Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book of the War: The Face of the Enemy

(Originally posted on Christmas Day, 2002, to the Jade Pagoda mailing list. Yes, I posted elaborate and unprovable fan theories on Christmas Day. Your point?)

OK, so I've now finished the book, and I think that my theory on who the Enemy is has been somewhat cemented. However, questions remain...


OK, my full theory is this. Posthumanity experiments with praxis, a time-active drug of some sorts that can actually cause changes to reality. Under the influence of praxis, they hallucinate an Enemy, a potential force that can actually defeat the Great Houses/Time Lords. (Note that it might also have been a Time Lord who first hallucinated the Enemy--the Rivera Manuscript points to the idea that praxis-induced hallucinations were among the first War Predictions.) Either way, this explains why the Time Lords in Interference believed that Earth was responsible for the Enemy--without the praxis, this couldn't have happened.

The praxis actually causes changes to time and space, bringing a putative Enemy into being--not a specific race or entity, but the very concept of "enemy-ness", of opposition. The Great Houses begin to suspect that something is wrong with the Spiral Politic, and by so doing, give greater shape and form to the Enemy. As their paranoia grows, the Enemy gains greater shape, form, and power, until it finally is able to affect the Spiral Politic directly. Hence, the War becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The big hole in this theory comes from three entries. (Well, it's not a "hole", per se. It's something that the theory can't and doesn't explain.) One, the entry for Umbaste. He apparently visited the Caldera/Eye of Harmony, and opened himself up to it, hoping for insights. Afterward, all he could say was the word, "One," over and over and over until he committed suicide. Two, the entry for Zo La Domini. Before being killed by a Violent Unknown Event (which, it's suggested, was initiated by the Enemy), Chatelaine Thessalia ordered the Ruling Houses to conduct a thorough spectroscopic analysis of the Homeworld's sun. Three, the Rivera Manuscript (Appendix IV). It has several references to a person apparently called "One", and to something "Inside the skin of the sun", and to "keeping the sun in a bottle". All three of these entries seem connected, both to each other and to the Enemy, but I'll be damned if I know how. (Except to think of Omega, who also had connections to Gallifrey's sun and to the Eye of Harmony, and who could be considered to be the first Time Lord, but I don't think that's where Miles would be taking this.)

So, any thoughts?

Oh--for those of you who've read the book and noticed that the entry on "The Enemy" references several entries in the book that don't exist, here's where they are.

Churchill Index--referenced on p. 51, under Earth Chronology. Seems to suggest that the Enemy had a hand in the destruction of the Star Chamber.

Immaculata Formosii--Grandfather's Arm, pp. 76-77; Kaiwar, pp. 106-107; Lesser Species, pp. 111-112 (includes a picture); posthumanity, pp. 154-155. She appears to be a double or even triple agent, currently allied with the Enemy.

Gods of the Ainu--Gauntlet, pp. 70-71; Mt. Usu Duel, pp. 128-130. Suggests that the Ainu (a tribe of Japanese aboriginals) worship the Enemy in some form; also suggests that the Enemy were responsible for the death of Michael Brookhaven. Includes a lot of interesting, if cryptic, information.

"Miss Hiroshima"--Production Hell, p. 158; "Through the Eye of Eternity", pp. 190-191; Vandemeer, Chad, pp. 207-208. A lost episode of a science-fiction TV series that inspired the Remote (the TV series, not the episode), and which was produced using technology that Michael Brookhaven later used to stage the Mount Usu Duel. Suggests that the Mt. Usu Duel was a trap.

Mohandassa--Thousand-Year Battles, pp. 189-190. One of the great battles of the war, yet one about which no information exists at all. Connection to Enemy unknown.

Sixth Wave Defections--Sixth Wave, p. 220, under Waves of the House Military, pp. 219-221. There was no Sixth Wave according to recorded history--ergo, the implication is that they defected to the Enemy and were unhappened. This, in turn, implies that the Enemy got to the House Breeding engines and corrupted an entire generation of troops.

S'tanim--Poenari Relic, pp. 153-154. S'tanim is an ancient word meaning "adversary", and the entry appears to refer to the Head of the Presidency being stored on Earth for part of its existence (the head was kept in a semi-living state for the entire duration of the universe, then returned to the Great Houses as a message from the Enemy.)

Violent Unknown Events--Thessalia, Chatelaine, pp. 187-188; War Predictions: Chatelaine Thessalia, pp. 217-218; Zo La Domini, p. 230. Violent Unknown Events are unpredictable disasters that defy analysis even after they occur; the Enemy can apparently induce them, and used one to kill Chatelaine Thessalia after she apparently discovered something important about them.

Again, any thoughts would be welcome...

1 comment:

  1. I heard that the Enemy was going to be revealed to be the Great One from "Planet of the Spiders" as she hadn't died due to the events of on Dust in "Interference."