In which Claidyne ven’Orikle has already made a choice.
And here I was thinking that there weren’t any really interesting variations left.
Now Korval has not only a group of people with abilities and motives to go after the Department; with Claidyne’s knowledge and the plan that arose from it, they have something specific for them to attempt to achieve.
Helpfully, Claidyne’s target is not the same download point the current Commander of Agents used and built her headquarters around – that was the secondary download point, and this is the quaternary – so there will be no necessity to confront her directly. (The primary, of course, was lost when the Headquarters under Solcintra were destroyed. That leaves a tertiary unaccounted for, and perhaps a quinary, a senary, a septenary, …)
I’m not entirely clear on where this leaves Claidyne in the waking world. Her mind took extreme measures to keep her from being consciously aware of the plan, and if that remains the case then she can’t be counted on to willingly assist in it. We’re told Anthora has pinned the two halves of her together more securely, but I’m not clear whether that means a return to them acting and working together. We shall see.
(It occurs to me that what Claidyne achieved is something like what Daav achieved with Jen Sar, or Cantra with Maelyn, only more painfully and with considerable damage to self due to stressful circumstances and lacking the advantages of training or genetic aptitude.)
I’m interested in this talk about the Commander of Agents being downloaded. Claidyne speaks of information: knowledge about the Department’s holdings, its codes, its plans. But the novel has also spoken of another kind of download – the download of an AI into the physical platform it will be running on. I’ve already mentioned that when the current Commander received the download it reminded me of Theo forming a connection with the Bechimo AI. Suppose the information required to act as the Commander is packaged with a personality, a tried and proven Commander of Agents personality, that can pick up smoothly where the former instance of itself left off and will render irrelevant any plans the Commander-candidate may have had to use the position for a personal goal. It seems like the kind of thing the Department might do. (But what happens if the Commander gets downloaded into one half of a mind divided? That could get interesting…)