gmc_nxtman wrote:A weird reaction/component with the "pierce" catalyst: ...
Before considering the usefulness of such a catalyst, it is important to determine whether or not the scenario envisioned is even possible - i.e. is it possible to get that spark in the position indicated, without it having already interacted with the still-life on a previous geenration? This is impossible in this situation.
In the top row of 3 live cells, at most one could have been alive in the previos generation. If the middle one was not alive, for the left one to be born, it would require a line of 3 below, which interacts with the still-life. Therefore, the middle cell alone must have been alive on the previus generation, with the other two having two additional neighbors. For the left cell, the two neighbors must have formed an L-tromino with the top middle cell.
The leftmost cell could not have been there, or it would have interacted earlier, so it must be a birth. One of its parents is already spoken for, from the L tromino, so the two others must be on the row below it, which can happen in 3 ways. In the case of oob, this leaves an unwanted survival, so we must change it to oobo, which suppresses the necessary bottom cell. In the case of obo, we must also suppress the same survival, and oboo works nicely; unfortunately, this causes an extra birth where the 'b' cell is, and the only way to suppress that is either another live cell below left (which interferes with the still life), or below center or right (which suppresses the necessary bottom cell). Finally, in the case of boo, the leftmost live cell must be killed by two cells below, one of which will kill the necessary bottom cell.
Thus, there are no predecessors that can produce the indicated spark without having previously interacted with the catalyst.