A Visit to the Galaxy Ballroom

In which Lina yo’Bingim does not wish to be part of the problem.

I’m fairly sure the merc who says “Efning” to Lina is attempting to wish her a good evening, but in the first moment I always think he’s offering his name.

Kelby chel’Vona’s kinswoman Cyra was the protagonist of the short story “Phoenix”, who didn’t achieve her best life until she left clan and Liad behind. That’s a very suggestive connection to find in this story in particular. (And Jon the Scout, who helped Cyra and Bel, would probably be a Surebleak Scout too if this schism had happened in his day.)

Admin as’Barta also has a kinswoman we’ve encountered previously; Finlee as’Barta appeared in “Due Diligence” as the society page editor of the Gazette. Taken together, I get the impression that their family tends toward being invested in traditional Liaden society.

I assume that the Scout base on Surebleak where Admin as’Barta and Scout yo’Bingim stay in this story is not the same as the Surebleak Scouts’ base where Daav and Aelliana visit Clonak in Accepting the Lance — unless there’s been enough time between the two stories for the Surebleak Scouts to have sent Admin as’Barta and the Liaden Scouts on Surebleak home with their tails between their legs.

If there hasn’t been much time, it could be that the Surebleak Scouts have not yet managed to counter Admin as’Barta’s strike against Lina’s piloting licence, which would explain why she’s available to act as liaison for Emissary Twelve. On the other hand, it could be that she does have her licence back, and like the rest of the Scouts on Surebleak is hanging around because she’s interested.

The Scouts’ bet over the bowli ball match suggests that they’ve both heard some of the same stories Theo was told on her first visit to the Culture Club in Saltation.

3 thoughts on “A Visit to the Galaxy Ballroom

  1. Othin

    I’m somewhat astonished that a Liaden admin, or any other council appointed, has the power to decide about a guild-pilot’s license. I believed till now that this was only in the hands the pilot guild.

    Another thing I find hard to align whit what I remember is the 10 days travel time from Liad to Surebleak. Wasn’t it that Pat Rin covered the Surebleak – Liaden distance in just 1 day so that he arrived in time for the Korval’s strike on Liad??? Or does the travel time also depend on direction? Or am I mixing up the dates?

    Thanks Paul for pointing out all those reappearances and kinship with other persons we already heard of, I didn’t catch them myself.

  2. Ed8r

    Paul, thank you for recalling the names chel’Vona and as’Barta for us. I knew they sounded familiar, but I didn’t perform due diligence to track them down.

    Othin: a Liaden admin . . . has the power to decide about a guild-pilot’s license.

    I trust Paul’s understanding over mine, but it was my impression that he had some kind of personal deal going on behind the scenes. Maybe he had even bribed the Scouts on Surebleak, or—if not bribed—had some kind of threat to hold over them. The fact that the Scout Captain would not look at her is suggestive that he did not agree with the proceedings but was forced—by some kind of influence—to go along with it.

    The complaint about the trip from Liad to Surebleak was completely spurious. We had been told earlier in the story that she was frustrated that she could *not* to “fly like a Scout” and instead had to accommodate the Admin’s low tolerance for the jump process.

    I’d like to comment on the fact that we’re told that she is another one of those with almost high enough empathy rating to be classified a “small talent.” We’ve been hearing more and more about these “small talents” and other metaphysical communications. We’ve got some more coming up in The Gate that Locks the Tree.

  3. Engywuck

    It’s not necessary that both have heard the same stories, just common sense: or how would you interpret the question “Loser buys both breakfast?” when asked late in the day? It at least implies spending the time inbetween together… and it’s festival time in Liad. Also the MC and the crowd seem to either have heard the same stories or at least interpret it like in the stories (and us):

    “All right, soldiers and pilots! Scouts and citizens! These two know how the game is played! Got a little private bet going—loser buys breakfast for both!”

    The cheering this time was fuller, longer

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