(i) Ten parsecs away, a king burns Solar plantations so van Rijn authorizes the hiring of mercenaries from Diomedes. We have been there with van Rijn.
(ii) Van Rijn communicates with a nonhuman factor in whistles and quavers and thinks that he might promote him to sector chief. We learn that van Rijn speaks ten to fifteen languages well and twenty to thirty badly. He claims to speak Anglic best! Well, he always makes himself understood so maybe this claim is correct.
(iii) A direct call with Priority Two interrupts business. A scrambled beam leaves a moving spaceship, penetrates atmosphere and locks on to the single station that can unscramble and relay. Adzel and Chee Lan report the disappearance of David Falkayn. Business - and life - have got serious.