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Vorkosigan Saga Book by Book Timelines

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Day 1:
- Early morning: Cordelia Naismith and Ensign Dubauer hike back to camp after seeing their shuttle take off unexpectedly to the orbiting ship.
-They explore the destroyed camp and radio their ship which informs them of a Barrayaran military presence
- Dubauer is shot and Cordelia is knocked out
-Cordelia awakes to see the boots of a Barrayaran soldier, Aral Vorkosigan, who takes her prisoner and says he intends to travel to a cache 200 km away to overcome a mutiny in his command.
-Aral collects equipment from the Betan camp including oatmeal and blue cheese dressing packets.
- Cordelia insists on caring for and taking along the nerve disruptor struck Ensign Dubauer and burying Reg Rosemont, which takes the remainder of the day.

Day 2:
- They start to hike down the mountain.
- Cordelia remembers hearing that an Aral Vorkosigan was the Butcher of Komarr. This leads to discussion of Barrayaran politics.
- In evening they reach the plains and set up camp
- Aral gives Cordelia the stunner for her night watch due to risk of attack by predators.

Day 3:
- Three hours into their morning hike, they encounter a river and their first view of the “vampire balloon” radials.
- After lunch, they stun and butcher a large herbivore hexaped, and decide to set up camp.
- Dubauer, unattended, is attacked by a vampire balloon, which Aral kills.
- Aral sets a fire by exploding a plasma arc power cartridge because he’s a pyromaniac lunatic.
- Over dinner they talk about Prince Xav, his Betan wife, and more Barrayaran politics.
- Predators attack their camp at night, and then vampire balloons come down. Cordelia lights the vampire balloons on fire to scare off the predators because she is a pyromaniac lunatic.

Day 4:
- They set off at sunrise.
- Aral steps on an alien anthill and gets nasty bites on his leg.
- Hiking in the afternoon he tells the story of Yuri’s Massacre.
- They stop by a waterfall 15km from his cache at sunset.
- During the first night watch they compare Betan and Barrayaran romantic customs and share their own past romantic failures.

Day 5:
- Vorkosigan’s leg is swollen and badly infected. Cordelia helps him treat and bandage it and he takes a 16hr stimulant pill
- They reach the cache and find officers loyal to Aral. The mutineers escape on planet.
- They shuttle up to the Barrayaran ship and Cordelia is given a guest cabin while Aral reports to sickbay.

Day 6:
- Cordelia explores the ship, followed by Sgt. Bothari who has been assigned to guard her.
- Cordelia works out that the Barrayarans are planning an invasion via the newly discovered planet and that this ship is an advance guard party, and fishes until Aral tells her the target is Escobar.
- Aral explains that she will be a prisoner aboard ship for several months until they return to Barrayar, when she can return home to Beta Colony… or stay to marry him.

Day 7:
- Cordelia’s Betan crew stages a rescue attempt…by allying with the Barrayaran mutineers.
- Cordelia single-handedly foils the mutineers, disables the Barrayaran weapons by shooting the controls with a plasma arc, and then escapes by shuttle to her Betan Survey vessel.

Six months later (sixty days after the Barrayarans invade Escobaran space)

Escobar Space, Day 1:
-Cordelia, now a Captain in the Betan Expeditionary Force created to aid Escobar, serves as decoy for a delivery of Betan weapons.
- They leave by lifeboat and blow up their ship to keep its projector technology from being discovered.
- She and her crew are captured by the Barrayaran fleet.
-Cordelia is taken to Admiral Vorrutyer’s chambers, which are a sadists torture room. He reveals that torturing female prisoners is his hobby and he’s planning to continue for weeks.
-Sgt. Bothari is brought in to rape her. He refuses, and kills Admiral Vorrutyer. Bothari releases her.
- Vorkosigan and an ImpSec lieutenant arrive, intending to save her, and find the dead body, her, and Bothari.
- Vorkosigan hides them both in his cabin and asks Lt. Illyan to keep them hidden for 48 hours.

 

Escobar Space, Day 2:
- Admiral Vorhalas and Prince Serg come to Vorkosigan’s cabin. Bothari and Cordelia are hidden in the bathroom. Vorkosigan bates the Prince.
- Cordelia and Aral have to give Bothari CPR when his heart stops under sedative.
- Vorhalas and the Prince set off for the front to command the land invasion in person.

Escobar Space, Day 3:
- Vorkosigan dresses in full dress uniform and reviews messages from the front.
- The Barrayaran invasion force is destroyed. When the Prince’s death is announced, Vorkosigan is put in command and orders a full retreat.
- Cordelia realizes that Aral knew about the plasma mirrors in advance and that the death of the Prince and the destruction of the fleet were intentional.
- Cordelia is returned to the brig, with another torture victim who is then taken for medical attention.

 

Escobar Space, Days 3 & 4:
- Cordelia is kept in the brig.

Escobar Space, Days 5 & 6:
- The ship is attacked and artificial gravity fails briefly, Cordelia’s arm is broken when gravity is restored.
- They jump through two wormholes.

New Planet, Day 7:
- Cordelia is told the war is over
- She is shuttled down to the POW camp where the other inmates tell her that the previous day the camp commandant was executed for allowing prisoner abuses

7? Weeks pass in POW camp

 

Part 3, Day 1:
- Aral comes to see her in the afternoon, then they go on a walk and talk privately about Escobar and the Emperor’s plan.
- He proposes again and she declines, but says they should remain in contact.
- They kiss, twice.

Part 3, Day 2:
- The majority of the POWs are loaded onto shuttles to leave
- Aral has Cordelia come to check the marker for Rosemont’s grave
- an Escobaran med tech delivers the 17 uterine replicators with children of women who were raped by Barrayarans.
- The oldest is 4 months old which Cordelia says was the beginning of the war which suggests that the time in the POW camp was 7 weeks.

Undetermined amount of time aboard the Tau Cetan passenger carrier returning to Escobar*
- Therapists on board try to get her to talk about how she was tortured but she insists she wasn’t tortured and avoids talking about what happened for fear of letting out the secret of the Emperor’s plan to destroy the War Party via catastrophic defeat.

4 days by fast courier from Escobar to Beta Colony

Back on Beta, Day 1:
- Cordelia is given her Expeditionary Force uniform on the shuttle
- On her arrival there’s a large crowd present to see her given a medal by the President, Steady Freddy. She has a nervous breakdown, interrupts the President’s speech to defend Vorkosigan, and when security tries to drag her offstage, kicks Steady Freddy in the nuts.
- As her mother and a doctor try to comfort her, Cordelia finds herself wishing she was off getting drunk with Aral.

3 days of home leave

Back on Beta, Day 5
- Dr. Mehta arrives in the afternoon. She uses a smoke-release drug to interrogate Cordelia about Vorkosigan.
- Cordelia realizes she’s being drugged and destroys the recorder. Mehta is convinced the anger is sign of Barrayaran brainwashing.

Back on Beta, Day 6-8
- Cordelia writes a letter to Aral and avoids the therapist. And everyone else.

Back on Beta, Day 9
- The therapist arrives with her commander and muscle and they tell her she’s being involuntarily hospitalized as a security risk.
- They intercepted her letter to Vorkosigan and destroyed it in the process of looking for a coded message. - Cordelia pretends to comply, then holds the therapist's head in a fish tank to get her to reveal the security perimeter, runs away by lying to a lot of people, and flees the planet.

Undetermined number of days traveling back to Barrayar*

Back on Barrayar, Day 1:
- Cordelia buys a dress in Vorbarr Sultana to fit in.

Back on Barrayar, Day 2:
- Cordelia rents a lightflyer, and flies to Vorkosigan Surleau, the family’s country estate.
- She meets Piotr, then falls into Aral’s arms. He’s been drinking himself into oblivion but decides to stop on her account.

Undetermined amount of time prior to their marriage and “a few weeks” afterwards

Day ??? on Barrayar
- Bothari explains how he got around memory treatment.
- They visit Koudelka, a soldier of Aral’s who was hit by nerve disruptor
- They see Bothari’s daughter taken out of the uterine replicator.

Undetermined number of days later, it says “summer was waning” but Aral wants to visit Bonsanklar which suggests it may be Midsummer Day
- Count Vortala, the Prime Minister, arrives with a request for an audience from the Emperor
- Aral is persuaded, primarily by Cordelia, to accept the position of Regent.
- Cordelia visits Vorkosigan House for the first time and sees Aral’s old sketchbook.
- Aral commissions Koudelka as his personal secretary.
- Aral tells Cordelia she pours out honor like a fountain.

