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Page 107 Discussion 
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
I can't think of a single historical or fictional example where people desiring diplomatic contact with others have rolled up, said hello, and then played coy with the location of their homeland or capital in order to use it as a bargaining chip for... what?

What does humanity gain by hiding? Time? A few extra months or years? Precisely what could be done in that time that would make the slightest difference? What concessions can Alex extract from the Loroi by hiding the location of Earth? Sooner or later he's going to have to give them a vector to head along to get to Terran Space and when that happens it's game over red rover.

Hiding the location of Earth only works if the intent is to fight the Loroi as enemies, which is more or less the complete opposite of what the Bellarmine's mission was. Trying to extract concessions by holding back on that information would only make Alex look dishonest and slimy; not the best impression there considering the dim view the Loroi take on dishonesty.

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Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:40 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
hi hi

Quote:
in order to use it as a bargaining chip for... what?

I don't know, maybe some assurances that they won't bombard the planet on a whim? I mean, we as viewers know a lot about the Loroi, but Alex is only just starting to get the basics down. As far as he knows, he might yet discover a good reason why humanity should not ally with the Loroi. He's not even sure yet that the Loroi are interested in diplomatic contact.

"Hey, where is your home planet by the way?"
"If I tell you, will you promise not to blow us all up?"
"I can't rule out blowing up your industrial infrastructure, but ok, we won't exterminate your species."
"Well, that's better than nothing."


Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
If you want to play it safe, then sure, shut up about where you live and say nothing. The Loroi won't have any reason to trust Alex on anything he says, and his mission winds up as a failure. He dies of old age in Loroi hands, a mere curiosity, as the Umiak drive humanity into extinction and death.

The mission was never about making a safe choice; it's a risky one with potential benefits. If the idea was to remain hidden for as long as possible, then sending out a mission of diplomatic contact was exactly the wrong thing to do. Concealing the location of Earth just to wring out concessions that can never be enforced and can be rescinded at the drop of a hat is a pointless exercise.

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Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:12 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
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This information pleases me hooman, give me more!


I will follow you everywhere you go... EVERYWHERE!


Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
novius wrote:
Yep, I'd say she is flirting.... consciously or unconsciously, in a nerdy sort of way.


He just casually rattled off a technical definition of base dimensions in terms of fundamental physical quantities to 9 digits of precision. She's Listel caste. From her perspective, he started it.

Tempo's probably sitting there thinking "what a pair of nerds".


Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:52 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
hi hi

Since when is "not divulging all useful information immediately," and "trying remain hidden for as long as possible," even remotely equivalent?" How are "choosing to exchange intelligence rather than giving everything away," and "staying totally silent and never saying anything," the same things?

Humanity might not decide to ally with the Loroi. Telling someone, who currently has worse than 50/50 chance of being an enemy, the location of your homeworld might be disastrous. They gave Alex diplomatic status, but the Loroi have made no formal arrangements for diplomatic relations with the Terrans as a whole. The location of inhabited worlds would be an excellent thing to divulge upon the establishment of official diplomatic relations.

Trust has to go both ways. If one's game theory is predicated on "they can break any agreement at any time, so nothing they say can be trusted," how is it that they can expect to be trusted themselves?


Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:12 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
The person that is sitting two aisles behind Parat Tempo..

Is that Shoe Girl ?? Is she assigned to provide assistance to Alec or Parat Tempo ??


Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
If the aliens are putting you in the cookpot, you probably don't want to volunteer any information about your people... but it's kind of hard to imagine that any serious diplomatic talks could begin with one side refusing to state where the nation it represents even is.

kclcmdr wrote:
The person that is sitting two aisles behind Parat Tempo.. Is that Shoe Girl ?? Is she assigned to provide assistance to Alec or Parat Tempo ??

Yes, that's Cloud. She's Tempo's clerk, essentially. I figure that no self-respecting honcho of Tempo's rank would go on a jaunt without at least one underling.

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Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:25 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
hi hi

Only a single page ago, Alex expressed concern about whether the Loroi had any intention of trying to establish contact with humanity. I mean, from Alex's perspective, there's every possibility that Tempo is on the level. But if the Loroi are stalling until they reach Seren, then I feel like there are some things where it might be prudent to consider waiting on until that time as well.

Alex has already seen that the Loroi don't always agree with each other, even though he has a very narrow and brief sample size, and he's heard the line "I wanted to, but it couldn't be helped," several times already. If I were in his shoes, or more specifically borrowing Fireblade's shoes, I would be very curious to know what Tempo's superiors will say, even while believing that she is being honest. His treatment is understandable from Stillstorm's point of view, but from the point of view of a guy who spent the last week in a holding cell, I would be at least a little bit nervous that upon reaching Seren, the last words I would hear would be "Sorry, I wanted to keep you out of the cookpot/forever-holding-cell, but it can't be helped."

((I'm not saying that I don't think there are any assurances that Tempo could give Alex, but I might at least want to establish whether or not she is planning on advocating for contact once they reach Seren.))

