> I've been working with the impression that the Egi (collectively) put
> together the parts; not that the Egi (individually) *are* the parts.
I think, a little in column A, a little in column B... Consider the very first time TakenEgi 'emerges': it's pure 'becoming', the Egi are pretty much squished together, and the best bits gets to become Rufus. (I'll finesse the issue of whether Doskalos was an 'Egi' or not, or to be more accurate, totally ignore it or not.) Then, he gets offed a few times, and comes back as _exactly_ the same person: he self-resurrects, in other words. The Egi don't have to 'become' him, they already are him (or what's left, or whatever). Maybe one might think of them playing Lightbringers to Moonson's Yelm, as least very loosely.
Post-Sheng, things are a little more complex. He's no longer being simply (self-)resurrected, but he's also not being entirely remade, either. So I think the roles of the Egi are accordingly somewhat different, and indeed, perhaps not all the Egi have the same sort of role. Perhaps some are basically there are 'bit donors' (friends, Lunars, countrymen, lend me your ears...), some as resurrectors and bit-gatherers, others to essentially 'augment' Moonson as he's regaining his full majesty, and such like. I imagine that the more grisly the demise of the old Mask, the more drastic the part-surgery will be require to 'conconstitute' him. Obviously the current Mask was right at the front of the line when it came to obtaining (or regaining, or augmenting, or manifesting, or identifying, or whatever...) a 'new' Snake part...
> Also, it's possible that each time a Mask dies, some of the Egi are blown
> apart (by "feedback", as it were) and have to be replaced. Adding a nice new
> twist to the politicking -- as there's now a bunch of "elevated" vacancies
> to fill during the interregnum before it can possibly be brought to an end.
> (No Council of Egi: no new Mask of Moonson).
Sounds about right to me. I get the distinct impression that the mortal Egi, or some of them, at any rate, have something of a sell-by date. Whether this is because they're 'used up' in creating a new Mask, are screwed up by the demise of the old one, or some other such idea, I'm less clear of.
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