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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: (urth) Quetzal in orbit
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:24:51 -0600

Charles Reed wrote:
>At the time Silk was enlightened, the whorl had been in orbit around the
>"short sun" for about thirty years, and therefore could not have been
>going faster than light at any time during Silk's life which, at the
>beginning of NIGHTSIDE, was 23 years long.

Good point. I, too, recall that the ship had been in orbit for several
decades, but can't remember where in the text that information is found. In
any event, we are given that Quetzal had been Prolocutor for 33 years. This
raises two questions I don't recall having been addressed.

1) How could an inhumi have attained that position? From comments Quetzal
made to Gulo, it seems that high positions in the Chapter were more a matter
of politics than merit. It's hard to imagine an inhumi rising through the
ranks as an ordinary augur. Six years in the schola for augurs would present
too many opportunities for discovery (athletics, showers, dormitories). It's
easier to imagine an inhumu assuming the human guise of an older man,
perhaps even the identity of the heir apparent to the position, on the eve
of his replacement. The convenient death of the sitting Prolocutor would
present no difficulty for an inhumi. After that, the inhumu could use the
power of his office to limit access by the public, minimizing chances of
exposure. The second question follows close on the first.

2) Who was Quetzal's mama? That is, where and how did an inhuma get the
human blood needed to pass human intelligence to her offspring? From
information in the SS books, it seems that the mother would have to have
spawned her offspring on Green. Did she get the blood from a human on Green
or a human on the _Whorl_? If the former, who was he and what was he doing
there? If the latter, how did she get aboard, then go back to Green, then
get her child back to the ship? An inhumi can't just fly through the hull of
the ship like the atmosphere of Blue.

Scylla-in-Chenille told Auk that Pas was dead, had been wiped "out of core
thirty years ago" (LS2; ch. 11). If true, this means that Quetzal was on the
ship *at least* three years before Pas' demise in Mainframe. Given that
Mainframe was the hub of intelligence on the ship, and that Pas was the
ruling entity there, it's hard to believe that a lander could have either
launched from or returned to the ship without his knowledge. Even if Pas had
somehow been kept in the dark, Mainframe itself should have been aware of
the comings and goings of landers. That seems to be what the Plan of Pas was
all about. *Someone* in Mainframe had to know what was going on. Who? Why
was there no announcement to the cities that the voyage was over? Why, for
thirty years after Pas was dead, did the ship stay idly in orbit? Was the
familial rebellion related to, as either cause or effect, the _Whorl's_



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