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The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fifteen

Miles talks with Suit, gets two minders, then burns gold to see two versions of himself

One curiosity of dealing only with Mistings, rather than full Mistborn, was what to do with the less powerful metals. Certainly a Pewterarm or a Tineye can be useful. We've seen them in the series do plenty of interesting things.

But what about a person who can burn only gold? I think there's just one place in the entire first trilogy where someone does it, the time Vin burns it in the first book. (I may have put a second time in; I don't recall.) Gold, as a power, was placed into the schematics to give a clue as to what the Eleventh Metal was. Beyond that, I wanted some of the powers of Allomancy to be more metaphysical, more thoughtful, and less about combat.

I'd already decided that Miles would be a Gold Compounder, capable of the Lord Ruler's healing. That meant he had to be a gold Misting. What would one do, with this power? Ignore it? Was there a way to use it? His nature as a gold Misting is a large part of why Miles is such a thoughtful, introspective person. He is not a good man, but he is a self-reflecting one.

There's more going on here, of course. Pay attention to the name he mentions: Trell. This is one of the gods from the ancient religions Sazed talked about. You might think that the spikes in Miles will let Sazed influence him directly, and they would—except that Sazed has taken a complete "free will is needed" perspective on life. He won't let himself take control of people directly unless they've "given themselves" to him, as most of the kandra have at this point. Even then, he usually only nudges.

But there is something odd going on with Miles.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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PathToEternity

Can Cadmium bubbles be nested if you have multiple Pulsers?

Bonus Question: add in duralumin/nicrosil to the equation.

Phantine

Yes.

The effects multiply.

shinarit

Source

I guess hiring 3-4 Pulsers before something you have to prepare for might be worth it. They create their bubbles one after the other at the same place, and boom, you have days instead of minutes.

Ok, lets calculate. We don't have exact figures for cadmium, but we have for bendalloy: 2 minutes into 15 seconds, that's a ratio of 8. 4 Pulsers mean 84 = 4096 ratio. So 21 second for every day goes by for every day you spend in there.

The outer Pulser burns this 168.75 second's worth of cadmium, the first inner one needs 22.5 minutes, the second inner one needs 3 hours and the innermost needs the 24 hours.

So basically for every day spent in these bubbles you need ~27.5 hours worth of cadmium, depending on how routinely they set up the bubbles one after the other.

PathToEternity

Wait, are you mixing up sliding and pulsing? I also think you are nesting your bubbles but not your pulsers, so you are losing a lot of efficiency not to mention practicality.

Tell me if I'm misinterpreting what you're describing, but this is how I'm visualizing it:

http://i.imgur.com/Hujpz8c.png

I'm saying that you get 4 pulsers huddled together and the one that can open the biggest bubble goes first. Then the next largest one pops his. Then the next. And finally the smallest bubble fires.

In that scenario (unless there is something that prevents this) I picture it like this:

http://i.imgur.com/9qjB0lJ.png

This method, 170 days pass only burning 4 hours worth of cadmium.

Well. I'm gonna do it. Gonna page /u/mistborn and ask: is this possible? Can time bubbles be nested like so and if they can do you truly get this kind of efficiency?

crosses fingers

Brandon Sanderson

This one is a RAFO. :)

Salt Lake City signing ()
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Questioner

I've got a list of various Cosmere bits of metal and I was wondering if you would rank them from like one to ten or just easy to difficult on how hard it would be to steelpush on them. So with one being just a regular coin, ten being like when the Lord Ruler was moving bits of glass on the floor, so like metal inside a person's body.

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on how strong the Investiture in them is.

Questioner

Is that gonna be the answer for all of these?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably!

Questioner

How about a spike charged with Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

A spike charged with Hemalurgy... that depends on...

Questioner

Not in a person.

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on how strong, yeah, a spike is moderately, (in the realm of these kinds of things) moderately easy to push on because a spike does not rip off very much Investiture. Only enough to short circuit the soul, and less it over time. I would put that at the bottom, with the top being very hard, to be one of the easier things.

Questioner

How about a metalmind that is full?

Brandon Sanderson

That is full? That is going to be middle of the realm of the, yeah. Generally easier than, for instance, a Shardblade which is going to be very hard.

