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M. Jela Granthor's Guard    Founder of Clan Korval along with Cantra yos'Phelium and Tor An yos'Galan

DescriptionEdit

  • An augmented super-soldier of the M Series model (details on Yxtrang page)
  • Human, "designed with human care" and not vat-born like the Xs ("even if his genes had been selected, and cultivated, and arranged, he was arguably as human as anyone who didn't bear a Batch tattoo on both arms" [1]
  • One of the last M Series models of enhanced soldiers, who were phased out to the "so-called X strain."[2]
  • During infancy he was assigned to Granthor's Guard creche, after surviving an enemy attack on the lab at Finthir that killed every fetus in his cohort, except him. The Quartermaster thought him extraordinarily "lucky" to be alive.[3]
    • Rool Tiazan also thought Jela extremely lucky, telling Cantra: "Between the two of you, the luck moves so swiftly that the effect...is nothing short of gravitational." [4]
  • Not as tall as Cantra, or X-soldiers. "Broad shoulders and slim waist, both set off something fine by the leathers. Black hair, cropped; black eyes, bland. His face was brown, symmetrical, and a bit leaner than the shoulders predicted, with a firm mouth and strong brows...a gene-tailored series biologic."[5]
  • A "Generalist" who studies various topics, thinking broadly yet intensely.
    • "It was a wonderful thing to be a Generalist, Jela thought,...with his horde of beguiling and related facts, and his valuable skill at putting those facts together in intriguing and uncannily correct ways"[6]
  • A master pilot, the best Cantra has ever met. "She owned that Jela had called the problem on Faldaiza Yard accurately...He was also the devil’s own pilot -- as good as the best she’d ever seen."[7] (Jela thought Cantra the better pilot). [8]
  • He eventually co-piloted Spiral Dance, the courier ship that Cantra's "mother" won through captain's challenge. "Not that Garen had ever actually come out and said she'd killed a sherieka's agent and took their ship."[9]
  • Held the rank of Wingleader[2]
  • Promoted to captain when he entered secret detached duty for Commander Ro Gayda, upon passing rigorous training. His trainers called him "Captain M" —-- the Quartermaster's joke, but it kept his identity secret[10]
  • Rescued and adopted The Tree (a self-aware Ssussdriad) from its dying home-planet [11], [12] Pledged to protect the Ssussdriad, the last of its kind, a species that somewhat successfully resisted the Sherieka.
  • One of Jela's weapons is a ceramic whip, called "shib"[13] that can even sever fingers.[14]
  • Jela dies when the planet Vanehald is overrun by enemy solders. He holds the enemy back long enough for Cantra to escape with the Tree, in Spiral Dance.[15]. This happens some days after Jela reaches his official design limit of 45 years (being an M Series soldier) which was possible because the Tree extended Jela's hardwired life expectancy with specialized seed-pods.[16].

KinEdit

  • Cantra yos'Phelium - Jela's pilot, lover, and the mother of his son, Val Con[17]
  • Val Con (the First)-- son of Jela and Cantra. The first of seven to be named Val Con. He grew up to become the 2nd Delm of Korval[18]).
  • Clan Korval: Jela is the direct ancestor of yos'Phelium clan members through Cantra and their son Val Con. Jela died in battle before the founding of Clan Korval, but he brought the founding members of the clan (Cantra and Tor An) together and gave them their purpose -- to guard the Tree -- so he is officially recognized as the clan's Founder. (See Timeline)
  • Tor An yos'Galan - helps Jela free Liad dea'Syl from Osabei Tower on Landomist.[19] He becomes kin to Jela posthumously, through Jela's mate Cantra, when Clan Korval is formed
  • The Tree: Jela finds a lone young ssussdriad -- the last survivor -- valiantly holding its home world, which was attacked by Sheriekas. Jela adopts Tree and promises to keep it safe.[11] Tree travels with Jela for "half dozen years" [20] until Jela's death, speaking to Jela telepathically in pictures, sending images of the future [19] [20] [21]. It creates uniquely enriched seed-pods that are chemically enhanced for the intended recipient[22]
  • The "vegetable"[23] Jela adopted endures. The Tree is named Jelaza Kazone, which means Jela's dream, promise, fulfillment, contract.[24] The self-aware Ssussdriad is perhaps a thousand years old and towers over Korval's clan-house, which is also named Jelaza Kazone. Tree's saplings are guarded in stasis boxes and -- when given to trusted allies -- planted on other worlds, including Lytaxin.[24]

AssociatesEdit

  • Commander Ro Gayda, the woman (human?) who promoted Jela to captain and assigned him to special detached duty. One of the Consolidated Commanders who opposed High Command's decision to abandon the Rim/ Arm.[2], [10] She may have died, as presaged, but this is not certain [4]
  • Rool Tiazan -- Rool is the red-headed dramliza who, with his Gray Lady (a dramliza healer), helped Jela and Cantra escape in Gimlins [13]. They pledged themselves to serve Jela's Ssussdriad (The Tree)[4] and allied together to free Professor Liad dea'Syl, in order to escape the decrystallizing universe [25]
  • Captain Wellik - a good friend, an X strain soldier, commanded the garrison at Solcintra.[26]. Jela to Tor An yos'Galan: "I know you have no love of soldiers, especially the X strains, but I personally vouch for Wellik."[19] Wellik created Jela's honor unit, with Y Vachik. [27]
  • Dulsey - ex-Batcher, a clone, Jela helps her to reach The Uncle.[28]
  • Liad dea'Syl - scholar of spatial math, Jela frees him from Osabei Tower. Liad has the equation that makes it possible to escape the Sheriekas in the Great Migration.[19]
  • Commandant Harrib at Scohecan Garrison. "...a slender man, with sandy hair going thin...not a Series soldier." Harrib has a lie-detector chair carved from stonewood. Runs a tight ship, despite dwindling supplies, with two M series soldiers guarding the gate, and a rambunctious but respectful young X. Like Jela and the Consolidated Commanders, he disagrees with High Command's decision to pull out of the Rim and set up Temp Headquarters further inside. He implicitly warns Jela to watch his back from treacherous High Command.[29]


