Trader’s Leap – Chapter 18

Tarona Rusk
Her Proper Business

In which Tarona Rusk repays a debt.

There’s a bunch of stuff packed into this chapter, but I don’t feel like I have much to say about it; most of it is new details of things we already knew about.

One new thing is the statement Tarona makes at the end, which might be prophecy: “I will die, but the Department will not win.” We already knew the second part, from Accepting the Lance, but the last time we saw Tarona in that book she was still alive — albeit about to embark on some mission that we didn’t get the details of, but which we might learn more about in this book.

The question is perhaps: if she’s already dealt with the man who made her the Department’s tool, and we know the Commander’s fate is already in hand, what else is left for her to deal with? Whatever it is, she apparently considers it such a challenge that she was asking for helpers a couple of chapters ago, which is worrying considering the challenges she’s taken on single-handed.

12 thoughts on “Trader’s Leap – Chapter 18

  1. Skip

    Have we ever heard of this commander she kills? I don’t recall his name from prior books.

    Excerpt: “…she was turning Captain ten’Veila’s protections on, rather than off. He had never valued independent thought. So it was that she was waiting for him when he arrived in his shielded office—and stopped, staring, struck, foreknowing his doom…”

    Why is he called a captain? I do not recall that designation for DOI operatives. Or is that his Scout designation?

    Also, he had promised her she would be a goddess… that sounds like she was initially seduced by power and glory, enough to get her under his control.

  2. Skip

    In this chapter we hear again about the dramliz shields, akin to the box apparatus they put Anthora into in I Dare. We also hear again about the torture and brainwash chair. I hope Tarona Rusk dispatched those nasty tools immediately. It’s not mentioned, alas. Also, was it old tech? Sherieka tech?

  3. Paul A. Post author

    This is the first time we’ve heard of or encountered Captain ten’Veila.

    There’s a scene near the beginning of this book where she’s reflecting on the person she was before the Department got its claws into her, and the suggestion there is that she came from what the Liadens of the homeworld considered a lesser background, and that when she had to go to the homeworld to get her gift trained people were nasty about it in a way that left her vulnerable to somebody offering to show her how she could make it so nobody would ever look down on her again.

    I think we can assume that the tools of Captain ten’Veila’s trade were appropriately disposed of, but I could go either way on Tarona Rusk doing it herself. She might be leaving the Healers to deal with the details once she’s got the big danger out of the way.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if old tech came into it, considering how much sheriekas tech is woven into the history of both the Department and the dramliz. The box in I Dare is said to be related somehow to the technology of the stasis boxes, which is considered in the present to be safe everyday technology but if I recall correctly it’s suggested in one of the Jethri books that it was originally reverse-engineered from old tech.

  4. Othin

    Hu, where do you get that from, Paul? I always believed the dramlizbox to be unkown to the rest of Liad – with Prescilla mentioning it in her worlds background. What did I miss?

  5. Paul A. Post author

    In I Dare, when we’re first told about the box the Department builds to trap Anthora in, it explicitly says that the box was produced by making “certain modifications to a standard stasis box”.

    Where does Priscilla saying anything about it? Are we perhaps thinking of two different boxes?

  6. Skip

    Thanks, Paul. I had forgotten that scene with Tarona remembering her warm welcome to Liad.

    What is a stasis box? Something that keeps things alive but half asleep?? I recall that a stasis box is the briefcase filled with TREE seedlings that Shan hauled around on Litaxin, in Plan B.
    .In I Dare, when Ren Zel frees Anthora from the box, he tells Shan, Nova, and Priscilla about it. Priscilla already knew of them.

  7. Paul A. Post author

    Oh, yes. “There is a device,” he said, “that eats dramliz.” Her face hardened. “There have been several such, throughout history.” Thanks, Skip.

    Stasis boxes are occasionally mentioned, but I don’t think it’s ever said exactly what they do or how. The contents aren’t always living things, exactly, but things that might suffer in storage from the passage of time; apart from Korval’s seedlings, a lot of the references involve people storing or transporting foodstuffs.

  8. Skip

    Yes, foodstuffs, right. And now I recall embryo animals in stasis on Quick Passage in the great migration….it’s coming back to me.

  9. Othin

    Thanks Paul – I totally forget the DoI comment about those boxes.

    @Stasis boxes
    Jethri and his partner have quite an adventure opening such a stasis-box – where among other stuff there is dangerous old technology going bad. While it is possible to somehow scan the contents of such a box those scans don’t tell everything. And then there are some food stuffs and other things that don’t benefit by transport in a statis-box because they are too delicate.

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