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The Appendages of Dawn (aka Ultron) and the mystery of Precursor disappearance
« on: January 31, 2007, 03:57:45 pm »

(info about the Ultron here)
The Ultron is a marvelous device - perhaps the most important Precursor artifact. I guess that when they'll make a true Star Control 3, it'll play a VERY important part in the plot, although not the one from the false SC3 (which, let's say, was a nice role, even if the story was awkward).
But let's return to the subject. The name first. The Appendages of Dawn (don't confuse as I did, dawn is sunrise, not sunset). The dawn of the psychic abilities of the wearer? The dawn of a new age?

And, its powers... Only the Utwig have visible access to its powers. But it clearly influenced everyone in its possession:
1) The Druuge: They are usually hard bargainers, but they sold the Ultron immediately, with no bargain. And they sold it to the right race.
2) The Utwig: Obviously.
3) The Supox: YES! The Utwig was broken then, and still had power. The Ultron was at the first Supox captain Zelnick met. They gave it to him immediately. Clearly, Ultron influence.
4) The Captain: He knew how to fix it. Without help.
And the Pkunk. Although they were never in its possession, their awesome seer capability informed them of the number of pieces needed to fix the Ultron, and even where to find one of them! (Hmm... In fact, I wonder whether the Clear Spindle was initially part of the Ultron. If it was, it's weird how it arrived at the opposite side of the quadrant. Perhaps a Pkunk expedition?)
Now, why are ONLY the Utwig visibly influenced? Perhaps because of their FAITH in the Ultron. They had this faith from the start. And lost it when it broke. So they lost their connection with it. The Ultron wasn't really broken.

Plus, it seems that the Ultron has a sentience of its own. (NO, NOT false SC3!!!) It (or he?)influences Chief Groo to drop the Ultron from its hands, for Zelnick to repair it and thus obtain the bomb to destroy the Sa-Matra etc.. I would call this TYPE of device an Event Weaver. It weaves events to attain an ultimate goal. YES, it's perhaps not one of a kind. Remember what Hayes says?
SUBJECT: Ultron Device.
DATA: At first we thought this was a piece of junk -- in fact it may still be just that
but when you submitted it to us, we infused it with gamma radiation
and found that the scatter signature was identical to the patterns
recorded from the `Empties', the `Singing Hoops', and `the Big Dud'
which were all found in Precursor burrows on Procyon.
SUMMARY: We are now convinced that this is a Precursor tool, but it remains dysfunctional.

SUBJECT: Ultron Device.
DATA: The Ultron is partially functional, and we can detect energy emission from the device.
We suspect that the unit requires additional minor repairs before achieving full functionality
and at this time, we cannot make an assessment of its capabilities.
SUMMARY: A single additional replacement part should bring the Ultron to life.

SUBJECT: Ultron.
DATA: We have determined that the so-called `Ultron' is in fact the `Appendages of Dawn'
described in the Precursor fragment found on Rigel in 2123.
In the partially translated Precursor text, the device is described as a `Mental Amplifier'
which focuses mental energies of the holder `for the purpose of discreet change'.
Unfortunately, human brain emanations do not seem compatible with the Ultron
nor do those of the allied species we have tested.

There are other devices like it on Procyon! (The Chmmr! I wonder if they have been influenced by them. Perhaps that's what made the Chenjesu and the Mmrnmhrm to be imprisoned together, merge and perhaps even made Zelnick use the Sun Device there).

And hmm... Hayes says that the Ultron IS broken. Perhaps he's, too, influenced to say this? Or is the Ultron really broken? If yes, it could still be partially functional. Anyway, faith seem to be necessary for its use. Because it seems dubious that Chief Groo was influenced in such a subtle way. Perhaps he was a non-believer.
*Many bubbles*
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Re: The Appendages of Dawn (aka Ultron) and the mystery of Precursor disappearance
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2007, 05:16:06 am »

I kind of like the idea that the Ultron is sentient or semi-sentient and was the cause of its own breakages.  (Slightly mean theory: It was sick of being the mystical whatsit of the Utwig and wanted to go back to sleep.  Nicer theory: It's dangerous and/or unnecessary for it to remain functional outside prescribed times (or maybe it'll just run out of power), so it causes itself to be externally shut down or put into some kind of standby mode when it's no longer needed.)
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Re: The Appendages of Dawn (aka Ultron) and the mystery of Precursor disappearance
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2007, 02:56:41 pm »

Um... what if those three parts are some kind of repair tools rather than spare parts? It's never said explicitly what exactly happens when you use Spindle, Sphere and Helix to repair the Ultron Smiley
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Re: The Appendages of Dawn (aka Ultron) and the mystery of Precursor disappearance
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 05:18:37 pm »

My theory about it is this: The Precursor "artifacts" used to repair the Ultron are actually somewhat akin to mass-produced interchangable parts. They most assuredly were not the original components that were broken with the Ultron; those were probably damaged beyond repair, otherwise I'm sure the Utwig would have fixed it themselves rather easily. However, the ease of repair for the device sort of implies that fixing the device is not terribly complex, and the replacement parts may just slot into place. Who knows, maybe the Aqua Helix is the Precursor equivalent of a fancy light bulb.

The idea that the Ultron itself is subtly manipulating the destiny of the universe and its inhabitants (other than the obvious method of talking directly to the Utwig) is an interesting one to be sure. However, could it possibly instead be due to some precognitive power of the Utwig? This power is readily apparent when they have the Ultron, but it has been suggested that it resides within the Utwig at all times, but they only have the courage to truly use it when their Precursor security blanket is nearby. Consider:

The Utwig forsee that handing the Precursor bomb over to the Druuge is a lousy idea, and perhaps even the device's ultimate destiny in stopping the Ur-Quan. Perhaps it is not the Ultron itself, but the Utwig, who pull the "fast one" on the Druuge in their exchange, but are only emboldened to do so by the presence of the Ultron. Better yet, perhaps the Utwig have forseen their role in aiding the destruction of the Sa-Matra and the stalling of the Kohr-Ah, and in order to bring about the chain of events that would have this result, they actually are compelled to break the Ultron on purpose (though without realizing it) to hasten that destiny (it certainly gets their neighbors and the Melnorme to talk about them more, doesn't it?), knowing that by the end of the chain of events that result, the Ultron will be repaired and in their possession once again.
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