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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
I don't think any of the Loroi are directly lieing to Alex face. That doesn't seem to fit their culture. What seems to be happening are evasive answers.
On page 106 for example Alex wonders whether the Loroi even want to meet humanity. Tempo, instead of feeding Alex a lie, tells him that the Loroi want to learn as much as possible about humanity. The dialogue only sounds like a firm refutation of Alex worry, but learning is not meeting.

But that requires the evader to be very fluent in the language. So Alex might be safe talking to all but Torrai, Mizol and perhabs Listel.


Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:44 am
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Werra wrote:
I don't think any of the Loroi are directly lieing to Alex face. That doesn't seem to fit their culture. What seems to be happening are evasive answers.
On page 106 for example Alex wonders whether the Loroi even want to meet humanity. Tempo, instead of feeding Alex a lie, tells him that the Loroi want to learn as much as possible about humanity. The dialogue only sounds like a firm refutation of Alex worry, but learning is not meeting.

But that requires the evader to be very fluent in the language. So Alex might be safe talking to all but Torrai, Mizol and perhabs Listel.


We as the readers know that Loroi in general don't tell outright lies. But if you have to question the credibility of that statement alone (which Alex is wise to do so), it would put everything they say in doubt. And even if the Loroi only lie by omission - which might even be the socially acceptable way for Loroi to bend the truth - Tempo saying that they're interested in Alex's species doesn't necessarily mean that they're interested in open talks with humans.

Though... it doesn't require someone to be fluent in any language. It might even be beneficial if the listener actually has to assume you're not well versed in making speeches, then the listener would more easily gloss over some inconsistencies in the wording and automatically fill in the blanks with assumptions you want him to make.

Twice now, Alex got reasons to assume that the Loroi have ulterior motives.
  1. Shortly after Tempo cut off Ambassador Mozin - he outright tells Tempo that he thinks she's not telling the full story: http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider067.html
  2. The scene you mentioned where Alex mentions a perceived lack of interest on the Loroi side: http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider106.html

In addition, him being chucked away in the brig and being isolated may have served to purpose to prevent him from asking more questions the Loroi couldn't answer in a satisfactory manner.

So yes, while the Historians may have their own agenda, the construct could very much be spot on with its suggestions that Alex should neither volunteer more information and not even ask for information himself.

To add yet another level of deception, it could very much be that Beryl herself might be genuinely friendly towards Alex, but that she herself has been used by the likes of Tempo to keep him more tractable.

Sounds like the Umiak would have indeed been the better choice. With them, you'd actually know what you have to expect. :)


Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:29 am
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
I am still bothered by the disclosure that Pocket Historian was already resident in the Bellarmine databanks. An infection via the Orgus indeed seems likely. Historians may even have been aware about the position of the Earth ship entering the Naam system prior to its destruction, while for some reason the Pocket Historian appears to want to limit a free exchange of information between the lonely human and the Loroi.


Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:47 am
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
icekatze wrote:
From our perspective as an audience, with insider knowledge about the Loroi, their history and all of that, the Historian construct's warning message is a little bit concerning, but not in the way it intended. While it isn't a smoking gun, it does slightly raise the plausibility of some "the Historians are behind it all," theories. I'm not quite sure why the construct is trying to drive a wedge between Alex and the Loroi, but I'll be really surprised if Beryl and Talon turn out to be villains. (From a narrative point of view.)


Of course the Historians are the culprits, they have the type of weapon that destroyed the Belarmine, while having the tech aptitude to hide their ships.

I'll have to agree with everyone that lying to Beryl would be a bad idea, but immediately outing the Historian wouldn't be my move if I wanted to get more info on everyone. If I was in his shoes, I'd just tell Beryl that it was just one of the "hand displays" from his ship. Saying "note pads" might get her interest, saying "pad" or "pda" would require further explanation, and possibly get her interest. Any response that might lose her interest, or dampen her excitement without lying to her would be in Alex's interests.


Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:30 am
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Actually, everything that Alex knows about Loroi is told him by Loroi themselves. So he can't be sure there actually was a battle, the Barsam ambassador, the invasion in Leido and the destruction of station. Everything he saw was just images on the screens.
The high octane paranoia fuel.

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Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
It's not quite so bleak. He knows that there was a battle in the system just when the Bell was shot down. He also knows that it took the Loroi several hours to find him. The predicament they're in righ now also definitely is real. So there are a lot of indicators that the story is true.
I mean, if we want to be negativ, Alex could wake up in the medbay during his interrogation.


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
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Zarya wrote:
An infection via the Orgus indeed seems likely.
With their technology level, that's not impossible, but if that were true, it raises a number of awkward questions.

