Chapter 6 opens with Vatta heading to the embassy at Sabine Prime. We learn that the situation between the planets in the situation is much more unstable than we thought. The embassy has Slotter Key residents who require passage to get off planet, as they’d been abandoned before. Ky agrees to take them aboard, which solidifies her as someone who’s both compassionate and loyal to her home planet, giving the reader yet more reason to like and empathize with the character. That there are citizens panicking to try to get off planet quickly tells us how bad the situation is as well, of which is repeated over and over in the chapter.
Ky then tries to secure herself a loan for repairs, and finds that the Sabine Prime lender groups are not willing to do business with her. Despite her name dropping, she is honest in that hers is not a Vatta mission, but her personal one, and so they won’t extend her credit based on her name. She could have taken the easy route out, but this displays Vatta’s honor to us, which we’ve seen before, but it’s admirable to see someone stick to convictions even when it costs them. More character connection as the situation gets worse and ever more complicated.
The end of the chapter has a scene that gives my spider-sense some tingles that things are about to get severely worse — as Ky listens to two residents talk about how Secundus is being misrepresented by Prime’s government as a backward society, and that they’re pioneers. There’s rumors that visitors are shot on sight there, making the place both mysterious and dangerous. While Ky has been unable to procure assistance on Prime the way she wanted, we’re left wondering at the end of the chapter exactly how they’re going to get out of this mess. I’ll note that through the duration of this chapter that Ky, though she’s been with other people including an escort, has been isolated from her crew, having to deal with these situations alone and using only her wit, since her resources are limited. Moon does this across different books to her character, a familiar motif that works really well in increasing the drama and the tension in her writing.
We know, just based on the way Ky is, that she’ll be getting involved in the Prime/Secundus conflict somehow, and probably play a major role. But how? That’s still a mystery for future chapters.
The first couple chapters of complication have done just that — complicated. Danger is increasing, and the title is starting to feel apt to the book. Though perhaps some of the tertiary crew members could have used some development to get more attachment formed, as no doubt they’ll play important roles when the times get tough later, we are firmly rooted in Ky which is most important. It will be interesting to see how the new passengers impact the storyline.
Check back tomorrow for more!