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22 August 2009 @ 08:03 am
Improvisation  
Title: Improvisation
Author: Florence A Watson
Series: Vorkosigan universe
Characters: Miles Vorkosigan, Cadet Jesek, Ivan Vorpatril, Cadet Kostolitz, Chief Instructor.
Mentioned: Count Aral Vorkosigan, Sergeant Bothari
Prompt: Miles Vorkosigan, at any point in his life: "But I had to set it on fire for a very good reason that I will explain at length as soon as I have made it up, no, honestly, Simon/Gregor/Mother/insert character here!"
Requested by: tigerkat24
Length: 4028 words
Rating: General
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and make no profit from them.
Author’s Notes:
(1) This story is set during Miles’ period of cadet training at the Barrayaran Military Academy. In Warrior’s Apprentice no name is given to “the unfortunate fellow with five yellows” (who is mentioned in the final chapter). I have named him for the purposes of this story.
(2) This story has also been influenced by kerravonsen’s prompt: Miles, experimental weapons
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to my sister Greer for beta-reading.



Improvisation

“Well young man? I’m waiting,” asked the chief instructor. “That was imperial property that you set on fire, after all – with weapons you weren’t supposed to even know existed, let alone use.”

Miles drew a long deep breath before starting, “I had to....”

* * * * *

The lock on the grill to the access tunnel had rusted over the years and was half hanging off the metal cover. Miles had noticed it once on a ramble he’d taken with Sergeant Bothari a couple of years ago when he’d accompanied his father for an impromptu visit to this base on their way home from Vorbar Sultanna. He, of course, wasn’t able to pull the grill open, but that was no trouble when one had three large, typically brawny, Barrayaran cadets in his group. There were a few advantages to the Barrayaran military obsession with physical perfection, which continued despite the fact its modern military now relied on technical superiority rather than brute force.

“Miles are you quite sure about this?” Ivan began his protest. “I mean, I really don’t think -”

Ignoring him, Miles nonchalantly waved his left hand, directing Kostolitz to set the grill to one side. Since the emergency docking drill (and subsequent shopping trip to Siegling’s), Cadet Kostolitz had become Miles’ most devoted follower. He managed to cast a scornful look at Ivan even as he moved without pause to obey Miles’ directions. In short order, four cadets set off down the tunnel two by two. Light from the entrance quickly faded and the group soon relied on the lamps built into their helmets and wrist bands for illumination.

“I don’t understand why you won’t just let us put the lights on,” complained Ivan. “I know the secondary tunnels aren’t lit, but this main tunnel has switches, though why on earth they put in those old fashioned manual kind instead of automatic sensors –“

“Be thankful they are the old fashioned kind,” explained Miles, knowing Ivan had really only vocalised what the rest of the party was thinking. “Sensors would trigger a monitoring device. If we really want to win the contest, it’s best not to alert them we are coming.”

The training exercise the class had been given that day was a variant of that traditional ‘capture the flag’ game played by school boys all over Barrayar. The class had been issued with training rifles. The rifles had a number of possible settings and types of ammunition, which, they had been told, changed depending on the demands of the particular exercise. Miles’ private opinion was the setting changed depending on the whim of the instructor whose decision it was that day. He had never discovered any real correlation between the tools they needed to complete a training exercise successfully, and the capabilities of the rifles. Always the ammunition they were provided was non-lethal and completely inadequate for the task. Always cadets had to improvise from their surroundings. He had guessed long since that that was the real point. This time the rifles were set to throw tangle nets.

The cadets had been divided into groups of four and given a target of capturing the control room in a stronghold which was being held by the ‘enemy’ – in reality, six of the instructors who had set up a temporary command post in the great hall of a military base a few miles from the Imperial military college. Miles had no doubt any number of booby traps had been set for unwary cadets at all the usual building entrances; which is why he had checked the computer for information about the underground systems just before they had boarded the transport for base perimeter.