Why wasn't the construct already on the PAD? Why organize an expedition only to sabotage it? If they wanted to sabotage the mission, why not detonate the fuel in the middle of nowhere where they'd never be found, or alter the coordinates and lead them in the wrong direction? How did they get to Orgus space to infect their computers, did the paranoid Umiak allow it? If they're able to move through Umiak space/systems without permission, why isn't the Umiak war effort totally sabotaged? If they're able to move through Umiak space/systems with permission, why not just send humans straight to Umiak space?

Voitan wrote:
Of course the Historians are the culprits, they have the type of weapon that destroyed the Belarmine, while having the tech aptitude to hide their ships.
It seems perhaps a bit more likely now, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that keep me from thinking it is a certainty.

The Umiak have the type of weapon that destroyed the Bellarmine and, apparently, now the technology to conceal their movement from farseers. There's still a possibility of an unknown third party. If the Historians did destroy the Bellarmine though, I am at a loss to figure out their motives. The one remotely plausible explanation I can think of involves the Historians having made a deal with the Umiak to let them win in exchange for being left alone, and the Bellarmine being in the wrong place at the wrong time to potentially ID them being somewhere they weren't supposed to be. That seems unusually proactive for a group that pretty much never leaves their territory, but if true, the Loroi are in an even worse position than it already seems.


Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Zarya wrote:
Why wasn't the construct already on the PAD? Why organize an expedition only to sabotage it? If they wanted to sabotage the mission, why not detonate the fuel in the middle of nowhere where they'd never be found, or alter the coordinates and lead them in the wrong direction? How did they get to Orgus space to infect their computers, did the paranoid Umiak allow it?


Perhaps they couldn't stop the organization of the expedition, or the construct was not able to infect both ships (ie, the earthbound construct already infiltrated the umiak mission, but couldn't destroy the loroi mission ship either because
1) that would be too obvious and it would raise too many questions or
2) humanity is too isolated from itself for it to be able to infect both ships.)

Zarya wrote:
If they're able to move through Umiak space/systems without permission, why isn't the Umiak war effort totally sabotaged?


It might be in the Historians' interest to keep the war going as a stalemate in an effort of having both upstart races exhaust and eventually even destabilize themselves permanently. The humans could be considered a useful tool in this regard, or an unwelcome interference.
Seems strange that the historians would support a human/umiak alliance though, as the umiak are starting to make inroads towards historian systems?


Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Historians may have different competitive acting groups with different goals. We have no information about their state structure. So some of them may help Umiak, and others - fight with them. And of all known races only Historians can give Umiak ships with lotai - AI controlled ships. That's also only known way to practically make ship invisible for farseers.

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
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boldilocks wrote:
Perhaps they couldn't stop the organization of the expedition, or the construct was not able to infect both ships
There were no discrete Loroi and Umiak missions. All five scout ships were sent to different points, but they were all using the Prabhu as their tanker and relay. If someone were to sabotage the Prabhu, none of the scouts would return home.


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Werra wrote:
It's not quite so bleak. He knows that there was a battle in the system just when the Bell was shot down. He also knows that it took the Loroi several hours to find him. The predicament they're in righ now also definitely is real. So there are a lot of indicators that the story is true.
I mean, if we want to be negativ, Alex could wake up in the medbay during his interrogation.


As I said. That could be a plausible explanantion. The last thing Alex saw while being awake had been Fireblade and the other Loroi restarting their telepathic assault after him saying he considers himself as a prisoner of war. Or that scene itself was a part of the mind games they play. As in, humans may have an impressive resistence, but they eventually broke through with a concerted effort and everything happening after that had just been a giant mind game.

And, sanzai may work that way that they can simply rifle through his memory. For Loroi, it wouldn't be browsing a library containing his knowledge and past experiences, sanzai is a means of communication. So they actually have to talk to him, put him through simulated scenarios and see how he reacts, much like putting a mouse in a labyrinth.

And, the chain of events with him getting in situations one considerably worse than the last, pretty much looks like a technique to break his resolve. They tried standard questioning (Tempo on the bridge), prolonged isolation (the brig), physical discomfort (the food/jump sickness), mortal danger (the ongoing Umiak invasion), base fears (fear of the dark, disorientation, fear of suffocating when the shuttle became dead in the water), and even playing on effects like the Stockholm Syndrome (adding Beryl and Talon to the mind game), then playing with the emotion of hope with the message on the PDA.


Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:41 pm
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
SVlad wrote:
Historians may have different competitive acting groups with different goals. We have no information about their state structure. So some of them may help Umiak, and others - fight with them. And of all known races only Historians can give Umiak ships with lotai - AI controlled ships. That's also only known way to practically make ship invisible for farseers.


I've as yet not read anything in the Insider or comic that indicates the Historians are masked from Loroi telepathic abilities.
I'd rather think their efforts to not encounter Loroi directly, but working through intermediaries like the Emissary, hints at a fear the Loroi might learn too much.

