Arrival on Hatalan
In which Jethri Gobelyn regains his birthright.
Hah. I did wonder if they were just going to let the ex-Scout walk off with the Envidaria, but of course Captain ter’Astin had a plan.
Interesting that Jethri’s lucky fractin ended up in the deal. I wonder whose idea that was: just yos’Belin’s, to sweeten the pot? or did ter’Astin suggest it, knowing that Jethri would get to keep all, as a roundabout way of making a start at apologizing for bringing him all this trouble?
I like the bits where the Scout is describing the world they’re visiting: more of those bits of background detail that aren’t absolutely necessary but add to the richness of the story. (And then you get further on in the chapter and realise that there was, after all, a plot-relevant detail hidden in there.)
I’m not sure I grasp all the details of the extract from the Envidaria, but one thing I get is that it’s talking about shifts that cause Jump points to change, with some routes to become safer and others more dangerous, which sounds like the foundation of the explanation for why, a few centuries from now, it will be necessary to revise the official Jump tables. (And that the example of “more dangerous” is a Jump point moving hazardously close in to a star reminds me of the tale, near the end of Mouse and Dragon, of a certain pilot coming to grief through using the unrevised tables.)
Another thing I get is that he’s saying that in a particular area of space the result will be that the big Combine-backed cargo ships won’t be able to pass through, so trade there will be left to smaller ships, like the Market and Balrog. And this will continue for four or five hundred years, so it’ll still be the case in Val Con’s time and for some time after. (Say, I wonder where Bechimo rates on the scale of “small enough” to “too large”…)
And now, they’re for Ynsolt’i, which gives the idea of a nice tidy ending of the story at the place where it began. I was wrong when I predicted a geographical appropriateness for Jethri and Freza (although come to think of it, I was right that Jethri would have better luck on that visit, just not about who with); I wonder if I’ll be wrong again if I predict now that Jethri’s first return to Ynsolt’i since he left the Market will coincide with the Market‘s first return to Ynsolt’i since Jethri left.