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  • New telepath question

    We know the telepaths of Narn disappeared 1000 years before, and their disappearance has been repeated throughout the series.

    Were they destroyed by the Shadows, or stolen to become the CPUs of existing Shadow vessels for the intervening millenium?

    We know the Shadows were needing new telepaths (Bester's Carolyn and the other blips captured by Sheridan); perhaps they were needed badly to replace the older Narn units.

    Is this answered anywhere or just a stoopidness of mine?
    John Brittain
    2blueshoes.com for free blues downloads

  • #2
    The answer is in "Ship of Tears" (episode 314). The Narn telepaths became sick and died fighting the Shadows 1,000 years ago.
    Andrew Swallow

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    • #3
      From the 'Ship of Tears' script:

      G'Kar: "And the spirit of darkness moved upon the Land. It screamed in the dreams of the mind-walkers, and the fell, destryed by it, to their children and their children's children. Then did the darkness come to Narn, until it was driven out by G'Quan and the last surviving mind-walkers"

      So it seems that the screams of the Shadows that we've heard aren't just an effect, they may actually try to use that as a weapon or jammer. Remember later on when Lyta saw the revived teep in Medlab, she heard that sound in her mind and instinctively pushed it away. Having been enhanced by the Vorlons, she was able to do that but perhaps regular teeps can't.

      My feeling was that using telepaths as CPUs was a recent thing after Morden got cozy with Psi Corps.

      Jan
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jan
        My feeling was that using telepaths as CPUs was a recent thing after Morden got cozy with Psi Corps.
        Consider what Justin tells Sheridan on Z'ha'dum; the Shadows learned of the Vorlons' plan to use telepaths as weapons, and with help of the Shadows' friends in the PsiCorps, they got there first. So, I'd say you're spot on, Jan.

        The Vorlons wanted to use telepaths as a weapon against Shadow ships due to their knowing that Shadows used living beings as the CPUs of the ships, thus they'd be subjectable to telepathic interruption. The Shadows eventually learned of that and decided they didn't want to be without the latest new thing and sought to get telepaths on their own to use in Shadow ships to use the telepaths abilities to block any incoming telepathic assault from any telepaths working for the Vorlons.

        It's much in a similar way as to what Jason Ironheart described to Talia about the experiments he underwent. You want a telepath to scan the enemy. The enemy wants a telepath to block the scan. And you want a telepath that can cut through the block. It's an ever revolving circle in Jason's scenario, and it was probably on its way to being an ever revolving event in the Shadows and Vorlons wars against each other.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jan
          From the 'Ship of Tears' script:

          G'Kar: "And the spirit of darkness moved upon the Land. It screamed in the dreams of the mind-walkers, and the fell, destryed by it, to their children and their children's children. Then did the darkness come to Narn, until it was driven out by G'Quan and the last surviving mind-walkers"

          So it seems that the screams of the Shadows that we've heard aren't just an effect, they may actually try to use that as a weapon or jammer. Remember later on when Lyta saw the revived teep in Medlab, she heard that sound in her mind and instinctively pushed it away. Having been enhanced by the Vorlons, she was able to do that but perhaps regular teeps can't.

          My feeling was that using telepaths as CPUs was a recent thing after Morden got cozy with Psi Corps.
          Another possibility might be that the Narn teeps evolved naturally and that they weren't as advanced as the teeps engineered by the Vorlons. Speculation, of course, but it seems like the Vorlons would've brought the Narn teeps back if they had engineered them in the first place. G'Kar at one point said that after the incident killing the mind walkers, the gene didn't run strong enough to breed true telepaths.

          I had the same impression about the Shadows using teeps as CPUs. Can't say exactly why. I have a vague impression that dialogue or perhaps the books at least hinted at this. Damn random access memory... never get what you want when you want it.
          "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by WorkerCaste
            Speculation, of course, but it seems like the Vorlons would've brought the Narn teeps back if they had engineered them in the first place.
            On the other hand, perhaps the Vorlons didn't think there was a reason to try to recreate Narn telepaths. After all, Kosh said that the Narn were a dying people and that they should be allowed to fade away.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vacantlook
              On the other hand, perhaps the Vorlons didn't think there was a reason to try to recreate Narn telepaths. After all, Kosh said that the Narn were a dying people and that they should be allowed to fade away.
              True, but perhaps not 1000 years ago. After all, at that point, they had just fought back against the Shadows and had a pretty good victory. Why abandon a tool that had worked?
              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, everybody for all the replies. I came to remember some of these points as they were discussed.

                That is the wonderful thing about JMS's Universe: it logically fits together thousands of years past and hence.

                Still nagging me: where did the Shadows' telepath CPUs come from?

                Originally posted by Jan
                My feeling was that using telepaths as CPUs was a recent thing after Morden got cozy with Psi Corps.
                I wonder: did the shadows have to bring a CPU with them to Mars? Or did they wake up the Mars ship as a slaved system?
                Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                Damn random access memory... never get what you want when you want it.
                I so agree!

                Earth Force definitely had to bring a telepath to Ganymede for that 'resurrection', but the telepath went nuts within moments of exposure to the ship. That was explained in some detail. I seem to remember that the Ganymede ship was dormant without the telepath.

                The point, though, is that the Shadow vessels were hardwired for telepath CPUs before they were buried in the Sol System.

                So, again, where did the telepaths come from?

