“Torch” — Part V, Page 55

Posted on May 21, 2010 at 5:00 am in FINDER as part of TorchTorch - Part Five, « TorchTorch - Part Five, . Follow responses to this post with the comments feed. You can leave a comment or trackback from your own site.

19 Responses

  1. matthew brandi says:

    Just as you begin to like a character, she declares she wants to end her life … oops, get married! Always had trouble telling those two apart.

    Expertly done, but what a revoltin’ development.

  2. Scott Bieser says:

    “Don’t come home,” as in, now he’s excommunicated from the tribe?

    Geez.

  3. reptangle says:

    She can’t get married if she doesn’t shun him?

    Jack knew what he was doing was going to be very close to what Coward decreed to be an abomination. Getting kicked out of the house/tribe shouldn’t be a big surprise to Jack now, should it?

  4. Owlmirror says:

    Huh.

    It looks like Pinya, at least, does not think that there is a loophole in the rules abominating microelectronics that might allow biotech.

    Hm.

    Maybe I’ve completely misunderstood what happened. Maybe the brain-network interface is perfectly “standard” microelectronics, and the Laeske just used biotech methods to implant it rather than more standard surgery.

    In which case Pinya is just following the rules.

    I hope that she was up-front about what she would do before going with Jack to the Laeske.

  5. Owlmirror says:

    She can’t get married if she doesn’t shun him?

    I would guess that she means that she wants to get married and retain her links with family and friends within Ascian society. Or Toth wants that, and she cares because Toth does.

    She and Toth could probably elope, and be isolated from every other Ascian. But given the hardships the Ascians suffered as outsiders (see the beginning of the book), one or the other, or both, probably rejected that on pragmatic grounds.

  6. Oneiros says:

    Getting kicked out of the house/tribe shouldn’t be a big surprise to Jack now, should it?

    Not entirely a surprise, but I doubt Jack foresaw this.

    I would guess that she means that she wants to get married and retain her links with family and friends within Ascian society.

    Depending on how tightly the abomination is enforced, if Pinya is partly shunning Jack because of the abomination, then maybe Pinya could be slapped with an accomplice charge. But if Jack never goes back home, she could make up any story she wanted, I guess.

  7. reptangle says:

    “Don’t talk” -Meaning … don’t talk about what happened here?

  8. Oneiros says:

    “Don’t talk” -Meaning … don’t talk about what happened here?

    I dunno. I thought she meant “Don’t say anything right now. Don’t argue with me. Just let me go.”

    And interestingly, I don’t think we’ve ever actually SEEN Toth. I looked for him to remember which one he was. He was buried under the rubble, so he was obscured there. And after Jack’s procedure, he tries to contact Toth, but Toth is not near his transponder or his bed.

  9. reptangle says:

    That’s right! I didn’t remember who Toth was.
    Toth might not be in very good shape at the moment, being buried under rubble. His call for help sounded light hearted …but, could he be DEAD??

  10. Owlmirror says:

    And after Jack’s procedure, he tries to contact Toth, but Toth is not near his transponder or his bed.

    On (Part V, pg 52/pg 168 of the total), it looks to me like Toth is in his bed, head turned away from us and towards the chair.

    Toth might not be in very good shape at the moment, being buried under rubble.

    He’s not buried under rubble, because when he was buried under rubble, he had his communication-whatsis with him, with which he called for help, and his communicator is now on the floor of the room.

    It’s a reasonable inference that he and his communicator were both taken from under the rubble and returned to the house.

    could he be DEAD??

    I think he’s been recuperating from Too Much Excitement.

  11. I don’t think we’ve ever established that when Coward said “I will abominate this thing” he only meant microelectronics – he forbade machines that make machines but he also flat- out forbade head jack implantation. Jack is accessing lots of machines made by machines, even if they aren’t located in his skull, but at any rate he’s never said he’s relying on there being a loophole.

    As for “Toth and I want to get married,” it seems likely (from the “free trade” webcomic, at least) that for an Ascian, getting married without parental consent is regarded as criminal; and if Coward or an underling of Coward has a ceremonial role in marrying people to each other (which is entirely probable) then it’s probably as indispensable a role as that of the parents; and if Pinya catches non-personhood from Jack then Coward isn’t going to marry her to anyone with or without parental consent.

    What interests me is, until this page, she was all for the plan, materially assisting it and looking mostly just bored, until Jack woke up and started being Web Cthulhu, after which she looks genuinely terrified of him. His behavior in those three pages seems to have convinced her that the anathematization was appropriate – that this headjack stuff really is evil – and if she still feels for Jack, she’s at the very least confident that the tribe will never accept Jack back now – that they’ll never side with him against Coward’s ban once they’ve seen the new things in him that she’s just seen.

    The Ascians are used to killing off “starving horrors” like the Lillim, maybe Jack’s just become one.

  12. matthew brandi says:

    Why suppose this wasn’t her plan all along? It’s perfectly consistent for her to [1] support Jack’s upgrade (because it is useful to the community, because it is cool/interesting, or just because he wants it) & [2] think she needs to shun him afterward (in order to get married). Of course, she wouldn’t have told him before he hopped in the crop. That’d just have been mean, right?

    My first thought about the shunning was that it was on a personal level: that a woman about to get married had to cut off close relations with unattached young men. That it had nothing to do with the surgery and nothing to do with whether others would have to shun him. That it was easy to imagine Jack & Pinya casually sharing a bed, even if she had an increasingly serious relationship with Toth.

    Experience teaches that you guys are more tuned in to this stuff than I am, however.

