GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

How do Reavers pilot ships, them being insane cannibals and such?

POSTED BY: CHRISISALL
UPDATED: Friday, December 16, 2005 11:24
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:24 AM

CHRISISALL


Citizen said they're too messed up to efficiently run a spacecraft or work together coherently; I maintain that they have selective psychosis, and are able to do what needs to be done in service to their insane bloodlust.

What are the theories regarding this, anyone care to set us straight?

Chrisisall creepafied

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:32 AM

KRUNJ


Reavers still maintain traces of their intelligence even after they went batshit loco.

You can tell it in the technology they have that they are capable of maintaining life on doomed spaceships.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:37 AM

MSCKAREN


I've seen this complaint a few times. We judge them insane because they are so violent when they get into a killing spree. I have a couple of comparisons:

Carnivore pack animals like wolves. The reavers seem to hunt, kill and feed in packs when they can so they know how to cooperate to get what they want.

Remember in the pilot when the Reaver ship passes by and Wash(?) says, "They must not have been hungry"? Reminds me of the lions lying around while their food grazes...until the lions get hungry and they pick their most likely prey...

Second comparison: Some serial killers are known to have genius IQs. This doesn't stop them from being horribly vicious and insane - it just makes them better at catching their prey and evading capture.

Either of those work for you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Appears they've cancelled the show and we're still here. What does that make us?"
"Big damn junkies, Sir!"
"Ain't we just."
http://karenallover.blogspot.com/

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:41 AM

DIEGO


I don't believe that the elevated agression suppresses all their other cognitive abilities. It simply can't be the case.

Not only do Reavers build, operate and maintain weapons (including some ingenious home-grown nonlethal capture devices) but they can maintain, modify, and pilot ships and seem to be capable of at least some level of planning.

Warning movie SPOILERS below!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Select to view spoiler:



I'm also not certain whether Reavers attack each other. I know there is the scene where one small ship is shown ripping another apart and some have suggested that they are both Reavers. I didn't get a close view but it could be a captured ship brought home to be dismantled for parts or could be the recycling of a damaged Reaver ship for parts. Have there been other alleged incidents of Reavers attacking each other? Also, why were the bodies of their fellow Mirandans left unmolested (besides dead people being less fun to despoil)? And how could 0.1% of the population have survived for twelve years if they were killing anything in sight? My own hypothesis to cover all these facts is that Reavers might not be simply randomly agressive at all times. I think that perhaps they have heightened xenophobia and attack "the other". The modifications and painting of their ships and the damage they do to their bodies might partially serve as a cultural identification badge. Thoughts?

Select to view spoiler:





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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:51 AM

BROWNTROUSERS


Do you think the "Reavers" originally got their name from the fact that they had the "Reverse" effect when exposed to the device that was intended to calm the population?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:51 AM

GIXXER


They use the same principles as drunk drivers.

Too pissed to walk, or hold a coherent conversation, yet able to do an entire bus queue with pinpoint accuracy.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:54 AM

EST120


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Citizen said they're too messed up to efficiently run a spacecraft or work together coherently; I maintain that they have selective psychosis, and are able to do what needs to be done in service to their insane bloodlust.

What are the theories regarding this, anyone care to set us straight?

Chrisisall creepafied



I have always felt that even though the Reavers are ultra-violent, they are not stupid. They are agressive and persistent when it comes to their hunting, but during "normal" times, perhaps they are more toned down.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:56 AM

STATIC


I have to agree...

Nothing has ever said that the reavers were made unintelligent. . .just HYPER agressive. Their neo-primitive (like that? I just made it up!) weapons are a result of intelligent engineering making practical and effective weapons out of salvage (think "Junkyard Wars" from HELL).

I imagine their hyper-aggressive culture led to a rather inevitable 'tribal/pack' sort of society with "Alpha" leadership.

http://burstsofstatic.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 3:57 AM

QUIETUDE


Makes me wonder about how alike the words 'River' and 'Reaver' are. Maybe River was going to help destroy the Reavers. Just wash them away.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:05 AM

MSCKAREN


Quote:

Do you think the "Reavers" originally got their name from the fact that they had the "Reverse" effect when exposed to the device that was intended to calm the population?


Joss likes to use old words:

Reave1
v. Archaic reaved, or reft (rft) reav·ing, reaves
v. tr.

1. To seize and carry off forcibly.
2. To deprive (one) of something; bereave.


v. intr.

To rob, plunder, or pillage.


