Chapter 8

Why do Josh and Debora obtain doctorates in certain fields?

Neither Josh nor Debora need degrees for the knowledge involved in obtaining one. But they do obtain certain degrees in order to be properly licensed in the practice of those fields in outlander societies. The fact that Debora has a PhD in psychology doesn’t imply that Josh isn’t just as capable in the field; it’s just that Debora’s the one licensed in it. Likewise, Debora is a fine physician; it’s just that she has no need for a medical license, so has not obtained an MD. (In Chapter 27, where it appears to Chris that Debora is asking Josh to return to take care of Susana’s pain, that’s not what’s really happening. Debora’s just as capable of slapping on an icepack as Josh is. But Debora’s real concern there is what’s happening with Chris, not Susana, and she knows that Chris is more likely to open up to Josh than to her.)

 

So what are the Paradisian Guards doing when they’re hanging around Chris?

The Guards’ primary orders are to ensure that Moden’s people don’t overstep their boundaries. Moden’s crew is allowed free access to all humans as long as the human consents, even if the consent is given ignorantly or through trickery or deceit. When the Guards recognize that Chris is putting himself in danger, as when he storms away from Josh, they draw closer to him in order to provide the maximum allowable protection. This is when he/they become visible. (Although a Guard does wave at Chris on one occasion, in general they remain as invisible as possible, both to ensure and to respect the human’s independence.) However, once Chris decides, of his own accord, to socialize with Tony and Savana, the Guards are not allowed to intervene unless asked to by the human (or by someone on his behalf) and allowed to by Doug.

Doug does sometimes increase the protection around his runners, setting up various levels of barricades which deny the Moden crew any access to that person for a limited time (although any previous interactions and ideas will, of course, still be in the person’s memory). According to the agreement between Doug and Stan, Doug can only provide such protection under certain circumstances, such as when someone concerned about the person requests special protection for him. An example of this occurs after Susana and Chris’s break-up. Here Tony testifies that even Stan couldn’t break the barricade the Guard had erected around Chris—and Stan’s pretty buff. This heavy guard and Moden’s reduced accessibility to Chris at this most vulnerable of times is carried out in answer to Susana’s pleas to Doug on his behalf, which she urges despite her own pain during this time. Chris never does know about it.

 

Why don’t Moden’s people just kill the runners they’re concerned about?

In general, the runners Stan and Camille worry about the most are those talented humans they would love to have on their side. So their primary reason for not killing runners is because they would prefer to recruit them. This is why only Stan or Camille can authorize a runner’s death, and they will usually do this only after becoming convinced that there is no hope of gaining his support.

A second reason is that, although they’re not clear on the exact details, they believe that they will one day have the opportunity to fight Damour with everyone they have gained through the ages, and they believe the presence or absence of a transmitter determines which side that person will be on. Therefore, if they kill a runner who still has his transmitter, that runner will be one more soldier in Doug’s favor. As long as the runner lives, however, there is the possibility that they can convince him to remove his transmitter, which means he would be a soldier on their side in the end.

 

Why can’t Tony, Stan, and the other exiles say Doug’s first name?

©iStock.com/janulla

©iStock.com/janulla

Chronic exposure to kanuf creates an inflammatory response (irritation) in many of the body’s tissues. Although this reaction is microscopically apparent elsewhere, it’s only clinically relevant in the most sensitive tissues, like the vocal cords. In Paradisian, Doug’s name is pronounced “doe-OOG,” which is how the exiles continue to pronounce it, just as they call Josh “zhoe-SHOO-ah” and pronounce Debora as “day-BO-rah.” However, the particular “oh-oog” sound required in Doug’s Paradisian name tickles vocal cords that have been too severely affected by kanuf, triggering a cough.

As far as I can tell, the exiles would actually have no trouble with the English pronunciation of Doug’s name. However, this is a touchy point for them since they would be using the English pronunciation only because they have to. What’s more, any Paradisian would know why they’re using that pronunciation, thereby spotlighting their failure/inadequacy. So it seems to be a simple matter of pride that keeps them from making this switch, even when talking to humans.

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