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Author Topic: Help me with the plot of Blood Avatar [SPOILERS!]  (Read 365 times)

Frabby

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Help me with the plot of Blood Avatar [SPOILERS!]
« on: 14 September 2020, 04:46:49 »
So... I tried to put up a plot summary for Blood Avatar on Sarna, but I think I need help disecting the book.
Maybe I got confused by the multitude of characters and agencies involved, or perhaps my language skills are failing me, or as a foreigner I missed some cultural cues that a reader from the US would have picked up. In any case, the book left my head spinning as to what was really going on behind the scenes. It's somehow all too vague to actually nail down facts as opposed to in-character opinion and guesswork.

Apologies if this was already covered elsewhere on this forum - but a search turned out empty.

Does the following seem accurate, and if yes, what conclusions can we draw from that?
  • PolyTech Industries, on Denebola's elitist Slovakia continent, is a cutting edge biotech/genetics enterprise. They're pushing the envelope of what's legally, morally or technically possible as of 3135. In particular, they can expand a person's genome (Slade explains it is like "adding an eleventh finger") in a way that will make a person much more tolerant to cryostasis. Limyanovich was a living example of that tech, as Slade found the unexpected anomaly while sequencing his DNA. From how I understood it, while Gabriel sought to ruin the test he did that for other reasons and was himself unaware of Limyanovich's genetic anomaly which still shone through even after the rest of the test was sabotaged.
  • The Republic of the Sphere and Devlin Stone had a massive interest in PolyTech, and based on that it's further implied that PolyTech's genome pimping is the technology that allowed Devlin Stone to cryo-freeze himself in the first place.
  • Limyanovich, under the "Youssef" alias, was in contact with a 'cell' of some sort, in the sense of a secret network that had existed in dormancy for a long time. His inner monologue is unclear on wether he is himself part of such a cell, or if he's part of the agency that seeded such cells (upon re-reading I think it's actually the latter). Notably, his inner monologue also states that Limyanovich knows of many more cells than his superiors would suspect, so Limyanovich isn't totally honest with his unspecified current superiors, marking him as a possible double agent.
  • The 'cells' - such as Gabriel's cell in Farway - were "forgotten when the Republic was born" according to Limyanovich's inner monologue, so they were apparently seeded by Stone's Resistance against the Blakists. (Their purpose as stated later on was to hunt down hidden Word of Blake populations on worlds across the Inner Sphere.) I have to note though that the wording isn't quite clear enough to establish this as fact. Limyanovich recalls his own Handler just like Gabriel has a Handler, so it's possible Limyanovich used to be a member of a (the same?) cell, too.
  • When "Youssef" goes missing, the planetary legate (a Count) immediately gets involved and brings Dani Kodza into the case from off-world, and would have her released from custody at the end of the book. Kodza eventually reveals she had three "ghost" operatives working for her: Isaiah Schroeder, who was killed by Gabriel three years ago; Bouz; and finally Grace, allegedly as a means to rope in Scott Schroeder. However, Kodza is a highly unreliable source and may be flat out lying. Her explanation about the clandestine Triumvirate may contain just enough truth to be plausible, but while she claims to be fighting them it seems she is actually a high-ranking agent within the Triumvirate. What's odd, for example, is that Scott Schroeder feels he needs to continue his father's mission and save the Inner Sphere. Grace's purported role thus doesn't make sense. And dialogue between Scott and Gabriel later on suggests Grace was aware of their cell, or even a member herself. If she even worked for Kodza, she would have been a double agent.
  • Gabriel summoned Limyanovich through an old code for this cell and ordered him to the Farway cemetary. Limyanovich thinks of his actions as following "instructions" from Gabriel's cell. That he is taking instructions instead of giving them to the cell seems to establish that he feels his primary affiliation is with the cell. Then again, he wonders how the cell could have tracked him down on the Slovakia continent, or how they could even have known about him. So what are Limyanovich's loyalties? I just don't get it. (He's later confirmed to be a Kittery native and said to be either Kittery Resistance or a Blakist agent, which doesn't help. The Kittery Resistance is apparently on the same side as the Blakists, as Kodza says on p. 252 "either a Blakist or - at the very least - part of the Kittery Resistance")
