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Just finished reading The Fall of Hyperion , and I have a 2-part question - both tightly connected to the same event and to each other:

  • One on hand, it seems that the Shrike's ability to teleport in space-time continuum was ineffective against Kassad due to the powers of the skin-suit given to him by Moneta, as hinted by the reference to the time when Kassad, Moneta and the Shrike battled together against the Ousters, and as hinted by the following excerpts:
  • The Shrike did not disappear in its usual manner, did not cease being there to suddenly be here.

  • The Shrike moved, quickly but not impossibly.

  • On the other hand, it still teleported once near Kassad during that battle:

The Shrike ceased being there and came into existance here, next to Kassad, on top of Kassad, it's arms already around him in a terminal hug.

So how come?

That leads to the next part - how could Kassad, who had an extremely slim chance defeating the Shrike on even terms, could have defeated it eventually if it (being able to decimate entire armies because of it's movement through time abilities) seemed to retain those abilities during the battle with Kassad after all?

(NOTE: I'm not implying that it doesn't make sense, just pondering if I'm missing something, since only the outcome of the second part of the battle is described, not it's course).

  • Welcome to SFF.SE. Although you note these questions are related, please split them into multiple question posts. – Null May 15 '15 at 15:26
  • Splitting these into separate questions will allow you to more easily guage the quality of each answer. – Valorum May 15 '15 at 15:45
  • Edited - the last question was omitted. Note that the remaining "2" questions are essentially 2 facets of the same issue. – Fingolfin May 15 '15 at 15:45
  • I'm happy to reopen this. Good edit. You could possibly make the paragraph starting "That leads to the next part..." clearer in what you're asking. – Valorum May 17 '15 at 20:00
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I can think of two explainations:

One is that the Shrike was looking for a fair fight. Since the future is fluid, as Ummon says, this Shrike may have been sent back without the intention of killing Kassad. The human UI allowed the Shrike to travel back in time, and since Kassad is essential to the future, the human UI may not have actually feared the Shrike killing Kassad. The Shrike seemed to have been strong enough to kill Kassad in the Pilgrims' time. When they're fighting the Ousters, Kassad notes that the Shrike is a blur, even to him. And there's also the point where Kassad looks out and sees thousands of Shrikes, yet only one engages him.

The other explanation is that Moneta has some control over the Shrike, or time itself, and maybe she let her concentration waver. When Kassad and the Shrike are battling the first time, Moneta is standing in the corner with her palm raised, helping Kassad. In the second fight, if I remember correctly, Kassad was injured, and Moneta stopped it from making the killing blow against Kassad. Maybe Moneta had a lapse, and it allowed the the Shrike to Shrikecast all over Kassad.

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