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23 August 2009 @ 06:35 pm
 
I'm a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short...

ETA: I fixed the glaring spelling errors. I had fixed those, but somewhere, I saved the wrong version.

ETA: I must be having one of those days...it seems to be okay now. MSWord hates me, and LJ hates MSWord.

Adventures in Thesis Writing

Prompt: “Some years ago, I read C. Northcote Parkinson's fictional biography of Horatio Hornblower, and I've wanted to try something similar for Miles - except that the biographer can't get at the classified material.”

Word Count: ~4,200

Summary: Ph.d candidate Henrik Leiter runs into a few road blocks in his thesis research.

 

 

            The planet Barrayar stretched out below like a spinning blue and green marble. Henrik Leiter tried to avoid pressing his nose to the shuttle’s viewport, but his eagerness to see the planet for the first time was overwhelming. Barrayar, the seat of the empire, grew larger, until it filled the whole window, and the dark smudge they were approaching grew larger and more distinct. If Barrayar was the seat of the empire, then Vorbarr Sultana was its heart.

 

            Henrik could feel his pulse quicken as the shuttle descended through the thin clouds toward the shuttleport. He clutched his valise tightly, as he always did when nervous. It contained much of his life’s work. Nervously, he reached into his pocket with his free hand and pulled out a handkerchief, dabbing his brow free of the sweat that had started to form there. It was the first time he’d left Solstice, on Komarr. But the research materials he needed were here. And the people.

 

            He trembled, his pulse and breathing rapidly picking up. He forced himself to stay calm. His hand fumbled in his pocket for his inhaler, but his breathing slowed and his chest eased on its own. He adjusted his wire-frame spectacles on his nose, knocked askew in his breathing fit. Both the eye sight problem and the breathing problem were related. When he’d been barely more than a baby, a terrorist had blown up an Imperial Army depot by his house, releasing some sort of gaseous toxin, stored on the base. It had damaged his lungs, and rendered him incapable of strenuous activity. His eyes had weakened after years of staring at vidscreens and comconsoles, about the only activity left to him.

 

            For years he’d slaved at his studies. Most would find them dry, but the excitement of the past was the only excitement he could handle now. Even still, when caught up in a particularly bold story, like the Marilacan movie about the Dagoola breakout, he still found himself reaching for his inhaler. That of course, had been years ago, when still just a boy.

 

            And now, he was a grown man, on the verge of completing his life’s work, a doctorate in Imperial History. It had been a long, arduous, and expensive journey. His family had little money…hence they had not been able to afford treatments like growing him new lungs…and he’d had to work his way through school, mainly as a librarian.

 

            All that stood between him and his dream now was his dissertation. To finish that dissertation required he do something he’d never done before: travel. Not only outside Solstice, but off Komarr as well.

 

            The shuttle had landed by now and he rose to exit with the rest of the passengers on the shuttle. They were a mixed lot. Henrik, who had little time for much else growing up, prided himself on powers of observation. While he had spent much of his time studying as a youth, his one weakness was for works of detective fiction, particularly of Old Earth.

 

            The two men in the front row, despite civilian clothes, were obviously military, travelling, or rather, trying to travel incognito. They were too tense for their mission to have been pleasure, and the rather severe and professional looking cases they carried, with thumb print scanners for locks, indicated they were probably ImpSec couriers. General staff couriers would have travelled in uniform. The couple sitting across the aisle from him were returning from holiday. They had not been on the liner from Komarr, they had arrived at the shuttle transfer station separately, and their tourist garb spoke of Beta Colony. They were older, perhaps a trifle older than Henrik’s own parents. The woman was tall, with striking blond hair, now shot through with grey. She was athletically fit, and composed. She looked relaxed, like her husband. Her husband was also tall, but he bore the marks of once having been grievously injured. He carried a cane, but it was no simple cane. The ornate silverwork at the head, along with a series of metal rings at the base of the head clearly marked it as a swordstick, and of a very fine quality. Vor. Probably not a Count, but perhaps a second or third son, of a particularly wealthy family.

