Spoilers Ahead!

With the previous book, I made a point in my blog that one should use discernment in deciding who the Silent Invader was. Because the characters are explaining who they think it is and why, but they may not understand who or what the Silent Invader is in the first place.

As a result, you have a second book where the protagonist is somehow still present, even though in one characters’ words, they’ve already defeated the Silent Invader.

So, who are they pointing to as the Silent Invader in this book?

In a word: Us.

Humanity has framed itself a threat in this novel to the Tyberian Empire. And I don’t just say that to imply there’s some misinterpretation of cultures that causes this war. At least, not on the part of the Tyberian House:

It would seem that the Terrans are not content in merely seeking a war. It appears they are now actively pursuing it, as though it were prey. They have officially ended trade with us and our allies and have made it illegal for their allies to enter our space. It seems absurd to me, with their own history of war, that they would believe this is their best alternative, out of the few options they want to give themselves.

Richard Tyberius

It will become clear that the people of Earth will attack Tyberius. This might likely introduce a few questions, like “why are we the enemy?”

Which is where I ask, “Why not?” Considering how some cultures can view another, more dominate one on Earth, this could seem a natural conclusion. If fear would govern one’s actions, many feel that ‘facing’ said fear can quell it. What better way to address humanity’s fear of irrelevance than to attack the strongest culture they can find, and win? Obviously the key to that is to win.

When this was one book, it was easier to draw the conclusion that humanity may choose to pose a threat to the Tyberian Empire based on some of their actions the reader would see, but the characters would not. But the key is how would this be justified? When you consider that in this story, the Tyberian Empire appears to act with a large measure of charity to humans, and even avoid forcing any alliance, despite implications their actions on humanity’s behalf require it (‘we’ think we have no choice in the matter). I would point out that in my blog about earth, humanity would be at its most vulnerable at their arrival, post-nuclear holcaust, so it wasn’t like the opportunity to finish humanity wasn’t presented, or even that the ‘threat’ they present is based on anything humans see from them.

The best way I could think of why just attacking the Tyberian house would be silly is by illustrating it this way:

Your house has burned down, and your neighbor next door offers to help you rebuild, even offering lumber, plumbing fixtures, lights, etc. to get your house back in order. Afterward, you thank your neighbor. Now, after your neighbor does this, would it make sense to tell your neighbor never to visit, never to come near you, and then try to burn his house down because you think it’s nicer than the one he helped you rebuild? Perhaps there is a justification as a result of the percieved bias in house layout or design, or even the contents of one house over the other. But as presented, it would be hard to mistake a kindness as a threat, especially if we realize that in many parts of the world arson is a crime, and justifying your actions in this way is unlikely to spare you from any punishment.

Thus, the reasons humanity uses to justify this confrontation are critical, since many people may not want to war with a person they think of as a friend, or simply to provoke a party for the sake of provocation.

But, since this book is in two parts, these reasons would only be clear in this portion to come.

Next week though, we’ll touch on how this confrontation escalates.

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