That being said, Alex's narration also stated at the beginning of The Battle for the Bellarmine, that he was worried about whether there was anything humanity could offer the Loroi. Were I borrowing Fireblade's shoes, and I had some indication that having access to Terran space would give the Loroi an advantage in the war, I might try to use that as a selling point.

On the other hand, if I were getting the feeling that Terran space being so far away was going to be a liability, I might be trying to scramble to find some other selling point to help offset it. At least, until the issue is pressed.

Also, hooray for Cloud! :D


Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:08 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Shoe Girl is Best Girl.


Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:51 pm
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
fredgiblet wrote:
Shoe Girl is Best Girl.


*ahem*

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:26 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
In the current situation, where the Loroi look like the lesser evil (although it is not up to Alex to decide that, and the truth of everything he saw and witnessed may be questionable),
it may be advantageous to have the Loroi know the general direction, so that they can watch for possible attacks of the Umiak in that direction and counterattack that. To prevent the Umiak from reaching the TCA space.

Anyway, it is hypothetical, as the instructions to The Gardener seems to be clear: to not divulge such critical data, and to consider himself lost if the Bellarmine does not return on time, as rescue missions are outside the scope of interest of Humanity. You are on your own if you miss the "window" for return.

I am very curious to learn what the Loroi will do once Alex reaches Seren and his medical data collected on the Tempest will be transferred for scrutinising by the proper departments on Seren.
And possible medical checks before they let him down into their biosphere (as some pathogens inside him may infect Seren, as well as some pathogens on Seren may kill him).
-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-
Also love Beryl's expression.
It's a pity the discussion is not two-sided. She just listens and stores for future reference.
She is asking, yes, but only for "hard data", and not why Humaniti has chosen this reference value over others with rounder numbers.

Her smile may be because she is checking in her head against the data known from the salvaged ship, and through her telepathic connection with experts who analysed the computers salvaged from Bellaramine's wreck, and are possibly right now very happy as Alex is providing key elements to understanding the system.

We will read sooner or later what the Loroi are up to, but Beryl feels very needed and useful.
And possibly knowing that her chest of knowledge now is singular in Loroi space, and thus very valuable, thus possibly earning her a rank or three for having been on the right ship at the right time.

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:41 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
icekatze wrote:
Only a single page ago, Alex expressed concern about whether the Loroi had any intention of trying to establish contact with humanity. I mean, from Alex's perspective, there's every possibility that Tempo is on the level. But if the Loroi are stalling until they reach Seren, then I feel like there are some things where it might be prudent to consider waiting on until that time as well.


To me, from Alex' dutyfully-memorized text in page 107, its pretty clear the planners 'back home' were willing to divulge those data to any of the two belligerents when they're willing to talk.
Sofar he clearly divulged only what the contact protocol described. At least, that's what his 'thought bubbles' throughout the comic convey to us.

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:44 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Krulle wrote:
In the current situation, where the Loroi look like the lesser evil (although it is not up to Alex to decide that, and the truth of everything he saw and witnessed may be questionable)
Well, they're definately the cuter evil.
Who are we kidding, unless Humaniti changed a lot, then the choice between blue space amazon warrior elves and overgrown bugs would be a no-brainer for the majority of the population. Loroi would have to feed on babies or something to sway the public opinion in favor of Umiak.
Krulle wrote:
She is asking, yes, but only for "hard data", and not why Humaniti has chosen this reference value over others with rounder numbers.
Well, you get a broad description first, and only when you've got enough general knowledge you go into the details. Heck, I can spend a considerable amount of time talking about ... well, time. However as time is limited (I'm guessing Alexander will be quite occupied once they reach the destination and Beryl is acutely aware of this), this is a gloden opportunity for Beryl to get to know as much as possible. While the history of time measurement is quite fascinating, it may not be the best ... time to dwell on the details. Also there's the possibility that Alexanders knowledge on the subject is broad but shallow.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:34 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
rewik wrote:
Loroi would have to feed on babies or something to sway the public opinion in favor of Umiak.


"You know...babies are over-rated..."

Krulle wrote:
It's a pity the discussion is not two-sided. She just listens and stores for future reference.
She is asking, yes, but only for "hard data", and not why Humaniti has chosen this reference value over others with rounder numbers.


She can probably guess, based on the similarity, that the second and the solon are based on the same thing. It's likely that Alex doesn't have encyclopedic knowledge of the minutia of why our measurements are the exact values they are.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:47 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
rewik wrote:
Who are we kidding, unless Humaniti changed a lot, then the choice between blue space amazon warrior elves and overgrown bugs would be a no-brainer for the majority of the population. Loroi would have to feed on babies or something to sway the public opinion in favor of Umiak.


Add to this that our immunity to the loroi psychic abilities pretty much nullify the Umiaks main argument. Sure telekinesis and such still work but so do guns. An argument against firearms in a magic heavy fantasy world is that why spend years or even decades training combat mages if a grunt with a few hours training can simply shoot the mage? In reality, this is how the knight died out.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:24 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Humanity has managed to learn a whole Loroi-trade-language from the Orgus, which includes a number system, but it doesn't include a unit of measurement for time and distance? I find that really hard to swallow. The whole purpose of a trade language, facilitating trade, is closely linked to having a common method of measuring things like time. The difficulty of establishing, conveying and propagating a language is so much harder than establishing a standard set of units, that I just cant see how common units are not already there.

