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The Indifference, The Lidless Eye, The Man in the Wall... on our side or not? [Discussion]


KelsierSurvivor
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Ok, After this Chimera Prologue, I honestly have no idea whether to think The Man in the Wall is a good guy or not. I mean, he messes with us saying "hey kiddo" all the time, he wants us to think we killed Isaah, etc. So... why did he take us to Ballas then and let us get the Paracesis? 

I want to have a discussion with all you guys and see what you think. I am personally gonna treat this the way the American court treats those on trial; innocent until proven guilty. (So in this case, on our side until proven not to be)

 

I have some more speculations in the spoiler if you guys are interested, but feel free to skip over those and post your own opinion. Further speculating can come later.

Spoiler

Let's start back at the beginning of his introduction. The Man in the Wall was able to manifest in us more firmly after our powers grew stronger, further emphasizing that he is the physical manifestation of The Void. (The Void energy grows stronger in us, and so he has a tighter grip) He says we owe him, likely because he gave us immortality and power. 

In Chains of Harrow, The Man in the Wall is worshiped as a deity of sorts by the Red Veil. He drives them insane like the adults on the Zariman. But... What about Rell? Rell certainly thought he was evil, and I'm one to believe that Rell was to be trusted, especially since he literally spent his whole life fighting The Man in the Wall. That has to mean something.

The Man in the Wall was mostly just a jumpscare for every once in a while, but after The Sacrifice, he is more tangible. He actually has a conversation with the Operator, saying that it's good that they believe that they killed Isaah. Our mind is now fractured (through the reverse Transference with Umbra) and that makes us more susceptible to his... interferences. He started showing up more for me personally afterwards, but my compass has been tilted more to the light side now. (Originally I was almost exactly in the middle, but was slightly more on the light, now I am almost completely light. Probably because of that awesome "Squirm like the maggot you are" line. I couldn't resist if I wanted.) 

Finally, the Chimera Prologue shows us a bit more of what we can do. I don't know if we were interacting with him in the physical world or just in a dreamscape like with the Apostasy Prologue, but like the Apostasy Prologue, we were able to interact with things in the dream. (The helmet for Apostasy, the Paracesis for the Chimera) The Man in the Wall lead us to Ballas personally, but he kept making us fight ghostly images of the Lotus (Like the ones from the Chains of Harrow quest).. so... I really don't know what to think. Maybe he saw this as some kind of right of passage? But just the fact that he took us to Ballas and Ballas gave us the Sentient Slayer, saying that it could help us win our war, has to mean something. Ballas seems like he genuinely is terrified and is now hosting a last-ditch effort to help us in hopes of the Sentient not winning the war. I don't know whether or not I think Ballas is evil either. His actions in the Cephalon Fragments and The Sacrifice suggest he is evil, but his actions now and in the grand scheme of things seem good. He was trying to bring down the Orokin Empire with everything he did, so...

 

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so first of about ballas.... if my memory serves me correctly, he, allong with the other orokin, made the sentients, orokin machines that gained sentience (As their name implies) and rebelled against their masters. their only weakness: the void. then they started working on how to fight the sentients, which is where the warframes came in. along with the tenno. after all these years, destroying the sentients is probably still his mission. to me ballas appears as a smart, efficient man that wants to achieve his goal no matter what. as seen with umbra. who was created through horrid ways for what ballas considered the greater good. my guess is that his plan was to figure out the sentient weakness by faking an alliance with them. which we foiled by attempting to kill him, this allowed the sentients to turn ballas into what can basically be considered a cyborg (since sentients are practically machines). even then, ballas' mission is still to eradicate the sentients, and since he is sentient himself now, he has figured out their weakness somewhat. because he probably cant fight the sentients himself in his current state he entrusted that goal to us by giving us what might be his last creation. the sentient slaying sword. the reason why ballas seems evil is because his way of achieving his (actually quite noble) goal of righting his own wrongdoings lacks regard for other beings. anyone involved in it is just a tool. including the tenno and their warframes. even with us getting the sword that still makes us just tools to slay the sentient in his stead.

