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Vashkoda writes...

Hi Greg. Looking over your G2198 responses, I picked up on something a little confusing.

You say that Samson, Delilah and Zafiro all learn Bushido in Ishimura. Then you say that Nick also goes to Ishimura to join the Order of the Guardian, and is trained in the way of the Gargoyle Warrior. I'm a little confused as to whether both groups are essentially doing the same thing--are the gargoyles *also* part of the Order of the Guardian? And yet you've referred to Nick several times as just "Guardian", as if he were the only one. So if you could please clarify this for me...

1a) Are Delilah, Samson and Zafiro also part of the Order of the Guardian? b) If not, are any gargoyles part of this Order? c) Is Delilah, Samson, and Zafiro's training in Ishimura completely separate from Nick's training? d) If so, were they able to meet in Ishiura, or do they only get introduced to each other later?

2a) I'm assuming that because it's an "Order", there must be more than one member, but because you've referred to him simply as "Guardian" (perhaps as in "the one and only"), *is* Nick the only one? b) If not, as a very rough estimate, how many would you say there are in 2198 before the invasion? ...a handful, dozens, hundreds?

3a) Is Ishimura the only training area of this Order, or is it one of many? b) If Ishimura is the only place the Order trains initiates, why was that particular location chosen?

4a) I admit I haven't done the math, nor am I sure of the life expectancy of a human living on Avalon, but is Thom, the original Guardian, still alive in 2198? b) If he is alive, does he help lead or train those in the Order? c) Is the purpose of the future Guardian(s) the same as the purpose of the first Guardian? (Thom)

Greg responds...

1. There are two "academic" tracks in Ishimura. One for Gargoyles and one for humans, though they have many classes that overlap. Any and all gargoyles are admitted to the program in Ishimura, but the admissions process for Humans is very stiff. I picture lawsuits over the inequity. But the reasoning is that they are teaching skills that in theory can be used against them, so they need to be very careful about who gets these skills. Since (a) the admission process is difficult and (b) the course work is difficult, very few humans graduate to Guardian status. Nick is not the only Guardian, but they aren't a dime a dozen. Frankly, I doubt Nick met Samson for the first time in Ishimura, because I would think that the Maza family and the Manhattan clan would still be pretty tight. Samson probably met Nick more or less immediately after he was born.

2. Less than a hundred.

3. Ishimura has a long tradition of teaching Bushido to humans. In a global environment, it made sense to locate the school of the Gargoyle Nation in that location. Avalon was much less practical.

4. The purpose is the same, and Tom is the clear inspiration for the Order. I'm not going to reveal whether or not he's alive. Mathematically, it is possible. Assuming Tom spent nearly all of his remaining life on Avalon, he'd be biologically 62 in 2198. (As opposed to biologically 54 in 1996.) But that's no guarantee of survival.

Response recorded on January 20, 2004