- novella featuring Chi yos'Phelium and Fer Gun pen'Uldra
- book 24 in "Adventures in the Liaden Universe"
- See The Books (and other stories)
- mainly on Liad, including some scenes at Jelaza Kazone
- some scenes off-world, trading
- Estimated Standard Year 1324-1325 (see Timeline)
Fer Gun pen'UldraEdit
- Fer Gun pen'Uldra, "the last pen'Uldra"
- Younger than Chi yos'Phelium: "Yes, she could give him a dozen years or more -- yet he was a man grown" (at least 25 Standards)
- Jump pilot - "a very fine pilot indeed"
- "His piloting record" -- she began... "Is astonishing," Petrella finished.
- "Won a scholarship to Anglingdin, despite the deplorable condition of his House...Graduated early from an accelerated course...mastered Jump before he came twenty-four."
- Clan Telrune
- "Clan Telrune is out-world and Low House. We're scoundrels, in a word, and, so I learn, there is not even honor among kinsmen."
- Looks like someone we know:
A young man, rangy and rough, with unruly dark hair tangled 'round a fierce, bony face. The eyes alone would slay dozens, black as space and hard as obsidian. Yet, among all this ferocity, there was a hint of sweetness 'round the mouth; a barely perceptible softness in the jutting chin. Not ruined yet, she thought, but wary as a cat, and dangerous.
- Chi yos'Phelium
- Petrella yos'Galan
- Chi's friend Ilthiria, Lady yo'Lanna, Clan Justus
- clanhouse is Glavda Empri
- Lady yo'Lanna’s husband
- Lady yo'Lanna’s brother, Lord ter'Meulen (Clonak’s dad)
- Kareen yos'Phelium, about 13
- The Tree at Jelaza Kazone
- the dea'Gauss
- Trader Karil Danac-Joenz
- young Daav yos'Phelium and Er Thom yos'Galan, about 8 years old
- Telrune cousin Jai Kob cho'Fadria
- Telrune cousin Vin Dyr cho'Fadria
- Gazette editor Finlee as'Barta
- Fer Gun's grandfather Captain Arl Fed pen'Uldra is described, but he's been dead for a few decades
- Lady Graz
- the small trader Comet
- Clan Korval and pilots
- Trust and Betrayal
- Second Chances and Identity
- Port authorities, proctors, guilds, etc.
- Low Port desperation
- where The Department of the Interior might have been at work, already. Possibly.
Teetering on the edge of the Low Port, the bar was called Wingman's Folly, and the beer was cheap for a reason. The few coins in his pocket might even, Fer Gun thought, stretch to a bowl of soup, though if the food were equal to the quality of the beer... Wingless and broke, near enough; and Jai Kob had set it up; had deliberately schemed to remove the idiot cousin. And that, Fer Gun told himself, taking a cautious sip of his so-called beer, was what came of asking questions.
The important thing was not to slip over the line from Mid-Port to Low. He was accounted good in a fight, but he had no illusions regarding the odds of survival on Low Port for a single, partnerless pilot, wearing space leather and a good pair of boots.
She wore a Jump pilot's jacket, scarred and soft with wear. Her hair was blonde, pulled back into a knot at her nape; her face sharp; her eyes blue. Not a beauty, though she could pass. There was something about her drew and held the eye. She was also, he saw on third look, older than he was. Considerably so.
"That's an extra-size lot of respectability you're wanting," he pointed out. "I did say we're scoundrels."
"You did. But I've no objection to scoundrels, being one myself. What I must have is the seeming of propriety. We will do the thing properly, for the sake of the child, who must be able to deal from a solid foundation."
"You will sit there, and you will read that contract, word by word, and line by line" Lady yo'Lanna told him. "I will not permit you to sully my melant'i by doing otherwise." She rose, and looked down her nose at him. "You will do well to take it as a life-lesson, Pilot pen'Uldra: Always read the contract. Always understand the contract. I will return here in an hour, and I will expect to be told the terms of that document.”
"She had told me that she needs a child who will grow to be a pilot, as the elder child has proven unfit, but –"
Lord ter'Meulen raised his hand, his face in the moment very nearly stern. "The elder child is brilliant, and convenable, and an asset to her House. Merely, she is not a pilot, and Korval House law states that the delm must be a pilot."
Fer Gun felt his face heat. He bowed. "I meant no insult to the lady. Forgive my awkward tongue."
His lordship awarded him a broad smile, all displeasure vanished. "There! That is the mode — sweet and soft-spoken.”