 

as for the man in the wall. i dont think he's evil, nor is he good. my guess is he's neutral. he's given shape by us, so he needs us to live. yet he's also despised by us, so he wants us to suffer. 

 

actually.. i just thought of something based on the concept of demons in "owari no seraph". since the man in the wall is actually a manifestation/personification of what gives us powers, what if it wants us to let our powers grow stronger and stronger, as when those powers go beyond our control, he can take over? this makes sense since with his increased pressence we gained that new sneak mode used in the chimera prologue.

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Ballas is motivated by revenge. He epitomizes a central trait of the Orokin: cruelty (a society that has an absolution ceremony for attrocities in the service of the empire says it all:expected)

I feel no pity for what Natah has done to him. Maiming his transference sick controlling mutant arm is so appropriate.

He’s been emasculated and mutated. Natah has done the universe a favor.

What goes around comes around. That’s Karma baby.

The Man in the Wall is still obscure, but my gut says he’s Orokin or the power behind to Orokin.  His pleasure at our inceasing susceptibility to (his) influence smells all too much like Continuity. He comes across as a Mara (Buddhism).

Wframe has been playing with themes of parasitism and mutualistic symbiosis. The distinction being Tenno+wframes are mutualistic symbionts, unlike the Orokin and all their other creations. Except:

  • the sentients (maybe). The feel from the new war teaser is the my seem more like plague like.
  • Unum  Of all factions, apparently altruistic.

Out side of that there are the factions with Glast and Hexis. Meridian is an internal struggle for the Grineer, the other two are ditzy or nasty.

What’s missing so far in these teasers are “our” motivations “seducing” Natah. Emotional? Practical? Both?

Since Ballas ultimately admits he’s a tool and in one path choice says “now I know what she sees on you” suggests that Natah is playing a larger game. That game may play with sentient motivations. Given tenno effects on Umbra, one has to wonder about the experience for Natah.

While these missions advance story story they do so cheaply. We’re being told what to think (still herded) rather than experiencing via game play.

Couple other notes:

  • Lotus is the one leading us to these missions (that helmet is sentient/orokin), not MITW.
  • That helm is a Trojan Horse if you ask me. Enemy equipment in my quarters? No thank you. FaceBook is less malign.
  •  Rell/Lotus specters suggest Natah is suffering the same effects as Rell. The void effect is to fragment emotion.
Edited by (PS4)teacup775
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Add a spoiler tag to your title, not everyone did the mission.

I'm mostly nutral on the compass, titling to dark. I heard there are differences in the lines depends on your compass. Can't confirm tho.

For me, the Man in the Wall and Ballas wanted to tell us the same thing: it will be a time when we will have to confront Lotus and kill her. Ballas gave us the Paracesis AKA "Sentient Slayer" and the Man in the Wall made us fight shadows of Lotus.
I marked in red some questions with no answer so far.

To correct you, the Red Veil worshipped Rell, not the Man in the Wall. They worshipped him for protecting and fighting this entity which they believe is evil. Rell believed it too as he had no other reason to fight the Man in the Wall in the first place.

The Man in the Wall mostly creeped us from time to time as you said, but he never hurt us. From my perspective he is mostly watching us and make sure we satisfy his agenda (What is his agenda?). He defently didn't kill Isaah and it doesn't seems like he is the one making us believe we killed him (Did the Man in the Wall made us think we killed Isaah?). It defenetly satisfy his agenda, we're not sure why and how.

Moving to Chimera Prologue, it seemed to me as the Man in the Wall and Ballas planned this event together as Ballas knew we were preset ("So tell me devil, do you know what must be done?") and the Man in the Wall lead us right to him. It seemed too perfectly timed.

30 minutes ago, SupremeDutchGamer said:

after all these years, destroying the sentients is probably still his mission. to me ballas appears as a smart, efficient man that wants to achieve his goal no matter what. as seen with umbra. who was created through horrid ways for what ballas considered the greater good.

