Tag Archives: Bechimo Captain’s key

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part IV

In which Val Con and Miri have a busy morning.

I like “a salute so smart it could have driven itself into town”. And Val Con’s interactions with the cat.
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The Gathering Edge – Chapter 14


In which the Captain speaks to her guests.

I like how the Pathfinders remain cautious of Theo and the crew; it makes sense for their position, but an author might have fallen into the trap of forgetting that and letting them trust easily just because we know the crew to be trustworthy.
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Dragon Ship – Chapter 40

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which Bechimo settles the bill.

It hadn’t occurred to me to think much about what name one of Bechimo‘s reserve personalities might have, but of course it depends on where they’re deployed: if one had taken over control of Bechimo, its name would have been Bechimo, but since it didn’t, it isn’t. And apparently the name of the ship this one is now based in is Admiral Bunter, which gives us two defense-oriented AIs in this series who share the names of characters from English literature. I’d remark on the coincidence, but as remarkable coincidences go I think Roderick Spode still has it beat.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 39

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which Bechimo and his Captain rescue their crew.

Bechimo‘s reserve personalities were mentioned back in Ghost Ship, shortly after Theo first came aboard; Bechimo had just started really wondering if Theo was the right captain, and worried for a while that accepting her and Win Ton might be not only a bad judgement call but the first sign of a mental instability that would end with him being deactivated and replaced by one of the reserves. So there’s a kind of Balance to them being mentioned again now, when he’s come to the conclusion that it was the right call after all.

I am kind of wondering, however, what kind of situations the Builders were expecting Bechimo to get into, that they gave the ship the kind of abilities it demonstrates in this chapter.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 38

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which Bechimo gains a Captain.

Joyita stepping in to help Theo past her moment of panic ties back to the conversation earlier about whether Theo likes Joyita more than Bechimo, and why: Theo trusts her ship, but even so she finds it reassuring to be interacting with someone who has a face.

I mentioned, way back near the beginning of Ghost Ship, that the investiture of the Department’s new Commander reminded me of something that would happen later, and this is it. The installation of Bechimo‘s Captain seems to involve similar technology, although in a more refined form (or perhaps just in a form designed by someone who cared about the well-being of the person it would be used on).

Which brings to mind the question: If the Commander of Agents is in a similar relationship to the one Theo now has with Bechimo, who or what is the Commander in a relationship with? And for the more efficient pursuit of what purpose?

Dragon Ship – Chapter 37

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which the Galactic Trade Commission makes Theo an offer she can’t not refuse.

Something funny here: the outfit that gave Theo trouble in Ghost Ship was the Federated Trade Commission, not the Galactic Trade Commission. Maybe its name comes out differently in Trade than in Terran? Anyway, Theo says it’s the same group, and she’d presumably know. If it is the same, then it’s beginning to look like it has some kind of ongoing connection with the Department of the Interior, and Tokeoport wasn’t just a one-off case of a Department agent taking their name in vain.

Is this the first time B. Joyita has allowed anyone to see him stand up?

Dragon Ship – Chapter 36

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which Theo goes shopping and Kamele has an adventure.

The people watching Kamele are presumably agents of the Department of the Interior – apart from it being the most obvious conclusion in context, the peculiarly inflexible face is an established signifier – and they’re doing the invisible-in-plain sight thing that Daav did and Theo picked up from him. I had thought it was a Scout thing, then the people at Chaliceworks made a big deal about it and I thought maybe it was something rare that Daav had picked up on his travels, but this inclines me back toward it being a Scout thing. Unless it is something rare that the Department have also picked up in their travels, they having a habit of picking up things they’re not entitled to.

If it is the Department, then it’s probably not the case that they’re simply after the reward being offered for Theo’s apprehension; more likely they intend to apprehend Theo for themselves, which will be rewarding in its own way. The reward does, however, give Kamele a reason to comprehend her own significance in respect to Theo – and us the readers a reason to start wondering who else might be tempted by the reward.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 35


In which Kamele receives news of her daughter.

I like that the news of Theo’s activities comes from news sources that show a range of degrees of reliability and accuracy, where a writer less committed to worldbuilding might have just had one. (I particularly appreciate the detail of the biased summary on the Eylot situation saying “Eylot threatened with interdiction; vessel destroyed”, which makes it sound like somebody threatened Eylot for no reason and then destroyed a ship, instead of Eylot destroying a ship and being threatened with consequences.)

Joyita has acquired a fourth ring since last time they were mentioned, which was at Velaskiz Rotundo, just before Kara signed on as crew – and putting that way makes me wonder if that’s the key. Perhaps the fourth ring represents Kara, and the original two represent Theo and Clarence… or Theo and Win Ton, the holders of the first two ship keys, and the third was added at the point when Bechimo accepted Clarence as a crew member and not just a temporary nuisance. (It appears, I think, at about the same point that Bechimo stops objecting to being addressed as “Chimmy”.)

Dragon Ship – Chapter 34


In which Bechimo‘s crew assess the damage.

It occurs to me to wonder just what it means for a pocket of space to be empty. Most of space, by definition, consists of emptiness; what is it about this particular spot that makes it emptier than any other?

I’m also curious about the image Hevelin shows Win Ton of Theo dancing. That seems more like one of Win Ton’s memories than Hevelin’s; Theo wasn’t in the mood for joyous dancing the first time she met Hevelin, nor during the run to Codrescu and Velaskiz Rotundo that ended with Hevelin coming aboard. Although I suppose there’s still the trip from Velaskiz to Ynsolt’i, after Kara joined the crew; Theo might well have been in the mood to dance then.

I had been noticing that there have been more explicit mentions of the ship’s gravity in this book than is usual for the series. I suspect now it may have been leading up to this introduction of the Struven Unit which provides the ship’s gravity and is also connected somehow to the ship’s Jump ability. (I also suspect now that there’s some connection between the malfunctioning Struven Unit and the unusual behaviour of the flotsam.)

Dragon Ship – Chapter 32

Ynsolt’i Approach

In which Ynsolt’i is back off the agenda.

My response to the Department’s claim of being “proper representatives of Liad” is a rude noise, but I wonder how much the Ynsolt’i authorities believe it.

The pilot from Metrose is another addition to the gallery of one-off characters who make an impression in a single brief appearance, the more impressively for appearing only as a voice. (That sentence was slightly trickier to put together than I expected when I began it, because I realised partway through that the pilot also belongs to the set of characters whom the authors have not burdened with gendered pronouns.)