 

            Henrik’s further dissection of his fellow passengers was interrupted by the opening of the shuttle door and everyone rising to exit. Henrik allowed himself to be swept up in the slow push out the door. When he finally stepped clear of the door, bright sunshine spilled down around him, and Henrik looked up in surprise. Irrational panic surged through his veins as he realized there was nothing between him and the open sky. He gasped, floundering helplessly, as he fumbled for his inhaler. Someone caught his arm as he slumped and the world went black.

 

                                                            *          *          *

 

            Henrik came to slowly, eyes fluttering open to a reassuring solid white ceiling with artificial lighting. Someone was talking.

 

            “…about every week or so we get one of these. Mainly visitors from Komarr, or even Beta Colony occasionally. Agoraphobia, fear of being in open spaces. The domes cause it.”

 

            Henrik groaned.

 

            “Ahh, back with us, I see,” the voice said briskly, and a white coated man, presumably some kind of doctor, appeared in Henrik’s vision. He waved a light pen at Hernik’s pupils and took Henrik’s pulse. “No worse for wear, I imagine.”

 

            “You gave us quite a turn, son,” another voice said. The doctor helped Henrik sit up on the examining table, and Henrik saw the man from the shuttle, the one with the swordstick.

 

            “The Commodore and his wife caught you, Mr. Leiter,” the doctor explained. “I take it this is your first visit to Barrayar.”

 

            Henrik nodded. “Research,” he explained. He looked around quickly. “Where’s my case?” he asked.

 

            “Right here,” the Commodore told him, patting the familiar brown case as it sat on the counter. “Don’t panic.”

 

            Henrik calmed. “Thank you, Commodore, Doctor.”

 

            The Commodore waved it away. “I’ll be joining my wife now, Doctor, she’s anxious to get home. Best of luck with your visit, son,” the Commodore said.

 

            Henrik nodded as the man exited, and the doctor turned his attention to Henrik. “Now, I can give you some pills that will prevent you from getting an attack like that, but without a prescription, I can only give you a week’s supply. Will that be sufficient for your visit?” the doctor asked.

 

            Henrik nodded. “I hope to be indoors, anyway,” he explained. “I’m here to do research for my dissertation.”

 

            The doctor nodded, and handed a small bottle of pills over. “Well, best of luck, Mr. Leiter. Enjoy your visit to Barrayar.”

 

*          *          *

 

            The following day, and without further incident, Henrik found himself escorted to a comconsole in the Imperial military archives. His letters of introduction from his professors had given him access to this invaluable resource. Henrik hoped to fill in a number of gaps in his research that he hadn’t been able to find in public sources. His escort departed, and Henrik typed in his first search term.

 

Vorkosigan, Count Miles Naismith

 

            Henrik had chosen his subject out of a sense of curiosity and kinship. Henrik had grown up with severe health problems due to his exposure to toxin, much the same way Count Vorkosigan had, but Henrik had done it on Komarr. Certainly, there had been stigma on Komarr for his condition, but how much worse had it been for Count Vorkosigan?

 

            Much of Count Vorkosigan’s life was public record, but there were some odd gaps and jumps. He failed the Imperial Service Academy entrance exams, just before the death of his grandfather, Count Piotr Vorkosigan, and then had disappeared, off the grid for several months. Some records indicated he’d gone to Beta, but then there was a curious commercial transaction record that showed he’d purchased an antique jumpship, and mortgaged family land to do so. Why had he done that? And where was the jumpship now? And then of course, he’d been placed in the Imperial Service Academy anyway, presumably a favour from his foster brother, the Emperor. Why the visit to Beta in between? Why not immediately? What had happened to change things?

 

            And of course, there was the question of Count Vorkosigan’s two clones. One had been created by Komarran terrorists as part of an all too complex plot against Count Vorkosigan’s father, and by extension, the Imperium. That clone, Lord Mark, had taken a place in the Vorkosigan family as a brother, in the Betan tradition.

