For the record, this entire sequence was not part of the original plan. The original main story involved EVERYONE going with Grissom to save Sky, but it wasn’t believable to me that they would leave the dead-in-space Brimia completely unattended. So someone had to stay behind. But it was tough. I knew I wanted Cember to start building some sort of friendship with Grissom. I wanted Bennesaud to have some additional interaction with Jayd around their respective mob ties. Roka and Bocce definitely had to be there. And I wanted Ril on Grissom’s ship so I could have that scene between them, where Grissom stops Ril from poking around her ship.

In the end, the decision was made FOR me by what I had already established as Ril’s personality. He’d be hard pressed to trust Cember or Bennesaud to stay behind on the Brimia without him or Roka. Plus, he is the least invested in Sky and has the most attachment to the Brimia (other than Roka), so it had to be him. I still needed the scene with him and Grissom though, so I just had him on her ship before they leave instead of in transit as it was originally conceived.

Once I had Ril on the ship, I wanted to give him some sort of subplot so that he wasn’t just left behind and forgotten. Early ideas included him fixing the ship, coming across the bombs that Jayd planted, and then working to diffuse them. But that would have just been Ril vs inanimate objects, which is less interesting than Ril vs living adversaries. It also would have been difficult to do since he’d have no one to actually converse with, and characters talking to themselves is always a bit weird.

I always thought it’d be fun to bring back the Tedeskians from the SPX Anthology 2000 (the very first appearance of the series!), and since most of the other plots and subplots were pretty serious, I thought it’d be a nice balance to make Ril’s story more light and fun.

It also helped sell the idea of the Kasrian Corridor being a dangerous section of space. Back in Chapter 2, Roka expresses concern about going through the Corridor due to elevated levels of rogue activity. But in the original story, they didn’t really have any encounters. So the addition of the hostile salvager story helped to make the Corridor live up to its reputation as a place best avoided if possible.