*In Barrayar Cordelia mentions that the journey between Beta Colony and Barrayar is two months long which makes the Sergyar-Escobar leg about 7 weeks (presuming the Escobar-Sergyar wormhole route is still blocked at this point)

Chapter Text

Barrayar begins the morning after the last scene of Shards of Honor

 

Regency Day 1
-Aral and Cordelia visit the Residence
-Cordelia is introduced to the Dowager Princess Kareen, who kisses her hand in gratitude for killing Vorrutyer. Cordelia admits that honor isn’t hers.
-She meets Gregor, who is playing with a toy stegosaurus, and Kareen and Gregory’s bodyguard, Droushnakovi
-Negri reassigns Drou to Cordelia’s security at Karen’s request
-Simon Illyan has been promoted to Commander of Vorkosigan’s security detail.

Regency Day 2
-Cordelia and Droushnakovi go shopping for a swordstick for Lt. Koudelka, who is sensitive about his remaining impairments from nerve disruptor fire
-Koudelka is honored but notes that since he isn’t Vor he isn’t legally allowed a personal weapon. Aral declares it issued to him in the Regent’s service
-Piotr returns from Vorkosigan Surleau to attend the Joint Council vote confirming Aral as Regent
-Vidal Vordarian, who is one of the counts the Prime Minister and Aral are trying to bring around, stalks out of Vorkosigan House in an angry huff

Regency Day 3
-Cordelia meets Aral’s cousin, Padma Vorpatril, who is her escort to the ceremony of the Joint Council vote.
-She reproaches two young men for disparaging remarks about Koudelka’s disabilities.
-The young men turn out to be Carl and Evon Vorhalas, the sons of Count Vorhalas, one of Aral’s supporters. -Only five counts vote against Aral’s confirmation, which Padma explains is a sign of the Emperor’s influence, not the counts’ honest opinions. .

Two weeks of Ezar’s death-watch
-Ezar is conscious for the first week and then in a coma for the second
-He dies early in the morning. Captain Negri weeps at his bedside.
-Aral, Cordelia, and the others present swear oaths to Gregor at the bedside.

Five days of Imperial funeral ceremony for Ezar
-Gregor lights the offering taper

Regency Day 23-2?
-Gregor and Aral receive oaths from counts, ministers, and other high officers who weren’t present to swear their oaths on the morning of Ezar’s death.

Undetermined amount of time settling in (1-2 months?)
-Cordelia mostly stays at Vorkosigan House while Aral works long hours at the Residency.
-Cordelia meets Alys Vorpatril one night at a formal dinner. Alys, who is also expecting her first child, talks about the horrors of childbirth.
-At Cordelia’s suggestion, Droushnakovi is included in the sparring practice between ImpSec guards and Count Piotr’s armsmen. She proves herself capable despite harassment.
-Cordelia observes that Drou has developed a crush on Kou, who is aloof towards her, which Aral diagnoses as jealousy for her abilities.

End of Barrayaran Summer, weather changes towards frost
-Aral’s groundcar is nearly hit by a sonic grenade one day as he and Kou are returning from the Residence.
- Both experience temporary partial deafness as a result. Cordelia becomes terrified another attempt will succeed.

Emperor’s Birthday, Early Fall
-Aral insists that Cordelia travel in a separate car in case he’s targeted again. This is news to Cordelia so it’s probably just a few days after the attack.
-Fireworks in the capital and a party at the Residence
-Counts bring small bags if gold coins to present to the Emperor as a symbol of their annual contribution to the Imperium
- Cordelia has an alarming conversation with Vidal Vordarian who says he’s surprised they’re not having a daughter to betroth to Gregor and attempts to shock her with scandal from Aral’s past.
-Kou and Drou practice dancing in secret on a balcony but don’t kiss despite Cordelia’s hopes for them.
- Kou asks Cordelia why women don’t come with an instruction manual

The next day
-Cordelia tells Commander Illyan he should investigate Vidal Vordarian as a possible source of the sonic grenade plot.

Elena Bothari’s 4 month checkup (probably within a week or two of the Emperor’s birthday)
- Sgt Bothari, Doctor Henri, Cordelia, and Drou fly to Vorkosigan Surleau for the checkup and a luncheon with Count Piotr.
- After lunch the others go to the stables and Bothari and Cordelia discuss his troubling memories of Escobar.
-Bothari requests that Cordelia tell him when it’s alright to kill. She insists she can’t do that for him, and that he’s been a hero before. He responds that he can’t remember it.

Later that Week
-During breakfast Aral asks for Kou only to be told that he and Bothari are in the hospital after a fight
-Illyan confirms that they were set upon by a street gang on a trip to a caravanserai brothel. Kou was especially badly hurt after being taken for Vor because of his swordstick.
-Count Piotr expresses his disdain for residents of the slums and Cordelia is shocked to learn about Barrayaran poverty.

Over a month later/ Six weeks after the sonic grenade attack
-Cordelia is sitting in the library worrying about the dangers of life on Barrayar when Kou comes in and starts playing with his swordstick as if intending to kill himself.
-She stops him and they each confess their fears
-Aral walks in and sees them together and suggests Cordelia is engaging in Betan (sex) therapy. Kou observes that he’s “harmless” to women because of his injuries and leaves.
-Aral and Cordelia argue about Aral’s comments and he admits he was out of line and really worried about other issues.
-Carl Vorhalas has killed someone in a drunken duel. Count Vorhalas requests a pardon, Aral doesn’t think he can do so in good faith.

Three Weeks Later
-Carl Vorhalas is executed by beheading. Aral watches as a penance.
-That night Aral and Cordelia’s window is broken by a projectile. It’s a canister of soltoxin, a poison gas. Aral reacts quickly and they’re given the antidote.
-Cordelia asks if their baby will be harmed by the gas. The surgeon explains the damage will actually come from the antidote.
-The culprit is brought in. It’s Evon Vorhalas, seeking revenge for his brother’s execution. He too had hoped for a pardon.
- They’re transferred to ImpMil, and the military poison expert suggests that there are options for treatment of the fetus if it’s transferred to a uterine replicator. The other Barrayaran doctors object but Cordelia opts for the chance it will work out.

The next day
-Count Piotr comes to console her over the loss of the baby. She explains the treatment plan and he’s furious, saying a damaged child will harm the Vorkosigan legacy.
- Aral ushers his father out and he and Cordelia discuss Barrayaran ableism and resistance to reproductive technology.
-She goes through the placental transfer, hemorrhages, and blacks out.

Three days later
-Cordelia wakes up and Aral tells her that her heart stopped twice and then stress turned into pneumonia from the gas inhalation.
-Aral assures her the placental transfer was successful and their child is in the uterine replicator and receiving treatment.

Several days pass
-Treatment for both Aral and Cordelia continues from the poisoning
-Piotr tries to bribe the doctors to open the replicator. Aral has him banned from the research building with the replicator.
-Aral tells Cordelia that Piotr is his past and she is his future.
-She suggests they go to Vorkosigan Surleau to complete their recovery. Aral suggests bringing Piotr to keep an eye on him.

At least three days later
-Over a late breakfast, Droushnakovi asks Cordelia about pregnancy and admits that she and Kou slept together the night of the gas attack.
-Meanwhile Kou confesses to Aral that he thinks he’s a rapist since they didn’t talk about it before starting. Drou is furious at the implication.
- Then Piotr returns from the capital where he snuck off to try to get into ImpMil. There’s a fight and Piotr threatens to kick them both off his property. Aral says they’ll just move into the Residence then as Illyan suggested.
-Cordelia notices a damaged lightflyer coming in. It’s Captain Negri and Gregor.
-Negri dies after explaining that Vordarian has set off a coup. Their comm has been sabotaged.
-Aral sends Cordelia, Bothari, and Gregor with Piotr and Armsman Esterhazy while he leaves to rally troops in Hassadar, then scatter. Aral tells Bothari to obey Cordelia’s orders as if they were his.
- Piotr launches Negri’s flyer into the lake, then they take horses and ride into the hills. Its Cordelia’s first time riding and she is not ready for it. - They camp in the woods overnight.

Coup Day 2
-They rendezvous with Major Amor Klyeuvi, a veteran of Piotr’s from the Cetagandan war who is now a mail carrier.
-Piotr and Esterhazy leave for other missions.
- Kly delivers mail while they make their way to his cabin.

Coup Day 3
-They have groats for breakfast in Kly’s cabin. He’s gone to finish mail deliveries.
-Cordelia suggests camping in the mouth of the Dendarii caves that were used by the guerrilla resistance to the Cetagandans. This will leave traces to cause a search of the whole enormous cave system.

Coup Day 4
-Once searchers arrive at Kly’s cabin they leave for another hiding spot in the woods.
- Kly returns and takes them to another temporary safehouse.