I will support this claim and add that he will go far enough to cooperate with the Main in the Wall. It still doesn't seems like coincidence that the Man in the Wall lead us to him, Ballas perfectly times his speech when we arrive and somehow know we are there listening. There is only one problem with my theory of cooparation: How Ballas know about the existance of the Man in the Wall considering he is a manifistation of our mind?

For this case, I have a theory based aroud his theoretical origin as evil as suggested above:
He understands the unexpected upcoming danger and decided to call a "temporary truth". He lead us to Ballas who gave us a sword designed to kill sentients and on the way helped us in his twisted way to understand that in time we will have to kill Lotus. After the Sentients, Ballas and Lotus are out of the picture, he will be in control as it seems like he still manifest our minds.

Edited by FrostedMike
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17 minutes ago, FrostedMike said:

I will support this claim and add that he will go far enough to cooperate with the Main in the Wall.

my thought was ballas could see the man in the wall and that is why he refers to use as the devil and our devilry or demon (from the talking chair) and during the quest he openly attacked up with shadow lotuses? lotusi? idk plural for more then one shadow lotus though i question why was he wearing the mask the whole time and make me thing what happens if we put it on would anything happen? 

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35 minutes ago, FrostedMike said:

He lead us to Ballas who gave us a sword designed to kill sentients and on the way helped us in his twisted way to understand that in time we will have to kill Lotus. After the Sentients, Ballas and Lotus are out of the picture, he will be in control as it seems like he still manifest our minds.

Hm -- I don't buy it. Lotus helm is Orokin/Sentient. Natah is leading us into these quests, not MITW.

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It's all about the eyes.

 

Reading up on Alad V he questions why Warframes don't have eyes.

The Lotus helmet covered Natahs' eyes.

Ballas was a threat to our operator via sight.

Umbra has 1 eye exposed via his damaged helmet.

 

Eyes are one thing that Darwin couldn't explain via evolution, what does this means for Warframe and who/what we (operator) really are? Time will tell.

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18 minutes ago, Mookan said:

It's all about the eyes.

 

Reading up on Alad V he questions why Warframes don't have eyes.

The Lotus helmet covered Natahs' eyes.

Ballas was a threat to our operator via sight.

Umbra has 1 eye exposed via his damaged helmet.

 

Eyes are one thing that Darwin couldn't explain via evolution, what does this means for Warframe and who/what we (operator) really are? Time will tell.

Nidus new skin is full of eyes. 

And neuroptics?the word literally means eyes. 

And how about the eyes of blight?

And when the man in the wall dissapears the last thing to disappear is his eyes.

And i'm sure that if Hydroid could speak he would say aye, which sounds like an eye but isn't an eye.

Eye am out

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I think he's quite literally "The Indifference". He isn't good or bad, either his goals are completely beyond our understanding or he's doing things just for s**ts and giggles.

Right now it seems that he's relatively harmless or maybe even helpful but he likely won't hesitate to drop us like an ugly baby he gets bored of us.

Edited by Guest
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I read quite an intresting theory about good ol Wally.

Someone speculated that he is not actually real or atleast not a void entity as Rell assumed but instead a splintered piece of the Tennos own mind like the actual part of them that went insane.Because we still dont know why the adults on the Zariman went insane but the kids were fine is it possible that the kids somehow shattered their own mind into pieces before they became operators it would explain why Wally just sort of shows up when you unlock your tenno abilities.The timeline of the chains of harrow and the war within is a bit weird so im not sure which quest is first timeline wise but it would make sense if you did war within first that Rell wasnt really holding Wally hostage. 

The powers he shows in the Chimera prologue kinda support this because he uses the same void dash ability as tenno but his also seems to act like a barrier of sorts.Also similiar to Rell in the chains of harrow when he speaks through him Wally seems to talk about being lonely and needing friends "even like me" which could represent Rells own loneliness being basically cast out and completely alone.And its also a potential story moment for the Tenno to grow even more powerful if De ever chooses to do that you would basically defeat Wally and conquer your own madness gaining full access to the hellish power of the void.