 

            And then there was the other clone, Admiral Naismith. A rogue in all senses of the word, had refused any part of Vorkosigan family life, and had lived a life apart, as the leader of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet. Where had Naismith come from? Why had he been created? What was Count Vorkosigan’s relationship with the Admiral? Why did the Admiral share the Count’s physical handicaps, since it was clearly documented that the Count’s handicaps were teratogenic, not genetic? And where had the little Admiral gone?

 

            The search results began to fill the comconsole screen and Henrik settled down to work.

 

*          *          *

 

            Two days later, Henrik took off his spectacles and rubbed his eyes in frustration. Count Vorkosigan’s military records were just as baffling. He’d been placed in the Imperial Service Academy by Imperial fiat, following his return from Beta colony. There were some interesting records there, too. There seemed to be some record of a charge levelled in the Council of Counts about a violation of Vorloupulous’s Law. The charge was apparently dropped on Count Vorkosigan’s entrance to the Imperial Academy. After initial assignment as a weather officer, he was involved in a small scale mutiny and placed under close arrest. As a Vor, mutiny could have been a treason charge, but all the charges were dropped, and the commanding officer of the base was dismissed. No further details were available.  He was then assigned directly to then Imperial Security Chief Simon Illyan as a courier. That was odd, since he should have been assigned to the regular chain of command, unless it was nepotism at work again.

 

            Vorkosigan dropped off the grid again sometime after that, and appeared in records only briefly. There was once incident where he was dispatched to the Cetagandan Empire to attend a funeral, but when Henrik attempted to called up the details, he was blocked by several layers of high classification. That was at least something. And he’d reappeared, briefly, on Earth, to be entangled with his clone brother, and the Komarran plot. The rest of the record was blank, almost up until his discharge…for medical reasons…just before his appointment as Imperial Auditor. His first assignment as Imperial Auditor had been at ImpSec, and, according the public record, had to do with former Chief Illyan’s mental breakdown, and the later arrest of General Harroche.

 

            Then Vorkosigan had come to Komarr, as part of the investigation into the Soletta Array accident some years back. Henrik vaguely remembered it as a child. The information was here on the comconsole, and Henrik spent a few minutes going over it. It seemed to be complete, but something struck Henrik as…wrong, about the whole thing. There was the incident with Countess Vorkosigan’s former husband, which still was cause for occasional comment, if one had a death wish – few people were foolhardy enough to cross Count Vorkosigan on the matter after the way he’d handled Lord Richars. And so many people in Tien Vorsoisson’s department simply…disappeared after the investigation. And the documented but little noticed evacuation of the orbital transfer station just a few days after Vorsoisson’s death, and the odd pattern of ImpSec activity.

 

            And then, there had been the incident out in Quaddie Space. Something had happened there, but many of the details were obscure, and attempts to get further were met with the same kind of blocks as Henrik had found with Vorkosigan’s trip to Cetaganda.

 

            Henrik glanced at his watch. He’d pick up the next day with some research on Admiral Naismith…he was important to Vorkosigan’s biography, and then the following day, he had an appointment with the Count himself. Henrik was looking forward to that.

 

*          *          *

 

            The research on Admiral Naismith was just as frustrating to Henrik as the research on the Count was. He appeared, fully grown and fighting, in the Tau Verde war, when he’d almost single-handedly subverted and converted the Oser Mercenaries into the Dendarii Mercenaries. He disappeared for a long time, then reappeared in the war of the Hegen Hub, and was active for some time after that.

 

            Henrik was taking notes on paper sheet, he preferred it that way, and was creating horizontal timelines for the principals. He reached for a new sheet when he knocked over a pile of notes from the previous day. He grumbled to himself and began picking them up, when he noticed something. The timeline for Count Vorkosigan had fallen on top of the timeline for Admiral Naismith. Henrik’s eyes widened when he realized what he was looking at. The gaps in Vorkosigan’s time line matched exactly with the periods of Naismith’s activity. And vice versa.

 

            Henrik set the timeline down, and went to the beginning of Naismith’s career at the Tau Verde War. One of Naismith’s initial victories was completed when a jumpship rammed a cruiser near a docking station. Heart racing, and reaching for his inhaler, Henrik called up the specifics of the incident. Yes! The record did provide a name and make for the jumpship involved. Henrik copied the material, and then called up the Betan transfer record of the jumpship that Count Vorkosigan purchased at approximately the same time…

 

            Abruptly the comconsole shut down.