[Middle English reven, to plunder, from Old English rafian. See reup- in Indo-European Roots.]

From www.dictionary.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Appears they've cancelled the show and we're still here. What does that make us?"
"Big damn junkies, Sir!"
"Ain't we just."
http://karenallover.blogspot.com/

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:19 AM

DONCOAT


I think of the Reavers as being 18th-century pirates on acid.

They can cooperate (just as a pirate crew could), but probably turn on each other periodically. They manage to congregate more or less peacefully (as pirates did in certain Caribbean ports) but quickly attack any outside threat, real or perceived.

And they stage raids on their peaceable neighbors for fun and profit.

Like pirates, Reavers don't give much thought to their own long-term well being. (Most pirates had ridiculously short careers and life expectancies.)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:25 AM

XEROGRAVITY


To me it's obvious. Clearly, they are the direct descendants of New York City cab drivers.

XG


No such thing as gravity. The "Earth-that-was" just sucks.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:26 AM

DIEGO


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
I think of the Reavers as being 18th-century pirates on acid.
. . . . .
Like pirates, Reavers don't give much thought to their own long-term well being. (Most pirates had ridiculously short careers and life expectancies.)



I really like your "pirates on acid" line!

And of course their short life-expectancy/high mortality rate brings up the question of recruitment. Where do new reavers come from? We saw how the severe trauma of surviving a Reaver attack can make a person become one (perhaps mimicking the biochemical instability in the brain?). But do Reavers have and raise their own offspring? And if so, is being raised by Reavers enough to make an individual a Reaver?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:35 AM

RELFEXIVE


Here's how I see it... spoilerised, obviously.

Select to view spoiler:


The first ones were those affected by the Pax Effect. If it generated a serious enough chemical imbalance, it could become a genetic effect, and be passed down to any offspring a Reaver has *shudder*

Other people can be 'converted' in one (or both) of two ways:

Someone can be made to see them at work and this damages their mind with the horror of it, makes it so the only way to survive it is to become one. Stockholm Syndrome gone worse. Reaver Syndrome, in fact. As seen in Bushwacked.

Maybe the Reavers have cannibalised (heh) parts of their ships from things down on Miranda... like parts from the air processors for their ship life support systems. So they carry the Pax with them, everywhere they go... Concentrated inside a ship, maybe the Pax Effect works quicker... and those who don't weaken and get eaten quickly become hyper-aggressive in very short order and join the Reavers by sundown.... not that there's a sundown in space.



That's what I think.



"My God - you're like a trained ape. Without the training."
"Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all..."
I know the secret.
http://www.theshadowdepository.co.uk/index.htm

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:38 AM

KHIMBAR


At the Con my gf asked Chris if he knew if Joss had been inspired by or heard of the Border Reivers. He didn't know, but I figure he had.


http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/Scotland-History/BorderReivers.ht
m


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:39 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Hey you know we had a thing here in the UK recently where IKEA had some kinda mega sale going on and it was to start at midnight.......

.....Well frankly it was bedlam!!! With people blocking up motorways(Highways) and abandoning their cars when they realised they weren't going to make it on time. One guy got stabbed and many were punched, kicked and injured....

...all for the sake of cheap, 'fall apart' furniture....

... now these crazy f**kers made it there in there 4x4's so as an example of madness thinking clearly towards the ultimate objective.... There you go.

Never underestimate the mad. Reavers or interior furniture hunters....

The
Somnambulist

www.cirqus.com

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 4:40 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Reavers definitely maintain some intelligence & sense of cooperation as we have seen in the series & the film. In the series they booby trapped the ship Serenity hooks up to in "Bushwhacked", which demonstrates mechanical ingenuity. In the episode "Serenity" the Reavers track the crew to Whitefall & their pilot manages to keep right on top of Serenity despite Wash's skill until he pulls a Crazy Ivan.

I think we can safely say that the Reavers are far smarter than most give them credit for. The example of serial killers who have high IQs is a good one. Just because the Reavers are hyper aggressive and brutally savage doesn't mean they are stupid.

__________________________________________

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Richmond, VA & surrounding area Firefly Fans:

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/richmondbrowncoats/

http://www.richmondbrowncoats.org


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:19 AM

TIGER


You ever known a regular steroid user? They can drive a car, thread a needle, carefully remove all the weights from the weight bar and stack them up neatly in their place before using the bar to smash every mirror in the workout room and break a few fingers and a collar bone in the process.

