The Orb is the “answer”….
In the end of the book, Anwar is left with a question of how to make a program that predicts the movements of his game’s prey while the prey is making the decision. Basically how to predict the near future/present. He then mentions how Mefisto would know how to code for that in his sleep.
We also see in the Orb section the mention of a Sorcerer that knows Anwar and Xanther. In class some of us hypothesized that the reason the Sorcerer knew Anwar and Xanther was because he was Mefisto. I took that hypothesis one step further in my head.
I think that Mefisto knows so much about coding because he built the Orb and the Orb is some kind of device that can allow someone to see the past, present, and future. Anwar needs a code that can predict the present and/or the near future in his game for the predator to be able to catch his prey. Mefisto has the ability to do this because of the Orb.
The reason we have to met Mefisto is because he is on the run from VEM. Which in itself is a predator and prey sort of game. Just like the “answer” is escaping Anwar, Mefisto is escaping VEM. They cannot predict where he is going or when he will appear, much like Anwar’s gaming problem.
I think someone posted on here about how the entire novel is a cat and mouse game so to speak. That there is an overall theme of predator and prey. I started thinking more on this and began to realize that it was. That post helped me come up with the hypothesis on what the Orb is and the power it could hold. VEM does not want anyone to know everything but them, so that is why they are hunting the Orb holders. The Orb’s coding is the answer to Anwar’s dilemma, but as of now he does not know about the Orb or at least we do not know if he does. The Orb is the only power over VEM that the characters of this story have. VEM controls them but with the Orb they would have the same power that VEM does.
It all comes back to the Orb. It is the key to power, and my theory is that Xanther has some special connection to it all because she is special and as the series unfolds we will figure out just how special she really is.