Ambient Conditions

In which Kishara jit’Luso takes advantage of ambient conditions.

This is an oddity: a story retelling another existing story from another viewpoint. We’ve had stories that crossed paths before (“Quiet Knives” comes to mind), but usually that’s a case of two people on different paths that happen to intersect for a sentence or two. This is a special case, for reasons that are explained in the author’s note.

This time around, we’re getting the story from the viewpoint of someone who knows the pirate’s name: it’s Mor Gan, which is a good name for a pirate. If he’d succeeded in hijacking the Merry Mushroom, he could have called himself Captain Mor Gan.

It’s not clear what the bus driver and his passengers will think, waking to find all their valuables missing and no memory of how they went. Their valuables and Kishara, I should say; since they weren’t instructed to forget her, they’ll notice her missing too. The guard will probably assume that she skipped to avoid being tested and sent back to the ships, and it will possibly also be assumed, in the absence of any other known suspects, that she was the one who took the valuables. If so, hopefully that will be cleared up in the end when Mor Gan is delivered to the authorities.

I’m pleased we get clarification about the reason why some of the refugees were rejected; in the absence of information, I was inclined to suspect some arbitrary ruling that boded poorly for the people who were permitted to stay.

I also ended up feeling a bit more well-disposed toward Can Ith’s delm after the account of how much Korval stuck their necks out for the vas’dramliz, thus leading to their current politically precarious position and the demand the delm made of Can Ith in “Preferred Seating”. (I wonder who’s going to get stuck doing it, now that Can Ith has opted to go elsewhere? Maybe Sin Jin, since it’s his fault Can Ith got a chance to duck out.)

2 thoughts on “Ambient Conditions

  1. Othin

    I enjoyed this mirror story very much. It was satisfying to get all that background of things unsaid in preferred seating. It was also great to get all those things that both stories have in common through the eyes of one not of Korval.

    To me it seems that the attitude toward Luck was a bit different back then or maybe it’s just Can Ith’s attitude.

    I also find it interesting how much Kishara’s gift mirrors the combined gift of Dyoli and Mar Tyn in Traders Leap. Also it reminds me of the Oracle.

    I note that we are not told which Clan Kishara is from. It can’t be the Ixin – since it is just a small Trade Clan. I’d love to hear from Kishara’s sister.

    All in all I got the feeling that the exodus of the small talents must have happened before we meet Jethri – but the general attitude toward talents seems to have intensified on Irikwae. No wonder Trader ven’Deelin comments on the twins to her foster mother Delm Tarnia. The Ixins attitude against discriminating Talents must have been well known by the Delm.

    @ Sin Jin
    Just maybe it was not accidently that he let the Delm’s plan about Can Ith’s future slip. He might have wonted the job and hoped Can Ith’s would take the chance to disappear. Or – if their Delm was as crafty as Theonna yos’Phelium – it might be that the Delm – knowing her yos’pheliums – engineered all of it. … Who knows, but I doubt that Can Ith’s would have taken the path of going eklykt’i willingly if he had been ordered it.

  2. Paul A. Post author

    I also find it interesting how much Kishara’s gift mirrors the combined gift of Dyoli and Mar Tyn in Traders Leap.
    I didn’t get around to mentioning it, but so do I.

    I note that we are not told which Clan Kishara is from.
    It’s mentioned a couple of times in the first scene with her sister: they’re from Clan Monfit, which is a clan we haven’t met before.

    All in all I got the feeling that the exodus of the small talents must have happened before we meet Jethri
    I don’t think it’s clearly established when the exodus to the Redlands happened, only when the Dust cut the system off, which gives us a latest possible date: that was ‘around two hundred years ago’, so about fifty years after Balance of Trade. So there’s arguably room for the exodus to have happened after (in which case, perhaps Ixin was inclined to help in part because of Norn ven’Deelin’s experiences with the twins). Irikwae’s prejudice doesn’t tell us much one way or another, because we’re told that Irikwae has always had that prejudice since it was founded by people who thought there were too many dramliz on Liad.

    On the other hand, when Padi is dismissing the guidebook as useless because it’s three hundred years ago and all the information is out of date, one thing she doesn’t say is that it predates the exodus. So that could be taken as evidence that the exodus was at least three hundred years ago (and therefore pre-Jethri).

    The next book’s going to be a Jethri book; maybe it will offer clarification.

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