Poll Results!

       I asked the question:- 'On the bridge to the Lexx, the following small piece of dialogue took place after Thodin had shot Kai:

       Young Rebel: "He's inorganic."
       Thodin: "He's been de-carbonised."

       Now, did you take this to mean:

A. "He's inorganic.", "Yes, he's been de-carbonised."
Or, B) "He's inorganic." , "No, just de-carbonised."'

The Results.

Wendy Rakestrow.
       I'd go for A) unless........
c) they were making completely reactionary statements to the event not 'discussing' it!!!

Tribs. ['Bolt' in LexxFolk]
       De-carbonised - a nice handy bit of pseudoscience. I think it's "Yes, he's been decarbonised". In other words, the pincer-guns disintegrate carbon-based material (including, it would appear, doors - carbon steel?). Of course, decarbonisation would be one hell of a task, since carbon is, besides water, THE main component of a human body (what do they replace it with? Silicon?). There would be two advantages to this - 1) Immunity to those nasty Heretics' guns, 2) Even given the mystical preservative properties of protoblood (a food manufacturer's dream... shelf-lives of 2000+ years, and the food can also be sent out to kill people), it's possible that a carbon-based lifeform's body might start to decay a bit and Kai would not be quite the heart-throb he is if bits of flesh kept dropping off at every sudden movement..........

SadGeezer. ['Jester' in LexxFolk]
I reckon it's definitely A. In sci fi terms I've herd it said that carbon based lifeforms are organic. I think the statement that Kai is inorganic was re-affirmed by Thodin when he added that Kai as de-carbonised.
Carbon is a root material for so many facets of an organism that I'd find it hard to imagine an organic lifeform that wasn't carbon based. Thodin was trying to shoot Kai at the time with a laser. The laser would burn or cause some sort of heat based damage to Kai if he was organic. The statement by Thodin seemed to state that Kai could not be hurt if you burned him (presumably it'd be like firing a laser at a metallic substance or a silicon substance)
       This whole concept however seems implausible if you consider the concept of protoblood. It has the ability to revive dead organic material (Ie. Yottskry as well as inorganic material (such as Kai).
Hope that helps (but I doubt it :-)

Binks. ['Jaguar' in LexxFolk.]
       I think the answer to the 'Kai' question is option A.......I get the impression that the rebel wasn't TOO shocked to learn that Kai was inorganic......maybe in the Lexx universe(s) this is not too uncommon........and that Thodin was merely 'nodding' his agreement and adding his thoughts to the scene.........for example,in our world,a similar statement might well be......:

       First person (Looking at the chunk of uranium)-'Its not radioactive!'
Second person -'Its half-life has long since expired'.

Although it is rare to come across un-radioactive uranium, it is nevertheless possible.....perhaps inorganic people are quite rare in Lexx,but one explanation would be to de-carbonise them??
Anyhow,thats my tuppence worth.........:-)

Burntime ['Beacon' in LexxFolk - see also The Darkzone.]
       I reckon it should be (B)

Latest (Jan 2 99):

I've had another email from Tribs:-

       "Just been reading the poll on decarbonisation... Just thought I'd add a few more comments...
       Technically, something, be it a lifeform or just a molecule, is considered organic if it contains carbon. Hence organic chemistry, the study of carbon-based chemistry.
       Regarding Sad's comments, having the carbon replaced in your body won't be that great a problem if you're a walking corpse already. All of Kai's body functions would be either obsolete (e.g. kidneys, digestion) or replaced by a protoblood equivalent (thinking, moving) - basically, Kai isn't alive in the normal sense and so doesn't have the same requirements as regular humans when it comes to carbon-based chemistry.
       Binks' comments... It would appear that Binks doesn't really understand radioactivity. A half-life of an element is the time it takes to become half as radioactive. Uranium that's no longer radioactive is no longer uranium (I forget what it decays into, I think it's lead)."

And this from Newkate:

       As a former biologist-to-be I'm greatly interested in this decarbonization debate... Being not a Brit Lexxian, I had no chance to take a part in it, but anyway!

       Hey, you hadn't introduced yourself then! Anyone's welcome to join in!

       Human body consists mostly of water and protein molecules. Atoms of carbon form some kind of skeleton of any protein molecule. So I see three ways to decarbonize a human...

[Newkate looks around for a human to try to decarbonize]

       First - to replace all carbon atoms in the molecules with another element... In some chemical way... Chemistry does not know any element suitable for this (maybe silicon is the closest), but who cares, it's sci-fi! It will be totally different molecules than, with another features than proteins, but still good enough to form body cells. Of course, this cells will not be able to function any more as alive ones do. But as an assassin, Kai needs only two types of cells to function - cells of muscles and nerves. And yes, I think it's protoblood that gives them ability to work...
       Second - to replace all carbon-based molecules with an artificial equivalent. Hmm, it seems even more difficult to perform...

[Newkate replaces about ten molecules and starts to yawn]

       Of course, the third way - replacement of whole body parts, such as muscles, with an artificial analogue, is much faster. But we have to replace all parts of the body... No bits of organic flesh could be left, for it will expire during 2000 years (it seems to me that Kai was not freezed in the mortuary... Just in stasis) or will be damaged then body is cut with laser. So if we replace everything, what's left? "Essence?" No, this does not make any sense...

[Newkate throws away biocholar's knife and comes from practice to theory]

       Is Kai organic or not? Yes, our chemistry determines organics as a carbon-based formulations, but we deal with alien biochemistry, there much more is possible! I believe one of the main signs of organic life is ability of a lifeform to exchange energy and matter with environment (e.g.. to consume food and transform it to energy, and so on). Well Kai does not eat, does not breathe, cells of his body are preserved, they will not expire and will not renew. So I think we can be quite sure he definitely is inorganic in every sense.

       I liked Tribs's comment about cyber-modifications made on Kai. In IWHS Kai acts a little like a being with computer-based brain. When he is about to kill Zev and Stan and hears Predesessors screaming, looks like he "calculated" - to defend Predesessors is priority #1, and this minor heretics are not a serious threat, they can wait... But to kill them both wouldn't take more than two seconds! No alive man would leave this little job undone, because later he wouldn't have to chase them around 10 km of LEXX! But as an asassin, of course, Kai was not supposed to be lazy.
       And Tribs is right, Kai's suit really CAN be bonded to his skin! I have been worrying about that for a long time. Look, we have already seen naked Zev, Xev, even naked Stan! Yes, I know, "The dead do not take a shower", as Kai would say, but still...
       Is Kai dead or alive? His body is not dead nor alive in the literary sense, it's... well... operational. His mind and soul are no more dead than after a registered clinical death. He can be destroyed, though it's not so easy, so he can die again. I think he can be considered as alive. Hell, he has far too much of sex-appeal to be considered as a ghoul or a zombie! But the main problem is that he thinks he is dead, and no one can persuade him that things are not so bad... If Zev can not do this...

[Flare nods - who could?]

       Many, many thanks to all who answered, and thank you for taking the time to explain your thinking! It just goes to show that Lexxians are a particularly intelligent and perceptive bunch of people who really care about their sci-fi......

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