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 Post subject: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:07 pm 
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So, let the rampant speculation commence!

Before the last two chapters, pretty much everyone thought Minerva was an artificial intelligence program (even though there were some subtle things hinting to the contrary in the first two chapters). She was ruthless, calculating, cold; not humane at all. Her behaviour drastically changed during the course of the last two chapters. So who (or what) is she?

The answer is fairly obvious. See the following passages:

First, the final message for Metastasis:
Quote:
There is no merciful god; no more benevolent deities to aid us.

We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their
ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?

This definitely shutters the illusion of the goddess we have all been believing in. She's definitely not outside interference and she certainly is of mortal, not deific (or anything like it) status.

Still, this is not as definite as this passage from one Minerva's messages:
Quote:
You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine - so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or whatever, you may still hold dear.

The first sentence is where it all is: We know the player is (or rather was) human so Minerva is a human too. When I presented Adam with this piece of evidence his reply was
Quote:
Heh, it's easy when you know where to look, isn't it?
Certainly less cryptic than one might have expected.

That isn't much in itself but there are more things we can learn about her: For example, her motives and her profession. Take a look at this message:
Quote:
Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels.

While technically she speaks about you and how you are facing the zombies and soldiers that are the same as you (ie post-humans) she also speaks about herself, since she knows exactly how it feels. So, as we all know she wants to revenge the Combine but now we know what drives her too: it's guilt. She did something terrible, inhumane and amoral in the past and now she feels guilty for it. That explains her cold behaviour. It's a result from her need to escape from the feeling of guilt. So, I presented Adam with this finding too, but I didn't cite the previous message. His reaction? He thought I was referring to "manufactured war criminals". That is from this message:
Quote:
From manufactured war criminals to saviours of the universe - quite a progression for discarded pieces of shit.
Notice how it's in plural? Minerva includes herself to that statement, too. Now, everything's clear: She's a manufactured war criminal. And all that has to do with the Combine. So, she's a scientist (a polymath, probably) who worked for the Combine after they invaded Earth. My guess is that her work had something to do with the genetic engineering and the creation of post-humans, that would give her a war criminal status, right? When the Combine decided they didn't need her any more, they discarded her. It is after that that she began to feel remorse for her actions and it is also then that she began plotting to extract revenge. That would also explain why she becomes attached to the player (both are "discarded pieces of shit") and how she can so easily have access to Combine technology, their networks and all that stuff. Obviously, she has nothing to do with the normal resistance since she thinks that they are incapable of making a difference despite having the moral right.

So, what exactly did she want to do with the experiment? If the metaphors are to be believed, she needed the Medusa's head. So, maybe she expected to find a secret Combine weapon there? Destroy the facility and then use the technology to create the weapon and use it against the Combine? Obviously, that didn't happen, since it wasn't a weapon. But, as I see it, she was presented with an oportunity to do a good deed and redeem for her mistakes at some level. The same goes for the player, only he doesn't get to have a choice.

_________________
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:18 pm 
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The Medusa's head is the satellite, no?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:17 pm 
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If there was a Medusa's head, I think it would be the weapon the Combine were supposed to have down there. So, it seems like that there was no Medusa's head at all.

_________________
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:57 pm 
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"I know exactly how it feels" in reference to the reaction to seeing Zombines ...

Wait ...

Minerva's a headcrab-zombie!? ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Naurgul wrote:
So, let the rampant speculation commence!

Before the last two chapters, pretty much everyone thought Minerva was an artificial intelligence program (even though there were some subtle things hinting to the contrary in the first two chapters). She was ruthless, calculating, cold; not humane at all. Her behaviour drastically changed during the course of the last two chapters. So who (or what) is she?

The answer is fairly obvious. See the following passages:

First, the final message for Metastasis:
Quote:
There is no merciful god; no more benevolent deities to aid us.

We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their
ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?

This definitely shutters the illusion of the goddess we have all been believing in. She's definitely not outside interference and she certainly is of mortal, not deific (or anything like it) status.

Still, this is not as definite as this passage from one Minerva's messages:
Quote:
You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine - so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or whatever, you may still hold dear.

The first sentence is where it all is: We know the player is (or rather was) human so Minerva is a human too. When I presented Adam with this piece of evidence his reply was
Quote:
Heh, it's easy when you know where to look, isn't it?
Certainly less cryptic than one might have expected.

That isn't much in itself but there are more things we can learn about her: For example, her motives and her profession. Take a look at this message:
Quote:
Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels.

