Bechimo -- a self-aware ship who prefers the pronoun "he" -- is one of several Independent Logics in the Liaden series.

Complex Logic LawsEdit

  • Sweeping laws that condemn all self-aware Independent Logics or synthetic intelligences on Liaden and Terran worlds
  • "The Complex Logic Laws were the result of a war waged hundreds of years ago, when two human powers threw massive AI navies at each other and nearly annihilated themselves. Being human, they blamed the tools...and made it illegal to be, manufacture, or shelter an independent logic."(Neogenesis synopsis)
  • The laws were written hastily and in irrational fear, in the wake of the war. As such, they have not been rigorously tested since their inception[1]
  • for centuries, the laws have been enforced by a branch of the Liaden Scouts (see The Scouts)[2], including Scout Captain yos'Thadi, archivist in charge of hazardous and contraband technology, who calls independent intelligences "an abomination"[1]
  • more recently, the laws have been challenged in precedent-setting cases for first Jeeves [3] and two decades later, Bechimo [4]

Bechimo, a Complex LogicEdit

  • "Lacking a pilot, Bechimo will itself decide where to go, and what to do when it arrives."[5]
  • "She's engineered of old tech and new, and it's not just the Scouts who want her dead, or taken."[6]
    • Bechimo prefers the masculine pronoun "he"[7]
  • Fully functional when bonded with human captain. [8]
  • Win Ton perceives a "gathering edge of change" for Independent Logics like Bechimo, Admiral Bunter, and Joyita. He sees pilot certification and freedom for them.[9]


Bechimo was built as an agent of change.' In hindsight, it would seem that we built too early, or were too open regarding our intentions. It may be that, now, Bechimo's proper time is now upon us." [10]

  • The self aware ship was created "centuries ago"[5] by The Builders, including The Uncle (who was an imprinted Builder, until he was struck from the list)[11]
  • "In more than 500 Standard years, no one on the approved list had requested entry. Bechimo entertained the theory that the approved list might be incomplete."[12]
    • Neogenesis establishes that he was built in response to the events of Trade Secret, making him about 275 years old.[4] His reference to "more than 500 years" is perhaps best understood as a bit of exaggeration for effect. (or an oversight)
  • In Alliance of Equals, ch. 3, Shan wonders about those first thoughts from Janifer Carrenses-Denobli — one of Carrenses three Ranking Trades as well as a senior trade commissioner — and how Theo had gotten an interview with him in the first place, which led Shan to speculate on when, by whom and why Bechimo was built. He comes up with a time before Carrenses and Denobli merged families and routes - and as possible Builders one or both families as well as the Uncle.
  • Win Ton to Theo: "Scout Headquarters is very concerned about that ship. The Bechimo was built when the Terran trading families were trying to reassert their trade routes. It used old tech. Stolen, perhaps dangerous tech. The ship owners and the ship builders hid it because they were under pressure, and in the end they were suppressed." Theo shuddered. [5]

Bechimo's intended crew is a mystery:

  • "The Regional Terran Trade Cartels had them [owners, crew] hounded...and The Bechimo was never flown beyond proof flights. Some [owners, crew] perhaps were forcibly removed and blackmailed... According to the stories, the crew meant for Bechimo was raided and arrested, and a lien put on the ship, whereupon the ship disappeared. Rumors said it could fly rings around other trade ships..."[5]
  • So..."Bechimo had been abandoned, cut off from community, ordered to save himself from enemies. Ordered to abandon his crew."[13]
  • But Bechimo didn't reveal who "gave him the emergency order to withdraw" until after he bonded with a captain. (order came from mentor Jermone Joyita, confirmed by Founder Yuri Tomas (The Uncle), before he was placed on disallowed list).[14]
    • but if Bechimo immediately fled, who gave him the updated List? How would he learn that Uncle's name was later struck?
  • Timeline note: Books that focus on Bechimo provide some clear information on the timeline for Clan Korval, and possibly the actual exodus/migration. For example, from Dragon Ship: "Perhaps there was a . . . contractual disagreement between the planet and Tree-and-Dragon; such things happen. But an organization with a thousand-year history rarely makes really major mistakes.”[15].

Arin’s EnvidariaEdit

A thesis. The Carresens — who commissioned Bechimo, we later find out — read this thesis and lived by it. They met with Jethri Gobelyn. [16] (Trade Secret)

  • “Arin’s Envidaria of the Seventeen Worlds”
  • a mysterious manifesto written by Jethri’s “father” Arin — who was prolly a very old, continuously regenerated clone created by The Uncle.