Eight groups had been dropped, each allotted a different approach from one of the compass points, supposedly at random. In reality, Miles had finagled the south-westerly approach by trading with the leader of another group. That cadet’s dismay had been palpable, when he realised the cliff face in his path would either require advanced mountaineering skills (using improvised equipment) or a very long detour to get round. Playing on this, plus his own physical infirmities, Miles had pretended resignation about losing and swapped starting points. He was rather proud of himself for that bit of acting. He never accepted losing and, by now, the rest of the cadets knew this, so it had taken all his skill to convince the rival group otherwise.

As they rounded a corner Miles took a quick look at some flimsies he held and then pointed to a smaller tunnel branching off to the left of the main tunnel.

“Along there.”

“Are you quite sure?” asked Ivan.

“Pongs a bit,” offered Kostolitz.

“Definitely.” Miles started confidently down the passage. However, the lead position soon changed to Jesek, as they encountered various hatches with the opening mechanisms set too high in the wall for Miles to operate, even when he stretched. Each opened smoothly and the group stepped through. The odour remained, unchanged, but they were making good time and had encountered no hitches so far.

“Scrubbers need replacing in the air ducts,” grumbled Ivan. “Lazy techs.”

“I shouldn’t imagine this is high priority for them,” offered Kostolitz. “We can report it when we get upstairs.”

The tunnel they were in came to a dead-end before yet another hatch, this one with an unfamiliar marking on it. It opened easily, however, when Jesek pulled the lever. He stepped through. This time, however, his entry was swiftly followed by a loud yell, followed by a splash. The foul stench that rose made them all gag.

“What is that?” exclaimed Kostolitz.

Miles moved into the lead and looked through the hatch, shining his head lamp down and around.

“Ah, hmm, yes,” he coughed briefly and cleared his throat. “I think a rope is in order now. We need to get him out.”

“Out of what?” asked Ivan.

“The cesspool,” explained Miles.

“What! You led us to a cesspool! Did you know this was here?”

“I thought it might be, though I couldn’t be quite sure.”

“And you didn’t think to tell us!” Ivan was clearly disgusted.

“Look, we can discuss this later,” said Miles, somewhat impatiently. “Right now, we just need to pull out poor Jesek. See – the walkway bends that way.”

He pointed to the right where a metal bridge started two steps beyond the hatch. It followed the curved side of the cesspool. Jesek had missed the turn which would have taken him safely round. Miles’ headlight illuminated his unfortunate companion who was treading water – well, muck – in, what he realised was regulation style – as taught during the first month of their academy training. He’d rather wondered about that part of the curriculum at the time. After all, what use would water safety and rescue skills be on a spaceship? Apparently they came in handy after all.

“There’s the buoy,” Miles said pointing. There was another release of foul air as Kostolitz threw it in, breaching the slight forcefield that was being generated over the surface to keep the noxious smell at bay. A few minutes later, after some heaving, Jesek rejoined them on the platform, dripping slime. He shook himself and sneezed loudly; rather like a dog, Miles thought. It did not really help matters any.

“Come on,” said Miles, back in the lead again as they followed the walkway round to the other side of the pool and through another hatch on the other side. “Unless I miss my guess there should be...ah, yes...here we are.” Not far from the hatch, he opened a door revealing a large storage cupboard. “I thought so.” Beaming Miles turned round to face the miserable Jesek. “I didn’t think you’d be the first person ever who fell in.” With a flourish he indicated the large stack of overalls and towels.

A few minutes later they set off, Kostolitz a few steps in the lead. Ivan chose rearguard this time. Miles was left to walk beside the still rather odoriferous cadet.

“Hmm,” Miles noticed, “You seem to have lost your rifle in that little swim.”

He wouldn’t have thought it possible for anyone to look even more miserable, but Jesek managed it.

“That’s the fourth one I’ve lost since I joined the academy.”

“No, really!” Miles remarked, “That must be some kind of record.”

“So I’ve been told,” said Jesek gloomily. “I can’t seem to do anything right these days. Pretty well all the class has decided I’m a jinx – and half the instructors too.”

“Surely it’s not quite that bad.”

“I suppose if I were mutie....”

“It’s teratogenic-“ Miles started to explain but stopped as he realised his fellow cadet really wasn’t listening. He looked sunk into his own unhappiness.

“Can’t do anything right,” Jesek mumbled under his breath.

