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datatime: 2022-10-08 03:51:43 Author:qqUkATsZ

Maybe Tien would stay with this Komarran post. How could he ever garner the rewards of promotion and seniority, the status he hungered for, if he never stuck with one thing long enough to earn any? His first few postings, she'd had to agree with him, had been mediocre; she'd had no problem understanding why he wanted to move on quickly. A young couple's early life was supposed to be unsettled, as they stretched into their new lives as adults. Well, as she'd stretched into hers; she'd been only twenty, after all. Tien had been thirty when they'd married...

Yes. Anyway, time went by, and time went by, and I didn't hear... I finally called her department head, Administrator Soudha. He was vague. In fact, I think he gave me a run-around. So I went down there in person and asked around.

Your aunt was not sure if things were working out happily for you. Do you dislike Komarr?

Your aunt was not sure if things were working out happily for you. Do you dislike Komarr?

How was she to respond to that? Defend a choice she did not herself agree with? Admit she thought Tien wrong? If she once began complaining about Tien, she wasn't sure she could stop before her most fearful worries began to pour out. And people complaining about their spouses always looked and sounded so ugly. Well, connections for me, at least. Not that she had been able to muster the energy to pursue them as assiduously as Tien thought she ought.

Dimly. Oh, yes. You were somebody's guest...?

I did not have the impression that Nikki was socially ambitious. His dryness was mitigated by a slight twinkle.

When she looked up, she noticed a good-looking young Komarran man who had stopped by the outer gate to the restaurant's patio and was staring at her. After a moment, he entered and approached their table. Madame Vorsoisson? he said uncertainly.

Maybe Tien would stay with this Komarran post. How could he ever garner the rewards of promotion and seniority, the status he hungered for, if he never stuck with one thing long enough to earn any? His first few postings, she'd had to agree with him, had been mediocre; she'd had no problem understanding why he wanted to move on quickly. A young couple's early life was supposed to be unsettled, as they stretched into their new lives as adults. Well, as she'd stretched into hers; she'd been only twenty, after all. Tien had been thirty when they'd married...

The young man slumped in disappointment. I don't know. I thought you might have been friends, or at least acquaintances. I've talked to all her friends I can find.

Oh, good, I thought I recognized you. My name is Andro Farr. We met at the Winterfair reception for the Serifosa terraforming employees a few months ago, do you remember?

How was she to respond to that? Defend a choice she did not herself agree with? Admit she thought Tien wrong? If she once began complaining about Tien, she wasn't sure she could stop before her most fearful worries began to pour out. And people complaining about their spouses always looked and sounded so ugly. Well, connections for me, at least. Not that she had been able to muster the energy to pursue them as assiduously as Tien thought she ought.

He'd started every new job with a burst of enthusiasm, working hard, or at least, very long hours. Surely no one could work harder. Then the enthusiasm dwindled, and the complaints began, of too much work, too little reward, offered too slowly. Lazy coworkers, smarmy bosses. At least, so he said. That had become her secret danger signal, when Tien began offering sly sexual slander of his superiors; it meant the job was about to end, again. A new one would be found... though it seemed to take longer and longer to find a new one, these days. And his enthusiasm would flame up again, and the cycle would begin anew. But her hypersensitized ear had picked up no bad signs so far in this job, and they'd been here nearly a year already. Maybe Tien had finally found his- what had Vorkosigan called it? His passion. This was the best posting he'd ever achieved; perhaps things were finally starting to break into good fortune, for a change. If she just stuck it out long enough, it would get better, virtue would be rewarded. And... with this Vorzohn's Dystrophy thing hanging over them, Tien had good reason for impatience. His time was not unlimited.

Yes. Marie Trogir. She's an engineering tech in the Waste Heat Management department. Or she was... Do you know her? I mean, has she ever talked with you?

The idea of running away from a relationship and leaving no forwarding address made perfect sense to Ekaterin, but it was hardly her place to say so. Who knew what profound dissatisfactions Farr had failed to detect in his lady? I'm sorry. I know nothing about this. Tien never mentioned it.

