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From: "Chris" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Quetzal in orbit
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 06:46:13 +0000

I don't recall it (the Whorl being in orbit for 30+ years) being mentioned 
explicitly in the text at all, but I could be mistaken. However, I think 
Wolfe came out and said it in an interview/Q&A, if that counts. And of 
course it can be inferred from other things, like Quetzal's presence.

Your answer to question 1 seems eminently sensible to me; question 2 is 
tough, but I can think of a couple of things to at least suggest. One 
possibility is that he got into the ship through the cooling system. It's 
mentioned in one passage that many of the tunnels have gone dry that are 
supposed to have been carrying water/coolant, which would be quite 
convenient for the purpose if you could just get into them (which doesn't 
strike me as impossible). Another possibility, not connected with this, is 
that he came in through a segment of the ship where the monitors were more 
or less non-functional, due to the removal of precious cards.

I thought, though I can't prove of course, that it was implied that the 
familial rebellion was what brought the Plan of Pas to a pause (say that 3 
times fast). Oreb was used as a comparison at one point; Pas wanted to force 
them out of the cage that they considered a shelter, whereas Echidna & Co. 
wanted to keep them in the cage.


>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 
>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 
>too many opportunities for discovery (athletics, showers, dormitories). 
>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 
>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 
>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 
>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 
>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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