Taran has inspected about 500 dragonflies, roughly 50% of which are faulty.
Next morning, notification is received of a heighliner in orbit. Shortly after, a House O’Garee spaceship is launched. Afterwards, Sisyphus is summoned by Aurora. She needs to know whether O’Garee really did supply the parts and collude with the plot. She also wants to know who is behind the killings. In this, Thordis will assist him. She reminds him of the cocktail party that evening.
Nicholas finds out that the O’Garee delegation will be staying in the same wing as us. There is no need to bug the rooms. They are built into the palace!
By the time we reach the cocktail party, most of the others are there. General Erasmus is chatting to Major Heinz. Renata Evangelos has some very nice ‘ethnic’ volcanic rock jewellery. One of the O’Garee representatives is most odd – he is Eland Vandrach, a natural killer. There is a man in black we don’t recognise – Rona realises he is a mentat. Tarath (one of the O’Garee delegation). She then goes to pay her respects to the Reverend Mother, followed by Saskia. The Reverend Mother wants to know of Sabrina Manndrach, and Rona confesses they haven’t got anywhere. She says that Amelia Helena (Sabrina’s mother) is alive. She must be found, as she is part of a Plan, which may come to fruition soon. Aurora must be kept alive at any cost!
Aurora appears, and heads straight for Leander! This does not please Thordis, but she is distracted sizing up Eland Vandrach. Aurora takes Leander to Heinz, who gives him some background. The Dawn Rose pirates have been going for over 100 years, led by The Dawn Rose. The governor of the archipelago, Sir Lucius Manndrach-Cole, has had the 4th fleet for some time, but doesn’t seem to do much with it. Aurora listens, feigning interest very expertly. Leander quietly informs her that Saskia has told him that it was Lady Jessica’s idea that he come to Trajaras. Aurora gives him a knowing look, while Thordis looks on unhappily…