Due Diligence – Chapter 7

In which Fer Gun thinks before he signs.

I think this is the most detailed explanation we’ve had of how there came to be so few people in Korval.

Jai Kob and Vin Dyr are indeed fortunate that it wasn’t the contract-wife accompanying Fer Gun, though not in the way they’re thinking it. And the way things are going, I think they’re going to be meeting the contract-wife anyway before much more time has passed.

Like the port proctor a few chapters back, Trader Danac-Joenz is angry; and I think like the port proctor, it’s not Fer Gun she’s angry with even though he expected it to be.

I’m not surprised that the contract specified no contact from Telrune for the duration; given what happened last time the cousins were in contact with Fer Gun, it’s a very reasonable precaution. I am perhaps surprised that Fer Gun needs telling about it, after Lady yo’Lanna made him go through the contract thoroughly. Perhaps he remembered that detail just long enough to satisfy Lady yo’Lanna that he’d taken it in, and then let it slip from his mind. It could be that, having no previous experience with contracts of this type, he thought “no visits from relatives” was a standard clause and didn’t mark it as unusual.

15 thoughts on “Due Diligence – Chapter 7

  1. James Lynn

    I had wondered whether there was a separate contract with Telrune, in addition to the contract(s) between Korval and Fer Gun, and the no-contact clause was in that. We know there were separate negotiations with them over the marriage, and there was nothing in the text to say that Fer Gun had received the permission of his delm to sign on behalf of the clan. In fact, in chapter 2, Mr dea’Gauss tells him that Telrune has accepted the terms. Surely someone would have stopped him from signing a contract binding his clan based only on the word of the other party’s qe’andra that his clan was okay with it.

    Lady yo’Lanna will have been aware that the clause was unusual, and might well have drawn his attention to it, had it been present in the contract he signed.

  2. Othin

    No surprise that the pilots are picking up Trader Karil, especially since Chi got at least 3 reasons why she thinks her the best choice.
    • Petrella’s interest
    • Widening eyes and parting lips when seeing Fer Gun
    • Being cross-cultured and competed as only someone holding a Terran Trade Key as well as Liaden Trade Ring may be
    • Being young enough to grow into a team with Fer Gun (thus not allowing him to find someone else to think and make decisions for him)
    Ok, that are 4 reasons. But only the last 2 are explained to Fer Gun.

    Advice: A young captain and a young trader grew together into a team, plan routes and expansions between them, where one’ll want older heads is the co-pilot and the engineer. Best to hire general crew with multiple areas of expertise.

    Let’s see, how well Korval follows its own advice. On Dutiful Passage we have a young Trader-Captain team – Shan and Shan – with experienced crew. Does that count? And Shan has many pilots, and many crew members – I believe it counts in so far as he has Ken Rik yo’Lanna as Cargo Master and as 1st Mate Kayzin Ne’Zame until Priscilla is trained in that capacity. And the advice was given for a small trader, not generally Korvals flagship. So maybe Bechimo can compare. And here we only have Daav advising Theo to take old and experienced Clarence O’Berin as co-pilot and together they muddle through. Not really helpful. Although they both find it important to get additional crew with multiple areas of expertise – if possible they are focused on getting someone who fits into the team and whom they can trust with Bechimo’s secret.

    Note: Neither Jai Kob nor Vin Dyr are able to realize that Fer Gun’s wife shouldn’t be Terran and also much older than Karil. While they shouldn’t have been able to get a picture of Chi, they should at least have gotten the info that Fer Guns wife is a Liaden, properly also her date of birth. They haven’t done their homework – so Chi’s opinion is correct, they are not clever just cunning and lucky till then.

  3. Othin

    Note: The way Fer Gun describes his wife she seems to see Liadens as just another human culture – the same as Terrans, and herself and Korval as having the dubious honor of happening to be born into the Liaden culture and therefor of having to put up with it. (Ok. the thing mostly holding Korval is the contract – which Chi longs to be free of the same as later Delms) I got the impression that this (lumping Terrans and Liadens into the same human pot) is a very forward view at the time and not commonly shared on Liad – but nothing remarkable on out-worlds with bigger Terran populations. Thus making this view not so much a question of being in vogue but of living on Liad. I don’t think Petrella shares Chis view in this regard (her reaction to Anne).

    Note: While Chi has sympathy for her daughter Kareen she is still glad to have found a way to stay away and not have to deal with tuning attempted strikes against her. This could mean several things:
    a) With Chi away there will be less risk for strikes against Kareen
    b) Chi is not very good with situations like this – and would be struggling not to lose her temper
    c) Chi and Kareen have other difficulties also and Chi fears trying to protect her will only widen the rift.
    d) Petrella is far better able to protect Kareen and deal with her
    (This impression leans heavily on what I read in Dragons Daughter – as if Kareen had been always so different that whenever Chi looked on Kareen she ask herself if this strange child wasn’t a changeling foisted on her instead of the child she should have been and immediately felt guilty for thinking so. [Similar to an athletic father loving soccer will have difficulties understanding and accepting a son without any interest in it.])