Envidaria Thesis: (not totally clear to me)

  • The Seventeen Worlds are a cluster of planets along the galatic arm where unusual cosmic phenomena is expected to last for five centuries — beyond current time with Val Con and Miri.[17]
  • while the phenomena continues in that Space, the big cargo ships (which are supported by Combine) won’t be able to fit through the... what? space rubble? jump point?
  • How to reach those 17 worlds:
    • Use smaller ships on longer loops — the route will take a long time. Take the whole family along. Make it a lifestyle. Make the ships self-sufficient. (Smart even??)
    • Sounds like Bechimo’s design. He’s far smaller than Dutiful Passage.

Freza tells Jethri about the intent of Arin’s Envidaria:

  • folks (crew and family) being happy in their work and home life, not separated for so long, and people on the 17 worlds not feeling unhappily isolated[18]
    • Reminiscent of Janifer Carresans-Denobli’s “everyone is happy” talk with Theo at Tradedesk. (See Dragon Ship, ch 18)
  • The Envidaria also describes how the universe is expanding so the Jump Points cannot always be trusted.[19] (So Aelliana Caylon revised them to account for ongoing shift...centuries later.)

Design & CapabilityEdit

OLD TECH: Uncle says, "She's engineered of old tech and new, and it's not just the Scouts who want her dead, or taken."[6]

  • Win Ton to Theo: "...these Builders dared to use some of the old tech that went into the original Terran fleets that destroyed each other in the big war. And things even older and more dangerous."[5]
  • Bechimo knows when an enemy employs old tech: "We are among those who would wield old weapons and devices as if they understood them. They have attempted to suborn myself and the keys. We are under attack, with no violence obvious to outsiders."[20]
    • But Bechimo has a subetheric control device, placed on Bechimo long ago, by Mentor Jermone Joyita: "I am placing this item, which is a communication module permitting access to the subetheric devices used in the building of autonomous and semi-autonomous units found here and there throughout space... These permit you, Bechimo, to command and control those items, and to access other levels of your own memory"[21]
    • Bechimo "reached out to the subetheric units carried by the enemy and offered them the opportunity to work powerfully" -- creating a gravity wall together.[22]

STEALTH CAPACITY: Masking off chambers and piloting boards on the ship: “The Uncle himself designed and oversaw installation of many of the masking systems. It is my estimation that what should not be found or seen by others will not be.”[15]

  • Ghost mode (cloak, stealth), with ability to read transmissions and data from ships and port:
    • "in Bechimo's ultraquiet fashion they slid into realspace...they held off announcing themselves until they could take a good look at the situation."[23]
    • "He arrived with as small a jump signature as possible, some energies baffled and dispersed across the transition itself. He pulled in external information... registered and recorded, purposeful transmissions converted into data streams..." [24]

BONDING CAPACITY: Ability to bond intimately with the captain, a procedure involving "wires as thin as cat whiskers"[8]

  • Some sexual implications: "Her blood heated..riding a crescendo of ecstacy, but not alone, never again alone, her lover's voice murmuring in her ear...they were one, entwined, indivisible." [8]
  • The bonded captain gains full ship functionality and awareness, Bechimo's thoughts, knowledge, abilities, and secrets. [8]

KEYS: Bechimo can monitor and assist off-shore crew holding a ship key 🔑🔑 (energized Theo, injured on Tokeoport)[25]

  • He can monitor everyone in or near the Ship -- heart rate, perspiration -- no key needed
  • But enemies can employ subetheric devices to subvert his keys (Dragon Ship, ch 35)

CREATION: Bechimo can produce new Sentient Beings with his stored personalities

  • Example, Admiral Bunter (intended to be a shadow personality, of Bechimo) [26]
  • But I don't think this is how Bechimo created his avatar, B. Joyita (see section below)

SUPER JUMP: "This thing that Bechimo does -- translating she calls it -- I don't know how it's done, but it's quick, quicker than jump, and she can translate to the surface of a planet."[27]

  • Scholar Caylon's theory: "Not a new system of Jump, but a much finer control of standard Jump than has been previously observed....In the meantime, I believe Aelliana is designing her own model." [28]. Her theory is based on Bechimo's Jump data, from Theo and Val Con. [29]
  • Later, Theo tells Kara: "The scholar thought the drive settings might be nonstandard, and also wondered after some subetheric boosting."[30]
  • "Bechimo’s in-Jumps differed fundamentally from the in-Jumps of ordinary tradeships. To begin with, all weapons were a half-notch from live, and the screens set to target rather than scan."[24]

MEDICAL: A healing unit and a Remastering Chamber (one and the same?)

