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.
- Contemplate for a moment the frustration the Dancers' must have been feeling over the Humans refusal to talk to them in anything but 'baby talk'. It casts a whole new light on the Dancer's insistence on personally returning the Jump Space pioneer's body to 'Kansas' they were trying to demonstrate that they were worthy of being taken seriously - and it seemingly didn't work. Imagine the scene aboard the Dancer ship:
"Still with the baby talk! Captain pull out my fangs and stab me to death with them I just can't take it anymore! What do we have to do to get these people to talk to us seriously??"
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...
- This would be highly unlikely considering Geary is a firsthand witness to one of the opening engagements of the war. It's unlikely the Alliance could have attacked the Synics and Geary been in the dark about the war long enough for the Syndics to counterattack.
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 programming has been corrupted they might see the senate as an important target to attack
- Jossed, though they would have tried had Geary not stopped them when they did.
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...
The bear-cow ghosts on the superbattleship are an 'artificial herd'
- In order to comfort the herd-accustomed bearcows, some system (designed to be always-on or activate in an emergency) generates the sensation of more bear-cows being present. This way, space-bear-cows are kept from going crazy by the 'presence' of a large herd at all times, even if they're the only living bear-cow on the ship (probably not an issue for the superbattleship, but way more important on smaller vessels). This causes the humans on the captured superbattleship to feel the continual presence of bear-cows, which they interpret as ghosts.
- Confirmed in Leviathan
The Syndicate Worlds were larger and had more resources and manpower than The Alliance
- ...because they were closer to the galactic core and had had more room to expand through colonisation, whereas the Alliance had been boxed in by the Syndics on one side and various small states on the other. This geopolitical set-up is strongly implied in the Beyond The Frontier series, and could explain why The Alliance was only able to stalemate The Syndics despite their lesser military-industrial inefficiency and backstabbing.
The Syndicate Worlds were thought it was easier to attack and annex The Alliance than it was to expand through colonisation
- Why? Because Aliens, that's why. The Enigmas were wiping out their colonies, seemingly with impunity. Maybe they figured they needed the resources of The Alliance to be able to stand up to them in the long-run.
- As shown in the novels, the general idea so far is that the Enigmas may have mislead the Syndicate Worlds into starting the war, making them think that they had their support when they didn't. The war started, they pulled their support and started attacking Syndicate Worlds colonies.
The "Black Jack" nickname came from a card game
- Which Geary lost. Badly.