While technically she speaks about you and how you are facing the zombies and soldiers that are the same as you (ie post-humans) she also speaks about herself, since she knows exactly how it feels. So, as we all know she wants to revenge the Combine but now we know what drives her too: it's guilt. She did something terrible, inhumane and amoral in the past and now she feels guilty for it. That explains her cold behaviour. It's a result from her need to escape from the feeling of guilt. So, I presented Adam with this finding too, but I didn't cite the previous message. His reaction? He thought I was referring to "manufactured war criminals". That is from this message:
Quote:
From manufactured war criminals to saviours of the universe - quite a progression for discarded pieces of shit.
Notice how it's in plural? Minerva includes herself to that statement, too. Now, everything's clear: She's a manufactured war criminal. And all that has to do with the Combine. So, she's a scientist (a polymath, probably) who worked for the Combine after they invaded Earth. My guess is that her work had something to do with the genetic engineering and the creation of post-humans, that would give her a war criminal status, right? When the Combine decided they didn't need her any more, they discarded her. It is after that that she began to feel remorse for her actions and it is also then that she began plotting to extract revenge. That would also explain why she becomes attached to the player (both are "discarded pieces of shit") and how she can so easily have access to Combine technology, their networks and all that stuff. Obviously, she has nothing to do with the normal resistance since she thinks that they are incapable of making a difference despite having the moral right.

So, what exactly did she want to do with the experiment? If the metaphors are to be believed, she needed the Medusa's head. So, maybe she expected to find a secret Combine weapon there? Destroy the facility and then use the technology to create the weapon and use it against the Combine? Obviously, that didn't happen, since it wasn't a weapon. But, as I see it, she was presented with an oportunity to do a good deed and redeem for her mistakes at some level. The same goes for the player, only he doesn't get to have a choice.


More proof of Minerva being a Combine scientist is that she apparently knows alot about the World Beyond The Portal, and what lies there. I'm guessing that she went there as part of an earlier experiment with dimensions, and perhaps thats how she eventually ended up on Xen? Maybe thats what the machinery was, Combine portal equipment set up when they ended up at Xen by accident. Maybe Minerva was left at or sent to Xen when she used up her usefulness or maybe she escaped to there?

_________________
Help my minicity to grow. Visit daily!

http://idiotown.myminicity.com - population
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http://idiotown.myminicity.com/tra - transport


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:34 am 
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Just to toss my pair of pennies down: I think I'd stop far short of saying that the "Minerva was a combine scientist" is the clear, inevitable conclusion. Looking at some other comments within this episode, so handily posted by Baffled in a neighboring thread-
Quote:
" ... it conceals abandoned, eschatological secrets far beyond even my reckoning."

Quote:
" ... I know that place... "

Quote:
" ... Don't die on me now, please. I need you... "

Quote:
" ... I know they can reach me now, and that makes me afraid."

-and keeping in mind that she never refers to *herself* as a traitor (More on this and the "guilt" theory Naurgul offers later), I have my own theory.

Minerva as she currently is came about through power (likely advanced technology) from that world through the portal, a power she believed the Combine hadn't accessed ("I didn't expect this, I really didn't."). As such, she believed that she herself was safe from the Combine, because they didn't know how to reach her or just outright *couldn't*. I also think that the power in the world through the portal is what's being referred to (Or at one of the things being referred to) with the "ancient, abandoned weapons of the gods" bit at the end.

If this the theory is correct, then her abrupt shift in tone when the portal opens is only to be expected. If the Combine are accessing this power then the paradigm has shifted in two ways: First, things now are much worse for humankind (or some other collection of billions of lives, though I doubt there are that many Vortigaunts around). Second, Minerva now has a much more personal stake in what used to be a minor (re)search-and-destroy mission. While I strongly disagree with Naurgul's explanation of what makes her see herself as inhuman (Namely, having committed some past crime- I can't recall anything serving as evidence of this), I do believe that she begins to feel guilt at this point ("I have a confession to make..." "I truly am sorry."). Before, you were a tool- probably a combine soldier who she broke free, or failing that someone in a similarly miserable position ("you'd be just like them if it wasn't for me", most memorable line of the first episode by far). Even if she was sending you on a probable suicide mission, it was arguably an improvement over what came before. But now you're sacrificing yourself for her sake, and she's deceiving you about it; something not so easily rationalized, though bringing up the billions of other lives involved probably helped.

Just my thoughts, or the ones I feel relatively certain about. No idea how on-target I really am.

