Betrayer (Foreigner, Book 12)
C. J. Cherryh
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In the wake of civil war, Bren Cameron, the brilliant human diplomat of the alien atevi civilization, has left the capital and sought refuge at his country estate, Najida. But now he is trapped inside Najida-which has been surrounded by enemies- with the powerful grandmother of his ally, Tabiniaiji, atevi leader of the Western Association. Ilisidi, the aiji-dowager, is not inclined to be passive and sends Bren into enemy territory, to the palace of the leader of the rebels.
Bren's mission is to negotiate with Machigi-a young atevi lord who has never actually seen a human-and somehow persuade him to cease his hostile actions against the west. Is Bren a shrewd enough negotiator to stay alive, and not alienate Ilisidi or Tabini, while also representing the interests of their enemy?
Might I send my brother’s wife and the young Guildswoman back to Najida on the same bus?” A wave of Machigi’s hand. “Do as you please in that regard.” “One is personally grateful, nandi,” he said, and he meant it. “And maps. I shall need access to continental maps. I need place names.” “So. Go, give those orders, see the lady and her bodyguard off, and do as you please today. I wish my drive unobstructed and my land free of the aiji’s men. Request your maps of staff, make your notes. And then
and Tano in the meanwhile. “Tano-ji, Banichi may have told you that Lord Machigi has taken the position that I am his mediator as well as the dowager’s—” He used the ancient word for the office, with all it implied. “So I shall eventually be conveying his position, so far as I know it, as his representative. As yet, I have no idea exactly what that position is, except that he has said that the dowager is generally correct in her perceptions.” Tano nodded—and probably already knew everything he
and gave it to Algini. Algini read it and passed it to Banichi, who passed it to Jago, who crumpled it in her fist and shot up a single Guild sign. Five fingers. The aishid-lord unit. Banichi nodded, once. And Algini held up the same sign. Tano nodded, likewise once. It had been a long time since something had hit him at that level. He wasn’t going to do anything stupid like break down or offer expressions of human sentiment. He wasn’t going to. He got up from his chair, bowed slightly, and
The bad guys. But they can come here. Mani won’t talk to me. I don’t know what they’re doing. But I think they come here. The Murini Guild.” “You’re saying the bad guys are going to attack here.” “Yes! They want to catch us. We’re not safe in the house. Mani won’t talk to me. I don’t know if she called my father. But the Guild in Shejidan maybe sent everybody to the Marid. So my father doesn’t have a lot of people, maybe. I don’t know if he can help.” Toby looked at him soberly and finally had
stew about the situation. “Is there any reason they would switch off, Gini-ji?” Bren asked, desperately, finally, in their long sitting still. “Do you think they are still all right?” Algini took a while answering. The Guild held certain information very close, and it was not likely at all that Algini would divulge method, only conclusion. “When Guild goes against Guild,” Algini said, “yes. One might switch off.” It was his dearest hope Jago and Banichi had done exactly that. It had to pass