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[OOC] Notes on TST vs. canon

Repository for ongoing tl;dr, just to help keep the differences straight in my head. And for anyone who's actually read Cyteen and is curious.

1. Reseune:

It's a much smaller-scale place than in canon, and more centered on military applications and other specialized things. Obviously they're not producing azi on a large scale for a multi-planetary civilization - instead they're doing specialized military/covert types, experimentals, and only whatever workers they need for internal use. There's also a lot more non-azi work going on: skill customization, memory blocking and unblocking, surface personality changes, subconscious instructions, etc. Generally on consenting subjects. Restoring important people to usefulness after they break - trauma issues, etc. And deep-interrogation, on not-so-willing subjects. They do a lot of this kind of work for some branches of the Ivonan military, since that's how they started and they don't want to stop being useful. They probably, even more secretly, do it for other people as well, although probably not for Vohemar. I'm pretty sure Ari would be in the Damocles Club, and know a lot of the important neutral-ish organizations out there.

It's a lot more like war-time Reseune in Olga Emory's time, I suppose. And similarly less concerned with ethics. Not much choice there, in their situation.

Likewise, Reseune labs are not doing skill tapes for half of humanity as they are in canon - so the Education wing is much smaller, much more integrated into Design and Military Design, and the tape is for Reseune use only. Only they have the equipment to run any kind of tape, anyway. It's magitech stuff, some special kind that just happens to be found on that small island, which is why the research institute was founded there in the first place.

Thus, Justin would have done a lot more Military Design, and a fair amount of real-time troubleshooting work on military/covert types, which is another thing Reseune does for Ivona. Given his natural inclinations, he would've been more on the fixing-people side of things. So, for instance, Nena's "Oh God I'm a mass murderer what have I done??" post would have been similar to cases he's dealt with in the past.

2. Justin's life:

My version diverges from Cyteen in that Ari lives at least a year longer. The deal Justin originally negotiated with her went through: Jordan and Grant were allowed to leave (i.e. probably passed off to the Ivonan government), he stayed with Ari as a student/hostage/subject. It's been almost a year since that happened. Ari went on with her Interventions, with her long-term purpose being essentially the same as in canon.

One of the later stages of her plan for making him into whatever it is she wants was to force him to leave and learn to deal with the outside world. She just upped the pressure until Justin couldn't deal with it and run away, so he's convinced it was his own idea, poor boy. And thus is very afraid of getting caught.

(Note: why did I do it like this? Because it was the only realistic way I could think of of getting him to leave home and sign on with an airship, without Grant. Poor lonely thing. /cuddles him)

As a result of all this, he's mostly less broken than in Cyteen, because he hasn't been through the whole horror of solitary confinement, interrogation and psych-probe that happened after Ari's death. Ari's Intervention isn't finished, by a long shot, but it's working, as opposed to being cut off in the middle. He's learning to deal with things. He's less resentful and hopeless, and less resigned to just being in everyone's way, than he is about halfway in Cyteen - because in canon he's been just plain mishandled. In TST, he's only dealt with Ari - who used him, but she did it for a reason, and she wants him sane and useful.

Of course, he's a lot more fixated on Ari than in canon, since he's been alone with her for a year. And correspondingly less fixated on Jordan, since that was part of the point.

He's also younger than in most of canon, with all the psychological consequences of that, as far as I can get them.

On sexual issues: Again, Ari wasn't planning on breaking him, so she didn't. Sure, it was awful at first, but he got used to it, and dealt with by learning to enjoy things, or at least not mind them. He'll still sometimes panic at unexpected physical contact, but as long as he has some semblance of control, he's all right, and mostly enjoys himself. (See sex dice! XD). And Ari's lesson stuck: he doesn't see sex as particularly emotionally important. Not that he's ever had anything remotely approaching sex with anyone other than Ari and her azi, so it's not clear how it would come out in practice.

On his current situation/behavior:
- the fact that Grant isn't there makes him very prone to getting close to people, whether or not it's a good idea. He is not used to being alone, and it's not something he'd ever do well with.
- he's being extra-nice to everyone because he's scared and uncertain. He might get... a tiny bit more Ari-like, to the people he doesn't care about, when he's more confident about his position. Or not. I'm not sure. Still need to work out in my head just how much of a ridiculously nice person he really is.

Comments and questions welcome! Please. This is complicated, and it would be good to have people to help me think.

P.S. Cyteen's Wikipedia page



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC)
/quietly memorizes

It is... good to know he's not as broken as he is in canon? ;_;
Mar. 16th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)

He got sort-of fixed, eventually! But canon takes place on a crazy-long timescale.
Mar. 18th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC)
Sort-of fixed is better than nothing, I guess... But it's really sad that he was un-fixed for so long though...
Mar. 23rd, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is. ;_;;;

He was such a poor, broken, scared thing for such a long time... /cuddles him

In somewhat-related news: we might be getting Justin's teacher/nemesis Ari in TST! *___* God, I can already see him trying to hide all his panic from Nena to prevent her from doing anything impulsive...
Mar. 24th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
...And now I have gone and bought a copy. /////

B-but yes. I'm going to start reading it once my exams/assignments are finished.