_________________
...comes...another...you are man...the last...I am the last...done...what have you done...die...all die...now...their slaves...we are their slaves...we are...the truth...you can never know...thieves...you all are...alone, not you...alone...


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 Post subject: Spending Time Around Belphegor
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:27 am 
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Coming up with theories about MINERVA is like trying to guess a puzzle with only a third of the pieces. One piece could be in the wrong place, and the whole picture can be thrown off. Unless special care is given to research all that happens, everything we posit will be wrong. Let's not focus on this at the moment though, since it's funner to just hypothesize. Driven as we are, it's futile to resist the allure of assumption.

So, my theory will be rather broad and flat at the moment since I've not had time to process all aspects of evidence. Hopefully, while broad, it'll help give foundation to a more proper answer in the future. Even then, it can still be wrong so take this with a grain of salt.

Because of past actions, I assume that MINERVA was once 'biological' then trapped, or saved, via machinations into a machine. Even though it is unlikely, I feel she placed herself in the machine for her own well being (or continued being as the case may be.)

Hopping between computer stations, she's likely been a 'Ghost of the Machine' for the Combine. Unceremoniously showing up in places and causing alterations that could defer or damage their overall plans. Maybe, when she began to panic about being discovered, it was because she had 'stayed in the open' too long and taken direct control of various programs in her efforts to destroy the base. Although unlikely, I guess that the continued existence of the satellite and station could have led to a possible fixation on what interfered and where. Nevertheless, our Deus Ex Machina risked her life to save ours in such a scenario, an invaluable tool I suppose.

Overall, while broad, I feel this addresses a few key issues. Reasoning in the rest of the pieces would be easy from this point.

Not that I can help it, but this theory may have holes I do not see. Of course, should you see any error, based on quotable evidence, feel free to poke holes. Truth can only be found, after all, by continually molding and testing a theory till it becomes undeniable.

_________________
"Great actors fool others, Greater Actors fool themselves" ~me

"It is the nature of man to make monsters, it is the nature of monsters to destroy their makers."

"Be careful when hunting monsters not to become one yourself."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:09 pm 
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There are a few lines which she speaks that I can't get out of my head. Things that don't quite fit in with other things. Such as "Light Blue Touch Paper" . I did a quick search on the INTERNOT and found(Guy Fawkes Night links non-withstanding) this interesting little piece of internet. A blog dedicated to Cryptography.... hmm.
Other things, like being "All alone in this forsaken machine". It could mean the Satellite (or a computer station), but what if it's something else?
What if she's, say, a human mind that's been implanted into a machine. That seems a very "Combine" thing to do, fusing humans and machines in twisted and amoral ways, as witnessed by the usage of the soldiers alone.
What if she's someone who was merged with a machine by the combine, to "increase processing abilities" or "improve productivity" while "reducing downtime"?
If she was an aborted experiment, the "all alone" would be more logical, as well as the fact that the combine discarded her.
Drawing from System Shock's universe, when SHODAN gets exploded in the first game, she jettisons all those stinking pods, each containing a fragment of herself. If MINERVA was deemed an unsuccessful experiment, and discarded, what if she was able to save a part of herself, somewhere forgotten by the Combine. In a place that they had exhausted and left.
Anyway, these be nothing but wild theories, finally exhumed from this bumbling fool, too shy to join the ranks until fate forced his hand.
By the way, Adam, you've proved to me, once and for all, that games can be emotionally involving, and therefore, art.
Thankyou.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:41 am 
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In spite of Adam's apparent acknowledgement of Minerva being human (we can't really trust him anyway, can we?) I get the distinct feeling this isn't the case. My arguments are thus (yes, taking the quotes from Naurgul);
Quote:
There is no merciful god; no more benevolent deities to aid us.

We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their
ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?


The use of words like 'we' and 'ourselves' most likely just collectively refers to all those who would oppose the Combine, or alternately, just those with links to Minerva herself.

Quote:
You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine - so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or whatever, you may still hold dear.


This time it's sort of the opposite case. 'our species' does not necessarily refer to a race that both Minerva and the player are a part of. It seems more likely that she is just collectively speaking of her own race (to take the first example I can think of, you can say to someone 'our team' without the person you're speaking to being on said team).

Quote:
Heh, it's easy when you know where to look, isn't it?


As I suggested before, he's screwing with us.

Quote:
Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels.


She could easily be referring to her own race's similar assimilation.

Finally -
Quote:
Slavery is one of your Combine's less endearing traits. Human
vivisection would now appear to be another.


