Tag Archives: invisible Scout

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 54

Port Road
Yulie Shaper’s Place

In which Val Con receives news of his brother’s family.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen someone do the disappear-in-plain-sight trick. I wonder if there’s a reason we’re being reminded of it now.

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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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 9

Chaliceworks Aggregations

In which Theo counts her blessings.

The placement of the scene with Kamele says something about the authors’ priorities. If it had appeared a few chapters ago, it would have contrasted obviously (perhaps a bit too obviously?) with the scene at Jelaza Kazone which reminds us that the person Kamele is going to Surebleak to see isn’t there, and nobody knows when he’ll be back. Placed here, it instead invites the reader to compare and contrast the strong-mindedness of mother and daughter. It also gives context, for readers who didn’t know it or had forgotten, for Theo’s musings about her family in the following scene.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 8

Chaliceworks Aggregations

In which Chaliceworks is more careful than brave.

A couple of interesting things in the reactions to Theo. One is the bit about her “tools”, which presumably means her lacework.

The other is the furore about her working for inner calm, which suggests (especially the bit where they doubt any man could have taught it to her) that it’s not any of the usual calming exercises used by pilots of all genders. The fact that she learned it from her father makes me suspect that it might be the one he learned from the wise woman Rockflower when he was a young scout. In that case, the reaction would be proportionate (and not unlike the reaction it got from the Healers when Daav used it at the end of Scout’s Progress).

There was a meeting between Shan and Lomar Fasholt in Conflict of Honors, set eight years before this. Shan saw trouble coming even then, and so did she – she was making plans to leave Swunaket when she could wrangle her business into a portable form, and he offered her his assistance when the time came. If his most recent information is that she’s still trading out of Swunaket Port, it would appear she never took him up on that offer.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 6

Frenzel Port

In which presences make themselves known.

It would appear that Clarence is correct about the mysterious crowd being pitchmen and freeposters coming out from hiding in response to the Arrival Director’s departure, but my first thought was that they’d appeared in response to Theo’s attempt to disappear, like maybe they’d been standing in plain sight the whole time using the same technique, and using the technique herself had made them visible to Theo. Which would have been worrying, because it reminds me of the time back in Carpe Diem when Shadia discovered that there were more people surrounding her ship than there ought to be, and that time it was because she was being hunted by the Department.

I find myself wondering whether Clarence’s insistence on addressing Bechimo as “Chimmy” is part of an attempt to get Bechimo to address him as something other than “Less Pilot”.

Hidden Resources

Runig’s Rock

In which the treasures of the Clan are brought home.

The youngsters of the clan start to become involved in events, and show individual personalities. (Some of them, anyway. Though Shindi and Mik can probably be excused, considering their age.)

The obvious question is: what was that other ship waiting for? My guess is, it was waiting for Natesa. That is, not for her specifically, but for whoever might come to bring news of Korval’s situation, thereby increasing the number of Korval’s children who could be captured in one swoop.

(Another possibility is that there was some reason why they needed to watch someone actually pass through the outer defences before they made their attack; perhaps to check that they’d identified the number and location of all the defences. Against that is the fact that they apparently didn’t hang around to watch Natesa pass through the outer defences, but left to avoid being caught hanging around – which is interesting in itself, because it suggests they had some way of knowing she was coming.)

Another question is: If they hadn’t waited, and had attacked the Rock before Natesa arrived, would they have had any better success? I’m not sure they would; Luken is no Natesa, but it wouldn’t do to underestimate him.

Tomorrow: “Kin Ties”

Fledgling – Chapter 41


In which Kamele and Theo go home.

Immediately, Theo is thrown into a situation that shows how much she’s changed in the six months she’s been away. (Incidentally, considering they spent maybe a week on Melchiza, that means they spent the better part of three months on Vashtara in each direction. Kind of drives home what a serious undertaking the trip was.) The terminal is the kind of chaotic jostling situation that would have been a disaster during her “clumsy” phase, but not only does she not create any disasters, she deftly avoids several that might have been caused by the inattention of the people around her. And the fact that Kamele essentially chose to throw her into this situation by sending her off to get the luggage unattended shows that Kamele trusted she would be able to get through it unscathed.

(On the other hand, the luggage scene also shows Theo with a new habit that’s going to cause her some trouble in Saltation. Continuity!)

Boy, that terminal helper is really inadvertant. Somehow, I doubt that the comment Kamele left on his feedback form was a complimentary one.

I’m pretty sure the reunion in this chapter is the first time in the book we’ve seen the entire family interacting; we’ve had Theo with Jen Sar, Theo with Kamele, and Kamele with Jen Sar, but not all three, for the entire time the family has been living separately. The occasional moments when all three have been in the same place together (such as when Theo showed Kamele and Jen Sar the snake AI) happened off the page — until now, when the family is properly back together.

Fledgling – Chapter 37

City of Treasures

In which Theo is getting along better than might have been expected.

I have a suspicion that Hafley is telling the truth when she says that she would have had Beltaire come along, given the choice, but not with the motive she suggests. Until the research team produces solid evidence, Beltaire’s observations are the key to their case, and if she were to come along on an interplanetary journey you never know but that something might happen to her — even without the hints we’ve been getting that something is likely to happen to her in any case if she ever returns to Melchiza.

Her accusation that Kamele is too ambitious, on the other hand, is a classic case of accusing one’s opponent of one’s own sins.

I think I see, now, what the point of having Theo assigned to the Parole Class was: So that it could be revealed at an appropriate moment in an attempt to make Kamele abandon her research and rush off to rescue Theo — which would probably, given the security set-up, only be possible if the whole research team agrees to leave the archive with her, thereby bringing the research trip to an end — or else to reduce her usefulness to the research effort by distracting her if she does remain in the archive. (An appropriate moment being one after Hafley’s cover has already been blown to such an extent that it won’t be giving anything away to reveal that she has secret knowledge about what’s been happening to Theo.) I don’t think it’ll work, though, precisely because Hafley’s accusation of ambition isn’t true; Kamele is here in service of a greater cause than her own ambition, and knows that she can’t turn away now even for Theo’s sake. I doubt she’s going to be badly distracted, either; she’s already proven that she’s made of sterner stuff than Hafley thinks, and I suspect Hafley’s just given her more reason to concentrate on getting the job done.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 33

In which Daav decides to go into a possibly-hostile port without accepting backup.

Had this book been other than it is, the previous chapter might easily have been the last, perhaps with an epilogue in which Daav finally gets to hold his son in his arms. It is, after all, what the main plot line was building up to for the last two volumes.

But this is a prequel, which knows if any form of literature does that Peter Beagle was right about endings, and getting married isn’t the end of the story; it just means that Daav and Aelliana now have attention to spare for what else is going on in their lives.

I see a parallel between Daav’s decision to go to the Low Port alone, declining backup, and Aelliana’s decision last novel to go to the house of Mizel alone, declining backup, though in this case I’m not sure the decision is wrong; Daav does have a point about the advantages of working alone and under the radar. Still, one can wish he could have gone better protected. (Perhaps another Scout might have worked, if there were another Scout he could trust with this business. It’s a pity that Clonak is not available to be suggested as a possibility.)

Daav’s deliberately exaggerated worst-case hypothesis of “ghosts who lure the unsuspecting into the mists and steal their self-will” is not, after all, so far from the truth as one might prefer.