 

            Henrik looked about him, concerned that he’d accidentally unplugged the machine in his excitement. There didn’t appear to be a power source anywhere near him. He tapped the machine, and looked across the way at the other comconsoles in the research room, maybe it was a general failure? But no, the other researchers were still working.

 

            “Sir?” a voice said behind him. Henrik jumped and turned to see two serious looking young men in undress greens standing behind him. They had Eye of Horus pins on their collars. “We’d like you to come with us please.”

 

            “What?” Henrik was confused. “Where? Why?”

 

            The young man shook his head. “Just please follow us, sir.”

 

            The other young man helped him out of his chair, and propelled by their force of will, he followed, sputtering. “What about my research?”

 

            “Someone will be along to clean it up,” the man said, and even as Henrik turned to glance back, he gasped, as a full team of five or six men were going over his comconsole station with like they were looking for something.

 

            Henrik was lead away, deeper and deeper within the building. They passed through at least two different stages of architecture before the two men finally deposited him in a windowless conference room.

 

            “Wait here,” the young man who had led told him.

 

            Henrik was too overwhelmed to say anything as he was shut in the room and left alone. What had he tumbled on to? Was he going to be arrested? Certainly something he’d done had stirred up a hornets nest. Henrik’s mind bogged at the thought. Could this be that Count Vorkosigan and Admiral Naismith actually were one and the same? Vorkosigan had somehow created the persona of the Admiral...? If that was true, or if someone had thought that was true, it would certainly explain the allegation that Vorkosigan had violated Vorloupulous’s Law. And then…Vorkosigan’s direct assignment to Simon Illyan. The Dendarii Mercenaries as an arm of ImpSec? It made mad sense. It gave ImpSec total deniability, and gave the Dendarii an unlimited budget to operate. A stray memory clicked. The Dendarii had been responsible for the mass breakout at Dagoola. Most of those folks had later gone on to join the Marilacan resistance that drove the Cetagandans off Marilac. What a coup for the Empire!

 

            But if it was true…Henrik broke out in a sweat. It was supposed to be a secret. Somebody had made a mistake, if they hadn’t bothered to obfuscate the transfer records of the jumpship.

 

            Henrik waited. And waited. And waited some more. He was half drowsing when the door opened and a tall man, with salt and pepper hair came in. He too, was dressed in undress greens, and wearing ImpSec eyes.

 

            “Mr. Leiter?” the man asked.

 

            “Yes?”  Henrik tried to sit up straighter.

 

            “I’d like to ask you a few questions.” Henrik nodded. “What is your interest in Count Vorkosigan?”

 

            “Academic, purely. I’m writing my dissertation on him,” Henrik answered.

 

            For a moment the man’s eyes might have sparked with humour, but he quickly sobered “You are a student at Solstice University?”

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “How long have you lived in Solstice?”

 

            “All my life. I’ve never left before now.”

 

            “Never?”

 

            “Never.”

 

            “How did you acquire your injuries?” the man asked.

 

            “My injuries? Oh you mean my lungs?” Henrik asked. The man nodded. “Well,” Henrik began. “A terrorist blew up an Imperial supply depot near my house. Some kind of toxic gas was released as a result. My parents didn’t get to me fast enough and I got a lungful.”

 

            “Mmhmm,” the man said, checking off something on a sheet. “And your eyes?”

 

            “Oh, I strained them, looking at too many vid screens,” Henrik replied.

 

            “Have you ever been approached by anyone concerning your research?” the man asked.

 

            Henrik was confused. “What do you mean? Has anyone ever asked about it?”

 

            “Suggested avenues for research? Asked you about your progress? Besides your professors, of course.”

 

            Henrik furrowed his brows. “No…I don’t think so.”

 

            “Is there anyone outside of school you told about your interest in Count Vorkosigan? Your plans for the trip?