Notice she says 'your' as opposed to 'our' or 'the', but this could just be reading meaning into nothing.

_________________
-Anything that happens, happens
-Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen
-Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, causes itself to happen again; though not always chronologically


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:20 am 
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The thing I like about this kind of discussion is the sheer volume of ... raw data available. And to make any kind of sense of it, you need to process it -- how should we interpret this, how literal should we take that, how do we resolve this ambiguity?

At the same time, with each installment, we're given just enough information to make us think we understand more, one way or the other, while still raising more questions -- and the answers (and some of the questions) still depend on the same wonderful fun that is interpretation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:24 am 
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scutter_2 wrote:
In spite of Adam's apparent acknowledgement of Minerva being human (we can't really trust him anyway, can we?) I get the distinct feeling this isn't the case.


To say the truth, I actually set up a little mischievous trick to see if he was lying (he won't say anything to me after revealing this but oh well). After I told him all about my theories, he wondered why I wasn't already sharing them with my fellow acolytes, to which I answered that I was just baiting so I could see if I could get anything out of him. At that point, he stopped helping me to speculate. Now, if he didn't see through my little trick, it could mean that he wasn't trying to misinform me on purpose, because if he was, me telling him that thing would give him all the more reason to keep it up. See now? That's paranoid personality disorder for you!

scutter_2 wrote:
Quote:
There is no merciful god; no more benevolent deities to aid us.

We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their
ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?


The use of words like 'we' and 'ourselves' most likely just collectively refers to all those who would oppose the Combine, or alternately, just those with links to Minerva herself.
This can't be true, because of the word "alone". See, if the battle refers to the fight against the Combine, then how can everyone that opposes the Combine be alone in doing so? It can't be referring to those with links to Minerva either, because then it would be Minerva's fight. And Minerva's agenda is not shared by the player, for example.

scutter_2 wrote:
Quote:
You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine - so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or whatever, you may still hold dear.


This time it's sort of the opposite case. 'our species' does not necessarily refer to a race that both Minerva and the player are a part of. It seems more likely that she is just collectively speaking of her own race (to take the first example I can think of, you can say to someone 'our team' without the person you're speaking to being on said team).
Yes, this could be true, although how can a transhuman be a traitor to any species other than humans? This is why I think this interpretation is not as valid as the other one.

scutter_2 wrote:
Quote:
Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels.


She could easily be referring to her own race's similar assimilation.
Yes, but the point of this passage is not that. I'm pretty sure it's a reference to Nietzsche's "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." meaning that she became a monster much like you did. It's not about pity, it's about the feeling that one becomes a monstrosity through studying monstrosities.

scutter_2 wrote:
Quote:
Slavery is one of your Combine's less endearing traits. Human
vivisection would now appear to be another.
Notice she says 'your' as opposed to 'our' or 'the', but this could just be reading meaning into nothing.
I'm pretty sure it's just part of her sarcastic tone. Though I wonder what would it imply, if it's not.

All in all, I think it's pretty evident that at some point Minerva was human and maybe she still is.

_________________
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:56 am 
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Hmm. Interesting train of thought:

Her snide comments about you being a "hairless ape", disparaging references to you being human, etc. seemingly point to "not human." That (I then realize), or hypocrisy -- which I at first think is slightly less likely: is hypocrisy one of Minerva's known character traits?

Hang on a minute ...

She has been hypocritical before, when she ordered you to your death -- at least, that's one way to interpret it. When she confronted herself directly with this -- that is, when she was about to push the button that was expected to vaporize you -- she broke down and confessed.

So, really, this opens up the possibility that she might be expected to confess about other "hypocrisy" in the future, as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:15 am 
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It seems pretty much conclusive that she is/was human to me. As Naurgul says, "..a traitor to our species" pretty much says it all. Scutter_2 did make a valiant attempt against it, but that would seem rather deceptive, and if Adam is "screwing with us" as he suggests, then we may as well pack it in and give up on the speculation. This is tough enough as it is. (also, what about the "...my purported humanity" bit? No one else to purport it but her. or "..leeches swarming our once proud oceans")

But it also seems pretty conclusive to me that she has, eh, developed, or evolved or been modified beyond an ordinary human. There's the quotes above about "..were once human...I know exactly how it feels" and "manufactured war criminals...discarded pieces of shit". I'll admit that that "some hairless ape" quip from Someplace Else seemed to indicate she wasn't human, but I think in light of recent developments it's just further indication that she is no longer 'quite' human, and looks down on 'mere' humans.

