Paper Moon wrote:
I just reread chapter 22 (where Soong visits the former location of Vaslovik's mansion). The way I'm reading it, Soong is deluding himself by not considering the possibility that either or both of them are dead. It's unclear if there is a limit to what Vaslovik/Flint/Akharin can actually withstand (could survive in a vacuum? As the target of a nuclear weapon? A direct shot with a quantum torpedo?), but let's assume he could survive anything, including the shockwaves of a quantum torpedo's impact. (Hey, he survived WWIII.)
Juliana may not be so lucky. As we have seen time and again (most obviously in Nemesis), android bodies are highly durable but are not indestructible. It seems very plausible to me that Vaslovik could've survived the wholesale destruction of his mansion at the hands of the Borg, but that Juliana['s body] could not.
(As for Soong's relief at not finding bodies, very simple: being so close to the epicenter of a Borg energy bolt, Juliana simply vaporized into all that much more dust. Akharin, on the other hand, being able to survive anything, survives and leaves.)
What am I missing, Christopher?
For myself I assumed that Flint burned all evidence of his existence there and left, and on rereading and seeing the words "abandoned", "where they might have gone" and "They've left me nothing to follow", I'm puzzled as to how you came to a different conclusion.
Well, first of all, I don't trust Soong as being a 100% reliable narrator, particularly at this highly volatile nexus of his jealousy for Vaslovik and his unrequited love for Juliana. His use of the terms you noted strike me as deliberately not
including the possibility that they may have been targeted by the Borg. That seems to me to reflect an unconscious refusal to consider that possibility, which would color his account of what he saw.
That said, Soong does note that some "blackened timbers remained upright," and that is harder (though not impossible) to reconcile with my theory of a Borg attack.
I concede that Mack is more ambiguous regarding Juliana's fate than I initially perceived, and that it is probably more likely that she survived than not.
Still, though, if that is the case, I am still puzzled why Data does not put more emphasis on finding his mother as well as Vaslovik. But I figure that will be addressed in the next two books.