Monthly Archives: February 2015

I Dare – Chapter 47

Day 45
Standard Year 1393

Sherzer System

In which Boss Conrad goes on an outing with some pilots.

I’m not surprised, on reflection, to see Portmaster Borden among the pilots; makes sense a portmaster would be a pilot himself. Portmaster Liu is probably a pilot as well, but somebody’s gotta stay home and mind the store. I wonder how they decided who’d go and who’d stay. Flipped a coin for it? Or maybe Liu let Borden go because he’s the one who’s always upset about never having anything to do.

I want to know more about the “alternative courses of education” Er Thom offered the young Pat Rin: what they were, and why Pat Rin rejected them. I can think of several possibilities, but I’m not sure which best fits Pat Rin and Er Thom. One possibililty I’m pretty confident in rejecting is “education in useful non-piloting careers, which Pat Rin rejected because they weren’t piloting”; it’s clear that Pat Rin had already accommodated himself to the idea of not being a pilot. A more interesting idea is that they were not alternatives to being a pilot, but alternative ways of learning to be a pilot, since the family’s usual methods had failed – which Pat Rin rejected… why? The narration makes a point of mentioning that they were all offworld, which suggests several answers: perhaps Pat Rin just didn’t want to live anywhere but Liad (seems unlikely, stated so baldly); perhaps he feared the clan was trying to hide their non-pilot away from polite society; perhaps he’d already come to believe, as in “Heirloom”, that he was an unproductive load on the clan, and didn’t want the family to waste money sending him away for an education he was convinced would come to nothing.

I Dare – Chapter 46

Day 44
Standard Year 1393


In which Surebleak Port requires the assistance of the planetary government.

The two Juntavas pilots join the collection of characters for whom the authors have not chosen to provide pronouns, although the fact that we have their names and that they’re Terran names gives one a basis for speculation if one chooses.

I think this is the second mention of timonium in publication order, and the first mention of it being commercially developed in the present, although there are numerous mentions in the early prequels – which kind of makes me wonder what it’s used for in the present, because in the prequels it’s associated with forbidden Old Tech, which I would have thought would mean there wasn’t much money in digging up more of the stuff.

I Dare – Chapter 44

Erob’s Clanhouse

In which Pat Rin is still missing, Ren Zel is still processing his change in circumstances, and Mr dea’Gauss is, as always, remarkable.

More evidence suggesting that this is actually Day 52: it was on Day 51 that Val Con and Miri learned that Pat Rin had disappeared, and it seems unlikely they’d wait an entire day before asking Nova if she knew anything.

Nova, by the sound of it, is still hoping that they might bring matters before the Council of Clans and have a solving without resorting to anything that might be described as a “war”. Val Con and Miri are less optimistic. I think I’d be with Val Con and Miri, even without the information (which we have and they don’t) that the Department is even now moving against Korval through the Council. (Indeed, considered from Val Con’s point of view, it might be said that it is already too late, and that the war has been going on, with casualties on both sides, for some considerable time already.)

Ren Zel, it appears, is of the dramliz (a thing for which there have been several hints already, which Ren Zel has been shying away from acknowledging), with power and potential that impresses even Anthora, who’s reputed to be one of the most powerful dramliz now living. In the scene where he explores the starweb of creation, he reminds me of the surpassingly powerful dramliz of the Migration-era prequels. (There are several other aspects of this match that remind me of the old dramliz, too – which is perhaps not to be wondered at, considering that this is the first “wizard’s match” we’ve seen since the prequels to occur between two actual wizards.)

I Dare – Chapter 43

Day 53
Standard Year 1393

Dutiful Passage
Lytaxin Orbit

In which Ren Zel’s interpretation is not widely shared.

We seem to have lost a day somewhere: last time we looked in at Lytaxin, it was nearing the end of Day 51, and Ren Zel had just begun rushing off to start his shift. Now it’s Day 53, if the chapter header is to be believed, and Ren Zel is still rushing off to start his shift.

(I myself am inclined to disbelieve the chapter header, for what it’s worth. It seems the least complicated solution if this is in fact Day 52.)

I Dare – Chapters 41 & 42

Day 32
Standard Year 1393

Blair Road

Day 38
Standard Year 1393

Department of Interior Command Headquarters

In which business is picking up for pilot-friendly Surebleak.

And that’s why you never ask what harm it could do.

(It’s interesting that the Juntavas, a Terran organization, prefer the Bank of Solcintra as the guide for currency transactions. I suppose it’s connected to Liad’s cantra being widely accepted as the hard currency. Widely agreed-upon currency rates are, all together now, good for business.)

I Dare – Chapter 40

Day 31
Standard Year 1393

Surebleak Spaceport

In which good intentions sooner or later need cash to back them.

A whole month has passed since we last saw Pat Rin and company, so it’s now only a few weeks before Val Con and Miri are going to start worrying about them. The way things are, though, there’s still a lot might happen in a few weeks.

If anyone ever compiles a book of advice for people caught up in adventure stories, one of those pieces of advice will surely be to never, ever, under any provocation, ask the question “What harm can it do?”

I Dare – Chapter 39

Day 52
Standard Year 1393

Department of Interior Command Headquarters

In which an appropriate moment has arrived.

Here’s an important detail: Commander of Agents recalls an exercise he was taught many years ago as an Agent-in-training. What this tells us is that the Department has been around a long time, and that this Commander of Agents is not the first person to have been in command of it. (If the nature of the training given to Agents is not a recent innovation, it also suggests the disturbing idea that although he is now in command, to some extent he’s acting as a puppet of some long-dead Commander of times past.)

There are some cracks appearing in the Commander’s all-business persona. Have we ever before seen him say anything as vituperative as he does about Anthora here?

I Dare – Chapter 38

Erob’s House

In which Delm Korval hears for the first time of Sector Judge Natesa.

I notice the interweaving of the chapters is set up so that we’re in some suspense about Pat Rin and Natesa, too. We know more about what they’ve been doing than Val Con and Miri, and more recently, but the most recent we know of them is still two months ago, which is plenty of time for something to have happened to them.

I Dare – Chapter 37

Day 51
Standard Year 1393

Departing Lytaxin

In which Daav and Aelliana go on a journey with several surprises in store.

I find myself wondering when Edger found time to acquire the new shuttle and have it fitted to the ship of the clan. The months he and Sheather spent waiting on Shaltren to see if the Juntavas could find Val Con and Miri seem most hopeful, except that they didn’t have the ship with them, it having gone on to Volmer and them having opted to go straight to Shaltren on a Terran vessel.

That also gets me wondering how they got from Shaltren back to Lufkit to visit Liz, and then from there to Lytaxin. They must have switched back to the ship of the clan at some point, since they arrived at Lytaxin in it.

Perhaps when Edger and Sheather left Lufkit for Shaltren, Edger sent Handler, Selector, and Watcher ahead to Volmer, to secure the ship of the clan, make arrangements for the addition of the shuttle, and await them there. Then after Sheather’s visit to Liz, Edger and Sheather went to Volmer, collected the upgraded ship, and proceeded to Lytaxin. That seems to cover everything, except that we’re still left with the question of where Handler, Selector, and Watcher are now.