Or i dunno he could just be an Old God or something 

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On 2018-10-13 at 1:37 PM, FrostedMike said:

he never hurt us.

 

23 hours ago, Pr1A said:

he's relatively harmless

I beg to differ. I equipped Umbra with his normal skin and colors and the Skiajati with normal colors to play this quest under the assumption that it would be a continuation of the story. So since I was going melee only, I may or may not have... erm... been killed by the Lotus shadows...

HE'S NOT HARMLESS GUYS!

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19 hours ago, Gravitus123 said:

Someone speculated that he is not actually real or atleast not a void entity as Rell assumed but instead a splintered piece of the Tennos own mind like the actual part of them that went insane.Because we still dont know why the adults on the Zariman went insane but the kids were fine is it possible that the kids somehow shattered their own mind into pieces before they became operators it would explain why Wally just sort of shows up when you unlock your tenno abilities.The timeline of the chains of harrow and the war within is a bit weird so im not sure which quest is first timeline wise but it would make sense if you did war within first that Rell wasnt really holding Wally hostage. 

I don't think you read it, you probably heard it in the game, since that's the theory the Lotus proposes.

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When the sacrifice ended I did said that Ballas will turn Sentient. What is this mean? It is mean that Sentient have a mean to Corrupt the Person, like what Infestation did to them. When they Corrput, either by Infestation or Orokin Sentient/Tower. They'll lose what they are and who they were, becoming just a tool.

What is that mean to our lovely 'The Man in The Wall'? Both Sentient and Infestation have a flaw to Void power. Even if it is not clear if The Man in The Wall is the represent of The Void or not. We can say that either Void power can cleanse the Corrupt on the person, or it has so much power to override them with something else. With that said, if The Void can really override the Corrupt with something else... We can say that The Man in The Wall may even be the entity like Hive mind of the Infestation or even Hunhow/Natah on the Sentient side.

To answer your question, The Man in The Wall seem to pay no mind on our business, be it good or bad. He only pay attention to what will become of our Tenno. If he did not get seal on Harrow/Rell. In 'The War Within' when the Queen try to take over our mind. The Man in The Wall would interfere and try to lure our mind to evolve/use the void power instead of Teshin anyway. Although, I do think he'll never directly help us out, but he'll still try to help us anyway and see if our Tenno can growth in the meantime. But if Tenno failed, I think he'll just leave. Sometime I do think he'll try to test The Tenno by lure them to either trap or difficult situation. Either way, he only interested in the possibility of the Tenno.

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My two cents? Lovecraftian logic. The Man in the Wall is an Entity that transcends human comprehension, but that's not to say it is supernatural.

I'm currently reading The Weird and the Eerie, a small book looking to break down the two titular concepts. In chapter one, the author sees the Weird as that which looks from outside in, that is, something that is currently outside of our knowledge which distorts what we know about reality, and suggests, by its very existence, the possibility of greater natural laws that are foreign to us. A werewolf or a vampire isn't Weird because we understand how each works according to the laws in their respective mythology. On the other hand, something that actually exists like a black hole is Weird because the very laws of space and time as we know them bend and distort in its presence, thereby implying a twist on the laws of nature that we think we understand.

Similarly, an entity like Yog-Sothoth, or in this case, The Man in the Wall, are transcendent, exterior to what we know as reality, but also are a part of it. They are the testament of a greater expanse of natural law that is beyond our grasp. They do not conform to nature the way humans do, and therefore are not to be expected to behave or think in the ways humans do.

Meaning, the concept of good, evil, or even neutral, are completely exterior to such entities. These are human concepts derived from evolutionary morality that as such do not apply to anything other than human, or for that matter terrestrial organisms with a highly social component. If The Man in the Wall is indeed beyond human, then we cannot expect to perceive it through a human lens.

I think that the more we know about the Man in the Wall, the more banal it is going to be. DE would be smart to only throw in little clues and implications about its nature than to go full exposition at some point. Because once the suspense is lifted, so is the mystique, and the same thing for interest.

