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Category Archive for 'Lilith’s Brood'

June 24, 4087

Last night I observed Damek and Kaliq argue and wrestle in the mud.  They were arguing once again over Tilden’s death and what we should do with the construct baby.  I’m glad Kaliq  was finally doing the right thing by fighting for this boy’s life.  Although he’s not comfortable with the child, he at least has enough sense not to poison.  Resisters who are more like Damek and Tilden get caught up too easily in their barbaric ways.  They are too willing to waste everything by living in a moment of passion or fear.

I think my next group of men will be more methodical in their work such as Kaliq and Galt are.  These two at least treat the construct child with some dignity.  Kaliq still carries the poor thing like a rag doll but wants it very much alive- for our purpose.  Galt was looking after it for a short time, but something’s changed and now he neglects it completely.  I didn’t want to have to get involved, when he resembles Castillo so much, but now he’s growing on me.  The more alone he becomes is the more drawn I feel to this little thing.  Sometimes it even feels as if I were  watching my own son be treated as a lifeless thing.

We are currently headed northwest towards Hillman.  We should reach it by tomorrow and there we can finally sell off the poor little guy.  He can have a family to take care of him, we can get a woman, and be done with this very bizarre job.

I just wish he didn’t resemble my Castillo…

“Your ship is alive?”

In Dawn by Octavia Butler, I find the living ship to be the most alien aspect.  In the new world in which Lilith is Awakened to we are slowly given pieces of information about the qualities of the ship from the Oankali, the first being that it’s alive.  Strangely, we are introduced to the ship’s “skin” before we realize it.   Once Lilith Awakes, she has a routine of trying to escape from her cubicle in which she recalls,

She had beaten it, kicked it, clawed it, tried to bite it.  It had been smooth, tough, impenetrable, but slightly giving like the bed and table.  It had felt like plastic, cool beneath her hands. (30)

Only then it is discovered that the plastic in which she was battling, the walls and furniture, are all created from the ship’s flesh.  As soon as Lilith leaves this room, she discovers that the “tree” which housed her cubicle was also bearing fruit in which they eat.  So not only is this vehicle alive, but we discover its abilities to be grown, grow, feed, respond to touch, process / decompose waste, and it is compared to the size of a small planet.  Lilith inquires about the living ship’s intelligence in which Jdahya explains,

It can be.  That part of it is dormant now.  But even so, the ship can be chemically induced to perform more functions than you would have the patience to listen to.  It does a great deal on it’s own without monitoring…The human doctor used to say it loved us.  There is an affinity, but it’s biological- a strong, symbiotic relationship.  We serve the ship’s needs and it serves ours.  It would die without us and we would be planetbound without it.  For us, that would eventually mean death.” (35)

With this description of the Oankali’s living ship, I first assumed that it is artificially intelligent.  But then I realized it was a responsive thing by being able to react positively with chemicals, proper treatment, and homeostasis.  Instantly, it did not feel as foreign to me because I  felt as if this could be humans talking about their relationship to Earth.  Our soil decomposes and eats waste, our trees feed us, and we can create things from it’s “flesh”.  Also, if we aren’t good to the Earth, then it will fail us in return.  Without a planet, the human race would most likely would end, much like the Oankali’s without their ship.  Therefore, I decided that although we cannot grow a planet, we can re-grow ours, which appears to be a major plot theme within the novel.