10/11/21 – It Hurts!

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, October 11, 2021.




Fair comeuppance.


  1. I’m generally against calling people “trash” or any similar condescension.

    Yet I’ve had the misfortune to meet people who think of THEMSELVES as “trash” (refer to themselves with that exact word, even) and have no aspirations to rise above their self-assigned ethical station in life.

    They exist; outside of works of fiction, even.

    What else can you do with such people, but distance yourself from them?

  2. Col

    I kind of wish Strangor had a third or fourth parent discovered. Like keep these, keep it real..but yea no reason for Binary mating.

    Once you get these species involved, here comes Dimitri.

      1. sighthoundman

        There is at least one species with 4 sexes. https://www.nature.com/articles/539482a.

        There are many species with more than 2 “sexes”. These are all small, either unicellular or colonies of unicellular. Unless one parent produces a large gamete (ovum or “egg”) and one a small one (sperm or pollen, and usually many of them) it’s really hard to call them sexes. In the case of prokaryotes (think bacteria) they don’t even create gametes, they just exchange genetic material (you thought all that conjugation stuff in high school biology was totally irrelevant, didn’t you?).

        In most species with more than 2 sexes, an individual can mate with _any_ of the other sexes. Whitfield (https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020183) calls these “mating types” because either they don’t produce any gametes at all, or because the gametes are the same size and not clearly sperm and eggs (male and female). Examples are the ciliate protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila with seven, and the mushroom Schizophyllum commune with more than 28,000.

        Perhaps the strangest case is that of the harvester ants in the genus Pogonomyrmex. The queen must mate with both types of male, but one type fathers queens and the other workers. (Males come from unfertilized eggs.)

        Even the hermaphrodites (think annelids and helminths here) are “both” and not “either/or”.

        On the other hand, evolution is a lazy tinkerer. It may be that requiring genetic material from three individuals is simply too hard. Or it may be that we haven’t been looking hard enough.

        1. Pete Rogan

          I heartily recommend sighthoundman’s link to the Nature article by Carrie Arnold. Not only does it contain a roadmap to how sex differentiation takes place in a species, but it has a touching story of the researcher who discovered it, Elaine Tuttle. You will not forget this tale.

    1. tlhonmey

      Feudal organizational structures could be perfectly sensible depending on communications and travel technology and culture. But swords need a darned good explanation for what’s going on to make them preferable over non-user-powered weapons.

  3. tlhonmey

    So if she’s just standing there then a flurry of light blows will render her completely immobile and give an attacker time to decide what to do with her… I hope she has an override for that…

  4. Erhannis

    Eh – I mean, that was a pretty weak redemption effort. Like, talking to two people for like 30 min and declaring them “irredeemable”, especially after espousing such optimism, seems kinda…disappointing. I mean, they could have SO many layers of facade and self-deception going on, how could you expect to get to the bottom of why they do what they do, in a single conversation? Under these circumstances? Even NORMAL counseling, with FAIRLY NORMAL PEOPLE, can take quite a while, from what I’ve heard. And the counselor usually has a degree in it. Now, that’s not to say she just needs to keep talking to them – I dunno if they have the time OR the necessary conditions to make headway, right now. And I guess that’s part of what makes it hard. And I’ll not contest that if somebody just *doesn’t want to change*, there may not be a good “fix” for that.

  5. Pete Rogan

    Villains who inflict pain when they have no actual experience of it themselves are in a special category of loathsomeness. You could find a reason for Joker’s evil following his dip in chemicals. Certainly Dr. Jekyll worked for years to separate his good half from his evil half, only to fail in misery and death. But Prang wanted to punch Aitana as he was habituated to punching Stangor and burst his knuckles on Aitana’s armor. And he finds it hurts and he can’t stand it! And demands sympathy and recompense.

    Really. Such people have earned a one-way ticket to the airlock, and no decompression before opening the outer door. WHISH! They went thataway, and no one cares where they end up. Such beings are a burden to civilization and to civilized people. No need to be soft with them. They’ll only use it to degrade you further.

  6. Demarquis

    “Like, talking to two people for like 30 min and declaring them “irredeemable”, especially after espousing such optimism, seems kinda…disappointing.”

    It was not the amount of time spent talking… it was in what was said. That it didn’t take very long to get to this point is a testament on how obliviously wrong they are. As a great man once said, “You can’t fix stupid.”

  7. Night-Gaunt

    This is what happens when selfish misanthropes have a child. (Which should be illegal on all GOB planets and off.)

    I admit I have this hoary urge to dump them both into space.

  8. While children with amazing insight and wisdom are an all too popular gimmick in a lot of media, in reality, both not so much and if they really do, its likely created by their own, often awful experience and the chance to see beyond the trauma of the moment. Implying a lot for poor Aitana.

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