                Next 'perhaps': Perhaps the naturally occurring telepaths of the Narns and others were being expoited by the Shadows, and this was the start of the 'arms buildup' to develop telepaths that was instituted by the Vorlon.
                John Brittain
                2blueshoes.com for free blues downloads

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                • #9
                  I don't think Shadow ships were designed to require telepaths, just any sentient being as a CPU. After the Vorlons discovered that telepaths could be used to disrupt the Shadow ships' pilots, the Shadows also discovered that using a telepath as a pilot effectively countered a telepathic attack against the ship.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jahkneebee
                    I wonder: did the shadows have to bring a CPU with them to Mars? Or did they wake up the Mars ship as a slaved system?
                    Drawing a blank here....wasn't that covered in one of the novels or books? I remember that there was a homing device in the one they'd unburied but I'm drawing a blank on the rest.

                    Earth Force definitely had to bring a telepath to Ganymede for that 'resurrection', but the telepath went nuts within moments of exposure to the ship. That was explained in some detail. I seem to remember that the Ganymede ship was dormant without the telepath.
                    But do we know that the person they put in the ship was a telepath? The Earthers wouldn't have any way of knowing that the Shadows were using teeps.

                    The point, though, is that the Shadow vessels were hardwired for telepath CPUs before they were buried in the Sol System.
                    I think they were hard wired for living beings (not necessarily humans, iirc), not necessarily telepaths. All Delenn said was the the person had to be properly prepared or they'd go mad. We don't know what that preparation was.

                    Anyway, Anna Sheridan was in one of the Shadow vessels and she wasn't a telepath.

                    Jan
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had totally forgotten about Anna- they didn't need telepaths. I think what was throwing me off was the teeps that were in 'cold storage' on B5.

                      They must have been the 'next escalation'. So, they were hardwired for the ships in advance of using them. The ships were never hard-wired for teeps at all, just a sentient being as CPU was needed.

                      That fits.
                      John Brittain
                      2blueshoes.com for free blues downloads

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                      • #12
                        True, but perhaps not 1000 years ago. After all, at that point, they had just fought back against the Shadows and had a pretty good victory. Why abandon a tool that had worked?
                        My personal view is that the Vorlons considered the Narns from that point on as "tainted". Later in the series the Vorlons would wreak havoc on planets that where "tainted" by the shadows... so their idea of "letting them pass" could stem from that. Which would be stupid, of course... because someone who fought the enemy knows about the enemy... and that knowledge could be exploited. But personaly I think that the Vorlons abandoned the Narn from the moment on the Shadows had their troops landed on their Homeworld.

                        More interresting (for me) is why the Centauri where considered a dying race. Because as far as I know there was no Shadow base on Centauri Prime at that time. So maybe the whole idea of "letting them pass" could also be centered on the hatred which consumes. Maybe it was enough to consider the offer from the shadows (or be considered by the shadows) to be "tainted".

                        PeAcE
                        greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

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                        • #13
                          I think "dying race" related more to their progression towards "first-oneishness" (how do you like that word ) rather than whether they were tainted or not. I seem to recall JMS saying that neither the Narn or Centauri eventually made it to that exhalted level and I think he tied that to Kosh's comment, but I can't quite remember.

                          Good thought about the Vorlons abandoning the "tainted" Narn after the last war, though. To follow my tool analogy, I suppose it's like breaking a tool while doing a job. If you have more tools around, just forget about the broken one and be glad it did the job.

                          Still, I can't help but feel that the Narn's developed teeps without the Vorlons help. Maybe that's where the Vorlons got the idea of making teeps in other races.
                          "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like to think that G'Kars path made it possible for the Narn to survive and evolve. But then that could be wishful thinking. I never thought that the Vorlons (and/or the Shadows) had a full view about which Lifeforms evolve where to. For me it was more like the process of an artist, forming what was there, giving direction, etc. But I guess it could be that the Vorlons had the goal of bringing the other species to "first-oneness"... I just thought they where more interrested in correcting and forming, like an artist who has forgotten that he has to work *with* the medium. I thought that any species would evolve eventually (genocide or degeneration aside) to "first-oneness".

                            BUT it could be that the teeps where one of the steps on the way to "first-oneness". That would make sense, as Ironheart was quite energy-like. So while the telepaths were a weapon, they were also a stepping stone to the "bigger goal"? So when the Narn had no more teeps they could never evolve to that level? That makes me wish that Lyta got into bed with G'Kar, for the good of the Narn people, of course 8o)

                            I wounder if manipulation of the genome would help, but I guess in the universe of Babylon 5 it would turn out horrible!

                            Also: If the teeps where the stepping stone to "First-Oneness", what happened to species without teeps of the age of the other first ones? Did they die out? Did they evolve differently? I'd like to see/read/hear more stories from the Babylon 5 universe, there are so many open questions... *sight*

                            PeAcE
                            greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here's a thought. The Vorlons are obsessed with obedience and servitude. The Narns aren't exactly the type to take that lying down. They're a very forceful and willful people. Maybe the Vorlons wouldn't mess with them anymore because they were tired of the Narns not submitting completely and doing what they were told. Just a thought.
                              "Sector 87 by 20 by 42. At least a dozen ships have reported seeing something rather godlike in the area, and since neither you nor I were there, it must be one of the first ones." -- Marcus to Ivanova (J. Michael Straczynski)

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