[LMB] Tien

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Fri, 16 May 2003 04:03:59 -0400

-- Paula Lieberman
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Newman" <pnewman at gci.net>

> >  CatMtn at aol.com wrote
> > lois-bujold-request at lists.herald.co.uk writes:
> > Isn't that an awfully selfish and short-sighted view for a man with a
> > and son?
> Yes, from our point of view but if you think like an old fashioned
> Barrayaran it's not so clear. If Tien suicides before the dystrophy
> becomes obvious he protects his family name (not just Ekaterin and

Would it?  Nikki would -still- have the syndrome and suffer from it,
Ekaterin would be minus her savings still, Tien's illegalities, corruption,
and malfeasance would likely jeopardize away of a widow's pension to Nikki,
and if anything came out, the level of disgrace posthumously would be even

> Nikki, but also his siblings, their children, etc.) from horrible
> disgrace. In his job he'd have a good opportunity to make it look
> like a work related accident, thus securing Ekaterin a pension.
> If he failed to make it look accidental its still better that Nikki
> be poor than that he be known as a mutie. Considering what Miles

Again, how would this protect Nikki, who's got the defect?  It's no kindness
to Nikki, especially, because it's treatable and correctable with Nexus
medical technology.   It's -not- going to come out later?!

> went through he may even be right about that and since Tien knew
> that Ekaterin's family could take care of her it's likely they would
> have gotten by. Therefore his death would be an ideal solution (from
> a Time of Isolation mindset).
>  > Especially since the son has inherited the problem from him--or
> > does he plan to kill Nikki when he suicides and leave Ekaterin alone and
> > stranded?  Also--Ekaterin did not see any signs of Tien being anything
but in
> > denial about the whole thing.
> Ekaterin is not able to judge Tien as effectively as she might
> if she did not (rightfully) hate him for his behavior.

But, Tien did NOT act "honorably" -- he was a corrupt official, he
"invested" worse than the Counts Vorkosigan who were known for investments
that failed -- not because the ideas were flawed, but because happenstance
caused the investments by the Counts Vorkosigan go sour [perhaps Mark's
safety from that fate, is because he's not likely to become Count
Vorkosigan....] -- in bad quality "investments and squandered money that
should have been kept saved on risky bad quality "investments.... his
treatment of his wife was dishonorable, etc.  Looking at Tien from an old
fashioned Barrayaran viewpoint, he was an unfit husband and unfit father,
and -defective-.   Hiding the bad genetics was not something that
old-fashioned Barrayarans were likely to value/appreciate/respect --
consider that "-Barrayar was the only planet where when shooting was going
on, people rushed into -into- the shooting to get in the way, instead of
running from it-"  [not exact words, of course... from Warriors Apprentice
late in the book, when the shooting starts on Barrayar in Gregor's presence
and the rush was on to shield Gregor from the firing and grab the
shooter(s), IIRC].