From: (Anonymous)
(This part is all background. It took me this long to get Seivarden watching the porn. Which does not appear in this part.)

Files bloom before my eyes.

"Ship, what's this?"
"You said you were bored, Lieutenant Seivarden."
"Yes, Ship. I also said you could just call me Seivarden from time to time. I meant, what is it?"
"The data space of your predecessor as Amaat lieutenant. It has yet to be sorted."
"Oh. I thought you'd just delete that. I mean... I never asked you to store anything of mine, but I would have thought you wiped her space clean to make room for my data space."

"In fact, I compressed the data and created a new space for your personal data, Lieutenant. But it was the policy of Administration for an outgoing officer's data to be reviewed before deletion."

The old administration, back in civilization. The old civilization -- Breq doesn't want Civilization to be part of our new name. I don't think she'll be able to stop us from being citizens, though. Ship's right, I did that with Captain Seshir's data when I took command of Sword of Nathtas. It was strange and depressing. She had the biggest recipe collection I'd ever seen. She must have been very sick of skel. I asked Ship what recipe it thought the servants would make for her first meal after retirement, and it just said "Captain Seshir's family are still fasting during the mourning period, Captain." I'd forgotten that until now.

"But Ship, don't you know everything that's in that data space? Why do you need me to go through it?" Ship knows I don't mind work, but this is a little ridiculous.
"In fact, I do. But I think it's not a bad idea to have a human officer review it as well."

Right, then. Ship said a human officer, that means "not Breq". And it has some reason besides regulations for me to view the data space of an Amaat lieutenant who was arrested for treason by the Lord of a Radch we've secceded from and certainly can't report back to. I can work this out. "As the ship pleases."


Letters from home. Home is someplace I've never heard of, but by everyone else's standard's it doesn't seem to be provincial. Much. Her mother's dead and her grandmother wants to petition the nearest Palace to let her retire and wear Honored Citizen Soandso's clientage pin. Most proper, very beneficial to all, what are you going to do with your life, you've been a lieutenant for... well.

"Ship, is that a normal time to go unpromoted?"
"Yes, actually. The lieutenant was just young enough to miss Shis'urna." And of course, no further opportunities for advancement were forthcoming. Right. "I was not privy to what considerations persuaded Administration to promote her to Amaat lieutenant, of course."
"But you think her house pulled strings."
"Perhaps. It would have been a considerable gamble on their part, if so."

But if Amaat lieutenant on a Mercy was the best they could do for her, because there were no better posts available or because she was so hopeless that she'd already climbed as high as she could go... "Ship, is military officer no longer what a family like that would want for her?"
"When she completed the Aptitudes, twenty years ago, it is my judgement that they would have been very proud. But by the time she finished her training and received her first assignment, matters were different."
"To say nothing of the present. I can't imagine what her grandmother would want for Lieutenant Tivaanr if she was a baby lieutenant today."
"Keep reviewing, Lieutenant."


The family letters don't get me any further. A few letters to friends, in which she makes much of all the tea parties she's attended with Captain Vel, give me a clearer picture of where her ambitions lie. And while I never met my predecessor, I did meet her captain. If she liked Vel that much, she'd have liked Vel's politics.
"You've come to a conclusion."
"I think so, Ship. Captain Vel told her a story about bringing the Radch back the way it was, annexations right and left, promotions all over the place, her house proud of her again, and each time the counters landed against her she just kept upping the bet. Probably she hoped Vel would get an even grander promotion after retirement and would be disposed to reward her loyalty. Did I come close?"
"I know of nothing that would contradict that theory."

"Is that what you wanted me to find out, Ship?"
"I'm... not certain. Are you tired?"
"Maybe a little." The language isn't the easiest. I can't blame their accents since it's written down, and they don't use any words I haven't known all my life, but they keep using them in ways I'm not familiar with."
"You haven't examined the lieutenant's video files yet."
"The entertainments?"
"Of a sort."

If Ship wants me to watch entertainments on a very boring shuttle ride and call it work, I'm happy to oblige. I flick my fingers up and to the side. "I'm at the ship's disposal."


I scan the titles. From what I can tell, she kept clippings of the most exciting recent announcements by the Lord of the Radch... wait, no, these are clippings made by Captain Vel for Tivaanr to watch. Annotated. After watching which she kept them as some sort of love token. Huh. What else? She asked Ship to pick up a few long-running entertainment serials. And this part's encrypted as if she thought that would matter to Ship or her captain or the reeducators... oh, erotica. All right. Let's see what she has there...

It's a good thing I didn't have a mouthful of tea.
"Lieutenant, are you all right?"
"Fine, Ship, fine. Uh... you can keep going."

Ship resumes the recording without any further comment, which is just as well. Not what I was expecting.
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