Author Topic: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles  (Read 1462 times)

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Offline Rabid

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Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
I've been trying to guesstimate what direction acts 4 and 5 might lead to, as im sure many of us do. After thinking it through a bit, I've come to the conclusion I need to be asking the right questions. I'm sure I won't get them all, but thats where you can chip in. Once we narrow down what the "right questions" are, then we can take stabs at piecing this thing together!

I'll start off with just a few. Context statements leading up to your questions is definitely welcome.

In AoA, the Vishnans tell Samuel Bei to "go forward and bring your race to enlightenment"...
Shortly after, the war begins and roughly sometime around then, the Vishnans wrote humans off as a waste of time.

Q1.) So, what exactly did the Vishnans expect Bei to do?

Side Note: I noticed that in this scene, the Orestes control officer (who talks to you on the radio) is able to hear the Vishnans quite clearly "We heard, the Vishnans have prepared the node"
(I wonder how the Vishnans communicated so clearly to a non-Nagari sensitive?)
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Q2.) If the Great Darkness is the eventuality that happens to every race that reaches the level of the Great Council/Pantonos or whatever, then where does that leave the Vishnans? Why hasn't the Great Darkness consumed them?
Shivans are eternal, and can "sleep beneath the waves", and their role is that of the destroyer, the preventer of GD episodes.
The Vishnans are optimized cancer, subverting and redirecting smaller civilizations, spanning not just a galaxy or universe, but plural dimensions.

If the Great Darkness is such an eventuality, then where would the balance be that satisfied Shivans, Vishnans, and the Great Darkness in a "your race gets to live and continue" sense?
Surely us ants can find a balance in which we're simply uninteresting to the greater forces that be, that allows us to grow and prosper (without taking over the whole goddamn universe)
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I theorize:
Based on the fact that the Ancients subjugated and annihilated a couple races, and claimed most of a galaxy before being targeted by the Shivans
and
The Shivans roughly targeted the Ancients for culling in a short span after their discovery/use of Subspace. (The Ancients used slowboating to establish the bulk of their empire)
and
In the war with the GTVA (first invasion especially),  the Shivans were uninterested in controlling planets or resources, instead focusing on controlling jump nodes.

I theorize that the Shivans are more the Guardians of Subspace itself, rather than races, planets, or other celestial bodies. The usage of subspace for conquest and hostile invasive hegemony (wiping out other races for territory)
is what specifically draws Shivans to cull your race. Shivans are willing to annihilate species entirely, kill and make barren lively worlds, even destroy entire solar systems. 

It seems that you can do one or the other, but not both, in regards to subjugating alien races and using subspace. If your race is guilty of both, then you're a threat to all other life, AND you have the potential to destroy working subspace nodes as a result of your transporting large warships through nodes in times of war. (as anything destroyer size with Meson tech or higher is sufficient to wreck a node if it blows up in transit, something we -did- to the shivan lucifer and something we've done since with the Bastion+Meson bombs, if Terrans and Vasudans were still fighting or went back to war, its not inconceivable that more nodes might suffer the same fate as collateral damage.)

The Shivans are both protecting the potential of the "Ones they seek" and also the node-network integrity (presumably for this race to use once it reaches that level)

More later, for now I must go


 
Re: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
Good post! I disagree with most of it, though.

Q2.) If the Great Darkness is the eventuality that happens to every race that reaches the level of the Great Council/Pantonos or whatever, then where does that leave the Vishnans? Why hasn't the Great Darkness consumed them?

I think this excerpt from the GH leaks explains that pretty well:

Quote
Let's roll with this idea that you have about their restricted paracausal capabilities. I feel clever so let's call it Deva.

Assume they can't use that Deva capability aggressively because if they could we wouldn't be here questioning them (or at least it's not useful to think we would be) and they'd be entirely omnipotent. Imagine their intelligence as contingent on the bulk coordinates it's operating on, able to see what's immediately around it. Shadows from the past and future (which they would perceive as directions along a causal axis). So they —

ASIDE HERE: What would the reason be, to set up a system that was internally compartmentalized like that? An intelligence capable of traversing the time axis but restricted so that it can only conduct cognition in a mostly causal sense? 'I am here, so I can only know and think about information ~here?' Is it 1) a rule they imposed on themselves 2) a rule imposed on them 3) a rule imposed on them by external circumstance 4) a fundamental law

If you break the quarantine, if you start going down a path that leads to the kind of giant sprawling optimised Nagari civilisation that inevitably falls to the Great Darkness, the Shivans kill you. And so, inevitably, that selection pressure leads to the emergence of advanced life that grows within the confines of the quarantine, which allies and annexes and unifies into the Vishnans. They can use Nagari and time travel and all the rest, but they can only do so in a very limited scope because otherwise they'll be eaten; and they try to integrate other civilisations that have survived the cull. It's not really 'cancer', though depending of your point of view you might not be too fond of them.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
I think, from a pure storytelling perspective, it would be unsatisfying if the AoA defectors were intended by the Vishnans to enlighten humanity - but failed.

I think we can assume that at the end of AoA, the Beis + co were actually going to lead humanity to enlightenment and end the war. The Vishnans were not going to cull. (Note that the Beis have been working on Shambhala for a while.)

Would it be satisfying for this to change due to some unrevealed event between AoA and BP2?

Or did it change because of an onscreen event post AoA?

 
Re: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
Well COLDMORN certainly has her own ideas about that:

Quote
— Are you aware of the recent phenomenon we are calling the hush? Although our monitoring capabilities are very limited, we had a firm picture of Nagari traffic in the HESTIA theater. A lot happening, a lot of internal teleonomy. Abruptly it all dropped off. Fell off a cliff. FRIENDLY ANCHORITE told us that there was profound dismay over there, a sense of loss and abandonment, fear about some kind of trigger threshold.

So we began working on a model. Trying to figure out what had happened to cause this. But we couldn't pin down an exact inflection point. Something felt off.

What if we have it all backwards? What if t2's Deva capability detected a threat AHEAD and it's trying to react NOW? What if the hush is an effect and we haven't yet seen the cause?
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 
Re: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
Soo, something that happens in act 4 or 5, probably Shambhala. Maybe instead of being a tool to merge the human race with the Vishans it's a tool to sever their psychic influence?(Probably not intentionally) And something that happens 20 months after the start of the war was the cause of the silence that started ~8 months in.
In Freespace the player can't merge or create(unless you count scripted prompt box choices). As a space shooter you can only destroy, therefore if Shambhala is a reflection of the player-narrative relationship it has to be destructive.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 10:33:24 am by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
The talk of 'profound dismay' 'fear of trigger threshold' etc makes me think they might be referring to Federation nagari activity.  If memory serves they were seriously concerned about trigger thresholds, and I feel like you couldn't expect Vishnan elements to feel 'dismayed and abandoned'.

 
Re: Asking the right questions -- Piecing together the final acts puzzles
I think Shambhala is going to happen sooner rather than later, especially if Steele is beginning his Blitz 2.0. My interpretation of that ending cutscene is that he's basically deathblowing the UEF (and doing it well before the Fedayeen predicted he would).