Consider Phlebas Part 3

You’re reading novel Consider Phlebas Part 3 online at LightNovelFree.com. Please use the follow button to get notification about the latest chapter next time when you visit LightNovelFree.com. Use F11 button to read novel in full-screen(PC only). Drop by anytime you want to read free – fast – latest novel. It’s great if you could leave a comment, share your opinion about the new chapters, new novel with others on the internet. We’ll do our best to bring you the finest, latest novel everyday. Enjoy!

Reasons: the Culture

It was, the Culture knew from the start, a religious war in the fullest sense. The Culture went to war to safeguard its own peace of mind: no more. But that peace was the Culture's most precious quality, perhaps its only true and treasured possession. In practice as well as theory the Culture was beyond considerations of wealth or empire. The very concept of money-regarded by the Culture as a crude, over-complicated and inefficient form of rationing-was irrelevant within the society itself, where the capacity of its means of production ubiquitously and comprehensively exceeded every reasonable (and in some cases, perhaps, unreasonable) demand its not-unimaginative citizens could make. These demands were satisfied, with one exception, from within the Culture itself. Living space was provided in abundance, chiefly on matter-cheap Orbitals; raw material existed in virtually inexhaustible quantities both between the stars and within stellar systems; and energy was, if anything, even more generally available, through fusion, annihilation, the Grid itself, or from stars (taken either indirectly, as radiation absorbed in space, or directly, tapped at the stellar core). Thus the Culture had no need to colonise, exploit or enslave. In practice as well as theory the Culture was beyond considerations of wealth or empire. The very concept of money-regarded by the Culture as a crude, over-complicated and inefficient form of rationing-was irrelevant within the society itself, where the capacity of its means of production ubiquitously and comprehensively exceeded every reasonable (and in some cases, perhaps, unreasonable) demand its not-unimaginative citizens could make. These demands were satisfied, with one exception, from within the Culture itself. Living space was provided in abundance, chiefly on matter-cheap Orbitals; raw material existed in virtually inexhaustible quantities both between the stars and within stellar systems; and energy was, if anything, even more generally available, through fusion, annihilation, the Grid itself, or from stars (taken either indirectly, as radiation absorbed in space, or directly, tapped at the stellar core). Thus the Culture had no need to colonise, exploit or enslave. The only desire the Culture could not satisfy from within itself was one common to both the descendants of its original human stock and the machines they had (at however great a remove) brought into being: the urge not to feel useless. The Culture's sole justification for the relatively unworried, hedonistic life its population enjoyed was its good works; the secular evangelism of the Contact Section, not simply finding, cataloguing, investigating and analysing other, less advanced civilisations but-where the circumstances appeared to Contact to justify so doing-actually interfering (overtly or covertly) in the historical processes of those other cultures. The only desire the Culture could not satisfy from within itself was one common to both the descendants of its original human stock and the machines they had (at however great a remove) brought into being: the urge not to feel useless. The Culture's sole justification for the relatively unworried, hedonistic life its population enjoyed was its good works; the secular evangelism of the Contact Section, not simply finding, cataloguing, investigating and analysing other, less advanced civilisations but-where the circumstances appeared to Contact to justify so doing-actually interfering (overtly or covertly) in the historical processes of those other cultures. With a sort of apologetic smugness, Contact-and therefore the Culture-could prove statistically that such careful and benign use of 'the technology of compassion' (to use a phrase in vogue at the time) did work, in the sense that the techniques it had developed to influence a civilisation's progress did significantly improve the quality of life of its members, without harming that society as a whole by its very contact with a more advanced culture. With a sort of apologetic smugness, Contact-and therefore the Culture-could prove statistically that such careful and benign use of 'the technology of compassion' (to use a phrase in vogue at the time) did work, in the sense that the techniques it had developed to influence a civilisation's progress did significantly improve the quality of life of its members, without harming that society as a whole by its very contact with a more advanced culture. Faced with a religiously-inspired society determined to extend its influence over every technologically inferior civilisation in its path regardless of either the initial toll of conquest or the subsequent attrition of occupation, Contact could either disengage and admit defeat-so giving the lie not simply to its own reason for existence but to the only justificatory action which allowed the pampered, self-consciously fortunate people of the Culture to enjoy their lives with a clear conscience-or it could fight. Having prepared and steeled itself (and popular opinion) through decades of the former, it resorted eventually, inevitably, like virtually any organism whose existence is threatened, to the latter. Faced with a religiously-inspired society determined to extend its influence over every technologically inferior civilisation in its path regardless of either the initial toll of conquest or the subsequent attrition of occupation, Contact could either disengage and admit defeat-so giving the lie not simply to its own reason for existence but to the only justificatory action which allowed the pampered, self-consciously fortunate people of the Culture to enjoy their lives with a clear conscience-or it could fight. Having prepared and steeled itself (and popular opinion) through decades of the former, it resorted eventually, inevitably, like virtually any organism whose existence is threatened, to the latter. For all the Culture's profoundly materialist and utilitarian outlook, the fact that Idir had no designs on any physical part of the Culture itself was irrelevant. Indirectly, but definitely and mortally, the Culture For all the Culture's profoundly materialist and utilitarian outlook, the fact that Idir had no designs on any physical part of the Culture itself was irrelevant. Indirectly, but definitely and mortally, the Culture was was threatened... not with conquest, or loss of life, craft, resource or territory, but with something more important: the loss of its purpose and that clarity of conscience; the destruction of its spirit; the surrender of its soul. threatened... not with conquest, or loss of life, craft, resource or territory, but with something more important: the loss of its purpose and that clarity of conscience; the destruction of its spirit; the surrender of its soul. Despite all appearances to the contrary, the Culture, not the Idirans, Despite all appearances to the contrary, the Culture, not the Idirans, had had to fight, and in that necessity of desperation eventually gathered a strength which-even if any real doubt had been entertained as to the eventual result-could brook no compromise. to fight, and in that necessity of desperation eventually gathered a strength which-even if any real doubt had been entertained as to the eventual result-could brook no compromise.

