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 Post subject: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:44 pm 
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One of my favorite pieces of fan-art was a 'Questions left unanswered at the end of LOST' video on Collegehumor. In that vein, here are the questions I've been thinking about while reading and re-reading Derelict:

1) does the fog rob some gargoyles of their ability to communicate in English?
It seems like not, even though Dang tries to speak in pictographs to explain her UV weapon, this might be because it's not a familiar idea from the creature's human past, and only something he or she would know as a fog creature. The same creatures that she's trying to talk to in pictographs also defaced some human graffiti in English only hours before, so it seems like they're still fluent. Obviously we see other gargoyles speak English later.

2) What was 'Iron Hand' before exposure to the fog?
Beautiful flower seems a little larger than most humans, so do many gargoyles but that might just be because of their protective gear. However, gargoyles do eat more, according to Dang

3) What's with all the flower imagery?
The 'Fog Monster' fish that Deng catches can open some colorful plumage on its side-fins.
Other gargoyles also have plumage around their ears
The Mothballer fleets that work the South, presumably within the fog, wear colorful dye in their hair.
Arbutus is a flowering tree
Penrose, though it sounds flowery, is actually just the name of a super-important mathematician.

Edit, this should be 'Primrose,' I just misread the comic many, many times. I have corrected throughout
3a) What's up with the hair dye?
Steve Klien wears dye in his hair, it looked a bit like it was growing out when he died, but also that Dang was surprised to see it. Maybe I'm mis-reading her expression, because it seems like humans might dye their hair to resemble the bright plumage of gargoyles.
The captives who are about to be exposed to the fog in Primrose don't have dyed hair.

4) Will sunlight kill a gargoyle, or does it return them to a human state?
Curls of the fog come of Beautiful Flower when exposed to UV light. Iron Hand appears to die, and there's a pictograph that one of the other gargoyles says as they find the pinwheel that looks like Iron Hand being exposed to light.
The fighting gargoyles in Primrose use the same 'spiked ring' pictograph by itself, probably to mean 'KILL KILL KILL' but I'm not sure

5) does Beautiful Flower's safety gear mean something?
He or She is the only gargoyle we see who doesn't wear a skull for a helmet (notably, skulls wouldn't make a particularly lightfast mask, but that's probably just artistic license) and has a friendship with a human. It's clear that gargoyles aren't all of one mind, but more on that later. He or she also wears gloves instead of wrappings and has proper boots. In fact it looks like Beautiful Flower is the only gargoyle who is wearing clothes tailored to a gargoyle's dimensions.

6) Who's the Grendel?
it seems like Arbutus is a place where Gargoyles can live but maybe aren't welcome, needing a smuggler or customs agent's help to gain access. Arbutus is north, away from the fog, doesn't that mean there would be fewer Gargoyles?

7) Is the fog tropical?
I'm assuming throughout that directions are absolute, and going south means going to foggytown and north the opposite. It's clear the fog shifts around, but it's not clear if Primrose was always in fog, if it comes and goes, or if it's recently been engulfed, and that's part of what has Dang freaked out when she first arrives.

8) what is happening to the two naked bodies surrounded by red glyphs that Dang walks past?
Are they transforming into Gargoyles or just dead?

9) If the Gargoyle army is converting humans into gargoyles, why do they have the eviscerated body of a human strung up at one point?

10) If the Gargoyle army catches Dang and begins converting her on the spot, complete with the priest, why have they kept some humans captive and masked?
Was it for the right time of day? If so, are others coming to Primrose and getting captured? The Gargoyle army doesn't seem particularly subtle about their takeover.

11) what is the nature of conflict between the Gargoyles?
The crucified gargoyles (were they going through another process of transformation? I don't think so, I think they were just decayed) wear placards, common for any public punishment. One of the symbols looks like a a flower, and the one gargoyle with a human friend was called 'Beautiful Flower.' It seems possible that Primrose had humans and gargoyles living together peacefully (I can't really find visual evidence one way or the other) and that the gargoyle army murdered those gargoyles who were working there as traitors. Beautiful Flower and Steven Klien say they won't go 'Back' to Primrose, and Beautiful flower was wearing tailored clothes.

It seems that there is a conflict between Gargoyles who are or are not willing to work with unconverted humans. The hair dye worn by Steve Klien may represent a symbolic appreciation for the Gargoyles.

