certainly be a conclusion to the series. Maybe they'll find a way of using the gates or an alternative that doesn't piss the aliens off?

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48 minutes ago, red snow said:

It might be a solution. Weren't they implying that transition through ring space was what physically harms the aliens? If so, a truce could be had by ceasing to use the gates then maybe a caesefire could be found? But this obviously requires a form of communication.

My hope is the series concludes via a peaceful solution than humans finding a weapon to strike the aliens with. The closing of the gates would certainly be a conclusion to the series. Maybe they'll find a way of using the gates or an alternative that doesn't piss the aliens off?

To get all of humanity to stop using the gates, the network would have to be shutdown somehow and as they have repeatedly said, this would doom countless colonies to death.

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50 minutes ago, red snow said:

It might be a solution. Weren't they implying that transition through ring space was what physically harms the aliens? If so, a truce could be had by ceasing to use the gates then maybe a caesefire could be found? But this obviously requires a form of communication.

My hope is the series concludes via a peaceful solution than humans finding a weapon to strike the aliens with. The closing of the gates would certainly be a conclusion to the series. Maybe they'll find a way of using the gates or an alternative that doesn't piss the aliens off?

Simply using the gates doesn't seem to hurt the substrate creatures though. It's only when the mass and energy going through the gates cross a certain threshold that a ship goes dutchman. I'd say that finding a means of communication is going to be key. 

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1 hour ago, Consigliere said:

Simply using the gates doesn't seem to hurt the substrate creatures though. It's only when the mass and energy going through the gates cross a certain threshold that a ship goes dutchman. I'd say that finding a means of communication is going to be key. 

Yeah, communication is at the heart of the series in many ways so having it be the solution to the big problem would be apt. 

Maybe there'd be some way of the aliens controlling traffic in a way that doesn't affect them?

Also can't wait to get some more from the star crystal databas. I suspect they'll get some info there that doesn't require several lifetimes to find. 

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2 minutes ago, red snow said:

Yeah, communication is at the heart of the series in many ways so having it be the solution to the big problem would be apt. 

Maybe there'd be some way of the aliens controlling traffic in a way that doesn't affect them?

If a truce is found, I think humanity would be much better served evacuating those colonies that can't sustain themselves (or would take too long to become self-sustaining). Just having Bara Gaon, Laconia, Auberon and Sol as the only active systems would significantly reduce travel through the gates. 

 

2 minutes ago, red snow said:

Also can't wait to get some more from the star crystal databas. I suspect they'll get some info there that doesn't require several lifetimes to find. 

Perhaps they will find information on there that would allow them to use the alien station in the slow zone as the control center (as the Romans used it). That would allow the actual shutting down of the gates of unused systems which would ensure that there can be no rogue wannabe colonists making unauthorised transits through the gate. 

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7 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I’m dieing to see what information Cara, Xan, and Amos can get out of the Jupiter sized brain diamond.

99.95% will be footage of various felines doing stuff from across the 1300 worlds. 0.05% will be useful information.

 

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1 hour ago, Corvinus said:

99.95% will be footage of various felines doing stuff from across the 1300 worlds. 0.05% will be useful information.

 

I would what the convergent analog of cats are? Hopefully not humans although i guess they'd be getting kicks out if watching them glass Earth or stupidly set of anti matter bombs in ring space

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17 hours ago, shortstark said:

But But.. Duarte new abilities re cortazars demise is very goth like, the similarities to what is experienced during a consciousness attack is striking, so what do we get from this, has he been somehow coopted  by the protomolecule killing aliens, will they use him as  a communication device if so? Has there been any instance of the "goths" taking over or controlling protomolecule aliens artifacts in any of the books before? 

Edited to add that i think Duarte will have a more central role going forward than just as a figure for Elvi to study

Dont mistake what Duarte can do with what he is. The goths are upset because of the non local methods. Those aren't specific to the goths, they're a facet of the universe, but to them its painful or bothersome in some way when we do it. 

So I dont think he has been coopted or possessed. I think his brain was rewired to work collectively and non locally, and thus he is as connected to the non local network as the gates and the proto molecule are - with the weaknesses that entails. 

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6 hours ago, Rhom said:

To get all of humanity to stop using the gates, the network would have to be shutdown somehow and as they have repeatedly said, this would doom countless colonies to death.

That's not true. I count less than 1,300. ;)

Meanwhile, has anyone else been wondering about the impact of having the Dark Spot floating around in Sol with no one even looking for it?

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