Coup Day 5-11
-They stay with an elderly couple and Cordelia sees how little tech or money has made it into the mountains.
-Kly and Esterhazy return on the evening of day 11.

Coup Day 12-14
-Esterhazy takes Gregor to hide in another hill cabin as his pretend father.
-Cordelia and Bothari spend three days traveling through the mountains with Kly’s nephew

Coup Day 15
-Bothari and Cordelia get taken by lightflyer and truck to a drop off point where they’re finally met by a lightflyer piloted by Drou. Kou’s there too but they’re still at odds. - They get brought into Tanery Base. Aral sends Cordelia to sickbay. She tells the doctor it’s been five weeks since the placental transfer surgery, which means I’m either missing a week or she added one from sheer exhaustion.

Coup Day 16
- Cordelia rests, sees Bothari, and catches up on the military situation.

Coup Day 18
-Lt. Illyan arrives with Admiral Kanzian. Aral promotes him to head of ImpSec.

Coup Day 19-2?
-More escapees arrive, including Prime Minister Vortala
- Cordelia is asked for her opinion on Kareen’s involvement when Vordarian declares himself engaged to Kareen.
-Then Captain Vagen, the researcher overseeing her son’s treatment, arrives and tells them the lab was raided, Doctor Henri was killed, and he was let go.
-Aral refuses to authorize a raid to retrieve the replicator before a general hostage grab, which they’re not ready for.
-Since the replicator will fail in six days if it’s not being maintained properly, Cordelia decides she can’t wait, and arranges her own raid. Drou and Bothari volunteer to help. Kou gets dragged along when he sees them leaving.

Raid Day 1-2
-They travel to Vorbarr Sultana via a mix of groundcar, monorail, and vegetable truck and get a room near the caravanserai
-The hostel owner suggests they split the reward for reporting some fugitives he’s noticed.
-The fugitives are Padma and Alys Vorpatril. They debate trying to get them out as well and decide against it.

Raid Day 3
-As they’re leaving the hostel owner tells them Padma and Alys are being arrested.
-They attempt a last minute rescue but Padma is killed.
-Alys goes into labor and delivers a baby boy in a hovel in the caravanserai with Bothari as midwife.
-Bothari takes them to a caravanserai brothel so Alys can get some rest in an actual bed.
-Cordelia pushes Kou and Drou into admitting they’re both still in love.

Raid Day 4
-Kou leaves for Tanery Base with Alys and her son Ivan.
-Cordelia, Drou, and Bothari raid the Residence. They’re captured but Kareen fires on Vordarian when she finds out Gregor is still alive.
-Kareen is killed by one of Vordarian’s armsmen who is in turn killed by Vordarian, who is then taken hostage while Cordelia sets the Residence on fire.
-They take the replicator and Cordelia orders Bothari to behead Vordarian when he refuses to surrender.
-She takes his head back in a shopping bag, Judith and Holofernes style.
-They buy a groundcar and travel back

Raid day 5
-Arriving at Tanery Base, they get through security and turn the replicator over to Captain Vagen.
-Then Cordelia takes Vordarian’s head into a meeting of negotiation with potential defectors and tells them the war is over and it’s time to surrender unconditionally.
- She and Aral kiss! (after he orders everyone else out of the room).

Two days Later
-the last holdouts surrender

Two days after that
-Gregor returns to Vorbarr Sultana and is told about his mother’s death.

Soon after that
-Cordelia helps Gregor to light the offerings at Kareen’s funeral.
-She and Aral are made Gregor’s guardians.
-They move into the residence

A month after Winterfair
-Drou and Kou are married at the Residence, with Alys planning the wedding.

With the last snows of winter melting
-Miles is released from the uterine replicator 10 months after conception.
-Piotr is still not reconciled to this development.
-Bothari is assigned as Miles’ bodyguard

5 years later
-Miles convinces his grandpa to teach him to ride a horse by stealing a stallion.

Chapter Text

The Warrior’s Apprentice begins roughly 16 years following Barrayar. Miles is 17, counting from Cordelia’s placental transfer.

Day 1
- Miles Kosigan finds himself awaiting the physical exam for entrance to the Imperial Service Academy, where Vor no longer receive official preference.
- At the last moment before his entry into the obstacle course, he is ordered to remove his medical leg braces which are declared an artificial performance aid.
- He climbs the wall at the start of the course, and despite not having his braces, jumps down rather than face the embarrassment of climbing down.
- So instead, he enjoys the embarrassment of breaking both his legs and washing out of the examinations entirely.

Day 2
-Miles returns to Vorkosigan House on antigrav crutches.
-He’s insisted on giving the bad news to Piotr personally. Piotr blames Cordelia’s egalitarian notions for making Vor compete for military positions with proles.
-Miles is moping in an upstairs room, and Elena comes to check on him. She reveals that Piotr was planning on offering Miles his name once he passed the exams.
-They discuss her similarly frustrated military hopes, and she mentions that the Sergeant has announced his plan to arrange her marriage.
-Miles considers his crush on her— and how little it matters in light of his disability and failure to pass the exams.
-Admiral Prime Minister Lord Vorkosigan comes to ask what his son’s backup plan is. He suggests political work in the Vorkosigan district, as Piotr’s deputy.

Day 3
-The servant who comes to awake him calls him “Lord Vorkosigan” which is how Miles realizes that Piotr is dead.
-Miles is convinced that his bad news the prior afternoon killed the old man.

Three days of Funeral ceremonies

Day 6 or 7
-Miles sneaks away from the wake at Vorkosigan House to give Elena flowers from one of the funeral arrangements.
-Elena tells him she wishes she could put flowers on her mother’s grave, but she doesn’t know where it is. This gives Miles a project.
-They go to the library. He digs into Bothari’s service records and sees that the Escobar part is locked by ImpSec and that the rest is very strange.
-Then he goes looking for Elena’s birth records and finds the uterine replicators— also under ImpSec seal.
-Koudelka comes in, so they pretend to be making out instead of hacking into the military database. Unfortunately, Aral and Bothari are with him.
- Miles and Elena waltz past the shocked adults but then she retreats to her room, certain that her father has lied about her mother and that she’ll be barred from spending time with him now that they’re suspected of dalliance.
-Cordelia comes looking for Aral to warn him that Count Vordrozda has arrived.
-Ivan shows up with a bottle of wine he’s filched and they both sneak off to Miles’ bedroom to enjoy it.
-The Count arrives to berate Miles for making Elena cry. Miles asks why she doesn’t get to date, travel, or go to college. This is not what Aral expects.
-Miles suggests a trip to Beta Colony, and Aral is remarkably happy at the idea of getting him safely off planet for a few months

Three Weeks of Travel from Barrayar to Beta Colony
-The group’s 2 day layover on Escobar reveals no headstone for Elena’s mother and no record of her, to Miles disappointment and concern.

Day 30 (approximate)
-Sergeant Bothari is delayed in Customs arriving on Beta Colony, so Elena and Miles go ahead into the shuttleport.
-They witness authorities arguing over what to do about a jump pilot, Arde Mathew, who’s taken his ship hostage to prevent it being scrapped.
-Miles decides to intervene. He offers to go in as negotiator.
-To the ship owner’s chagrin and Arde’s severe bemusement, Miles arranges to buy the ship to save it from salvage, and has Arde swear liegeman’s oath to him to save him from the Betan Mental Health Board.
-They all go off to Elizabeth Naismith’s apartment. She mentions that there’s a Barrayaran runaway in the recycling plant.
-The recycling administrator takes Miles and Bothari to investigate. Baz is cooking a fish.
-Baz is hiding from registration or traceable activity of any kind. Miles and Bothari realize Baz is a military deserter.
-To Bothari’s chagrin, Miles decides to hire Baz to crew his new ship.

Day ~31
-Miles finds a cargo that will pay back the cost of the ship. The first catch is that it happens to require delivery in a war zone. The second is that it may not just be agricultural equipment.
-Miles takes Bothari and Mayhew to visit the potential customer, Daum, confirms that it’s actually a weapons run, and maybe accidentally implies that he’s a hotshot galactic mercenary.
-When they get home, it turns out that Elizabeth showed Elena “The Thin Blue Line” and the Betan perspective on Escobar has come as bit of a shock.
-Miles enlists Elena as clerk for the run, which is supposed to be an eight week trip.

Day ~33-34
-Miles spends his travel allowance, their return tickets, and everything else he can think of in order to get them off-planet.
-They take off, just ahead of ImpSec, who’ve realized somehow that they have a deserter on board.