    Note: Chi vs Petrella
    I’m not sure about this – only another impression – but I think that Chi sees her twin-ship with Petrella not quite the same way as Petrella does. Petrella’s focuses on things in common while Chi notes the difference between them more clearly. Does anybody else have this impression?

    Note: Chi vs Kareen on need for the Delm to be a pilot
    Understanding Kareens view Chi sees it as wishful thinking for a future to hope for. It’s coming would signify a burden, that has defined Korval for a long time, finally laid down. Also for the Delm having to be a Master-Class-Pilot is a way of ensuring that the saying “Korval is ships” remains true. Here we have ‘two sides of the same coin’.

    @ Explanation of how there came to be so few people in Korval
    Even with the explanation this remains a mystery. I wonder if Korval was more plentiful in Jerthi’s time. What exactly is ‘intemperate politics’ and when did they start? Also 3 mad Delms? Till now we have only heard of one – Theonna yos’Phelium. Or did I miss something?

  4. Othin

    @ James and contract
    I like your explanation. It makes so much sense! Thanks for catching this.

  5. Othin

    @Gunny
    I just looked up the nickname Fer Gun’s cousins have for him. Gunny = a strong, coarse material made commonly from jute, especially for bags or sacks; burlap. Slang definitions & phrases: Gunny = armed criminal.
    The German connotation of calling someone ‘Sackleinen’ would not be nice, implying that you look ugly or hideous and that the only redeeming worth lies in being used by others.
    So what connotation has Gunny in English? Is it an insult?

  6. Othin

    I’m glad to finally see Fer Gun’s observation skills improved as well as his attention to detail and caution. While detecting unusual and suspect behavior or circumstances – he is still easy to shake and gets uncomfortable – even insecure – dealing with documents or tries at intimidation. But there is another big step forward. He asks for help – even if that might shame him or reveal things about him he doesn’t like and wants to forget.

    And yep – he realizes that he already is in possession of a like coin to go with the truth he learned of his grandfather.

    Note: Jai Kob and Vin Dyr seem to give of quite a lot of cues and expressions. Is this just due to their scorn of Fer Gun? Or does it mean that as out-worlder they never learned to master the polite bland face of a Liadens on Liad or at least a Trader? Or is this another indication for Fer Gun’s improved observation skills? Also the cousins remark on Fer Gun having become sharp – but don’t take it seriously and adjust their behavior accordingly. They also don’t react to Fer Gun’s and Trader Karil’s efforts at trying to create a more formal atmosphere, instead insisting on familiarity. It is as if they are slow to take in new information and to change course or show flexibility, instead just rushing head on, trusting their intimidation skills, no matter that the presents of Trader Karil turns this situation into one not of their devising.

    Note: Neither Jai Kob nor Vin Dyr seem to take into account pilot speed? Just 2 people against a pilot who is forewarned? But then Fer Gun doesn’t seem conscious of having this advantage too. It must have been a long time since they beat each other, if ever.

    @ Timing of Arl Fed’s death and discrepancy
    Ok – Fer Gun just turned halfling when his grandfather died, that would make him what? Somewhere between 12 and 14? Or younger? I believe Sil Vor got his sight – and therefor status as halfling early – with not being 12 yet.

    Remember, in Chap 4 we had Petrella saying “Captain pen’Uldra died very soon after going to ground on Echieta and the child was raised by Telrune.” Also neither Echieta nor Telrune are what one would term honest. So what a discrepancy seems to be in the telling might be a discrepancy between documentation and actual fact. Telrune might have arranged for a substantial fee of course to call Arl Fed dead, while in truth he was still a living member of the clan.

    Also I very much suspect that Telrune was paid in advance for giving refuge to Arl Fed and Fer Gun, properly there was also a money meant to pay for pilot training if Fer Gun should show to have any aptitude. We do know that Delm Telrune’s focus is scheming, not gaining allies.

    Note: Next Chapter Header
    The next chapter is also chapter VII – at least in my e-book. A formatting problem?

  7. Paul A. Post author

    I don’t think Petrella shares Chis view in this regard (her reaction to Anne).

    That could be true, although I don’t think Petrella’s reaction to Anne later tells us everything about her opinions now, because in between is the big traumatic event that caused her to become much more of a stickler for Liaden ideas of propriety. If it’s living on Liad that causes people to have the opinion, she’d have less cause than some, because she was the clan’s Master Trader and spent at least half of each year travelling around trading (and not always with Liadens).

    Also 3 mad Delms? Till now we have only heard of one – Theonna yos’Phelium. Or did I miss something?