Questioner #2

A Shardblade is [inaudible] actually metal? [metal]-ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Ish. Is Lerasium a metal? Yeah.

Questioner

So that'd be the same for Shardplate too?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardplate and Blade are very hard. Blade is probably gonna be a little harder.

Questioner

A Half-shard?

Brandon Sanderson

A Half-shard shield? That's gonna be moderate.

Questioner

Nightblood? I imagine that being hard.

Brandon Sanderson

Hard, of all the things you've listed, that is going to be the hardest. Far beyond even a Sharblade.

Questioner

Far beyond metal inside a person? 

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, yes. Depending on how invested the person is.

Questioner

If somebody was invested as much as Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, for instance the God King, right. At the end with all those Breaths. Pushing something inside of him, getting through all of that? Gonna be real hard. Average person on Scadrial? You've seen how hard that is. A drab? Much easier.

Questioner

That was my next one, or no, sorry not a drab. A lifeless?

Brandon Sanderson

A Lifeless, yeah. Even... yeah. Lifeless are kind of weird because they've had their soul leave but then they've had a replacement stuck in in the form of Breath which leaves them in a very weird position compared to a drab which has had part of their Investiture ripped away but a majority remains, so, anyways. I'm going to give you one more. Pick your favorite.

Questioner

A soulstamped piece of metal?

Brandon Sanderson

A soulstamped piece of metal is going to be on the lower, easier side. Not a lot of Investiture going on in a soulstamp.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
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Questioner

Was there an Allomantic power that didn't make it into the book?

Brandon Sanderson

Was there an Allomantic power that didn't make it into the book. Oh... Yes, but I'm trying to remember. I had like two dozen of them? Oh boy I can't even remember the ones that I discarded. I was going to do a lot more stuff externally, stuff that like wasn't inside of you and it didn't end up working out. The big thing that I talk about with Allomancy that changed is originally I was using...silver as one of the metals, this is-- this is because... Dumb story time, so when I was a kid I painted these little miniatures that you do in D&D so your little guys can actually fight each other, right? And my brother still does this, they're awesome, I was terrible at it, but I painted these little guys. And at one point I went-- and they used to be lead, and then they realized that lead kills you *laughter* and so--or maybe it just makes you strange, I can't remember--I went and all of the prices had gone up, like by a double, because they had made them out of pewter instead. And I said to the guy "What is up with this, you are totally ripping us off. My figures now cost us 50 cents instead of--" I don't remember what it was and he went "Uh yeah it's because pewter has silver in it man. You're buying little silver figures now" and I went "Oh. That's cool." And I bought them. And so for years I thought pewter was an alloy of silver and I wrote an entire book. An Entire Book. The whole first Mistborn book with silvereyes and pewterarms until it went to my beta readers and like "There's almost no silver in pewter Brandon, you don't even really need it. Everything in this magic system works except that." and I went "Well maybe we can just pretend in this world pewter--" "No that's stupid" *laughter* So I had to change it to tin which is actually what you find in pewter. To this day my assistant Peter, who is my continuity editor, came to me and said "You realize you wrote silvereye instead of tineye in the newest Mistborn book that you just finished? It's been ten years Brandon get over it." *laughter* Still happens.

ConQuest 46 ()
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Kaymyth

I asked the question about chromium vs a Compounder with both Invested and un-Invested metals in both their stomach and piercings.

Brandon Sanderson

What it boils down to is this:

1) Yes, the piercings will get burned off.

2) The non-Invested metals go before the Invested ones. He said that because Invested metals are harder to affect, it takes a little extra time and effort to get them to burn off. So a Leecher trying to clean out a Compounder would have to get a good grip and hang on for a few seconds.

3) Chromium burns about as quickly as duralumin, so if you're trying to burn off a lot of metals, it is possible to run out of chromium before your target is clean. This would probably only be an issue when dealing with larger pieces (like jewelry) rather than your standard metal-flakes-in-the-stomach deal.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Seonid

Is the level of burning a continuous distribution, can I burn 0.1 level of steel all the way up to flaring? Or is it just I burn or I flare?

Brandon Sanderson

The more skilled you are, the more you have the ability to moderate that. For most people it is burn or flare. But you can kind of burn up to a flare, does that make sense? Going below is really hard.