3 to 4 weeks of travel to Tau Verde

Day 60 approx
-The ship arrives at the jump point to Tau Verde, where the warning buoy announces that jump pilots will be held at the jump station by the mercenary fleet until their crews are done on-planet.
-They complete the jump and are boarded for inspection. The mercenaries shake them down for cash but don’t notice the hidden cargo at all. All goes smoothly until the mercenary captain makes eyes at Elena and says he’ll take her as a hostage instead of Arde.
-Miles and Sgt. Bothari ambush the boarders with Daum, Mayhew and Elena joining in.
-Bothari tortures codes out of the shuttle pilot, and they board and capture the mercenary cruiser. The pilot dies of a stroke.

Day ~61
-The mercenary captain, temporarily released to sickbay, asks Miles what his crew is smuggling. He says ‘military advisors’ and having noticed the general disrepair and disorder of the ship, keeps the prisoners busy with a full military inspection
-Having persuaded them that he’s a representative of a superior mercenary force, Miles invents his alter ego, Mr. Naismith, and the Dendarii Mercenary Force, and tells the prisoners they’re being recruited. This leads to questions about health insurance.
-Miles stays up all night editing the old Barrayaran military regulations into a handbook for his imaginary Dendarii Mercenaries.

Day ~62
-Onboard the captured ship, they hold a funeral for the dead pilot.
-Elena tells him that Daum is convinced he’s a commando who’s undergone secret Betan rejuvenation treatment to age him down.
-Baz, meanwhile, is convinced he’s a Count’s son exiled in disgrace due to his physical impairments.
-Miles is still manic, Elena sends her father to make him go to sleep.

Day ~68 (A very busy day)
-The mercenaries are still carrying on drills, persuaded that there’re part of a new outfit, when the ships arrive at the refinery station that was Daum’s final destination.
-While watching the comm call between Daum and the station commander, Miles realizes that he’s seeing pre-recorded replies. Their enemies have captured the Felician outpost.
-Bel Thorne asks Miles for orders, and he throws it back as a training excercise. Bel says they can take the station and use their Oseran mercenary codes to get the jump on any reinforcements.
-The attack works, and Arde rams the Oseran ship (Ky Tung’s Triumph that arrives mid-fight. So now Miles and co are stuck with another ship, an empty mining station, even more prisoners, no pay, and a growing mercenary troop.
-Bel gives Miles the casualty report and lets him know a Pelian ship escaped so they’ll need to plan to resist a counterattack. He’s still in shock that he can’t end the whole mercenary ploy and turn his erstwhile troops over to the Felicians and then leave the system.
-Elena and Miles watch Elli Quinn get first aid for severe burns to her face. Miles says women shouldn’t be in combat and Elena reproaches him.
-After a command conference, Miles goes to bed but can’t sleep.
-He comes out to find Bothari attempting to strangle Baz. He caught Baz and Elena together. Miles breaks up the fight at Elena’s request and sends her with Baz to the infirmary so Bothari can calm down.
-Bothari insists to Miles that he wants a right and proper marriage for Elena, and insists that Miles arrange it if he dies. He also makes Miles promise to have him buried at Vorkosigan Surleau.
-With that morbid conversation behind him Miles is finally tired enough to sleep.

Unspecified # of days repairing the Triumph and preparing the refinery station for battle

Day ?? (75?)
-Hoping to address understaffing on the station through more recruitment, Miles goes to the improvised brig for dinner with Ky Tung, offering him a position in the Dendarii. Ky rebuffs him and asks whether he thinks he’s the legendary Lord Vorkosigan.
-After a panicked second, Miles realizes Ky is referencing Admiral Prime Minister Count Vorkosigan. Ky turns out to be a veteran of the mercenary side of the Komarr War and big fan of Aral as a strategist. He’s starstruck when Miles confesses to having met the Admiral.
-Though he refuses to defect, Ky offers Miles a job if they both make it out of Tau Verde.

Day ?? (80?)
-The Pelian counterattack on the refinery arrives. Miles says they might have been unprepared for it a week earlier which establishes that the Dendarii have been on the station for at least a week.
-One of the Pelian ships uses an unrecognized weapon to fire on the refinery. Miles goes with a crew to capture it and gain control of the weapon.
-Back at the station, the shot caused a hull breach in the prison section and Elena had the prisoners released (stunning her dad when he objected) rather than letting them die. They escaped during the disorder.
-Major Daum died during the attack, removing Miles’ actual contractual agreement for delivery of goods along with him.

3 days later (83?)
-After evacuating the station section by section to search for the runaway prisoners, they conclude that Ky Tung managed to escape to the Oseran fleet with seven of his commandos including his jump pilot.
-Because Sergeant Bothari killed the Ariel’s pilot and Arde damaged the freighter’s jump rods ramming the Triumph and has an out-of-date jump implant, this leaves them with four ships and no jump pilot, so Miles and co can’t just run away through the wormhole no matter how much he wants to.

Day ?? (88?) (Counterattack plus 8)
-A Felician local space cruiser arrives with Miles’ paycheck— in (local) cash. Being under blockade has caused hyperinflation so it’s a lot of paper, and the currency has been dropped from galactic exchanges, so it’s worthless off Tau Verde.
-Baz and Arde talk up Miles’ leadership to the Felician commander, who decides to offer Miles and the Dendarii mercenary contract to break the blockade… under the assumption that there are other Dendarii ships Miles can contact.

Day ?? (100?)
-Roughly two weeks after signing the contract, Miles and co are in the Triumph tactics room when a call arrives from Ky Tung, who asks if the job offer is still open.
-Miles meets one-on-one with him, learns that Admiral Oser violated Tung’s contract and publicly berated him for his defeat and capture, and enlists him.

Day ?? (105?)
-Five days after Ky’s defection, Arde, Baz, and Bel return from Felis with the Ariel, a Felician fast courier, and a shipload of impromptu recruits— mostly galactic military and security personnel stranded on Tau Verde by the blockade, who have signed up to help break the blockade on the condition that they’re discharged out-of-system.
-Miles enters the recruits’ personal info into the personnel database, and notices that there’s a beautiful Escobaran who was an officer in the defense against the Barrayaran invasion who received a medical discharge immediately after the war, just like Sergeant Bothari. Her name is Elena Visconti.
-Miles gets super excited to introduce the two Elena’s, but decides that since guessing wrong would be awkward, he’ll just bring them all together and see if they recognize each other

Day ?? (106?)
-Miles holds a planning meeting to see if his officers can cook up a scheme to fully break the blockade, then goes off to privately plan how to pack all his liegepeople into the fast courier and abandon the whole operation.
-He’s hidden a bottle of wine in his cabin, hoping for a joyous family reunion. Elena and the Sergeant sit with him, blissfully unaware of this possibility, reviewing recruit training plans.
-Elena Visconti arrives with a needle gun, and tells Miles that his bodyguard is a rapist, torturer, and war criminal.
-She asks for Miles to arrest Bothari, and shoots the Sergeant when Miles hesitates. The younger Elena tackles and disarms her, but the Sergeant is dead.
-The younger Elena is about to strangle Visconti, and Miles blurts out that Visconti is her mother.
-Elena is horrified that Miles believes what she takes to be lies.
-Arde walks in, sees the blood, and gets a medtech.
-Visconti insists it was an execution. Miles says it was suicide. Bothari had a weapon and didn’t shoot.
-The cryochambers are full. Miles looks at Elena’s dread and decides not to dump someone else, forcing them to face each other again.

Day ??? (108?) to ??? (119?)
-Miles cries for the first time three days after the Sergeant’s death.
-He and Elena don’t talk to each other, and he becomes incredibly depressed, sitting silent in staff conferences.
-He starts vomiting blood.
-He’s keeping the coffin in his cabin.

Day ??? (120?)
-Finally, Elena confronts him and insists he take charge, because things are falling apart.
-Then she asks why he immediately believed Visconti. He points out that he saw a lot more of the Sergeant when they were growing up, so he knew he had an edge.
-Elena says how much she looked forward to the Sergeant visiting her at Vorkosigan Surleau growing up. He was her idol— and a war criminal.
-Miles tells her he loves her, and the parts of her dad that are in her, and proposes marriage.
-Elena very reasonably, rationally, and kindly explains all the reasons she can’t marry him. Then she invites him to the staff meeting.
-It does not go well. But after it collapses into a shouting match Miles intervenes— by climbing onto the conference table.
-He announces that their mission is not to destroy the Oseran force, but to get it to abandon the blockade. -What better way to get rid of mercenaries than to disrupt their payroll?

Day ??? (180?)
-Having interrupted 3 bimonthly payroll pickups by either stealing or destroying the cash, the Dendarii head for a fourth.
-Miles is preparing to join the mission when he collapses due to ulcers he’s been ignoring for months.
-Miles puts Elena in command before he passes out.

