[LMB] SP: WG snippet translation (1/2) -- LONG
vlatka55 at SoftHome.net
Fri, 20 Dec 2002 18:21:31 +0100
OOOPS, I sent the original from the non-registered address, so this is a
Here we go...
This is the first part of the WG snippet translated from the Algoritam
website (pages 5-12 in the .pdf file).
The voice coming out of Armsman Roic's wrist comm belonged to the guard at
the main entrance who laconically reported: "They're in. Main entrance locked."
"All right", responded Roic. "Lowering house shields." He turned towards an
unobtrusive security control board, located next to the carved double door
at the entrance to the main hall of the Vorkosigan House, pressed his palm
to the pad and entered a brief code. Weak buzzing made by the energy
shields guarding the big house went silent.
Roic was staring nervously through one of the tall narrow windows on the
each side of the door, ready to open the door when the milord's groundcar
stops under the portico. Equally nervous was the gaze he swept over his
athletically built body, checking his House livery: half-calf length boots,
polished like a mirror, trousers with fold sharp as a knife, shining silver
embroidery, flawless brown fabric.
His face flushed when he shamefully remembered one less expected arrival to
this same hall--also by Lord Vorkosigan accompanied by his respected
guests--and the blasphemous scene they found there, which included
Escobaran bounty hunters and slimy bug butter debacle. It was a moment when
Roic looked like a fool, almost naked, except for an abundant coating of
sticky slime. He could still hear reproachful, ironic voice of Lord
Vorkosigan piercing his eardrums like a razor --_Arsman Roic, you appear to
be out of uniform. _
_He thinks I am an idiot._ Worse, the Escobaran invasion breached the House
security and, even though technically not on duty--_he was asleep_, damn
it--he was in the house, and because of this on call in an emergency.
Milord dismissed him from the scene just with a resigned _Roic... go get a
bath,_ which sounded much sterner and reproachful than a shouted dressing-down.
Roic checked his livery one more time.
Long shiny groundcar stopped next to the paved path with hiss. The front
canopy opened over a driver, a frighteningly competent Armsman Pym. He
released the back canopy, and hurried around the vehicle in order to help
milord and his company. The senior Armsman, in passing, managed to spare
glance towards the narrow window, his gaze coldly passing over Roic and
checking the hall behind his back, as to make sure that no unexpected
dramas were waiting there. These were the Very Important Galactic Wedding
Guests, Pym had gotten into Roic's head. Roic could conclude that by
himself from the fact that milord went personally to the shuttleport to
greet them--but then again Pym was there for the bug butter disaster. Since
that day his instructions to Roic consisted of monosyllabic words, and no
circumstances were ever left to chance.
A short figure in a well tailored grey tunic and trousers jumped out of the
vehicle first: that was Lord Vorkosigan showing the house with sweeping arm
movements, never stopping talking over his shoulder and proudly smiling in
welcome. When the carved doors opened wide in one sweep, letting in the
cold winter night Vorbarr Sultana air and few shiny snow crystals, Roic
stood to attention and began silently matching people with the security
list he received. The tall woman was holding a baby wrapped in a blanket;
the slim and smiling guy bustled around her. These must be the
Bothari-Jeseks. Madame Elena Bothari-Jesek was the daughter of the late and
legendary Armsman Bothari; her right of access to the House Vorksigan,
where she grew up together with the milord was undisputable, Pym made sure
that Roic understood. He almost did not need the silver discs of jump pilot
neural circuitry at the forehead and the temples in order to identify the
shorter and middle aged man as the Betan jump pilot, Arde Mayhew--should a
jump pilot look like he had a jump sickness? Milord's mother, the Countess
Vorkosigan, was Betan as well; and the shuddering blinking pilot was one of
the least frightening people Roic had ever seen. That, on the other hand,
could not apply to the last guest. Roic's eyes opened wide.
The huge figure started to pull out of the ground car, got up... and
continued getting up. Pym, almost as tall as Roic, couldn't even reach to
the creature's shoulder. It fluttered the folds of a military cut
grey-white coat and threw back its head. The light from above caught its
face and reflected of were those _canines,_ folded over the protruding
The process of elimination led to the conclusion that the creature was one
marked on the security lists as _Sgt. Taura._ Pym let Roic know that this
was one of the milord's war comrades and at that--he should not be fooled
by the rank-- the one of some _special_, although somewhat mysterious
importance, as mysterious as was everything connected to the former Lord
Miles Vorkosigan's service in the Imperial Security. Pym himself was also a
former ImpSec man. Roic wasn't, a fact he was reminded of, oh, on the
average, about three times a day.
