Sharon Lee: Adventures in the Liaden Universe

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Adventures in the Liaden Universe

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Liaden Timeline

The Updated But Partial Liaden Universe Time Line Updated November 12, 2003 (from Quiet Knives)

Standard YearEvent/Story

-107 (pre Standard) — Crystal Soldier

1118 — “Balance of Trade”

1123 — “Naratha’s Shadow”

1177 — “Sweet Waters”

1293 — “Phoenix”

1313 — Kareen yos ‘Phelium born

1320 — Dutiful Passage enters service

1325 — Er Thom yos ‘Galan born

1326 — Daav yos ‘Phelium born

1327 — Anne Davis born

1335 — Aelliana Caylon born

1339 — “Pilot of Korval”

1346 — “A Choice of Weapons”

1351 — Pat Rin yos ‘Phelium born

1357 — Shan yos ‘Galan born

1359 — Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza born

Early 1360 — Local Custom

Early 1361 — Scout’s Progress

1362 — Val Con yos ‘Phelium born

1362 — Nova yos ‘Galan born

1365 — Miri Robertson born

1365 — Aelliana Caylon dies

1366 — Daav yos ‘Phelium leaves Liad

1366 — Anthora yos ‘Galan born

1369 — Ren Zel dea ‘Judan born

1373 — “Veil of The Dancer”

1374 — “Heirloom”

1375 — “A Matter of Dreams”, “Moonphase”

1380 — “To Cut an Edge”

1382 — Anne Davis dies

1383 — Er Thom yos ‘Galan dies

Early 1385 — “A Day at the Races”

Early 1385 — “Certain Symmetry”

Late 1385-Early 1386 — Conflict of Honors

1390 — “Changeling”

1392 — Agent of Change

1393 — Carpe Diem, “Quiet Knives”

1393 — Plan B, “Breath’s Duty”, I Dare

Lord of the Dance

It was snowing, of course.

The gentleman looked out the window as the groundcar moved quietly through the dark streets. His streets.

And really, he said to himself irritably, you ought to be able to hit upon some affordable way of lighting them.

“What are you thinking, Pat Pin?” His lady’s voice was soft as the snow, her hand light on his knee. And he was a boor, to ignore her most welcome presence in worries over street lamps.

He leaned back in the seat, placed his hand over hers, and looked into her dark eyes.

“I was thinking how pretty the snow is,” he murmured.

She laughed and he smiled as the car turned the corner — and abruptly there was light, spilling rich and yellow from all of the doors and windows of Audrey’s whorehouse, warming the dark sidewalks and spinning the snowflakes into gold.

“Boss. Ms. Natesa.” Villy bowed with grace, if without nuance, and pulled the door wide. “You honor our house.”

Great gods. Pat Rin carefully did not look at his lady as he inclined his head.

“We are of course pleased to accept Ms. Audrey’s invitation,” he murmured. “It has been an age since I have danced.”

The boy smiled brilliantly. “We hoped you’d be pleased, sir.” He pointed to the left, blessedly returning to a more Terran mode. “You can leave your coats in the room, there, then join everybody in the big parlor.”

“Thank you,” Pat Rin said, and moved off as the bell chimed again, Natesa on his arm.

“Who,” he murmured, for her ear alone, “do you suppose has been tutoring Villy in the Liaden mode?”

“Why shouldn’t he be teaching himself?” she countered, slanting a quick, subtle look into his face. “He admires you greatly, master.”

“Most assuredly he does,” Pat Rin replied, with irony, and paused before the small room which served as a public closet for the clients of Ms. Audrey’s house. Natesa removed her hand from his arm and turned, allowing him to slip the long fleece coat from her shoulders. The remains of snowflakes glittered on the dark green fabric like a spangle of tiny jewels. He shook it out and stepped into the closet.

The hooks and hangers were crowded with a variety of garments: oiled sweaters, thick woolen shirts, scarred spaceleather jackets, and two or three evening cloaks in the Liaden style.

Pat Rin removed his own cloak and hung it carefully over Natesa’s coat. Shaking out his lace, he stepped back into the hallway, where his lady waited in her sun-yellow gown.

He paused, his heart suddenly constricted in his chest. Natesa’s black eyebrows rose, just slightly, and he moved a hand in response to the question she did not voice.

“You overwhelm me with your beauty,” he said. She laughed softly and stepped forward to take his arm again.

“And you overwhelm me with yours,” she answered in her lightly accented High Liaden. “Come, let us see if together we may not overwhelm the world.”

The doors between the public parlor and the visitors’ lounge had been opened and tied back; the furniture moved out of the public parlor and the serviceable beige rug rolled up, revealing a surprisingly wide expanse of plastic tile in a deep, mostly unscarred brown. A refreshment table was placed along the back wall, directly beneath — Pat Rin blinked.

When not pressed into duty as a dance hall, the public parlor of Ms. Audrey’s bordello displayed certain of art... as might perhaps serve to beguile the mind away from the cares of the day and toward the mutual enjoyment of pleasure.

This evening, the walls had been—transformed.

The artwork was gone, or mayhap only hidden behind objects, which, had anyone dared challenge Pat Rin to describe twelve items belonging to Korval that he least expected to find on public display, he would certainly have placed within the top six.

Nursery rugs, they were—the design based upon a star map. Three rugs together formed the whole of the map, the original of which he had himself seen, preserved in Korval’s log books.

One rug had lain on the floor of the nursery at Jelaza Kazone. The second, in the schoolroom at Trealla Fantrol. The third—the third had covered the floor in the small private parlor the boy Pat Rin had shared with his foster-father, Luken bel’Tarda.

And yet on the wall directly across from him—the rug, the very rug, from Trealla Fantrol. And on the wall to his right, the rug from Jelaza Kazone.

Carefully, Pat Rin turned his head, and—yes, there on the wall behind them was the rug from his childhood, looking just as it always had, close-looped and unworn, its colors as bright as—

“Pat Rin?” Natesa murmured. “Is something amiss?”

He shook himself, and turned his head to smile at her.

“Merely—unexpected, let us say.” He waved a languorous hand. “What a crush, to be sure!”

This was not strictly the case. Still, the big parlor was comfortably crowded, the conversation level somewhat louder than one might perhaps have expected at a similar gathering in Solcintra. Bosses of several of the nearer territories were present, including Penn Calhoon, as well as the Portmaster, and a good mix of local merchants.

Across the room, white hair gleaming in the abundant light, his cousin Shan stood in deep conversation with Narly Jempkins, chairman of the nascent Surebleak Mercantile Union.

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