Tag Archives: agent of change

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 91

Surebleak Port
Office of the Road Boss

In which Miri’s day suddenly gets more interesting.

So, Pat Rin did send the alert to both Val Con and Miri, regardless, which makes perfect sense and is what I would have assumed in the first place if the narrative hadn’t implied otherwise.

It annoys me that this is what I’m thinking about when there’s a dramatic climax going on.
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Accepting the Lance – Chapter 90

Surebleak Port

In which Boss Surebleak’s plan is revealed.

So, no shocking twist regarding Boss Surebleak’s identity. Different shocking twist instead.
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Accepting the Lance – Chapter 47

Six of Us
Jenarian Station

In which Claidyne and Rys are brought up to speed.

We’ve encountered Lucks and Rememberers before, but I think this is the first mention of Finders and of Hearth-Warmers.
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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.

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 1

In which one remains in plain sight and vulnerable.

One’s own mother used to say “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite”. Apparently bedbugs are one unpleasantness that isn’t found on Surebleak. (They prefer a tropical climate, I gather.)
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Accepting the Lance – Prologue

Runcible System
Daglyte Seam

In which the Commander of Agents decides to stay on target.

That’s an interesting moment there, where the Commander starts to consider giving the whole thing up and disbanding the Department, and then is suddenly confident success is within grasp if they hold the course. Given what we already know about how the Department messes about with the insides of its assets’ heads, I suspect the Commander has something within hers devoted to heading off that train of thought. Something to keep an eye on, going forward.

Another thing to keep an eye on is the situation with the Old Tech having gone missing, including “the eldest and most destructive of the Department’s accumulated machines”. Not enough information yet to say who might be behind that, or with what purpose.

On the other hand, I suspect that I know who is behind the affliction of the Department’s dramliz: that would most likely be the lady from Alliance of Equals who set out to achieve her own Balance against the Department.

The Commander considers that it would be a crushing defeat for Korval if the clan were forced to disband and be absorbed by the Terran hordes; I suspect Korval would be less bothered by it, except if it meant they couldn’t protect the people they owed duty to. Even having the Luck diffused might not be something they mourned too much — and frankly, I’m not as confident as the Commander that it would be diffused in such a case. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that just meant it got spread around more, without losing any of its potency.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 8

Jelaza Kazone

In which Val Con dreams.

Rys’s dream will help, if it works, but it’s not going to be a cure-all: not every agent is going to have somebody in their life as important to them as Miri is to Val Con, or Kezzi to Rys. (It might not even have worked on Rys himself before his time with the Bedel; would his relationship with Jasin have been strong enough to do the job? We’ll never know, and that’s probably for the best.)

Wondering about the unidentified man that accompanies Miri in Val Con’s version of the dream. I thought at first maybe it was because it was Udari as well as Kezzi in the real incident the dream is based on, but enough other details have been tweaked to make that dubious. Currently thinking it’s most likely to be a designed feature to give the dream room to adjust to the dreamer: including both a male figure and a female figure in the scene means that the dreamer’s key person can be included whether they’re male or female.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 5

Jelaza Kazone

In which Rys Lin pen’Chala dines with his brother’s family.

Rys has two hands. The fact is included subtly enough to not be distracting to someone unfamiliar with his story, and in fact subtly enough that it went straight past me the first time I read the chapter and I would have missed it if I hadn’t gone through again with an eye for details as part of writing this blog post. Two hands, one with gleaming fingers. Apparently his brothers have again been busy on his behalf.

Being reminded of how Rys came to be orphaned, on top of the events of the last few chapters, prompts the thought that I hope Val Con is suitably thoughtful about introducing him to Nelirikk, Hazenthull, and Diglon.

I wonder if it signifies anything that Kareen describes Rys as “the delm’s brother”, as opposed to, say, “my nephew’s brother”. (I also wonder, since she then turns to talking with Kamele, if Kamele knows who Rys is, and if not how Kareen chooses to explain him.)

I remain uncertain whether Luken’s encounter on the walkway was as harmless as it appears; part of me is still suspicious. And that, I think, says something about the atmosphere on Surebleak at this point.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 4

Jelaza Kazone

In which situations develop.

I am impressed and horrified by Agent bar’Abit’s plan and by the circumstances that led to her attempting it. I’ve said before that the Department does not treat its people well; I’m increasingly feeling the depth by which that’s an understatement.

I’m on Val Con and Miri’s side about not wanting to give up on the prisoners, but at the same time I’m aware that that’s very easy for me to say when it’s just a hypothetical situation for me.

I don’t think I believe in the existence of the man who supposedly asked Mr Kipler to play a joke on Hazenthull; the explanation doesn’t fit the things he actually said. I particularly keep coming back to the bit where he went off on a tangent about the Road Boss, which doesn’t fit his narrative. (It also makes me wonder about whether he’s telling the truth about having nothing to do with Liadens; would someone who didn’t care about Liadens care about Korval attacking Solcintra?)

Boss Conrad’s plan for dealing with Baker Quill’s problem seems straightforward and well thought out, but the fact that the novel’s cover depicts a shoot-out near a bakery inclines me to suspect it won’t go off entirely without a hitch.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 1

Jelaza Kazone

In which Val Con yos’Phelium receives two messages.

I confess to some surprise at the idea of Kareen being a mild and unruffled tutor. Perhaps there is something in Kamele’s manner that she finds pleasing. (Perhaps it’s the harmonica-playing dog principle: while a Liaden student would have high expectations to rise to, a Terran’s fumbles are rendered insignificant against the fact that a Terran is essaying Liaden at all.)

Necessity’s Child also had an early incident in which an attempt to reach out to one of the captured agents ended badly; the way the Department of the Interior operates, such attempts are unlikely to end otherwise. That novel did subsequently feature Rys’s breakthrough, and perhaps another breakthrough will occur in this one, but they will always be too late for the people lost along the way.

If Melsilee bar’Abit did manage to break her conditioning – and even if her behaviour portends something else – it’s striking for having apparently occurred without an external trigger. Val Con and Rys both started getting loose of their conditioning after major changes in their life circumstances, but Agent bar’Abit has been sitting for the last while in a prison where little changes from week to week, so the question is: what caused this to happen now?