Seonid

Can you push a flare?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con FanX 2015 ()
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Sirce Luckwielder (paraphrased)

When Kelsier is teaching Vin about the basic eight Allomantic Metals, he talks about not flaring metals, especially tin and pewter, as it does strange things to people. Does this imply that there were other savants before Spook?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

His answer was that there were other savants before Spook.

Calamity Austin signing ()
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Questioner

If Hoid was on Scadrial during the original Mistborn trilogy, and had a bead of lerasium, and took it and gained Allomantic powers, could he then go to Roshar during Stormlight and still have those Allomantic powers?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes… Most of the magics are not re-- area centric, though a few of them are.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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Chaos

Allomancy provides many very dramatic effects, which some have noted is not very much like Preservation. Could you walk me through how Allomancy is of Preservation, though it does dramatic, dynamic things?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the 'basics' of the magic in all of the worlds is that the energy of Shards can fuel all kinds of interactions, not just interactions based on their personality/role. I did this because otherwise, the Magics would all be extremely limited.

The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do. So, in Preservation's case, the magic is a gift--allowing a person to preserve their own strength, and rely upon the strength granted by the magic. While Hemalurgy has a huge cost, ending in net entropy.

ConQuest 46 ()
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Kaymyth (parapharased) (paraphrased)

I asked another question about the population levels of Mistings, Ferrings, and Twinborn.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The numbers in the [Alloy of Law Mistborn Adventure Game] supplement are off. (It states the occurrence of Mistings/Ferrings is 1 in 50 people.) He said that they're not terrible, but they definitely are shown as somewhat more common than they really are. But he also said that they're not nearly as rare as people seem to think; for example, he stated that virtually everyone would know at least one Coinshot. So there are definitely a lot of Allomancers around.

And the occurrence of Twinborn would not be a normal statistical spread (alas).  As folks opined before in this thread, the Terris folk do tend to keep somewhat to themselves, so there's not a huge amount of population mix.  So Twinborn will be rarer.

I did point out that there had to be some mix, else we'd be seeing full Feruchemists around, and to that he mostly just smiled and looked mysterious.  As he does.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
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Questioner

How come Vin doesn't get stomach aches when she takes-- When she ingests iron?

Brandon Sanderson

So it actually, legitimately gets burned away. It's gone.

Questioner

So it's gone too fast to have a--

Brandon Sanderson

It, yeah. I mean if you sit around and just-- I mean, Allomancers are warned-- and Kelsier I think warns her, "Burn away your metals," right? Not good to have these in your system! But yeah, you would end up feeling adverse effects like that if-- yeah.

Holiday signing ()
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zas678's sister

So it said in the book that if Marasi and Wayne had it on at the same time-- Would it cancel it out all the way, or would it just cancel out where both of the bubbles were?

Brandon Sanderson

Where both of the bubbles were.

zas678's sister

So it would be like a--

Brandon Sanderson

You could make a bubble in a bubble, yes. Third book of...[Era 2]...will have a moment where they try to do a time bubble in motion.

zas678

A bubble in a bubble.

Brandon Sanderson

Not that one, the motion one, so you'll finally get some views on what's going on. You get some rules on that.

General Reddit 2011 ()
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AnalogDigit

[Mistborn] would be AWESOME cinematically, except I don't know how the internal use of the metals and their powers could be conveyed on screen.

Brandon Sanderson

The producers have some good ideas for giving visuals on those. Iron/Steel, for example, would make all sources of metal glow faintly blue on the screen while the allomancer is burning.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Thought

Could an iron Twinborn "fly" by drastically increasing his weight, pulling hard on a counterweight so it flew above him, then decreasing his weight drastically and pulling himself up by the counterweight, and repeating?

Brandon Sanderson

It's plausible. It's kind of a 'Thor-like' way to fly, isn't it? (For those unaware, he throws his hammer and it carries him with it, and STOP THINKING.) I played with this idea, but the trick is not getting hit by the counterweight as you pull it to yourself. If you could stop that, you might be able to manage it, but it felt pretty hard to pull off to me.