A question for Arioch: Are the Historians as reluctant to have personal contact with members of other races of the Union as to Loroi?
And of the few Union researchers that were allowed access to the Pol, was any of them a Loroi?
Given the marine environment the Pol live in, I assume it were the Pipolsid who were allowed to investigate them.

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
icekatze wrote:
Zarya wrote:
An infection via the Orgus indeed seems likely.


With their technology level, that's not impossible, but if that were true, it raises a number of awkward questions.

[…] If they're able to move through Umiak space/systems with permission, why not just send humans straight to Umiak space?


Five ships were sent out from the Prabhu, suppose the Historian software’s function is to make sure that only the Umiak contact missions succeed, or to ensure that any mission that comes close to contacting the Loroi fails (because it will be blown up). This answers some of the awkward questions.


Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:59 am
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Zarya wrote:
icekatze wrote:
Zarya wrote:
An infection via the Orgus indeed seems likely.


With their technology level, that's not impossible, but if that were true, it raises a number of awkward questions.

[…] If they're able to move through Umiak space/systems with permission, why not just send humans straight to Umiak space?


Five ships were sent out from the Prabhu, suppose the Historian software’s function is to make sure that only the Umiak contact missions succeed, or to ensure that any mission that comes close to contacting the Loroi fails (because it will be blown up). This answers some of the awkward questions.


While the Historians may have infiltrated the computer systems, it may be a human decision to send the Bellarmine exactly where she ended up. Something an AI on a computer could not really influence. Second, sending all ships in a roughly similar direction (towards Umiak space) might have raised some questions.

So, in that scenario, the Historians decided to let them be on their merry way, but to set up an ambush, which succeeded, to an extent. Trying to separate Alex from the Loroi would be the second contingency in their master plan.


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
GeoModder wrote:
Are the Historians as reluctant to have personal contact with members of other races of the Union as to Loroi?

It's hard to know what may or may not have happened behind closed doors, but live Historians have only been seen publicly at a few events at which they were required to attend in person (as a condition of the alliance). During these events, the live Historians kept to themselves and only interacted to the minimum extent required by the rules of the treaty (that is, they were physically present at the event site); all of the business for the Historian delegation was conducted by the virtual constructs.

During these events and the time when Loroi forces were briefly in Historian territory and in proximity to Historian vessels and Historian-inhabited worlds, the Loroi were able to detect the signatures of living Historian minds. They found that the populations on nearby Historians worlds appeared to be very small, and that most of the Historian vessels had either small crews or no crew at all. As far as anyone is aware, no Loroi has had an opportunity to make physical contact with a live Historian or attempt to read it.

GeoModder wrote:
And of the few Union researchers that were allowed access to the Pol, was any of them a Loroi?
Given the marine environment the Pol live in, I assume it were the Pipolsid who were allowed to investigate them.

It was a Barsam/Pipolsid team that had been sent under the auspices of the Union Assembly committee on social and humanitarian issues. After the Loroi had detected the presence of Pol populations while their ships were in Historian territory, the committee insisted upon investigating this unknown sentient species, again under the terms of the treaty. The researchers were allowed to make no records during the visit, and their official report was subsequently sealed.

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
The Historians really don't trust the Loroi then, I wonder what they are hiding and I am certain that any Mizol worth her salt wants to learn as well.

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
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novius wrote:
While the Historians may have infiltrated the computer systems, it may be a human decision to send the Bellarmine exactly where she ended up.
I am not sure how. If there was a construct aboard the Orgus vessel, it would have the ability to give the humans whatever navigational data it wanted, accurate or inaccurate. How could humanity be suspicious when they have literally no idea other than what data they're given? If the Orgus knew where the Loroi were, the Bellarmine might not have ended up in the middle of a no-man's land at all.

I mean, maybe it's possible, but it seems like a stretch. I can think of all sorts of ways an undetected agent like the construct could have manipulated things better, if it had free reign on Terran computers.

dragoongfa wrote:
The Historians really don't trust the Loroi then
They don't seem to trust anyone, really. Though the Loroi with their telepathy especially. They're only reluctant allies in the war because the Umiak invaded their space. (I can only imagine that any hypothetical deal with the Umiak would need to be made just as reluctantly.)


Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:33 am
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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
icekatze wrote:
novius wrote:
While the Historians may have infiltrated the computer systems, it may be a human decision to send the Bellarmine exactly where she ended up.
I am not sure how. If there was a construct aboard the Orgus vessel, it would have the ability to give the humans whatever navigational data it wanted, accurate or inaccurate. How could humanity be suspicious when they have literally no idea other than what data they're given? If the Orgus knew where the Loroi were, the Bellarmine might not have ended up in the middle of a no-man's land at all.

