[LMB] OT: breaking rules Wrede works

Paula Lieberman paal at filker.org
Sat Sep 19 05:28:05 BST 2015

Cordelia had been a -Betan Survey Captain- exercised independent command of 
a ship jumping through blind wormholes--had Aral ever been in a position 
where he was a commander in an -isolated- ship,  as opposed to a mid-level 
commander in a much tighter force structure? His mission in  the war Ezar 
rigged to rid the universe of Prince Serg and the War Party apparatus, was 
to be the fellow picking up the pieces leading the retreat tail between the 
legs losing the war, back to Barrayar preserving as many people and ships as 
possible after the planned destruction of the flagship with Serg and his 
cronies.  He was acting on he direct orders of the Emperor, and his chain of 
command, involved personal submission to the Emperor. Cordelia, on the other 
hand, was operating as an independent commander, responsible to the people 
on her ship and its survey mission, and with wide lattitude as regards 

Barrayar, loyatly and responsibility were personal relationships up the 
chain of command to the Emperor.  Beta, the person at the top of the 
political hierarchy, was an elected official, and it was not the person, but 
the office, with the power--and Betan Survey Captains were out with their 
responsibility NOT to the political leadership, but to the research and 
discovery and exploration mandates, -not- politics and life-oaths to 
hereditary nobility and monarchs.

It's a different social system--Beta had allegiance to values, Barrayar has 
sworn loyalty to persons.

Aral was sworn to the Emperor, Cordelia's original loyalties were to her 
subordinate, her mission, and her values.

Aral ceded Bothari to Ges Vorrutyer and Prince Serg; Cordelia remanded 
Dubauer [spelling] to his family.  Aral know that Vorrutyer and Serg were 
going to drive Bothari into chronic sociopathy and undo any and all social 
salvage effort Aral had managed with Bothari--but Aral was obedient to the 
hierarcharcy of Barrayar and not someone raised to or in a position to buck 
the system to stand up for Bothari.

As a minor he had rebelled against Emperor Yuri--but it was after  surviving 
the attack ordered by Yuri effecting the murder of his mother, his older 
brothers, and others with him as witness.  The Emperor had broken the 
loyalty contract of Emperor to family and subjects when he ordered the 
murder of his relative who included Arals mother and her children and Aral's 
aunt; Aral vowed revenge for both his personal losses, and for the Emperor's 
more general madness/betrayal of the personal obligations of his position as 
Emperor, to his subjects--as with Donna a generation later, the occupant of 
the position was abusing it and not using it for the well-being of his 

Cordelia, again, was from outside the Barrayaran system.  Her position 
before quitting Beta, required her to exercise her own judgment far from any 
other Betan presence, as an independent power, and not as a personaly sworn 
to a hereditary superior vassal.

Miles is a different animal than Cordelia, he was personally sworn to 
Emperor Gregor for essentially his entire life, a vassal.  He might not 
always consciously think of that, but it was something always with him... 
and when faced with him turning to have been engaged in  de faco treason, 
his action was to hand the private army over to the Emperor, as a personal, 
heartfelt gift of vassal to liege.

Short of that, though... Miles' legal superiors and lieges as a child 
consisted of exactly three people--Emperor Gregor Vorbarra, whom Miles had 
sworn himself in all games playing real and imaginary,  Lord later Count 
Aral Vorkosigan Miles' adored father, and Count Piotry Vorkosigan, whom 
Bothari the scary bodyguard was around Miles to prevent Count Piotr from 
extripating Miles--and from whom Lord Aral Vorkosigan was somewhat estranged 
early-on in Miles' life.

The rold of Lady Vorkosigan in Miles' life was more complicated--she was 
not -of- Barrayar, and was Other, even though she was his mother and highly 
involved in his upbringing--but his upbringing was that of Barrayaran 
Count's Heir, not that of a Betan democrat....

--Paula Lieberman
-----Original Message----- 
From: Sylvia McIvers
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2015 12:30 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: breaking rules Wrede works

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 7:48 PM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>

> Cordelia kicked her planetary president in the evening news,

Hm, what part of hte body is that?  Is it anything like being kicked in the
fracas? *ouch*

>  and spectacularly disobeyed Aral when she dropped in on Vordarian for
> afternoon
> tea.

More properly, she dropped in on Princess Kareen and Vordarian interupted -
to which Cordelia took pointed offense.

> And then they have the gall to complain that Miles has a slight tendency 
> to
> overlook superior rank when dealing with other officers.
> Gwynne

You know, I never quite put it together like that. ;)


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