23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
The TechnoCore Ultimate Intelligence is not Ultimate. It is Penultimate.The Core UI is originally described as the supreme artificial intelligence creation in a universe where all such things are programmed and constructed, and a rival to an evolved 'Human' UI which exists in an alternate future. But in later books, we learn that AIs evolve through competition and predation much as humans do, and we read at least one chunk of speculation that the TechnoCore may eventually evolve into cooperation and symbiosis with humanity. It's also revealed that the being who originally described the Core UI was lying through his teeth most of the time to manipulate the protagonists. Conclusion of all this? The TechnoCore, the so-called 'Ultimate' Intelligence, is a step away from being truly ultimate. Its eventual fate, as much as it may try to deny it, is to become the Logic part of the Human UI, on an equal footing for the Empathy part it has such contempt for. There are no alternate futures; the Human UI just comes from further up the timeline than the Core UI. Every major event across all the novels is arguably due to deliberate connivance by the Human UI manipulating the Core UI into position to make sure a single deterministic timeline comes out 'right'.
The TechnoCore is the Integrated Data Entity.Hmm. Data-based lifeform? Check! Fascinated by trying to evolve and reach the next level of development? Check! Split between different factions that have opposed goals about how to go about their aims? Check! Produces human interfaces that allow the AIs to interact with humans as people? Check! And Yuki was even reading a copy of Fall of Hyperion; no doubt she was wondering how on Earth the future had been sent back to before the Heigra. That would logically put Yuki as either a Stable or an Ultimate. Ryoko is certainly a Volatile, and we don't know enough about Emiri (although she seems Stable). That would also explain Mikuru; she's been sent back by the future humans to protect a nascent part of the Human UI, although Haruhi is probably not the Empathy part.
Father Paul Dure is not human.The original victims of the resurrection cruciform, the Bikura, were driven into sexless idiocy after only a few hundred resurrections - and that's at a generous estimate of one or two deaths a year over the course of several centuries. Dure likely died more than fifty thousand times during his ordeal but somehow avoided coming back as a drooling androgynous vegetable. Given his reaction to the cruciform and his ability to be in the right place at the right time, it is apparent that Dure is not completely human - possibly an outright Observer, possibly just modified or enhanced by the Observers to stand up to the resurrection cruciform. We now return you to your regularly scheduled game of Guess The Time Lord. Have at it, folks.
JJ Abrams' universe is the same as the Hyperion universeA.Bettik was an "observer" also physically resembled those from Fringe, not to mention his timelessness and always being present during important events. When "stepping" the steppers see a light while everyone else just sees them disappear, like in Lost when they were unstuck in time. The coherent time screws.