In the battle for the ring space in Leviathan Falls, Duarte's ships enter the ring space in multiple waves of synchronized transits. For example, one wave is indicated by the Rocinante's sensor screen as follows:

Five more red dots transiting through different ring gates in the same moment.

Leviathan Falls, p. 444 (emphasis added)

This makes sense tactically, as it introduces an element of surprise for Duarte's forces -- especially when the synchronized transits occur through widely-spaced ring gates. However, this is also a nearly perfect strategy to cause the transiting ships to go dutchman since the risk of going dutchman is a function of

The safety curve [that is] based on the amount of matter and energy making transits though the gate network.

Tiamat's Wrath, p. 213

Furthermore, many of Duarte's ships transited while traveling extremely fast despite the fact that earlier in the same book Holden had expressed concern about traveling too fast while transiting:

We also don’t want to go through so fast we dutchman ourselves.

Jim Holden, Leviathan Falls, p. 246

The transiting ships seem to be a mix of vessels of various sizes and purposes, so it's possible that some of them are fairly small and therefore pose relatively low risk of going dutchman even if traveling fast and transiting at the same time as other ships. However, some of the transiting ships are described as "freighters" (which could be quite large) and one of the transiting ships was definitely the massive Magnetar-class battlecruiser the Voice of the Whirlwind, which is also known to have transited while traveling very fast.

Why didn't any of these ships, especially the Magnetar-class battlecruiser, go dutchman?

The best explanation I can come up with is that

Duarte prevented them from going dutchman just like he saved the Preiss.

However, I'm skeptical about this explanation because

1. The ring gate acted oddly enough when the Preiss was saved from going dutchman that Aliana Tanaka thought the Preiss was about to go dutchman, yet I didn't catch any similar description of the ring gates acting differently when Duarte's ships transited through them.
2. I find it hard to believe that Duarte would be able to save multiple ships, in repeated waves, while controlling his hive mind, and in the middle of a battle against both the Goths and the forces led by the Rocinante. Holden had a hard enough time fighting just the Goths when he took over control of the Ring Station, so I would think Duarte would have had an even harder time doing all that and preventing the ships under his control from going dutchman.

Did I miss a subtle explanation for how Duarte's ships avoided going dutchman during this battle?


I think that Nagata's "curve" is not precisely defined enough in the texts, for us to have a sense of:

  1. precisely how much mass/energy trips the threshold when the curve is flat/reset,
  2. the relative scale of that quantity to any given ship's mass/energy, and
  3. the decay of the curve as a function of time.

Unless these quantities have been formally specified somewhere by the authors, I don't see how any answer can be more than speculative.

  • I don't recall the safety curve being precisely defined, either, but there are nonetheless several ways to answer definitively. For example, (1) by comparing the masses and speeds of ships during known dutchman events with masses and speeds of Duarte's ships when they transited (the Magnetar is the easiest to compare and probably the one most seriously at risk of going dutchman), (2) a statement I missed in the text which states something to the effect that "Duarte saved the ships" or "the ships were careful to stay just under the safety curve", (3) author statement, etc.
    – Null
    Jan 13 at 22:24
  • @Null Pretty sure that your (1) is a condensation of my answer's numbered bullets, and your numbers (2) and (3) are my answer's last sentence. :)
    – Lexible
    Jan 14 at 20:45

You are treating Duarte's various activities as if they are fully unrelated events.

Ships go Dutchman because the Goths attack them. It's not an unrelated feature of the ringsgates, it's a direct reaction by the Goths against the matter transfer they hate so much. As soon as Duarte turns on the Ring Gates fully (causing them to continiously send out both energy and matter) the old rules go out the window. The gates provoke the Goths continiously, the Goths retaliate continiously, and Duarte defends continiously. Nagata's algorithm is at that point about as useful and relevant as a pre-approved visa during a Soviet-US nuclear exchange.

  • I agree it's quite possible that the old rules go out the window, but it seems to me just as likely that ships would be even more likely to go dutchman than Naomi's algorithm suggests as a result of the ongoing struggle against the Goths.
    – Null
    Jan 14 at 17:04
  • They would be, were it not for Duarte turning on the defenses. That's what the battle against the Goths, keeping them from interfering with the operation of the gates and ensuring they do not destroy the Slow Zone.
    – 10ebbor10
    Jan 14 at 22:26
  • I'm willing to believe that Duarte prevented them from going dutchman (that is the "best explanation" I present in my question, but does the text say that? Or are you just speculating like I am?
    – Null
    Jan 14 at 22:36

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