In which the topic of ethics recurs.
And in this chapter we get a direct reference to the events of “Wise Child”, described in sufficient detail to assist anyone who hasn’t read it already. I wonder if that portends that Disian is going to be showing up in this story. It might not, it might just be mentioned for the light it sheds on the present circumstance, but I’d like to see Disian again and learn how she’s getting on.
It appears that Admiral Bunter was intending to do away with Tolly, but was stopped by Tolly having reset his Ethics module to the agreed value. And Tolly’s explanation of what he did to the Ethics module, and why, seems to have gone some way toward rebuilding the Admiral’s trust in him.
It’s interesting that Tolly was expecting to be done away with but didn’t do anything to stop it, because it would still be a better result than falling back into the hands of the Institute. (And also because there wasn’t anything he could have done to stop it without proving to be the kind of person Admiral Bunter suspected him of being.)
One of those little confluences: two chapters in a row, the viewpoint character finds themself locked in a room by the AI controlling the ship. One tries opening the door to be certain, the other makes a point of not even trying. Different circumstances call for different responses.
I don’t believe we’ve heard of Wez diaGrazia before. This doesn’t surprise me; as far as I recall, no director of the Lyre Institute has so far survived their first appearance in the series.