Long ago, on an Earth not dissimilar from our own, Suvians arose. Their origins, a mystery. Their attempts to blend into the societies of multitudes of species from all across the multiverse are often stymied by their inaccurate anatomy, and the Aura of Smooth that surrounds them alerts the wary to their presence as often as it eases their way amongst the unwary.
The incorporation of glitter into their systems has frequently confused those who investigate their origins. This essay will present a new hypothesis as to the affinities and structure of the Suvian being.
Stromatolites are primitive organisms made of mats of cyanobacteria ('blue-green algae') sandwiched with layers of clay. They arose early in the history of life on this planet, and it is highly likely that such an organism arose on other planets as well. A possible origin of Suvians starts with stromatolites growing on mica-rich substrates, incorporating tiny particles of sheet silicates into their structure. Micas, such as muscovite, biotite, and chlorite, are sparkly, and are the probable origin of the glitter component of the Suvian. Silicates are capable of growing into large and complicated structures. A stromatolite (or suematolite, as the mica-rich alien proto-Suvian will henceforth be known) that grows large will be able to reach more nutrients than a smaller suematolite, and so we can imagine suematolites growing to varying sizes and competing, size-wise. The more ground a suematolite can cover, the more mica it can incorporate, also.
Motility of the organism is a problem with the theory, but should the algal mats develop cilia and work cooperatively, a basic form of gliding movement on slippery surfaces could be achieved, consistent with the 'graceful gliding step' of the basic Sue. Once movement is achieved, however basic, better movement will be developed by natural selection.
As for the resemblances between various Suvians and other species, it is a simple case of mimicry. Given the propensity of primitive types to bash that which does not belong, a suematolite that manages to look like the suspicious species will survive longer.
A further possibility that occurs is the division between sweet, goody-two-shoes Sues, Evil!Sues, and feminist Sues. Perhaps these three basic types could be explained by differing kinds of mica incorporated in their structure? Who knows. Research is ongoing.
Board Discussion Edit
There was much discussion of this theory by scientifically minded Boarders, and it is summarised below for posterity and to inspire future researchers on the subject:
Huinesoron made a few relevant points:
- #1: Many, many 'Sues have broken bones at various points. How does this theory account for such, given that not-blue-green-any-more algae isn't known for its bonular properties?
- #2: Evidence of Jay and Acacia missions involving the unicorn horn (which, incidentally, demonstrates further the boney nature of 'Sues) indicates that 'Sues do not only adopt the /shape/ of their targets, but also certain super-natural properties. How can this be accounted for? Additionally, the Origins datafiles indicate that the PPC's original reason for emnity towards Mary-Sues was their wanton manipulation of plotholes. This will presumably account for such phenomena as the unicorn horn, but it must still be resolved as to how they came into contact with abundant plotholes – and how they are able to manipulate and create them without any of the machinery required by the PPC.
- If I may propose this: it is known that there is a region of space where plotholes are particularly abundant. The Flowers were created there, for one, and learnt to use plotholes as any other resource – stone, iron, coal, and so forth. However, the Flowers were a recent alien transplant. A lifeform evolving in an area makes use of the natural resources of that area in its biology (note the various mentions of "ancient oceans in the blood," referring to humans). If the 'Sues evolved in this plothole-dense area, is it possible that they simply took them into themselves during their evolution? This would also explain why they never notice them – without the appropriate science, we'd not notice oxygen, say, because it's so integral to us.
- I was always under the impression that Sues were extradimensional Lovecraftian beings, myself. Their real forms are unspeakably hideous, so they take different ones to blend in, but they're not very good at it, thus explaining the random colour-changing eyes and such.
And Trojanhorse came up with a tentative explanation for #1:
- The clay that provides structural support for the suematolite could provide 'bonular' (good word) support. Perhaps at some point into the evolution of Sues the layer-cake structure of early suematolites has changed to allow an endoskeletal structure of clay with an external dermis and epidermis-like set of structures formed mostly of cyanobacterial mats.
Crystal favoured the Missing Link Theory:
- After all, humans probably evolved from primeval ooze, and thus the development of the Sue from proto-organism to humanoid would also be a long and complicated process. As for the Plothole thing, it may have to do with the pheromones the 'Sues secrete, possibly a side effect of the Aggregation pheromone.
- Could their bones be plotholes?
But Huinesoron replied:
- I doubt it. Plotholes are an insubstantial phenomenon – rather than iron or coal, I ought really to have mentioned visible light. We have eyes to make use of it, while species with no access to it do not. Additionally, certain species (glowworms, fireflies, or whatever) have the ability to create light; others (octopii) can manipulate it, or at least its reflections (colour-changing skin). A creature evolving in a plothole-rich environment would stand a fair chance of acquiring both these features, especially since they are so inherently useful – plothole detection in particular is an incredible survival trait.
Starwind Rohana agreed:
- Particularly the detection of desired plotholes. No point detecting plotholes if you don't know what they'll do when you use them, after all. Although... I'd think it more likely that all 'Sues can detect plotholes, but learning to predict the outcome of using said plothole, and thus choosing which are used and which are not, is more an acquired trait. Like learning to make sense of what your eyes are telling you. Manipulating the things is a whole other story and can probably only be done if the alteration is fairly minor.
