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jin-dui.swartzer.com • View topic - Questions about Reavers

Questions about Reavers

Start-up issues and world-building for this OC/Firefly 'Verse creative sandbox project

Questions about Reavers

Postby Whitney » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:39 pm

Okay! I've been trading emails with Brouwer about a possible original character of hers for the ship, and some questions have cropped up about Reavers, and how we want to handle them.

There was a little talk about this topic before when we were first getting the ship launched. First, before we get into the Reavers themselves, here's some important numbers to keep in mind:

* The original canon/fanon for the Verse is that the whole Miranda incident happens in 2506 (the same year as the start of the Unification War).
* Reavers begin to start attacking other communities, fanning out across the Blue Cluster and beyond, from 2507 through 2510.
* Our adventures of the Jin Dui begin in 2514.
* The events of the film "Serenity" are to have taken place in mid 2518.

Brouwer was thinking about writing a fic where one of the elements would be that it was observed that animals (dogs, rats, pigs) won't eat dead a dead Reaver, whereas they'll dine away happily enough on a dead "normal" person. Likewise, normal animals want nothing at all to do with Reavers and run the other way. (Which... okay, so do normal people, right?)

That certainly won't conflict with anything Joss has said on the subject, right? Does anyone have any objections again establishing something like this?

And that leads back to a larger question which is worth raising again, especially now that we've got fresh minds involved: do we even want to use the events of "Serenity" as our canon? Or are we interested in going some AU direction and saying that Miranda, as detailed in the film, never happened? (Praise Beyonce! Wash never died!!)

Does anyone have strong opinions one way or another? (Granted -- we still have 4 years in-game until we have to commit to an AU Miranda... but I think it's worth planting the thought-seed in minds and seeing what germinates...)
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Re: Questions about Reavers

Postby Ron » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:29 am

I'm fine with animals avoiding Reaver bodies. While there's no way they would have instincts specific to Reavers, they wouldn't need to; if Reaver bodies smell wrong or taste terrible or something, most animals would avoid them. Maybe some would come close and sniff, or even start to take a bite, and then back off.

As for the whole Miranda thing... I have mixed feelings. It was a great plotline for a movie that wasn't going to get a sequel, because they didn't have to figure out the consequences. And the movie is over before you start wondering about the relatives and friends of the original settlers. If there was a whole city full of people, at least some of them must have had connections on other worlds. Not to mention the crews who transported all those people and supplies. It seems completely wrong to me that there aren't at least rumors or urban legends, especially in the other worlds of the Blue Sun cluster.

Aside from those practical concerns, I also preferred the Reavers as larger-than-life bogeymen instead of "Oh, these are just colonists with rutted-up brain chemistry." They just aren't all that scary now that we know one teenage girl can take out a whole mob.

If the majority of our group want to say the Reavers come from Miranda, I'm fine with that as long as we don't remove all the mystery. Even if we discover the same thing the Serenity crew did, I want characters asking "Wait, there's gotta be more to it than just brain chemistry if animals won't eat their bodies" and stuff like that. If we ever encounter the Reavers, I want them to be inhumanly tough and fast, and still scary after the encounter is over.
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Re: Questions about Reavers

Postby Brouwer » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:26 pm

I personally prefer to respect the canon of Serenity, but I did have one idea about how/why animals avoid Reavers. As Chang suggested, if the ferocity of Reavers is reduced to a simple 'poisoning' from Miranda, it takes away a bit of their imposing reputation. But by my reckoning (thanks to the events of "Bushwacked,") chemical alteration isn't the only way to become a Reaver: many of their long-time prisoners eventually turn just as savage and twisted as their captors and join the pack. And if Reavers never sleep (again, as mentioned in Serenity), then any pack-members that turn into Reavers have more or less gone mad not just from psychological torture, but likely also from more or less permanent sleep deprivation (which is medically beyond dangerous).

Any such damage, to a brain whether initially drugged to act that way or not, would result in extreme chemical and hormonal changes in a functioning body (to say nothing of self-mutilation and constant sexual abuse). My thought is that these hormonal imbalances are so extreme that animals can sense, perhaps even smell this un-natural change. Thus, when settlers have in the past attempted to dispose of Reaver bodies by throwing them to the dogs [literally], they've been dismayed to find that the corpses won't be touched.

Even if the science behind this animal-avoidance is never discovered, it might add an interesting ominous tone to any Reaver knowledge that all characters currently have. You know, like when you toss your cat the broccoli from your plate, but even the cat won't eat it? Then you know it's bad. So when the only way to get rid of rotting Reaver corpses is to burn them because you can't grind them up for the pigs, you know these savages are bad.
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Re: Questions about Reavers

Postby Whitney » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:39 pm

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