Reasons: the Idirans

The Idirans were already at war, conquering the species they regarded as inferior and subjugating them in a primarily religious empire which was only incidentally a commercial one as well. It was clear to them from the start that their jihad jihad to 'calm, integrate and instruct' these other species and bring them under the direct eye of their God had to continue and expand, or be meaningless. A halt or moratorium, while possibly making at least as much sense as continued expansion in military, commercial and administrative terms, would negate such militant hegemonisation as a religious concept. Zeal outranked and outshone pragmatism; as with the Culture, it was the principle which mattered. to 'calm, integrate and instruct' these other species and bring them under the direct eye of their God had to continue and expand, or be meaningless. A halt or moratorium, while possibly making at least as much sense as continued expansion in military, commercial and administrative terms, would negate such militant hegemonisation as a religious concept. Zeal outranked and outshone pragmatism; as with the Culture, it was the principle which mattered. The war, long before it was finally declared, was regarded by the Idiran high command as a continuation of the permanent hostilities demanded by theological and disciplinary colonisation, involving a quantitative and qualitative escalation of armed conflict of only a limited degree to cope with the relatively equivalent technological expertise of the Culture. The war, long before it was finally declared, was regarded by the Idiran high command as a continuation of the permanent hostilities demanded by theological and disciplinary colonisation, involving a quantitative and qualitative escalation of armed conflict of only a limited degree to cope with the relatively equivalent technological expertise of the Culture. While the Idirans universally assumed that having made their point the people in the Culture would back down, a few of the Idiran policy-makers anticipated that, should the Culture prove as determined as a 'worst possible' scenario projected, a politically judicious settlement might be arrived at which would save face and have advantages for both sides. This would involve a pact or treaty in which the Idirans would effectively agree to slow or limit their expansion for a time, thus allowing the Culture to claim some-but not too much-success, and provide the Idirans with (a) a religiously justifiable excuse for consolidation which would both let the Idiran military machine draw breath and cut the ground from beneath those Idirans who objected to the rate and cruelty of Idiran expansion, and (b) a further reason for an increase in military expenditure, to guarantee that in the next confrontation the Culture, or any other opponent, could be decisively out-armed and destroyed. Only the most fervent and fanatical sections of Idiran society urged or even contemplated a war to the finish, and even so merely counselled continuing the fight against the Culture after and despite the back-down and attempt to sue for peace which they too believed the Culture must inevitably make. While the Idirans universally assumed that having made their point the people in the Culture would back down, a few of the Idiran policy-makers anticipated that, should the Culture prove as determined as a 'worst possible' scenario projected, a politically judicious settlement might be arrived at which would save face and have advantages for both sides. This would involve a pact or treaty in which the Idirans would effectively agree to slow or limit their expansion for a time, thus allowing the Culture to claim some-but not too much-success, and provide the Idirans with (a) a religiously justifiable excuse for consolidation which would both let the Idiran military machine draw breath and cut the ground from beneath those Idirans who objected to the rate and cruelty of Idiran expansion, and (b) a further reason for an increase in military expenditure, to guarantee that in the next confrontation the Culture, or any other opponent, could be decisively out-armed and destroyed. Only the most fervent and fanatical sections of Idiran society urged or even contemplated a war to the finish, and even so merely counselled continuing the fight against the Culture after and despite the back-down and attempt to sue for peace which they too believed the Culture must inevitably make. Having drawn up these 'no-lose' formulations of the likely course of events, the Idirans joined battle with the Culture without qualm or hesitation. Having drawn up these 'no-lose' formulations of the likely course of events, the Idirans joined battle with the Culture without qualm or hesitation. At worst, they perhaps considered that the war was being begun in an atmosphere of mutual incomprehension. They could not have envisaged that while they were understood almost too perfectly by their enemy, they had comprehensively misapprehended the forces of belief, need-even fear-and morale operating within the Culture. At worst, they perhaps considered that the war was being begun in an atmosphere of mutual incomprehension. They could not have envisaged that while they were understood almost too perfectly by their enemy, they had comprehensively misapprehended the forces of belief, need-even fear-and morale operating within the Culture.