Anjilly weighed in with:
- This is kinda random but possibly build-on-able. I've heard somewhere that we human beings can only use a very small percentage of our brains, and that, should we manage to unlock our minds and become capable of using more, we could possibly be capable of abilities such as telekinesis and the like. What if Sues have somehow evolved so that they are capable of using another part of their brains—one that deals directly with making use of plotholes?
However, Paddlebrains pointed out that this is somewhat of a pub myth:
- Can't recall offhand where that arbitrary figure of 10% of brain being used comes from. Try checking your brain when it's being scanned for electrical activity. Lights up all over like a Christmas tree, depending on what you're doing.
Anjilly had some thoughts on the evolutionary fitness of Sues:
- I'm starting to wonder about the evolutionary and adaptable characteristics of Mary-Sues, such as if certain fandoms affect certain traits. Much like how organisms on the Galapagos Islands are different from any others on the planet. It's rather obvious that Sues have evolved in a competitive environment and have been put through very selective breeding, seeing as they're often portrayed as very strong and the best at everything. ...Or maybe it's just a trick, and they've only evolved to give off the appearance that they're the best. Hmmm...
- There are so many sorts of Sues that I'm inclined to think that it's a mix of both; perhaps the original Sues (those that evolved before the Fanfic Explosion) were actually strong competitors, and many of those that came after the Explosion are simply mimics, with only a few strong ones around.
Huinesoron suggested that many of the mimics are likely products of the Factories or Schools:
- The former gives weaker clones (like in Star Wars, clones have shorter lifespans and can't be used as genetic samples, here they're just generally weaker), while the latter is similar to training monkeys or parrots to act/talk like humans. There may be other vectors, but I hypothesise that these are the main two.
- Of course, the easily culturable nature of cyanbacteria and the commonness of clay in the multiverse accounts for the ease with which these weak clones can be produced in their thousands by Factories and Schools.
- Since there are many 'boring' Sues whose deaths are all but routine for us – they are the mimics of those less common but Really Nasty Sues that are so much harder to take down. Also, as you know, many creatures produce hundreds of offspring of which only a few survive; that also makes sense here, I think; we have so much trouble keeping up with the numbers that some Sues survive a long time in canon (then again, genetics didn't take time travel portals into account... we have a hope... I hope...)
On the subject of Sue reproduction, Trojanhorse hypothesised that:
- Their offspring are actually clonal, rather than sexually produced, and thus that the children of canons and Sues are actually similar to cuckoos' eggs; they resemble the eggs (or in this case, children) of the host species enough that the canons will protect them; this combined with the Sue proteome and pheromones explains why Sue children are so bloody hard to kill.
- Failing that, it is also possible that Suvian/canon children are chimaeric organisms with the general structure of the canon but have their systems infiltrated with the particular cyanobacterial strain of their Suvian mother, and thus inherit Glitter and the proteome, etc.
Crystal favoured the chimeric theory, as most Sues differ from their parent organism:
- There is also some evidence of hyper-evolution, especially with the quickly gestating ones, and also the ones with uncanon features which do not manifest immediately.
- 'Sues which are the offspring of a male canon and a female non-canon often appear to inherit their speshul powers from their (usually dead) mother. This suggests that the act of giving birth to a 'Sue is more harmful than a normal child.
- One wonders how the 'Sue Genome is carried. I favour the theory that it is encapsulated, rather like a mitochondria. I hypothesise that the 'Sue genome contains an extra (and very rare), fifth base capable of pairing with any of the other four, and allowing coding for Suemainie. While the nucleus of the cell contains H(humanoid)DNA (taking care of such boring details as heart, stomach etc), these other structures must contain the M(ary-sue)DNA which codes such proteins as the Aura of Smooth, and the cosmetic ones giving 'flawless', 'glowing' skin and strangely coloured eyes. This second Genome (Suenome?) must also be responsible for glandular functions, the disruption of which may account for the lack of higher brain functions exhibited by 'Sues.
Trojanhorse also had some thoughts on the humanoid Sue's shape:
- Incredibly skinny but busty, which Laburnum had an appropriate quote for: ‘Oh yes. To quote the MSTer of The Eye of Argon ... "Picture a baseball bat with two cantaloupes taped to it."’
Trojanhorse’s theory was:
- Well, you see, the thicker a stromatolite (and by analogy, a suematolite) gets, the more layers at the bottom are dead from lack of sunlight and weight pressing down on them. But suematolites require living bottom layers for mobility. So, the upper layers must be extremely light so as not to crush the upper layers. The 'cantaloupes' portion of the anatomy came about because, despite the need to be tall and skinny to keep mobility, the algal mats do actually want to spread out. The trick would be to have a spreading layer (the 'cantaloupe' portion of the anatomy) at such a distance from the mobile layers that it doesn't actually impede their light source, except from light coming in directly vertical. Thus the suematolites that competed best were those that were approximately stickshaped, but with large protrusions at about chest height for an ordinary Homo sapiens woman.