This would never do, thought Miles. Such negativity was self-defeating; they would need all their positive energy if they were to have any chance of winning this exercise. He needed something....

“So, tell me,” asked Miles, in his most cheerful voice, pinning a broad smile on his face, “all about your strengths.”

“Strengths?” replied the other cadet.

“Indeed,” Miles explained, “My fath- a very wise man I know once told me that there are no real incompetents in this world. Really, it’s all just a matter of finding the right job for every person. Perhaps military life isn’t right for you? I mean, I know nine yellows and three greens in the last set of exercises could be deemed a sort of ‘success’. It certainly set a new record, but is it the kind of success you want to be known for – or the right field for your success?”

“Oh no, I must succeed here,” explained the other young man. He looked close to crying, but clearly remained determined.

“But why?” Miles persisted.

“My older cousin disgraced himself a few years ago, you see,” continued Cadet Jesek. “We’ve heard rumours about him - apparently he’s joined some sort of mercenary outfit halfway across the galaxy - but he’s never been back to Barrayar since. It isn’t forgotten, though, especially by the admissions officers. I knew it was a count against me, but I just had to try – for the family, you know – to redeem our honour. I was really chuffed when I passed the academy selection.”

Inwardly, Miles winced. Jesek was a fairly common name on Barrayar, so he hadn’t immediately associated his fellow cadet with the armsman he had acquired on his adventures two years ago. He remembered how he had met Baz on Beta, and his desperate attempts to maintain anonymity in a world where technology made that nigh on impossible: another square peg in a round hole. Outwardly, however, Miles maintained that polite aura of interested listening expected of him in the circumstances. Now: how to retrieve this situation, for clearly, it just wouldn’t do for the younger Jesek to be seen to fail.

“Of course,” said Miles. “But it still comes back to the same question in the end, about your strengths.” As the younger Jesek continued to look blank, Miles added, “What is it you like to do most?”

Jesek’s eyes lit up at this. “Exploring.”

“Exploring?” Miles queried.

“In the hills – on my own. You know: we took a trip one day from school to the Dendarii mountains, as a part of a history lesson. They showed us some caves, and explained how the Cetagandans tried to hunt Count Piotr Vorkosigan in them but they never found him; and that later they were used to hide Emperor Gregor during the Vordarian Pretendership. We only went in a little way, just to the parts that were marked for school tours. We weren’t allowed to go any further in case anyone got lost.” Cadet Jesek waxed lyrical about the past adventures of Miles’ family, getting lost in his story in his enthusiasm.

“Yes?” Miles tried his best to sound encouraging, as if he’d never previously heard either story. Without even looking behind, he could tell Ivan was smirking as he listened to this rendition. How was it that this cadet, alone of all those at the academy, had somehow not heard about his parentage, supposedly kept ‘secret’ to avoid favouritism, but in reality no secret at all? “And how is this related to your best skill?”

“Oh!” said Jesek, brought back to an awareness of how he was rambling on. “Well, they said the caves had never been mapped, you see. So I went back and mapped them.”

“You mapped them! What, all of them!” Ivan stepped forward to join them, sounding quite appalled. “That must have taken weeks!”

“All of that summer break and half of the next,” came the proud reply.

“Wonderful!” exclaimed Miles, frowning at Ivan. “Then I have just the thing for you on this expedition.” So saying he promptly handed across the bundle of documents he’d been carrying under one arm. Jesek opened them to find a large set of blueprints.

“What are they?” asked Ivan.

“A map of the drain system and tunnels underneath the base – in fact of everything underground – all ten levels of it.”

“Ten levels!” Again Ivan sounded appalled.

“Don’t worry, Ivan,” There was a definite lilt to Miles’ voice now. “We came in at level two; we only need to climb up two levels before we arrive at the front door, so to speak, except we’ll be taking the back entrance so they won’t be expecting us. We just need to find the conduit that leads from this level to the next one up. Jesek, that’s where you come in. As you can see, you are positively essential to the mission.”

Ivan watched in horror as Miles smiled at Jesek. He knew that smile: charm exemplified; it was the one Miles always wore when incubating one of his complex Machiavellian schemes.

“We need you to find it for us.”

“Do you mean to say you led us all in here when you didn’t know the way?”