And if you REALLY get him mad you'd have an easier time convincing a grizzly he doesn't want to eat you than talking this guy out of trying to chew your face of for spilling his water bottle.

I think of the reavers as people on a VERY bad, non-stop roid rage.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:19 AM

CYBERSNARK


In fact, if anything, Reavers would lend themselves to intelligence. Or at least extreme cunning; the brain is a weapon after all. Any Reavers who don't learn and adapt fast will end up particularly dead (they won't be able to feed, they'll get hungry & weak, get ripped apart by the stronger ones), while the smart ones will survive, and might even become the Alpha.

Me, I subscribe to the "pack hunters" idea. It just makes sense from a survivalist POV, and it's logical that the Alphas would be the strongest and most brutal --the best survivors. Even then, they'd likely have a high turnover rate (turn 'em over and stick a fork in 'em?).

Quote:

Originally posted by TheSomnambulist:
Never underestimate the mad. Reavers or interior furniture hunters....

I just wanted to admire this line one more time.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:21 AM

CYBERSNARK


Same time post; Make a wish!

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:34 AM

DIEGO


Quote:

Originally posted by RelFexive:
Here's how I see it... spoilerised, obviously.

Select to view spoiler:


The first ones were those affected by the Pax Effect. If it generated a serious enough chemical imbalance, it could become a genetic effect, and be passed down to any offspring a Reaver has *shudder*



That's what I think.



I dunno, RelFexive, 'cause you see—

Select to view spoiler:


that would imply some sort of Lamarckian process (inheritance of acquired characteristics). I just don't buy it.

On the other counts, I think you might be right. We simply don't know enough about Pax to know if the chemical is long-lasting and could have been brought with them. And if you're correct that there is residual Pax concentrated on Reaver ships then it may also be the more parsimonious explanation for reaver behavior being "passed on" (not genetically, but via the environment) to any offspring.[spoiler}

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:35 AM

JUBELLATE


Quote:

I really like your "pirates on acid" line!

And of course their short life-expectancy/high mortality rate brings up the question of recruitment. Where do new reavers come from? We saw how the severe trauma of surviving a Reaver attack can make a person become one (perhaps mimicking the biochemical instability in the brain?). But do Reavers have and raise their own offspring? And if so, is being raised by Reavers enough to make an individual a Reaver?



I don't think they do. See Spoiler


Select to view spoiler:


After all, its only been 10 years since they became Reavers, therefore its more than likley the majority of Reavers are the same people that went crazy from the PAX. Most likely, the Parliment didn't do anything because they believed the threat would die out with them and they could covertly clean up the mess later.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:37 AM

DIEGO


khimbar, cool article on the Reivers of the Scottish border!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:47 AM

DIEGO


Quote:

Originally posted by JubelLate:

I don't think they do. See Spoiler

Select to view spoiler:


After all, its only been 10 years since they became Reavers, therefore its more than likley the majority of Reavers are the same people that went crazy from the PAX. Most likely, the Parliment didn't do anything because they believed the threat would die out with them and they could covertly clean up the mess later.




Yeah, but that kind of live-fast, eat human flesh, and die young lifestyle has got to be hell on their population numbers. And I doubt they're making too many converts (a la "Bushwacked") in their raids.

Select to view spoiler:


We don't know what the population size of Miranda was and that will make a huge difference in how many individuals a tenth of a percent adds up to. If the initial population size was large enough then your right that the question is moot.

Select to view spoiler:



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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:51 AM

RELFEXIVE


Quote:

Originally posted by Diego:
Quote:

Originally posted by RelFexive:
Here's how I see it... spoilerised, obviously.

Select to view spoiler:


The first ones were those affected by the Pax Effect. If it generated a serious enough chemical imbalance, it could become a genetic effect, and be passed down to any offspring a Reaver has *shudder*



That's what I think.



I dunno, RelFexive, 'cause you see—

Select to view spoiler:


that would imply some sort of Lamarckian process (inheritance of acquired characteristics). I just don't buy it.

On the other counts, I think you might be right. We simply don't know enough about Pax to know if the chemical is long-lasting and could have been brought with them. And if you're correct that there is residual Pax concentrated on Reaver ships then it may also be the more parsimonious explanation for reaver behavior being "passed on" (not genetically, but via the environment) to any offspring.




Well, I wasn't going all Lamarckian exactly... maybe it can effect their DNA, as I said.

Or, for a better answer, be carried to the unborn children through the blood they receive from their mother... yrch.



