Rippounet Posted December 15, 2021 Share Posted December 15, 2021 I'll play too. On 12/14/2021 at 11:03 PM, Kalsandra said: But then the Goths figure it out. They shoot the bullet at Ilus and it hits at least one Roman entity, and that causes all of their consciousnesses to tear themselves apart. Because their sense of self is largely quantum and photonic - a wave function across the galaxy of neuronic activity with no actual physical nerves to save it - when that consciousness EMP hits, there is no save file to restore. The entire mind is wiped out, the wave function collapsing and only multitudes of various symbiotic life carrying on as itself with no guiding mind to tell it what to do. Slugs, slime molds, jellyfish, all the types of life they adopted and interacted, all the different types of life forms as cells - completely cut off from a nervous system they didn't even know they had. Perhaps the Romans had the last desperate effort to shut off the gate system and close all the gates and prevent the Goths from doing more attacks, but it didn't matter. They were dead, a spasming of a muscle severed from its body, all chickens with heads cut off and never to be replaced. Minor (?) quibble here, but the Romans tried shutting off the gates before building "tools that would stop them" according to Miller (page 488, chapter 47). Or at least that's how I read the passage. And then Jim figures out that the Romans only shut down the gates, not the "slow zone." I wondered a bit whether the Goths were individuals, but that's not clear. In chapter 48 (Alex), it says "one of the things had gone for her." But then I checked and at the end of chapter 45 (Naomi) they're described as "threads of living blackness, more solid and real than anything she'd ever seen." In chapter 47 (Jim), it says "From this perspective, the intrusion of the enemy on the Rocinante and on all the other vessels was a single thing. A deformation in the lines of force that kept the ring space from collapsing back into nothingness" and then "He was too small, and the pressure, the deformation, was coming from everywhere at once." And from this I can conclude... nothing. Because the Goths are made of some kind of pure energy and because they are (one way or the other) super-fast in "our" universe, they could either be a single entity, or a multitude of very well-coordinated individuals. Another thing of interest (imho): partner pointed out that the way the Goths attacked was almost like taking samples. She thought the Goths weren't actually attacking. I disagree with her, but it's true they have an odd way of tearing holes in matter indiscriminately, as if they couldn't make the difference between organic matter (i.e. humans) and what they travel in (i.e. the ships). It's not exactly "fighting" as we know it. Or, to put it differently, it's more like tearing down a wall with a sledgehammer than shooting at it or using explosives. It seems they can't make the difference between humans and their tools... The really odd bit is that, even though something "screams" when Jim fights against it, there's no way of knowing for sure whether the threads of darkness were the Goths themselves, a weapon linked to their consciousness, or a sentient weapon. Otoh, given the fact that they seem unable to make the difference between different types of matter, I'd say that they don't have the concept of tools or weapons. So the threads were probably the Goth(s) themselves... On 12/14/2021 at 11:03 PM, Kalsandra said: Then the prisoner dilemma at Tecoma happens. Now, they have something new that occurs - a significantly painful event in some way, or at least an interesting one. They do the same basic thing they did with Sol and Ilus - another bullet somewhere in Tecoma. And that causes the most interesting thing to happen in 2 billion years. The gate network takes a blast so powerful that for a short period of time, the Goths can actually enter that space. They can clean that abscess of horrible universe, enter that space in a way they've never been able to. For the first time in 2 billions years, they have a glimmer of a cure, a cosmological chemotherapy that may finally work. They're able to reach out to ALL the systems on the gates and use their bullet on all of them. For some reason I didn't read it the way you did. I personally got the feeling that the Goths could always enter that space, but just weren't angry enough to do it again (for all we know, venturing in our material universe is super unpleasant/difficult for them). I think my reading is confirmed in LF, because the Goths come back the moment Duarte dies. So I think before Duarte takes control of the ring station, they could have attacked the slow zone at any time, but didn't, because they didn't see any point in doing that. Way I read it, the Goths were actually highly logical creatures. Or yes, as @Ser Scot A Ellison says, maybe the "slow zone" just wasn't that big a deal for them. They tried shooting a "bullet" after the Magnetar fires, and that didn't work. Then, after Tecoma, they clean the slow zone, and that kind of works: for some time the traffic diminishes. But when the traffic comes back, they don't wipe the slow zone again. They could, but they know it won't be a permanent fix. So they try other stuff instead. And then Duarte attacks them, and they go on a war footing, so that they're ready to "invade" the moment Duarte dies. One thing I find remarkable here, is that it's obvious to me that the Goths never attacked gratuitously. Or, to put it differently, they didn't try the same thing twice. If something failed to solve their problem definitely, they moved on to something else. One other thing (since I really don't have anything better to do right now): I think the "bullet" is just a portal/doorway. IIRC Elvi goes through it, right? So I think the "bullet" is just the remnant of a tear between the two universes. And something goes through that portal, something that worked on the Romans, but not on humans. It's very clear to me that the last bullet was fired on the Romans' homeworld, which was still the "epicenter" of their consciousness. But I dunno if Ilus was that homeworld. Could be, because the entire planet was full of tunnels and structures, right? Not to mention the moons as defensive structures. I guess that's what you'd expect from the Romans' homeworld. Also, there was an ocean. With slugs in it. It's a bit convenient that humanity found the homeworld that quickly, and that Holden happened to take some protomolecule there though. But otoh, I don't remember it being mentioned that another comparable planet was found, right? That surprised me a little, too. I expected several other planets to look like Ilus... Ah, one last thing... How many bullets were shot at humanity already? I don't remember more than one bullet being fired, right? That's actually a bit odd. I think it's quite clear that the Goths fired several bullets at the Romans until they found the homeworld. So it's a bit odd that, after their first bullet failed against humanity, they didn't fire a few more bullets in the hope of finding the homeworld again. Instead they switched to other means rather quickly... So that would mean... they knew it failed, which means they were able to use the bullet/tear to ascertain its effects. It's something I actually expected in LF: I thought that humanity would study these void bullets to see if they could use it to communicate... Or even travel to the other universe. But I guess the portal closed on its own after some time, so even though the Goths could use to spy on our universe (briefly for us, but could be a long time for them), by the time humanity tried to do it it was too late... Kalnestk Oblast 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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