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Re: The Nakh
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 11/24/04 11:27 p.m.

In Response To: The Nakh (Andrew Nagy)

: Did anyone ever figure out if there's a known nova or supernova that occurred
: c. 3189 BC? Since we don't know how far away it was, the light might not
: have reached Earth yet.

The Milky Way is some 30k ly across. Since the Pfhor homeworld is near Sol and Lh'owon is near the core, it could be assumed that the Pfhor likely could travel anywhere in the galaxy and the Nakh homeworld(s) could, likewise, be anywhere. Even the use of a trih xeem at Lh'owon some 5k years ago would have generated a supernova whose light would not have reached Earth by y2k, so it's quite possible that we would not have observed the supernovas of the Nakh star destructions yet.

: Would the event leave a gas cloud that could be observed today? That sounds
: likely. So every use of the trih xeem in a story has to correspond to a
: known supernova, provided it's close enough to Earth or far enough back in
: time.

The distance-time equation is the key. Depending on where the Nakh worlds were, we may or may not be able to see their gas clouds. Now I'm no astrophysisist, but whether or not there would be an observable gas could would also depend on the sizes of the Nakh stars. A star the size of Sol would not leave much of a gas cloud and it would collapse to nothing more than a white dwarf. From everything I've read, small stars favor the development of life - Sol is actually on the large end for favorable conditions for carbon/water-based lifeforms. Obviously, the Nakh could be radically different from humans, particularly if they breathe CO2. However, the bottom line essentially is that, even if their stars were close enough for us to have observed novae by now, there may not be gas clouds left as evidence.

: On a related note, is Tau Ceti (the real one that's less than 20 ly away)
: actually a G4 star? I don't think this is documented on the Original Level
: Names page.

Don't know that one, but you could easily look it up. Google away!

: Hey, Durandal said "if you look for their stars", not
: "star". Crap, have I triggered another Eternal plot revision?

Poor Forest! Seriously, Durandal definitely referred to stars (plural), so there were multiple Nakh stars, but there was likely only one Nakh homeworld, so Forest is probably still safe.

: If those were systems retaken by the Nakh during the rebellion, wouldn't they
: still be considered Pfhor stars, not Nakh ones?

That depends on how long the Nakh had been enslaved by the Pfhor, and from whose point of view. The Irish still hold a grudge against the Brittish some 2k (?) years after their invasion. I think that the Nakh would always consider their star systems to be Nakh, no matter how long they had been a part of the Pfhor Empire.

: One possibility: Maybe the Nakh had an interstellar civilization, and the
: Pfhor came in and took over using surprise and superior numbers, then
: found out they'd bit off more than they could chew.

Actually, I think this is the most likely scenario. It's possible that the Nakh in their rebellion managed to take over a number of star systems and made them their own before the Pfhor eventually resorted to use of the trih xeem, but then doubtful that Durandal would have referred to them as Nakh stars.

One thing that's not really well covered in Marathon backstory is what happens to the original star systems of an enslaved race. We do know that Lh'owon was an abberation - the the Pfhor generally don't resort to destroying the viability of a planet to win a war. It's also hard to believe that the Pfhor could make use of an entire civilization as slaves in the conventional sense. Indeed, it would be extremely difficult to control such a large slave population. The Romans, for example, did not enslave all they conquered - they enslaved some, but brought those occupied into the empire as citizens. The Pfhor don't sound so magnanimous, but I don't think they could even physically cart away an entire civilization to serve the empire, so this leaves basically a couple of possibilities - they would either kill those they didn't need or assimilate them, much as the Borg in Star Trek. Those assimilated would probably not be full Pfhor, however, but rather cybernetically controlled servants of the Empire, forced to provide for the needs of the Empire. This scenario makes the most sense to me for the case of the Nakh - the entire civilization would be controlled and forced to produce weapons and materials for the Pfhor, but the vast majority would remain physically in their original star systems. It this case, it is easy to see why the Pfhor might resort to using trih xeems to prevent a perceived threat to the stability of the empire.

: Then again, maybe the Nakh were enslaved for centuries, but the Pfhor never
: bothered to ship them offworld en masse, so the Pfhor worlds on which Nakh
: revolted = the original Nakh worlds.

Exactly.

