A snippet of Family Law 5

Pamela Harvac wasn’t comfortable being a spy. That wasn’t what she signed up for when she was recruited to State. She blamed her discomfort on her mother’s strict upbringing and attending religious schools. All her life having a secret was presumed to be a sign of ill intent if not outright sin.

It was irritating too. They wouldn’t need to go snooping around if the agencies charged with spying would take direction to gather intelligence for them, or even share what they already had. To talk with any of them you’d think they were the enemy to even ask for data on commercial matters. Who were they serving after all?

Her boss Wilson sent the little toad Kirk along with her. He had no such scruples. In fact, Pamela wondered why he wasn’t employed by one of the secret agencies instead of State. He was good with numbers, in fact if pressed she would admit he was very good, and able to apply those number to a real world analysis better than most.

She still certainly expected him to challenge her authority as soon as they were out of com range of Secretary Wilson and perhaps make an ass of himself in other ways. He wouldn’t be the first she’d met who thought himself God’s great gift to womankind.
Instead he’d meekly kept his mouth shut when introduced to the ship’s officers and didn’t presume upon her privacy or personal space when they were assigned a two bunk room. Spacers had no sense of decency, and the purser had just blinked like it didn’t compute for a second when informed that she and Kirk were not partners and she asked if separate cabins were available.

“I’m sorry, we don’t have separate accommodations for your subordinate,” he said, missing the point that it wasn’t about class entirely. “We are a freighter primarily with very limited space for both passengers and crew. The other cabin is occupied by a married couple who would reasonably object to being split up, and it is impractical to trade him off with any crew who need to work shifts that would disturb you. They are all working spacers and I doubt you’d judge any of them your peers. I’m not available to bunk with you,” he said, with an amused little smile. He didn’t even specify female crew. It didn’t take long before she found out that of the five spacers aboard none were female anyhow, and only the captain had a tiny private cabin.

The cabin itself surprised her. It was compact of necessity, but luxurious beyond her expectations. The bunk was not cramped and infinitely adjustable with its own temperature controls and adjustable vents. It had multimedia outlets and the ability to use an overhead screen if you wanted to read in bed or watch environmental scenes to music. The shared bath was tiny but entirely comfortable and not metered. Everything was of soft or textured surfaces and the lighting subtle and indirect.

In North America right now both of them could be charged with a felony for sharing a cabin unmarried. Pamela had never been outside the Solar System, but she could read people well enough to see that she would simply amuse the Captain if she cited North American law to him. She did know Spacers in her own Solar System openly mocked a lot of North American decency laws such as the prohibition on shorts and short sleeves. Despite her agency position, Pamela was not experienced enough to consider there might be a range of custom and law among Spacers beyond her home system. The media that bombarded her daily presented Spacers as a uniform bloc, and not at all nice people, so she had nothing to inform her differently. He would be perfectly justified in pointing out they were a Fargone ship and subject to both Fargoer law and custom underway so she dropped her objection.

It was an error and failure as head of mission that she hadn’t researched Fargone law before boarding a Fargone vessel. A measure of that simply reflected official contempt for other law. Finding it really did affect her was a first prod to pay attention to how others live. The ship must carry a web fraction that would enlighten her to some degree. She intended to study that as well as expand her knowledge of Derfhome while they were in transit from the slightly different perspective the Fargoer web fraction would paint things.

10 Responses to A snippet of Family Law 5

  1. Big Ben January 8, 2019 at 9:45 pm #

    Thanks for the snippet!
    Looking forward to the rest of the story.

  2. Angel January 8, 2019 at 10:09 pm #

    I love your books, fantastic reading – so addictive that it take snippets like this to slightly whet my want to devour your latest works.

  3. Terry Dean January 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

    I love both the April and Family Law series. I can hardly wait for this book! The snippets are really raising my expectations.

  4. Cheryl January 9, 2019 at 4:22 pm #

    Oh, sounds great. Can’t wait.

    Sorry about your other book. I enjoyed it but it took over half the book before I got invested in the story.

    Glad you’re feeling better.

  5. James January 10, 2019 at 9:57 am #

    Love the Family Law series, really looking forward to the next book. Sorry you had to pull the book. I thought it was ok, second half was definitely better than the first.

  6. Rune January 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm #

    this is great, im getting hungry for the rest of the book…

  7. Josh January 29, 2019 at 11:08 am #

    You have issues with your currency conversion in most of your books.. Family Law (3) had a pretty bad error.

    Excerpts from text:
    Law(3), Ch 19 (1 Dollar Ceres = 50 grams fine silver)
    Law(3), Ch 24 – [2191-2192 year] “Home Solar (gold or plat) sold for over $32,000 USNA”
    Law(3), Ch 24 – [2191-2192 year] “A Home Bit sold for aprox a tenth dollar ceres ($0.10 Ceres)”

    So do the math. $32,000 USNA / 25 g = $1,280 USNA / Gram of Au or Pt… AND $0.10 Ceres for .01 gram Au or PT = 1 gram Au or Pt = $10 Ceres.

    This gives us ($1,280 USNA = $10 Ceres, or a $128 USNA to $1 Ceres conversion.)

    However later in Law book 3:
    Law(3), Ch 31 Prices at Home (Steak Dinner = $143 USNA or $37 Ceres or .0032 Solar)

    Uh oh… (143/37 = $3.86 USNA to Ceres NOT Ch 24 $128 USNA to Ceres


    .0032 Solar is exactly 8 bits or according to Ch 24 either $102.40 USNA or $0.80 Ceres.

    • Mac January 29, 2019 at 11:22 am #

      I am amazed you remember from one spot to another. I don’t have a chart I work from – those were just off the top of my head for relative value. I just got back in from digging 3 cars out of a major snowfall so after a hot chocolate and a nap I’ll look at those numbers. I may alter the text when I fix some typos.

      • Glen A Fletcher February 15, 2019 at 10:49 pm #

        Also the Gold/Silver Conversion their looks wrong, based on the current prices that is, currently 1 unit of Gold is about 83.7 units of silver, sincer solars are meant to be 25 g of gold, then the ceres dollar should be about $41.86 Ceres to 1 solar, and $1.67 Ceres per 1 gram of Gold. Given the Gold/Silver price is pretty stable I wouldn’t expect more than a 20 percent drift, to the point in your story, this would account for changes in dammend for the two element, since the relative availability will be the same since the ratio in earths soil, is basically the same as the system wide ratio.

        Also 50 grams of silver for the Ceres Dollar seams a bit high, if they actually called it a dollar, I would expect them to have intended similar useage to to day hence similar gold price so 2 to 5 grams seams like a better value, if you taken 5 grams, then that $418.57 Ceres per Solar, and $16.74 Ceres per Gram of Gold which seams like a more useable value unless the Ceres Dollar is broken into thousands rather than hundredths like today’s dollars, but it that was the case I would have expected a different name.

  8. Anon E. Mouse June 7, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    While we are on poor proofreading, 3rd paragraph

    apply those number s/b apply those numbers

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