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Thanx to Andrey Lake Gladilin for permission to use this Lexx graphic!


Monday, September 16, 2019

Mantrid- Part 2

Originally written 3-15-17 and never published. I'm not done, but you guys have waited long enough. Yes, I do still intend to write much more. Sorry no pix, too continuously busy or swamped, but you know it's killing me not to be here doing what I love most. I'm still being plowed by a freight train called Life, but I'll come back and properly finish this eventually.


~Back to Mantrid~. Kai wants to drag the roly poly space baby to Mantrid with the hope that he can help them help the baby make protoblood, which is a total red flag because Kai never experiences his own motivation, so hairs are already going up on our necks over that. Not a good thing following a suggestion to go dig up a guy who was so dangerous that even His Shadow had him banished onto a barren frozen planet with no other people, save one- a servant.

And now we are back to Vigl. (That is the original original closed caption spelling in the Salter Street print.) We don't know how long Vigl has been with Mantrid, or whether he's there because Mantrid gets a regular string of tech assistants to toy with and kill along with his basic supply refill (nice retirement package, if you want to look on the bright side of not being repurposed instead of banished), but for whatever reasons involved, Vigl is a genius himself and so emotionally unbalanced that he's useless for any other purposes that served His Shadow, apparently being too brilliant to waste on feeding his brain to cluster lizards. His weakness, as Mantrid unkindly taunts him, is little boys, and I assume from his fetish look and weepy devotion to Mantrid that Vigl's addiction to sadomasochism might have been even more vicious on the little boys he loved than Mantrid's own treatment of him. I think Mantrid is attracted to Vigl's utter lack of morality in a sadomasochistic sapiosexual kind of way, and Vigl is totally turned on by Mantrid role playing abuse with him. Mantrid actually proclaims that he likes Vigl, probably not just because Vigl is shockingly awful, but because Mantrid himself is the vilest of the vile, taking his own body apart like toys and rebuilding himself into remote controlled robotic pieces that must be directly synced with something he did to his own brain.

Side note- We actually don't know that Mantrid took his own body apart, but it would hardly be surprising. I could jaunt into a whole new background idea with a list of things that could have brought him to this point, or I could just go on. Maybe I'll do that another day.

What's more alarming is that we find out Mantrid has been around even longer than Kai has, and while Kai was technically dead for 2008 years before we see him again as a Divine Assassin, Mantrid assuredly was not. Mantrid's life span could arguably be tied to being a top scientist, called a Bio-Vizier, on the Cluster. He knows more about protoblood and Insect essence than any other person who's ever existed in the whole Light Universe except for his teacher, Supreme Bio-Vizier Brizon, and both undoubtedly knew about the Giga Shadow growing beneath the surface, essentially helping revive the nearly extinct Insect race up to that point.

Kai knows all this because he's got all the memories, so of course, he wants to drag a roly poly space baby to Mantrid and revive it because he's being prompted by the Insect essence he carries, as yet unknown to the Lexx crew.

Still with me? Some of you are already running back to your TVs for rewatches.

Mantrid's last tie to humanity is Vigl. I'm sure Mantrid could have cared less about the fates of the little boys Vigl tortured to death with his sex addiction, but he taunts him continually with it, emotionally punishing Vigl over and over while Vigl weeps his love and loyalty back to an uncaring Mantrid, a perfect loop of emotional sadomasochism. This scene hints at how contemptuously Mantrid sees and feels about the human race in a society that he helped retain severe restrictions over while humans were being fed to both the Lexx and the Giga Shadow the whole time, and Mantrid knew this. What does this say about Mantrid's own fetishes? Mantrid is sexually impotent as a head on a floating jar, yet he's the one Kai looks for to revive a race of beings. How potent is that?

If Mantrid had spared one shred of empathy for Vigl's victims as a fellow human being while they were banished together in solitude, things might have turned out very differently when the Lexx arrived, but Mantrid despised humanity, just as he despised his own limitations and being stuck with nothing on the edge of nothing going nowhere. He used Vigl's fragile emotional imbalance to cement a cultish devotion that defined the moment from which everything in the two universes would change forever.

Lemme just say that again. He used Vigl's fragile emotional imbalance to cement a cultish devotion that defined the moment from which everything in the two universes would change forever. Got it? Because --->>>> Vigl's twisted devotion is responsible for tipping the scales and ultimately starting the avalanche that eventually breaks the time cycles.

(If you've been following my posts, you've noticed I believe this is the time loop that breaks the cycles of time beyond repair, which is what makes this loop so important to the overall story. It's not canon, but it makes sense and doesn't mess with future episodes and seasons. See The Dark Zone and the Cycles of Time)

Jumping right in, my first question is How long Mantrid has been banished? He knows about Kai, so it was after the Brunnen-G were wiped out. We're also not sure how long it's been since Lexx blew up the Cluster, and whether that has anything to do with supply shipments possibly stopping. Mantrid has no contact with the outside world, no way to get updates unless he gets some kind of news dropped in with the supply shipments, which could come from anywhere in the League of 20,000, but I'm betting not since Mantrid is so highly ranked that surely no one else knows he's even there, so I'm going to guess his supply shipments have stopped. Is he surprised to see Kai? Did he know the Lexx was finally being grown on the Cluster? How long has Mantrid been out here? Long enough to construct an escape pod and a few drone arms out of what scraps he got or found, apparently, and even longer enough for he and Vigl to have a history of arguments over whether his mind transfer experiment would ultimately fail, so probably a number of years, at the very least.