Day ???-??? (180-182?)
-Miles hallucinates a lot of different people after an allergic reaction to the sedative.
-Miles nearly bleeds to death but it surgically repaired.

Day ??? (183?)
-Ivan arrives and is by Miles’ bedside when he awakes.
-Ivan asks if the ImpSec officer with the secret dispatch has arrived.
-He missed the boat due to a one-night stand on Beta Colony but found a female cargo pilot headed the right way and looking for company.
-He explains that after a report that Miles was kidnapped by a deserter, rumors spread that Miles was building his own mercenary army. It caused a flurry in the Council of Counts.
-Baz reports on his mission— getting the electronic payroll to overpay 8x. The Pelians demand a refund and Oser refuses.
-Then, Oser’s ships arrive. He offers to enlist his whole fleet in the Dendarii and abandon the blockade.

Day ??? (187?): Another Very Busy Day
-Miles had ended up as commander of 19 warships and over 3000 troops.
-This solves the military challenge but expands the financial one— they have to split profits and provide payroll to all those captains and crews.
-Baz and Elena arrive, so that Baz can ask their liegelord’s permission to marry. Elena, having given up on Barrayar, is not excited about this prospect.
-Miles tries to list reasons why he can’t permit it. Elena reams him.
-Miles tries to propose again and again makes it about her dad. She gives this the attention it deserves.
-Ivan shows up to ask if his ImpSec contingent has arrived, and an offhand comment makes Miles realize that he’s broken Vorloupulous’ law by accident.
-Then Miles realizes how weird it is that Ivan, a first year cadet, got pulled out of the Academy for a secret ImpSec mission.
-Ivan admits that his orders came verbally from Admiral Hessman, who’s over procurement, not ImpSec, but is Vordrozda’s henchman.
-Gregor’s heir is (contentiously) Aral, Aral’s heir is Miles, Miles’ heir is Ivan, Ivan’s heir is Vortaine, Vortaine’s heir is Vordrozda.
-Then Ivan mentions seeing his ImpSec commander get parchment orders— the kind used for Imperial edicts.
-Miles asks if the ribbon was black—the color used for capital criminal charges. For treason charges.
-Time to get back to Barrayar fast!
-Miles goes off to find Baz and Elena and correct his earlier error. He baba’s for them in imitation of what his mother did for Kou and Drou, proving again that Miles missed his true calling in the theatre.
-Miles suggests they marry immediately, since he’s about to leave. He makes the Dendarii their wedding present.
-Then he goes to talk to Elena Visconti to ask her to talk to the younger Elena. Then he kneels and asks her to forgive Bothari. She gives him a lock of her hair to burn.
-He offers Arde a job looking for Necklin rods.

Day ??? (188?)
-Miles, Ivan, and Elli Quinn head towards the fast courier. The troops show up for a farewell.
-Baz asks what house he serves. Miles tells him that if he wants livery, it will come in brown and silver. Baz is rather stunned.
-They leave a cheering crowd behind.

Day ??? (203?)
-After roughly two weeks by fast courier, they’re on Beta Colony. Miles is there with a false ID because of the business with the freighter, but they run into Calhoun, the angry former freighter owner.
-He threatens to arrest Miles, but they jump him, tie him up, and leave him in a closet with his money.
-Elizabeth Naismith tells him that Aral’s had the trial postponed twice already.
-They leave Elli at Grandmother Naismith’s with money for facial reconstruction (she was injured in the initial battle to take the refinery).
-Grandma Naismith informs him that the charge has been changed from violation of Vorloupulous’ law to attempted usurpation of the Imperium. Aral reverse psychologied Vordrozda into it.

Day ??? (218?)
-Miles and Ivan *land a lightflyer directly outside Vorhartung Castle* after sneaking past customs, revealing some issues in security.
-They do at least get searched twice before going in.
-The guards tell them it’s the final day of a weeklong trial.
-Vordrozda is busy asking why Ivan Vorpatril disappeared if not as part of a treason plot started by the Count, right as Ivan walks in.
-Miles accuses Hessman of attempted murder, etc and then tells him how happy Vordrozda will be to let him take the fall. Hessman squeals. Vordrozda draws a needler.
-He gets tackled by a crowd of Counts. And Ivan Vorpatril.
-That drama over, the Emperor sweeps Miles, Ivan, Aral, Vorhalas, and Vorvolk into a back room so Miles can give testimony.
-Miles’ main defense is “Whoops I started a mercenary fleet by accident because I wanted to be a hero like my dad” -Everyone but Count Vorhalas is very impressed. He has to be talked off the ledge of filing charges of violation of Vorloupulous’ Law himself.
-To clear the impasse, Miles offers the Dendarii to Gregor as a crown troop.
-Aral proposes sending Miles to the Academy to keep him from getting into more trouble.

Day ??? (220?)
-The actual Council vote on the treason charges is held. Miles is acquitted.

Day ??? (225?)
-Miles digs Bothari’s grave by hand and buries his longtime bodyguard in the Vorkosigan family plot. He burns the offerings.

Day ??? (300?)
-Miles Kosigan, at the Academy, is pulled out of her for a late night practical exam, a shuttle docking drill, with Cadet Kostelitz, who still thinks of him as a nepotism entry.
-Miles guesses the trick when he sees that the instructor has three emergency breath masks stored in his pocket.
-When a gas leak starts, Kostelitz finds out the breath masks have no oxygen. Miles improvises masks for them all with an oxygen canister, fixes the leak, and befriends Kostelitz.

Chapter Text

The Vor Game begins a month after Barrayaran Midsummer

Day 1
-Miles and Ivan, along with the rest of the recently graduated cadets, are in line to receive their first assignments as officers in the Barrayaran Imperial Service.
-Ivan is assigned as an HQ staffer in Vorbarr Sultana. Miles is assigned as weatherman on Kyril Island, nicknamed “Camp Permafrost”, an infantry winter training base.
-Miles goes immediately to Major Cecil, the Academy personnel officer who chooses the assignments, to protest that he knows nothing about meteorology and that this assignment doesn’t even require an Academy graduate.
-Cecil explains that he is being given a test of his capacity for subordination. If he can get along with the enlisted men, obey orders, and stay patient for six months, he has a shot at a transfer to a plum posting on the Empire’s biggest baddest battlecruiser.
-For a ship-mad Ensign, that’s quite an incentive. Miles resigns himself to a few months of misery before his dreams come true.

Day 2
-Miles arrives at Camp Permafrost. Nobody comes to meet him at the shuttle pad. The Greekie techs clearly think he’s a mutant.
-When he arrives at the base office it’s practically abandoned.
-He does finally find the current base weather officer— passed out drunk in his underwear on his office floor, with the heat turned up to boiling.
-Frustrated, Miles mouths off about the disorder to the next officer he sees. Who happens to be the very unamused base commander.
-What a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad first day in the frozen north.

Day 3
-Surprisingly, the base weather officer, Lieutenant Ahn, is both present and sober when Miles arrives in the weather office the next morning.
-He gives Miles a tour and asks if he’s any relation of *that* Vorkosigan. Miles readily admits the connection, though he’s hard-pressed to describe what the Admiral is like in daily life.
-When Miles notices that the forecast he fills out matches neither the computer projection or instrument readouts alone, Ahn is pressed to admit that after 15 years, he predicts the weather by sense of smell.
-Upon discovering just how much more accurate Ahn’s forecasts are than the automated ones, Miles realizes that this weatherman business may be rather more difficult than he was counting on.

Days 4-6
-Miles spends his every waking moment shadowing Ahn to absorb as much of the man’s magical weather senses as he can before the Lieutenant heads off for a hard earned retirement in the tropics.
-He begins to think that his first impression of Ahn as an unreliable drunk was perhaps a bit harsh.

Day 7
-Miles finds the lieutenant dead drunk again, in his cabin this time.
-Unable to rouse him, Miles heads out for the day’s rounds on his own, checking outlying weather stations.
-The motor pool techs advise him to park his vehicle in a certain out-of-the-wind spot.
-When he gets there, it’s late enough that he decides to just camp, and chains his tent to his vehicle to keep it from being blown away.

Day 8
-Miles awakes to find his entire shelter submerged underground. The mud has sucked him down.
-He swim-digs his way to the surface and breaks into a maintenance shed, barely escaping with his life. His vehicle, com link, and even his boots are two meters deep in the mud.
-Fortunately, he’s rescued before he dies of hypothermia or loses any limbs to frostbite.
-Miles realizes it was a prank by the motor pool, intending him to go check the station and come back to a vehicle starting to sink, just a little hazing for the newest officer. They didn’t mean for it to nearly kill him.
-Base Commander Metzov decides to make an example of Miles for losing the vehicle, taking out his dislike of Vor lordlings and what he sees as effete modern officers while he’s at it, assigning Miles a week of maintenance shifts above and beyond his regular duties.
-Miles asks Metzov if he’d rather find himself explaining this particular Ensign’s mysterious death. Wrong move.