And Dagda mor, I'd say your thoughts about Minerva's power (technology or whatever) coming from that planet sounds pretty reasonable. Seems to fit the ending quote
Quote:
We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their
ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?

as well as
Quote:
My adopted forefathers are different, their scattered, discarded playthings more conducive to a meaningful imposition of my thoughts upon our captors.

from the Minerva front page.

But the only thing I feel truly confident in saying is that we don't yet have near enough info to say for sure what's going on. I think the backstory he's developed is far too vast for us to get any of this stuff with any precision just yet. Hopefully there will be much more to come! (but of course that shouldn't stop us from guessing!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Has anyone else seen the ocean message? Why would she refer to them as "our's and "proud."

MINERVA_4R14
{
***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.20:24:01

I have invested TOO MUCH towards your survival to let you end it all,
shredded by the leeches swarming our once proud oceans.

So get OUT of the water, and continue with your assigned tasks!

***END MESSAGE***
}

Adds more fuel to the thought that she might be human.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Warning: very long theory ahead.

The thought of Minerva once being human is interesting indeed. We've all but confirmed that she is some kind of post-human entity, as evidenced by the below:
Quote:
Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels.


Not to mention the already mentioned references which indicate that Minerva considers part of humanity, on at least some level: "*Our* once proud oceans", etc.

However, for equally obvious reasons, she is no longer human: she thinks us as "hairless ape[s]", mere animals compared to her. She considers herself, however, to be more powerful that a messiah (see the front page).

One must note, however, that this is not the first time we've heard from Minerva. To quote SE:
Quote:
As for your current problem? I imagine there's a switch somewhere.
I turned the gravity nullifier off myself, actually. It's one of
the few perks you get when you're something like me.
.

Quote:
Impressive, isn't it? It took mankind sixty years to get from general
relativity to glimpsing this kind of science. I doubt you appreciate it -
you seem to prefer the stains of alien blood to the subtleties of physics.

I played a large part in mankind's discovery of this, although few would
like to admit it.


And then, from the main page:
Quote:
A pretty little box of lights, a window on to a whole separate world. I suppose that's one way of describing me - but I'd rather you didn't.


So she was human, but is no longer. She has, instead, "evolved", likely through artificial means, to some higher form of being. She may well have been created by the Combine, or the Xenians. Remember how the Combine were once at war with the Nihilanth's species? The latter fled into Xen, which was, at least for the moment, a safe-haven from the Combine.

Now, remember Black Mesa, the place all of this started? To quote Wikipedia's timeline:
Quote:
13th June 1974 - Prolonged seismic event in New Mexico. Starts at 4pm.
2nd July 1974 - Seismic event confirmed to be from Black Mesa 'Missile Range'.
10th July 1974 - Confirmation of event, explained as a "catastrophic failure". Temporary halt to a research program. Mention made of transportation technology.


So, with the preamble of evidence, and a veritable storm of quotations, out of the way, here is the theory I propose: Minerva was a normal human, a scientist at Black Mesa. One otherwise ordinary day, Minerva becomes privy to certain sensitive information (perhaps the affairs of Gman, of Breen's plans to secure himself a place as global administrator), and a routine teleportation experiment to Xen becomes a prison - Minerva is "discarded", sent through the teleport to what her former employers believe to be her doom.

Still human (but not for long), Minerva is captured either by a Combine scouting party (to assess Xen and it's hazards), or by the Xenians (Vortigaunts, etc.) who are the "adopted forefathers" she mentions, and that us acolytes have so often discussed. Anyway, her captors decide to take this barely-evolved ape, and make her something better. Through their advanced technology, one side makes her into a post-human entity, essentially a human brain mapped into a computer network. She is to be used as a weapon against the other side, for research, exploration, and other matters of covert action. However, with the help of the SE protagonist, she moves through the portal we help open, returning to Earth.

Now back on her homeworld, but armed with knowledge of the war waging just beyond the boarders of our universe and the apocalyptic threat it poses to us, she attempts to war humanity of our impending doom. But alas, us arrogant little humans didn't listen, and the Combine, via a now-enslaved Xenian military, begins their assault.

Lacking a true physical body, Minerva spends several years trying to right her wrongs. Despite being nothing but a "manufactured war criminal", she successfully infiltrates a number of Combine systems, until she gets the chance to liberate a wayward Combine soldier, who becomes an avatar of sorts. Now, with the ability to do things beyond the network of human and Combine technology, she does what she was (re)built to do - infiltrate, reveal, destroy.


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