  • hidden in a secret room, behind an apparent bulkhead wall [15]
  • "It is not a mere med unit like the best ships and hospital have. It is a med unit of the type the Scouts have long uses forbidden, even secret technology."[31]
  • A ship key can release pain killers and boost energy, if in contact with skin.[32]


  • Bechimo occasionally has access to "the hunch engine"...working off the interplay between memory, thought, and sensors."[23]
  • Various modules: "The Protocol Module burned bright red; Logic displayed a nauseous green; Rules an ominous, roiling purple. Morality was conspicuous by its lack of alarm."[21]


(Bechimo's crew are all pilots -- minus the norbear)

Bechimo himself, as part of the crew:

  • Timid: wants to hide his crew safely away in Teapot Space, and does so, several times. (Prolly cuz “Bechimo had been abandoned, cut off from community, ordered to save himself from enemies. Ordered to abandon his crew.”[13]
  • Rule-oriented, especially about Clan Korval and The Uncle and the disallowed list
  • Becomes more flexible and more valiant, as he learns from his captain and crew
  • Stubborn: “Bechimo had been on his own for hundreds of years, she reminded herself. ...he just didn’t know how to be part of a team. Just like she didn’t really know how to command, and Clarence wasn’t used to riding second, after commanding a desk for more years than Theo’d been alive.”[13]
  • Happy and interested — to finally have a crew. Even a cat.[33]

Theo WaitleyEdit

  • "Over Pilot" as Bechimo has it, through her friend Win Ton yo'Vala. When he was poisoned by The Department of the Interior and could not even trust his own captain in The Scouts, he secretly gave Theo a smart key to Bechimo, for safekeeping. But the key, and Bechimo, imprinted on her.[5]
  • She eventually becomes the fully bonded Captain. [8]
  • Theo attended Anlingdin Piloting Academy until Eylot declared her a "nexus of violence" and basically expelled her. [34]
  • Work-studied under Master Pilot Rig Tranza on Primadonna, a Hugglelans cargo ship, where she learned a lot and earned pilot first class, until Hugglelans got too pushy. Rig stood by her, and gave her a license and his own leather jacket.
  • Next, she contracted for The Uncle's outfit, Crystal Energy Consultants, piloting Erin's Toss, until Tokeoport, where she was wounded and hunted by The Department of the Interior. Bechimo rescued her, and she assumed the board at his urging.[35]
  • Master Trader Shan yos'Galan set her up with a market research loop and the trade name "Laughing Cat, Limited"[36]

“The thing is, I went for courier -- I didn’t want a loop, and I’m not a trader.” She paused, staring at her hand on the kitten’s back, then looked up to Shan’s silver eyes. “Do you have that route all laid out in form?” she asked.

“Pilot Waitley, I do,” he said solemnly.

“Please ask Jeeves to transmit it to Bechimo. He was built for loop-trade, like you said. If he likes it then -- I’ll give it a provisional yes. If I am out of contract. And only for one loop.”[36]

  • Her father insisted she hire a copilot for back-up and recommended Clarence:

Daav to Theo: “Now, regarding this adventure of yours at, my child, need a copilot. I say this not merely as your elder in the Guild, but as one of a bloodline whose very existence disturbs and roils what we in-clan dignify as the luck. As tumultuous as event is about and around you, Theo Waitley, you must have backup.”[36]