Days 9-15
-Miles finds himself enjoying the maintenance shifts more than expected, as they give him more insight into the underlying mechanics of the military.
-The engineering manager is clever and circumspect, and after putting two and two together assigns the motor pools techs to pay for their prank by joining Miles on duty.
-On the second to last day, he finds a dead body in a culvert. The base doctor labels or death by stupidity.
-Ivan calls to show off his new apartment. Miles feels like it’s a call from another dimension, not his hometown two hours away.
-Miles investigates the culverts further, hoping for a juicy conspiracy, but in the end just finds some stale hidden pastries the private tried to retrieve in a rainstorm. What a sorry way to go.

Day 16
-Lieutenant Ahn departs at last, leaving Miles with a final cryptic warning to avoid pushing Metzov.
-Miles takes this as an invitation to investigate, and finding what he guesses is the relevant portion of Metzov’s records locked, calls Ivan at Ops and enlists him to help hack in.
-Metzov was implicated in a suspicious prisoner death during the Komarr Revolt. There wasn’t enough evidence for a court martial, but it still froze his career.

Weeks Pass
-Miles gets used to the routine.
-Snowfall starts, and the infantry arrive.
-Miles makes no headway with Metzov but doesn’t antagonize him further.
-Mostly he just keeps to himself, as he saw Ahn do, and waits for the months to pass.

Day ~90
-A siren wakes the base staff during the middle of the night.
-Miles offers his assistance and the engineering officer accepts. It’s a toxic spill in the weapons stores.
-The spill is a mutagen, never used as a weapon, but kept anyway.
-It’s destroyed by heat, so Miles suggests throwing some grenades in and sealing the bunker.
-Metzov objects when the plan is announced. He insists they send techs in for cleanup.
-None of the techs are willing to go in, given Barrayar’s fear of mutation.
-Metzov declares this an act of mutiny, and decides to fix it his way.
-He has the techs lined up outside, in the freezing wind, with a squad of trainees with nerve disruptor aimed at them, and orders them to strip and stand there until they’re ready to accept orders.
-The engineering officer joins his men when they still refuse. Metzov seems ready to kill. So Miles joins in too— asking whether he’ll kill the Prime Minister’s son.
-Then Miles suggests he arrest them all for mutiny instead of murdering them. Metzov likes this idea, especially as a punishment for Aral Vorkosigan, who he says made the Service soft.

Day ~91
-The toxin is disposed of as Miles suggested.
-Service Security arrives at Metzov’s request to come after the mutineers. ImpSec arrives to drag Miles off.
-Miles assumes they are here to save him, but they do not seem to agree.
-Metzov points out that when a Vor lord participates in a mutiny, it’s high treason. Miles is under arrest.
-As they leave the island, Miles realizes he can predict the day’s expected weather— by sense of smell.
-At ImpSec HQ Miles is brought into Captain Illyan’s office, where his father also appears.
-They agree to keep Miles out of sight for a while, and then reassign him to ImpSec, given his chain-of-command issues. Neither Miles or Illyan are particularly excited about this.

Miles’ ImpSec staycation (At least one month)
-Miles spends about a week in the ImpSec infirmary, recovering from pneumonia.
-Cordelia visits him there at least twice, and tells him he’s being publicly punished so that Aral’s enemies can’t make a stink about things. She also asks if he’s ready for a new career, perhaps off planet.
-Once recovered, he’s moved to a secure witness apartment. The door isn’t locked but it’s made clear that he’s really not allowed to leave.
-After a few days, Gregor arrives one evening with some very fine wine, and they commiserate about being prisoners of ImpSec.
-Two days after that, he’s given a job as secretary to the ImpSec building guard captain. After a few weeks, this gets tedious. He starts watching the library of military training vids out of sheer boredom.
-Finally he’s called back into Captain Illyan’s office and asked how the Dendarii are doing. Then Illyan explains the rising tensions in the Hegen Hub, and the significance of the Dendarii presence there.
-Miles is assigned to accompany a Barrayaran observer to the Hub and get the Dendarii to leave if he can in order to reduce tensions overall.

Three Week Jumpship Trip to Pol Six

Day ~142
-Miles new cover identity is arms dealer Victor Rotha, a name which has the distinct security advantage over “Admiral Miles Naismith” of not consisting of 2/3 of Miles legal name.
-Captain Ungari has Miles go out trawling for contacts with Sgt Overholt posing as his bodyguard.
-He offers imaginary wares to a prospective buyer, who expresses interest in jumpsuits designed to deflect nerve disruptor fire and asks for a later meeting.
-While Miles and Overholt grab lunch in the station concourse, a Dendarii operative recognizes him as Admiral Naismith. Miles panics and breaks cover, then suggests a private meeting later.
-The Dendarii, Chodak, comes to their ship and tells Miles that Oser has navigated a takeover and is trying to push Tung out. Things are tense. He asks if Mikes is coming back and warns that another merc loyal to Oser overheard him call Miles Admiral Naismith earlier.
-Miles goes to the follow up with his contact from earlier, but a woman who calls herself Livia is there instead. She asks about the same bodysuits and then starts in on seduction but Miles panics and leaves before anything happens between them.
-Back at their ship, Ungari gets a report that Miles’ earlier contact turned up dead and Victor Rotha is wanted for murder. Miles suggests they prove his innocence but Ungari thinks leaving for the next stage of their inspections and staying far away from legal authorities is a better idea.

Day 143
-Ungari dumps the ship, then gets an urgent ImpSec message and leaves for Aslund Station, telling Overholt and Miles to return to Barrayar ASAP
-Overholt makes Miles stay in their hostel until they head out to board a passenger ship to Escobar.

Day ~144
-On their way to the departure zone, Miles and Overholt are accosted by Jacksonian Station Security. Victor Rotha’s arrest has been purchased by one Cavilo. The Barrayarans make a break for it but are shocksticked into submission and Miles is taken into custody, and then has a series of seizures.
-While awaiting booking, Miles runs into Gregor, who is much to Miles’ surprise a contract slave awaiting transit to Aslund station. Miles and Gregor mug another prisoner so Miles can wear his uniform and leave with the Gregor.
-After they’re on the ship, Miles realizes that this means they’re both stuck and nobody else knows where Gregor is, while if he’d stayed he could have told someone else.
-Miles makes a personal resolution to never make key tactical decisions while suffering electroconvulsive seizures (this will prove important a few books down the line).

2 days normal space travel to Aslund station

Day ~147
-Miles tries to track down Elena so that someone else Barrayaran knows where the Emperor is. He finds Chodak and sets up a rendezvous.
-Mercenaries arrive, but they’re opponents not allies. Miles and Gregor are taken to Admiral Oser.
-After a brief conversation, Oser orders them pushed out an airlock without giving Miles a chance to talk to anyone else.
-Chodak and Elena arrive to rescue them. Miles is surprised that Elena has gotten a haircut in the past three years.
-Elena and Tung ask what Miles’ takeover plan is, and tell him the story of how Oser retook the fleet via financial reorganization.
-Rather than stay, Miles tells them to send him and Gregor on to Vervain, figuring that since Victor Rotha is wanted on Pol and Jackson’s Whole, and the Dendarii are on the brink of civil war, that’s the best direction.

Day ~149
-They arrive on Vervain station, and are grabbed immediately by Vervain’s mercenaries, Randall’s Rangers, and their commander, Cavilo— aka Livia, the femme fatale who Miles met on Pol Six.
-Miles is already panicking when Cavilo’s second in command arrives. It’s General Metzov, who’s turned mercenary after being discharged from the Barrayaran military over the Kyril Island fiasco.
-Metzov drags them to his cabin onboard the mercenary’s flagship, not trusting guards to assist in questioning. Cavilo tags along. She’s very excited to have bagged an Emperor.
-Gregor is put in a cabin adjoining Cavilo’s. Miles is put in the brig. Cavilo shoots another prisoner in front of him to make a point.
-Metzov comes to Miles’ cell to taunt him about how the tables have turned. He goes from saying he’s essential to Cavilo’s plans to bragging that he can assassinate her the way she killed her predecessor.

Three days in solitary confinement
-Miles takes up macramé to distract himself.

Day ~152
-Cavilo arrives to question Miles about Cordelia. She wants to know how an offworlder woman wormed her way into the Vor. Then she asks whether it’s true that Gregor ran to escape a forced marriage.
-She points out that Miles’ cooperation could be very useful to her. And his opposition, dangerous to him.
-To butter him up, she replaces his ration bar meals with gourmet dishes.
-At dinner time, she brings in a former Dendarii to ID him as Admiral Naismith, and asks Rotha/Vorkosigan/Naismith how many people he is.

