En Route to Volmer
In which Shan consults several people regarding the future.
We now have the names and descriptions of all three planets of the Redlands system: apart from Colemeno, there is Ukarn, site of a mining operation, and Metlin, site of a scientific research base. (Metlin is the name of one of the Liaden weekdays; I don’t have any insights to offer about the etymology of the others.)
The ridge sounds like it might be important. An obvious possibility is that it’s the hill the Haosa do their rituals on, but maybe that’s too obvious and it will turn out to be instead the location of Civilization. (Or, it being a ridge, perhaps both, at opposite ends.)
The base on Metlin is probably the research station Trader Isfelm mentioned at the meeting discussing ways of re-establishing contact with the outside universe; I read it at the time as meaning that the research station was a point in the outside universe they could establish contact with, but the wording equally supports the idea of it being within the system and perhaps equipped with long-range communications equipment with which a message could be sent out.
(As I write that, it occurs to me that perhaps by now they have sent a message out, and it was received by the Carresens, and that’s what Janifer Carresens-Denobli wants to talk to Shan about. I don’t know, though; that seems too tidy.)
We also learn some more about Dyoli ven’Deelin. Mar Tyn believes (or did when we last heard from him) that she won’t wish to continue associating with him, because she’s Ixin and he’s a clanless rogue; but she seems certain of her connection to him and rather less confident of her attachment to Ixin.
(The last person we heard of who was a ven’Deelin and not a trader was Rema, Aelliana’s student at the scout academy a generation ago. Her situation didn’t seem as extreme as Dyoli’s does, but I wonder what advice she’d be able to give if she was around.)
It occurs to me to wonder if I’ve let partiality mislead me regarding the Great Ones the Oracle is expecting on Colemeno: perhaps she means Mar Tyn and Dyoli, and Shan is only the maybe-useful hanger-on.
I was still on the fence about the Great Ones, unsure whether they would be friend or foe…never neutral.