Miles Naismith Vorkosigan was a military officer, space mercenary, and Imperial Auditor in the service of Barrayaran Emperor Gregor Vorbarra. He was the son of Emperor Gregor's regent, Admiral Aral Vorkosigan, and the grandson of famous Barrayaran General Piotr Vorkosigan. His mother was Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, a Betan Expeditionary Force Captain.
Miles Naismith Vorkosigan was the son of Lord Aral Vorkosigan and his Betan wife Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, and was conceived shortly after their hurried marriage. While his mother was pregnant, she inhaled the poison gas soltoxin during an unsuccessful assassination attempt on her husband. She was administered the antidote to save her life, but the treatment destroyed her fetus's skeletal development.
Lady Vorkosigan insisted on experimental treatment to save her son's life. He was born at five months gestation by Cesarean section, nearly killing his mother in the process, and transferred to a uterine replicator. While the infant was initially intended to be named Piotr Miles Vorkosigan, his grandfather Count Piotr Pierre Vorkosigan refused to allow the use of his name once it became clear the boy would be deformed. Count Piotr attempted to kill young Miles twice.
Midway through the in vitro treatments, the uterine replicator containing Miles was kidnapped by Count Vidal Vordarian as part of an usurpation plot against the Emperor of Barrayar. The fetal Miles Vorkosigan was rescued from Vordarian's custody by his mother in a commando raid that also led to the death of Vordarian himself and the collapse of Vordarian's Pretendership. After ten months gestation, the treatments were as complete as possible, and Miles Vorkosigan was removed from the replicator.
Miles's bones remained extremely fragile. He spent a year in a spinal brace, and was unable to walk until age four. Despite repeated corrective surgeries, his height only reached four-foot-nine at maturity, and even that was against medical advice.
As a young child, Miles was attended and defended by his armsman and constant bodyguard, Sergeant Konstantine Bothari. At age five, his grandfather finally reconciled with the rest of the family. Count Piotr taught Miles how to ride, and trained a horse named Fat Ninny for his personal use. Young Miles competed in gymkhana events on horseback, winning prizes. Around age thirteen, he was in the Imperial Junior Scouts with his cousin Ivan Vorpatril.
Growing up, Miles attempted suicide several times as a teenager, including one time only his bodyguard Bothari knew about following a failed relationship. Miles was also prone to suicidally adventurous behavior, such as riding a wild, untamed horse after being rejected by a group of children. Even as a child, however, Miles adapted by becoming a "manipulator par excellence" despite (or because of) his physical shortcomings. Miles was capable of bullying his cousin Ivan, or forcing the Koudelka girls to perform military marches. Often, Miles would lead his followers into disastrous situations, such as accidentally getting Ivan trapped in a cave-in in an "escape" tunnel Miles convinced him to dig.
At the age of seventeen, Miles Vorkosigan failed the physical exam to enter the Barrayaran Imperial Service as an officer. Soon afterwards, he traveled to his mother's homeworld of Beta Colony to search for his foster sister Elena Bothari's parents. Dodging his bodyguard in a Betan shuttleport, he encountered down-on-his-luck jump pilot Arde Mayhew and decided to buy his ship and take up cargo-running. He found Baz Jesek, a Barrayaran officer who had deserted, in a Betan junkyard, and similarly recruited him..
Miles took a contract from Major Daum of Felice to smuggle an illegal cargo into Tau Verde IV. After encountering difficulties, he improvised a force called the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet into existence. The Dendarii later gained official status as a covert operations arm of the Barrayaran military, and Miles carried out "over thirty" missions as their commander over the course of the series. While in command of the Dendarii, he assumed the persona of "Admiral Naismith", speaking with a Betan accent. Naismith was believed by some to be a clone of Miles Vorkosigan, created by Cetagandan agents as part of a plot against Barrayar, a backstory for the character improvised by Miles during their adventure on Earth.