Also, did Mantrid already possess Insect essence? How is he still alive? Did he steal the essence and was allowed to live (or even become unkillable, like I purport Giggerota to be) because all his memories would forever be contained in that essence and passed on to others if he were killed? Can he inherently transfer? Is there protoblood in that jar???

Ok, ok, let's slow down and go over this.


Mantrid already had a plan in place to try combining his own consciousness with a hard drive in a machine, and thanks to that Insect essence and Vigl's twisted devotion to Mantrid, the greatest mass murderer in two whole universes was created and unleashed.

that would be able to remote control the drone arms he'd already created to manufacture more and more drone arms. Over a little time and a seemingly endless supply of material in the universe, Mantrid built and built until he built so big out of raw materials from all the planets and debris he found and shredded along the way that it wasn't long until he could siphon energy straight of stars and use it to extrude even more raw material and create even more drone arms on a super mega giga scale. Soon stars didn't just wink out, entire nebulae vanished, and the death of all things became imminent as Mantrid converted all of it into remote controlled drone arms.

(minecraft meme)

You know how Borg programming was about seeking out and reprogamming all sentient life to become Borg? And you know how in Stargate SG-1 replicators would tear apart and convert all material into more replicators? Think bigger. Imagine a runaway system turning an entire universe into remote controlled drone arms. Pretty sure not even the Jedi and The Emperor himself with all his armies could have stopped Mantrid. The Death Star would have been swallowed whole and deconstructed at some point. If you could cross all the streams and use all the armadas and strengths and armies of all the universes together, no one could have beaten Mantrid. It would be the ultimate flameout, though. What? Oh, what about the Q Continuum, you ask. I laugh. That was one of the worst plot devices ever dreamed up, requiring very little effort to work with. They barely damaged subspace with their little tiff. Mantrid remains the ultimate megalomaniac, regardless of what universe one wishes to debate.

Not to spoil too much (haha, how old is this show again?), but Mantrid's final destructive move was gathering all the mass he'd amassed (sorry, pun, couldn't help it) together, forcing the universe to collapse into a smaller and smaller state until the Lexx had nowhere to flee and had to turn and face Mantrid, their only hope lying in tricking Mantrid long enough to distract him from their intent to flee through the wormhole back to the Dark Zone that the collapse would create. Unfortunately, Mantrid was far too brilliant to not anticipate this, and snuck aboard the Lexx, crossing over to the Dark Zone with them barely ahead of everything he'd turned the Light Universe into collapsing in a huge crunch. But fortunately, he wasted time in mockery instead of starting all over again in secret. Guess what- I won't tell you how that ended. If you haven't see Lexx, go watch it.

We could jaunt into Mantrid's psychological profile and reflect on why Brizon found him tedious, but as brilliant and capable as Brizon was, even he fell to the redundant overkill of Mantrid's single-minded focus. Megalomania 2.0 trumps intellectual arrogance and easily outstrips a weakness for remaining intact and using other humans to stay alive. As nasty as Brizon was, at least he could be negotiated with. Mantrid only wanted to win, even if winning meant not having anyone around afterward to appreciate the fact that he'd won. It would seem Mantrid had managed to strip himself of the burden of being human in order to ultimately triumph over the Insects- wait. Back up. What did I just say? Did we just uncover Mantrid's motivation? Was he so intent on winning because he'd been so scourged of his soul feeding his fellow human race to the monster? Mantrid may have enjoyed his work, likely because he excelled at that sort of genetic tinkering, at any cost, but we do have to admit he didn't just crush humanity, he finally beat the Insects. No more sides, no more good or bad, no more doublespeak, no more political and religious agendas, no more anything. Mantrid erased it all from existence so thoroughly that there was no more record it had even having happened, and then he wound up on Fire with his memory erased, a fitting retribution for someone who put salvaging his memories via data storage above the fate of an entire universe.

I've been told I overthink things. Let's take a break while we absorb that. I find that verse helps organize my thinking.

Mantrid, a Limerick
 by Janika Banks

The world's greatest Bio-Vizier
Through banishment most austere
Created a pod
Of which he'd be mod
Uploaded his mind
Which was unkind
And sculpted a whole new frontier

I guess that's putting it lightly. I have fun thinking about Mantrid. I thought for a long time that his extreme motivation after the transfer might have come from the Insect essence, because Insects went after humanity for thousands of years. However, we can't forget the indomitable human spirit (I'll root for a psychotic human over an Insect any day), the possibilities that were fueled along Mantrid's past, and what might happen to the human mind when it is already psychotic before it's uploaded into a machine in combination with Insect programming, because that's what essence is, a metaphysical software program passed from one generation to the next. Mantrid's vehemence wasn't just Insect based, it was originally psychotic human based, and combining the two inside a computerized machine was a disaster. Forget survival instinct, because physical flesh was gone. Forget which race to choose sides over, neither one matters to him. All Mantrid cared about was the ultimate definition of life, and instead of killing himself with ennui over the depression of it like so many do, he motivated right past KILLALLTHETHINGS to turning the entire universe into a game to win. Nothing else mattered. In a world with all kinds of things to do forever and ever, Mantrid opted to simplify omniscience into nothing more than incorporating the entire universe into himself for no other reason than reaching an end to incorporating. He didn't even have competition. No, Mantrid's motivation had nothing to do with Insects or even his past- just blame it on a faulty upload and a crazy runaway super focused single-minded program loop with a personality glitch. Mantrid's sole definition of being alive was answerable only in terms of continuing the program.

My favorite visual of Mantrid is us first seeing him alone in banishment, and us last seeing him alone in the Tunnels on Fire, an icon for being torn apart from humanity itself. I'd like to continue my Mantrid thoughts in another post, hopefully coming a lot sooner than this one did.