"My God - you're like a trained ape. Without the training."
"Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all..."
I know the secret.
http://www.theshadowdepository.co.uk/index.htm

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:58 AM

HJERMSTED


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
I think of the Reavers as being 18th-century pirates on acid.



Probably closer to pirates on PCP than pirates on acid. People on PCP are impervious to pain and the Reavers do tend to disfugure themselves which has got to hurt a little.

If acid caused people to disfigure themselves (other than their intellects), there'd be a LOT of ugly-ass near-retirement age baby boomers running around today making present-day yoga classes a nightmare come true.

mattro

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 7:01 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by XeroGravity:
To me it's obvious. Clearly, they are the direct descendants of New York City cab drivers.



Ha! - been to Detroit lately ?

At least NY Cabbies have some kind of decent certification, over here they'll stick anyone with a pulse behind the wheel.

And only in MI can you be detoured, onto a detour, that leads to yet another detour... that's CLOSED because of more (you guessed it) road construction.

MI has three seasons, winter, winter, and road construction, less than fondly known as "Orange Crush" because of those damned orange barrels crushing traffic into chokepoints.

I tell you - if there was a throwdown between MI drivers during orange crush and reavers, I would bet on the Michiganders with every dime.

Reavers are DETROIT cabbies, not New Yorkies..

-Frem

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 7:21 AM

KAYLEEFRYE


I'm not sure if this is really spoilery or not so


Select to view spoiler:



Is it possible that the PAX got into their blood? I mean, with all that breathing it in and stuff, wouldn't it have to have gotten into their blood somehow?



And if that's true, it could become something like a disease that could be passed on from one generation to the next (if they have children)(gahh) or it could be passed, almost like vampirism, through a transfer of blood. IE, if a Reaver were to, say, have a bloody open gash on his face, as they are wont to do, and bit an "uninfected" person and got some of his blood in the wound, it is possible that the effect would spread. Of course, there would have to be more than a few drops of blood, and the person that was bitten (or scratched or sworded or whatever) would have to be of the personality type to be affected in such a way

Select to view spoiler:


like the tenth of a percent of the population of Miranda who had the adverse reaction to the PAX. Maybe the Reavers can tell who will be affected the same way they were, and they can use that to their advantage. Maybe that's what really happened to that guy in Bushwacked, because I have a bit of a hard time believe that seeing acts like that would make a person become that, despite the Stockholm Syndrome. I should think that even less than a tenth of a percent of the population of the verse would react that way toward the deeds of Reavers.



Course, this is just a theory, and I could be totally wrong, as I don't really know all that much about medicine and the like.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 7:59 AM

CHRISISALL


Wow everyone on this thread has something unique and meaningful to say on the topic!!!
I understand the Reavers as never before!!!

Chrisisall, chewing on a torso right now

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 8:02 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by TheSomnambulist:
Never underestimate the mad. Reavers or interior furniture hunters....


I'm with Cybersnark; this is classic.

Chrisisall, who just saw Angel fire the Fang Gang!!!(S2 is grt!)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 8:17 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Static:
Nothing has ever said that the reavers were made unintelligent. . .just HYPER agressive. Their neo-primitive (like that? I just made it up!)

Why, how neo-creative of you!


Yeah, hyper agressiveness does not rule out intelligence, I think.

Chrisisall, wondering if Citizen is reading this...

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 8:31 AM

SPINLAND


Something that occurred to me:

Select to view spoiler:


1. The Pax isn't still around: evidence the crew of Serenity not being affected. They don't even seem stressed about the possibility when they learn it exists, which leads me to believe it's not just a matter of being exposed to it for long enough.

2. Given point 1 above, the effects of the Pax are permanent. Something got changed that stays changed; it's possible those changes are somehow contagious? People don't tend to survive long-term (or large-scale) "exposure" to reavers, so it's not something that comes up often, but the Bushwhacked episode makes a case. Maybe more was going on in that poor bastard's head than just reaction to what he saw.

The negative evidence for point 2 is River was in the midst of a sea of them and still seemed okay afterwards--not to mention in contact with lots of blood and bloody by-products. Maybe something in her make-up renders her immune?



Just some fanwanking while at work.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I don't know what your problem is, but I bet it's hard to pronounce.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:13 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


I don't think that Reaver's attitude is genetic at all, I think Reavers probably breed like crazy and allow only those that are strong or otherwise useful to survive, I think someone raised into that society would act as a member of that society.

