[LMB] Devious Beta (was Re: Ezar (no talk about religion here, honest))

phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Wed Sep 14 03:41:22 BST 2011

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 05:14:24PM -0500, Thomas C Vinson wrote:

> Aral's grandmother was the primary agent in a deep-laid
> Betan plot to control Barrayar and Cetaganda.  Through her

List has seen ideas like this before.  I think someone had Ezar or Negri
as conscious Betan agents.  No, I don't recall how that worked.

> network of confidants she was able to persuade Ezar to
> destroy a large part of the Barrayaran armed forces -- the
> most belligerent ones -- were sent to their deaths.

> Much later the Betan masterminds plotted how to make Betan

I don't know what incident you're thinking of, where Ezar destroys the
armed forces.  There's the Escobar invasion, but that was like a few
weeks before Cordelia's departure.

> Unfortunately their chosen candidate didn't make it through
> the Imperial Academy.  So they cleverly arranged for a
> jumpship to be available when he showed up on-planet.  The

They would need godlike psych profiles and coincidence control to
predict Miles doing anything like he did.

We know nothing of Xav's wife (except having worked in the foreign
service, I think) so she could easily be a spy/agent/Mata Hari.
Cordelia... I think it's simplest to assume that the Beta-side events of
Shards are her *cover story*.

"Hey guys, so here's the scoop.  [SergPlotDump] They're even more messed
up than I imagined.  But I'm in love with Aral. Like, seriously."

"That's messed up, girl.  But whatev, it takes all kinds.  Hmm. Aral's
clearly trusted a lot by Ezar, who's dying; Aral will probably either be
killed for knowing too much or leaned on heavily for the regency.  We
could use you there -- and you'd likely do more good if they think
you're estranged from Beta.  So, start acting stressed -- we can help
with that, if needed -- and when you get home, you can kick Freddy in
the nuts at the 'surprise' reception.  Not too hard, he'll be wearing a
cup, don't want to hurt your foot.  And then... [plot]"

"Are you sure they're going to believe all this?  I mean, 'retroactive
consent'?  That's ridiculous!  Plus getting away with assaulting the

"Don't worry.  They're an authoritarian warrior society.  They'll
totally believe that as a secret military psych thing, if nothing else.
And they're just not capable of getting what it means that we have an
average IQ 40 points higher than theirs; they're just too stuck in
feeling superior to merchants and democrats.  There's maybe a 12% chance
even Negri can see through this.  And even then, he'd probably just slot
it in as what he'd expect and keep track of you, not turn on you.

Heck, both Aral and his political officer, from different sides,
experienced your crew *sneaking on board his ship*, and they *still*
didn't take them seriously, instead being dismissive of 'voting
democrats'.  And you're a woman, too.  No one's likely to take you
seriously unless you, like, butcher a top aristo yourself.

As for Freddy, that'll just be more evidence of how we're 'weak and
decadent.  Win-win."

"Okay.  Wow, I get to kick hi in the balls?  Cool.  I didn't vote for

"...well, *I* did.  Besides, he likes a strong woman in boots and uniform,
if you know what I mean."


"Just like Aral does."


-xx- Damien X-) 

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