On Lord Vorkosigan insistence the entire company spilled over into the main
hall, shaking off snow covered garments, laughing and talking. The thick
coat flew off these tall shoulders as a fluttering sail, and its owner
turned deftly on one leg and folded the coat to turn it in. Roic flinched
backwards in order to avoid being caught by the heavy mahogany colored
braid that flew by him, so he swung forwards and found himself face in
nose in looking straight in to the most unexpected cleavage framed by a
pink silk in a deep [V shaped cut of the neckline]. Roic lifted his eyes.
The protruding jaw was smooth and beardless. Strange eyes the color of pale
amber, their irises framed by a thin line, lowered towards him. In those
eyes, he could find, just as he was afraid of, a certain dose of merriment.
_Her_ canine framed smile was distinctly unnerving.
Pym was efficiently coordinating the staff and luggage. Lord Vorkosigan's
voice startled Roic and made him focus again. "Roic, have the Count and
Countess returned from their dinner appointment?"
"About twenty minutes ago, my lord. They retired to their apartment to change."
Lord Vorkosigan addressed the women with the child that was attracting the
cooing maids. "My parents would skin me alive if I didn't take _you_
straight to them. Come. Mother can hardly wait to meet her namesake. I
predict that little Cordelia will have the Countess Cordelia wrapped around
her chubby little fingers in about three and a half seconds. Max."
He turned and started climbed up the big curved staircase, leading the
Bothari-Jeseks and shouting over his shoulder: "Roic, show Arde and Taura
to their assigned rooms and make sure that they get everything they need.
When all of you are freshened up or whatnot, we'll meet in the library.
Refreshments will be served there."
So, this was Sergeant Taura. One could find such in the galaxy, and even
milord's mother used to be a famous Betan military officer. _But this is
one bloody enormous mutant officer,_ was the thought strongly suppressed by
Roic. Such backcountry prejudice did not belong in _this_ household. Even
though she was clearly bioengineered; there was no doubt about that. He
composed himself enough to say: "May I take your bag, er... sergeant?"
"Oh... all right." With a suspicious glance she gave the bag that was slung
over her shoulder over to him. Pink polish on her nails did not quite
succeed in masking their claw-like appearance, as hard and efficient as
leopards'. The weight of the bag almost dislocated Roic's shoulder. He
managed to smile desperately, than started to dragging the bag up the
stairs with both hands.
He took care of the tired pilot first. Sergeant Taura's second floor guest
room was a modernized one, equipped with a private bath, and located just
around the corner from the milord's own private apartment. She lifted her
arm, drew her claw
over the ceiling, and smiled, clearly approving of tree meters head room in
"So," she said, turning towards him, "does the Barrayaran custom consider
winter weddings to be especially favorable?"
"They are not as frequent as the summer ones. I think this one is taking
place now because the milord's fianci is on break between two semesters at
Her thick bows rose in surprise: "Is she a student?"
"Yes, ma'am." He assumed that female sergeants should be addressed as
_ma'am._ Pym would know.
"I wasn't aware that she is such a _young_ lady."
"No, ma'am. Madame Vorsoisson is a widow- she has a son, Nikki, who is nine
years old. He is crazy about jump ships. Would you know--does that pilot of
yours like children?" Mayhew was sure to work like a magnet on Nikki.
"Well, now... I don't know. I don't think that Arde knows himself. In a
free mercenary fleet, he hardly ever meets any children."
So, this meant he would have to watch out that little Nikki didn't meet
with a painful refusal. In the circumstances, milord and the future milady
may not be able to give him all the customary attention.
Sergeant Taura walked around the room noting its comfortable furniture with
approval--at least Roic hoped so, then threw a glance through the window at
the back garden, covered with snow glittering under security lights. "Well,
I suppose it makes sense that he had to marry one of his Vor women." Her
nose rippled. "So are these Vor a social class, a military caste, or what?
I could never get that form Miles's tales. To her him talking about theme,
one would think it is matter of religion. Or at least _his_ religion."
Roic blinked, confused. "Well, no. And yes. All of that. The Vor
"So now, in modernized Barraryar, don't the other classes have any
complaints against the hereditary aristocracy?"
"But they are _our_ Vor."
"Says the Barrayaran. Hm. So, _you_ are allowed to criticize them, but God
help any outsider who would dare to do so?"
"Yes," he said, feeling relieved that she got the meaning despite his
tongue stumbling over the actual words.
"A family matter. _I understand._" Her wide smile turned to frown that was,
in fact, much less frightening--the canines were not so visible. The
fingers clutching the curtains unconsciously clawed through the expensive
fabric; flinching, she released her hand and put it behind her back. Her
voice went soft: "So, she is Vor, all that is just great. But does she