Author Archives: Paul A.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 42

Surebleak Port
Portmaster’s Office

In which Miri Robertson calls on the Portmaster.

So, what does it portend that Miri visits in the melant’i of plain “Miri Robertson”? Not entirely that she’s calling as an individual, because when it comes down to it she’s still there to speak for Korval, but perhaps that she’s doing so as an ordinary child of Korval and not as a high Korval official. And perhaps also to underline, a little bit, that she’s also a child of Surebleak and wants what’s good for the planet as well as what’s good for her family.

Also, I’m starting to wonder how it came about that some of the devices decided their orders were irregular. It could just be general cussedness, but I wonder if some of them have been talking to Sye Mon.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 41

Jelaza Kazone

In which Chernak and Stost go to rejoin their captain.

That appears to settle, fairly definitely, the question of where Chernak and Stost would serve if they had their preference.

I notice that Val Con refers to Theo as “your captain” near the end, suggesting that Diglon told him what Chernak said, or perhaps Jeeves did. I wonder if anybody plans to tell Theo, or if they’re going to let her figure it out for herself.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 40

Bechimo

In which Theo has an opportunity to put her consensus-building training to work.

Getting a bunch of confused old machines to reach a consensus is likely to take a bunch of time. But, again, taking time is an advantage to Surebleak. Like the saying goes, as long as everybody’s talking, nobody’s shooting.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 39

The Port Road
Yulie Shaper’s Place

In which Yulie has a proposition.

We’ve previously had the names of Yulie’s four helpers as he knows them — Nathan, Mary, Walter, Abigail — and, separately, the names as Kezzi knows them — Udari, Memit, Isart, Syaera. Knowing that Nathan is Udari and Mary is Memit gives us enough of a start to line all four up.
Continue reading

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 38

Jelaza Kazone

In which there is a new mission for the Pathfinders.

If Spiral Dance is being taken up again, one hopes that Nova didn’t re-engage all the safety features, or at least left her delm with instructions on how to disengage them at need.

One also wonders if anybody’s going to be provoked by yet another instance of a ship taking off from Korval’s back yard instead of a proper shipyard.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 37

Bechimo

In which it’s time to call in the professionals.

I’m amused by the bit where Theo compares the current gathering to a faculty meeting.

If Bechimo does decide to pursue, as a long-term project, the question of how many devices from the old universe are still wandering around in the new, that might provide a reason beyond personal preference for the two Pathfinders to rejoin the crew.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 36

Jelaza Kazone

In which the house is quiet.

A little demonstration of melant’i in Val Con’s conversation with the Healers: the person enquiring after the health of Anthora and Ren Zel is Lord yos’Phelium, their thodelm, but the person who would like to hear from Anthora when she has a moment is Val Con, her brother.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 35

Blair Road
Boss Conrad’s House

In which Mrs kaz’Ineo has an idea.

The mention of the Gilmour Agency’s human resources manual as a recent acquisition places this chapter not long after the opening scene of “Block Party”, in which Luzeal had just made the discovery, although perhaps not after the entire story, which covers a period of several weeks.
Continue reading

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 34

Blair Road
Boss Conrad’s House

In which Boss Conrad has breakfast.

Pat Rin’s conversation with Cheever reminds me of the old days when they were still getting used to each other. Apparently Pat Rin is still capable of surprising him.
Continue reading

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 33

Jelaza Kazone

In which Miri gives thought to the future.

It is a failure of imagination on my part that it hadn’t occurred to me to wonder what might happen to the Tree if Boss Surebleak succeeded in getting the mobile members of Clan Korval thrown off the planet. Or perhaps it’s just a sign of how confident I am that that’s an outcome so unlikely as to not be worth spending imagination on.

Miri might be onto something with the idea that the Department of the Interior is planning on taking Surebleak for itself. (Indeed, we’ve already seen hints in that direction, such as the plot in “Shout of Honor”.) Which would make Boss Surebleak accusing Korval of a hostile takeover another example of someone accusing another of the thing they’d do themselves given half a chance.