4

When the Nivens visit the Titanian ship, they come across a tank full of humans who were alive. What were the slugs using them for?

6

The humans were test subjects who had a disease dangerous to the slugs (the true threat) which had taken over the Titanians (the slugs current host/carrier) called Nine Day Fever.

  • The Titanians were using them in an effort to find a cure for the disease which kills the slugs faster than their hosts.

  • This gives the book's protagonists, Sam, Mary and the Old Man the idea of spreading the disease among the human populace to stop the invasion from spreading as quickly.

  • The threat of the slugs already had a good foothold so spreading the disease would only slow the slug advance but would give humanity a fighting chance at survival.

  • Hmm, that implies that the slugs were fully aware of the nine-day fever before they invaded and had had 20 years to find a cure for it. When Andrew Niven is infected, his master states something along the lines of "we won't make the same mistake again", a statement which now sounds rather hollow. – coleopterist Aug 21 '13 at 19:52
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    Humans aren't the only trash-talking life-forms out there... – Thaddeus Howze Aug 21 '13 at 20:22

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