Due Diligence – Chapter 3

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra is not diligent.

I have always liked Lady yo’Lanna, and her appearance in this chapter does not change my opinion.

I get the feeling that signing things without looking into them is going to be something of a recurring theme of this story, it being also what got Fer Gun into this mess in the first place. Dramatic structure suggests there’s going to be one more scene later where he remembers by himself to look first, just to round things out.

Remembering to always read a Liaden’s contract before signing is, of course, a useful life-lesson that has been offered in the series before. As is remembering that what a Liaden does in their own person is separate from what they may find it necessary to do in the melant’i of delm. (I’m not sure yet whether that latter lesson is also going to be a recurring element in this story.)

I’m struck by the detail of Fer Gun’s clan being paid a sum totaling his expected earnings for the period of his contract. In itself, that’s a reasonable and probably standard offer, to reimburse a clan for the money its child would have been making otherwise; it just reads a bit weirdly in the context of Fer Gun’s current situation, where his expected earnings as a pilot for the next year are zilch. I can picture dea’Gauss or his representative politely pretending not to know that, and the clan’s representative being smart enough not to mention it, and them agreeing on an appropriate sum for a pilot who’s working regularly.

(Which, come to think of it, might be more than Telrune really deserves even if Fer Gun weren’t under ban, because I get the impression he has done most if not all of his flying for the clan, so he probably wouldn’t have been bringing much money in anyway.)

5 thoughts on “Due Diligence – Chapter 3

  1. Jami

    It was a treat to see such a textured sketch of Lady yo’Lanna. And ter’Muelen is always a kick!

  2. Othin

    Illuminating differences between a Liaden High House and an out-world Low House Fer Gun deems his broad curriculum at Lady yo’Lanna’s hands without outward boundaries (comparison about garden when Fer Gun looks out the window) and about things totally alien to him.
    • Closing – when to wear what and how (ruffles)
    • Grooming
    • Language Lessons
    • Deportment Lessons
    • Dancing Lessons
    • The Code
    • Taking a care with contracts
    Ok., checking those lessons they are properly quite standard education for Mid to High House members – we have seen a similar curriculum for Jerthi and others. And of course – how you look, speak and carry yourself – is important for the impression you leave – as is knowledge of socially acceptable and expected behavior (adhering to Code, popper form).
    Those things take diligence as well as contracts do. And thus Fer Gun gets the tools to become confident and socially apt – which in itself is part of the balance Chi has in mind for those cousins of him.

    Regarding the contract, one gets the impression that Fer Gun has never had a contract explained in detail to him and is very surprised that it is possible for him to understand it in clarity. Still more surprising and revealing to Fer Gun is yo’Lanna’s reminder that it would sully her melant’i if she’d allow him to sing a contract without making sure he had red and understood everything, as well as the matter of course with which she points out that one uses a qe’andra of one’s own choosing in order to keep abreast of ones contracts. This lesson on contracts gets topped off with the reminder that one never trust a contract only to contain what has already been spoken about and that the melant’i at work, which might not always be obvious, is also an important thing to consider. – A lesson for us as well as Fer Gun.

    On a side note – do you really read every contract? Those pesky general terms and conditions in small letters on back pages? When installing something or a new version of something on your pc do you really read the terms of use or just klick accept?

    Regarding the pay Clan Telrune will receive – in “Changeling” we got the estimate for a good pilot doing contract work– “1st class, 8 cantra a year” – so for 18 month we’ll have 12 cantra. Comparing that to what Fer Gun will receive gets difficult, since we only get to know that he’ll receive 5 cantra upon signing and can only assume the remainder of the fee he’ll get at the end of the contract. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that remaining fee will be quite a bit more than what Telrune will get. In addition they will get back a Fer Gun that has changed for the easily manipulated insecure “boy” into someone who won’t be dependent on Telrune charity – someone they won’t expect.

    There are references to some similarities to Theo.
    • Unmanageable hair
    • Pilot training at Anlingdin at an accelerated course via scholarship / sponsoring
    • While training – Regarding everything not related with piloting as distraction from real business
    • Feeling socially awkward/ inept even toward peers

    There is a time inconsistency about Fer Gun’s stay at Glavda Empri:
    “After a relumma in her care, he had her measure …”
    “Of all the persons he had met over this twelve-day, and …”
    So had Fer Gun stayed 12 day’s in Lady yo’Lanna’s care or a relumma (96 Standard Days) when Lady yo’Lanna delivers her lesson on singing contracts and the draft for the marriage lines for Fer Gun’s review?

  3. Paul A. Post author

    I wondered about the timing as well, and almost mentioned in the post, but after thinking about it a bit I decided what it probably means is that he’s been staying with Lady yo’Lanna for a relumma and that the last twelve-day has been particularly busy with visitors making preparations for the imminent marriage.

    (If I may mention a small detail from a future chapter, it’s reaffirmed in the next chapter that a relumma is the amount of time Fer Gun spent in Lady yo’Lanna’s hands.)

    That’s interesting about the similarities to Theo. The similarities I noticed were to Priscilla, given a helping hand by Korval after being abandoned by her ship in a foreign port after asking the wrong questions about the ship’s shady dealings.

  4. Ed8r

    I wondered about that timing too…in fact, it had seemed to me that Chi was in a hurry, and so I was surprised that he had actually spent a whole relumma with Lady yo’Lanna.

  5. Paul A. Post author

    I think that, even if Chi is in a hurry, the thing needs to be done properly: there are contracts to be signed (with people who are not in such a hurry), and arrangements to be made, and supplies to be bought. And they need to bring Fer Gun up to speed on how to act in so-called polite society. Chi might not, at base, really care what society would think of her if she cut corners, and there’s a good chance she’d have survived it — but Fer Gun would have been eaten alive, which would have been a poor return to him for the service he’s agreed to do her.

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