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Grand Central Arena - The irony of Orphan
July 1, 2012
12:42 pm
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JohnS
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Hi,

 

Thinking about Orphan, it's really sad and ironic that his obtaining of a Sphere pushed the Blessed into eliminating, one way or another, all of the other Liberated.  With a Sphere, the Liberated now have a sanctuary from the Blessed upon which they could build a competing civilization for their species.  But Orphan has no one to breed with!

 

He really needs to use some of his resources to look into cloning.  If it was a human male, the DNA could even be manipulated to produce females.  Of course we don't know how Orphan's DNA-equivalent works, but unless cloning doesn't work in the Arenaverse, he really oughta.  And Hyperion argues that there are no such restrictions, at least on that level of genetic manipulation.

 

John

July 5, 2012
9:50 am
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Ryk E. Spoor
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You're correct about the irony. In fact, Orphan's origin is doubly ironic. The Minds designed him to be their best possible agent, and so when he turned on them he was able to achieve things that the entirety of the Liberated had previously been unable to do. Then, ironically, his own success caused the Minds to take the Liberated seriously enough to virtually wipe them out.

 

Cloning itself has problems. You need a diverse genome to make a breeding population, and of course there may be other aspects of the issue not known to us (yet) that make this impractical.

 

Hyperion... ahhh, Hyperion is a unique case in SO many ways, some of which still have not been clarified even by the end of the sequel.

July 5, 2012
10:05 pm
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JohnS
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Ryk E. Spoor said
You're correct about the irony. In fact, Orphan's origin is doubly ironic. The Minds designed him to be their best possible agent, and so when he turned on them he was able to achieve things that the entirety of the Liberated had previously been unable to do. Then, ironically, his own success caused the Minds to take the Liberated seriously enough to virtually wipe them out.

 

Cloning itself has problems. You need a diverse genome to make a breeding population, and of course there may be other aspects of the issue not known to us (yet) that make this impractical.

 

Hyperion... ahhh, Hyperion is a unique case in SO many ways, some of which still have not been clarified even by the end of the sequel.

Learning more about Orphan's past, and seeing what he can accomplish with Humanity as an ally (and vice versa!), definitely has a lot of appeal.  As for Hyperion, even though we know how it ended (except for the elusive K...), do you have any desire to write a novel set there?  Aside from wanting to know more about the Hyperion project and how it led to the formation of the Space Force, it would be Mark C. Duquesne's origin story complete with his true peers!

July 6, 2012
12:35 pm
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Ryk E. Spoor
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JohnS said
Learning more about Orphan's past, and seeing what he can accomplish with Humanity as an ally (and vice versa!), definitely has a lot of appeal.  As for Hyperion, even though we know how it ended (except for the elusive K...), do you have any desire to write a novel set there?  Aside from wanting to know more about the Hyperion project and how it led to the formation of the Space Force, it would be Mark C. Duquesne's origin story complete with his true peers!

 

I started such a story (and posted the pieces I did: "Hyperion Origin"), but it's far too depressing a story for me to be likely to finish. Even though I know DuQuesne survives, too many other people won't. Plus there's all the trademark/copyright law I'd have to dance around. It's hard enough to do it NOW, when I've only got a couple Hyperions to worry about; it'd be virtually impossible to do if I had to do the whole story.

December 12, 2016
1:11 pm
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kehcalb
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Now I do wonder if cloning would be a possible force multiplier for the Hyperions. A clone of Mark or Wu in particular could be very useful for the humans, even if you keep the clone on ice unless the primary dies. Somehow, though I doubt the Arena would let that fly. For that matter, if Wu is a literal god now, would he even stay dead if killed? Gods die and come back to life all the time in the legends...

December 12, 2016
1:44 pm
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Ryk E. Spoor
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kehcalb said
Now I do wonder if cloning would be a possible force multiplier for the Hyperions. A clone of Mark or Wu in particular could be very useful for the humans, even if you keep the clone on ice unless the primary dies. Somehow, though I doubt the Arena would let that fly. For that matter, if Wu is a literal god now, would he even stay dead if killed? Gods die and come back to life all the time in the legends...  

 

Cloning wouldn't work. The clone wasn't raised in Hyperion. At best it'd be a really well-designed but ultimately not superhuman body with someone's memories dumped into it. 

A "literal god"... well, is Sun Wu Kung really a GOD? It's a fine point. More fine point is that he's really only whatever the Arena can give him (OR IS HE?). Is the Arena a god? 

December 13, 2016
5:29 am
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ZeroiaSD
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I figure the problem with cloning would be, well, you still gotta raise a bunch of kids.

 

Can Orphan raise a group to the level they'd be survivable as members of the Liberated, between every other thing he needs to do to live, all on his own? Even with the ability to download skills, that strikes me as... iffy on his own.

 

Also remember the 'only gets special exceptions on leaving the Arena if he keeps membership below a certain level,' threshold is a mere 4.

 

Clone three, and he's really stuck. He can't take them all with him anywhere, so he'll have to leave him in the sphere on their own at best. Clone two and then that means even a single recruit can push him over the edge.

 

Wait til he recruits, say, a dozen people, then he can worry about kids.

December 13, 2016
7:11 am
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Ryk E. Spoor
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ZeroiaSD said
I figure the problem with cloning would be, well, you still gotta raise a bunch of kids.

 

Can Orphan raise a group to the level they'd be survivable as members of the Liberated, between every other thing he needs to do to live, all on his own? Even with the ability to download skills, that strikes me as... iffy on his own.

 

Also remember the 'only gets special exceptions on leaving the Arena if he keeps membership below a certain level,' threshold is a mere 4.