During this adventure, the twenty-four year old Miles' life became more complicated when he discovered that he had an actual clone, created by Komarran terrorists with the intent of killing Miles and his family and ultimately becoming Emperor of Barrayar. His friends urged him to kill the clone, but due to the Betan influence on his upbringing Miles thought of the clone as his brother and let him go free. Four years later, Miles was killed while trying to rescue his clone-brother, and although he was successfully cryo-frozen and revived, he was left with a condition which caused periodic epileptic-like seizures, particularly under great stress. He tried to conceal this from Simon Illyan, his boss and chief of Imperial Security. Miles falsified a report after he had a seizure in combat, but this was detected and he was fired from ImpSec, putting an end to his life with the Dendarii.
Almost immediately, he became suspicious of a plot against Illyan who had fallen ill and was being kept isolated; he requested that Emperor Gregor assign an Imperial Auditor to investigate the situation, but instead, the Emperor surprised him by making him the "Ninth Auditor", a temporary designation by tradition, but nonetheless endowed with full Auditor powers. His handling and solving of the case was reviewed by the other Auditors and his status as Auditor was made permanent. Miles also received a long-awaited and desired (if retroactive) promotion to Captain.
Mid life - 30s onEdit
Shortly thereafter, he accompanied one of his new colleagues, Lord Auditor Vorthys, to Komarr, home to the sole wormhole connecting Barrayar to the rest of the Nexus. (Barrayar conquered Komarr some years before Miles' birth in order to gain control of that vital access). Their mission was to investigate an accident involving the solar energy array orbiting Komarr; the accident turned out to have been caused by the secret testing of a new weapon with which Komarran conspirators hoped to permanently destroy Barrayar's access to the wormhole. Miles was quartered with Lord Auditor Vorthys' niece and her husband, a Barrayaran official. In the course of the investigation, Miles survived yet another brush with death although his host, who had become ensnared in the plot, did not survive. To make a bad situation worse, Miles fell in love with his host's wife, Ekaterin Vorsoisson, who just happened to be on the verge of leaving her emotionally abusive husband when disaster struck. She was then instrumental in foiling the plot. The entire affair was classified as secret due both to the political nature of the conspiracy and the new technology of the Komarran secret weapon.
Ekaterin, professing to be violently allergic to marriage, moved back to Barrayar with her nine-year-old son, Nikolai, to stay with her uncle, Lord Auditor Vorthys. Miles embarked upon a bizarre, if typically complicated, strategy: he would woo Ekaterin without telling her, in the hope that she could be persuaded to reconsider her stance. Miles was hoist upon his own petard during a particularly disastrous dinner party to which Ekaterin was invited. She was initially furious when she discovered his machinations. An additional complication arose when rumors accused Miles of having murdered her husband in order to marry her. Due to the Imperial security concerns, she was not at liberty to refute the allegations, even when her relations attempted to move her son to "safety". This provoked her into drastic action: she proposed to Miles herself in a most public fashion; he accepted without hesitation.
They were married during the mid-winter festival that marked the beginning of a new year on Barrayar, and survived yet another attack in which Ekaterin was poisoned by one of Miles' Auditorial victims. The plot was foiled by Taura, one of his many former girl-friends, and by Roic, one of his Armsmen.
Their honeymoon was delayed by a considerable period, during which they conceived twins in uterine replicators; while this was by now normal for well-to-do Barrayaran couples, it also conveniently allowed the happy couple to leave the planet while their unborn children remained safely at home. On their voyage home, Emperor Gregor dispatched his youngest Auditor to defuse a diplomatic crisis at a quaddie space station. The couple became embroiled in yet another deadly, complicated situation involving potential war with the Cetagandans. Happily, Miles survived a near-death illness caused by exposure to a Cetagandan biological weapon, and they were able to return to Barrayar just in time for their children's birth -- a son named Aral Alexander and a daughter named Helen Natalia.