    No, Theonna yos’Phelium is the only mad delm of Korval who has been mentioned specifically. That said, there are still over 50 delms of Korval we know nothing whatever about, so there’s plenty of room for new discoveries.

    So what connotation has Gunny in English? Is it an insult?

    I definitely got the impression it was an insult in this case. It’s not in general use as a nickname in English, so I don’t think it’s got a general connotation.

    (The one other time I can recall a person having “Gunny” as a nickname, it was because they had been a gunnery sergeant in the Marines. That had more respectful connotations, but they obviously don’t apply here.)

    Jai Kob and Vin Dyr seem to give of quite a lot of cues and expressions. Is this just due to their scorn of Fer Gun? Or does it mean that as out-worlder they never learned to master the polite bland face of a Liadens on Liad or at least a Trader?

    Or that on the out-worlds they frequent, facial expressions are a more common part of social interaction than in a purely Liaden society. When it says that “Jai Kob could assume any expression or attitude the moment wanted”, the implication I read is that this is a skill he has practiced, and therefore a skill which is useful to him.

    Also the cousins remark on Fer Gun having become sharp – but don’t take it seriously and adjust their behavior accordingly.

    Yes. Although I don’t think this is necessarily a sign that they’re particularly slow on the uptake; it can be hard to adjust one’s mental image of a person if one has known them one way for a long time. Compare Chi’s story about the gardener who’s known her since she was a clumsy child and still doesn’t trust her with sharp objects.

  8. Paul A. Post author

    There does seem to be a significant discrepancy between Fer Gun’s memory of having his grandfather around until he was a halfling and Petrella’s account suggesting Arl Fed died when Fer Gun was still very young, doesn’t there?

  9. Jami

    Ah, so young, Fer Gun. By the way, reading this novel has had me rethinking (and revising slightly) the timeline page on the Liaden Fandom site, with respect to the birthdate of Chi (and Petrella)

  10. Ed8r

    Not only were these delms “mad” but 2 of them were mad in the same way: the notion that yos’Phelium’s connection to the old universe made us a blight upon this one, and far better that the Line died out. Wait a minute…why are we not suspicious about 3 mad delms? And if there are 2 out of 50…that’s a huge percentage, 4 times the current percentage of schizophrenia in the US. And for two to be mad with the same “notion”? That can’t be coincidence.

    So, where did we last hear about self-destruction and annihilation of whole families? In Crystal Soldier, a tile is pressed into Cantra’s hand. She looks at it and says: “It looks like one of the toys I took to Uncle.” She doesn’t hear it (possibly because she does have some built in defenses), but Jela, who hissed and dropped it to the floor, told her what it said to him: It asked me to embrace the sacrament of suicide. It told me to pause to remember those I Iove, to have compassion and include them in my death. They both recognize this as “sheriekas-work.”

    Okay, so what drove these delms to madness? Othin, I really can’t believe that it was caused by the Tree meddling. This kind of thinking seems to come from the Enemy. So I’m wondering whether these delms were somehow exposed to Old Tech…the kind that gives you voices in your head. Perhaps they had some pieces they tried to study, thinking they knew how to shield themselves? Perhaps they had been not only pilots but scouts, who had to deal with Old Tech? Whatever the reasons, I’m now very suspicious about the source of this madness that actually aimed at ridding the universe of yos’Pheliums!

  11. Skip

    Ed8r, Suicide buttons

    Nice catch. Possibly the DOI had some old tech suicide buttons, from pre-exodus. We know the DoI has Old Tech, and we know they have been trying to weaken / diminish Korval for some time. They did kill Chi, Sae Zar, and –slowly — Petrella, as we later find out. 99% sure.

    My current theories: DoI is Clan Rinork. Or DOI is Lyre Institute. Or both. Remember Bar Jan chel’Gaiban said he had connections even more powerful than Council of Clans. Could be Lyre. And Tanjalyre, in old universe, liked to collect and use Old Tech.

    But another throw-away comment with no supporting details. One sentence –only one — that came out of nowhere, citing 3 mad Delms, 2 wanting to end line yos’Phelium. Seems we’d have heard about that sooner and with more detail.

  12. Ed8r

    Skip: 3 mad Delms, 2 wanting to end line yos’Phelium.

    I just want to revisit my concern. Although the authors have made nothing more of it, I still find it to be curious, even if not suspicious, that this same form of “madness” would appear in two yos’Pheliums—and a higher rate of madness than the general population. Could it be from some kind of unexpected bad reaction to the Tree’s chemistry experiments? We may never know.

  13. Othin

    Why do you thing of the same form of madness? There could be different kinds of madness leading to this obsession or including it.

  14. Ed8r

    I suppose so…perhaps I expressed myself inaccurately. It is the same obsession that I find curious, no matter exactly what “form” of madness led to it.

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