Thursday, October 24, 2013

Page 318

--donation bonus (day #16, post 5/5)--
Garovel nodded. ‘Sometimes, mutation users screw their bodies up so badly that there’s no hope of fixing it anymore. Which can be quite horrific. And at that point, releasing their soul is a mercy. I also know that the general stigma around the mutation type makes it so a lot of reapers won’t even bother with a servant who has it. Because like I said, they see it as weaker than all others and not worth the trouble.

“Gah... but, ah, how do they change themselves? I mean, like, what’s an example of a mutation type power?”

Oh. Um. Admittedly, I’m not too clear on that, myself. Mutation is the one I know the least about. The rarity makes it difficult to study. You’d have to talk to a specialist.

“Really?” said Hector. “But... you’ve been alive for thousands of years. Not to sound rude, but... you never found the time to learn about it?”

Well,’ said Garovel, ‘take materialization, for instance. We know that it’s centered around elements; but of course, before mankind discovered those elements, we had no idea that was the case. That knowledge revealed critical details about the way materialization works. Similar discoveries have been made in relation to all the types. So it’s not like the knowledge has just been sitting around in a book somewhere, waiting for me to read and suddenly understand it all.


Hell, a thousand years ago, we thought the mutation type was some kind of awful disease. Some reapers might even still believe that.

“I d-didn’t mean to imply you were lazy or anything...”

I know. But I’ll admit, in recent years, I haven’t been quite as studious about the abilities as I used to be.

Hmm,’ said Bohwanox. ‘I remember hearing somewhere that alteration types are typically the strongest. Is that true?

I’ve heard that, too,’ said Garovel. ‘I’m not sure how much truth is in it, though. They’re certainly versatile, but strongest? That seems like a useless generalization. Dangerous, too.


  1. "So it’s not like the knowledge [has] just been sitting around in a book somewhere, waiting for me [to] read and suddenly understand it all."

    Not sure about that, maybe I'm wrong.

    Also, this is absolutely awesome. Ever since Roman was introduced, I wondered why the regeneration could not simply remove certain disadvantages like shortsightedness. If regeneration can heal anything, why not stuff like that? Now, it sounds to me like regeneration works on DNA level... if it's encoded in the genes, regeneration can't do anything about it. Mutation, however, would be able to change the genes and remove (or add) some traits permanently.

    Which makes me wonder... if this is true, would servants still be at risk of developing hereditary diseases? Some take a long time to develop, so a young person wouldn't even know of the time bomb in their genes.

    Or maybe regeneration works more like "backup and restore". A kind of snapshot of the physical state is made when the servant enters servitude, and this is restored every time regeneration takes place. But this has some other implications -- a servant's biological age would be reset every time they regenerate anything. Might be a desired effect, though. However, at their time of death, their physical state is by definition not perfect (since they're dead and everything), so when would the snapshot be made?

    I'm overthinking things again, right?

  2. So this is waht all the smart people are doing, reading web novels and web comics... go invent, cure a disease, help the stupid... but really... the world needs help and you are just sitting at your computer reading this stuff...

  3. You're kidding, right? I'm pretty sure you're not a troll.

    Don't know if you're talking to me, but I can't help but feel addressed since this was in answer to my comment...

    I don't feel particularly motivated to justify reading the story. Your comments have been around for quite some time, so don't throw stones. Where I am, it's late friday evening. I've been to all my lectures today. Can't I spend an hour or two doing stuff I like?

    I'm all in favour of improving the world and stuff. Gotta have some kind of
    education first, though. No one's letting you engineer, do medicine or teach without getting a degree first.

    I'm sorry if you had a rough day. I hope you'll feel better soon.

  4. Thanks for the catches.

    And overthinking? Mm, perhaps not.

  5. Sorry if this was a joke or something, but it just ended up sounding rude on multiple levels. :(

  6. No. you're not overthinking this.

    At this moment, we can follow 2 theories.

    1: Regeneration is physical

    2: Regeneration is mysthical.

    If it's physical, it must be linked to DNA. It would happen by generating mother cells, that would rapidly grow and multiply before specializing. As such, regenerating would use the DNA as it was the moment the body died. Question is, which death? First, or last? If it's to the moment of first death, servants are virtually inmortal, and any hereditary disease that hasn't expressed itself would revert once the body regenerates. Death of old age wouldn't happen... nor would happen aging. Problem here is that mutation powers make this case impossible.

    Regenerating by copying the last death DNA means that any hereditary disease would be there for good, once it express itself. So would mutations. However, given the current understanding of the aging process, servants would age.

    Now, if regeneration is linked to a mystical template, you could very well have mutation powers affecting that template. That template would be an idealization of DNA the moment of first/ last death.Now, we're talking idealization, so, centromere degradation wouldn't exist... which means in both cases aging wouldn't happen. And again, first death would mean diseases unexpressed, and last death would mean expressed.