 

            Henrik shook his head. “No…well, there’s this one woman, she lives down the hall…I told her I was coming to Barrayar, I was hoping she would be…impressed,” he trailed off sheepishly.

 

            The man arched an eyebrow and made a note on his pad.

 

            “Wait here,” he ordered, rose and left.

 

            Henrik resumed waiting. It was a longer wait this time, so much longer that he actually succeeded in dozing off, and didn’t hear the door open.

 

            “This is your Komarran terrorist spy, Duv? The opposition must be slipping.” Henrik eyes snapped open, and Henrik found himself looking at Count Vorkosigan. He started to rise.

 

            “Sir,” he stammered. “This is an unexpected honour!”

 

            Count Vorkosigan, perhaps a tad shorter than Henrik expected, and with hair greyer than most of the vid files, waved him down, and took the seat that the tall man, the same man who had been here before, held out for him. The tall man remained standing.

 

            “You are Mr. Henrik Leiter. I had an appointment with you for tomorrow,” the Count began. “Duv here…that’s Commander Duv Galeni, head of Komarran Affairs for ImpSec by the way…tells me you’ve been doing some interesting research down at the archives.”

 

            Henrik nodded eagerly. “I was interested your military career, and there were all these frustrating gaps, so I needed a break. I decided to do some research into your…clone, Admiral Naismith, and I came across something very interesting…”

 

            At this the ImpSec man produced the paper sheets that Henrik had made, and laid them on the table, one half on top of the other, showing the correlation that Henrik had stumbled onto.

 

            Count Vorkosigan gave a low whistle. “Makes you wonder how we managed to keep it under wraps this long,” he said to Galeni. He turned back to Henrik. “So you made a leap of logic,” he prompted.

 

            “Yes, and I tried to back check it. I looked up the freighter involved with the skirmish at the orbital station on Tau Verde, and was trying to cross check it with the purchase record of a jumpship you made on Beta Colony…”

 

            “Wait,” Vorkosigan stopped him. “Purchase record?” he looked at Galeni, who looked unhappy.

 

            “It was never dealt with. You went off to the Academy, and at the time, no one thought you would go…back there. And then nobody ever went back to correct the oversight. Presumably, no one told Simon about it…”

 

            “Because Simon never forgot those kinds of details, right,” Vorkosigan finished.

 

            “It’s being taken care of now,” Galeni assured Vorkosigan.

 

            “Well, now we know at least one way the Cetagandans might have tumbled to it, anyway.”

 

            “Right,” Galeni agreed.

 

            Vorkosigan looked as if he’d bitten something sour, and his eyes unfocused, as if looking at something far away and distant.

 

            Henrik watched this byplay with fascination. Abruptly, Vorkosigan turned back to him, and declared. “So, my academic investigator. What do we do with you?” Vorkosigan asked rhetorically. “You obviously know my secret.”

 

            “Why is it still a secret?” Henrik asked. “It’s been years. Surely there’s no harm in it now?”

 

            “As a matter of fact, while my identity as Admiral Naismith may not be functional anymore, ImpSec still has occasion to find a use for the Dendarii. And while this is all safely secret, the Cetagandans are content to let the Dendarii continue to travel unmolested, as long as they don’t violate Cetagandan space. They’re still a little upset the Marilac incident, among other things. And I have a number of dear friends still operating with the Dendarii, and have no desire to see the Cetagandan hit squads sent out after them,” Vorkosigan explained.

 

            Henrik could see the problem. “But my research! My doctorate!”

 

            Vorkosigan rubbed his chin. “Well, you could just write about what you do have,” he pointed out.

 

            “But there are so many gaps!” Henrik protested. “It will be incomplete.”

 

            “I supposed listing entire sections of your military career as classified might raise a few questions,” Galeni pointed out.

 

            Vorkosigan seemed to consider this. “Perhaps…perhaps not,” Vorkosigan steepled his fingers. “Suppose you just said, after my assignment to Simon, I became his personal hatchetman,” Vorkosigan grinned broadly. “A roving inspector. Appearing out of thin air, bringing the full weight and menace of ImpSec on all in my path.” He waved dramatically. “An ImpSec version of the Imperial Auditor. You could even hint that I saved the galaxy on occasion.” At this, Galeni rolled his eyes.