Maybe Tien would stay with this Komarran post. How could he ever garner the rewards of promotion and seniority, the status he hungered for, if he never stuck with one thing long enough to earn any? His first few postings, she'd had to agree with him, had been mediocre; she'd had no problem understanding why he wanted to move on quickly. A young couple's early life was supposed to be unsettled, as they stretched into their new lives as adults. Well, as she'd stretched into hers; she'd been only twenty, after all. Tien had been thirty when they'd married...

I... won't pretend that hasn't been difficult. That was true enough. Thirteen different jobs in a decade. Was this normal for a rising bureaucrat? Tien said it was a necessity, no bosses ever promoted from within or raised a former subordinate above them; you had to go around to move up. We've moved eight times. I've abandoned six gardens, so far. The last two relocations, I just didn't plant anything except in pots. And then I had to leave most of the pots, when we came here.

When she looked up, she noticed a good-looking young Komarran man who had stopped by the outer gate to the restaurant's patio and was staring at her. After a moment, he entered and approached their table. Madame Vorsoisson? he said uncertainly.

He does seem to have been rather, ah, restless. He raised his eyebrows at her, inviting... what?

I... won't pretend that hasn't been difficult. That was true enough. Thirteen different jobs in a decade. Was this normal for a rising bureaucrat? Tien said it was a necessity, no bosses ever promoted from within or raised a former subordinate above them; you had to go around to move up. We've moved eight times. I've abandoned six gardens, so far. The last two relocations, I just didn't plant anything except in pots. And then I had to leave most of the pots, when we came here.

He'd started every new job with a burst of enthusiasm, working hard, or at least, very long hours. Surely no one could work harder. Then the enthusiasm dwindled, and the complaints began, of too much work, too little reward, offered too slowly. Lazy coworkers, smarmy bosses. At least, so he said. That had become her secret danger signal, when Tien began offering sly sexual slander of his superiors; it meant the job was about to end, again. A new one would be found... though it seemed to take longer and longer to find a new one, these days. And his enthusiasm would flame up again, and the cycle would begin anew. But her hypersensitized ear had picked up no bad signs so far in this job, and they'd been here nearly a year already. Maybe Tien had finally found his- what had Vorkosigan called it? His passion. This was the best posting he'd ever achieved; perhaps things were finally starting to break into good fortune, for a change. If she just stuck it out long enough, it would get better, virtue would be rewarded. And... with this Vorzohn's Dystrophy thing hanging over them, Tien had good reason for impatience. His time was not unlimited.

Yes. Anyway, time went by, and time went by, and I didn't hear... I finally called her department head, Administrator Soudha. He was vague. In fact, I think he gave me a run-around. So I went down there in person and asked around.

Dimly. Oh, yes. You were somebody's guest...?

He'd started every new job with a burst of enthusiasm, working hard, or at least, very long hours. Surely no one could work harder. Then the enthusiasm dwindled, and the complaints began, of too much work, too little reward, offered too slowly. Lazy coworkers, smarmy bosses. At least, so he said. That had become her secret danger signal, when Tien began offering sly sexual slander of his superiors; it meant the job was about to end, again. A new one would be found... though it seemed to take longer and longer to find a new one, these days. And his enthusiasm would flame up again, and the cycle would begin anew. But her hypersensitized ear had picked up no bad signs so far in this job, and they'd been here nearly a year already. Maybe Tien had finally found his- what had Vorkosigan called it? His passion. This was the best posting he'd ever achieved; perhaps things were finally starting to break into good fortune, for a change. If she just stuck it out long enough, it would get better, virtue would be rewarded. And... with this Vorzohn's Dystrophy thing hanging over them, Tien had good reason for impatience. His time was not unlimited.

I was tempted. But being a Barrayaran, an off-worlder, in a Komarran classroom might have been difficult for Nikki. You know how kids can gang up on anyone who's different, at that age. Tien thought this private school would be much better. A lot of the high Vor families in the Sector send their children there. He thought Nikki could make good connections.

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