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By Lois McMaster Bujold

Komarr can be a backyard - with 1000 extra years paintings. Or an uninhabitable barren region, if the terraforming fails. Now the sunlight replicate very important to the terraforming of the conquered planet has been shattered by means of a boat hurtling off beam. The Emperor of Barrayar sends his most modern Imperial Auditor, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, to determine why. the alternative isn't really a well-liked one on Komarr, the place a betrayal a iteration prior to soaking wet the identify of Vorkosigan in blood. within the political and actual claustrophobia of the domed towns, are the Komarrans surrounding Miles dependable topics, power hostages, blameless sufferers, or rebels bidding for revenge? Lies inside lies, treachery inside of treachery - Miles is stuck in a race opposed to time to forestall a plot that can exile him from Barrayar endlessly. His burning wish lies in an unforeseen best friend, one with wounds as deep and honor as beleaguered as his personal.

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Or that there were not something yet quiet days? " "How long–" have you ever identified, Miles bit off. that query was once untimely. "Just what are they doing? " "They're bleeding off funds from the undertaking. For all i do know, it might probably have began small, or via accident–some departed worker mistakenly stored at the roster, an accumulation of pay that Soudha discovered easy methods to pocket. Ghost employees–his division is filled with fictitious staff, all drawing pay. and gear purchases for the ghost employees–Soudha suborned a few lady in Accounting to head in addition to him. they've got the entire kinds correct, the entire numbers fit, they have slid it via i do not know the way many monetary inspections, as the accountants HQ sends out do not know how payment the technology, simply the kinds. " "Who does money the technology? " that is the factor, my Lord Auditor. The Terraforming undertaking isn't really anticipated to provide quickly effects, now not in any instantly measurable manner. Soudha produces technical reviews, alright, lots of them, correct to time table, yet i believe he typically does them via copying different sectors' previous-period effects and fudging. " certainly, the Komarran Terraforming venture was once a bureaucratic backwater, a ways down the Barrayaran Imperium's pressing record. now not serious: a superb position to park, say, incompetent Vor moment sons out of ways in their households. the place they can do no damage to someone, as the venture was once mammoth and gradual, and they might cycle out and be long past back ahead of the wear may perhaps also be measured. "Speaking of ghost employees–how does Radovas's loss of life connect to this alleged rip-off? " Vorsoisson hesitated. "I'm uncertain it does. other than to attract ImpSec down on it and burst the bubble. in any case, he hand over days prior to he died. " "Soudha acknowledged he give up. Soudha, in response to you, is a confirmed liar and knowledge artist. might Radovas have, say, threatened to reveal Soudha and been murdered to guarantee his silence? " "But Radovas used to be in on it. For years. I suggest, the entire technical humans needed to recognize. They could not no longer understand they were not doing the paintings the experiences stated. " "Mm, which may depend upon how a lot of an inventive genius Soudha was once, arranging his studies. " Soudha's personal body of workers definitely advised that he used to be neither silly nor second-rate. may perhaps he have cooked these files in addition? Oh, God. this implies i am not going with a purpose to belief any information off any console within the complete damned division. And he'd wasted hours this day, decanting comconsoles. "Radovas may need had switch of middle. " "I do not know," acknowledged Vorsoisson plaintively. His look flicked apart to Miles. "I wish you to recollect, i discovered this. I grew to become him in. simply once i used to be yes. " His repeated insistence on that final element hinted extensively to Miles's ear that his wisdom of this interesting piece of peculation predated his coverage by means of a obvious margin. Had Soudha's bribe been not only provided, yet approved? until eventually the bubble burst. was once Miles witnessing an epidemic of patriotic accountability on Vorsoisson's half, or an unseemly rush to get Soudha and corporate prior to they bought him?

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