My cousin is black, genetically she is half-African, quarter-Indian (from India) and quarter-Vietnamese. Her sister is Korean. Legally they are both French and American. Personality-wise they are French, they were raised as French girls and they act like French girls. If they were raised as Americans they would be American girls, if they were raised as Israelis they would be Israeli girls. Were they raised as cannibals they would be cannibals.

That’s the way things work. People act like the culture they are raised in and change is very slow in an isolated culture. As far as we know Reavers are not engaged in commerce, slavery, diplomacy, or any of those other things that allow new memes to be introduced. That makes change slow. It is much slower if those that disagree are killed off very, very quickly. I think Reavers would do that.

As for the thing from the movie:

Select to view spoiler:


I know very little about medicine, but I do know about the paradoxical effect. Some medicines, perhaps even most, have the exact reverse effect on a small portion of the population. If they make most people sleepy they make others insomniacs, if they make some people numb they make others sensitive, so on and so forth.

One thing to note is that some drugs to cure schizophrenia can push people deeper into it. Antidepressants can drive some people into deeper depression. Things don’t need to alter DNA to alter mood.

I have a feeling after being a Reaver you can’t go back. You can’t deal with what you have done enough to admit that it is wrong, and if by chance someone can what do you think their odds of survival are?


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:27 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by Hjermsted:
Probably closer to pirates on PCP than pirates on acid. People on PCP are impervious to pain and the Reavers do tend to disfugure themselves which has got to hurt a little.


I got the impression that they liked pain. They were really the ultimate example of someone taking joy from living. Any sensation, pain or pleasure, is something they strive for. I got the impression that anything that didn’t kill or cripple them, but did make them feel something, was good to them.

On the other hand there are a hell of a lot of other reasons for doing it too. One is to dehumanize themselves. They’re obviously intelligent, but they don’t seem to fight each other and they clearly work together. How do they make the distinction between what they can kill, eat, or rape, and what they can’t?

Everyone makes these distinctions, be they, “I can’t eat anything but a plant,” or, “I can’t eat a member of my tribe.” The Reavers have put themselves apart from humans, and it might be easier on their very screwed up psyche if they no longer think of themselves as humans.

If you make something very different from yourself it isn’t as hard to hurt it, when was the last time you saw someone have a fit of guilt because they hurt a blade of grass? Reavers may well think of humans on that level, but they can only do that if they do not think of themselves as human.

It makes sense for Reavers to think of life in terms of, “Us and Them,” and that’s a lot more effective if you think of Us as a different species.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:29 AM

SMAUG


Sorry don't know yet how to do the invisible text thingy..

Spoiler:
.
.
.


But the problem with PAX still being around or it being passed on like a virus or disease.. I like many of the thoughts in this thread, but it seems that everyone is assuming as fact that anyone who continues to be exposed to PAX (in whatever manor) becomes a Reaver. But wouldn't only 10% of the people how would be exposed to it become a Reaver? Wouldn't the other 90% of the people exposed just bore themselves to death like the others on Miranda? If that is the case.. the 9-1 ratio doesn't help much in how the Reaver population is maintained/grown.

Smaug..

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:35 AM

SPINLAND


Good point, Smaug ... very good point!

To hide spoiler text put the word "spoiler" (replace the quotes with square brackets) in front of that text, and the word "/spoiler" (again, use square brackets) after the hidden text (to turn off the effect again).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I don't know what your problem is, but I bet it's hard to pronounce.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:37 AM

TERAPH


Quote:

Originally posted by Spinland:
Something that occurred to me:

Select to view spoiler:


1. The Pax isn't still around: evidence the crew of Serenity not being affected. They don't even seem stressed about the possibility when they learn it exists, which leads me to believe it's not just a matter of being exposed to it for long enough.




I assumed that it was something that only affected people after a long exposure -- possibly years.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 10:13 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


To Smaug:

Select to view spoiler:


I thought it was a tenth of a percent (.1%), not ten percent (10%).

Either way I agree that it makes the idea of infecction by the PAX unlikely.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 10:40 AM

SMAUG


christhecynic,

Yes.. you may be right.. I hate to admit I have only seen the movie once so far..

But yes.. if that is true then I think that makes my point about PAX even more valid..

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:28 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by Smaug:
christhecynic,

Yes.. you may be right.. I hate to admit I have only seen the movie once so far..

We can only do what we can do, and if you hate to admit it I'm sure you have good reason for seeing it only once.

Just spread the word if you can and I shall be happy with you.