Idaho Falls signing ()
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Truthwatcher_17.5

Are we ever gonna see more names for specific types of Twinborns?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I intend to do more of those as the Eras progress. There are so many to name that I don't know that I'll ever release a chart of all of them, and partially I don't want to canonize names because I might decide something sounds cooler for when I actually use that person's powers in a book.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
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Chaos

Do all three Metallic Arts still exist after the events of the book? Are Allomancy and Hemalurgy slightly degenerated now that Ruin and Preservation are dead, or does Allomancy still draw upon Preservation's power (just held with Sazed now)?

Brandon Sanderson

Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy all work as they once did. However, now they are more directly affected by the presence or absence of the mists, which will slowly return to the world but not be of the extent they once were. (The mists are now an extent of Sazed's power, and where they roam, he is better able to influence things. There will also be two kinds of mists.) Note that in the future, Feruchemy powers will start to fracture and split, creating Feruchemical "Mistings."

Yes, this means that in the future series, it will be possible for a person to have one Allomantic power and one Feruchemical power. It will create for some very interesting mixing of powers.

/r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
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Herowannabe

What happens when a blind person burns Gold- especially of he "sees" a version of himself that isn't blind? Can he see the other version or just hear/feel/sense him? What about the other version, can it see things? Could a blind person use gold in this way to see the world around him?

Brandon Sanderson

A blind person would indeed sense these things, but not have the vision with the eyes. In the same way that a blind person still dreams, but doesn't "See" in them. (As I understand it.) I'd suggest talking to someone who is blind and getting their take on how this would work.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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mooglefrooglian

If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

So you see magics like on Sel and Scadrial where a specific nozzle is needed--as the power source is external, at least with Allomancy. Will and intent take a backseat, though still pop up on occasion. On Nalthis (and in a lesser way, Roshar) will and intent are more important, and what you are trying to do shapes the magic more directly.

A little direct manifestation in this is found in the subtle differences between Allomancy and Feruchemy. In Allomancy, when you enhance the senses, you just get a blast of power--and all senses are enhanced, whether you want them all or not. In Feruchemy, you can be more precise, and pick a specific sense to store. The power is internal here, and therefore more limited in how much you can draw--but you can also be more precise with its manipulation.

Note that Roshar Surgebinding is a special case, as the magical symbiosis there is stronger than it is on other worlds, as much of the magic involves bits of power who have become sapient.

uchoo786

How much crossover is there in use? Like if one "breathes" in the mists they can use it to power their allomancy. Could an Allomancer utilize stormlight to power his allomancy as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the magics can be hacked together in one way or another, but some are easier to interchange than others.

Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
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Questioner

If an Allomancer found themselves on Nalthis or Roshar, would they be able to use chromium on someone using Stormlight or Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

I am staying away from answering too many questions like that until I start having it happen. But do know that the magics interact... some ways they interact very naturally, some ways, they don’t. One way I’ve released is, you could use bronze on most forms of Investiture to find it. So you can extrapolate that some of these things would work. But not necessarily all. All of them could be made to work.

#tweettheauthor 2009 ()
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mnehring

How did you come up with what metal would give what powers in Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

The assignment of metals to powers was done mostly randomly.

I started by trying to mix and match colors and hues, but that ended up not working.

I also originally wanted the physical to be more common, and then move toward less common with mental and others.

Hence, iron is physical, Gold is mental, Atium is temporal. The mentals don't quite fit this, though.

Idaho Falls Signing ()
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Andrew The Great (paraphrased)

What would happen if a person were to burn a metal that was Feruchemically charged using Allomancy?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The metal used in Allomancy is like a key or a doorway to the power that Allomancy actually uses. The metal acts as a filter, much as the Aons in Elantris do, to determine what the power actually does. However, if the metal is Feruchemically charged, then it will basically become a super-burst of Feruchemical power with no Allomantic effect. The Feruchemical charge acts as a filter as well as the metal, and changes what the power does. in this case, say you were burning steel, you would just be massively speedy for a second, and wouldn't actually have the ability to push on anything Allomantically. Hope that answered the question. I get the concept, so if you need me to explain it differently, let me know and I'll try. Oh, the other thing I forgot is that this concept only works if it's a metal that you charged yourself. If it's a metal someone else charged, it would just work like regular Allomancy, and the Feruchemical charge would just cease to exist.

