sheriekas are the Enemy
- artificially evolved beings who tried to erase all life from the galaxy
- Jela muses about them:
“Sheriekas. They’d been human once, at least as human as he was […] But they’d willfully broken away, continuing with their destructive experiments and their … constructs… while they offered up a grand promise of a future they had no intention of sharing. They’d named themselves after their own dead planet, which they’d destroyed early on in their quest for transformation – for superiority. In their way, they were brilliant: conquering disease after disease, adjusting body-types to planets, increasing life-spans … They’d been driven to achieve perfection [...] To hear them tell it, they were the evolved human, the perfect species. Along the way, they’d created other beings to accomplish their will and their whims. And then they’d turned their altered understanding back along the way they had come, looked on the imperfect species from which they had shaped themselves – and decided to give evolution a hand. So they had returned form wherever it was they had gone, sowing world-eaters, robot armor, and destruction as they came… It had been a big war – the First Phase, they called it, fought well before his time – and the after-effects had spread over generations. Those refusing the initial offer of sheriekas guidance had supposed they’d won the war rather than a battle. That assumption meant that Jela was here, fighting a battle centuries later. And that there was no pretense from the enemy, now, of benevolent oversight.”
- They thought to conquer death, and perhaps have conquered it
- When Jela meets Cantra the war against the sheriekas is almost lost and the sheriekas are only bare years away from being able to go wherever they wish, to command, enslave, destroy. They show less and less desire to control mankind and more a desire just to be rid of it entirely, willing and eager to destroy everything in existence to that end.
- Rool Tiazan (himself sheriekas-made) states that the sheriekas cannot be defeated, but they can be resisted, they may be confounded and they may be escaped. The best allies life has against them is random action.
- The sheriekas use timonium as if it were commonest of metals. They can find it over distance and they can make it act or act on it from a distance.
- World Eater - A big ship that can destroy worlds, stupid, confined to normal space and very slow. Spill spectrum shows timonium, timonium and timonium.
- healing device - Cantra's ship Spiral Dance has a sheriekas healing unit (she calls it first aid kit), that can restore a body to spec on a cellular level. It erases scars and tattoos and even offers (telepathically) the option of optimizing the patient (up to the ability to bend event to one's will, to sculpt the forces of the mind)A low box, its smooth surface so deeply black it seemed to absorb the surrounding light. The top goes up when touched, and the interior is lit in a pale and disquieting green. The pallet has a slick and giving surface. The air around the box is noticeably cooler than the ship's ambient temperature. When the healing is finished, a chime sounds and the hatch comes up.
- Robot ships and battle robots - They use them to destroy worlds and erase life. Humans tried to use the sheriekas-designs against them but with terrible consequences. There were battle robots built to sheriekas plans which went mad and laid waste to the worlds they should have defended. In Tearin sector they built robot ships after plans captured in the last war. They went pirate and held worlds hostage for their resources.
- The sheriekas found a way to eliminate whole star systems by decrystallization
- Around the time Jela rescued The Tree there were 10 star systems erased by decrystallization - all in the Arm. (One of them Vinylhaven, a brown giant system) Guess is, that a sphere approximating three-fourths of a cubic light year was taken away. Down to the photons and below, there is nothing. The event can be measured by finding the wave front of light.