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A Dark And Hungry God Arises 23 - Liete [1]

 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:54 pm    Post subject: A Dark And Hungry God Arises 23 - Liete [1] Reply with quote

The command third of Captain's Fancy, Liete Corregio, surveys the bridge of that ship while feeling a sense of being pulled along a fated course, a course she can't avoid, and it feels like "a long black wind blowing in her ears".

Quote:
She did her best to ignore the wind. It was metaphoric in any case, a habit of mind or a perceptual trick. Ever since she could remember, she'd experienced her life in images of wind: the arctic pressure of necessity which had blown her from place to place and skill to skill until she gusted aboard Captain's Fancy; the soaring gale ride of the gap between the stars, the hollow howl of the vacuum; the sweet zephyr of sleep; the solar flare of Nick's virility; the hungry mistral of flight and battle and command. Even the sensations of food and comradeship were like breezes ruffling her short hair, warming her dark cheeks. And when Nick Succorso had finally taken her to bed, after years of longing as poignant and unanswerable as a sigh in a dark cavern, his touch had felt like wind: a scorched blast from an old, baked, and needy desert, raw with sand and so dry it denatured her heart. By the time he left her again, some part of her had shriveled away, desiccated to powder--the only part still capable of questioning him.

Once she realized that now at last she had no remaining needs or desires that didn't belong to him, she began to hear the black wind blowing.

It was the wind of her doom.

It may have been the doom of the whole ship.


I thought this metaphor of wind to be strange upon first reading of it, until I came across the phrase "familiar, respected urgency" in the paragraph immediately following the above quote. Then it made sense to me as "fulfill Nick's wishes, regardless of consequences". Her devotion to Nick seems pretty strong. Liete's bridge crew appears to be hand-picked by her for their loyalty and competency, and she has something to say to them after they enter the bridge.

Quote:
Once her people took their g-seats, she told them, "I'm not here to answer questions, so don't ask." Her voice always sounded quiet. Nevertheless it carried. The mistral carried it--or the black wind. She knew that she would be obeyed. "I'm here for the same reason you are--to do what Nick tells us. He gave me orders. I'm giving them to you.

"You probably wish you knew what's going on. So do I. But we don't need that. All we need is orders. As long as he's alive, he isn't going to abandon his ship. That means he isn't going to abandon us. The best thing we can do to keep ourselves alive is to follow his orders.

"If you believe you know somebody better qualified"--she stressed the word sardonically--"to give us orders and keep us alive, you have my permission to leave the ship. You can go join Mikka. Or hide out in the cruise until this is over.

"But if you can't, then do what I tell you and don't ask questions. Once we start. I won't tolerate anything else."

Steadily she scanned the bridge.


The crew has loyalty to Nick ingrained in them, though helm operator Pastille can't resist sarcastically asking if they're allowed to think while working., and nods assent to Liete's demand of unquestioning loyalty only after she stares him down.

Liete declares they're on battle alert, and after Nick hasn't returned to the ship past his self-imposed deadline, she has the ship prepare as subtlety as possible (so as not to alert Billingate Operations) to undock the ship. She also has communications monitored and Soar placed under scan to have clues for when to take reactionary measures to what she sees and hears. In case it wasn't already obvious to the reader the meaning of the wind blasting through Liete's mind, Donaldson emphasizes it in this chapter's final sentence.

Quote:
She intended to follow Nick's orders no matter where they took her.


That implies to me that Liete will consider no action she takes to be too reckless if it appears to be in service to Nick's goals.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:33 pm    Post subject: ADAHGA 23 - Liete [1] Reply with quote

Quote:
And she instructed Carmel to lock scan on Soar: if Soar gave any sign of leaving the installation, Liete wanted to know about it instantly.


While Liete tells her bridge crew she doesn't know what's going on, as readers we don't really know to what extent that is true. Nick may have told Liete what the nature of his grudge is against Sorus, and if so it's easy to see how Sorus' onetime treatment of Nick could have offended someone as loyal to Nick as Liete is, to the point that she needs no more information at present to carry out his orders with conviction.
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