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I'm re-reading the Peter Hamilton Night's Dawn trilogy and am confused at this extract from book 3 (I think each book was in 2 parts in the USA) The Naked God - chapter 8.


Louise and her sister Genevieve have journeyed from an agricultural planet and have never received neural implant fleks until now...

Andy broke the seal in front of her, and took out a small black capsule a couple of centimetres long. He slotted that into the back of a specialist medical implant package. The only other item in the box was a flek.
‘This is the operating didactic, which is standard, but it also contains the first-time access code specific to this set,’ he told her. ‘Basically, it allows you to activate the neural nanonics. After that, you change the code by just thinking of a new one. So even if someone got hold of your flek afterwards it wouldn’t do them any good. Don’t worry, it’s all explained in the didactic.’
She lay face down on the cushioned bench, with a pair of collar wings holding her neck steady. Andy pushed her hair to one side, ready to apply the medical package to the nape of her neck. There was already a tiny nearly healed scar on her skin. He knew exactly what it was, he’d seen it a thousand times before, every time the implant package was taken off.
‘Is everything all right?’ Louise asked.

How did she have the scar?
(I remember being bemused years ago when I read it the first time, this time I've been very careful not to miss out a sentence earlier in the trilogy)

  • I was excited to see this post because not many talk about PFH's works, but at the same time I was wary because I haven't finished this trilogy. – B.fox Aug 12 '18 at 12:31
  • I'd never given this another thought before. A few paragraphs later it mentions that Andy checked the bio scans and apparently she definitely doesn't have a nanonics package installed. He muses that this means "government", but decides to not mention it and goes ahead with the installation. I'd have to read through the whole trilogy to be sure, but this might be explained earlier – HorusKol Aug 12 '18 at 21:23
  • @HorusKol That's basically what I've been doing. Reading carefully through the trilogy and trying to find an explanation - even looking for a 'throw away' line in an Earth security meeting etc. No luck so far – DannyMcG Aug 13 '18 at 4:51
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It's not something you missed earlier in the novel.

From what I remember, it is later revealed that the Illuminati-esque secret rulers of Earth have been manipulating Louise from the moment she arrived on Earth to use her bait for Quinn. It is either stated or at least implied that they implanted her while she was unconscious some time after she was first arrested to I think scan her memories. So this is foreshadowing of that reveal.

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I don't think it was something revealed later. When first captured trying to get to earth they did scan her memories. From the description of how they scanned Gerald Skibbow's memories, they seemed to use the same technology as neural nanonics so she would have a scar.

The later reference to her being manipulated I think is in the traditional sense, i.e. to control events so that she would take a certain path, rather than to actually make her do things.

That said, at the end when Skibbow died they said he still had the implant in his head, presumably from the memory scan, though they may have left it in him as he was undergoing "treatment".

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    If you could edit in the relevant quote you are referring to it would greatly improve your answer. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 12 at 13:32

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