    Note that in any case, a servant's life expectancy can be GREATLY improved by periodical regenerations in between deaths, if said deaths happen.

    Also, please note that, even in death, DNA is intact, so at the moment of death said DNA copy would be the same as at the moment of living. The one difference would be the soul being present or not... but reinserting the soul is kinda like the reapers do.

  7. People take me serious?
    besides the times i helped with spelling and grammar how often and i being serious, but i was making a nice comment on how people on here really are smart

  8. I figured that's what you meant.

    But. It really did come off like you were telling Ankou that they were wasting their time. Which would in turn mean that I'm wasting my time writing TZK. So. You can understand if a bit of offense was taken. :P

  9. Wow, I like your analysis way better than mine, not much to add, honestly.

    One thing I've been thinking about, though. Without the regeneration, servants probably do age. Some reapers mentioned that they let their servants live out a normal life after fulfilling their duty.

    And yes, the DNA thing occured to me after I posted. A normal death leaves the DNA intact, of course.

    There are some other things about regeneration I don't understand, though. Is regeneration an ability of the servants or the reapers? I think it was always the reapers healing their servants. In the fight against Geoffrey, Hector didn't have regeneration because Garovel wasn't there. In one of the recent pages (324, I think), Hector can heal while Garovel isn't nearby. In other instances, regeneration seems to happen without any conscious thought at all.

  10. Was a while ago, but way back on Page 158, it was established that once that the "boost" lasts about half an hour.

    To further elaborate, the reaper merely initiates the process (enhancing both strength and regeneration). During the fight with Geoffrey, Garovel was not around to do so, and Hector had to fight without those advantages.

  11. And the fact that George Frost is not commenting in our theories means he's going to explain how regeneration works later, or he plans to.

    Anyways, that was for the extreme case of regenerating a full body, which technically IS possible... but slow.

    In any case, regeneration has proven to repair nerves. And there's only 1 way a body can do that: mother cells. Neurons are overspecialized cells that cannot self duplicate, so normal healing wouldn't apply there. So I say the mechanics of regeneration is setting off a signal for cells to rapidly enter mitosis, and act like cancerous cells until something in the body needs repairs. Then, they, by mystical (reapers) means, specialize. So a tissue analysis of a servant during regeneration would give off a false positive for a massive cancer.

    That brings up another topic. Memories. We don't know too much about how memories are stored... but we do know they're stored in the brain. Examining what exactly happens when a servant suffers massive brain damage, and what s/he remembers after regenerating would shed some light in when is that snapshot of the celular make-up taken. Not only that, but it would also answer to what degree of mystical forces are in play here.

    I'll explain myself: If the snapshot is just AFTER the servant dies... he would suffer severe memory loss. If the snapshot is taken, let's say, periodically, conciously by the reaper, it would be just minor memory loss, like a couple weeks, tops. If the snapshot is taken at first death, the servant would even forget s/he is a servant!

    And, of course, if no memory loss happen, then memories are mystically linked to the servant-reaper soul construct... which is entirely possible, since, after all, reapers DO have memories without a brain.... Which would have interesting implications... such as: with a synchronization index high enough, both "minds" would share BOTH of their memory sets. They'd be virtually like 1 being with 2 different "bodies". Wonder if THIS is the actual reason reapers release their servants. Hmmm.

    Oh, and sorry for the long post... And George, please, clarify some of these points, unless you're going to introduce them in canon.

  12. Thanks for clarifying. :)
    I thought the time limit only applied to the strength.

  13. I really, really like your theories.

    I think it's most likely that the servant's memory is stored in the reaper's mind. Makes me wonder about the privacy of that arrangement. Garovel told Hector at the beginning that he can keep his thoughts private by not thinking them "aloud" at Garovel. So the reaper shouldn't really be able to keep all the memories of the servant.

    Then again, memory is not really a tangible thing. I mean, in reality it probably is. You said it's in the brain, so it has to be physical in some way. But in a universe where souls are real and separate from the body, it makes more sense to attribute the memories to the soul part of a being, and therefore "belonging" to the reaper just as the soul.

    I think that's most likely -- the reaper keeps a copy of their servant's soul, mind, memories. It's established that when a reaper gets seriously injured, the servant might go crazy. The reaper gets hurt, and the mind and memory copy of their servant is damaged, driving the servant insane.

    Another question to continue the insanity -- how the hell does conservation of mass work in this universe?

  14. Well, glad you like them. But, you see, we know that Garovel explained that a servant's soul melds with a reaper's soul... that's the reason a servant dies if does his reaper. And it was also stated that the more synchronized the different parts of that souls are, the more "soul power" you can apply. So, yeah, if the reaper "stores" the memories... it does so in the amalgaman... and thus is, under the right synchronization, accesible for both. No other way around it.

    And this definetly means that the more powerful a servant is... the more similar to an abomination he or she is. After all, abominations are reapers with bodies and souls, who are also alive, but the reaper's mind is made subservant to the "servant". So we know for sure that this vinculum exists. Abominations have that level of synchronization because a reaper's inserted in the mix when the soul is just forging, so a natural high degree of synchronization is the logical outcome.