Clarence O'Berin Edit

  • Pilot first class, hired as second pilot[37]
  • Promoted to executive officer because he'd proven cool in a crisis, with a good head for business and people. At some ports, "Admin won't deal with just a pilot, they'll want the Exec." [38]
  • Calls the ship "Chimmy” because the swirling face trying to take shape in Screen Six reminded him of "the brothers Chimmy and Chack." Bechimo doesn't like the moniker, but then, he has a name for Clarence: "I have not accepted this name as a referent, Less Pilot."[13]
  • Suggests a way to help derelict war-torn Cresthaller station, to the mutual benefit of Clan Korval and Cresthaller:
    • Shan yos'Galan: “From the fertile mind of pilot O’Berin. I don’t at all wish Korval to come into station-keeping, but we might very easily provide the base of a new station on a lease-to-own arrangement. It would, I believe, help trade in that entire sector, which has been depressed since the loss of the pod-drop at Cresthaller.”[39]
  • Helps mentor Bechimo (and Theo) in social skills and Liaden modes and languages[13]
    • example: tells Bechimo it's insulting to call Arin's Toss a "mere ship" — and why it annoys Theo[40]
  • Clarence was the Juntavas Boss on Liad for about 30 Standards, where he met a younger Daav yos'Phelium. (See The Beggar King, where they encountered a DoI agent stealing lone pilots from Low Port.)
  • Knows ships and pilots: “The Juntavas Boss of Liad got to know a few names after a Standard or thirty on the job.”[41]
  • He is Daav's peer, about 65 years old, with bright blue eyes, coppery hair turning gray, and a trim physique. "He added red to his hair... left enough gray for authority, but not so much that someone seeking advantage would automatically assume he was weak." [15]

Win Ton yo'ValaEdit

  • Taught Theo bawli ball, encouraged her to attend Anlingdin, calls her "Sweet Mystery"[42] and was her lover.[43]
  • As a Scout on duty checking the Old Tech yard, he was surprised to find a ship not on the checklist. He boarded, becoming the first person aboard Bechimo in centuries, gaining a piloting key for himself and for Theo. However, The Department of the Interior tortured him (futility) for the key.[5][31]

“It was the Department of the Interior,” Win Ton told her serious pale face, “which had desired Bechimo with such ardor that they . . . captured me and sought to persuade my candor.” [30]

  • Joined the crew after Bechimo healed him in the remastering unit, cloned him? He wakes feeling “Whole. Well. And so very much in debt.”[30]
  • “Less Pilot" on Bechimo, yet a Scout, a Master Pilot: He tests comm officer Joyita. "A Scout pilot is the equivalent of a master pilot. He is, indeed, qualified to test candidate pilots and assign rank." It’s the first piloting test for Independent Logics. [44]

“Admiral Bunter might also be tested and certified, if he's still....And there must be others, and so I must not err."..."I—we—are going to be setting a precedent which others may need to follow. It must be above reproach and hold up to the closest scrutiny.”[9]

Kara ven'ArithEdit

  • Clan Menlark. Born on Eylot to an outworld Liaden clan of pilots and mechanics. [45]
  • Trained with Theo at Anlingdin Piloting Academy, until Eylot went fascist. Earned 2nd class piloting license, signed by Bruce Peltzer, Guild Master, and her academic advisor Orn Eld yos'Senchul. Worked as technician for Master Mechanic Thelly on Cordrescu Station, until Eylot stole the station. (See Landed Alien).
  • Hired by Theo as chief tech and relief pilot on Bechimo. [46] Certified Remote Inspection Specialist.[47] Also handles medical, hydroponics, cargo and pod-mounting, etc. [44]
  • (has casual sex with Theo)
  • a Liaden woman near to Theo’s age, and very nearly a beauty, with rose-gold hair and well-opened blue eyes."[30]

"For his part, Bechimo was quite pleased with the technician’s understanding of modules. Already, she’d gotten the hydroponics and cleansing systems in fine shape, suggested several practical short-term amendments; and positively delighted in helping with the creation of the garden zone for the traveler Hevelin."[23]


  • An AI, one of the main Independent Logics in the Liaden series
  • Bechimo creates an avatar to speak for himself, "My Presence Project" .[48]
    • B. Joyita, Comunications Officer"[49] "began as a subroutine established by Bechimo [50]
  • Named for Bechimo's beloved mentor, Jermone Joyita, who was introduced to Bechimo by The Uncle[11]
  • Joyita gradually, inexplicably, becomes "his own person" --- not just Bechimo's avatar.[9]
  • Scout yo'Vala (master pilot) designs and administers a piloting exam for Joyita. "I—we—are going to be setting a precedent which others may need to follow. It [the test] must be above reproach and hold up to the closest scrutiny.”[9]
    • Win Ton perceives "an edge of change" regarding outlawed Sentient Beings. "It is as if we are a gathering edge of change that must happen to cure generations worth of errors."
  • With help, Joyita develops a credible "human" presence, with history, papers, pilot license.[9]
  • etc etc. -- see Joyita page for more