“A minor detail Ivan, when we have Cadet Jesek here with us; a master mapmaker such as he will have no trouble whatsoever merely reading a map.” Miles was positively grinning. “And I do believe...yes – I was right. There’s a nice place to spread the plans out just up ahead. Do be a good fellow, Ivan: sprint up to our friend Kostolitz and ask him to wait at the next crossing.”

Two tall figures stood watch while Jesek spread out the plans on the floor and he and Miles crouched over them.

“There’s no way up from this level,” Jesek said.

“Not this?” Miles pointed to a small conduit marked on the second level plans.

“No, see there.” Jesek had the first level blueprints in front of him. “They closed that off last year. There is one way though: down.”

“Down!” Ivan’s exclamation revealed he had not really been keeping watch.

“Yes, down,” explained Jesek. “To level eight. There’s a freight elevator here.” He pointed to the plans. “...in this storage room, almost directly beneath where we are now. See the shaft for it on the plans?” He was pointing now, in succession to all the different levels of the plans. “It leads directly up to base command. We can get to it from this access point.”

“Why can’t we just take it from here, then?” asked Kostolitz.

“No access,” said Miles firmly, having followed the path of Jesek’s finger. “It goes up from levels eight to ten only. Right!” Decisively, he stood up, folding the plans as he rose. “Jesek has the lead.”

The four moved quickly down the corridor to another hatch. Miles watched approvingly as Jesek looked this time, before stepping through and descending the narrow spiral stairs: he was learning. Miles brought up the rear. At the bottom they paused briefly to orient themselves, before Miles led off down a tunnel with red signs. He recognised these; this way must lead to a weapons cache. Within a few minutes the tunnel opened to a loading bay with float pads and weapons lockers. A huge freight lift dominated one wall. Ivan, Kostolitz and Jesek made a beeline for it, but Miles paused to check the shelves to one side.

“Just a moment,” he said. “If these are what I think they are....” He took a set of something that looked like a diving suit from one pile, unfolding it to measure it against himself. The leggings trailed on the floor in sad reminder of his short stature. No matter – even if he could not find one to fit him.... Ah! There it was. He twisted a knob set into the shoulder of the strange suit and the sight of it faded away, blending into the surroundings. Only if he looked very carefully could he now see the leggings; they looked so much like the stone floor they rested on.

“Chameleon suits,” he pointed out, somewhat redundantly, to his companions who had gathered round. Miles twisted the knob clockwise and the suit reappeared. “I heard they were experimenting with these.”

“Parts of you disappeared for a moment,” said Ivan. “It wasn’t just the suit we couldn’t see.”

“I think they must generate some field that refracts the light,” offered Kostolitz, examining the leggings closely. “They should hide our weapons, too.”

Without prompting, Miles’ companions started to strip down to their shorts, each donning a suit, twisting the control, and disappearing from view. There were a few seconds of silence before the shouts, grunts and curses began.

“That’s my foot, you oaf!”

“How was I to know you were there?” came the aggrieved sounding reply.

“Where is that blasted....”

Ivan found the control first and faded back into sight, followed soon by Kostolitz. There was a short delay before Jesek reappeared, looking slightly sheepish.

“I think perhaps I should stay visible,” Miles said, “so you have someone to follow that you can see. Also, we should agree an order for who follows whom, so we don’t stumble into one another.”

The others nodded.

“Oh...and...” Miles looked across at set of weapons racks, “Jesek should choose himself a new weapon.”

“What are they, though? They don’t look like anything I’ve seen before.”

Kostolitz was wary after the experiment with the chameleon suits. His brief invisibility had left him with a red mark over his nose and one eye. He was darting wary looks at Ivan who had materialised immediately to his right, though Miles supposed it was just as likely the blow had come from Jesek’s elbow as his cousin’s.

“Not sure,” Miles admitted. “I suppose we need a test firing.” He nodded to Jesek who had selected one of the rifles from the rack and inserted the powerpack. However new and experimental this weapon, at least the power configuration looked pretty standard.

“What should I aim at?” asked Jesek.

“Try that watercooler,” said Ivan, pointing to the rear wall.

“No, wait!”