    So, it's my theory that a supreme servant-reaper binome would be an anti-abomination. 2 minds, thinking at unison. Just think of the posibilities. 2 different angles to think about stuff, soul power enough to make your body infused with it, and let your reaper hide inside it, and basically 2 set of eyes looking all the times.

    Now, mass conservation. That equates as energy conservation. We've seen PLENTY of powers that apparently defy mass conservation. For instance, Hector pilars. But... does it, really? We know that souls exist, no doubt about it, in universe. We know these souls make a body alive... So it stands to reason that they do have inmense ammounts of energy. Soul energy could be condensing to form that matter. That would explain why powers are weak at first. They do need to get more attuned to their soul merge (reaper-servant entity) to improve. It's also consistant with them explosive upgrades obtained in times of crisis, since those times death is evidently closer, and human minds, no matter how technically undead, turn into the spiritual, even at a subconscious level.

    Which brings, on itself, another interesting question.

    Mystical powers evidently exist in this universe. Reapers possess them inherently. But... could mortals harness said powers, even at a lesser scale? I'm asking, basically: is there any wizard?

  15. About your ending thought -- I think it's possible that reapers ARE this world's wizards. Or maybe not reapers, but the humans they were before dying. Being a reaper is inherited, and it's been mentioned that the line of reapers has dwindled for quite some time. So there where many more reapers-to-be around in earlier days. They have to be somewhat distinct from normal humans so that they become reapers upon their death. Hard to say. We do know that Geoffrey's grandfather has the reaper gene. Even the people from Abolish seemed to be afraid of him for some reason, so the gene seems to make a person more powerful. Thinking about that, Hector's abilities improve really fast and Garovel has urged him before to lie about it so people won't get suspicious. Maybe Hector has the gene too?

    I think you're getting something wrong about aberrations, though. I don't remember where the process was explained, but I think I remember something about the child's soul being carved out. The developing child is nothing more than an empty shell at that point and the reaper's soul gets inserted. Maybe the child's soul is the first thing the new aberration eats. Also, we know that the reaper's soul has already existed before -- that is, the reaper has been around for however long he or she has been alive and dead. But the aberration doesn't remember any of it -- Geoffrey had no memories of the reaper's soul he has. So maybe the memories aren't stored in the reaper's soul either.

    Maybe the complete merging of two souls is the Vanguard's answer to aberrations. It always seemed unfair to me that they don't have such powerful beings. I'm also confused about the balance of power in general -- it's been mentioned that Aberrations are created with the power of the Void or some such, and that Abolish is basically the Void's army. If the Void is just the nothingsness between this world and the next, why would it favour Abolish? Or, probably the other way around -- why would it encourage a word view that leads to Abolish?

    I like your take on conservation of mess. It makes a great deal of sense, at least for Hector's power. He uses the energy of his soul to create his metal, absorbing it back in when he destroys it. As time goes on, his soul becomes stronger, that is, it is more full of energy, therefore he can use more metal. I'm not really concerned about these kinds of abilities -- Hector creates and destroys his metal, there is no surplus mass. The question is, what happens if he left all his metal lying around? His soul wouldn't regain the energy. After sparring, Hector and Colt where very hungry, so apparently they need more food than normal to regain energy.
    But what I was actually thinking of when I asked the question was more like Desmond's kind of ability -- he cuts off his limbs, which then explode very spectaculary, and his limbs regrow as fast as any servant's. Since his limb exploded, his soul can't absorb the energy again.
    Though honestly, I wasn't all that serious with that question. Physics is difficult enough in our world, with supernatural things running around, it just gets ridiculous.

  16. Not sure where this post will end up in the big chain, but some of us have personalities and can recognize one another. The general rule of thumb when we're not correcting or pointing something out should be that we are being sarcastic, I believe.
    And now for the sarcastic reply to the original comment:
    The last time we nerds invented something, it was Facebook. Workplace efficiency has yet to recover. Looking back at this, it should be understandable why we tremble at our own might.
    The reason why we're not curing diseases is because it is far more profitable just to treat the symptoms than to actually produce a cure (plot to Dead Rising in a nutshell).
    And the last time we helped the stupid, they got elected. If you live in the US you may realize what we just did on the federal level. Once again, we are left to tremble at our might.

    So maybe the world needs help, but after our last couple tries, I think you might understand why we're hesitant to step up to the plate.

  17. I could very well be... but I do remember it was something along those lines. The end result was something pretty much akin of a forced servitude by a reaper.

  18. VERY interesting speculation on this page. Always love reading the theories, but all the same, I think I'll refrain from weighing in on this one. Sorry. :P

  19. Gah, not even a hint.... Oh well xD At least you find it interesting

  20. Damn, some pretty epic wild guessing. Wish i was able to take part... :(