Day ~153
-Miles is given an exercise period outside his cell. On the return trip he sees the Oseran lieutenant who tried to space him returning from a fast penta interrogation.
-Cavilo calls Miles to her room and tells him that to ensure the Emperor’s safety, he needs to go take over the Oseran mercenaries, and then wait for further instructions.
-He says he’s more likely to he shot on sight. She says strategically, either his success or his failure can work out for her.
-He has a terrible allergic reaction to her perfume.

Transit to Aslund station

Day ~155
-Miles is delivered, in a Randall’s Rangers uniform and slippers, to the Ariel, Bel Thorne’s ship.
-Bel greets Miles and tells him Oser’s had Tung arrested.
-Miles decides to call Oser, and convince him that they need to cooperate to oppose Cavilo. Oser has met Cavilo before and considers this somewhat persuasive.
-To make sure Oser can’t just make him disappear, he does a thorough tour of Aslund Station to show that he’s back with the fleet.
-Just as they’re heading back to the docking bays, they’re attacked by a lone shooter with a nerve disruptor aimed for Miles.
-It’s Metzov. Miles claims he was serving as bait to lure out the attack to get Metzov’s information.
-They ask where Cavilo is planning to attack. Metzov says it’s *Vervain*. Cavilo is attacking her own employer to steal as much as she can ahead of a Cetagandan invasion, then retreat via Jackson’s Whole.
-They’re all stunned. Miles suggests standing in the way of the Cetagandans. Oser decides on retreat. Elena stabs him with a fast penta syringe before he can give any orders.
-They take him to his cabin to hide him, and call Ky out of the brig and brief him on the situation. Ky agrees to being strategic commander for a defense of the Vervain-Hub wormhole and they bring the fleet command around.
-Baz comes back from repairs and he and Miles have a brief heart to heart.
-Ungari and Overholt arrive, to Miles’ relief. They attempt to take him back to an ImpSec safehouse. He has them sent to the brig.

Day ~156
-As they take the fleet towards Vervain Station, Miles sends a tight beam to the Vervani military requesting orders from Cavilo, informing them that their mercenary commander has been doing some unauthorized negotiations.
-He then informs the comma officer to ensure technical difficulties until they’re close enough for simultaneous communication with Cavilo.
-By the time they come near, Cavilo has taken off in a fast courier towards Pol Station— except the Dendarii are in the way.
-Cavilo threatens to kill Gregor if they don’t get out of her way. Miles tells her she needs Gregor alive more than he does and plays the scheming Barrayaran, aiming for the throne.
-To cap it off, Miles insists that Cavilo bring Gregor to the Triumph. Miles has a plasma cannon set up, and Cavilo arrives with her whole team armored except for Gregor. Miles starts off with a threat to blow the Emperor apart if her troops make any move.
-Gregor successfully escapes Cavilo just by walking straight towards the plasma cannon.
-Miles fills Gregor in, and offers him command, then suggests negotiating a treaty with Vervain, Aslund, and possibly Pol to make the Dendarii defense legitimate.
-Miles and Gregor do an interrogation routine with Cavilo, telling her they’ll turn her over to the Cetagandans if she won’t cooperate. But if she orders Randall’s Rangers to assist and turns over command, she’ll get safe passage after the battle.

Day ~157
-Miles and Gregor release Ungari and Overholt from the brig and draft them as Gregor’s support staff while he heads off to Vervain Station. Miles takes the Dendarii fleet through the wormhole into Vervani space.
-The Cetagandans succeeded in taking the wormhole between their controlled space and Vervani local space. The Vervani fleet had already shifted from defending the Hubwards wormhole to defending the planetary orbitals, leaving the mercenaries defending the wormhole alone.
-Oser escapes from the brig and takes a shuttle, trying to take back a loyal ship, but is blown up by Cetagandans.
-Then Chekhov’s Barrayaran battle cruiser, (mentioned in chapter 1 as the one Miles could get ship duty on if he behaves), comes through the wormhole, with Gregor and Aral in joint command, and chases the Cetagandans away.
-Miles goes to sickbay to see the wounded, and then heads back to Oser’s old cabin, thinking that he should probably change the code soon. Metzov and Cavilo are inside. Metzov starts to strangle Miles before being shot by Cavilo. She says it’s no good getting her revenge if she won’t outlive it, and thanks Miles for never underestimating her.

Day ~160
-Miles, Elena, and Ky board the Barrayaran flagship. Ky gets a tour while Miles and Elena catch up with Aral. Then they have lunch together with Tung’s favorite commander.
-The Dendarii are paid in full by Barrayar, Vervain, and Aslund.
-There’s an awards ceremony in the Vervani capital. Cavilo, whose betrayals are still secret, collects one on behalf of her decimated troops.
Day ~180
-Miles and Gregor eat lunch together in the Residence Gardens. Miles suggests that Gregor find someone to talk to about his depression, suggesting Cordelia.
-At ImpSec HQ, Captain Illyan reprimands Miles for insubordination, commends him for effectiveness, and, at Gregor’s personal request, promotes him to lieutenant.

Chapter Text

Morning Day 1: Welcome to Cetaganda
-Miles and Ivan’s shuttle prepares to dock at the transfer station of Eta Ceta IV, the Cetagandan homeworld, where they’ve been sent as diplomatic envoys at the funeral of the dowager empress.
-An elderly Cetagandan with no eyebrows pushes into their shuttle, and is appears to reach for a weapon. After a short scuffle, Miles grabs a mysterious rod out of the stranger’s vest, and then the intruder escapes.
-The pilot tells them they were directed to the wrong dock by traffic control, and they move. Miles tells the pilot not to report the encounter, to check the effectiveness of the Cetagandan station security.
-They’re met by a group of Cetagandans and the Barrayaran ambassador, Vorob’yev. They aren’t questioned about their encounter with the intruder. So Miles doesn’t get to match wits with a Cetagandan officer as hoped. To Ivan’s chagrin, Miles doesn’t debrief to Vorob’yev either.

Evening Day 1: Diplomacy, by various means
-Miles makes a sketch of the seal that’s emblazoned on the mytery rod, hoping to quietly learn more about it.
-The Marilacan Embassy is hosting a diplomatic reception prior to the formal funeral events. Ambassador Vorob’yev tells our two little Vor lords that Marilac is less safe from Cetagandan aggression than the Marilacans suppose.
-At the reception, Ivan immediately begins flirting with ghem ladies. Miles looks for someone to interrogate about the seal. He settles on Mia Maz, a Vervani diplomat who expresses her gratitude to Barrayar and the Vorkosigan family for saving Vervain from Cetagandan invasion.
-There’s a large sculpture donated to the embassy by a junior ghem lord. Miles and Ivan meet the artist, Lord Yenaro, who’s a relative of the Cetagandan general who oversaw the Cetagandan retreat from Barrayar.
-The tour of the sculpture causes Miles’ leg braces to heat violently, and so he and Ivan leave the party early. Miles decides that in this case, he doesn’t believe in coincidence.

Morning Day 2: When In Xanadu
-The Barrayaran delegation joins the throng of visitors to the Celestial Garden, the abode of the Cetagandan imperial household, for an offering procession where a variety of Cetagandan and galactic delegations bring gifts to lay at the Dowager Empress’ bier to kick off the ten days of funeral ceremonies.
-A hairless servant brings Miles summons from a haut lady who introduces herself as Rian Degtiar, Handmaiden of the Star Creche. After some confusion it becomes clear that she’s looking for the rod and thinks Miles intentionally stole it to hold it hostage. She’s shocked that he doesn’t even know what it is. Their conversation is cut short by the start of the procession.
-The ceremony itself is thrown into disarray, with guards directing guests to the exits rather than the bier. Miles sneaks a peek and sees the intruder from the shuttle dock on the ground by the bier, in a pool of blood, throat cut.
-Questioned, a guard says that it looks like one of the dowager empress’s closest servants has chosen to serve her in death.
-The body is quickly cleaned away and the ceremony goes forward as intended.

Afternoon Day 2: Etiquette Lessons
-Mia Maz comes to the Barrayaran Embassy with a report for Miles on the seal, which is that of the Star Crèche, the organization of haut women who oversee the haut genome.
-The dowager empress led the Star Crèche, by right as the senior-most woman of the Imperial household. Her death leaves that position open until the Emperor announces her replacement by presenting her with the Star Crèche regalia in the final ceremony of the funeral.
-Mia explains how the various genetic constellations of the haut arrange genetic crosses and adjustments and how this entire process is centrally controlled using the Star Crèche gene bank.
-To access the gene bank, the head of the Star Crèche uses the Great Key, a small rod. Ivan and Miles both panic as they realize exactly what they’ve got. Ivan suggests reporting it but Miles says he’ll return it quietly to its keeper (Rian) and no one will be the wiser.