Quote:

But yes.. if that is true then I think that makes my point about PAX even more valid..

Exactly.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:33 AM

TUNABELLY


OMFG! so many things to respond on...where to start. this is a thoroughly interesting thread.

Quote:

Makes me wonder about how alike the words 'River' and 'Reaver' are. Maybe River was going to help destroy the Reavers. Just wash them away.


i thought the movie

Select to view spoiler:


was implicit about River's purpose. the way i see it is this - the Alliance created the Reavers by accident so they black out the project by telling everyone that that particular project was a failure and no one looks twice at the planet Miranda. so while Miranda is off the radar, the Reavers are not. they are in fact pushing in towards the core planets a little more each year (as Zoe mentions in one of the episodes) so Alliance has to do something about it lest they be caught in thier own web of lies. the Alliance undergoes another "secret project" the one that alters River from a regular genius to a psychic-Reaver-killing-machine. River and whoever else was part of this second project was meant to wipe out any evidence of just how wrong the Miranda project went.

River is psychic. the episode Objects in Space suggests that she can empathize, literally feel what she's reading (ie: the scene where she's watching Wash and Zoe make out in the cockpit). there's lots of references in the series where she claims to be hearing screaming. i think she's sensing the Reaver's during these instances.

also, Simon has trouble finding a treatment for River. there's mention that her body adapts to them too quickly. i think this was an affect of whatever was done to her. she's meant to immune to contagion so that she doesn't turn when she goes up against the Reaver's.




i'm sure there were more reasons why i thought this. i hadn't questioned the assumtion at all until now. that's just how i saw it. maybe i'll have more insight when i go see it again tonight!



Mal: "We've done the impossible and that makes us mighty."

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:54 AM

DREAMTROVE


I think they pilot easily by using the controls. Insane is not stupid. Insane is insane. Sometimes insane is very very smart. But it's still insane.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 2:11 PM

DONCOAT


Okay, I think I have it.

Select to view spoiler:


PAX is a prion, an infections "rogue protein", like the one that causes Mad Cow disease.

It comes in two forms: a normal form that can be transmitted as an airborne vector. That's the version that led to the peace-out disaster on Miranda. But by the time our BDHs showed up, the air processors had been shut down, the environment was stable, so there was no PAX around.

But there's also a mutated form of the PAX prion, which is only transmissible by ingestion. This is the form that produces ultra-aggression, to wit, Reavers. And here's the kicker: it's only spread by feeding infected tissue to non-infected individuals - which is why it only affected one in a thousand Mirandans.

That gives us the means to create more Reavers -- force a captive to eat a chunk of your flesh. Hence the facecutting. (Perhaps the prion actually encourages its hosts to cut themselves as a way of spreading itself! Other pathogens can and do change their hosts' behavior for their own benefit.) It also means you can't get it just by proximity to a Reaver.

Now we know why the guy in Bushwhacked turned into a Reaver. He was either deliberately fed some infected flesh, or got some infected blood in his mouth and swallowed it. It was more than just a psychological infection -- it was physical as well.



Now... does that, or does that not, explain just about the whole Reaver phenomenon?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 2:26 PM

TRANQUILITY


y'know, i know reavers piolot their own ships, but i can't just see them at the controls... seriously. Try and picture a dude with his face all cut up up I just can't see them sneaking up to destroy serenity either...

Just give Jayne a stick!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 2:28 PM

JRC


I think the guys with the hands of blue may have something to do with it. Perhaps they control the Reavers minds somehow, thereby giving them the ability to fly spaceships, etc. They're like the hitmen for the Mafia, doing all the dirty work....but, then again, maybe not. Just my 2 cents.

Everyone dies alone.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:21 PM

DREAMTROVE


Pax is Prion. Kudos to doncoat. I've been posting pax is a prion everywhere, but I assume doncoat camee up with it independently, so kudos to him/her/it.

It's the only sensible solution.

Here's a subject for future debate though. I think the mutated Reaver prion is interesting. Do people eat reavers? I guess maybe Reavers make you eat their dead or something.

Anyway, I posted this before here and on IMDb since I have pneumonia at the moment and can do nothing but lie in bed and post on boards because my head is to foggy to work.

here's what I came up with.

Reaver prion is just the Pax prion. People who encounter reavers get the prion much more readily. There is nothing about a prion that would lead me to believe it has to be ingested, like mad cow disease. Just as there are many venues for a virus, there are many for a prion, potentially. We know about BSE, aka Mad Cow, so that's logical, but others are certainly possible, and this is so called speculative fiction, so here I am speculating.