The war, briefly (abstract of main text)



The first Idiran-Culture dispute occurred in 1267 AD; the second in 1288; in 1289 the Culture built its first genuine warship for five centuries, in prototype form only (the official excuse was that the generations of Mind-generated warship models the Culture had kept in development had evolved so far from the last warcraft actually built that it was necessary to test the match of theory and practice). In 1307 the third dispute resulted in (machine) fatalities. War was publicly discussed in the Culture as a likelihood for the first time. In 1310 the Peace section of the Culture split from the majority population, while the Anchramin Pit Conference resulted in the agreed withdrawal of forces (a move which the more short-sighted Idirans and Culture citizens respectively condemned and acclaimed). The fourth dispute began in 1323 and continued (with the Culture using proxy forces) until 1327, when the war officially began and Culture craft and personnel were directly involved. The Culture's War Council of 1326 resulted in several other parts of the Culture splitting away, renouncing the use of violence under any circumstances. The fourth dispute began in 1323 and continued (with the Culture using proxy forces) until 1327, when the war officially began and Culture craft and personnel were directly involved. The Culture's War Council of 1326 resulted in several other parts of the Culture splitting away, renouncing the use of violence under any circumstances. The Idiran-Culture War Conduct Agreement was ratified in 1327. In 1332 the Homomda joined the war on the Idiran side. The Homomda-another tripedal species of greater galactic maturity than either the Culture or the Idirans-had sheltered the Idirans who had made up Holy Remnants during the Second Great Exile (1345-991 BC) following the Skankatrian-Idiran war. The Remnants and their descendants became the Homomdans' most trusted crack ground-troops, and following the Idirans' surprise return and retaking of Idir in 990 BC, the two tripedal species continued to co-operate, on terms that came closer to equality as Idiran power increased. The Idiran-Culture War Conduct Agreement was ratified in 1327. In 1332 the Homomda joined the war on the Idiran side. The Homomda-another tripedal species of greater galactic maturity than either the Culture or the Idirans-had sheltered the Idirans who had made up Holy Remnants during the Second Great Exile (1345-991 BC) following the Skankatrian-Idiran war. The Remnants and their descendants became the Homomdans' most trusted crack ground-troops, and following the Idirans' surprise return and retaking of Idir in 990 BC, the two tripedal species continued to co-operate, on terms that came closer to equality as Idiran power increased. The Homomda joined with the Idirans because they distrusted the growing power of the Culture (they were far from alone in having this feeling, though unique in acting on it overtly). While having relatively few disagreements with the humans, and none of them serious, it had been Homomdan policy for many tens of thousands of years to attempt to prevent any one group in the galaxy (on their technological level) from becoming over-strong, a point they decided the Culture was then approaching. The Homomda at no point devoted all their resources to the Idiran cause; they used part of their powerful and efficient space fleet to fill the gaps of quality left in the Idiran navy. It was made clear to the Culture that if the humans attacked Homomdan home planets, only then would the war become total (indeed, limited diplomatic and cultural relations were maintained, and some trade continued, between the Homomda and the Culture throughout the war). The Homomda joined with the Idirans because they distrusted the growing power of the Culture (they were far from alone in having this feeling, though unique in acting on it overtly). While having relatively few disagreements with the humans, and none of them serious, it had been Homomdan policy for many tens of thousands of years to attempt to prevent any one group in the galaxy (on their technological level) from becoming over-strong, a point they decided the Culture was then approaching. The Homomda at no point devoted all their resources to the Idiran cause; they used part of their powerful and efficient space fleet to fill the gaps of quality left in the Idiran navy. It was made clear to the Culture that if the humans attacked Homomdan home planets, only then would the war become total (indeed, limited diplomatic and cultural relations were maintained, and some trade continued, between the Homomda and the Culture throughout the war). Miscalculations: the Idirans thought they could win alone, and so with Homomdan support assumed they would be invincible; the Homomda thought their influence would tip the balance in the Idirans' favour (though would never have been prepared to risk their own future to defeat the Culture anyway); and the Culture Minds had guessed that the Homomda would not join with the Idirans; calculations concerning the war's duration, cost and benefits had been made on this assumption. Miscalculations: the Idirans thought they could win alone, and so with Homomdan support assumed they would be invincible; the Homomda thought their influence would tip the balance in the Idirans' favour (though would never have been prepared to risk their own future to defeat the Culture anyway); and the Culture Minds had guessed that the Homomda would not join with the Idirans; calculations concerning the war's duration, cost and benefits had been made on this assumption. During the war's first phase, the Culture spent most of its time falling back from the rapidly expanding Idiran sphere, completing its war-production change-over and building up its fleet of warships. For those first few years the war in space was effectively fought on the Culture side by its General Contact Units: not designed as warships, but sufficiently well armed and more than fast enough to be a match for the average Idiran ship. In addition, the Culture's field technology had always been ahead of the Idirans', giving the GCUs a decisive advantage in terms of damage avoidance and resistance. These differences to some extent reflected the two sides' general outlooks. To the Idirans a ship was a way of getting from one planet to another, or for defending planets. To the Culture a ship was an exercise in skill, almost a work of art. The GCUs (and the warcraft which gradually replaced them) were created with a combination of enthusiastic flair and machine-orientated practicality the Idirans had no answer to, even if the Culture craft themselves were never quite a match for the better Homomdan ships. For those first years, nevertheless, the GCUs were vastly outnumbered. During the war's first phase, the Culture spent most of its time falling back from the rapidly expanding Idiran sphere, completing its war-production change-over and building up its fleet of warships. For those first few years the war in space was effectively fought on the Culture side by its General Contact Units: not designed as warships, but sufficiently well armed and more than fast enough to be a match for the average Idiran ship. In addition, the Culture's field technology had always been ahead of the Idirans', giving the GCUs a decisive advantage in terms of damage avoidance and resistance. These differences to some extent reflected the two sides' general outlooks. To the Idirans a ship was a way of getting from one planet to another, or for defending planets. To the Culture a ship was an exercise in skill, almost a work of art. The GCUs (and the warcraft which gradually replaced them) were created with a combination of enthusiastic flair and machine-orientated practicality the Idirans had no answer to, even if the Culture craft themselves were never quite a match for the better Homomdan ships. For those first years, nevertheless, the GCUs were vastly outnumbered. That opening stage also saw some of the war's heaviest losses of life, when the Idirans surprise-attacked many war-irrelevant Culture Orbitals, occasionally producing billions of deaths at a time. As a shock tactic this failed. As a military strategy it deflected even more resources from the already stretched Idiran navy's Main Battle Groups, which were experiencing great difficulty in finding and successfully attacking the distant Culture Orbitals, Rocks, factory craft and General Systems Vehicles which were responsible for producing the Culture's materiel. At the same time, the Idirans were attempting to control the vast volumes of space and the large numbers of usually reluctant and often rebellious lesser civilisations the Culture's retreat had left at their mercy. In 1333 the War Conduct Agreement was amended to forbid the destruction of populated, non-military habitats, and the conflict continued in a marginally more restrained fashion until near the end. That opening stage also saw some of the war's heaviest losses of life, when the Idirans surprise-attacked many war-irrelevant Culture Orbitals, occasionally producing billions of deaths at a time. As a shock tactic this failed. As a military strategy it deflected even more resources from the already stretched Idiran navy's Main Battle Groups, which were experiencing great difficulty in finding and successfully attacking the distant Culture Orbitals, Rocks, factory craft and General Systems Vehicles which were responsible for producing the Culture's materiel. At the same time, the Idirans were attempting to control the vast volumes of space and the large numbers of usually reluctant and often rebellious lesser civilisations the Culture's retreat had left at their mercy. In 1333 the War Conduct Agreement was amended to forbid the destruction of populated, non-military habitats, and the conflict continued in a marginally more restrained fashion until near the end. The war entered its second phase in 1335. The Idirans were still struggling to consolidate their gains; the Culture was finally on a war footing. A period of protracted struggle ensued as the Culture struck deep into the Idiran sphere, and Idiran policy oscillated between trying to defend what they had and build up their strength, and mounting powerful but defence-weakening expeditions into the rest of the galaxy, attempting to inflict hoped-for body blows upon a foe which proved frustratingly elusive. The Culture was able to use almost the entire galaxy to hide in. Its whole existence was mobile in essence; even Orbitals could be shifted, or simply abandoned, populations moved. The Idirans were religiously committed to taking and holding all they could; to maintaining