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Planetarium projectorplanetarium margins

He really was there, right? When the projector went out?
I SWEAR I HIT HIM. SIX OR SEVEN TIMES AT LEAST. YOU HEARD ME HIT HIM.
So where did he go?
STEAM TUNNELS?
MAYBE SERIN HAD PEOPLE THERE, TOO.
Wish they’d told us. Also wish we could’ve stayed and watched the stars some more.
IT WAS YOUR IDEA TO LEAVE EVERYTHING AND GO.
How many parking tickets do you think my car has by now?

This discussion between Eric Husch and Jennifer Heyward on p453 of V.M. Straka Ship of Theseus is a tantalizing puzzle piece. It is the only reference in S to a peculiar event with scant details.

Here is what we know about the event.

  • Both Eric and Jen are there (Jen could hear Eric hitting someone).
  • It took place on the campus of Pollard State University (the victim likely fled in the steam tunnels).
  • It was very likely centered around Straka (why else would SERIN have people present?)
  • There was a projector involved, and when the projector went out, no one could see (Jen could only hear Eric hitting someone).
  • There were stars (Jen wanted to stay and watch them).
  • Eric and Jen left for Prague shortly afterward (Jen wanted to leave everything and her car probably has parking tickets)

The most logical conclusion is that this event occurred inside PSU’s Mallon Planetarium.

  • The projector is probably the planetarium projector, which projects the stars Jen wanted to stay and watch onto the domed ceiling.
  • Eric used to work at the planetarium and knew how to operate the equipment (p209).
  • The planetarium has direct access to the steam tunnels (p410).

Questions

  • Why include mention of such a pivotal event but with so few clues?
  • Why is this event written in the margins of the climax of Ship of Theseus?
  • Are more details about this event out there on the web? Author Doug Dorst has mentioned in several interviews that S-related resources exist on the internet that have not yet been found.
  • Is it important that Archimedes invented the first planetarium and that Archimedes de Sobreiro is an important character in Ship of Theseus?
  • Is it important that Robert Hooke, who first discovered biological cells by looking at cork (sobreiro) under a microscope, postulated the first accurate theory of planetary motion based on gravity?
  • Who exactly was the person that Eric hit and that Jen was surprised was even present? Moody? Someone else?
  • What kind of Straka event would be held in the planetarium? Something related to Chapter 2, The Drifting Twins? Something else?

What comments or questions do you have?

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