I mean, maybe it's possible, but it seems like a stretch. I can think of all sorts of ways an undetected agent like the construct could have manipulated things better, if it had free reign on Terran computers.


I don’t think the Construct had free reign because it shows at least some respect about humanities’ computing prowess. The software may also have been limited in its capabilities in order to remain compact in size and help it go undetected. If already installed on the tablet computer, it could have received an update on the tactical situation in the Leido system via the Historian Flower Pot (which leaves us with at least two pieces of hardware to distrust at this stage, and in addition probably all human computing devices that were recovered from the wreck).

The AI can flip bits and claims it can penetrate switched off hardware, but it very obviously also relies on social engineering and humans pressing OK to run executables to get its way. Historians - as far as we encountered them up until now - seem heavy on social engineering anyway because what was the Barsam courier doing at Naam and why was the Historian so eager to see the Loroi leave the crime scene?


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Arioch wrote:
It's hard to know what may or may not have happened behind closed doors, but live Historians have only been seen publicly at a few events at which they were required to attend in person (as a condition of the alliance). During these events, the live Historians kept to themselves and only interacted to the minimum extent required by the rules of the treaty (that is, they were physically present at the event site); all of the business for the Historian delegation was conducted by the virtual constructs.

What are you saying? That the Historian ship landed at the treaty site, with live Historians on-board...but not one of them left said ship?
Did they even attempt verbal communication via radio? Does anyone even know what a Historian really looks like or how one sounds?


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Arioch wrote:
and that most of the Historian vessels had either small crews or no crew at all.
Full AI ships confirmed! :!:
So Loroi even doesn't know was that mind signatures actually historians or just some other client race. May be historians are actually AI.
Zarya wrote:
but it very obviously also relies on social engineering and humans pressing OK to run executables to get its way.
Or it just showed fake confirmation to earn some human trust.

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Mr.Tucker wrote:
Arioch wrote:
It's hard to know what may or may not have happened behind closed doors, but live Historians have only been seen publicly at a few events at which they were required to attend in person (as a condition of the alliance). During these events, the live Historians kept to themselves and only interacted to the minimum extent required by the rules of the treaty (that is, they were physically present at the event site); all of the business for the Historian delegation was conducted by the virtual constructs.

What are you saying? That the Historian ship landed at the treaty site, with live Historians on-board...but not one of them left said ship?
Did they even attempt verbal communication via radio? Does anyone even know what a Historian really looks like or how one sounds?

The living Historians did leave the ship, they were seen, and they did speak. Otherwise there would be no way to verify that they had attended the events.

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
hi hi

I wonder how the Historians picked their diplomats. The sacred ritual of drawing the short straw, or maybe they're the Historians' most disliked janitor? :P


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
icekatze wrote:
I wonder how the Historians picked their diplomats. The sacred ritual of drawing the short straw, or maybe they're the Historians' most disliked janitor? :P
They've sent the equivalent of Mr Bean.... :shock:
Thanks to you I can't get that image out of my mind.
I'm imagining the Historian Diplomat sitting in a festive wagon in a parade, and waving his middlefingers at the crowd while screaming "fuck you too!".

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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Arioch wrote:
Mr.Tucker wrote:
Arioch wrote:
It's hard to know what may or may not have happened behind closed doors, but live Historians have only been seen publicly at a few events at which they were required to attend in person (as a condition of the alliance). During these events, the live Historians kept to themselves and only interacted to the minimum extent required by the rules of the treaty (that is, they were physically present at the event site); all of the business for the Historian delegation was conducted by the virtual constructs.

What are you saying? That the Historian ship landed at the treaty site, with live Historians on-board...but not one of them left said ship?
Did they even attempt verbal communication via radio? Does anyone even know what a Historian really looks like or how one sounds?

The living Historians did leave the ship, they were seen, and they did speak. Otherwise there would be no way to verify that they had attended the events.


This begs the question if those people where actual historians of course. It would be very possible that they are post biological or the creation of a now extinct species. Those people that was seen stepping of their ship could have been a client species. Well, that may be a bit of a spoiler to answer but
I see a possibility here.


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Post Re: Page 156: Dun... dun... DUUUUUUN
Sweforce wrote:
This begs the question if those people where actual historians of course. It would be very possible that they are post biological or the creation of a now extinct species. Those people that was seen stepping of their ship could have been a client species. Well, that may be a bit of a spoiler to answer but
I see a possibility here.


I think it this thread Arioch stated that Loroi could sense Historian minds (few, but nevertheless present) when traversing Historian territory during the Seren campaign, so it would be a simple task to compare the signatures of those minds detected in Historian space with those present on the Alliance conference.

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