frontiers, to securing planets and moons; above all, to keeping Idir safe, at any price. Despite Homomdan recommendations, the Idirans refused to fall back to more rational and easily defended volumes, or even to discuss peace. The war entered its second phase in 1335. The Idirans were still struggling to consolidate their gains; the Culture was finally on a war footing. A period of protracted struggle ensued as the Culture struck deep into the Idiran sphere, and Idiran policy oscillated between trying to defend what they had and build up their strength, and mounting powerful but defence-weakening expeditions into the rest of the galaxy, attempting to inflict hoped-for body blows upon a foe which proved frustratingly elusive. The Culture was able to use almost the entire galaxy to hide in. Its whole existence was mobile in essence; even Orbitals could be shifted, or simply abandoned, populations moved. The Idirans were religiously committed to taking and holding all they could; to maintaining frontiers, to securing planets and moons; above all, to keeping Idir safe, at any price. Despite Homomdan recommendations, the Idirans refused to fall back to more rational and easily defended volumes, or even to discuss peace. The war toed-and-froed for over thirty years, with many battles, pauses, attempts to promote peace by outsiders and the Homomda, great campaigns, successes, failures, famous victories, tragic mistakes, heroic actions, and the taking and retaking of huge volumes of space and numbers of stellar systems. The war toed-and-froed for over thirty years, with many battles, pauses, attempts to promote peace by outsiders and the Homomda, great campaigns, successes, failures, famous victories, tragic mistakes, heroic actions, and the taking and retaking of huge volumes of space and numbers of stellar systems. After three decades, however, the Homomda had had enough. The Idirans made as intransigent allies as they had obedient mercenaries, and the Culture ships were exacting too high a toll on the prized Homomdan space fleet. The Homomda requested and received certain guarantees from the Culture, and disengaged from the war. After three decades, however, the Homomda had had enough. The Idirans made as intransigent allies as they had obedient mercenaries, and the Culture ships were exacting too high a toll on the prized Homomdan space fleet. The Homomda requested and received certain guarantees from the Culture, and disengaged from the war. From that point on, only the Idirans thought the eventual result much in question. The Culture had grown to enormous strength during the struggle, and accumulated sufficient experience in those thirty years (to add to all the vicarious experience it had collected over the previous few thousand) to rob the Idirans of any real or perceived advantage in cunning, guile or ruthlessness. From that point on, only the Idirans thought the eventual result much in question. The Culture had grown to enormous strength during the struggle, and accumulated sufficient experience in those thirty years (to add to all the vicarious experience it had collected over the previous few thousand) to rob the Idirans of any real or perceived advantage in cunning, guile or ruthlessness. The war in space effectively ended in 1367, and the war on the thousands of planets left to the Idirans-conducted mostly with machines, on the Culture's side-officially terminated in 1375, though small, sporadic engagements on backwater planets, conducted by Idiran and medjel forces ignorant or scornful of the peace, continued for almost three centuries. The war in space effectively ended in 1367, and the war on the thousands of planets left to the Idirans-conducted mostly with machines, on the Culture's side-officially terminated in 1375, though small, sporadic engagements on backwater planets, conducted by Idiran and medjel forces ignorant or scornful of the peace, continued for almost three centuries. Idir was never attacked, and technically never surrendered. Its computer network was taken over by effector weapons, and-freed of designed-in limitations-upgraded itself to sentience, to become a Culture Mind in all but name. Idir was never attacked, and technically never surrendered. Its computer network was taken over by effector weapons, and-freed of designed-in limitations-upgraded itself to sentience, to become a Culture Mind in all but name. Of the Idirans, some killed themselves, while others went into exile with the Homomda (who agreed to employ them but refused to help them prepare for further strikes against the Culture), or set up independent, nominally non-military habitats within other spheres of influence (under the Culture's' eye), or set off in escaped ships for little-known parts of the Clouds, or for Andromeda, or accepted the victors. A few even joined the Culture, and some became Culture mercenaries. Of the Idirans, some killed themselves, while others went into exile with the Homomda (who agreed to employ them but refused to help them prepare for further strikes against the Culture), or set up independent, nominally non-military habitats within other spheres of influence (under the Culture's' eye), or set off in escaped ships for little-known parts of the Clouds, or for Andromeda, or accepted the victors. A few even joined the Culture, and some became Culture mercenaries.

