12

From "A Civil Campaign":

"But dammit, if . . . if my enemies won't allow me minimal moral sense, I wish they'd at least give me credit for competence in my vices! If I were going to murder someone, I'd have done a much smoother job than that hideous mess. No one would even guess a murder had occurred, ha!"

"I believe you," soothed the Count. He cocked his head in sudden curiosity. "Ah . . . have you ever?"

Miles burrowed back into the sofa, and scratched his cheek. "There was one mission for Illyan . . . I don't want to talk about it. It was close, unpleasant work, but we brought it off." His eyes fixed broodingly on the carpet.

What is this in reference to?

  • 1
    Is there anything I can do to improve my answer? – FuzzyBoots Aug 8 '18 at 13:56
  • Sorry, Accepted! – Daniel B Aug 8 '18 at 15:53
12

I posted this as a question to the "Miles to Go" forum of Baen's Bar, but I recall no such mission discussed in any other detail in the books and my quick search of my digital copies has turned up nothing, so I think this was an "offscreen event".

The Wikia entry for Miles's timeline lists this only as an "undated entry", so the odds are it truly has not been covered in the books, nor has LMB clarified it in the FAQ on her site.

Undated adulthood events:
....

  • One mission qualified as an assassination. (Ref: A Civil Campaign, ch 15)

While absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it's notable that another item on the list, Miles hiring a 10-year-old courier, has a canonical answer that not only are not all references present in other books, but Lois doesn't necessarily know the truth because she hasn't written it yet.

14. When Miles is talking to Nikki in Komarr and mentions a 10-year-old courier, is this supposed to be a reference to Lilly Durona, Jr.?

LMB) The 10 year old courier was a real incident, attached to one of the 35 or so unchronicled Dendarii missions. No, you were not intended to construe her to be Lilly Jr. No, I don't know anything about the rest of the mission at this time. (Lois-Bujold Mailing List, 17 Mar 2003)

And this has been confirmed by Lois:
Response by Lois McMaster Bujold

Nope, It was, as the OP posited, off-screen.

Miles presumably had many missions we did not see, most for Illyan, a few on the side perhaps to keep fleet finances in trim. Ones that go smoothly or don't involve interesting emotional or ethical dilemmas are not good story-bait, though.

Ta, L. Who also sometimes wonders about the Giant Rat of Sumatra and the Politician, the Lighthouse, and the Trained Cormorant.

  • Ah! Makes sense. I always figured he was talking about the mission with Taura, but someone I introduced to the question asked me, and I realized I had no real evidence to think that. – Daniel B Aug 5 '18 at 4:36
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    @DanielB: I definitely don't think he's talking about the mission with Taura, because the details don't match: Illyan didn't ask him to assassinate Taura, and the Dendarii didn't "bring off" assassinating Taura. (The former mismatch is reinforced by the paragraphs after your quotation: when the Count comments, "I had asked him not to use you for assassinations", Miles would surely speak up if assassination he's referring to were not actually at Simon's behest.) – ruakh Aug 5 '18 at 5:37
  • Yeah, that's what I realized, alas. I alway focused on the bit about it being 'messy, but we pulled it off', which in a very roundabout way is true about Taura. – Daniel B Aug 5 '18 at 6:07
  • I love how responsive Lois is to her fans. – FuzzyBoots Aug 5 '18 at 15:32

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