07 April 2009

Back to the urgency and motivation

Ptolemy's manuscript records the creation of the Djinn. It makes it clear that the so-called fire-spirits are actually his djinja, modeled after the Japanese ninja warriors.

In the Quran, Mohammed states specifically that the djinn were created of fire by Allah. Since the Quran is an absolute text, an outright error in any detail would cast doubt on the whole book, especially since Ptolemy writes nearly a millenium before Mohammed.

Somehow, the rumor of this text has set a sect of Islamic fundamentalists on its scent. Their intent, in order to preserve the infallibility of the Quran, is to destroy all evidence of the manuscript, including the Djinn who still guard it. "The Voice" is attempting to 1)reach the Djinn first with a weapon that will repel the jihad, yet be as traceless as the Djinn themselves; and 2) to get the manuscript and expose Islam as a fraud using the writings of Ptolemy.

Protecting the Djinn will be common cause for The Voice, Peter & Maddie, and Homeland Security, however both Detective Allan and Peter want to keep the discovery secret and not discredit one of the world's largest religions. The Guild just wants to keep the library safe, like the Djinn.

It is possible that Gutenberg did not invent movable type printing and transfer it to the Djinn to preserve the books. It is possible that the process was invented by the Djinn and given to Gutenberg as part of a plan to make the library indestructible by sheer proliferation of books throughout the world. It would fit with both the timing and the process, and Gutenberg would have hidden the secret location of the library in his own code. That is what the librarians have been doing for the two millenia of the library at the time of Gutenberg. They have been desperately trying to make copies of the texts (even extending the task to the scriptoria of the monasteries) in order to get enough books distributed through the world that they cannot be destroyed. Gutenberg improves the process (dimensionally stable alloy, for example), but essentially is just an extension of the library himself. The Library of Alexandria is distributed throughout the world now, not just held in a single building.

Overall, beating the jihad to the Djinn to protect them and the library creates the urgency that was needed to make this a constant thriller.