The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #6)

A weapon is a device for making your enemy change his mind.

Cecil flashed a grin. "Quite. Plus your rather irritating habit of treating your superior officers as your, ah..." Cecil paused, apparently groping again for just the right word.

"Equals?" Miles hazarded.

"Cattle," Cecil corrected judiciously.

Guards, Miles now realized, had to stay in prison all day long too. Indeed, as a guard, one of his jobs was now to keep himself in.

He bit his fingernails. He bit his toenails. He pulled tiny green threads from his shirt and tried flossing his teeth. Then he tried making little green designs with tiny, tiny knots. Then he hit on the idea of weaving messages. Could he macramé "Help, I am a prisoner . . ." and plant it on the back of someone's jacket by static charge? If someone ever came back, that is? He got as far as a delicate gossamer H, E, L, caught the thread on a hangnail while rubbing his stubbled chin, and reduced his plea to an illegible green wad. He pulled another thread and started over.

He who plots revenge must dig two graves.

It reminded him of that definition of his father's. A weapon is a device for making your enemy change his mind. The mind was the first and final battleground; the stuff in between was just noise.

It’s so obviously bogus, no one will look for a second layer of, er, bogusity.

Let’s go over a little astrography. Geography is the mother of strategy, they say.

Miles added it to his life's lessons list. Call it Rule 27B. Never make key tactical decisions while having electro-convulsive seizures.

Miles swallowed icy spit. Those who do not know their history, his thought careened, are doomed to keep stepping in it. Alas, so were those who did, it seemed.

Never make key tactical decisions while having electro-convulsive seizures.

On the third, we got into troubles. Baz Jesek had gotten more and more involved with equipment and maintenance—he is a good engineer, I’ll give him that—I was tactical commander, and Oser—I thought by default, but now I think design—took up the administrative slack. Could have been good, each doing what he did best, if Oser’d been working with and not against us. In the same situation, I’d have sent assassins. Oser employed guerilla accountants.

Other than that, how was Kyril Island, Ensign Vorkosigan?” inquired the Count. “You didn’t vid home much, your mother noticed.” “I was busy. Lessee. The climate was ferocious, the terrain was lethal, a third of the population including my immediate superior was dead drunk most of the time. The average IQ equaled the mean temperature in degrees cee, there wasn’t a woman for five hundred kilometers in any direction, and the base commander was a homicidal psychotic. Other than that, it was lovely.

The fourth approved approach for the problem of frontally attacking a guarded wormhole was to shoot the officer who suggested it.

There will be a ten percent surcharge for resisting arrest,

Think of the glory. Think of your reputation. Think how great it'll look on your next resume."
On my cenotaph, you mean. Nobody will be able to collect enough of my scattered atoms to bury. You going to cover my funeral expenses, son?"
Splendidly. Banners, dancing girls, and enough beer to float your coffin to Valhalla."
- Miles coaxing Ky Tung to agree to an almost suicidal mission

Very good. But your most insidious chronic problem is in the area of . . . how shall I put this precisely . . . subordination. You argue too much.” “No, I don’t,” Miles began indignantly, then shut his mouth.

War is not its own end, except in some catastrophic slide into absolute damnation. It's peace that's wanted. Some better peace than the one you started with.