In which Daav yos’Phelium and Clarence O’Berin do not become friends.
This story follows close on the heels of “A Choice of Weapons”, with Daav still on the same leave of absence from the Scouts and still not convinced that he will have it in him to sit on Liad and be suitably delm-like when the time comes.
The legitimate front for the Juntavas on Liad is a company called Triplanetary Freight Forwarding; if the name is to be taken literally, I wonder which the other two planets are. (Come to think of it, I wonder if it’s a shout-out to “Doc” Smith.)
Something that struck me on this re-read, with this story coming so soon after several others relating one way and another to the Liaden rules about face-touching: at one point, the luck-for-hire at the casino places her hand on Daav’s face, and he thinks nothing of it except to observe the callouses on her hand. This seems a remarkably cool response after how firm Samay pin’Aker was on the subject of hand-to-face contact in Trade Secret. (This story was, of course, written some considerable time before that one; perhaps the full details of what Liadens could and could not do with their faces were yet unclear.)
Those callouses, though, are said to be the same as the callouses on Daav’s own hands, which suggests that Zara Chance is herself a Scout, or more likely a former Scout. I wonder if she’s working for the same people as that other seductive former Scout we encountered not so long ago.
Tomorrow: Local Custom