 

            “Mil…My Lord Auditor, with all due respect, save the dramatics,” Galeni said.

 

            “Ekaterin has often remarked that I would have done well on stage,” Vorkosigan mused.

 

            “They never would have let you play the hero,” Galeni pointed out flatly, face giving away nothing.

 

            Vorkosigan glared at him for a moment, as if trying to decide if Galeni was poking fun at his height or not. “Well, at least ImpSec let me do that,” he said finally. “And my idea would explain why so much of my career is still classified.”

 

            Galeni considered this. “It’s got some grounding in truth.”

 

            Henrik was appalled. “But…but…it’s a lie! It reduces my dissertation to piece of propaganda.”

 

            Vorkosigan shrugged. “Well, the other option is that you don’t get to write it about me at all.”

 

            “He could just narrow his focus,” Galeni offered.

 

            Henrik looked up. Now Galeni sounded like his professors.

 

            Vorkosigan arched an eyebrow at Galeni. “The Commander here also happens to have a Doctorate in Barrayaran history.”

 

            Henrik eyed the ImpSec man with a new eye. “Perhaps if you just focused on Count Vorkosigan’s childhood, and how he overcame the prejudices of Barrayaran society. There’s plenty of material there,” Galeni pointed out. “And none of that’s classified.”

 

            “But his ultimate success…” Henrik protested.

 

            “Has almost nothing to do with my military career. In fact, my military career was detrimental, ultimately, to my current position in life, for reasons that are both classified and personal,” Vorkosigan said.

 

            “But…” Henrik protested.

 

            “Look, Mr. Leiter,” Vorkosigan began. “The simple fact is, we can not let you leave here thinking you’re going to be publishing anything about the connection between myself and the Dendarii Mercenaries. You may consider that an order in the Emperor’s Voice, in my capacity as an Imperial Auditor. I can, however, provide you with sufficient information on other portions of my life, to fill two manuscripts, I assure you,” Vorkosigan said. “And that’s the best offer you’re going to get.”

 

            Henrik could see he was out of options. He nodded.

 

            “Good,” Vorkosigan declared. “Now, let’s get you out of this holding cell.”

 

*          *          *

 

            Two days later, Henrik found himself back on a shuttle, outbound this time, for Komarr.

 

            He did in fact have enough material for two manuscripts. Count Vorkosigan had been excessively kind…he’d even had dinner at Vorkosigan House, met the Count’s mother, along with the Countess and young Lord and Lady Vorkosigan. Count Vorkosigan had also shown him the house at Vorkosigan Surleau, where he’d spent time growing up. He hadn’t been able to show Henrik the residence, however, as Emperor Gregor and Empress Laisa were currently in residence. It had been a successful trip, really.

 

            And when Henrik had gone back to try and find the records of Vorkosigan’s jumpship purchase in his notes, it was completely absent. And there were no records of any purchase on the comconsole. Obviously, ImpSec had corrected its error.           

 
 
 
Marcus L. Rowlandffutures on August 23rd, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Hope that if they do decide to reveal the truth they let him have first crack at the declassified papers.
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
They ought to! But I imagine they've probably got a 100 year hold.
the most saint-obsessed Jew you'll ever meetrymenhild on August 24th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Ha! Poor graduate student, I feel his pain.

(Psst: you might want to read this over and check the spelling of proper names. There are a bunch that could be fixed.)
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Whoops. Wrong version got posted. Fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out!

Glad you liked it!
L'Ignota: fangirllignota on August 24th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
Unexpected and entertaining!

One thing, though -- you might want to check your spelling a little more closely next time, or ask a friend to do it. It's distracting when someone misspells "Vorkosigan". :-)
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
I posted the wrong version. This whole day has been distracting, my wife defends her own thesis on Tuesday, so we're a little o.O right now.

Thanks for the review!
17catherines on August 24th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
This is adorable! I especially love Galeni.
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you liked it!
vkw10vkw10 on August 24th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
"narrow his focus" -- That's a perfect academic phrase. And I love the way ImpSec just appeared as he started making connections. His letters of introduction probably raised red flags at ImpSec.