When a normal human encouters a reaver, they may be exposed to the airborne pax, as it was on the planet. Casual exposure is probably not a problem, many airborne agents are actually carried in water, or in other ways requiring more exposure, so that the numbers of the infectious agent would overwhelm the victim.

The Pax then has one of two effects on you.
1) You become a reaver
2) You become placid, unable to fight, and the reavers eat you.

By this model, reavers identify potential reavers right away, by their agressive response. Probably killing lots of reavers. That's okay with reavers. More food for the rest of us.

When you become placid, you only lose ability to fight, you are slightly weakened, it would take weeks to months for you to lose the will to live, remember. So fighting reavers is close to impossible, because it would be like taking a valium before charging, or rather moseying, into battle.

Okay, %wise there is a slight adjustment. We have some scientist saying reaverization is very rare .1%. In reaverland that number would likely have to change, I'd like it more up around 10%. There are many ways to do that.

1) getting raped by a reaver is a much more traumatic and effective way to get a reaver prion overload

2) copying doncoat's idea, it may have mutated.

This is a minor but necessary adjustment for the pax prion, because the race won't survive on .1%. It's also the scientist on miranda was way underestimating the reaver count.

By now of course, everyone reading this post has realized the singular flaw with this scenario. Or what would be a flaw, if it weren't for a truly appalling reality.

Oh, Someone else go ahead and say it for me :)

*evil grin*

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 6:03 PM

SLAYTHIS


Quote:

Originally posted by Diego:
We don't know what the population size of Miranda was and that will make a huge difference in how many individuals a tenth of a percent adds up to. If the initial population size was large enough then your right that the question is moot.



The exact lines from the movie... "There's thirty million people here and they all just let themselves die" and "about a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Pax" and "(Mal:) This report is maybe 12 years old." By this logic 12 years prior to the events of the movie, there were 30,000 reavers.

BUT...

The quotes above are from the shooting script, but I could have sworn that the actress stated, "about ten percent had the opposite reaction to the Pax." Occassionally, changes are made to the shooting script on set, so it's possible. But to verify, I'll have to go see the movie again (9th time.)

Incidentally her (Doctor Caron's) speech is a bit longer in the script. Some cuts were made.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 6:10 PM

DREAMTROVE


Spoilers

Okay, me again. Nothing to do but post.
Anyway, doh! I didn't see the invisitext until now, between the bars. Everyone who is reading this thread has already been spoiled anyway. so, sorry for not saying it before. There I said it. Spoilers. always. Anyway.

"If it generated a serious enough chemical imbalance, it could become a genetic effect, and be passed down to any offspring a Reaver has"

I gotta disagree with this. I don't mean to be a dick here. I'm new to this board, y'all know that already though. I saw the series, movie. saw the series again, gonna see the movie again, it rocks. Anyway, no, I know a lot about genetics. This won't happen. Mutation that causes change is a stem cell mutation. chemical mutigens would almost exlusive cause some sort of regular cell breakdown, only an infected embryo could be affected in this manner and it was be mad unlikely. Like on a level of an actual monkey flying out of my actual butt. Then all reavers are descended from that reaver, which isn't what we see. Okay, but you know I'm on the prion train here.

I assume everyone is familiar with prions and how they work cause you're all sci-fi fans here, but for the uninitiated here's a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prion

Okay, that was wikipedia's entry which is also google's first match, so I'm feeling lazy, sue me.

"The example of serial killers who have high IQs is a good one."

Okay, I really don't mean to annoy people if I know arguments, so guys, please don't take it personally. My favorite character is Jayne, okay, so I have issues. Anyway, I don't know who originated this idea, but it's a media fiction.

Technically speaking Ted Kazinsky was a terrorist, not a serial killer. He derived no pleasure out of the bombings and did it to forward a political agenda, he was an ecoterrorist. But that case aside, have you read or seen any interviews with regular serial killers? These guys are not just dumb, they're subhumanly dumb. They're non-functional morons. I don't mean they're like people with downes syndrome, I've worked with people with downes syndrome and serial killers are way less functional. But this is aside from the case. Reavers are savages. They clearly replace indians, as much as it pains me to say it, because it's a western. This role was the role of indians in the westerns. I don't think the portrayal of reavers is meant in any way to be a slight against native americans, I'm not implying any such thing.

