This post is sponsored by Grennex Transportation, for all your Rigel-related needs.
I see that James Bond has survived into the 22nd Century - or that his name and its associations have, at least. I'm genuinely curious as to whether he has in fact endured, or if the name Bond has simply become convenient shorthand for "spy" to the point where you don't have to be familiar with the character or franchise to understand/use it as a reference. Whether it's that, whether the series is considered classic entertainment, whether it's just a favourite of this one Earther, or whether we're on Bond Movie Gazillion by now is an interesting question.
So, Call Me Al and our other Sauria-side human have a nice scene here, one that's a counterpart of sorts to the sneaking that Williams is doing on the other side of the Federation. Once again, I like the slow-burning nature of the unfolding Sauria crisis, and it gives Trip something worthwhile to do, which is certainly welcome.
Next, we get to see the Chelons in their own environment (doubly so, given that these are the traditionalist Chelons). I liked the character of Jetanien in Vanguard
(though he only really came into his own once he left the station, funnily enough - Nimbusian Jetanien is better than Vanguardian Jetanien), but I was somewhat disappointed that we learned so little about Chelons or Rigel in general. Aside from interesting revelations about secreting deadly poison when under stress and a running gag about foul-smelling food, the Chelon remained a mystery. One of the few wasted opportunities in Vanguard
, I always felt. I'm glad that we're seeing the Chelon homeworld here and I'm glad that another Federation member race is being fleshed out. I thought the rainforest environment was well-described; certainly I got a good sense of what this part of Rigel III is like.
We end the chapter with one team in trouble on III, another in peril on VII, and Williams remaining in trouble on IV. You can see why the blurb calls attention to the dangers of Rigel.