Finally, we see a fight between gargoyles. They're undressed, with their plumage displayed, and the fight seems spontaneous: knife versus spear. I think this fight might just be a sort of town 'ruckus' that's preventing Dang from accessing the gas station, rather than a split or rift within the gargoyle army.
The skull that each gargoyle wears as a mask seems to have little significance, beyond a general hostility toward humans. The exception is human skulls: only the giant fellow in the giant throne and his 'priest' wear them, along with human spines. This points us back to question 9). Is there some criteria for who gets converted?

12) how much humanity do gargoyles retain?
The gargoyle army is fashioning crude weapons but they're stocking up on something in oil drums, presumably oil or gasoline. They have a clear distaste for technology (at least Beautiful Flower does during his or her sermon) but would Steve Klein still be an engineer after he was converted? Swords and halberds might mean that the gargoyle armies are luddites, but it might also mean that they don't have any stocks of gunpowder left or the wherewithal to construct bows for every soldier.
Clearly, no one wants to be exposed to the fog. It seems like those who inhale it may die and 'rise again' as new people. To me, the two bodies in question 8) look dead, not unconscious.


Last edited by TobyFee on Tue May 22, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Neat. Always cool to see a reader speculate to such a degree. Naturally I can not confirm or deny anything that's not just a misunderstanding.

The city is Primrose, though. Not Penrose. Dang's ship is the Penumbra and she calls it "Pen" for short. Might be what you got mixed up?
If I accidentally called it Penrose somewhere I need to go back and fix that.

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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 8:45 pm 
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What evidence do you have that Foggers used to be human? You have a lot of interesting ideas, but they're all based on the premise that humans transform into foggers, why did you draw that conclusion?


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 4:17 pm 
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I'm not sure about the gargoyles getting converted from humans either.

I think the fish that Dang caught early on is a sort of larval form of them. You see a slightly bigger version later, in the foreground when she's sleeping in the ruined town.

I do, however, think that your idea about there being a rift within the ranks of the miasmics makes a lot of sense. ;)

Obviously I can't know for sure, but I've got a hunch that you're spot on with this:

Quote:
It seems possible that Penrose had humans and gargoyles living together peacefully (I can't really find visual evidence one way or the other) and that the gargoyle army murdered those gargoyles who were working there as traitors. Beautiful Flower and Steven Klien say they won't go 'Back' to Penrose, and Beautiful flower was wearing tailored clothes.

It seems that there is a conflict between Gargoyles who are or are not willing to work with unconverted humans. The hair dye worn by Steve Klien may represent a symbolic appreciation for the Gargoyles.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Both of you make a good point: a lot of this predicated on the fact that the fog converts humans to gargoyles, and you're right that that's not clear, but we do see humans exposed to the fog in #70 begin to speak in pictographs, and in #87 the priest refers to to a rebirth through the fog. (you can see the comic number at the end of the URL in your address bar)

Then in panel 2 of #78 there's the dead human, symbols all around his body. It looks to me like a process of metamorphosis, the neck bulking out, the skin growing scaly. It's clear from the eyes that this guy is out cold, dead or completely unconcious, not going through some painful 'hulking out' but rather something like decay.

Then there's the fact that gargoyles can speak English, but there's really no presuming from that, as it may just be a 'handwaved' detail...

Benedict, I'd assumed that the smaller fish and land-walking creature were both other animals converted by the fog, a fish and a squirrel, say. But you're right, your theory is just as possible.

There's really only one counter-argument to the 'larval form' idea: Dang kills every gargoyle that she can, but she seems to bear the little fish no ill will.

Maybe that's too harsh. Dang tries to leave the two gargoyles in the Barn, and she does offer to let Beautiful Flower and Steve Klien a ride. Also If I'm right about Primrose, she was heading to a place where humans and gargoyles worked side by side.

If the Gargoyles really are a new species, and whatever happens to the humans in the fog is... something else, then that does explain how Primrose could exist as an 'interzone' between the two communities.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Looks like this new page clears up a lot about what the fog does.

We can only learn more from here on out!

I'm still not convinced about the metamorphosis. Firstly, I think Dang would have taken steps to mercy-kill anyone undergoing transformation (e.g. the fat bloke she passes).

I also think that the Miasmics use humans as channels for the fog, which is some sort of supernatural/alien force that communicates with them, and prolonged exposure to the fog simply kills people.

