Incubator Archives
"Asaka took the box, and opened it, looking at the small metal ring enclosed within. Gold, with symbols inscribed on it—she always had a sense of humor." Is this a Tolkien reference? On a related note, to what extent is 20-21st century (pop) culture still alive in the minds of people in 2460, and are there any particular works that stick out as classics the way Shakespeare currently sticks out as a classic from about as far back?

orz, it’s supposed to be silver. Soul gem rings are silver. The joke was that she used wedding rings that look like soul gem rings.

EDIT: Also, you know symbolic, especially if they’re wearing fake versions of each others’ soul gems.

Regarding 21st century “classics”, I honestly have a poor gauge of this kind of thing. I’d venture to guess that whatever works turn out to be “Classics”, we won’t really realize it until much later.

So while I of course defer to your literary judgment, I'm rather hoping some recap of the future production of Ryouko's movie is in the works. Perhaps not something like Mami watches a movie (which was incredible) since we already know what happened, but more like that time Ryouko went to see it with her friends. It's not really a question, so you don't have to reply. Just a thought.
Chapter 33: Madeleines

Lain compels you! (I couldn’t find a single picture of Lain with madeleines. What’s up with that?)

Sorry if this was answered/explained in the story before, but I couldn't find it: Was there ever an explanation for the tension between Shizuki Sayaka and Kana Kuroi?

There was not.

Well, if you ment to bring up Mars ,I hope you can manage to bring it at some point, even in passing. That would be really interesting.
This may be silly, but why haven't any contracting girls just wished for humanity to win the war, or for the Cephalopods to all die? I figured there were two possibilities: either A. someone already has and humanity is fated to win the war, it's just taking some time to come true or B. part of having 'potential' would be not making a wish like that. Actually, maybe C. the Incubators can't affect the Cephalopods. Any word-of-god here? Also, love the story-I can't wait for the next chapter!

To a first approximation*, I tend to think of the wish system as accumulating inertia over time. The bigger the scale of the wish, the more other wishes must realign for them to all work together, and the more difficult it consequently it. It may not be possible for something to happen all at once and still fulfill everyone else’s wishes.

*The approximation is, I don’t think it’s really an accumulation over time. I imagine the wishes as timeless, in the same way Godoka is, so they’re all just there, pre-accumulated. But the temproal version is easier to think about, even if it has some pathological features.

Unused Snippet

Since I was prompted to use this recently in the SV thread, might as well post it here as well:

"One of the first directives of the newly founded Governance was the redirection of resources away from the superfluous fighting arms to humanity’s many pressing problems—Ecology, Economic development, the rebuilding of shattered cities—and to the government’s many ambitious projects, of which the Eden Project was the most prominent.

It is not that the military was disarmed; rather, it was allowed to rust, both literally and figuratively.

Many have argued that this policy was eschatologically short-sighted. An alien invasion was immensely predictable, so the argument goes, given the dilapidated state of humanity’s defenses.

The government, though, had its reasons. AI analysts, examining the long-term future of humanity, had explained to the Directorate that the optimal policy for long-term survival was a combination continued economic development and the initiation of expansion into space. After all, any alien races hell-bent on destroying humanity were either at a similar technological level, in which case economic factors would play the most important role, or they would be far above humanity, in which case it hardly mattered anyway. And, of course, if they were far lower, than it was hardly a concern.

Following these directives, the newly integrated General Staff carried out their duties professionally. Nuclear missile silos were kept polished and ready, military research was carried out, and contingency plans were initiated but, by and large, the world’s armed forces faded quietly into the night.

By the eve of the current war, the General Staff was nearly moribund. Composed of a combination of veterans from the late Unification Era, and completely untested career officers, it commanded a military that had nearly ceased to exist, by that point composed nearly entirely of early-warning systems, experimental prototype ships, a few hobbyist test divisions, and many, many pages of detailed plans.

In the face of the current crisis, the Staff performed admirably with what little it had. Initially confused by the lack of an attempted direct strike on Earth and its relatively intact defenses—which was what all the plans expected—they led the breakneck rearming of Earth and its Colonies in a masterpiece of AI-managed bureaucratic skill, retooling entire economies in a matter of weeks. By the time of the Battle of New Athens, the armed services had grown nearly thirty-fold in size, counting nearly ten million in well-equipped, if only hastily trained, volunteers. Shipyards that had not even existed two weeks prior were mass-producing starships that had before only been prototypes.

Underlying it all was the terrifying realization that the AI analysts had been right all along, at least partly. Field reports indicated that, had the aliens so chosen, they could have made an irresistible advance on Earth. They further indicated that they could still do so, at any time. Panic was the order of the day, Governance was called into continuous, Level One session, and the long-range colony ships, envisioned as the desperate last shot for human survival, were fueled and launched into orbit, filled to the brim with scientists, technicians—everyone thought necessary to rebuild human civilization. Here indeed was the long-feared, hostile superior civilization, just as unstoppable as the analysts had predicted.

It was immensely confusing, then, that the aliens did not do so. That perplexed and confounded the predictions of the government’s models.

They were, of course, to receive an even greater shock, very soon.”

Avnit Haasan, A History of the General Staff, Prologue

Never got to use this for anything…

When I heard of Madeleines I always end up thinking of Lain Iwakura. (Please don't post this yet just incase its spoilers)

It’s not really strong enough spoilers, honestly. Especially if I point out that the Lain madeleines scene is itself a reference to something arguably far more famous.