But Miles spoke too late. A shimmering orange haze enveloped the muzzle of the weapon as it fired a bright bolt of scarlet. The ‘watercooler’ exploded, taking out the wall behind.

“Quick! Into the lift!” Miles cried.

As its doors closed he could see the explosion expanding towards them. He punched the top button quickly. With a bit of luck they would ascend in time; if not.... They arrived to a scene of high alert. The clamour of loud alarms masked the sound of the elevator doors opening. An emergency crew thudded past carrying heavy fire-fighting equipment, oblivious to their entrance.

“That way.” Miles pointed in the opposite direction. “Hurry – someone will be back soon to check this lift at the very least – if not use it.”

“Isn’t this the way to the enlisted quarters, though?” Ivan clearly was puzzled. “We need to find the officer’s mess.”

“Dumbwaiters,” explained Miles. Immediate recognition showed on Kostolitz’s and Jesek’s faces. Ivan still looked puzzled.

“They go straight from the kitchens into the hall,” offered Kostolitz, “bypassing all the defence systems they’ll have set up on the usual approaches.”

“Exactly,” said Miles. “If you activate your suits, the dumbwaiters will look empty when they open. The instructors will think they are just malfunctioning because of the fire.”

“But you don’t have a chameleon suit,” protested Jesek.

“There are only three that go direct to the mess hall, anyway,” said Kostolitz.

“I’ll take the one that leads to the butler’s pantry just behind the mess. I’ll go a few minutes before you. I have an idea how to cause a distraction...” That wolfish grin was back on Miles’ face again. “While they are focusing on me, you can throw the tangle net over them from behind.”

“Why do we need the distraction if they can’t even see us?” asked Jesek.

“Do you really feel that confident at hand-to-hand combat? Or sure they won’t get out of the nets? They are experts, after all,” Miles explained. “You may not be visible but you can be heard, and what they can track by sound they could fight. I’ll distract them though, by making a lot of noise so they focus on that, and don’t notice you creeping up to them. That’s where you come in, Jesek.”

“Me?”

“Him?” Kostolitz and Ivan spoke simultaneously.

“Of course. He’s carrying the supergun that will decide the contest. You they might hope to overcome, but not him. He’ll be the most dangerous man in the room and the instructors will know it.”

Jesek blinked uncertainly; Ivan and Kostolitz eyed him doubtfully. Streaks of slime festooned his cheeks and his hair had dried in ragged spikes giving him the look of a bedraggled duckling.

“Trust me,” said Miles, “It’ll work.”

Forward momentum, he thought. There was no place for doubt. Doing his best to radiate confidence, Miles lifted his chin and strutted forward, putting a slight swagger in his step. The other three cadets exchanged glances, before, with a sigh, Ivan stepped after. He knew his cousin too well: there was just no stopping him when he was so...eager. The other two followed closely.

Two more turns and the small squad entered the kitchen. They were cautious at first, but found the large room deserted. Evidently, everyone had been called away to deal with the blaze which, Miles realised after he checked the display on the wall, had now spread to seven subterranean levels, including the cesspool. It was a matter of moments before the dumbwaiters had been programmed, and Miles was away.

He emerged into a small quiet room lined with crystal and china. A sideboard held canteens of silver flatware, two impressive carving sets, and.... There they were: fine table linens. An even smaller room to one side held a case of strong liqueurs. It was a simple matter to replace the corks with table napkins. Miles set a dozen bottles by the connecting door to the officer’s mess, before opening the door a crack and peaking through. Only two instructors remained, one of whom was clearly coordinating communications for the emergency crews. The ping of three dumbwaiters arriving sounded loud in the calm of the temporary command centre. The second instructor looked round as their doors opened. This was his cue. Miles flipped the powerpack out of his rifle, speedily jimmied the safety, and used it to set a napkin alight before shoving open the door and lobbing the first homemade incendiary across the room. It smashed against a display of ancient regimental banners and burst into flame. One was followed by another, and another, as Miles threw in quick succession.