  • Prior to the graveyard meet, Limyanovich had met Gabriel's cell and unsuccessfully argued that the Jihad was over. They disagreed and wanted to continue their unspecified agenda (rooting out Blakists?); Limyanovich thinks of it as "more revolution", and seems intent to kill the cell off one at a time to end their undesired plans.
  • Limyanovich was instructed to bring data (Gabriel thinks data crystals) to the graveyard meet, which he thinks of as a request. Gabriel later explains the data, combined from three storage devices, will reveal jump data and contact data for (all?) other cells throughout the Inner Sphere. Given his apparent intention to kill Gabriel and the rest of the cell, I don't understand why Limyanovich actually brought the data they requested to the graveyard?
  • What's going on on Cameron Island? Isaiah Schroeder was investigating something there and got killed. Scott takes up the mantle from his late father and feels he's got to do something there to "save the Inner Sphere" - how and from what and from whom? The only thing I understood is that Gabriel experimented with nitroglycerine there to test his car bomb. And Ketchum mentions the islands were suspected Blakist hideouts during the Jihad. Was Cameron Island the HQ for Gabriel's cell? Is that why Limyanovich went there before he had a second meeting with a cell representative at the graveyard?
  • Scott Schroeder was apparently a member of the same cell as Gabriel, as "Michael", and isn't aware that Gabriel killed his father and predecessor Isaiah. This seems to indicate the cell had a civil war of sorts, of Gabriel and his Handler versus the Schroeders or at least the elder Schroeder.
  • Gabriel explains to Slade that he suspects Blakists to be behind the Blackout and the downward spiral of the Republic. According to him, hidden Blakist cells have survived and made alliances with (unspecified) Clans to engineer all of that. Kodza is heavily implied to be a Clan agent, her name even an anagram for a Blood Spirit bloodname. With the data provided from Limyanovich, this alliance - the Triumvirate, alleged to be composed of WoB, one or several Clans, and Devlin Stone (?!) - would have been exposed to the public. At least Gabriel seems to believe that. By extension, he and his cell seem to be a genuine Blakist hunter cell continuing their mission from the pre-Republic era. Now, the interesting part is that they seemed to be on to something - enough evidence of this is uncovered throughout the novel - and Limyanovich felt they were dangerous enough to decide he needed to kill them. The question remains - who was Limyanovich, and what was his plan? Or Kodza, for that matter (who could either be a superior of Limyanovich within their "Triumvirate" faction, or have kept tabs on him as she claims)?
  • Sidenote, fwiw: Kodza's dialogue seems to avoid contractions and spell out negations ("do not" etc.) most of the time, but she used "don't" at least once (p. 254).
  • The final scene between Kodza and the Handler. It's not spelled out (but strongly implied through the cigarettes) that this is indeed Gabriel's Handler. And omniscient third-person perspective calls her Kodza's third, and best, ghost. Which establishes that at least one of the aforementioned people she named as her ghosts actually wasn't. It also means that Kodza would have been in control of the cell, through the handler. The same handler who led the cell that wanted to continue its mission and killed Limyanovich.

The simplest explanation I take away from all of this is this.

1) There was an anti-Blakist cell of Stone's Coalitions operatives in Farway that went native.
2) Limyanovich was a (neo-)Blakist and/or Kittery Resistance. The Republic knew but couldn't prove it.
3) Kodza and the cell knew of a network of neo-Blakist cells and that Limyanovich had their complete contact data. They wanted it and lured Limyanovich to the cemetary with what I suppose was a stolen Blakist code, ordering him to bring  the data. To Limyanovich they pretended to be Blakists wanting to reconnect to other Blakist cells.

...but how does PolyTech and their gene pimping, or the Triumvirate with all the hints that Kodza is a Clan agent, factor into all of this?
« Last Edit: 14 September 2020, 05:26:34 by Frabby »
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mikecj

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Re: Help me with the plot of Blood Avatar [SPOILERS!]
« Reply #1 on: 14 September 2020, 17:52:04 »
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