[LMB] GJ&RQ - Ch 14 - The cruelty of time.

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 21 12:40:01 GMT 2016

Miles runs his battle sims - he'd be an amazing teacher. After doing
one of his courses you'd be able to cope with anything. Kaya gets
herself a front-row seat, she's planning for space duty some day. Jole
carefully chooses some personnel who need a bit of a shake-up, which
a course with Miles is guaranteed to do.

Then Oliver takes Miles out to the plas-crete maze (maybe they could
use it for trench warfare practice?) Miles climbs the stacks - he has the
instincts of a cat, really, which explains a lot. And Miles starts some
rather unsubtle questioning.

Cordelia handled it all alone - the samples, the decision-making, the
checks. And if it had failed she'd have kept it secret, hidden all that pain
with all the other painful secrets she carries. She's strong. Almost scary-
strong.  Red Queen, scattering severed heads around, holding so many
sad secrets, making the hardest decisions alone. People really should be
more afraid of her. She's ruthless when necessary. For all their reputation
for flamboyant sex and intensive therapy, Beta is also one of the best
weapons-inventors in the Nexus. Make love AND war, pretty much.

Miles wants Cordelia to come home. (He doesn't think about what 'home'
means to her.)  Although his kids have far more relatives than he did.

Jole is distanced from his family, by his career and lifestyle more than
anything else. Choosing Aral and Cordelia, and the necessary secrecy,
as well as his other high-level secrets, has cut him off from them all. His
mother keeps in touch - I don't think that, even with all his pondering
about parenthood, he's realised how desperate his mum is to stay in
contact. But I'll bet she comes to visit when he has his kids. (And she'll
probably get on very well with Cordelia, too.)

Jole gets lost wondering about how all the kids will relate to each other.
Will they know their Barrayaran families at all? How will they bond, these
aunts and uncles who'll be years younger than their nephews and nieces.
Polite strangers? Loving family? Will Cordelia try to keep them linked the
way she does with the Betan family and Miles, and Jole's mother does
with him and his relatives? 'Family' is a tough concept.

But if Jole and his boys live near Cordelia and her girls, it might be a good
idea for the kids to know they're half-sibs. Things could get a bit awkward
otherwise. Hormones being what they are, and all. Total truth is sounding
better all the time.

Miles asks if Jole and Cordelia will marry. He would, without hesitation.
She'll never ask. Probably. And then Miles asks about Jole and Cordelia
having a child together. MORE kids? And Jole loves the idea, but maybe
not something to discuss for a decade or so. (And one would be a bit
difficult, the odd one out, so they'd have to have two....)

Miles DID try to shoot fish in a barrel. Saying anything in his hearing
when he was a child must have been so dangerous. Bothari really
deserves a lot more respect.

Miles as a father - at least he's aware how scary and dangerous the

job is. He's grateful for Ekaterin, for so many many reasons.

Tracing a line from Piotr to Aral to Miles, parenting in the Vorkosigan
clan has improved. Although Piotr actually did a good job by the
standards of his time. Jole realises that Cordelia has her mother's
example to follow - another single parent.

Aral's grandchildren will never know him properly (THAT HURTS!).
Time. There's never enough time. But Aral's death means nine children
will live. That's what time does, it moves on and then making a change
would take too much away.

They talk about Piotr living so long he had trouble coping with the
changed world - Aral also lived in a world he'd helped to make, but
sometimes found a bit confronting. Still, he loved the children - and
remember, what old Vor Counts are like about children to carry on
the name. Cordelia is giving him more children than he could ever
imagine. All true wealth is biological - she's heaping Aral with riches,
the best way she can.

And Jole has a wave of panic - get those kids while there's still time.

Time. There's never as much as you think.

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