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PleatherDuster

Purpose of the Train Heist (BoM spoilers)

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Hi! First time posting a question. I'm not quite sure whether I need to be explicitly hiding spoilers, or mentioning spoilers in the title is sufficient. 

I've been wondering about the train heist in BoM, where a crew attacks the train the team is taking to New Seran. I know it's later implied that Edwarn Ladrian planned it as a "distraction", hoping that Wax would be deterred from continuing to New Seran. However, it seemed Irich (the guy with the limp) was looking for something specific. In his POV chapter, when he's pondering the rapidly approaching terminal nature of his condition, he thinks "He needed answers now. He had thought that on the train, they might find .... But no, of course not. And idle hope." 

Did the book ever resolve what he was looking for? Anyone have any ideas? At first I thought he might have been looking for Wayne, for some sort of healing-stealing hemalurgic-spiking. Since he is VERY focused on curing his disease,  and Wayne was..."hiding" :D during the heist, so that would explain him not achieving what he sought. BUT...that doesn't really fit with him "needing answers".

He was very interested in Marasi having Allomantic abilities. Makes me think is goal must have been to find someone with a particular ability. Any ideas? Also, was there something going on with...formaldehyde? 

Is it clear if Irich survives at the end of BoM?

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Posted (edited)

Looks like you struck out.  Impressive you managed on your first try to stump the greatest sanderfans in the world.  I am afraid I can only give you speculation.

2 hours ago, PleatherDuster said:

However, it seemed Irich (the guy with the limp) was looking for something specific. In his POV chapter, when he's pondering the rapidly approaching terminal nature of his condition, he thinks "He needed answers now. He had thought that on the train, they might find .... But no, of course not. And idle hope." 

Did the book ever resolve what he was looking for? Anyone have any ideas?

It is mentioned by Suit via radio that one of the passengers on the train might be something special.  They became a casualty.  I personally think it was a worldhopper with some kind of investiture that Irich hopped to exploit.

Edited by Karger
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14 hours ago, PleatherDuster said:

...it seemed Irich (the guy with the limp) was looking for something specific. In his POV chapter, when he's pondering the rapidly approaching terminal nature of his condition, he thinks "He needed answers now. He had thought that on the train, they might find .... But no, of course not. An idle hope." 

Did the book ever resolve what he was looking for? Anyone have any ideas?

...He was very interested in Marasi having Allomantic abilities. Makes me think is goal must have been to find someone with a particular ability. Any ideas? Also, was there something going on with...formaldehyde? 

Is it clear if Irich survives at the end of BoM?

If this is your first question post I look forward to more, you raise a few details I had not noticed or had forgotten about!

I did remember that Irich reflected on not finding something he'd hoped to find on the train, but no, we don't know what that may have been. As Karger mentioned, it's possible that what he was looking for was the same thing/person that Suit mentioned to Wax via conference call about the only fatality among the passengers having something interesting/special about him... I assumed that was because that person was also a target (for elimination) by the Set, but it could also have been that he had been a target for acquisition who got killed while resisting, or who chose suicide over capture. (Could also have been a kandra?)

As for the smell of formaldehyde involved in the attack on the train, that has also not yet been explained, nor has it come up anywhere else in the Era 2 books so far as I'm aware. It was in the air of the courier car that the robbers targeted. So, either something they used to get into the car, or perhaps something associated with this mystery person of interest (maybe the worldhopper is an animated Lifeless from Nalthis, haha).

One thing I did note about that train attack was that Matieu, who Wax addresses as "Captain", was somewhat suspiciously eager to get Wax to help him chase down the escaped robbers, given what we hear later from Suit. He also saluted Wax in a "completely inappropriate" gesture for someone "not in this jurisdiction", which seems like it'd be unnatural for someone of the rank of Captain to do wrong. Or maybe I'm reading too much into that - it could also just be an IRL friend/fan insert as a minor character, acting googly-eyed around the Dawnshot.

We see Irich in the middle of the fight where Wax "rescues" Telsin and they get away with Allik in the airship module Wilg, where he was "shouting for soldiers not to damage the ship", but that's the last we see/hear of him directly. He doesn't appear to have been part of the party of the Set that went to the temple for the Battle of the Bands (sorry), as Suit thinks of how Irich would be disappointed when he (later) got the news of the "bands" they had acquired being fake. So he wasn't captured by Wax and was also still alive, as far as Suit knew.

When did Irich express particular interest in Marasi?

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3 hours ago, robardin said:

When did Irich express particular interest in Marasi?

Chapter 8, on the train, Marasi (it's her POV) is going from car to car looking for Steris. She instead finds a guy with a cane all by himself. She tells him it's not safe, go to the back of the train (technically still a shootout going on, dead bodies everywhere). He says: "I'm always inclined to obey the wishes of a pretty woman" (uh gross!) "but what of you, miss? Is there no danger to you?"

Marasi says she can take care of herself, to which Irich replies: "Indeed! You look quite capable. Quite capable indeed." He leans in. " Are you more than you appear, perhaps? A Metalborn?" Then he prepares to though the cube "grenade" at her, but the train lurches, so he drops the cube and then runs away. That's how Marasi ends up with the cube. 

I don't think he was interested in Marasi, per se, but seems like he's looking for someone? Or a particular power? When I read this the first time, I assumed the purpose of the cube was to steal peoples abilities. Seemed like he was really interested in someone potentially being metalborn, and i though he was trying to absorb some of it into the cube. But...instead it has extended Leecher power in it? (it drained Wax's steel in the previous chapter). Maybe it could work both ways?

It would be interesting if he was specifically looking for a Pulser like Marasi. He could do a reverse time bubble to go into the future, until a time when there could be a cure to his disease (I DON"T think that's what's going on, but it would be a kinda cool thing to do, plotwise, with Pulser/cadmium power)

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15 hours ago, Karger said:

It is mentioned by Suit via radio that one of the passengers on the train might be something special.  They became a casualty.  I personally think it was a worldhopper with some kind of investiture that Irich hopped to exploit.

I forgot about that! Sounds promising. I remember Wax thought Suit was trying to distract him, but I bet there was something more going on there. 

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7 minutes ago, PleatherDuster said:

Chapter 8, on the train, Marasi (it's her POV) is going from car to car looking for Steris. ...

He leans in. "Are you more than you appear, perhaps? A Metalborn?" Then he prepares to though the cube "grenade" at her, but the train lurches, so he drops the cube and then runs away. That's how Marasi ends up with the cube.

I don't think he was interested in Marasi, per se, but seems like he's looking for someone? Or a particular power?

Ah yes, that's right, in my memory the way they got the cube was that Wax scooped it up after it remote-Leeched him (he certainly recognized it for what it was and what it did later).

So I would say he intended to remote-Leech Marasi as well, not knowing what her Metalborn power might be and not wanting to risk getting too close to her. It reads like he was guarding the cargo car, for whatever the Set actually wanted from the train was apparently in there. When the train lurched and he dropped the cube, he appeared afraid of Marasi's abilities (and possibly the rifle in her hands) without it, and "got out of Dodge". (He must have been the man with the cane that the escaping bandits threw into the water, then jumped in after him.)

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