Edited by Tellakey
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On 2018-10-13 at 11:25 AM, KelsierSurvivor said:

I honestly have no idea whether to think The Man in the Wall is a good guy or not.

Like others, I believe that Wally is a force of pure natural chaos, and thus labels like good and evil simply don't apply. It's like trying to decide if fire is good or evil, when it both saves and takes human lives every single day. I don't believe Rell ever actually calls Wally evil. He describes Wally as indifferent, which is very unlike evil. Again, fire is completely indifferent whether it burns a horrible criminal or an innocent philanthropist.

Interesting to note that your title and body ask two very different questions. First, if Wally is on our side, and then if Wally is a good guy. These are not necessarily the same thing. You seem to be assuming that the Tenno is a good guy in this story, while that is certainly debatable. Keep in mind that the Tenno: has participated in a full on genocide, kills incredible numbers of beings under often very dubious justifications, and uses chemical/biological weaponry that would easily violate the Geneva and/or Hague conventions. From another perspective, the Tenno could easily be called the bad guy, or at least an anti-hero. To an ordinary Grineer citizen, the Tenno is probably viewed as the most nightmarishly evil entity in the entire universe.

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4 hours ago, Knowmad762 said:

He describes Wally as indifferent, which is very unlike evil.

My understanding there is that "indifference" is a description of his feelings towards he world and how he is evil, otherwise the line, "What is evil but indifference" would not make sense. 

What I got out of that was that he's not motivated out of malice, but rather curiosity or boredom.  As in, he has no capacity for empathy - which is actually a rather interesting choice of characteristics, given that Sacrifice reveals that the Tenno's ability to control warframes is actually dependent on empathy. 

You could still argue that given what he is that good and evil are hard to pin down, and Rell's comments are subjective based on the effects he naturally has on people - supposing he actually can't help it.  Beyond that though, the only point where he actually helps is when he leads us to Ballas so he can give us a sword blueprint.  He didn't seem to actually help on the Zariman, simply set two groups up and had them fight to the death - again, assuming either of those actions was intentional. 

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19 hours ago, Knowmad762 said:

Interesting to note that your title and body ask two very different questions. First, if Wally is on our side, and then if Wally is a good guy. These are not necessarily the same thing. You seem to be assuming that the Tenno is a good guy in this story, while that is certainly debatable. Keep in mind that the Tenno: has participated in a full on genocide, kills incredible numbers of beings under often very dubious justifications, and uses chemical/biological weaponry that would easily violate the Geneva and/or Hague conventions. From another perspective, the Tenno could easily be called the bad guy, or at least an anti-hero. To an ordinary Grineer citizen, the Tenno is probably viewed as the most nightmarishly evil entity in the entire universe.

I never really thought about how my title and question conflicted... lol.

Well, in nearly every story that exists, there are no "good guys". As Lord Voldemort put it,

"There is only power, and those brave enough to seek it." 

But in nearly every story, there are people that are considered "The good guys". Take Star Wars for instance, the Jedi are almost all seen as the good guys, but when you think about it, they're really no better than the Sith. They just run things differently. ("You can't love people" is one of their main rules. This makes sense from a "save as many lives as possible" standpoint, but this is also asking for the Jedi to become heartless monsters. Yes, while the Sith promote bad feelings, they don't say to become an emotionless, destructive force.) 

There really are no "Good guys" and "Bad guys" in stories. Even the most pure people are still bad in many ways. I could show you this in anyone from any media I happen to be a part of. But the interesting thing is, unless it's a show for little kids, for instance, where motives for villains aren't something the watchers will be worried about, even the bad guys have good sides. (The reason I mention little kid shows is because there are often villains who are evil just for the sake of being evil.) 

Take Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for instance. While he has done absolutely terrible things (trying to destroy an entire race of people (The Frost Giants), trying to enslave another (Humanity in The Avengers), etc.), he is still a good person. In the first Thor movie, he wanted to keep Thor from becoming king of Asgard because he knew that Thor would lead them to ruin and an eternal war. Even though he didn't take the best methods of doing this, he still had good intentions. In The Avengers, he thought he was gaining his father's respect by showing he could lead. (However, he was EXTREMELY twisted in his methods here...) Not all villains in stories are bad people. Loki just wanted to do what he knew Thor couldn't (at the time) so that the universe would be a safer place.