Anyway. I liked the wolf analogy better. It can be plainly demonstrated in some species of mice that if you can completely block one neurotransmitter you alter it's behavior completely, and its behavior becomes like that of a completely different animal, say for instance, a cat. Yes, you can cause mice to become vicious cannibals.

So this is the reaver mechanism. In particular if you blocked serotonin in humans the resulting behavior might be very much like wolves.

Technically I guess reavers are "Pirates on acid"

The idea that a person would become a reaver from the experience is a sociological myth. It's one that persists in this society, so it's easy to believe it would persist in the (more primative) social structure of firefly settlers. I hope that this isn't an insult. I think it's intentionally primitive in its social structure. Without a chemical mechnanism reaverism would not spread, which we saw it do.

"There'd be a LOT of ugly-ass near-retirement age baby boomers running around today making present-day yoga classes a nightmare come true."

--- There's aren't?

I can see there's a protocol here where I have to learn the spoiler trick. I don't know the spoiler trick so forgive me. Or not, your choice.


This is a spoiler


There was my logical test. I'll see when it posts if it worked.

I hope by the time I hit post that someone has posted the horrible reality.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 6:40 PM

DREAMTROVE


Okay.

I talk to much. You'll get used to it. Or not, your choice.

I agree that I recall 10% which would make me happier, but I am strongly suspecting I heard wrong because everyone else is disagreeing.

I disagree that social behavior is pure nurture. A lion raised by french girls will not behave like a french girl. These are minor social differences between american girls and french girls, tied to a very minor difference between a black person and a white one, these aren't statistically significant forces kicking around. Not like lions and reavers.

I actually have a very solid base to argue this until the cows come home, but nature/nurture is a big argument that I don't want to get into on someone's firefly board, but if you want to email me about it feel free. For the sake of the argument I'm just going to stick to my guns, mental state, not cutom, is at stake here, and it is 100% chemical, which is not to say genetic. I don't think it is genetic. A genetically normal human can be turned into a reaver.

While I'm disagreeing I don't think hands of blue or blue sun corp controls reavers. They created reavers by mistake. They noticed that mistake, didn't care about its effects on society as a whole, and look and said: Nifty!

Here's a little quote from one of our own people in the US govt, whose name escapes me at the moment. (I don't mean to bring US politics into this BTW, I'm hoping that everyone dem or rep can be appalled at this. I don't know the party affiliation of the official. The senator was a republican):

A pentagon offical trying to explain to the senate why they were using napalm after it had been disallowed. This is the gist of how it went.

Senator: Well you told us in compliance with the order to destroy non-conventional arms you had destroyed all of the napalm. Why is it showing up in Iraq?

Official: That's not Napalm, those are incendiaries.

Senator: What's the difference?

Official: Much higher temperature. See, when we said we destroyed them, we meant we emptied them out, then they were no longer napalm. See, napalm is an explosive device which is powered by gasoline. When we saw the two towers come down we thought, wow, that really works. Jet fuel is much more powerful, that would kill a lot more people. We should do that. So we took all our napalm and drained the gasoline and refilled them with jet fuel. Then we had to give them a new name.



Okay, end politics. Anyway, the point is I was stunned that we had someone, and that last part was an exact quote I'm pretty sure, someone in our govt. looked at 9/11 and said "We should do that."

So totally believable, someone looked at reavers and said "hey, that works." So they started work on intentionally creating the reaver.

The first experiments were a disaster.

The reaver agents wouldn't do what their masters bid, and some controllers were lost. Also to create a reaver meant 9 sacrafices, not that the blue hands cared. In addition, reaver agents were not capable of complex rational thought.

The brain must be physically altered they thought. So it would respond to code words, maybe so it could complete some rational thought.

This whole discussion thread is leading to an obvious conclusion. River isn't immune. There's only one reason why River can go into a whole room full of Reavers and be unaffected. I think a couple of people almost said it but instinct prevented them.

Select to view spoiler:



River is a Reaver.



with a few upgrades maybe. I finally figured out the spoiler thing. It was over there on the left hand column all the time.


"When

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:54 PM

RELFEXIVE


Why does being a sci-fi fan mean you automatically know about prions? I had to read up on them on that link you provided to find out exactly what they are.


I never said all Reavers come from one big Mamma Reaver. Read the whole thread.


Otherwise, yes, some good theories there.



"My God - you're like a trained ape. Without the training."
"Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all..."
I know the secret.
http://www.theshadowdepository.co.uk/index.htm

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