Andrew The Great (paraphrased)

If someone aluminum or duralumin burned the Feruchemically charged metals, what would happen?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Basically the same thing as above, except with aluminum. Aluminum, they would just go away.

DragonCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

You've mentioned in the last couple of afterwords that you get interesting results when you mix types of Investiture.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Twinborn and Surgebinders on Roshar. Can you mix a form of magic with a source of Investiture? Can say Vasher use Stormlight in place of Breaths or would that require tampering via Hemalurgy or something like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of them require tampering. Some of them are a little bit easier than others. It depends on really what you mean. For instance, white sand can be charged in the presence of any Investiture right? It's just-- But that's not really using the magic, it's just charging it with other Investiture. But, you know, it would be very easy, for instance, if you can get yourself Invested-- Like, for instance, it'd be very easy to use Breaths to fuel Windrunning right? Because the oath and the bond and things like that are going to make it pretty easy. However fueling Allomancy with something else is going to be a lot harder. So it really depends on the magic. It's the sort of thing that there will be lots of science in the books dedicated to making happen in the future and you will find some of the processes these work easier than other ones.

Orem Signing ()
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Questioner

I was wondering, what would happen if you Steelpushed or Ironpulled on liquid metal?

Brandon Sanderson

It would work a lot like ferrofluid works. You'd be able to push or pull on it. It would just respond in a fluid way.

JordanCon 2021 ()
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Kingsdaughter613

Hero of Ages, Harmony in the epigraphs says that brass and copper Allomancers can become savants and never even notice. I know that generally savantism is supposed to have really extreme effects, so how does that work that they do not notice?

Brandon Sanderson

So, most savanthoods have extreme effects, some of them it's just not as noticeable. It can warp your soul without you really even paying that much attention to it. I kind of have a push and pull on how debilitating it is in some ways versus others. In this case, those are two that you can become that it would not be very debilitating in your life.

Kingsdaughter613

What effects would that have for that?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that.

/r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
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Ace_of_Face

Not really a question, but the one thing that disappointed me was that you didn't come up with new slang names for Allomancers! After three hundred years, do you really think they would still be calling steel Mistings "Coinshots"?

Brandon Sanderson

I toyed with this one, but decided that I would keep them the same for a few reasons. First off, I felt that certain things in-world would hamper some linguistic diversity. (Having the books Sazed left behind as a guide to Allomanc and history, everyone living in a small geographic area, the semi-religious nature of Allomancy making people look at it in traditional ways.) So, while I advanced the slang of the world, some of the terms I decided to leave the same.

Another reason for this came when I was writing the book. At first, I experimented with greater linguistic diversity--I even tried a vowel shift, as I figured three hundred years might be enough for that. In the end, I pulled back. I was already worried that this book not feel "Mistborn" enough, and so I wanted some direct ties back to the original series. Fiddling too much with the language while changing the setting and characters so drastically felt like a mistake to me.

Steelheart Portland signing ()
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Questioner

So if you burn duralumin at the same time as the metal that speeds up time, meaning stuff flows faster outside, would you basically warp into the future a long ways?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question.

lunarubato

I'm so sure! I'm so sure…

Brandon Sanderson

And I am not going to answer that question yet, because I don't... Because you are asking questions that they are going to be trying to answer in like five more books. So telling you right now would give spoilers for books way too far ahead in the future.

Mistborn: Secret History Explanation ()
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Phantine

Do the other uses for those metals [nicrosil, aluminum, duralumin] currently in the RPG also work in-universe, or are they just there for RPG mechanics?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the things in the RPG books relating to the metals that you don't see in the books fall under the "We need to make a game out of this somehow, Brandon" clause. I've told them they can extrapolate if they want, but that I wouldn't consider their extrapolations canon.

Herowannabe

So does that mean that these metals will be getting updated rules in a future RPG supplement?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a possibility. I've said before that you should consider any games you play to be in an alternate dimension anyway, where the rules work slightly differently, and your players can control the fate of what is going on. Plus, it will be years before I can get to the nature of all this in the next trilogy, so we'll see how relevant it all is in five years or so.