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Old 2007-10-15, 07:57   Link #8
Kinny Riddle
Gone for Good
Join Date: Apr 2004
Here is my definition of a Torch.


According to the novels, it was the Denizens who first came up with the idea of creating Torches to buy themselves time to escape from Flame Haze, who sniff their trail by following the "distortions" that they leave behind. Over time, Flame Haze also install Torches in the case where they've already killed a Denizen before he could make a Torch, or after a "massacre" has occurred and they want to reduce the damage caused to the world as much as possible.

Anyway, once a person is "devoured" of his PoE, a small fragment of that PoE is used to form a "temporary replacement". However, this is but a mere shadow of the original, who for all intents and purposes, should be considered "dead".

This replacement looks like the original, talks like the original, thinks like the original, and even has the memories and personality of the original.

In the early stages, a torch would still behave like any other human being. However, this is where their true function really begins. Slowly, as his flame slowly burns away, people around would stop paying attention to the Torch, and slowly the Torch behaves as though he's a zombie. When his flame finally runs out, he "extinguishes" without anybody noticing.

Torches are not meant to last forever, hence they are not designed with "aging" in mind. Think of it like creating a robot clone for yourself that doesn't age but his batteries will expire in a few months. Thanks to the Hougu inside him, the Mistes Saki Yuji is the sole freak exception in that he is able to maintain his flame perpetually, hence making him technically immortal.

(Separate entries for Mistes and Hougu later)

An interesting question arises concerning Torches: When a person disappear, what happens to his family?

Let's consider the following example:

Unlike time travel, where you go back in time and kill your grandfather, you end up killing your existence.

If a Denizen ends up devouring your grandfather, you will not disappear, because nothing will change the fact that you're "born". Rather, your perception of who your grandfather was will change.

You will wonder "I wonder who my grandfather was?" Your grandmother would struggle to remember how on earth did she have children, etc. But they would then come up with a "rational explanation" to explain away this "unnatural distortion" to their perception of the world.

The same applies to a Torch's physical possession. Take the hapless Hirai Yukari for example, after she disappeared (along with her just as unlucky parents), her apartment does not become vacant overnight. Rather, the stuff inside would continue to remain there, collecting dust. Neighbours would wonder "Did someone ever live here? No one's ever gone in and out for ages." (Not counting the fact that until recently, Shana never bothered staying there. )
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