- Short story
- Published in Halfling Moon: Adventures in the Liaden Universe #16
- Also published in A Liaden Universe Constellation volume ii
- See list of all The Books (and other stories)
- Set in the week when Jelaza Kazone moves to Surebleak on the Clutch Turtles's ship
- Mainly, this piece provides a character study and backstory for Yulie Shaper
- It is also a character study for Pat Rin in his melant'i as Boss Conrad
- Plus, it fills in some important gaps in the narrative between I Dare and Ghost Ship
- The Blair Road Booster (newspaper) keeps Yulie informed of all sorts of CHANGES coming
- Pat Rin yos'Phelium / Boss Conrad
- Yulie Shaper
- Cheever McFarland
- Mentioned: Mr. pel'Tolian, Shan yos'Galan, Melina Sherton, Yulie's kin, The Edger of the Clutch Turtles, etc.
- Pat Rin is overwhelmed with work as Boss of Bosses.
- He will need an executive assistant.
- Pat Rin reads a letter from his butler, Mr. pel'Tolian, while remembering some key scenes set at Jelaza Kazone, Liad, in the days directly after Skyblaze.
- Yulie, having the bad frights, remembers his brother Rollie, dead nearly a year to the day. And cats, murdered.
- Yulie remembers his respected Grandpa, Captain Shaper, a pilot for the Gilmour Agency
- and how he sued the agency for breach of contract when it abandoned them
- Pat Rin asks a very skittish Yulie to allow Clan Korval Port Road rights through his section of land
- a contract involving cantra, cats, and kindness
- Yulie sees The Tree settle into the timonium quarry
- The current name is Audrey's House of Joy, in the city Surebleak:
- Yulie'd been given a big fancy sealed brown envelope, with a return emblem at the top of "Miss Audrey's Deluxe, Port City, Surebleak." It wasn't an address he recognized...
- "Thus did pel'Tolian increase his worth even as his station altered -- from a fribble's houseman to majordomo of a back-world dictator's prime establishment. Well, yes, that was true, the Boss told himself. It was only true."
- "I look forward to arranging the new house to best advantage. Vesker pel'Tolian."
- "something that made him laugh — an image of a road sign they called a stop sign that drivers were supposed to pay attention to even if there weren't a tollbooth and a gunman behind it." (an article in the "Blair Road Booster")
- "He'd run so far and so fast he almost ran off the edge they called World's End, which wasn't the end of the world, after all, but the carved cliff a hundred times his height and more, the first place the mining company had stripped bare with the mining machines to tug out the tiny veins of timonium in their matrix of junk rock and near uranics."
- "One of them called out "Captain Shaper" twice, and that made no sense since Grampa had been dead for so long Yulie could hardly remember his face sometimes without looking at the image files."
- "...it was easily as large as the largest ship he'd ever seen orbit Surebleak, maybe larger. There was more going on in the sky; it was as if a swarm of ships had arrived nearly at once -- a host of ships, orbiting almost in a stream or a ring, there were so many. He felt a flutter of energy, pushed the panic back. Boss Sherton had explained..."