The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:23 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
projekcja wrote:
Humanity has managed to learn a whole Loroi-trade-language from the Orgus, which includes a number system, but it doesn't include a unit of measurement for time and distance? I find that really hard to swallow. The whole purpose of a trade language, facilitating trade, is closely linked to having a common method of measuring things like time. The difficulty of establishing, conveying and propagating a language is so much harder than establishing a standard set of units, that I just cant see how common units are not already there.

The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.


The problem is that the Loroi Union (Loroi + Union members) probably uses Loroi units of measurement almost exclusively and all of their neighbors quickly learn them in turn since everyone in the Union knows them. The Orgus being at the other side of the Umiak space never learned about the Loroi units of measurement and their 'localized trade' must have had other units of measurement in turn.

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:07 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
hi hi

The Trade language is an ancient language, and so it is understandable that regional variations may have developed over the years.

Also, after thinking about Tempo's behavior a little, I wonder if there are some places in Loroi culture where it is actually considered more honest to purposefully imply things without directly saying them. If spoken words are distrustful, could unspoken implications seem more trustworthy?


Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:15 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
icekatze mentioned something that I a wondering about now; what does Fireblade feel about Alex wearing her shoes? Assuming he isn't wearing a pair just the same size by now.


Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:31 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Zakharra wrote:
icekatze mentioned something that I a wondering about now; what does Fireblade feel about Alex wearing her shoes? Assuming he isn't wearing a pair just the same size by now.


"Those were my favourite pair of shoes..." :cry:

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:39 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
Pretty sure Alex' been issued a pair of shoes from shipboard storage, not from Fireblade's cabin. :lol:

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:58 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
On Stillstorm's vessel, all Loroi were equal and shared all their resources with all the other Loroi equally in this time of war.

But all that served on the Tempest knew that one Loroi was, above all, more equal than all the others. None would touch her shoes and be allowed to live. It was the exception that all accepted. Few if any wished to be splattered across three halls, or talked to death in her sleep by the one called Fireblade.

And then, one fateful day, the Tempest received a grim reminder of why nobody, nobody, was allowed to touch Fireblade's shoes.

The day the Human came.

The day of the Tempest Prank War...

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Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:15 am
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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
projekcja wrote:
Humanity has managed to learn a whole Loroi-trade-language from the Orgus, which includes a number system, but it doesn't include a unit of measurement for time and distance? I find that really hard to swallow. The whole purpose of a trade language, facilitating trade, is closely linked to having a common method of measuring things like time. The difficulty of establishing, conveying and propagating a language is so much harder than establishing a standard set of units, that I just cant see how common units are not already there.

The idea that the Loroi who already met dozens of civilizations, are eager to memorize another set of units is strange but acceptable as a quirk of their behavior, but clearly the efficient businesslike thing to do is to show humanity the units used by all the other races in the alliance for inter-species trade.

It's about readability. It's okay to make the reader memorize a few foreign units when they're close analogues of our units (such as "microns" and "centons" in Battlestar Galactica), but when you get to the larger units such as a kilometer or year, it's not plausible that the Loroi equivalents are going to be even close in value to ours, and so you put the reader in a position of having to do conversions. When you have a character like Beryl who can keep this stuff in her head, it makes more sense to let her do the conversions and present values that Alex (and the reader) can readily understand.

As to the issue of Trade having units: it does, but Alex was taught a different dialect by a civilization that never met the Loroi. Some of the Periphery Trade units are completely different (the "solon" doesn't exist in that dialect), and some that have the same name (such as the "year" analogue) have different values.

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Post Re: Page 107 Discussion
In regards to "Input! More input!"... My thoughts went there too, then... here, then to... NSFW "I didn't think anyone used 3 1/2" floppies anymore"-ClayB

In regards to Earth's location... I would definitely be inclined to withhold any critical information including homeworld coordinates. My observations of his mission so far do not make for a picnic with tea... He's been been blown up, picked up, tortured and imprisoned. Later they gave him shoes. Shortly after that he was finally told that all his crewmates are dead. However most significantly I feel is that since Tempo officially recognised him as a diplomat he's still been hosteled in the guest suite (the dungeons) oh and fed. Personally I'd think diplomatic courtesies might have included a chair or a means of taking notes... Oh wait they did give him a/his pen. After a week of lousy food, severe travel sickness, no human contact and diplomatic overtures of a pen... I'd be highly motivated to make that relay rendezvous as well. I'm with Alex on this... and to be honest still sees Bad Things in store for him and I certainly wouldn't be in a hurry to tell the Loroi where to find more of my friends, family or proverbial worst enemy.

In regards to units of time and distance... I imagine that the trade language the Orgus could teach us may well have had words and meanings for Umiak hierarch units (a neighboring potential trade partner) but not necessarily Loroi imperial units found on the other side of what turned out to be a hostile power. Whatever the units they did have would be obscure fractions of human metric units and if she's interested in more input, they might lead towards a truly mediocre conversation with Beryl about the merits of Whitworth spanners.


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