The instructors’ brief looks of surprise transformed into a coordinated sortie from their command chairs towards his position, before they suddenly stopped short, caught in netting. Kostolitz and Ivan materialised a few steps to the side, rifles pointed at their ‘enemies’. A few seconds later Jesek also appeared directly in front, rifle at the ready, albeit held with a nervous, uncertain grip. The horrified glances the instructors exchanged spoke volumes. They kept very still. Miles sauntered across the room nonchalantly and reached across Jesek to turn a small switch counter-clockwise, powering down the weapon.

“I believe, Sirs, command is now ours.”
 
 
 
beatrice_otterbeatrice_otter on August 22nd, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
You have Miles down very well--I laughed so hard, but it was definitely him.
fawatson: A Civil Campaignfawatson on August 22nd, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
Thanks

Edited at 2009-08-22 10:26 am (UTC)
dimestore_romeo on August 22nd, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
I laughed and laughed. Especially at the ending. Great job. :)
fawatson: A Civil Campaignfawatson on August 22nd, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it. It is my first foray into fanfic for this series so it tested my skills to get that tongue-in-cheek quality down right.
qbic: Vorkosiganqbic1 on August 22nd, 2009 09:16 am (UTC)
Oh, my, oh, my - that is so very Miles. It's a wonder the imperium survived his training. LOL!!! Thank you so much, I needed that laugh. What a wonderful peek into a period of Miles' life that is often ignored.

Bravo!
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 22nd, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)
Glad it hit the spot!
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on August 22nd, 2009 09:16 am (UTC)
They'll definitely have to clean out that dumbwaiter after Jesek was in it.
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 22nd, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
Oh my! I hadn't thought of that! Do you suppose they'd give Miles that little task as a penalty for blowing up the base?
(no subject) - azurelunatic on August 22nd, 2009 10:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rymenhild on August 22nd, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
L'Ignota: fangirllignota on August 22nd, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hee! That was hilarious. And how very Miles!
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)
I chuckled while writing it too! Thanks.
zortified on August 22nd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful!
fawatson: A Civil Campaignfawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)
Thanks
philomythaphilomytha on August 22nd, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
That was a lot of fun! I liked the way you showed us how good Miles is at thinking on his feet and coming up with new plans. You got Ivan just right too, I think. Very nicely done.
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
Thanks
Cubby T Bearcubby_t_bear on August 22nd, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Absolutely awesome. I needed my dose of Miles-inspired craziness in the morning.
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
Like coffee! I'm glad this provided it!
jaxomsridejaxomsride on August 22nd, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
If this is an example of one exercise, I'm surprised there was an Academy left by the time Miles graduated.
siliconshaman on August 22nd, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Or that's why they washed him out...they feared there wouldn't be.
(no subject) - fawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
siliconshaman on August 22nd, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Never does things by halves does Miles...
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:24 am (UTC)
Not when twice the zeal will do just as well! (Glad you enjoyed it)

Edited at 2009-08-23 08:24 am (UTC)
Somiglianasomigliana on August 22nd, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Giggles. This was absolutely wonderful; You've got Miles and Ivan spot-on.
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:24 am (UTC)
Thanks
Gelseygelsey on August 22nd, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Hehehehe. That was fabulous. Forward momentum, that's the key ;)
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
It is indeed. Thanks
vkw10vkw10 on August 23rd, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)

“Do you mean to say you led us all in here when you didn’t know the way?” -- I can just hear Ivan saying that! And I really appreciate the way you tied it back to canon, with Kostolitz devoted to Miles for introducing him to the knife store (Seiglig's I presume?) and Jesek being the disgraced Baz's cousin.

fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
It was one of my favourite lines to write, too. I'm glad you liked it.
Kathryn A: raygunkerravonsen on August 23rd, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
(huge grin)
fawatson: A Civil Campaignfawatson on August 23rd, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
I couldn't have done it without your prompt! Thank you!

PS: Like your icon.

Edited at 2009-08-23 08:27 am (UTC)
(no subject) - kerravonsen on August 26th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
shimotsuki: vorkosiganshimotsuki on August 24th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh, fun! This is just the kind of, um, situation I can imagine Miles creating as a cadet... And young Jesek is a great idea, especially the way it ties back to Baz and the repercussions his desertion had for his family.
fawatson: A Civil Campaignfawatson on August 24th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I am so glad you liked it.