: But how exactly would you coordinate a revolt across two star systems at
: once? I guess it started on one planet, but after they started capturing
: ships and sending them to liberate other planets, it became an all-out
: naval war.

Consider the S'pht rebellion on Boomer. As per my fan fiction piece, I see the S'pht as having a means of communication that they were able to exploit during their rebellion. The Nakh may not have had the brains of the S'pht, but they were likely cybernetically controlled, as were the humans enslaved by the Pfhor from the Marathon. Implanting a Jjaro implant into a Nakh could have theoretically activated something in that one Nakh that spread like wildfire throughout the Nakh civilization by means of the cybernetic components implanted by the Pfhor. Perhaps the Jjaro implant made the Nakh realize that the Pfhor were vulnerable. Perhaps it provided the means to circumvent Pfhor control and allowed the Nakh to use their implants to coordinate a rebellion greater than anything the Pfhor could have conceived.

: Just how old *are* the Pfhor, so that even back then they already had a huge
: planet-conquering empire, which survived the loss of those stars? Of
: course, they could have been beaten back to a single world in the Nakh
: wars. That would certainly be reason to use the trih xeem.

Imagine what might have happened if the ancient Romans, or perhaps the Phoenecians or the Israelites had discovered a Jjaro outpost on Earth. Of course they would have at first worshiped it as a god-like entity and seen its powers as magic, but eventually they might have learned something about technology from it and, in time, learned how to build space ships and travel to the stars. The down side is that they would have likely become entirely dependent on the knowledge acquired, not knowing how to develop their own science and invent on their own. To them, advancement could come only through finding other forms of existing advanced technology. I see the Pfhor in this light - a somewhat primative society that happened upon a Jjaro outpost on their homeworld before they had advanced sufficiently to develop their own scientific method. The advancement of their civilizations came about through conquest, rather than from within, and although they acquired a highly advanced level of technology, they never learned to invent technology on their own. Thus they became advanced quickly, but never developed further and saw conquest as their only means to advancement. Thus they could be very, very old.

: What does it mean to be a client race of the Jjaro? They didn't give the Nakh
: enough technology to fight off the Pfhor, or intervene to free them from
: slavery, or even avenge their deaths, at least until 6000 years later.
: Only Durandal knows, based on whatever data he could collect in 17 years.

And what about the S'pht? It has been suggested that the Jjaro would a bit like the Pfhor, enslaving client races as they went, but I think that's a rather niaive viewpoint. I consider the Jjaro more to be like the aliens in Arthur C. Clark's 2001 - in that scenario, humans might be considered a client race. I think the Jjaro likely looked for promising lifeforms and lent a hand toward evolution, helping to mold civilizations over the long term that could carry on their legacy long after they had left the galaxy.

: Even in Marathon 3, he probably won't tell humanity what he knows about the
: Nakh, but we might learn a lot from working with the S'pht'Kr, before they
: disappear.

Yes, but Durandal is much more single-minded than that. He is interested in the secrets of the Jjaro for one thing only - his own escape from the closure of the universe. If something he learned didn't seem relavent, he likely didn't explore it any further.

: This has been a long, not-so-coherent sleep-deprived ramble.

But this is just the sort of thing that makes for fascinating discussion. This is what the Story Forum is all about!

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

The NakhAndrew Nagy 11/24/04 10:11 p.m.
     Re: The NakhSteve Levinson 11/24/04 11:27 p.m.
     Re: Tau Ceti G8M 11/24/04 11:53 p.m.
     Re: The NakhForrest of B.org 11/25/04 12:51 a.m.
           Re: The NakhBlayne 11/25/04 3:19 p.m.
           Re: The NakhSteve Levinson 11/25/04 10:36 p.m.
                 Re: The NakhForrest of B.org 11/26/04 9:17 a.m.
     Re: The Nakhthermoplyae 11/27/04 2:23 p.m.
           Re: The NakhForrest of B.org 11/27/04 6:06 p.m.
                 Re: The NakhAndrew Nagy 11/27/04 7:15 p.m.
                       Re: The NakhForrest of B.org 11/28/04 12:13 a.m.
                 Re: The Nakhthermoplyae 11/27/04 7:41 p.m.
                       Re: The NakhForrest of B.org 11/28/04 12:03 a.m.

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