Author Topic: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?  (Read 723 times)

Ahiku

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Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« on: February 26, 2015, 12:11:05 pm »
Well, actually, I've published this text on Tumblr! But I thought we could also publish it here... to talk about it... :3 Or to keep it here. (It's easier to find stuff here. XD)

@Lawlya and I have talked about the reason why the wasp in Shion’s body wasn’t able to develop properly. Of course it’s just a hypothesis and idle speculation, and everyone should feel free to form their own opinions on this topic. But we would like to share our little theory with you, guys. Maybe you think the same – or you’ve never thought about it and we can broaden your No. 6 horizons. Or you might think it’s nothing but complete nonsense. It’s up to you.

Let’s get started.

Shion survived the wasp incident. But not only Shion, Rou survived as well. But why? The first thing is to know why Shion was infected.

Quote
    "They implanted eggs inside a number of citizens secretly―just like a wasp would use its ovipositer to lay eggs inside its host. It was easy enough to give a needle during scheduled check-ups, saying it was only part of the procedure. They chose sample citizens who differed in gender, age, build, and environment. I was one of them. Rou was also chosen as a host, but it seems Elyurias’ will had some influence in this case. Both of us survived because the parasite’s development was incomplete. The host always dies if the adult emerges successfully.” (Shion, volume 9, chapter 4)

Shion assumes that Elyurias’ will had some influence in Rou’s case. But maybe there is also another reason – namely stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol or norepinephrine.

The parasitic wasp is a behavior-altering parasite. And parasites like that also exist in reality. An example is the jewel wasp. It induces the behavioral change prior to infecting the host and interjects venom into the host’s brain. The venom paralyses the central nervous system and puts the host (a cockroach) into a state of long-term lethargy. The cockroach wouldn’t move spontaneously or response if stimulated, but it stays alive to be food for the pupa until it emerges after a couple of weeks.

The wasps inside of the citizens of No. 6 and Elyurias also influence their host’s behavior:

Quote
    “She has an enormous intellect―and intellect that far surpasses that of humankind. And she had the power to exert perfect control over the hosts. Because of that power, the hosts were programmed to take actions that were favourable to the children of Elyurias, oblivious to the fact that they were being leeched from. For example, their instincts for sensing danger were honed, and they became increasingly sensitive to their nutrition. They were controlled to take every effort to maintain a healthy body; their personalities turned gentle; they began to avoid disputes. It makes sense that No. 6 citizens were the only targets. […] These were the absolutely necessary conditions for the eggs: the host needed to be alive when they hatched, and the host needed to be healthy. “ (Shion, volume 9, chapter 4)

So people who got that special vaccine were calm, lived securely and healthy. They avoided everything which could endanger the lives of Elyurias’ children. They didn’t even showed emotion, since Shion just started to learn about emotions like anger or happiness while living in the West Block. Nezumi taught him, but he was also able to feel something like anger again because the wasp in his body was gone.

Anger, fear and other strong emotions would have been really bad for the development of the pupa, because all those emotions cause a release of adrenaline. According to Lawl’s theory, adrenaline could trigger the wasp’s hatching, giving the insect an impulse to come out of their hosts. Just like jewel wasps they could interject venom into their hosts, for example during the pupa’s metamorphose. When the venom spreads, the host will age quickly and also release a huge amount of adrenaline in this very stressful situation, giving the wasp the sign that it’s time for its eclosion. It’s a sign for the wasp that the host is in big trouble and it’s better to leave as long as it’s still possible.

Shion was one of the specimens, just like Yamase and a lot of other inhabitants of No. 6. But Shion was not as calm as he should have been. One of the reasons was Nezumi. Little Shion obviously had a crush on him. He didn’t probably understand that it was “love”, but Karan mentioned that he sighed very often and when Nezumi showed up again and Shion left Safu behind to run after him, it also caused him to release hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. And just one day after all that happened, Yamase died, Shion was taken captive and had a spectacular, daring escape together with Nezumi. Suddenly he was far away from No. 6, his mother and his familiar surroundings, just to experience the garbage dump of the city. He must have been extremely stressed and scared, and he was probably in mortal fear. His body released tons of adrenaline and other hormones that could trigger the wasp’s hatching, but the pupa wasn’t ready and it wasn’t the pupa (or Elyurias’) that started the impulse. The stress killed the incompletely developed pupa and it released its venom. Maybe the venom wasn’t strong enough to let Shion age, or it had another chemical composition so that it had other effects on Shion’s body (hair, skin, eyes, probably his scar, even though we weren’t able to find a proper reason why Shion’s scar looks like that…).