Military Legacy & LoreEdit

  • An Yxtrang military unit honors Jela. Nelirikk Explorer (see Yxtrang) trained in Jela's unit. That unit employs Jela's ceramic whip, dubbed "shib-Jela" in his honor. Jela's unit was founded by Captain Wellik, for guarding the ships of the migration. "The commander has given Jela's troop a special unit designation."[27]
  • Nelirikk knows stories and songs about "Little Jela's" amazing feats [24] Nelirikk's campy legends of Jela-lore may allude to Crystal Soldier: Jela's singlehanded fight against Recon[11] and/or Jela joyfully fighting X-soldiers at the soldier's bar, One Days Battle ("How do you dare, little soldier?") [9]
  • Jela bequeathed his troop transport ship Salkithin to Cantra,[8] and she renamed it Quick Passage, [30] the original Ship of the Migration. Since then, every flagship of Tree & Dragon Trading Clan has been named Passage (Dutiful Passage, etc.)

Jela's TheoriesEdit

  • Trees are warriors who ultimately resisted the Sheriekas.[11] Jela told Cantra, "That tree is more soldier than I'll ever be. It held a planet against the sheriekas, all by himself, when it wasn't any thicker than my first-finger here." [5]
    • "He should take a piece for cloning, plant them throughout the Arm" [31]
  • Yxtrang: M Series soldiers should not have been phased out: "If there were more Ms and less Xs, it might be that the military wouldn't be quite so easy with those orders to pull back and cede the Rim and the mid-Arm to the Sheriekas" [32]
  • Singing: On Jela's first survey team he had been among Singers who fought the enemy with song: "As long as there is life in the Spiral Arm, especially intelligent, organized life, the Sheriekas will not easily reach their goal," Song-woman had told him. At the time he had laughed at their belief that they were fighting some space-borne invader by standing there singing, singing to the light and long into the night. In the morning there had been three fewer of the singers, and word eventually came down from the frontier that three shereikas world-eaters had simply vanished from tracking –- gone, poof! [31] (see also Naratha’s Voices)
  • Timonium. A power source. Jela speculates on the nature of isotopic timonium, and theorizes that "unique isotopic timonium" exists, timonium born at the same time, from the same cosmic explosion. (So it can talk to each other, being genetically identical, kin-related, I presume?) Jela reasons that timonium explains "the pattern behind many of the other patterns" observed in the Rim (the reason for specific planets being targeted). "The Sheriekas" he murmured. "They use timonium as if it were the commonest of metals."[33]
  • Timonium is also found in new universe. It was mined at Surebleak (I Dare, Ghost Ship)
  • Timonium did not spring fully-formed from the author's imagination.  According to wiki, it is a hypothetical "stable transuranic isotope" (meaning it is radioactive, with an atomic number beyond uranium. It should be unstable, like all radioactive metals. It should decay. But maybe in Liaden reality, it doesn't decay, and as a result, has other unique properties)
    • Sharon Lee's commented at Baen's Bar. [34] Sharon and Steve once lived in Maryland. Steve wrote for the local newspaper, in a small-town named Timonium! Sharon posted: "and in that tiny town in Maryland, Timonium, there lived, many years ago, a college professor named Compton Crook, who taught biology, I believe, at what was then Towson State College. In his free time, he wrote, and saw published, science fiction. It being beneath the dignity of Towson State College at that point to have one of its faculty known to be a sci-fi author, he was required, on pain of losing his job, to take a pen-name. So he became Stephen Tall, author of a novel, and many short stories, a number of them having to do with the adventures attending the good ship Stardust, whose mighty engines were powered by. . . Timonium.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Crystal Soldier, ch 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Crystal Soldier, ch 5
  3. Crystal Soldier, ch 29
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Crystal Soldier, ch 31
  5. 5.0 5.1 Crystal Dragon, ch 2
  6. Crystal Soldier, ch 15
  7. Crystal Soldier, ch 13
  8. 8.0 8.1 Crystal Dragon, ch 25
  9. 9.0 9.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 17
  10. 10.0 10.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 7
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Crystal Soldier, ch 3
  12. Crystal Soldier, ch 4
  13. 13.0 13.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 30
  14. Crystal Soldier, ch 25
  15. Crystal Dragon, ch 5
  16. Crystal Dragon, ch 19
  17. Crystal Dragon, ch 22
  18. Scout's Progress, ch 5, prologue
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Crystal Dragon, ch 15
  20. 20.0 20.1 Crystal Dragon, ch 20
  21. Dragon in Exile epilogue
  22. Crystal Dragon, ch 16
  23. Crystal Dragon, ch 31
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Plan B
  25. Crystal Soldier, ch 32
  26. Crystal Dragon, ch 23
  27. 27.0 27.1 Crystal Dragon, ch 33
  28. Crystal Soldier, ch 24
  29. Crystal Soldier, ch 20
  30. Crystal Dragon, ch 30
  31. 31.0 31.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 2
  32. Crystal Dragon, ch 11
  33. Crystal Soldier, ch 6
  34. https://bar.baen.com/index.php?t=msg&th=101312&start=0&

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