By Lois McMaster Bujold

A wealthy Komarran service provider fleet has been impounded at Graf Station, in far-off Quaddiespace, after a bloody incident at the station docks related to a safety officer from the convoy's Barrayaran army escort. Lord Miles Vorkosigan of Barrayar and his spouse, woman Ekaterin, produce other issues on their minds.

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Venn installed irritably, “All of that have been ships out of your fleet, on the time. In different phrases, you introduced your individual problems with you. we're a relaxed humans right here! ” Miles frowned thoughtfully at Bel, and mentally reshuffled his plan of assault. “Is the loading bay in query very faraway from the following? ” “It's at the different aspect of the station,” acknowledged Watts. “I imagine i want to work out it, and its linked parts, first, prior to I interview Ensign Corbeau and the opposite Barrayarans. maybe Portmaster Thorne will be so strong as to behavior me on a journey of the power? ” Bel glanced at Boss Watts and received an approving low signal. “I could be more than happy to take action, Lord Vorkosigan,” stated Bel. “Next, possibly? lets take my send round. ” “That will be very effective, yes,” spoke back Bel, eyes brightening with appreciation. “I might accompany you. ” “Thank you. ” stable capture. “That will be such a lot passable. ” Wild as Miles now was once to break out and shake Bel down in deepest, he needed to smile his approach via additional formalities, together with the reputable presentation of the checklist of fees, expenditures, fines, and punitive fines Vorpatril's strike strength had garnered. He plucked the knowledge disk Boss Watts spun to him delicately out of the air and intoned, “Note, please, i don't settle for those fees. i'll, besides the fact that, adopt to check them absolutely on the earliest attainable second. ” loads of unsmiling faces greeted this pronouncement. Quaddie physique language used to be a examine in its personal correct. speaking with one's fingers used to be fraught with such a lot of extra probabilities, right here. Greenlaw's palms have been very managed, either uppers and lowers. Venn clenched his reduce fists much, yet then, Venn had helped perform his burned comrades after the fireplace. The convention drew to an finish with no attaining whatever corresponding to closure, which Miles counted as a small victory for his facet. He was once getting away with no committing himself or Gregor to whatever a lot, up to now. He did not but see easy methods to twist this unpromising tangle his means. He wanted extra facts, subliminals, humans, a few deal with or lever he hadn't noticed but. i have to check with Bel. That want, not less than, seemed to be granted. At Greenlaw's note, the assembly broke up, and the honour protect escorted the Barrayarans again throughout the corridors to the bay the place the Kestrel waited. *** bankruptcy 4 on the Kestrel's lock, Boss Watts took Bel apart for a low-voiced dialog with a few worried hand waving. Bel shook its head, made quiet down gestures, and eventually grew to become to stick with Miles, Ekaterin, and Roic throughout the flex tube and into the Kestrel's tiny and now crowded group of workers hatch deck. Roic stumbled and appeared a trifle dizzied, readjusting to the grav box, yet then discovered his stability back. He frowned warily on the Betan hermaphrodite within the quaddie uniform. Ekaterin flashed a covertly curious look. “What was once that every one approximately? ” Miles requested Bel because the airlock door slid close. “Watts sought after me to take a bodyguard or 3. to guard me from the brutal Barrayarans. I informed him there would not be room aboard, and along with, you have been a diplomat—not a soldier.

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