A chapter titled “Day of Reckoning” follows. It opens with Wintrow engaging in more philosophical musing as he and Sa’Adar continue the work of unchaining the slaves aboard the Vivacia and the slaves rise in revolt at their captors. Wintrow struggles to reach out to the ship and only becomes aware of her in her fear at being out of control with nobody at the helm. He takes the wheel and strives to right the ship against the storm, pleading with the warring slaves and crew as he does.
They begin to make progress when Torg arrives, having brokered a deal with the other slaves. He upbraids Wintrow and, when Wintrow says he is not trustworthy, Torg finds himself pitched overboard, to Wintrow’s shock. The captain is brought up next, and Wintrow asks for his aid; there is some argument, but Haven gives in.
In Bingtown, Malta rails against the arrangement that has been made regarding Reyn’s courtship. Ronica pointedly puts down her objections, noting, among others, that she had invited the attentions upon herself.
Aboard the Vivacia, Haven asks if he will be allowed to live. The Marietta begins to close in on the liveship. Kennit has his ship drawn up alongside the Vivacia and makes ready to board her, if with some difficulty; Sorcor and Etta seem to recognize that he is failing, and Sorcor prevails upon Etta to let his captain take the liveship himself.
The implication of the previous chapter is borne out as Kennit’s ship draws up alongside the Vivacia, and, given circumstances, it appears certain that Kennit will take the liveship for himself. Sa’Adar recognized the flag the Marietta flies, after all, and the reputation he must surely have among slaves and slavers speaks for itself. And that is aside from the arrangement Kennit and Sorcor have regarding liveships and slaveships.
Thinking on it now, as I reread the chapter again, I am struck by the recognition of a theme that comes up in the Liveship Traders novels. Full explication of that theme depends on later events in the series, so I will not treat it now; I am not worried about spoilers for novels twenty years old, but I prefer to establish materials before working with them. I will note, though, that the seeming duality of liveships and slaveships–the latter being floating charnel houses or abbatoirs–is not quite as dual as might be thought. But that much is likely obvious even without a rereading…