  13. jessy says:

    I think Pinya went along with Jacks (head)jacks plan because of curiosity. A thing forbidden and all that is more tempting than before. Also its part of Ascian culture to try new thing and see how they can be used within the tribe, it’s likley that she was prepared to have Jack be the(all too willing) guinea pig, while she assessed the pros and cons of the new tech. If Jack hadn’t been all freaky after breaking out of the sack thing she might have been prepared to negotiate with Coward about the abomination on Jacks behalf. Jack frightened her with his nonsense, she doesent want to be a godmaker just a techie.

  14. matthew brandi says:

    But Jack’s clowning around just showed that the thing worked as advertised, and that he was delighted with his new toy. It is fun & it is exciting because it does what it says on the tin.

    It’s not as if he shows any real signs of wigging out in a serious way (not yet, anyway), and it’s not as if he can levitate or destroy energy. He just got a phone is all …

    So, what is it that I should read as telling us that Pinya wasn’t going to shun him all along? What am I missing?

  15. Oneiros says:

    On (Part V, pg 52/pg 168 of the total), it looks to me like Toth is in his bed, head turned away from us and towards the chair.

    With a second look, I can see how it appears there’s a figure under the covers. It’s a bit hard for me to tell, though.

    My first thought about the shunning was that it was on a personal level: that a woman about to get married had to cut off close relations with unattached young men.

    Yes, that was my first thought, too, and it’s probably the main reason for her shunning. I imagine that’s part of Ascian tradition. I don’t know if this was Pinya’s plan all along, to shun Jack after the procedure. But I’m thinking she had the time of the whole procedure to think about how to approach Jack after the procedure was done. She looked at the book that turned out to be a computer inside. And she witnessed Jack’s performance after the procedure. Maybe after all that, her concerns were reinforced, as well as the oomph she put into her shunning.

  16. Maybe y’all are right – I’d just think she’d have warned him she was going to shun him if she’d known she was going to – she didn’t look guilty or shifty or worried at all while waiting for Jack to wake up, just bored. And helping Jack get this thing is breaking the taboo as well, I mean if you’re Opus Dei Catholic driving your friend to the abortion clinic is a problem, you don’t wait for the operation to start acting differently.

    As for the “machines made by machines” thing, we can’t be sure the Laeske aren’t machines. The weirdhead constructs seem to be sentient souled people just like anyone else, but we’ve already heard the idea that you grow a soul and surely strong AI isn’t going to be a problem for Speed. The Laeske weren’t around during our (as in year 2010) historical era – we know Finder’s set in our future because of all the folkrock the Pastwatch sensitives pumps out from our era into Finderverse radio stations. They have factories in their mouths for implanting in-skull wifi in humans – how would that have evolved? They seem to be constructs or genetic engineering experiments themselves, so any implants they’d put in Jack’s head would be machines made by machines (however nice the maker-machines might happen to be as people).

    A thought.

  17. Owlmirror says:

    Jack is accessing lots of machines made by machines, even if they aren’t located in his skull, but at any rate he’s never said he’s relying on there being a loophole.

    *Shrug*. I thought it might be a plausible line of defense to avoid being shunned for violating the abomination. Until Speed shows one way or the other what Jack has in mind, at the very least. Or how the Ascians react.

    What interests me is, until this page, she was all for the plan, materially assisting it and looking mostly just bored, until Jack woke up and started being Web Cthulhu, after which she looks genuinely terrified of him.

    Where does she look terrified?

    On this page, at least, I think she looks upset and vaguely stricken at what she has to say about shunning him.

    His behavior in those three pages seems to have convinced her that the anathematization was appropriate – that this headjack stuff really is evil

    That’s something she does not say, or even imply.

    And helping Jack get this thing is breaking the taboo as well, I mean if you’re Opus Dei Catholic driving your friend to the abortion clinic is a problem, you don’t wait for the operation to start acting differently.

    I don’t see the analogy to Opus Dei Catholicism working.

    If anything, Pinya is maybe a liberal Catholic who still lives with and depends on a family of more conservative and hard-line Catholics.

    As for the “machines made by machines” thing, we can’t be sure the Laeske aren’t machines.

    If the Laeske are machines, then so are Ascians, and all humans, and all other living organisms.

    we’ve already heard the idea that you grow a soul

    From Vary, who is not Ascian, but Hautama — and the reactions of the Anvardians she expresses this idea to sure makes it look like this idea is not the norm in that culture.

    Jaeger is explicitly described as having no soul at all (“just a hole for all the world’s shit to pour into”) by other Ascians, while drum-chiefs have three souls.

    we know Finder’s set in our future

    I’m not sure that we know that for certain; Speed has not, from what I’ve seen, given any sort of explicit timeline.

    because of all the folkrock the Pastwatch sensitives pumps out from our era into Finderverse radio stations.

    This is science fiction, and the rock music (and other things from our era) could be from a sideways universe. Or not. Or maybe something weirder than that is going on.

    They have factories in their mouths for implanting in-skull wifi in humans – how would that have evolved?

    Isn’t it explicitly said (or maybe just implied) that those are biotech computers, separate from the Laeske themselves? They build/grow them, and just store them, like everything else, in their crops.

  18. Royce Grey says:

    A while back, it struck me that the whole thing about this is that it’s about people who don’t fit in. People who stick out. I wonder if Coward isn’t purposfully creating an outsider for reasons of his own.

  19. Royce Grey says:

    I suppose Coward’s kick-starting the process of getting his people to become part of Anvard.

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