Rou probably experienced something similar. (Stress because he learned that No. 6 planned the genocide of the Mao people, because they wanted Elyurias, and Rou was the one who paved the way for it with his Elyurias researches.) But maybe it was also Elyurias’ doing, since she seemed to be interested in Rou. She has the power to control and dominate over humans, after all.

No. 6 wanted that power and they had access to that power. They were even able to control the acceleration of the wasp’s development. Fura was one of their human guinea pigs. If the stress theory is correct, Fura didn’t have a wasp inside of his body when he visited Nezumi & Co, because they stressed and scared him so much that it should have influenced the development of his wasp. But the man in the lab coat used him for a little experiment. After capturing him, they gave him an electro shock. Nobody knows how long Fura stayed in the correctional facility before he died. They injected the egg and controlled its development in a perfect environment. In the end they used sound waves (infrasound) to trigger the wasp’s eclosion. Infrasound is a stress inducing weapon and caused the body to secrete the hormone cortisol. They stressed Fura to give the wasp the needed hatching impulse and they could also control other things:

Quote
    “[…]But success is still success. A little more―just a little more, and they will be completely under our control. Hatching, acceleration of development, eclosion, and the laying of eggs. We’ll control it all. […] With our last sample, we couldn’t control the eclosion phase. With the male index case, and the male Park Administration worker, the best we could do was predict the period of eclosion. It’s been how many months since then? In a mere few months, we’ve been able to get this far.” (Man in the lab coat, No. 6, volume 4, ch. 3)

Well, to cut a long story short. We think that Shion survived because he had a lot of stress. In the end the Security Bureau saved him accidentally, because they stressed him before his pupa was completely developed. Good for him, right? :3

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Meopat

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 02:03:36 am »
This is a chunk of info! I had to sit down properly to digest it all, but I agree! When I first read the manga/novels, I came up with the same conclusion too: that stress caused Shion's bee to hatch prematurely.

I think Shion primarily survived because he knew of the bee's existence. (After Yamase's death, Shion didn't rule out the possibility that he could also be a victim. He kept guard of his neck and even though he tried to reassure himself that it was just a blister, he knew, when the time came, that the source of his pain was because he had been host to a bee.) I imagine that if Nezumi had not cut the bee out of Shion, his body would not have had time to develop antibodies and counter the bee's venom. also, one must be impressed with Shion. I mean, if I saw a bee chew its way out of someone's neck, I would think that I'm crazy or that I'm seeing things. Shion, however, believed his own eyes and trusted his instincts.

I think, in Rou's body, a trace of the bee still remains. That's why he got a much more painful trade-off. (I mean, Shion got away with a snake-scar, loss of pigment in his hair, and also red eyes, but Rou lost two legs. If I remember correctly, he also has a scar and white hair too? Though I don't know if the white hair is from the bee.) I think Rou was chosen as a host by Elyurias and purposefully allowed to live by her will too. He had been personally acquainted with her, so it's possible she wanted to use him as a warning to the other researchers of No.6. (Like, a "don't mess with me. Or I'll take more than your legs next time" kind of message... which they totally ignored.)

Quote from: Ahiku
adrenaline could trigger the wasp’s hatching, giving the insect an impulse to come out of their hosts.

That would explain why during the city-wide panic, more bees hatched. Partially because Elyurias willed them to, but probably also because everyone was experiencing the "fight-or-flight" syndrome against this unknown illness, like, "Who is going to be next?!"

