[LMB] FF: Chapter 11

Jean Lamb tlambs1138 at charter.net
Mon Sep 23 03:16:43 BST 2013

A brief run through of Chapter 11, with commentary:


"Siggy, reminded, pointed his solderer at Ti. Silver, when approving this
ploy, had kept her inner thoughts about it most secret. Going in with Ti
unarmed, apparently under the quaddies' guns, covered him in case of later
capture and legal prosecution. Equally, it disguised the possibility of
making his ersatz kidnapping real, should he decide to bolt back to the side
of his legged companions at the last moment. Wheels within wheels; did all
leaders have to think on multiple levels? It made her head hurt."


--She's right. If leaders know what they're doing, yes, their heads will
hurt. It's part of the job, as far as I'm concerned. 


"In fact, the effect of her action on everyone present, not just their
captives, was most gratifying. Everyone moved faster. This could get
addictive, Silver thought. No arguments, no complaints-" (shooting the
solderer at the other pilot, showing the quaddie propensity to turn tools
into weapons. Foreshadows the use of the riveter in DI, I should think). 


--"Power corrupts. Absolute power is pretty neat." Now she knows how it
feels to be on the other side. 


"Was this the pleasure in power Van Atta felt, when everyone gave way before
him? It was obvious what firing the weapon had done to the defiant pilot;
what had it done to her? For every action, an equal and opposite reaction.
This was a somatic truth, visceral knowledge ingrained in every quaddie from
birth, clear and demonstrable in every motion."


--What makes Silver different is that she is *thinking* about what it is
doing to her, rather than merely accepting and/or rejoicing in her first
major use of power. 


"Any evil they could do, quaddies could do too. If they chose."


--Silver already understand that it's all about choices. 


"I wonder how all this is going to go," sighed Emma. "How it will turn out.
Where we'll all be in seven months ..." 


Hardly a figure chosen at random, Claire realized. "Away from Rodeo, anyway.
Or dead." 


--Claire also understand what is at stake. Both the quaddies' present and
their future lie in their hands, now. 


"We'll still have to work, but it will be for ourselves. And our children." 


--And that makes all the difference.


And now a word from our villain:


"Bruce Van Atta pressed a finger to one side of his nose, squeezing the 

nostril shut, and sniffed mightily, then switched sides and repeated 

the procedure. Damn free fall and its lack of proper sinus drainage, 

among its other discomforts."


--For one, brief shining moment let all of us who are martyrs to sinus
complaints sympathize with him. 


"Female wimp, he thought. A relief, that they had only a few weeks left to
work together, and he didn't have to jolly her up any more." (cf Dr. Yei)


--All right, that was fast. Now we can go back to hating him, and um,
looking forward to Dr. Yei's later job action. 


"Emergency, emergency, this is not a drill," Graf repeated. 


--And now the action begins. 


"A planned accident-could it be, could it possibly be . . . ? "


--Always ready to think the worst, our Bruce..


"There would have to be a sacrifice, for the sake of form, after the


--Now we see why Van Atta is on Rodeo, and not at headquarters on Earth. His
willingness to throw others under the bus at a moment's notice can't have
escaped the notice of his superiors-who undoubtedly wonder if they are next.


"Control, he told himself in a mortal fear of his imminent self-destruction.
Control, stay in control-and get Graf later. Get him, get them all. ..."


--And there we are. Van Atta is down but not out-but what, precisely, can he
actually do? 


Stay tuned for our next thrilling chapter!



Jean Lamb

tlambs1138 at charter.net

DEAD MAN'S HAND, an epic fantasy about ghosts, sailing, and love, now on


A BRILLIANT MARRIAGE--Lt. Jack Rawley has an estate and a title. Lucinda
Alcott has a dowry. They both have an enemies' list. And a little French









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