Tag Archives: Commander of Agents

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 3

In which three get with the program.

I mentioned the way the team had split up last time, but I only just now realised that it’s reflected in the chapter titles: they’re called “One”, “Two”, and “Three”, not just because they’re the first three chapters of the book, but also because that’s how many of the Six are in each chapter.
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Accepting the Lance – Chapter 2

In which two negotiate.

The Six are going for a multi-pronged effort: one remaining in sight as a decoy, two making the preparations described in this chapter, and the final three preparing to attack from a different direction that will presumbly be described in the next chapter.
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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.

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part I


In which Surebleak has more visitors.

A whole lotta people arriving on Surebleak in one clump, with at least one more bunch expected soon, and all of them having business with Korval. It remains to see how much more complicated things are going to get when they start (as I expect they will, sooner or later) interacting with each other as well.
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Dragon in Exile – Chapter 31

Jelaza Kazone

In which a team comes together.

I was wrong about why Val Con found Tocohl’s voice familiar, but at least I was inside the ball park.

It occurs to me that Val Con thinking about his plans for his daughter’s future actually fits in well in the midst of Rys and the free agents planning, because the potential for Talizea to have a future is one of the things they’re fighting for.

Whatever plan they decide on, there’s no chance now they’ll get it done before the end of the book, but that’s no surprise; The Decisive Attack on the Department was always the kind of thing that was going take a whole book to tell.

It’s interesting that the free agents apparently don’t know about Val Con. The Department knows, of course, but it makes sense that a particular agent wouldn’t have been told unless there was some reason they needed to know. After the attack on Solcintra Headquarters, it would have become general knowledge that Korval was acting in opposition to the Department, but perhaps not the details of how that came about.

I wonder if Claidyne, the former director, knows.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 29

Corner of Dudley Lane and Farley Avenue

In which Kareen and Kamele have made a discovery.

I do not think it’s just a coincidence that Kareen’s preferred seat faces the doorway, though I can see why Kamele would think so. They’re both scholars, but one of them grew up on a Safe World, and the other grew up in a family that habitually gets into situations where it’s valuable to have habits like always sitting where you can see the door.

I said earlier that getting involved in Kareen’s project gives Kamele a reason to stay on Surebleak that is her own and not just a case of having a relationship with someone who lives here. Droi, uncertain of her continued welcome among the Bedel, may find that it does the same for her.

Which, come to think of it, may be a good thing, because staying to be with Rys might not end up as an option if he’s going off to fight the Department. It would be one thing if the choice came upon her when Rys was right there and she could say, “I am staying here with Rys”, but it might happen that she has decide whether she wants to say, “I am staying here, where Rys isn’t and may never be again”.

Dragon in Exile – Interlude 8

The Firmament

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…)

Necessity’s Child – Epilogue

In which Rys Lin pen’Chala goes home.

What Syl Vor is missing, I think, when he says that he is only a boy, is that after his experiences at the Rock he wasn’t only a boy.

Third iteration of the question of a missing ship, and on carefully re-reading it I realise that when Val Con says he’s heard from his sister he’s probably talking about Anthora, after she went through Rys’s mind checking for traces of the Department, and not that Nova brought him in on the earlier discussion. So, if this is a separate discussion, the subject of the earlier query probably was the Bedel ship after all.

(One of the free perks of reading this blog is, and will probably remain till the end, that you get to see me prove myself wrong in real time, sometimes more than once on the same issue.)

The status report on Momma Liberty (out of Waymart, I notice) contains a couple of interesting hints. Apart from establishing that Jasin is not only alive but flourishing, it’s notable for the absence of her brother in his former position of authority or in any other. Normal attrition, or did he get busted by his family over what he did to Rys? Or did he meet, in some dark alley, an agent of the Department tasked with tying off loose ends?

Coming up: “Skyblaze”, “Roving Gambler” and “The Rifle’s First Wife”, and then Dragon Ship.

Necessity’s Child – Chapter 2

In which Rys Lin pen’Chala runs smarter, not harder.

Another new character, Field Agent Rys Lin pen’Chala. It occurs to me that not every agent of the Department would have made the choice he makes here; some of the ones we’ve seen would have arrogantly assumed their own superiority to any attempt Korval might make against them, and gone straight into what Agent pen’Chala identifies as an area of particular danger. (Indeed, his plan to lay low until a few people have been caught and the hue and cry has died down implies that he’s expecting some of his colleagues to be that arrogant.)

Otts Clark we have heard of before: he was one of the Surebleak locals discussing the changes Korval had brought, back in Chapter 9 of Ghost Ship. It was pretty heavily implied from what he said then that he was with the saboteurs, but this is the first definite confirmation, and also the first indication that he was the actual person who attacked Miri, since Ghost Ship never got around to naming that person.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 41

Starrigger’s Cafe

In which Daav consults an expert.

The Uncle doesn’t come right out and say it, of course, but that does appear to be an admission that he deliberately put Theo in harm’s way so that Bechimo would be obliged to come and rescue her.

His reminiscence about meeting Theonna yos’Phelium confirms the hints about him having survived in a series of bodies. It also suggests that each individual body has a longer than usual lifespan, since the body in which he met her was older than hers and yet lasted “long years” after she died. (On the other hand, maybe that says something instead about the lifespan of a delm of Korval.)

The mention that Theonna had “known his relationship to the shipyards of the independents” might be taken as another hint toward Bechimo‘s origins being tied into some of the background details of Trade Secret (Theonna would have been alive during the events of Trade Secret, if not yet delm), but we still have that definite statement at the beginning of this novel that Bechimo has been waiting far longer than that.