Quote from: Ahiku
Shion was taken captive and had a spectacular, daring escape together with Nezumi. Suddenly he was far away from No. 6, his mother and his familiar surroundings, just to experience the garbage dump of the city. He must have been extremely stressed and scared, and he was probably in mortal fear.

I actually don't know how much I'd agree with this.

I'm coming to help you. Nezumi's voice echoed in his ears. His heart grew calm. His legs trembled, though not from despair or fear, but rage. (Shion, Volume 1, Chapter 3 b)

―Will I see you soon, Nezumi?
"What's that?" Rashi turned around, and furrowed his brow.
"Are you smiling?"
(same place)

Even Rashi commented that Shion was rather calm for someone in his position...
Then later, after the explosions and daring escape, in the car,

"This isn't really my idea of 'enjoyable'," Shion muttered.
"Oh, really? The look on your face says you're enjoying this quite a bit."
(saaaaame)

Any normal person would panic. Shion was, instead, happy and seemingly content to be in Nezumi's presence.
Is this because the bee pacified his emotions?

I don't think the cause of Shion's stress was the escape from No.6 or the change in location. (Nezumi's presence soothed all his fears~)

I think, instead, it was the knowledge of the parasitic bee that stressed Shion out.
"Ah!" Shion brought a hand to his neck. He felt something faintly odd. On the base of his neck, there was a small part that felt numb. Shion felt the area with his fingers. There was a pea-sized blister growing, and it was itchy. He scratched it lightly. A chill wind blew through the centre of his body. Shion could feel his heart contract. (Shion, Volume 1, Chapter 4)

But now that I think about it, what caused the pea-sized blister to grow in the first place? Maybe it was just the pumping of adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in Shion that triggered growth (as he ran, swam, and etc), but the stress inside him (as he figured that there was a bee chewing its way out of him) caused the bee to want to emerge but was ultimately unable to because it hadn't finished growing...

(??) Or something like that? Wow, this hurts my head. XD
Thank you for sharing this, Ahiku!! :D

I think I'm going to read up on listenforthelove's translation of the Perfect Guide's bee metamorphosis to try and make sense of Rou's, Shion's, and Fura's case scenarios. blaaaaaaarg. because I could have sworn the first thing that happens when a bee emerges is loss of teeth. but Shion kept all his teeth?? Thank goodness, but still. maaaybe it's because the pupa was underdeveloped? *googles*

Ahiku

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 05:31:51 am »
Thank you for your answer! :3

Quote
―Will I see you soon, Nezumi?
"What's that?" Rashi turned around, and furrowed his brow.
"Are you smiling?" (same place)

Even Rashi commented that Shion was rather calm for someone in his position...
Then later, after the explosions and daring escape, in the car,

"This isn't really my idea of 'enjoyable'," Shion muttered.
"Oh, really? The look on your face says you're enjoying this quite a bit." (saaaaame)

Oh, you're right... o.o
Shion, you weirdo...

Okay, but even though he's calm and Nezumi is there for him, it's still an exceptional situation and he's not used to jump out of cars, bombs and other things.
I guess he was chronically bored in No. 6... and Nezumi is always like a typhoon, turning everything upside down... it smelled like a welcome change, even though it was probably a little bit too drastic. XD
The bee wants him to live calm. He's supposed to avoid dangerous situations. Even though he's calm, I don't think it's not affecting his body... somehow.

(The pupa felt probably not very good. XD)

Shion also said that he didn't exercise in a while... when you suddenly run and jump and swim the whole time, you're also stressing yourself a bit.

Ah yes, and of course his knowledge about the wasp and that it could be inside of him, too... ^^° Would stress everyone, just like you said.

listenforthelove

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 11:51:08 am »
(Hm, maybe we should look into the profanity filter here on the forum, it took me a while to realize you were calling roaches by their full name and not just cursing them XD)

@Ahiku: ah, thanks for making this topic here! I remember having some thoughts about this back then, but tumblr is such an inconvenient medium for these things.


