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By Lois McMaster Bujold

Komarr can be a backyard - with one thousand extra years paintings. Or an uninhabitable desolate tract, if the terraforming fails. Now the sunlight reflect important to the terraforming of the conquered planet has been shattered via a boat hurtling off track. The Emperor of Barrayar sends his most up-to-date Imperial Auditor, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, to determine why. the alternative isn't a well-liked one on Komarr, the place a betrayal a iteration sooner than soaking wet the identify of Vorkosigan in blood. within the political and actual claustrophobia of the domed towns, are the Komarrans surrounding Miles dependable topics, capability hostages, blameless sufferers, or rebels bidding for revenge? Lies inside of lies, treachery inside of treachery - Miles is stuck in a race opposed to time to prevent a plot which could exile him from Barrayar endlessly. His burning wish lies in an unforeseen best friend, one with wounds as deep and honor as beleaguered as his personal.

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Miles questioned if he should point out to Vorsoisson what used to be taped to his again, then determined opposed to it. the guy used to be already respiring seriously from his struggles. Vorsoisson swore a few extra, monotonously, yet after a piece appeared to develop into acutely aware that he used to be repeating himself, and ran down. "Tell me extra approximately this embezzlement scheme of Soudha's," Miles stated into the eerie silence. No insect or chicken chirps enlivened the Komarran evening, and no tree leaves rustled within the faint, kick back breeze. No additional sounds got here from the structures in the back of them. the single noise was once the susurration in their breath mask' powered enthusiasts, filters, and regulators. "When did you discover out approximately it? " "Just . . . the day gone by. per week in the past the day prior to this. Soudha panicked, i feel, and attempted to bribe me. i did not are looking to embarrass Kat's Uncle Vorthys by way of blowing it vast open whereas he was once the following. and that i needed to be yes, prior to i began accusing humans correct and left. " Foscol says you lie. Miles wasn't certain which ones he relied on least via now. Foscol may have invented her proof opposed to Vorsoisson utilizing an analogous talents she had it sounds as if referred to as directly to conceal Soudha's thefts. He must enable the ImpSec forensic experts type it out, and punctiliously. Miles at the same time sympathized with and used to be deeply suspicious of Vorsoisson's claimed hesitation, a dizzying frame of mind to undergo on most sensible of a stunner migraine. He had by no means considered fast-penta as a drugs for headache, yet he wanted he had a hypospray of it to jab in Vorsoisson's ass instantaneously. Later, he promised himself. with no fail. "Is that every one that is happening, d'you imagine? " "What do you suggest, all? " "I do not rather … if I have been Soudha and his staff, fleeing the scene of our crime . . . they did have a few lead time to organize their retreat. probably so long as 3 or 4 weeks, in the event that they knew Radovas's physique used to be more likely to be discovered topside. " And what the hell was once Radovas's physique doing up there besides? I nonetheless do not have a clue. "Longer, in the event that they saved their emergency backup plans brand new, and Soudha is an engineer if ever I met one; he is received to have had fail-safes included into his schemes. would it not make extra feel to scatter, go back and forth mild, try and get out of the Empire in ones and twos . . . now not depart in a number with lift-vans jam-packed with … regardless of the hell they wanted lift-vans to move? no longer their cash, without doubt. " Vorsoisson shook his head, which shifted his breath masks a little bit; he needed to rub his face opposed to the railing to reseat it. After a couple of minutes he stated in a small voice, "Vorkosigan . . . ? " Miles was hoping from the humbler tone the guy could be going to part towards actual confession finally. "Yes? " he stated encouragingly. "I'm virtually out of oxygen. " "Didn't you check–" Miles attempted to raise the picture in his pulsing mind of the instant Vorsoisson had snatched his breath masks out of the cupboard, again in his workplace, and donned it. No. He hadn't checked something approximately it. A fully-charged masks may help twelve to 14 hours of full of life open air job, lower than general conditions.

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