Evening Day 2: Yenaro’s Party
-Miles and Ivan go to Lord Yenaro’s mansion for some reconnaissance on the ghem of their generation. As usual, Ivan heads right for the ladies, while Miles searches for clues in his mystery.
-Clue one is that a tour of Yenaro’s studio shows that he’s a master perfumer, not a sculptor. So Miles concludes the sculpture was designed by someone else, using Yenaro as a cover.
-Clue two comes in the form of a woman who takes Miles out of the party for a rendezvous with Rian Degtiar.
-Miles hands the Great Key over to Rian, and she tries to open it with the seal and discovers that it’s a counterfeit.
-Rian explains that the Dowager Empress was aiming to distribute copies of the haut gene bank for each of the eight main planets of the Empire, in order to decentralize it, but hadn’t had time to duplicate the Great Key before her death. -Her servitor was taking it to one of the haut governors to get him to duplicate it, because the plan was being pursued without the emperor’s knowledge, which is also why Rian has to keep it hidden from Cetagandan security.
-Miles concludes that one of the haut governors has decided to make himself Emperor by taking control of the haut gene bank, treason against the Emperor *and* the Star Crèche. He just doesn’t know which of the eight it is. And the only known witness is dead.
-Meanwhile, Ivan has found himself set up for embarrassment when he is propositioned by two Ghem ladies only to discover that he’d been slipped an anti-aphrodisiac. But he thinks quick and makes the best use of his talents to give a good showing anyhow.

Morning Day 3: Mutually Assured Interrogation
-Dag Benin of Cetagandan Imperial Security comes to ask Miles some questions about the mysterious death in the rotunda. Miles distracts him with a series of sharp questions about the investigation.
-After they’ve agreed that, in this case, the mysterious death is more likely murder than suicide, Miles suggests the possibility that someone with rank and power might try to quash the investigation, and suggests that Benin request direct support from his Emperor to pursue his inquiries without interference.
-Ivan’s diligence the prior evening is rewarded with a bevy of invitations to social events from a variety of Ghem ladies.

Evening Day 4: A Night at the Opera Elegiac Poetry Recital
-In order to observe the eight haut governors, Miles asks Ambassador Vorob’yev to secure an invitation to the elegiac poetry recital in the Celestial Garden. Ivan pleads exhaustion due to his other social engagements, so Miles and Vorob’yev are joined by Mia Maz of the Vervani delegation.
-Miles manages to sit attentively through several hours of formal poetry by composing limericks in his head, but finds no clues. Brief conversations with several of his suspects during the mingling afterwards provide no further insights.
-The evening is not a complete loss however as Rian once again sends him a summons and takes him to the Star Creche HQ for follow up on their earlier discussion.
-One of the haut governors, Slyke Giaja, demanded to see the Star Crèche regalia, which leads Rian to think he’s the one who actually stole it and he wasn’t expecting her to have recovered the duplicate or to be keeping the switch secret.
-Miles suggests a reverse-heist to recover the Great Key from the governor’s flagship the next day during the Bioaesthetics Fair he and Ivan will be attending. Rian agrees to enlist the help of another haut lady to arrange the proper cover for such an enterprise.

Afternoon Day 5: Bioaesthetic Competition
-Miles and Ivan attend the event with Lord Voreedi, protocol officer and ImpSec ghoul, as their minder. Miles asks Ivan to create a distraction so he can sneak off and meet his contact. Ivan points out that his past experience doesn’t suggest good results from following Miles’ lead. Lord Voreedi departs on a separate emergency call before this can go further.
- They then encounter Lord Yenaro again, who’s been helping with one of the displays. He offers them a drink, but Miles stops him. He’s realized the carpet their on is highly flammable and the “beverage” Yenaro is holding is a liquid catalyst.
-Miles pulls a few threads from the rug and demonstrates it’s highly incendiary nature. Concluding that Yenaro wasn’t on a suicide mission, he asks what the set-up is. Yenaro admits that all his attacks have been sponsored by Governor Ilsum Ketty, who promised him a patronage post in exchange for assistance embarrassing some offworlders.
-This contradicts Rian’s conclusion that Slyke Giaja is the plotter, so Miles calls off his planned retrieval mission. Voreedi returns and informs Yenaro that ImpSec apprehended an assassin who’s been assigned to keep him from leaving the building alive. He departs in haste.

Morning Day 6: Evasive Linguistics
-Voreedi questions Miles about what exactly he’s doing on Eta Ceta IV, and why his chain of command is so damn short. Miles evades.
-Benin returns with more questions of his own, which Miles answers sufficiently to move Benin’s investigation towards the target but without revealing anything about Rian or the Great Key.
-Both Voreedi and Benin remain curious about Miles’ intentions but permit him to escape for the time being.
-Miles and Ivan get an invite to a garden party from someone outside Ivan’s circle of new admirers. Miles concludes it’s a rendezvous with Rian and instructs Ivan to accept.

Evening Day 6?: A Walk in the Park
-Lady Dar and her Ghem general husband welcome a variety of high ranking Cetagandan guests to their rooftop garden. And three Barrayarans.
-Vio d’Chilian stands looking out across the Celestial Garden.
-A haut lady (Pel) in a force bubble invites Miles to join her, and then has Miles stand on her armrest and launches the bubble off the side of the building. She then sneaks him into Star Crèche headquarters inside her bubble.
-There, Rian presents him to the eight planetary consorts, the haut ladies responsible for Star Crèche business on the planets of the Cetagandan Empire.
-Miles tells them Ivan’s suggestion of recalling the eight gene bank copies, so that the Great Key becomes useless to the thief.
- Pel returns Miles to the garden party, where he arrives to find Ivan and Ambassador Vorob’yev quietly panicking over the length of his absence.

Morning Day 8?: Bubble Games
-Miles, Ivan, Mia Maz, and Vorob’yev attend a musical performance in the Celestial Garden.
-During breakfast (ceremonial meals in the garden taking the form of buffets in outdoor pavilions) Miles sees Ivan called away by a servitor and follows him, followed in turn by Vorob’yev.
-Ivan gets sprayed with a tranquilizer, and carted off in a haut bubble. But Miles is interrupted before he can catch up. He contacts Rian and confirms that she didn’t order Ivan’s pickup.
-Rian sends a car to pick up Miles, and it drops him off at Star Crèche HQ, where a standoff is in progress. Vio d’Chilian is holding Ivan with a knife to his throat, threatening to kill Rian’s “Barrayaran servitor”
-Miles throws a tantrum about Ivan getting the credit as a distraction, and Pel stuns Vio.
-Ilsum Ketty has not returned his gene bank, and sent Vio in the planetary consort’s float bubble to seize Ivan.
-Pel and Miles take the float chair to return to Ketty’s ship in disguise as Vio in disguise as the planetary consort.
-They recover the planetary consort, who leads them to the room the Great Key is being kept in. It’s a cipher lab with several Cetagandan military officers, attempting to break the Great Key’s code.
-Miles stuns them and grabs the Great Key, but Ketty arrives before they can leave, takes the consort hostage again, and demands that they open the float bubble.
-Miles suggests transmitting the encoded Great Key on the emergency broadcast channel, and Pel starts the transmission, opens the bubble, jumps out with Miles, and reseals the bubble with Key inside.
-Just then Dag Benin, Ivan, and Lord Voreedi arrive with reinforcements to arrest Ketty. Having recovered from the tranquilizer Ivan had decided a rescue for Miles was in order before he could get in any further mess.

Evening Day 8?: Commendations All Round
-Benin delivers his three Barrayaran guests to his imperial majesty Fletchir Giaja, lord of the haut.
-Miles gets to listen in while Giaja debates haut genetic strategies with the Star Crèche ladies.

Morning Day 9: Usual Post-Mission Sulk
-Miles is summoned to the Celestial Garden an hour early for the cremation ceremony where he is given the Cetagandan Order of Merit by the Emperor and a coil of hair by Rian.
-At the end of the funeral, Giaja appoints Rian as Empress, and therefore new head of the Star Crèche.

Evening Day 9: The Voyage Home
-Miles decides he’ll spend the whole ride home barefoot after so many days in dress boots.
-Ivan comes to Miles’ cabin to tell him how much he’ll miss Cetagandan food, and Cetagandan women.
-What exciting interplanetary intrigues will our intrepid adventurers fund themselves in next? Tune in later to find out!