Stress does sound very likely, especially with the speeded up hatching later on in the story. Partly Elyurias calling her children I guess, but stress sounds a very likely factor, especially in Shion's case. He didn't stop to rest that day anymore until making it to the underground room and taking a shower, and almost straight after that, he got those spots, didn't he?

I didn't stop to wonder about it earlier, but you have a point: once the egg hatches, the host  starts experiencing difficulties, so he must have adjusted his lifestyle well before the egg has hatched, so presumably starting from the moment the egg gets injected. (The process is frighteningly fast, like a minute and a half?)
In that case - how well do we know Shion at all? We know him as his 12-year old self, but as 16? Shion never mentions getting that injection, so it was probably sometime before the story picks up after the 4 year time gap. That ties in to what @Meopat was saying. And what always worried me... those bees eat their way through the brain. And not just a little, either - the guide shows their pathway, and it's almost entirely through the full brain, and at least the frontal lobe. I didn't exactly ace biology, but even I know that can't be good.

Actually, with the sound waves - the guide speculates it was to mimic the job of the Singer, so eh, it's probably good Nezumi didn't try singing when Shion was going through pain XD;


@Meopat: hm, maybe Rou just didn't have anyone to cut out the bee and that was why he got the more painful end of the stick? His bee wasn't fully developed and that was why he didn't die iirc, but in Shion's case, Nezumi cut it out before it could hatch. Then again, according to the guide the hair turning white is the final step of the progress. I guess Shion's bee was also stunted.

Oh, the teeth falling out 'depends on the case', apparently. Good for you being a case, Shion XD;


The guide does actually explain a bit: "As the bees grow, they allow for an extra high concentration of active oxygen to produce. The excess high levels of active oxygen result in abrupt aging, producing severe cellular injuries." Does anyone who didn't flunk biology in high school (like me) know how truthful that is and if that could lead to the scarring and hair changing colour? I have been wondering... I mean, the red eyes are an art choice and Shion keeps his eye colour in the novels, so he didn't magically become albino or whatever the implication is there I guess. But I looked into hair turning white overnight, but I haven't really found cases that are this abrupt. It can happen, but it usually takes some weeks.


... I think I went off-topic there for a bit, sorry. Clearly I have some thoughts about brain eating insects XD;

lawlya

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 12:06:21 pm »
I always thought the injection was probably one he got as a child. Like, after the 2-years-examination but before his first meeting with Nezumi? Young Shion already thinks that he's not someone to get in trouble just to help someone he barely knows; although he does make an exception for Nezumi. So I'd say the egg is already factoring in there.
And agreed - something eating through nearly your whole brain is definitely not good. I'm no ace in neurobiology either but I'm pretty sure those parts are all pretty important. I think that maybe it wasn't just the stress alone that saved Shion. @Meopat wondered why Shion got that blister on his neck and I think that maybe the egg didn't place itself in the right spot? Instead of planting itself into his brain it may have stayed in his neck and when it prepared to hatch due to the stress indication, the blister started to form. I mean, it's rare but it does happen that a parasite doesn't find the right spot in its host. Which usually results in lethal conditions but who knows maybe Shion was lucky xD

Oxygen radicals are one of the most dangerous radicals you could have. They're highly reactive and alter almost anything they can get to - proteins, DNA. Subsequently, cells die. Actually, our own immune system uses mechanisms that work like that against bacteria and parasites.
But no. No scarring or hair colour changes. At least not so fast. I mean, if the radicals altered the DNA to be unable to produce melanine but not enough to kill the cells, it would be possible for Shion to grow uncoloured hair. But that's highly unlikely, really ^^"

listenforthelove

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 01:54:41 pm »
@lawlya: holy ****, that makes the bee infection super huge if Shion would be infected that early. Because wouldn't that imply at least part of the other citizens would have been infected for a long time too? That makes the big plan of the mayor and the scientist very close to complete success, whelp.

Oh, but with the egg misplacing itself makes sense! Incubation takes place in the cerebellum where it hatches, but if it hatched lower than that, it would still come out of the neck but without the whole brain trajectory. (That would leave to question how Shion did experience most of the effects of the bee hatching that the other victims did, but it would explain why he didn't die because of it and everyone else aside from Rou did, as far as we know.)

