On Mon, 10 Mar 2003, Andrew Lias wrote: @> >AFB, but Vlad said something similar to "my soul would have gone to feed a @> >sentience in six inches of steel" in Jhereg (I think). It's the sort of @> >line that sticks with you. Maybe "feed" is being used metaphorically @> >there, but I got the impression from other bits in other books that @> >they're actually eating the souls. @> @> I remember that -- I really got the impression that it was metaphorical, in @> the sames sense that we talk about feeding wood to a fire. Of course, this @> is blurred by the fact that MWs, unlike fire, actually do appear to have @> some level of sentience, making them more akin to living beings, but I don't @> get the impression that they have metabolisms. We don't see them, for @> instance, excreting anything after they've consumed a soul, nor do they @> appear to have anything like respiration, growth, or reproduction. @> @> As such, pending any evidence for a metabolism (which is the whole reason @> that living organisms feed upon other things), I don't think that an MW @> "eating" a soul is really like it *eating* a soul. Even the "feeding wood to a fire" metaphor works fine as far as my question is concerned; if you stop feeding a fire, it goes away. I'm not claiming that Morganti weapons meet our full definition of "living"; that's problematic, as you've shown here. I was thinking of them more as very sophisticated blenders, with the souls being the electrical supply (hence the possibility that they just go dormant if they can't eat). A blender doesn't have any metabolism that meets our definition of the term, but it definitely does require power to perform its various functions.