Short story - first appeared in Absolute Magnitude #14 (Summer 2000) Also appeared in Adventures in the Liaden Universe #6 (2002), Liaden Unibus I (2007), A Liaden Universe Constellation Volume 1, Baen Books (July 2013)


Story of Ren Zel dea'Judan before he comes to be pilot on Dutiful Passage. Ren Zel is the only pilot of Clan Obrelt, an outworld Clan of shopkeepers on planet Casia. He is to contract-wed Elsu Meriandra, Clan Jabun but a piloting accident ends her life and almost destroys his as well.

Characters (order of appearance)Edit

  • Ren Zel dea'Judan (Clan Obrelt) 21 standards old, first class pilot
  • Arn Eld, his Uncle
  • Chane, his Aunt, the Delm's Sister (first to suspect that Ren Zel might be a pilot)
  • Delm Obrelt [M]
  • Master Pilot von'Eyr of the Casiapor Pilot's Hall, (testing Ren Zel)
  • Lai Tor [M], pilot, friend
  • Oraria [F], pilot
  • Eba, Ren Zel's sister, shopkeeper
  • Elsu Meriandra, Clan Jabun, Ren Zel's contract wife
  • Delm Jabun [M]
  • Son Dor, cousin of Ren Zel, eight standards old
  • Wil Bar, cousin of Ren Zel, shopkeeper
  • Tor Cam tel'Vana, the Eyes of Casia's Council of Clans
  • Shan yos'Galan Clan Korval, Master Pilot, Master Trader, Captain of tradeship Dutiful Passage
  • Christopher "Chris" Iritaki, roster boss Gromit Company
  • Suzan Fillips, second class pilot, Ren Zel's copilot (and 12 standards his elder)
  • Ms. Atwood, Christophers's second
  • Vilt, of Dutiful Passage
  • Rusty, of Dutiful Passage


  • Dancer, Elsu's Ship, a small middle-aged packetspacer
  • Dutiful Passage, Korval tradeship

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