All this to say, the Jedi are still the protagonists, Thor is still the protagonist, so we follow them and naturally take their side, saying they are "The good guys". 

One final example not exactly explaining motives. In Captain America: Civil War, we got to see the darker side of what happens when the protagonists, the people we all adore so much, do their thing. They leave behind death, destruction, broken families, and they just go home without even thinking about it the majority of the time. 

So, it is possible to have a protagonist that isn't exactly a hero to everyone. This perfectly fits your example of how a lowly Grineer would view the Tenno, for instance. Many citizens of Sokovia didn't exactly see The Avengers as saints.

So yes, the Tenno may be very corrupt and we don't always have the best motives for what we do, but we are the protagonists, and hence, are considered, the "good guys" in the story, and thus, the Man in the Wall would have an allegiance to either us, the "good guys", or someone/something else, the "bad guy(s)".

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One thing I wanna add to Ballas' character from Chimera: 

He knew we were there but he acted like he couldn't see anything until he finished the Paracesis. My theory is that either Lotus or "Mother" are observing him through his sentient eye and he moves around that, that's why he monologues all the info while pretending not to see us, and when presenting the Paracesis he covers his eye as to not see us take it. In the end it was when he looked at us that the dream ended.

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15 hours ago, CriticalFumble said:

My understanding there is that "indifference" is a description of his feelings towards he world and how he is evil, otherwise the line, "What is evil but indifference" would not make sense.

You're thinking literally, not philosophically. It's the argument that to be "neutral" is to be complacent in the acts of evil, and thus is also evil. And since what is evil can often be "justified" subjectively as good (depending on perspective), that leaves but one "evil" that either side will agree to: indifference.

Of course this is literally the train of thought that lead to Hitler's rise to power- and no, I'm not invoking a meme... Look into the Weimar Republic, and join me in being terrified of how much it rhymes with today. But to Rell's credit... If Wally is an entity to itself, it is likely an Elder God tier of being (Cthulhu, Hastur, Nyarlathotep, etc). It is easier to relate to such an entity as a force of nature- indifferent to the machinations of others, and only interested in them due to circumstance. As such, encountering the being that took your parents (via Insanity), yet felt nothing, would be indifference and (to some) evil. But that assessment is a misunderstanding of what Wally is- it is blaming the rain for being wet.

On the white-to-black spectrum of Good and Evil, Wally is mauve.

But as to the question of whether Wally is on our side.... That is a more tricky one in the Elder God interpretation. It definitely has a sort of interest in us, given that we both didn't go insane and now wield Its power. It may have some level of fondness for us, but in the same way that we would regard a favorite toy, not a friend. This works well with Rell's assessment of him being indifferent, in a sort of naive way. To Wally, we are but a passing fancy.

 

Alternatively, Wally is a split personality that, for Rell at least, personified indifference. This personality was created when we were forced to slaughter the adults on the Ten-Zero, as a means of coping with the trauma. In this regard, Wally remains mauve, but is insidiously on our side. It's not so much that It is against us (to be against us would be to be against itself), but that it is for itself, and we and it are one.

 

To be honest, either route could work. You've got eldritch horror in the former, and overcoming psychological trauma in the latter.
Of course, Eldrich horror goes a hell of a lot farther in terms of gameplay than overcoming psychological trauma, so I honestly expect them to dance between the two until they need the content, at which point the former will be locked in.

Which I expect is likely where the story is going after we finish the current arc of the Sentient colonial fleet. Well, after any sealed-orokin-in-a-can plots we have to resolve in the mean time, and potentially after we go to Tau and pull an Ender's Game. Or maybe we'll go to Tau and find out that the natives were restless and someone else already pulled an Ender's Game and doesn't quite like us because here we are using a lot of the same tech.

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