The Syndics gifts in the first book were real
- The reason the merchant shuttles were staffed with sailors was because the merchants had refused to do it. The ships weren't booby-trapped, and Geary made a mistake when he demanded gifts from the Syndics and then refused to accept them because he was paranoid. The sailors posing as merchants thought it was a suicide mission since they expected the Alliance to take them prisoner, and then deal with them the way they used to do.
- Have to re-read it, but didn't the ships go to full acceleration when the Alliance tried to brake via remote control? And then they simply changed the course to aim the ships back at the Syndics?
The unforgivable thing mentioned under noodle incident was a zombie/reanimation program
- Think about it. The Alliance worships their ancestors, and to reanimate corpses to fight would probably count as sacrilege. Reanimating a human with memories and personality and all would mean stealing their souls back from the Living Stars, and reanimating them as a non-conscious zombie is at its best disrespectful towards the person that once inhabited the body in question.
- Alternatively, they invented brain uploading, preventing the soul from ever reaching its ancestors.
- I suspect in the space of a single generation both parties are going to become so accustomed to the others' looks that the young are going to be astonished that their elders once thought each other hideous.
- Likewise with their different ways of thinking. Humans will do their best to think in patterns and Dancers the same for binary thinking. Also, considering how humanity usually behaves, imitating the Dancers' clothing and customs (once we learn more about them) will become a fad.
The Alliance really did attack first, with or without the covert encouragement of the enigmas.
- After all, the two sides being Not So Different is rather unsubtly pounded home in the "Beyond the Frontier" series...
The Black Fleet will attack Unity and wipe most if not all of the Alliance Senate
- It would be fitting for the fleet they built to stop the fall of the government to deal the final blow, and if their programing has been corrupted they might see the senate as an important target to attack
The "Black Jack" nickname is connected to another Noodle Incident
alluded to in Guardian
- When giving Captain Badaya a pep-talk, Geary alludes to a really major screw-up he committed as a young ensign that was, "so big I won't tell you what it was". He's also been equally close-mouthed about exactly how the nickname got hung on him. I refer my fellow tropers to the Law of Conservation of Detail...