6-7 - 1122.
Ghaer told Corina that Nicolai had asked him about Sontag, and Ghaer feels that was connected to Blaelok. Ghaer doesn't trust Nicolai where Blaelok is concerned, as they've been a bit too "chummy". And then there's the fact that this Kahn person has shown up again, just when Sontag's name is being bandied about. On the other hand, Ghaer knows that Sontag is very, very dead.
Corina has redone her will, listing Victoria as her heir (trust fund), Ghaer is named as a guardian. The will specifies that Ghaer may name someone else to have physical custody of Victoria (such as Viper or Viktor on Rhylanor). Should the will be executed, the guardian and custodian would also have a generous expense account for subsistence, clothing, education, travel etc. Should Ghaer be "predeceased' so to speak, custody of Victoria would fall to her lifelong governess under the same terms.
Corina will have explained all this to Victoria, along with the idea the Victoria should go to school on Rhylanor, with her governess, and spend her vacations with Corina on Regina. Corina will explain that this is for Victoria's safety, that she promised her mother she would always take care of Victoria and keep her safe and she intends to. Corina will also warn Victoria that things are very unsettled politically on Regina and that she may see or hear some scary things, but that everything will turn out OK. [If it doesn't at least Corina won't be around to have to face that].
She will also tell Victoria that some people will say bad things about Corina to her. She tells Victoria that she should not feel like she has to defend Corina to these people. She will tell Victoria that she should always trust her own judgment about people and not rely on what other people say. Corina will tell Victoria that she will be as involved in her life as Victoria wishes, within the bounds of what is safe for Victoria. If she wants to have no contact, Corina will just pay the bills. If she wants to be Corina's daughter, Corina will treat her as her own. She tells Victoria not to decide anything now, it's too soon, just to think about what she wants.
Mikie goes to see Andrew to discuss Blaelok's job offer (among other things). He relays to Andrew Blaelok's message that if he accepts the Solomani offer of a consulting position, that they would have no problem with him also doing academic work, and the original financial offer still stands.
Andrew is pleased to hear this, as the offer from the Solomani is incredibly good. They are offering him enough money to basically "write his own ticket" - and he has a 1 megacredit bound to prove their intentions. Andrew tells Mikie that it will benefit him as well (from a financial point of view), as his brother will not forget about him. Gee, yet another person concerned about Mikie working as a lowly bartender (it's a perfectly good job!).
Mikie is would really like to tell Andrew exactly what Blaelok's really like, but of course he can't. However, the "blocks" do not prevent him from telling Andrew that Blaelok is "evil". Andrew raises an eye over that, but doesn't really understand. After all, Mikie can't give him specific proof (not that he doesn't have it, mind you) that Blaelok is anything but the charming, intelligent, urbane individual that Andrew believes him to be; Andrew is very impressed by Blaelok's understanding of what Andrew does, as most "laymen" don't have a clue. Granted, Blaelok's appearance is not terribly appealing, but that shouldn't be held against him.
Sigh. Andrew just does not grasp the "evil" concept. Yet.
Mikie tries a different tack, asking Andrew to make certain that whatever agreement he enters into with the Solomani or whoever, he gets the option to refuse if they ask him to do something he doesn't want to, and get it in writing. Andrew protests that he's dealt with people like Solati before, and he's not as naive as Mikie seems to think he is. Since Solati has been brought up, Mikie asks if what Andrew thinks Solati is capable of - the worst he's capable of. Andrew gives it some thought, and answers that, if it would give Solati what he wanted, probably anything up to and including genocide. Okay, so he doesn't understand "evil", but he also doesn't seem to have any false illusions about people like Solati. Mikie suggests he keep the same attitude in mind about Blaelok, and Andrew agrees.
Then Mikie brings up the fact that he has spoken with their father (always a touchy subject where Andrew's concerned), and he has told him about Andrew (the fact that he showed up here, etc.). And that according to "Dad", there may be more of them. Or more of Andrew, kind of. Like maybe six more. Andrew is rather taken aback by this, but he's not exactly surprised, as he doesn't consider their father incapable of anything. So now that he knows, of course Andrew wants to try to track them down, since they are after all their "brothers". Oh boy - more complications. After all that, Andrew wants time to think about things, so he goes off to take a walk alone. To clear his head, etc.