Tag Archives: Etienne Borden

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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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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I Dare – Chapter 50

Day 47
Standard Year 1393

Surebleak Port

In which Pat Rin need not suffer the indignity of having his license pulled.

And now Pat Rin has about caught up with the end of Plan B. Specifically, this chapter is in the six-day gap between the climactic penultimate chapter and the final epilogue-sort-of chapter. In fact, these last few Pat Rin chapters from the arrival of the Juntavas courier on, this section which might be regarded as the climax of Pat Rin’s subplot, fits so neatly into that six-day gap that one might believe it was designed that way. (Especially if one vaguely recalled having heard somewhere that Pat Rin’s subplot was originally intended to be part of Plan B.)

I Dare – Chapter 47

Day 45
Standard Year 1393

Sherzer System

In which Boss Conrad goes on an outing with some pilots.

I’m not surprised, on reflection, to see Portmaster Borden among the pilots; makes sense a portmaster would be a pilot himself. Portmaster Liu is probably a pilot as well, but somebody’s gotta stay home and mind the store. I wonder how they decided who’d go and who’d stay. Flipped a coin for it? Or maybe Liu let Borden go because he’s the one who’s always upset about never having anything to do.

I want to know more about the “alternative courses of education” Er Thom offered the young Pat Rin: what they were, and why Pat Rin rejected them. I can think of several possibilities, but I’m not sure which best fits Pat Rin and Er Thom. One possibililty I’m pretty confident in rejecting is “education in useful non-piloting careers, which Pat Rin rejected because they weren’t piloting”; it’s clear that Pat Rin had already accommodated himself to the idea of not being a pilot. A more interesting idea is that they were not alternatives to being a pilot, but alternative ways of learning to be a pilot, since the family’s usual methods had failed – which Pat Rin rejected… why? The narration makes a point of mentioning that they were all offworld, which suggests several answers: perhaps Pat Rin just didn’t want to live anywhere but Liad (seems unlikely, stated so baldly); perhaps he feared the clan was trying to hide their non-pilot away from polite society; perhaps he’d already come to believe, as in “Heirloom”, that he was an unproductive load on the clan, and didn’t want the family to waste money sending him away for an education he was convinced would come to nothing.

I Dare – Chapter 46

Day 44
Standard Year 1393


In which Surebleak Port requires the assistance of the planetary government.

The two Juntavas pilots join the collection of characters for whom the authors have not chosen to provide pronouns, although the fact that we have their names and that they’re Terran names gives one a basis for speculation if one chooses.

I think this is the second mention of timonium in publication order, and the first mention of it being commercially developed in the present, although there are numerous mentions in the early prequels – which kind of makes me wonder what it’s used for in the present, because in the prequels it’s associated with forbidden Old Tech, which I would have thought would mean there wasn’t much money in digging up more of the stuff.

I Dare – Chapter 35

Day 376
Standard Year 1392


In which the Surebleak Portmaster has unexpected visitors.

The portmaster double act is a favourite entry in the roster of memorable minor characters.

The fact that Pat Rin’s gift is one of Ajay’s rugs, which he’d spoken earlier of trying to get on sale at the Port, suggests the tenor of the rest of the gifts: they’re not just nice gestures, they’re product samples, examples of what the bosses’ territories have to offer.