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?)
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)
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
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)
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