Statistics

Length of war: forty-eight years, one month. Total casualties, including machines (reckoned on logarithmic sentience scale), medjel and non-combatants: 851.4 billion (? .3%). Losses: ships (all classes above interplanetary)?91,215,660 (? 200); Orbitals?14,334; planets and major moons?53; Rings?1; Spheres?3; stars (undergoing significant induced mass-loss or sequence-position alteration)?6.

Historical perspective

A small, short war that rarely extended throughout more than .02% of the galaxy by volume and .01% by stellar population. Rumours persist of far more impressive conflicts, stretching through vastly greater amounts of time and space... Nevertheless, the chronicles of the galaxy's elder civilisations rate the Idiran-Culture war as the most significant conflict of the past fifty thousand years, and one of those singularly interesting Events they see so rarely these days.

Dramatis personae

Once the war was over,Juboal-Rabaroansa Perosteck Alseyn Balveda dam T'seif had herself put in long-term storage. She had lost most of her friends during the hostilities and found she possessed little taste for either celebration or remembrance. Besides, Schar's World returned to haunt her after peace resumed, filling her nights with dreams of dark and winding tunnels, resonant with some nameless horror. The condition could have been treated, but Balveda chose the dreamless sleep of storage instead. She left instructions that she was only to be revived once the Culture could statistically 'prove' the war had been morally justified; in other words, when sufficient time had passed-peacefully-for it to be probable that more people would have died in the foreseeable and likely course of Idiran expansion than had in fact perished during the war. She was duly awoken in 1813 AD along with several million other people throughout the Culture who had stored themselves and left the same revival criterion, most with the same feeling of grim humour as she had. After a few months Balveda autoeuthanised and was buried in Juboal, her home star. Fal 'Ngeestra never did get to meet her. The QuerlXoralundra, spy-father and warrior priest of the Four-Souls tributory sect of Farn-Idir, was among the survivors of the partial destruction and capture of the Idiran light cruiser The QuerlXoralundra, spy-father and warrior priest of the Four-Souls tributory sect of Farn-Idir, was among the survivors of the partial destruction and capture of the Idiran light cruiser The Hand of God 137 The Hand of God 137. He and two other officers escaped the stricken craft while the Mountain class GCU Nervous Energy Nervous Energy was attempting to take it intact; his warp unit returned him to Sorpen. Interned briefly by the Gerontocracy there, he was traded for a nominal ransom on the arrival of the Idiran Ninety-Third Fleet. He continued to serve in the Intelligence service, escaping the schismatic Second Voluntary Purge which followed the Homomdan withdrawal of fleet support. He reverted shortly afterwards to his earlier role of Combat Logistics Officer and was killed during the Twin Novae battle for control of Arm One-Six, towards the end of the war. was attempting to take it intact; his warp unit returned him to Sorpen. Interned briefly by the Gerontocracy there, he was traded for a nominal ransom on the arrival of the Idiran Ninety-Third Fleet. He continued to serve in the Intelligence service, escaping the schismatic Second Voluntary Purge which followed the Homomdan withdrawal of fleet support. He reverted shortly afterwards to his earlier role of Combat Logistics Officer and was killed during the Twin Novae battle for control of Arm One-Six, towards the end of the war. After joining Ghalssel's Raiders on Vavatch,Jandraligeli became a relatively trusted lieutenant in the mercenary captain's band, eventually taking command of the Company's third ship, the After joining Ghalssel's Raiders on Vavatch,Jandraligeli became a relatively trusted lieutenant in the mercenary captain's band, eventually taking command of the Company's third ship, the Control Surface. Control Surface. Like all the Raiders who survived the hostilities, Jandraligeli had a profitable war. He retired shortly after Ghalssel's death-during the seven-strata battle sequence in Oroarche-to spend the rest of his days running a freelance Life Counsellor college on Moon Decadent, in the Sin Seven system of the Well-Heeled Gallants of the Infinitely Joyous Acts (reformed). He expired-pleasantly, if not peacefully-in somebody else's bed. Like all the Raiders who survived the hostilities, Jandraligeli had a profitable war. He retired shortly after Ghalssel's death-during the seven-strata battle sequence in Oroarche-to spend the rest of his days running a freelance Life Counsellor college on Moon Decadent, in the Sin Seven system of the Well-Heeled Gallants of the Infinitely Joyous Acts (reformed). He expired-pleasantly, if not peacefully-in somebody else's bed. The droneUnaha-Closp was fully repaired. It applied to join the Culture and was accepted; it served on the General Systems Vehicle The droneUnaha-Closp was fully repaired. It