Some years later, Miles was instructed by Gregor through the urgings of Laisa to investigate WhiteChrys, a Kibou-daini cryopreservation corporation, which had plans to expand its services in Komarr. Miles became embroiled in a coverup and fraud. At the conclusion of his investigation, he was informed by Colonel Vorventa that his father had passed away. Thus, Miles finally inherited the district countship as Count Miles Vorkosigan.
At this point, Miles' full title was Lord Auditor Captain Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, reigning district count to the Vorkosigan District as Count Vorkosigan, or possibly Lord Auditor Captain Count Vorkosigan. It was traditional for retired and discharged soldiers to retain their rank as a title. Additionally, the position of Imperial Auditor seemed to attach a Lord at the beginning of the title, regardless of the title owner's actual district status.
Personality and traitsEdit
Miles was both brilliant (especially in military tactics) and hyperactive; one of his girlfriends described him as "addicted to adrenaline rushes." He compulsively and constantly challenged the world in spite of (or because of) his stature: sometimes with disastrous consequences, although more often his mind overcame his physical weakness.
He had an ambiguous status on his home planet, being simultaneously a pampered and powerful aristocrat and a despised "mutie". At times, he contemplated running away from Barrayar and its prejudice against disabled people, but he never acted on this impulse, perhaps because of his loyalty to his family and his Vor code of honour.
He had a strong tendency to manipulate people and was very good at bluffing. The Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet orignally began as pure imaginative figment, and through frantic improvisation he concealed his deception from his erstwhile recruits; their accomplishments made real his invention. With the early success of this "lie first, fix it later" strategy, he did not become fully aware of its ethically dubious nature until over a decade later, when (finally) it blew up in his face: first he was caught lying about his seizure disorder, and then the widow he loved was enraged when she discoveredthat he had been attempting to court her by stealth during her socially-recognized period of mourning.
After his retirement, Miles lived the (relatively) calmer life of Imperial Auditor, a sort of cross between special investigator and special prosecutor, for the growing Barrayaran empire. He was also preparing to settle down and raise a family.
- Main article: Admiral Miles Naismith
Barrayaran titles, ranks, and stylesEdit
- Until the death of Piotr Vorkosigan: Lord Miles Vorkosigan; Lord Miles
- Until admittance into the Imperial Service Academy: Lord Vorkosigan
- Until Academy graduation: Cadet Kosigan; Lord Vorkosigan
- As Ensign: Ensign Vorkosigan; Lord Vorkosigan
- As Lieutenant: Lieutenant Lord Vorkosigan; Lord Vorkosigan
- After discharge: Lord Vorkosigan.
- As Imperial Auditor: Imperial Auditor Lord Vorkosigan; Lord Auditor Vorkosigan; Captain Vorkosigan; Lord Vorkosigan.
- After the death of Aral Vorkosigan: Count Vorkosigan, Imperial Auditor Count Vorkosigan
- Miles' name is Latin for "soldier". Bujold admitted that the connection was accidental but relevant. In particular, his name was taken from Miles Hendron, from Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper.
- Miles's physical handicaps were templated from a real-life pharmacist coworker of the author's.
- Some of Miles's personality comes from T. E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia)
- There is also influence from C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower stories, and from the young Winston Churchill; his "great man's son syndrome" is stated as stemming from the author's relationship with her own father.
- The Warrior's Apprentice
- "The Mountains of Mourning"
- The Vor Game
- Ethan of Athos (Mentioned only)
- "The Borders of Infinity"
- Brothers in Arms
- Borders of Infinity
- Mirror Dance
- A Civil Campaign
- "Winterfair Gifts"
- Diplomatic Immunity
- Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (brief appearance)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Barrayar
- ↑ The Vor Game
- ↑ The Mountains of Mourning
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Mirror Dance
- ↑ Komarr
- ↑ Cetaganda
- ↑ The Warrior's Apprentice
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Young Miles, Author's Notes
- ↑ The Vorkosigan Companion, essay by Bujold titled "Putting it Together: Life, the Vorkosiverse, and Everything"
- Miles Vorkosigan on Wikipedia