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From: "Mitchell A. Bailey" <MAB@lindau.net>
Subject: Missle Base Absolute, Re: (urth) Jonas datapoints
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999 18:38:21 

Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:
> [ Was the Antechamber originally] Dentist's office?  ...
well, there IS that loong wait. Or maybe an airport/ commercial
spaceport. The original residents of the Antechamber were "bumped"
passengers, waiting to be assigned a new flight? <g>

> Or is the House Absolute in fact
> another spaceport ruin?  The "wells" that dot the garden could be 20th
> century-style launch silos.
Bravo, mantis! That's the impression I've always had of the House
Absolute: it originated as a converted missile base/ command center, a
ruinous overgrown complex of silos and underground bunkers (the chambers
called "hypogea") and interconnecting tunnels. Like the Citadel, the
conversion could have occured during the Age of the Monarchs; probably
land-based ICBM's and underground bunkers are totally obsolete in the 
age of the star empire which preceded Typhon. (Don't forget the complex
of tunnels below the Citadel, which Wolfe hints is far older than the
spaceport itself. Could it have been the remnant of a similar bunker
complex converted and put to use at the time of the founding of Nessus
and the spaceport?)

> Item 11.7: Nicarete says, "This prison is not supposed to be a prison at
> all.  Long ago--I believe before the reign of Ymar--it was the custom for
> the Autarch himself to judge anyone accused of a crime committed within the
> precincts of the House Absolute . . . Important cases were delt with
> quickly, but the offenders in less serious ones were sent here to wait"
Further comment: since Ymar is generally agreed to have been the first
Autarch, the House Absolute, at least as a command center used by the
monarch if not his residence (probably Typhon and his predecessors had
several, like Saddam Hussein?), actually predates the Autarchy itself? I
suppose Nicarete could be forgiven for being confused on this point;
history, like science, seems to be one of those fields allowed to
degenerate in the Commonwealth. The reign of Ymar himself doesn't seem
to be remembered in much detail by even the armigerial families who
frequently appear at the House Absolute.

I don't think it's anywhere stated that Ymar or Father Inire actually
_built_ the House Absolute from scratch. A little further along in
_Claw_, after Jonas leaves, Sev enscounters his contact, the old
Autarch, who tells him "All these things...[...]make up...the Second
House. They are the work of Father Inire, who was called by the first
Autarch [presumably Ymar] to create a secret palace within the walls of
the House Absolute". It would appear the House was already there; Inire
simply adapted it to conform with his idea of a suitable seat for a new
sort of head of state, the Autarch.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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