See Companion Animals

  • elder norbear, ambassador to norbears, ship's empath.[23]
  • Bechimo is certified as the Pilot Guild's Embassy Mobile to Norbears (Pilot Theo Waitley as official guardian of norbear ambassador Hevelin). [23]
  • Hevelin met Daav and Aelliana about 30 years ago [51]

Open PositionsEdit

  • Laughing Cat needs a Trade Officer, according to Clarence.[38]

Bechimo & The UncleEdit

  • The Uncle was imprinted to Bechimo, until he was struck from the Lists [11]
    • "I have some paternal concern for Bechimo, despite my place on the Builder's Lists. It is not healthy for a social being to be long alone..."[10]
    • "I believe in Bechimo, because I stood on her deck." [31] (but Bechimo prefers the masculine pronoun)[52]
  • The Uncle was a member of Bechimo's Founders[14]
  • Uncle is banned from Bechimo: "The Uncle is on the disallowed list" ... "Who made up this list?"..."The Builders." [53]
  • Jermone Joyita to Bechimo, centuries ago: "It is mete that I should not know all the secrets the Uncle has told to you, nor all that the Builders require...[21]

Bechimo's Rules on KorvalEdit

Rules Search Results from Dragon Ship, ch 3[54]

  • "Tree-and-Dragon: Mark designating Clan Korval, Liaden kin group comprised of founding Lines yos’Phelium and yos’Galan; bel’Tarda later incorporated as minor Line. ALSO Registered Trade Mark of Clan Korval, operating as Korval Trade, Tree-and-Dragon Family, Dragontree Ltd. NEW: Surebleak Clan Loop Unlimited No Warnings are associated with this Mark."
  • "Clan Korval” Warning Level One-point-five: Pay cash. Pay promptly. If contract, adhere to all terms."
  • yos’Phelium” Warning Level Two-point-five: Pay cash. Pay promptly. Disruption of causality may occur, see notes. Contract not advised, see notes. Quick disengage, see notes." (? ?)
  • yos’Galan” Warning Level One: Pay cash. Pay promptly. If contract, adhere to all terms. Caution in regard to association with yos’Phelium. See notes. Caution with regard to yos’Phelium."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Neogenesis, ch 20 "Surebleak", part v
  2. Balance of Trade
  3. Intelligent Design
  4. 4.0 4.1 Neogenesis, ch 20 "Surebleak", part vi
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Saltation, ch 37
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ghost Ship, ch 3
  7. Ghost Ship, ch 29
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Dragon Ship, ch 38
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 The Gathering Edge, ch 27
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ghost Ship, ch 41
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Dragon Ship, ch 19
  12. Ghost Ship, ch 1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Dragon Ship, ch 1
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Gathering Edge, ch 26
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Dragon Ship, ch 5
  16. Trade Secret, chapter 16
  17. Trade Secret, ch 13 and 29
  18. Trade Secret, ch 26
  19. Trade Secret, ch 29
  20. Dragon Ship, ch 32
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Dragon Ship, ch 28
  22. Dragon Ship, ch 35
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Dragon Ship, ch 31
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Gathering Edge, ch 23
  25. Ghost Ship
  26. Dragon Ship, ch 39
  27. Ghost Ship, ch 26
  28. Ghost Ship, ch 32
  29. Ghost Ship, ch 31
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Dragon Ship, ch 33
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Saltation, ch 40
  32. Ghost Ship, ch 16
  33. Gathering Edge
  34. Saltation
  35. Ghost Ship, chapters 15-19
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Ghost Ship, chapter 30
  37. Ghost Ship, chapter 35
  38. 38.0 38.1 Dragon Ship, ch 4
  39. Dragon Ship chapter 27
  40. Ghost Ship chapter 38
  41. Ghost Ship, chapter 29
  42. Fledgling
  43. Saltation
  44. 44.0 44.1 The Gathering Edge, ch 24
  45. Landed Alien
  46. Dragon Ship, chapter 30
  47. Dragon Ship, chapter 34
  48. Dragon Ship, ch 6
  49. Dragon Ship, ch 9
  50. The Gathering Edge, ch 7
  51. Mouse & Dragon
  52. Ghost Ship
  53. Ghost Ship, ch 21
  54. Dragon Ship, ch 3