Ah, thanks for the clarification with the oxygen! I guess the white hair and scarring are then just artistic license or Elyurias's magic/whatever, then? (Markings to make you resemble a bee/wasp? I HAVE NO IDEA)

lawlya

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 02:22:21 pm »
If Shion was infected that early - say with a vaccination for a supposedly new virus where they put eggs in the serum for certain people with different backgrounds, ages, sexes and so on - it would also explain why Shion is so surprised and overwhelmed by his emotions as soon as he got rid of the wasp. It may not necessarily be Nezumi who brought out all this though I'd say Shion jumps to this conclusion because Nezumi takes a huge part in making him feel his emotions which were inhibited by the wasp egg for such a long time.
He obviously doesn't have any experience with himself considering his own feelings. Not a surprise if he wasn't really able to get riled up from a very young age; might as well explain why he looses control so easily. If you don't have any child experiences with anger management, I imagine it's hard to come up with a way to deal with strong emotions.

Well, that's easy. How would the parasite be able to control emotions? Control of the hormonal system. That can happen from anywhere. You just need to have access to the blood circulation. I think it would still work even though the egg isn't located directly in Shion's brain. Maybe not as efficient? Wouldn't that also explain his thoughts and emotions considering the typhoon which would normally be complete suppressed?
Ah, I didn't read the whole paragraph, sorry xD I think you speak of the pain and the eating noises he experienced? So, while talking with Ahiku about this matter, I mentioned that eating away at your brain doesn't cause pain. There are no receptors there. You don't know when you bleed in your brain for example. You would if it hurt, right? So, maybe the pain isn't caused by the wasp eating through the brain but because the venom that it releases also has hallucinatory effects? Shion could still experience the pain and the eating noises without the wasp actually hatching in his brain.

I may have been wrong o.O Found a publication that discusses the stress induced graying of hair:
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christiane_Liezmann/publication/7060213_Towards_a_free_radical_theory_of_graying_melanocyte_apoptosis_in_the_aging_human_hair_follicle_is_an_indicator_of_oxidative_stress_induced_tissue_damage/links/00b49525797be5bdf3000000.pdf
The stress they tested were indeed oxygen radicals. I haven't read it in whole but apparently, graying is correlated with aging and oxydative stress, so ... it should be possible. Wow. But I still don't have an explanation for his weird scar xD

listenforthelove

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 03:05:51 pm »
@lawlya: ah, I think I missphrased myself - when I said 'the effects', I mostly meant the spots and the hair turning white, which is what all other victims experienced only after the egg had already hatched. So it looks like that is sort of caused by the bee going through the brain, which it might not have done in Shion's case. Those are (physical) effects I meant, but I wasn't exactly clear there upon re-reading, my apologies!

... ehhhhhh so I'll try not to think about the whole idea of knowing something is eating itself through your brain, whether you can feel it or not (the latter being much scarier actually, yikes. I think I knew that but tried to repress it or something...). But yeah the eating noises at least sound like a hallucination... I don't know how many more special effects Elyurias brings with her if you get infected with her eggs, hm.


Oh wow, so it did have a point with the oxygen then! I can't see the whole article right now, but would it really change colour that fast? (I did a little research into it, but granted, I have no idea how true the sources are... I did gather it took a while, or that it could be caused by the pigmented hair falling out while the white stays, but in that case you'd have to have white hairs to begin with.)


Let's chalk the scar up to Elyurias intervening? XD Like @Meopat said for Rou losing his legs, like a warning or something.
(Dang it Elyurias why didn't you explain that one when you had the chance to speak up huh)

lawlya

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 03:13:23 pm »
I see. Mmh ... well, since we agreed on the "hatching prematurely", maybe the egg hadn't enough venom to cause all those physical reactions aside from the changing of hair colour and the hallucinations? Or Shion recovered from the spots since he's young and all?

Oh, sorry for making you think of that then xD Keep suppressing that thought.