applied to join the Culture and was accepted; it served on the General Systems Vehicle Irregular Apocalypse Irregular Apocalypse and the Limited Systems Vehicle and the Limited Systems Vehicle Profit Margin Profit Margin until the end of the war, then transferred to the Orbital called Erbil and a post in a transport systems factory there. It is retired now, and builds small steam-driven automata as a hobby. until the end of the war, then transferred to the Orbital called Erbil and a post in a transport systems factory there. It is retired now, and builds small steam-driven automata as a hobby. Stafl-Preonsa Fal Shilde 'Nseestra dam Crose survived another serious climbing accident, continued to out-guess machines millions of times more intelligent than she was, changed sex several times, bore two children, joined Contact after the war, went primitive without permission on a stage two uncontacted with a tribe of wild horse-women, slaved for a dirigible Hypersage in a Blokstaar airsphere, returned to the Culture for the drone Jase's transcorporation into a group-mind, was caught in an avalanche while climbing but lived to tell the tale, had another child, then accepted an invitation to join Contact's Special Circumstances section and spent nearly a hundred years (as a male) as emissary to the then recently contacted Million-Star Anarchy of Soveleh. Subsequently she became a teacher on an Orbital in a small cluster near the lesser Cloud, published a popular and acclaimed autobiography, then disappeared a few years later, aged 407, while on a solo cruising holiday on an old Dra'Azon Ring. Stafl-Preonsa Fal Shilde 'Nseestra dam Crose survived another serious climbing accident, continued to out-guess machines millions of times more intelligent than she was, changed sex several times, bore two children, joined Contact after the war, went primitive without permission on a stage two uncontacted with a tribe of wild horse-women, slaved for a dirigible Hypersage in a Blokstaar airsphere, returned to the Culture for the drone Jase's transcorporation into a group-mind, was caught in an avalanche while climbing but lived to tell the tale, had another child, then accepted an invitation to join Contact's Special Circumstances section and spent nearly a hundred years (as a male) as emissary to the then recently contacted Million-Star Anarchy of Soveleh. Subsequently she became a teacher on an Orbital in a small cluster near the lesser Cloud, published a popular and acclaimed autobiography, then disappeared a few years later, aged 407, while on a solo cruising holiday on an old Dra'Azon Ring. As for Schar's World, people did go back to it, once, though only after the war was over. Following the departure of the As for Schar's World, people did go back to it, once, though only after the war was over. Following the departure of the Clear Air Turbulence Clear Air Turbulence-aimed rather than piloted out by Perosteck Balveda for an eventual rendezvous with Culture warcraft outside the war zone-it was over forty years before any craft was allowed to cross the Quiet Barrier. When that ship, the GCU Prosthetic Conscience Prosthetic Conscience, did go through, and sent down a landing party, the Contact personnel concerned found the Command System in perfect repair. Eight trains stood, flawless, in eight out of the nine perfect and undamaged stations. No sign of wreckage, damage, bodies or any part of the old Changer base was found during the four days that the GCU and its survey teams were permitted to stay. At the end of that time the Prosthetic Conscience Prosthetic Conscience was instructed to leave, and on its departure the Quiet Barrier was closed again, for ever. was instructed to leave, and on its departure the Quiet Barrier was closed again, for ever. There was debris. A dump of bodies and all the material from the Changer base, plus the extra equipment brought in by the Idirans and the Free Company, and the husk of the chuy-hirtsi warp animal, all lay buried under kilometres of glacial ice near one of the planet's poles. Compressed into a tight ball of mangled wreckage and frozen, mutilated bodies, amongst the effects cleared from that part of the defunct Changer base which had been the cabin of the woman Kierachell there was a small plastic book with real pages covered in tiny writing. It was a tale of fantasy, the woman's favourite book, and the first page of the story began with these words: There was debris. A dump of bodies and all the material from the Changer base, plus the extra equipment brought in by the Idirans and the Free Company, and the husk of the chuy-hirtsi warp animal, all lay buried under kilometres of glacial ice near one of the planet's poles. Compressed into a tight ball of mangled wreckage and frozen, mutilated bodies, amongst the effects cleared from that part of the defunct Changer base which had been the cabin of the woman Kierachell there was a small plastic book with real pages covered in tiny writing. It was a tale of fantasy, the woman's favourite book, and the first page of the story began with these words:The Jinmoti of Bozlen Two...

