[LMB] Re: [DI 10 SPOILERS]

Betsy Hosler hosler at helix.mgh.harvard.edu
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 17:12:26 -0500


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>> LouAnn wrote:
>>Oh, I get it. The Cetas around Rho Ceta are wigging out because the 1000
>> replicators were stolen from them. Given a small enough haut community on
>> Rho, that might well be the entire haut baby consignment for the planet for
>> the year.
>>
>> So how'd ba do it, WHY did ba do it, where does AquaBoy fit in and what
>> happened to Solian?
>

Someone speculated about Athos involvement. I don't think so - that was a
girl baby Miles saw. Athos wouldn't be ordering a bunch of *girls* (oo,
ick).


>Agnes wrote:
>
>I was betting on it being the whole yearly shipment of haut-babies, with
>the Ba being either the villain who highjacked the shipment for reasons
>unknown, or the hero trying to save it from a secessioning Rho Ceta
>governor/Ghem takeover/protectorate uprising.
>
>But then I thought, hypothesis #1 is a rehash of EoA and hypothesis #2
>is a rehash of Cetaganda. And Lois is usually not that obvious.
>

I'd considered earlier the idea that something caused the Rho baby shipment
to go astray and end up on Komarr (lots of trading through there, so not
unexpected as a destination). While some Ceta factions would like trouble
with Barrayar, I don't think they'd deliberately risk a baby shipment to
get an Incident. Also, I agree, a haut faction fight seems like a rehash
that Lois wouldn't do. Doesn't seem likely the baby shipment ship would be
discreet or unknown - though maybe it would, for security? And got caught
up in something else by accident? I don't think Dubauer would be the
villain. It is a fairly old, experienced ba, engineered for loyalty, and
likely in a position of trust.

Hummm, maybe Aquaboy's faction tried to hijack the ship and hold the babies
for ransom or something they wanted the haut to do - genetic mods to
improve their aquafit? Or revenge for having done the aquafit? Do we know
anything about water-type planets in the Vorkosiverse (hi, Diane)? Are the
Cetas secretly colonizing a water-planet? Don't think the baby shipment
would be going there intentionally- if there's enough haut to receive a
baby shipment, the colony would have to be fairly large to support that
size a haut population in the manner in which they're accustomed. Also, Rho
Ceta wouldn't be so upset.

For that matter, if Aquaboy's faction would benefit from a Barrayar/Ceta
Incident, they might have arranged for the ship to end up on Komarr with
enough damage that it can't just turn around and go home. Specialized ship,
with special pilot - kill him/her, and the ship's useless. (But that's sort
of Arde Mayhew's situation in reverse...) No way the Cetas would admit one
of their baby ships had gone astray and simply ask for it back.


Dubauer catches up with the baby shipment, or was accompanying it already,
and is told to arrange for a discreet return trip, to avoid incidents and
loss of haut genetic material. Not by a direct route, so as to avoid the
initial trouble spot. (How much direct Komarr/Ceta traffic is there?) The
Komarran trade fleets are known to be very secure with their escorts, so it
heads out with the fleet, arranging transport back from Xerxes. The
arrangements for cargo seem fairly secure and easily kept secretive, though
Komarran traders probably wouldn't be very curious about a shipment of
livestock being held until a fleet is going in the right direction.
This doesn't fit with Dubauer making reservations 6 weeks in advance,
though. Unless... How early are the replicators sent out? Are they sent
near term or near beginning? If near beginning, then Dubauer might have
figured it had time  to wait for the fleet heading in the most convenient
direction. These must have left the Creche fairly early - 6 weeks on
Komarr, 6 weeks in transit to Graf Station, approx 2 weeks on Station,
approx week to next destination. Miles estimates his and Ekaterin's travel
time back to Barrayar as 2 weeks, so maybe 3 weeks from Xerxes to Rho Ceta?
That's at least 4 months Dubauer has had the cargo. If he's concerned about
them reaching term soon... Dubauer's original travel estimate might have
had them back on Rho Ceta 3-4 weeks before due dates, which sounded safe
enough.


Agnes wrote:
>And the idea that Miles's genes might be included in every single one of
>these babies... Considering his excitement about the two babies being
>cooked up at home, and the fact that he suggested starting 12 of them at
>the same time, this would be... Ak! The mind boggles!!!
>

I don't think so. The haut always test any mods in ba first. The earliest
Miles/ba would be approx Miles age, which by haut standards is too soon to
tell whether it's a successful experiment. I doubt they'd test only one
generation before including the mods in haut, so any Miles/haut, if they
exist, would be years in the future yet. Aside from the fact that I've
always thought haut Rian meant she would remember Miles because she was
becoming Empress because of the incident rather than any DNA she'd taken
from him.

But it would be just what Miles deserved, having to deal with 1000 born
babies until he could get them back to Rho Ceta.... "You want me to find
*how* many wetnurses, my Lord Auditor?" (yes, yes, more likely bottle-fed,
but still...)


So, what diplomatic concessions could Miles/Barrayar get from The Cetas in
return for safe delivery of their baby shipment? Have to prove they weren't
responsible for hijacking it first...

Betsy H.
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