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Old July 9 2009, 02:33 PM   #279
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Re: Star Trek: TITAN: Animated Series

Arpy wrote: View Post
Christopher, what's he made of? Silicon-based? He looks crystalline. Are those eyes at the bottom?
Cethente's anatomy is "semicrystalline." To quote Over a Torrent Sea, "Syrath anatomy was... based upon piezoelectric crystal 'cells' in a liquid silicate solvent, with genetic information encoded structurally in chains of dislocation loops and electrically in stored potentials, rather than chemically in nucleic acids" (p. 216). So kind of a "slushy" interior -- crystals in fluid -- encased in a hard exoskeleton.

Those aren't eyes exactly, but sensory nodes like those at the top. To quote Taking Wing, they're "bioluminescent bulges, glowing with the telltale light of its senses at work" (p. 142). So forget what I said above about them being dark. They should actually glow a soft green.

Also, Cethente is an "it," not a "he." Syrath are neuter.

Aren't the "ports" the tentacles recede into a little too mechanical? I keep expecting irises to close up behind them once fully retracted.
I was just thinking maybe I should've made them more slitlike than circular. TW says the tentacles "emerged at need from equidistant apertures just under the dome" (same page).

Geoff Thorne wrote: View Post
There's a high dome on the top that protects the primary nerve cluster. it's meant to taper down to the "diamond shape" at the bottom; the secondary nerve cluster. When I read "nerve cluster" I think "soft" and "delicate."
I can find no instances of the phrase "nerve cluster" being used in describing Cethente. On TW p. 141, there are references to the dome and the lower diamond being "sense clusters," but then, the human head could be called a sense cluster.

I didn't take the Cardassia symbol as a literal or exact description but rather something the Cethenthe's form put Dakal in mind of. Ditto the "lamp" description.
Again from TW p. 141, from Dakal's POV: "The astrophysicist was shaped, in fact, a great deal like a three-dimensional sculpture of the symbol of the Union."

The whole crystalline thing is news to me. it's possible I missed or forgot that but I don't recall its body as being described that specifically.
That's because it wasn't decided on until after you wrote your book. Andy & Mike didn't specify what Syrath anatomy was based on, merely describing Cethente as "exoskeletal." But they did suggest that Cethente didn't consume nourishment by normal means, and it did have those glowing sensory node thingies, and just in general it seemed to be the most alien member of the crew. And for OaTS I needed a crewperson with a very alien and very robust anatomy to be able to survive extreme pressures. Somehow the idea of a semicrystalline anatomy occurred to me. I was probably influenced by all the references in The Red King to the "crystalline" sound of Cethente's voice, though of course that was metaphorical. I liked the idea of Cethente being the most durable member of the crew despite appearing to be the most fragile. Although I can't quite remember whether that was my idea or something I got from Marco.

By the way, I just found a comment from Marco in my old e-mails about Cethente's tentacles: "[T]he underside of Cethente's tentacles are studded with opposable musclular knobs that it uses for finer manipulation of its environment." So my idea to trifurcate them apparently wasn't what Marco had in mind. I still think it makes more sense, though. Maybe both are the case.
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