>If I might say, Ben, retconning Zeta Cygni into something that was
>found (perhaps stolen?) from something that the WDF slapped together
>in a couple decades was one of the best editorial decisions you ever
"Stolen" is such a judgmental word. I prefer to think of it as recycling.
>Having it be a mysterious object of unknown provenance that we just
>happen to be living in provides a shit-ton more cool-ass story seeds
>and potentialities than it just being a this thing they built on time
>and on budget.
To be fair, I can't remember for certain at this vast remove, but looking at the first mention of the sphere in Crossroads, it looks like it was always meant to be at least a bit mysterious. When Zoner asks who built it, no one answers him, and as far as I can tell the matter is not taken up again.
Exactly where it came from and how weren't determined until The Sterling Saga, but at least initially, the intent was at least to be cagey about its precise origins. It's possible that in some early-FI side story or another later on, I forgot about that and included some mention of its construction, but these things were not an exact science in the 1990s. :)
>I personally like to imagine that there's a thriving collection of
>archaeologists and civilization hunters, some well-intentioned, some
>not, perpetually crawling all over the interior. As well as an equally
>thriving collection of people trying to get them to stop crawling all
>over that thing, or at least be a little but more careful before
>laying in excavation charges and/or pulling things that look like
I expect so. New Avalon University has an entire department devoted to sphere studies, similar to the quarian research institute dedicated to trying to figure out what the hell Halo is for. (And no, before anyone asks, there does not appear to be any commonality whatever between the materials or technological idioms present in the two.) In that department, some people are trying to work out who made it and when, others what its original purpose was. Theories range from "enormous odic flux accumulator" (n.b. these people are not highly esteemed by their colleagues) to "some sort of stellar regulator for the star that was originally in it", but no one has come up with any really compelling evidence for any of them as yet.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.