Clearly the Goya was significant somehow, for example, since the black haired woman mentioned it whilst in a fog-trance, and we'll no doubt find out why at some point.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:05 am 
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My theory is that the fog is nanobots. They were designed to be compatible with the human brain and relay ambient information to us at all times, like an extension of the senses or an omnipresent internet. That's why the Gargolyes speak of the fog as 'many voices' that only humans can hear.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:16 am 
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That's an incredibly specific theory, but it's as good as any I've got. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:42 pm 
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You correctly identify the common thread between all fog exposures: something about communication. However, while the fog may give access to a 'gestalt' or 'world behind the world,' direct telepathy seems unlikely because:
    the gargoyles definitely have factions of some kind
    they still speak and write, even having a specialized language

This gets be back to another question: what do the fog creatures actually intend? Are they invaders who want to end technology? Are they merely working for co-existence? Do they all share one religion?
If they do share one point of view, they seem awfully willing to use technology when it pleases them.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:13 am 
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I'm new, so first, I LOVE this story. You gotta sift through a LOT of junk to find a gem of this quality. I'm sorry I'm late to the party, but now that I'm caught up, I want MOAR!

For now, rampant speculation!

TobyFee wrote:
You correctly identify the common thread between all fog exposures: something about communication. However, while the fog may give access to a 'gestalt' or 'world behind the world,' direct telepathy seems unlikely...

I'm thinking along these lines myself. This One states it most clearly, saying that the Goya monster communicated with Dang when she got fogged at Primrose, drawing Dang to the Goya.

My read is that the fog is some type of communication medium. It links the foggers, This One, and the monster(s) into some sort of telepathic info exchange, possibly a form of near-omniscience. This One may simply have read the potential futures, and nudged Dang in the desired direction.

I think the fog is alien in origin, and is either an effort to communicate gone awry or it is part of the opening of an invasion. The monster(s) being the ambassadors and\or soldiers of this invader. It is unclear how directly the general flooding is to this, but they seem likely to be related.

I also believe the humans in Primrose (who I suspect were survivors of the Goya) were being interrogated by linking their minds to this system.

Having survived being exposed, Dang may have some permanent link to the fog network she isn't aware of.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Hey WillyPete, welcome to the forum!

For all you wanting to asking me questions, I'm doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) or Reddit for the next few hours.

http://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/c ... euter_ama/

Obviously I will try and not be too spoilery.

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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:11 am 
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Hi everybody! Totally new poster here.

My impression was that we are seeing the fallout of some kind of The Mist/Half-Life sort of trans-dimensional intersection with an alien ecosystem. The fog, the gargoyles, the little critters, This One, and the "demon' are from another planet/dimension/what have you that was ported onto or made to partially overlap with Earth somehow (possibly/probably what caused the human apocalypse as well). Doesn't feel like an invasion, but more of a huge screw-up, probably on our (humans) part.

I think the fog is an organism of some kind. It can "posses" humans who breath it in (which either kills them or renders them vegetables if it goes on too long), but not Gargoyles, possibly because gargoyles might have natural biological defenses against it if they're from the same world originally. I don't at all get the impression that the fog turns humans into gargoyles, rather that the raider gargoyles were trying to receive some kind of religious oracular communication from the fog by giving it humans to posses. The bodies surrounded by pictographs are just ritualization relating to that.

I suspect that the gargoyles were a primitive culture before the crossover event (whatever it was), and that the more sophisticated gargoyles are a product of cultural mixing with humans, while the raiders and such are a "purer" continuation of their original culture. It's possibly we're also dealing with different tribes with very different cultures living in the same general area, like with human primitive cultures. One tribe was more peaceful and thus more likely to intermingle, and the other was... not. As (a) primitive culture(s), they might not be aware of other sapiens sharing their home planet, such as This One or the Demon, if their respective local stomping grounds didn't overlap enough.

I don't think the small critters seen in the ruins are baby gargoyles. They're just miscellaneous critters from the same ecosystem, so naturally there'd be a lot of basic anatomical commonality. Jumping to the conclusion that they're baby gargoyles because of the jaw structure seems as iffy as a gargoyle assuming that a raccoon must be a baby human based on the same. I think there's probably a lot of alien flora and fauna species loose on earth now for the same reason as the gargoyles.


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 Post subject: Re: Unanswered Questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:58 am 
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Welcome to the forums Nessus!

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