Accepting the Lance – Chapter 50

Six of Us
Daiellen System

In which Sye Mon and Bon Vit are brought up to speed.

The Daiellen Sector is Surebleak’s neighbourhood, so these two haven’t travelled all that far — or else they headed back once they discovered where the war machines had been sent. Either way, it means it wouldn’t take too long for them to join in with the convocation at Benoo Three if for some reason their presence was required in person.

The look that Bon Vit and Sye Mon exchange when Val Con’s name comes up would be because they know he was an agent of change. This might be the first time they’ve become aware that he was, past tense, an agent of change. If memory serves, Rys has specifically not told them the name of their sixth colleague on Surebleak, but they might figure it out after this.

What Sye Mon says about the Old Tech devices’ chain of command is thought-provoking. I had always assumed that whatever of the Enemy’s tools had made it into the new universe were running on whatever instructions they had most recently received before transition, but now I’m thinking that there might have been ways the Enemy could have continued to send instructions through. Up until the end of Neogenesis, anyway — and now, with the old universe permanently sealed off and possibly destroyed as well, there are no more instructions to be received and any such Old Tech device capable of independent decision-making has a decision to make about what to do with themselves now.

7 thoughts on “Accepting the Lance – Chapter 50

  1. Ed8r

    Two points in the midst of this that I found interesting:
    1) a time when orders were…derived from the state of the universe I take this to mean that they needed no specific programming or “orders” for each task, but that they were built to simply exist on the “same wavelength” as the Enemy.
    2) The Old Universe was . . . held entirely in the mind of the Great Enemy Well, that would explain why they needed no specific orders. They were all simply “neurons” receiving signals via energy crossing synapses within that mind.

    But does that image agree with what we know of the Old Universe from Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon? I don’t remember any descriptions there that indicated the sheriekas were not specific to time and place.

    And what of these “fellow travelers.” Why does Sye Mon identify the devices they’ve been monitoring as “fellow travelers”?

  2. Paul A. Post author

    In American English, “fellow traveler” has a specific metaphorical meaning of a person who has sympathy with the aims and policies of a cause, but isn’t a formal member of the cause and won’t necessarily follow its lead.

    I’m not entirely certain I’ve followed the thread of the conversation, but I think Sye Mon is responding to Bon Vit’s assertion that this is the time for their group of devices to make its move, and is saying that “their” group of devices, though it is listening to him, reserves its own judgement and won’t act just because he tells it to.

  3. Ed8r

    So “their” devices have gathered themselves independently, while the others at Benoo Three had received orders directly from the DOI?

  4. Paul A. Post author

    No, I think it’s established in Sye Mon’s first scene this book that the group he’s in conversation with are part of the DOI’s collection.

    The cause that they stand as fellow travelers to is Sye Mon’s cause, the fight against the DOI. He won them over enough for them to hang back and keep listening to him instead of going off with the others when the DOI ordered them all to Surebleak, but he hasn’t won them over completely; they won’t necessarily follow an order from him and if the conversation at Benoo Three comes up with something they consider a better offer they’ll take that.

  5. Brenda

    This is a difficult chapter, your comments really help. Wish there was blog like this for the Expanse series!

  6. Ed8r

    Oh-oh-okay. Got it. Like I said in response to the Prologue post: I had quite a bit of difficulty following all the plot threads in this book, and remembering what they all refer to…and the information about the Old Tech not the least of it. So I’m looking forward to your posts so I can ask you questions when we get there!

  7. Ed8r

    PA: keep listening to him instead of going off with the others when the DOI ordered them all to Surebleak.

    Paul, the next chapter begins with another comment from Sye Mon about these machines that makes me think this isn’t “quite” right. It sounds to me as if there are two groups: one that headed to Surebleak but stopped at Benoo Three to discuss their orders, when they realized (or at least some of them realized) that something had changed. Then there is the group Sye Mon had roused, hoping to direct them in some way against the DOI (and against machines ordered to destroy Korval, Surebleak, enemies of the DOI?), and this group he is calling “fellow travelers.”

    It seems to me that both groups had initially been following orders, one group following orders from the DOI and the other group convinced not to follow those orders, but then—was it the universe being remade?—something made them all stop and reconsider their . . . choices!

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