No way Miles and Galeni are going to let a man with Henrik's analytical skills settle into a quiet life as a history professor. Wonder how he'll feel the first time ImpSec or an Imperial Auditor calls on him for help?

Great story. Thanks!
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
My own professors loved that phrase.

And I'm sure they'll know where to find him!

Thanks for the review!
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN Sam gentle smiledeirdre_c on August 24th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
Well done! I love it. :)
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Thanks!
Becca Stareyesbeccastareyes on August 24th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
Nice.

(One nitpick -- Barrayar wouldn't look blue and green from orbit, since most of the native flora is reddish, and the planet has only been partially terraformed, IIRC. I guess if the major view is of the continent where most of the settlement is...)
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
Well, I supposed it depends on how far along the terraforming is...if the primary export of Vorkosigan District is maple syrup, then the forests are probably pretty green in parts...but you're right of course. Should have thought of that.

Thanks for the review!
Becca Stareyesbeccastareyes on August 24th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
No problem. (I figured that most of the long-settled parts were pretty green, but that places like the Southern Continent still retained a lot of the native vegetation, since I thought it was mentioned that terraforming was still happening there. (One thing the butterbugs were useful for was eating native plants as well as Earth imports).)
Mater Magnolia: Booksmagglenagall on August 24th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
I'm tempted to suggest that maybe the shuttle flew over where Vorkosigan Vashnoi had once been, but I think the flight would have to take place at night, to get the green glow. ;-)
Becca Stareyesbeccastareyes on August 24th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Not exactly a good thing, that. ^_^
capplorcapplor on August 25th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
Doesn't matter
Henrik has probably already been counseled about having kids.
Mater Magnolia: Booksmagglenagall on August 24th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Nice work, Guv! I fear poor Henrik may be getting a job offer as an ImpSec analyst when he finishes his degree. :-)
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks Mags! He might not mind, as long as he doesn't have to go outside!
(Deleted comment)
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
emma_in_oz: Not a secretaryemma_in_oz on August 24th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)
I've always wondered about that ship - and finding another for his first liege man.
govcampbellgovcampbell on August 24th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
It always seemed to me as the kind of loose end that might have gotten lost, especially since at the end of WA, nobody thought Miles was going back to the Dendarii.

Thanks!
Azure Jane Lunatic: tits against the rteazurelunatic on August 24th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
I liked this a lot. I enjoy the exploration of Barrayar's darker themes of paranoia and censorship.

And LJ's Rich Text Editor really does hate Microsoft Word, a lot.
fawatson: Cetagandafawatson on August 25th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
This is good. It is a shame it is still marred by a few typos.

(e.g. Marlican - should be Marilacan)

(e.g. Galanei - should be Galeni)

Edited at 2009-08-25 04:33 pm (UTC)
The Espresso Addict: coffee cupsespresso_addict on August 25th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
This is a great idea -- it's nice to think ImpSec aren't quite perfect.
sharaith: tinselsharaith on August 27th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
This fic had me laughing out loud! Your portrayal of all the characters is spot on - not to mention your portrayal of ImpSec. Even the best security institutions screw up... a lot.

Really enjoyed this - thanks for posting!
shimotsuki: vorkosiganshimotsuki on August 28th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
What a great idea to use the jumpship as a piece of evidence to link Miles's identities!

I enjoyed these glimpses of older versions of the characters, too, especially Galeni and the Koudelkas (I don't suppose they were returning from a trip to the Orb, heh, but maybe they were visiting Mark and Kareen on Beta Colony?).

It seems right that Komarrans (and some Betans) might have that kind of reaction to being out under the open sky -- nice detail.

And I'm glad Henrik gets to know the truth, even if he can't publish it.
Initial Girl: nick heart smileinsatiable_nick on July 16th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
This story is wonderful! Poor Henrik, being mistaken for a spy! But at least he got to meet Miles and get his thesis written up...

Hope you're still about to see that I read the story and enjoyed it :)