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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Pas's Two Heads
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 14:18:21 -0600

Dan'l wrote:
>There is nothing in the books which seems to me to suggest
>that the appearance of the Gods of Mainframe is necessarily
>based upon the appearance of the bodies in which they resode
>when they were scanned -- it seems to be more a matter of
>either self-image or a chosen image. (Does Tartaros manifest

No, he doesn't.

>The "scan" seems to be a sort of brain-snapshot, or perhaps
>soul-snapshot. So even if it was taken when Typhon was
>grafted onto Piaton, it would only be a scan of the one

Having been blind from birth, the scan of Tartaros is limited by the
biological abilities of the brain he was born with. Knowledge he acquired
after birth becomes a part of his personality, or whatever you want to call
it that gets scanned, but he can't learn to see, not even digitally, because
the requisite areas of his brain were never developed, and no amount of
computer-enhanced tinkering can change that. At least that is the essence of
what he told Auk.

I agree that Piaton's brain was unlikely to have been scanned. The only
reason Typhon kept Piaton around at all was to handle biological functions
that Typhon's brain hadn't yet learned to assume. Typhon had no body to
worry about in Mainframe, so Piaton was entirely superfluous.

As regards two-heads-being-better-than-one for inspiring or enhancing
religious awe, as Nutria suggests, I must have been born lacking that gene.
 A two-headed man is a freak, like a two-headed calf; the idea of
worshiping such a thing would never cross my mind. Sev's thoughts on first
seeing Typhon were:

"A man, larger than I and far broader of shoulder, stepped from between the
foot of a cataphract, and it was as though one of the monstrous
constellations of the night sky had fallen to Urth and clothed itself in the
flesh of humankind. For the man had two heads, like an ogre in some
forgotten tale in _The Wonders of Urth and Sky_.
    "Instinctively, I put my hand on the sword hilt at my shoulder."

Sev's gut reaction was not to fall to his knees, but to grab a weapon. And
the more Sev found out about him, the less he liked him. Sev may have feared
the power of the monster, but that didn't stop him from killing it, having
first refused, specifically and emphatically, to worship it.



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