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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) The inhumi's secret: another clue and a speculation
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2000 22:43:05 

I had earlier posted a list of the clues regarding the inhumi's secret I
had found in IGJ.  I just came across one I'd overlooked.  I also came
up with a fairly wild speculation as to what the secret might be, at
least in part.  It's probably wrong, but it might at least spark some

The new clue is on p. 21.  The Neighbor, who is fetching Horn to have
him clear the sewer on Green of human corpses, tells him that "'We want
to wake all of you up....To your safety,'" at which Horn tells us: "Now
that I understand Krait's secret, I understand his remark as well; but
at the time I had no notion of what he meant."  It could be that the
Neighbor is simply alluding to the united-we-stand idea Horn had
advanced in OBW, but it could also be he has something more specific in
mind.  What this might  be I have no idea, but I can't help suspecting a
connection with Horn's later talk with Hide in which he uses the
corpse-filled tunnel as an example of how the inhumi's victories over
humans make them weaker.

Now for the wild speculation.  What if we take "inhumi are killers
because humans are killers" a step further?  What if the choice of
specific victims is determined by humans' conscious or unconscious
desires?  That is, when an inhumus/a attacks a human, it's because some
other human consciously or unconsciously wants the victim to die.

One advantage of this theory is that it's the only thing I can think of
which could serve as a weapon against the inhumi (whether wieldable or
no), explains why the inhumi drink human blood, *and* connects with
Krait's mother feeding on Sinew.  This last bit works out rather nicely,
in fact.  On p. 157 Horn has a "flashback" to Krait's death on Green,
which leads him to recall that Krait's mother had nearly killed Sinew;
he then, seemingly irrelevantly, tells Mora the story of how Nettle's
being pregnant with Sinew cost her and Horn the animal they should have
had, and so contributed to their extreme poverty; made worse by the need
to buy milk for Sinew.  In such circumstances, Horn may well have wished
the baby Sinew dead.  (One could go further and speculate that Horn's
belief that Sinew wishes him dead is a projection of Horn's guilt over
this.)  My hypothesis also fits neatly with one of the themes of OBW and
IGJ: that the inhumi are cruel, but no more so than humans are to each

I freely grant that there is no positive evidence for this speculation
whatsoever, and that I have no clear idea of the mechanics.  There are
other problems too: it's dubious whether this passes the test of being a
weapon the inhumi would think that humans could use (by not wishing each
other dead).  It doesn't fit Horn's remarks in OBW that if "the weapon"
were used, the inhumi would be stupid but remain dangerous.  It has no
apparent relation to the new clue above.  And if it's correct, it would
make Krait's telling Horn the secret an act of sadism.  Still, it seems
worthwhile to explore all alternatives (after all, the obvious guesses
have all proved fatally flawed).  And I can't help thinking that it
works too well in some respects for there not to be something in it.


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