 

Clone three, and he's really stuck. He can't take them all with him anywhere, so he'll have to leave him in the sphere on their own at best. Clone two and then that means even a single recruit can push him over the edge.

 

Wait til he recruits, say, a dozen people, then he can worry about kids.  

 

Cloning would work for Orphan far better than for Hyperions. However, Orphan wouldn't WANT duplicates of himself, so no downloading into their brains; that's more the way the Minds would do things.

Your view of how he'd have to do it -- wait until he has enough people so that he could afford to have kids raised -- would be the correct one. 

 

Now that he has Sethrik, Orphan at least has the genetic diversity for a cross or three. (we haven't seen how reproduction works for his species, so whether Sethrik and Orphan can have children naturally or would need to use engineering to do so isn't clear)

December 13, 2016
10:56 am
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kehcalb
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As Orphan has his own sphere, is he exploiting the resources of his solar system? I would think he could do that with automation, but I think that would require at least some low-level AI, and I wasn't sure if Orphan would be willing to do that. Unless he is farming out the work to some contractors or something, that derive resources from his sphere for a cut of the profit. Although that seems like it would take more trust that he tends to show...

He certainly doesn't have the time to do much himself.

 

(was the cut-off 4? For some reason I thought it was 8, and thus why I thought he could recruit/create at least a few people) Not feeling like doing a text dive right now.

December 13, 2016
11:05 am
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Ryk E. Spoor
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kehcalb said
As Orphan has his own sphere, is he exploiting the resources of his solar system? I would think he could do that with automation, but I think that would require at least some low-level AI, and I wasn't sure if Orphan would be willing to do that. Unless he is farming out the work to some contractors or something, that derive resources from his sphere for a cut of the profit. Although that seems like it would take more trust that he tends to show...

He certainly doesn't have the time to do much himself.

 

(was the cut-off 4? For some reason I thought it was 8, and thus why I thought he could recruit/create at least a few people) Not feeling like doing a text dive right now.  

 

He has no problem with low-level AIs, just ones that can compete with him. Stupid ones that can follow simple directions are fine. He does use those resources but of course there's only so much he can make use of by himself.

 

Yes, it's 4. If he exceeds that number he's going to have to start operating like everyone else.

December 13, 2016
4:35 pm
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ZeroiaSD
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I imagine the Liberated did set up some industry when they had more. To which he uses what he can, at least.

December 15, 2016
10:20 am
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kehcalb
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Since I finished COTD (Pretty much twice), went back to GCA since it has been a month or two.

When they first encounter Orphan, the Blessed refer to him as MindKiller, instead of the Survivor or something else. Does that mean Orphan successfully killed a mind at some point? Or merely that it is his goal to do so?

 

Also, all the references to being allowed Entry--I originally had thought that referred to entry to another sphere, since at that time we didn't know Minds could not enter the Arena. But it refers to Orphan's mind, correct? But if he burned out his interface, how does he still have access through his augmentation--I would have thought the interfaces would be the same.

 

Also, is the "Sphere and Designate" challenge from Sethrik something that kinda of got outdated as the story went along?

 

I do like refreshing myself on the descriptions of the Blessed--I don't think they are ever described as thoroughly again as they are here. And the comment by Orphan that Sethrik might be afraid of the similarities between them is interesting foreshadowing, as is the odds calculation that Sethrik does as he dismisses the human's possibility of interference.

Hmm, that reminds me that the blessed share some sort of low-level communication/hive mind (mentioned in SOI)--now that Sethrik is a Liberated, that's something Orphan can share again after hundreds of years on his own. That probably means he will be even craftier going forward.

December 15, 2016
10:43 am
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Ryk E. Spoor
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kehcalb said
Since I finished COTD (Pretty much twice), went back to GCA since it has been a month or two.

When they first encounter Orphan, the Blessed refer to him as MindKiller, instead of the Survivor or something else. Does that mean Orphan successfully killed a mind at some point? Or merely that it is his goal to do so?

 

Also, all the references to being allowed Entry--I originally had thought that referred to entry to another sphere, since at that time we didn't know Minds could not enter the Arena. But it refers to Orphan's mind, correct? But if he burned out his interface, how does he still have access through his augmentation--I would have thought the interfaces would be the same.

 

Also, is the "Sphere and Designate" challenge from Sethrik something that kinda of got outdated as the story went along?

 

I do like refreshing myself on the descriptions of the Blessed--I don't think they are ever described as thoroughly again as they are here. And the comment by Orphan that Sethrik might be afraid of the similarities between them is interesting foreshadowing, as is the odds calculation that Sethrik does as he dismisses the human's possibility of interference.

Hmm, that reminds me that the blessed share some sort of low-level communication/hive mind (mentioned in SOI)--now that Sethrik is a Liberated, that's something Orphan can share again after hundreds of years on his own. That probably means he will be even craftier going forward.  

 

Yes, he's called Mindkiller because he killed one of the Minds -- not one of the original Six, but one of the others. This is something the Blessed do not broadcast much, again for the same reason that they REALLY wouldn't want their failure against Ariane to be broadcast; it really hurts their mystique. 

Yes, it's about trying to get into his mind directly using the species-specific Mind-based link. He burned out that specific section of his connections. He has others that he designed that allow him to do, roughly, what Ariane can do when connecting and getting data, but he has no direct mind-to-mind connections like his brethren and has specifically removed all of the Mind-specific nanotech and conditioning over the years.

Yeah, I dropped the overly-complex Sphere-Designate challenge as I went along, partly because I realized that individual Spheres only really mattered to small Factions. What's important is the Faction, not what Sphere you come from. 

More importantly that contact will give Orphan a feeling of belonging to a SPECIES that he hasn't had for a long, long time. 

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