The Mind rescued from the tunnels of the Command System could remember nothing from the period between its warp into the tunnels and its eventual repair and refit aboard the GSV No More Mr Nice Guy No More Mr Nice Guy, following its rescue by Perosteck Balveda. It was later installed in an Ocean class GSV and survived the war despite taking part in many important space battles. Modified, it was subsequently replaced into a Range class GSV, taking its-slightly unusual-chosen name with it.

The Changers were wiped out as a species during the final stages of the war in space.

Epilogue

Gimishin Foug, breathless, late as usual, sizeably pregnant, and who just happened to be a great-great-great-great-great-great-grandniece of Perosteck Balveda (as well as a budding poet), arrived on board the General Systems Vehicle an hour after the rest of her family. The vehicle had picked them up from the remote planet in the greater Cloud where they'd been holidaying, and was due to take them and a few hundred other people to the vast new System class GSV Determinist Determinist, which would shortly be making the crossing from the Clouds to the main galaxy. Foug was less interested in the journey itself than in the craft she would be travelling on. She hadn't encountered a System class before, and secretly hoped the scale of the vessel, with its many separate components riding suspended inside a bubble of air two hundred kilometres long, and its complement of six billion souls, would provide her with some new inspiration. She was excited at the idea, and preoccupied with her new size and responsibility, but she remembered, if a little late, to be polite as she arrived on board the much smaller Range class vehicle. Foug was less interested in the journey itself than in the craft she would be travelling on. She hadn't encountered a System class before, and secretly hoped the scale of the vessel, with its many separate components riding suspended inside a bubble of air two hundred kilometres long, and its complement of six billion souls, would provide her with some new inspiration. She was excited at the idea, and preoccupied with her new size and responsibility, but she remembered, if a little late, to be polite as she arrived on board the much smaller Range class vehicle. 'I'm sorry, we haven't been introduced,' she said as she disembarked from the module in a gently lit Smallbay. She was talking to a remote drone which was helping her with her baggage. 'I'm Foug. What are you called?' 'I'm sorry, we haven't been introduced,' she said as she disembarked from the module in a gently lit Smallbay. She was talking to a remote drone which was helping her with her baggage. 'I'm Foug. What are you called?' 'I am the 'I am the Bora Horza Gobuchul Bora Horza Gobuchul,' the ship said, through the drone. 'That's a weird name. How did you end up calling yourself that?' 'That's a weird name. How did you end up calling yourself that?' The remote drone dipped one front corner slightly, its equivalent of a shrug. 'It's a long story...' The remote drone dipped one front corner slightly, its equivalent of a shrug. 'It's a long story...' Gimishin Foug shrugged. Gimishin Foug shrugged. 'I like long stories.' 'I like long stories.'

END

Consider Phlebas Part 3

You're reading novel Consider Phlebas Part 3 online at LightNovelFree.com. You can use the follow function to bookmark your favorite novel ( Only for registered users ). If you find any errors ( broken links, can't load photos, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible. And when you start a conversation or debate about a certain topic with other people, please do not offend them just because you don't like their opinions.

Rating :


Consider Phlebas Part 3 summary

You're reading Consider Phlebas Part 3. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Iain M. Banks already has 146 views.

It's great if you read and follow any novel on our website. We promise you that we'll bring you the latest, hottest novel everyday and FREE.

LightNovelFree.com is a most smartest website for reading novel online, it can automatic resize images to fit your pc screen, even on your mobile. Experience now by using your smartphone and access to LightNovelFree.com