Another thought on Merlin and Nynian.
Way back in the first book, Merlin thought about and discarded the idea of using the TF version of Prolong on his friends.
Admittedly part of the problem was that the Prolong drugs were likely unusable after all that time but Merlin did think about the problem of his friends being seen to live longer than humanly possible.
But here's Nynian who is an expert in creating new identities for herself.
If Nynian is given the Prolong drugs, she could easily create a new identity for herself.
So Merlin may decide to create a new batch of the Prolong drugs for Nynian.
(You may now all sigh happily and say "ahhhhh...")
On the other hand there are probably centuries left until last nest of Gbaba are destroyed, and I get the feeling that after growing up without even having the prospect falling in love and raising a family, both Merlin and Nimue are going to be "one and done" types. Unfortunately for their future spouses, they happen to PICAs.
That got me to thinking that Nimue Alban really
should have had her DNA digitized... but wait
, that almost had
to be standard TF practice! That would have enabled scanning fetuses to scrub for any abnormalities or congenital defects, as well as identify the dead, etc.
So Operation Ark almost certainly had
Lt. Alban's DNA on file. Not physical samples that would degrade, but a digitized copy, which given the proper tech could create living cells with Nimue's actual
DNA. After all, it's just a matter of data storage (not a problem) and tools small enough to do the gene splicing. I expect that the technology for scanning existing DNA to digital copies and converting that data back to flesh and blood again was quite advanced in the TF, even with all the rules that I'm sure applied to it.
Given the weapons used by the TF military, it would be extremely useful in treating exposure to high doses of radiation for example, which is one reason the TFN probably made a normal practice of it even if the civilian administration didn't.
So yeah, I'd be willing to step out on a limb and say that Merlin and Aivah could have a sizeable passel of rug rats if they wanted to, especially if/when he gives her the TF prolong treatments. (Beats diamonds any
Don't ask me how Nimue is going to give birth though!
(Yeah, yeah, clearly it will be a cesarean birth conducted by a seijin midwife. See, these plot complications almost solve themselves!)
And if you were wondering how the Archangels were going to return... recorded personalities and growing clones of themselves as needed. (Which doesn't explain why no one who died in that lovely nuclear fireball with Langhorne was brought back. I guess Chihiro and company liked the view from the top, or better yet, the only copies of the command staff's DNA went up in smoke with them!)
And yes, I'll admit that if the megalomaniacs in charge of Operation Ark had that ability, they'd have used it. On the other hand, they had or could have had accessibility to PICAs (as Nahrmahn and OWL proved) and didn't use them - although I'd bet Langhorne may not have understood just how perfectly a last-model PICA mimicked real life, so the possibility for immortality that a PICA offered may not have been widely understood. RFC has his reasons...