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Triple Drabble: Distant Shorelines.

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He is Prince Xav Ezar Vorbarra. Xav for his mother's brother, who had died to buy Dorca's retreat from the Siege of Vorbarr Sultana. Ezar for his father's father, who had married a princess and renounced his own claim in favor of his son's. Vorbarra for his planet, for his Emperor, for his oath.

He steps off the shuttle and thinks: I have, quite literally, one foot in our isolated times and one foot in the future.

He is Prince Xav Ezar Vorbarra, son of Emperor Dorca Vorbarra, brother of Crown Prince Yuri Vorbarra. He is fifteen years old and he is standing on another planet.

His armsman spread out before him and Xav exits the shuttle completely. He looks around at everything all at once. The air here carries a smell that Xav could never have imagined before, and that's to say nothing of the atmosphere, of the buildings, of the sheer madness of it all: the madness of a desert planet, the madness of a return to space travel after so long without it, the madness that has brought Xav here to represent his name, his father, his planet. Last year, Xav was serving in the wars, and now he speaks to the galaxy on behalf of Barrayar.

There are people here to welcome them and Xav strides forward and bows formally.

Back home, his father is securing his grip on his Counts, waging war on the last few traitors to resist centralized Imperial authority. Back home, his half-brother's uncle is cutting swathes through Dorca's enemies, with Yuri at his side. Back home, Galina is being courted by Counts and Prince-cousins, but she cannot marry until their father has returned from this campaign.

On Beta Colony, Prince Xav of Barrayar presents his diplomatic credentials and works towards peace.