I don't understand what the protagonist realised to

make her want to not be found.

I feel like there is something implied that I'm missing that follows from the

eyes of the M-CPU plant and the moth approaching her

but I can't seem to figure out what exactly I'm missing to understand TreeFrog7's realisation, or is it supposed to be open-ended and I'm over thinking this? I have the feeling its the former but I could see it being the latter I guess.

The story in question can be found here. Thanks.

  • 1
    I'm not totally sure whether they were killed and cataloged, or converted to data at some point in the story, and if so when. But they definitely were collected in some sense.
    – Adamant
    May 2, 2017 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


The collectors got collected

The implication is that, as is so often the case in such stories, the tables have turned. Treefrog7 and Morituri36 are explorers who seek to gather data on organisms for their field guide, but are in turn gathered as data for the field guide of the very thing they were studying:

The M-CPU shows pictures and they are getting closer to where we are! Pictures of the sky over trees. Symbols. Clicking. The jungle at night. More symbols. I can see our backs! What?! The moth is coming, but slowly, it's walking. It is calm, its proboscis coiled up. But what does it want? Download is done. What...the M-CPU's monitor shows two eyes now. Orange with black pupils. Like those of a lemur but there is nothing else on the screen. Only black. Just two unblinking...Joukoujou help us, o! Now I see. Don't come looking for us! Don't...

Treefrog7 identified the M-CPU plant as a fellow scientist:

I'm having a catharsis as my husband and I stare into its monitor and it stares back. I am looking into a distorted mirror. We are gazing into the eye of an explorer. It is like us.

The bit at the end is from the perspective of the M-CPU plant:

They will never die. No information dies once gathered, once collected.

The creatures' field guide is thorough but incomplete.

I am the greatest explorer.

I am griot and I will soon join the others.

Note that the M-CPU says that "They will never die. No information dies once gathered, once, collected." Unless it is being extremely metaphorical, this suggests that it has literally saved Treefrog7 and Morituri36 (or copies) as data. Presumably, when the hawk moth guardian stabbed them, it was really taking DNA samples, or some other sort of information—else why not simply kill them?

The images at the end of the story seem to show something related to the M-CPU getting rapidly closer to them, after which they are either killed (the essential information about them having been collected) or translated directly to data. It seems a bit ambiguous.

The orange eyes, well. Perhaps the missing Bushbaby42 had a name that was more than metaphorical, and resembled a bush baby in appearance, biotechnology seeming to be popular in Ginen:

enter image description here

Note the orange eyes, of course. The orange eyes would then indicate that she is trapped as data within the M-CPU.

Treefrog7 doesn't want anyone to come looking for them, because if they do they too will end up as entries in the M-CPU's database.

Lest we doubt that this is the M-CPU talking, note that Morituri36 previously suggested that the M-CPU was a plant that intended to join a "pantheon of plant griots":

The M-CPU of legend and lore. The One Who Reaches. The Ultimate Recorder. Bushbaby42's obsession. How old must this M-CPU be? Seven, ten thousand years? Older than the plant towers of Ooni? I believe it's an true elemental with goals of joining its pantheon of plant griots.

This of course parallels what the M-CPU says or thinks, about being griot and joining "the others."

  • You said that biotechnology is popular in Ginen; how do you know this?
    – imu96
    May 2, 2017 at 13:29
  • 1
    @imu96 - 1) The references throughout the text, such as hemp cars, the various micro-cures Treefrog7 is said to have, the cultivation of the M-CPU plants vs computers. 2) Okrafor has written other books that are set in/reference this world, notably Zahrah the Windseeker. They go into more depth.
    – Adamant
    May 2, 2017 at 16:20

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