Oh God what I don't even-

That is horrible. Horrible D8

That will. Become increasingly harder to do the better she knows him. A-and then shit would hit the fan and probably make everything a lot worse, sob.
Mar. 24th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
YAY, another victim reader! \o/ I love it that I apped a character from such an obscure canon and now it's getting people to read the book. :D (By the way, if you like it, there's a sequel, Regenesis. Also, everything by Cherryh is awesome, pretty much.)

Yes, trying to hide things is so not going to work out in the long term. Luckily Ari would be on a different ship, so he's not going to be dealing with her that often.
But she's going to be very curious about this girl who's apparently important to Justin, too... Oh gods, that's going to be SUCH a creepy conversation for Nena. "Oh, you like Justin, do you? I don't blame you. He's such a delightful boy. Very good with his hands. Let me tell you some of the things he likes..." kja;lkgj;sfljkg;algjlksf g;ak /HIDES

Can you tell how much of this weekend Molly and I spent coming up with all the awful things Ari could be doing to people? XDD
Mar. 25th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
I just wish I could do the same for Gundam 00 :'D (O-only it's more like people don't pay attention to it because it's Gundam.) And don't worry, I'll be sure to~

Th-that is fortunate, at least. And. And. And. Her brain. Will break. Creepy doesn't even.... One friend laughed hysterically on the inside, and remarked how nice it was that he has such skillful hands.

..............................................I have no words for that. Only that she should fit in well once she joins.

Whether before she knows that she likes him, or after... Such flailing \o/

Depends. How much do you sleep? B|
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
I've read Cyteen, though it was a while back. I didn't remember the characters' exact relationships. I'm gonna drop into my local public library and see if they have the book. They've got practically everything else of Cherryh's.

One thing that always fascinated me about her writing was that recurring theme of the cold, brilliant woman connecting with the warm-hearted, intuitive man. Initially it's because of the circumstances, and they're not equals, but finally it becomes a matter of mutual need and of real attachment. The Cyteen story seemed to be set up that way.

The other thing is that she set so many novels in that same cold, vast universe with its network of relatively few inhabited planets linked by none-too-safe interstellar travel routes, and the Dark overshadowing all the busy things humans (and a few other species) do.

One of the things they do to try to forget how small they are, of course, is to make a race of slaves, i.e. the azi. And it's such an interesting problem--if you have been engineered and raised not to think (or feel) for yourself but only for your masters, then how do you set about becoming your own person, and what necessity inspires you or forces you to begin?

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what you do with a character from that story, in the TST world!

Mar. 16th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yay, someone else who's read it! \o/
By the way, did you know there's a sequel?~ /enables

And I need to re-read more of the books. To see how much of that theme I can catch, for instance. But I've seen people talk about her portrayal of male and female characters was unusual. Which is a good thing.

Yes, the universe is fascinating... And the azi in particular are such a damn thorny problem. Most of them are perfectly all right with what they are, and quite emphatically don't want to be anything else, no matter how much thinking they do about it (and you can hardly suspect, say, Grant of not understanding his situation...). But, yes, slave-race overtones. Especially earlier on. I'm glad at least the basic reason for why they exist (need for quick population growth, not slave workers per se) isn't ethically unpleasant...
Mar. 17th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
There's a sequel? (You enabler, you! XD)

My favorites are The Dreamstone and its sequel, The Tree of Swords and Jewels. I couldn't resist an emotional Celtic/medieval tale with a gnarly-tempered faery woman, aptly named Thistle, as a main character. 8D

So, it sounds as if you've really thought through what kinds of forces and influences have shaped Justin's personality, in the sense that others have had plans for him. Where is he going, do you think? Do you have a vision of who he may become, with a plan of his own?

Edited at 2010-03-17 11:48 pm (UTC)
Mar. 23rd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
Yes! Regenesis.

Oh, I haven't actually read those! I should. I've only been reading her science fiction (Alliance-Union universe and Foreigner series), since that's what I originally got hooked on.

Ahahaha that is a good question... I don't know to what extent he can ever be free of others' plans. He is not, by nature, someone who tries to impose his ideas on the world. But, well - Ari's plan for him, at least, does involve him developing more independence and an ability to wield power. I think he may be somewhat like her, in the end. More calm and self-controlled than Jordan or Yanni, certainly. As for what he'll want, that depends too much on game events to predict.
Anyway, that's a long way off. For now, he's still just floating around scared of everything, and mostly directed by his instinct to help people.

Oh, and! In a new twist: we might be getting an Ari at TST! Poor Justin. XD
Mar. 29th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Hooray, Ari-plotting! I very, very much look forward to apping her, though I'm afraid of how much thought that I'm going to be putting into her...

I'm still considering dropping Quixote, though I'm not sure yet. He doesn't require a terrible lot of thought to write, though, so I might keep him. Especially since he and Grell will likely be on the same ship, and the very thought makes me giggle insanely...

I've just started Regenesis this morning, and will be around to talk Ari tonight! And maybe start a log on my musebox to test out her voice...
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )