[LMB] Random thoughts on the First Wife

Thomas Izbicki tizbick at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 15 12:30:05 GMT 2019

For off-planet help & cloning, a Jacksonian lover?
Tom Izbicki
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2019 10:40 PM
To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
Subject: [LMB] Random thoughts on the First Wife

From: beatrice_otter <beatrice_otter at zoho.com>

Beatrice Otter:First, unless you blew the head clean off, the lack of a brainstem would be discovered in any autopsy. Not to mention that the facilities to grow a clone to adulthood don't exist in the Nexus that we've seen. It's probably technically possible, but even if you don't want the clone's brain, the body needs to be exercised and the easiest way to do that is how the Jacksonians do it for life extending brain transplants. The lack of muscle tone on a vat raised clone would probably be noticeable even without autopsy. So, assuming it's possible, you still have a custom clone job requiring specialized hardware (because nobody's doing it that way) which would still be pretty obviously a fake, but one of such sophistication that ImpSec would be all over it looking for conspirators. (Even if they don't care about the first wife, you can be damn sure they'd want to know about anyone with both the technical capabilities and the will to fake a death.)
No.? If she wanted offworld, the simplest way would just be to GO. Claim asylum at the first non-Barrayaran world she reaches. If she wouldn't be allowed, killing someone with her basic body type, dressing them in her clothes, and shooting off their face in her apartment would be so much easier than the sort of convoluted plot you describe. And probably less likely to be discovered, too. Large scale physical issues like no muscle tone and no brainstem would be noticed right off. But if they have enough circumstantial evidence that it's her and a faceless corpse that's fairly close, they might not even bother to do a DNA test.?
Beatrice Otter?

Gwynne: Don't forget, the ones doing the clean-up are also the ones probably
doing the cover-up. That's always a great help in getting things done smoothly
and quietly.

I don't dare go looking for it (or I'll find myself reading several books again - I
don't mind that, but I don't have time right now!) - but I'm sure there was a
comment about JW cloning - they can grow a clone minus brain, in tanks I think,
but there are problems with the heart and other organs. Which wouldn't matter
if you just wanted the body.

But that's a lot of trouble to take, when I'm sure on Barrayar, in those days,
you could get hold of a body fairly easily. Not necessarily legally, but that
wouldn't be a consideration.

I'd be surprised if they did a DNA test. Not with Piotr standing there telling
them it was her.

But if she wanted Offworld she'd need help, or at least a lot of planning - for
one thing she'd need money to get away and money when she got there, and
neither side of the family was rolling in it, they'd notice big losses. And she'd
need a passport. In those days women, especially High Vor, were under a lot
of family control. I can't see her getting a passport without anyone knowing -
the name would set off alarms all over. And I doubt she'd have the knowhow
to fake it well. I think she'd need help - a lover of course - a prole or an

A prole with offworld experience, who knew how to get things done. A prole
that she'd see regularly, to start an affair with.

An armsman?
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