No, probably not. It's about the melanigenous (is it written like that o.O) cells at the hair bulb. So the hair would grow white but wouldn't turn white right away. Hair is dead anyway - it isn't just gonna change colour suddenly xD

Just imagine Shion stopping Elyurias from vanishing and flat out asking: "How do those eggs even work? Like, I understand everything except those scars!" xD Poor Shion.

Meopat

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Re: Stressed Wasps - Why did Shion not die?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 08:46:39 am »
@Ahiku: That's true! Shion could be emotionally stable, but his physiological state may be different. I also forgot! Shion had fainted from shock after seeing the bee come out of Yamase, so it's very likely that (even though he's elated), his body is going, "?!???!!" annnnd he also swam in the sewer (most likely against the current? not sure) and having to turn a wheel underwater and not be detected... I would say that that is stressful even if he's enjoying the moment. (Masochist??) if you look based on the manga and anime versions of Shion's escape, he is very shocked, I think only novel!Shion is happy about seeing Nezumi again with disregard to his own situation.

Quote from: listenforthelove
Actually, with the sound waves - the guide speculates it was to mimic the job of the Singer, so eh, it's probably good Nezumi didn't try singing when Shion was going through pain XD;

This is very cool!! :0 This also reminds me (because sound?? idk) that in the car, Nezumi didn't want to talk because No.6 had his voice on record (since he was a criminal). Did Shion listen to these sound files after Nezumi went away? brb BAWLING

I think it makes sense that Rou didn't have anyone cut out his half-matured bee so he lost his legs as a result. :(
(imagine an AU where Shion lost both his legs and then Nezumi feels guilty SO HE STAYS AND THEY NEVER GO TO CF AND THEY LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER IN WEST BLOCK AND SAFU JOINS THEM.)  my head is in the clouds today.

About the oxygen thing. I'm pretty sure, just as @lawlya said, that excessive amounts of oxygen can lead to your DNA being damaged and even speed up the aging process. But I also don't think that it would result in the blanching on your current hair cells. The hair strands that grow thereafter are a different story. I'm really tempted to say it was just an artistic license to give him fluffy white hair and symbolism to give him a red snake-scar, but I could be wrong. :0 I haven't attempted to click and digest the science article link yet. .___.

Quote from: lawlya
I always thought the injection was probably one he got as a child. Like, after the 2-years-examination but before his first meeting with Nezumi?

for some reason, Shion having been implanted with killer-bee eggs since he was a child doesn't sit quite well with me. :c
but as much as I want to disagree with it, I can't find the evidence to refute it either. D:

There's the 8-year time frame (between when Elyurias was discovered (age 4) and when Shi and Nez first meet (age 12)) where the scientist has the Godly Bed and he's just experimenting on everything. and we assume the Manhunt was already happening when Nezumi was around 10~12, since he's so familiar with "Hell" 4 years later (and we can infer from that that human experimentations were already happening by then). it's totally possible that Shion was an unlucky random sample. ;__;

it really is a good thing that Nezumi never sang to him before then
but also that even with killer-bee, Shion is still super attracted to Nezu-- danger. Opening up a window in a tropical storm? Anyone heard of hypothermia? Pretty sure killer-bee would not want that.

Quote from: lawlya
I think that maybe the egg didn't place itself in the right spot

:000!! That would make a lot of senseeeee. I think. When the dead-thing was extracted out of Shion, it was a pupa though, right? (Because even a wing was produced, even if it was only one out of four.) so it did still manage to hatch and mature somehow... even if it didn't properly go through the trajectory in Shion's head. >___>;;
asdasffada reading about all this creeps me out. It's a good thing when the spots appeared, Shion didn't get wrinkles either. T_T


I'm curious now, though, about the true motives and goals of the scientist.
Like, why would No.6 want the bees to hatch? Hatching means dead citizens.
They wanted to brain-control humans and Elyurias can do that (or at least pacify humans / make them obedient and docile). buuut then why would they research incubation? Shouldn't they be researching how not to hatch the eggs? (Or are they researching incubation so that they can kill off any dissident at anytime whenever they wanted to? Eek.)