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From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Nicholas=20Gevers?= <vermoulian@yahoo.com>
Subject: (whorl) The Secret: a new theory
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 11:50:06 +0100 (BST)

Following recent discussions of the Secret of the
Inhumi, including reactions to my own theorisings, I’d
like to propose a new and more comprehensive
hypothesis as to what the Secret really is, and how,
as many people have reasonably questioned, knowledge
of it can be used as an offensive weapon against the

The resolution to the problem, I now argue, is another
much-questioned feature of TBSS’s plot: astral travel.
Why can Horn travel astrally when in the company of an
inhumu? Surely because the Neighbors bestowed a
strictly passive astral travel capability on the
inhumi (we know that when the Neighbors left Blue for
parts unknown, they took inhumi with them; so the
inhumi must be able to travel astrally WHEN WITH
Neighbors; Horn has the Neighbors’ favour, shares some
of their power, and so can travel astrally when the
inhumi component of the partnership is available.) So:
if the humans of Blue behave benevolently towards each
other, they will retain the Neighbors’ favour; when
they have inhumi captive, they will thus be able to
travel at will to Green; they now know how and where
the inhumi breed; and so they will be able to
annihilate the following generations of inhumi in the
cradle. That is how the Secret can be used immediately
and aggressively, as Horn demonstrated in attacking
the City of the Inhumi in IGJ; safeguarding the poor
and helpless from the inhumi is also important, but is
a secondary and defensive weapon.

If we accept this, the presence of astral travel in
TBSS acquires justification; and a further point comes
to mind: an explanation of why the Gaonese bury the
inhumi instead of killing them outright. Practically,
the Gaonese are worshippers of Echidna, the reptilian
Goddess who carries snakes in her hands; the inhumi
are snakelike; therefore, just as the Gaonese have a
taboo against killing cattle, they cannot kill inhumi,
only imprison them. However, Wolfe is making another
point here, one very instructive as to how the Secret
should be used: humans should keep captive inhumi
alive, for use as astral travel guides…

--Nick Gevers.

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