Grif Vindh has just managed to pull off the crime of the millennium. He's stolen a shipment of anagathics* Drugs that greatly slow the aging process from Ur Voys — The Empire of the Radiant Throne's most secure facility — and smuggled it out under the very noses of The Radiant Throne's Swords. This one job has has earned him more than enough money to retire. Not that he wants to retire, mind you. He'd rather put that money into getting the very latest equipment for his ship.It's a good thing, too. The Alliance of Free Worlds has heard of his little adventure, and as it happens, they also want to steal something from The Radiant Throne — something that is currently stashed in Ur Voys. And since they've been unsuccessful in stealing it themselves, they decide to blackmail Grif and crew to break in to Ur Voys again and get it for them.The only problem is, Grif might not have told the whole truth about the first break-in...Read it here.
Asteroid Thicket: Surrounds Tyrelos Station. It's a lot sparser than most examples of this trope, and justified by being the remains of a recently (in astronomic terms) destroyed moon, but still there.
"Hello Morgan," Velis said. "You look well." "Velis," Morgan said. That was all he could manage; he abruptly turned in his seat and devoted his attention to his station. "This is going to be the best trip ever," Grif muttered.
Deflector Shields: Part and parcel for the setting. Unusually for this trope, they're described as blocking all energy, including visible light and sensors, in both directions. Fortunately, there are systems that automate the process of dropping a single segment of the shield, firing through it, and bringing it back up. Also, a big part of space combat is deciding, moment to moment, which shield segments to have down (for visibility), which to have up (for protection), and which to "pulse" on and off (for a little of both).
Fell Off the Back of a Truck: The anagathics Grif "stole" from Ur Voysliterally fell off the back of a truck. Of course, this truck was in the process of crashing and bursting into flames, so it makes sense that stuff would be falling off of it.
Future Imperfect: Most of the people who grew up on Earth like to claim that Earth is the original homeworld of humanity, but nobody takes them seriously.
Grievous Bottley Harm: A more realistic example than most. The bottle doesn't break, despite being swung with a human's full strength. It also does some serious damage to the target.
Hero of Another Story: There's some kind of coup in progress against Baron Minerva Tyrelos. Whoever is responsible gets nervous about the fact that Grif has figured out about Baron Tylaris' assassination, so they try to have Grif handed over to The Throne. We never find out who's behind it, what their ultimate plan is, or whether the Baron's plan to have her brother publicly take the blame ever worked.
Infraction Distraction: Grif sacrifices their cargo of fine Varkavian whiskey to keep Mavis from looking closer, and maybe finding the anagathics. Of course, since none of the crew know about the anagathics, they all think he's gone crazy for doing this, until the big reveal.
Is This Thing Still On?: Doma, the communications technician (and Grif's nephew), manages to accidentally broadcast the crew's impromptu strategy session to the ship they were running from at the time.
"It's about time Dyorbid actually hired an attractive waitress," Morgan said. Grif laughed. "Well, hold on," Grif said, "let's be fair. The Murdec who worked here a few months back was very attractive... to other Murdecs."
Miles Gloriosus: Grif may have exaggerated the story of his break-in to Ur Voys a little bit.
The Mutiny: Velis Enge organizes one against Grif. It... doesn't go so well for her and her team.
Name's the Same: Very nearly, the Tylaris and Tyrelos Baronies. The fact that they are the richest and poorest (respectively) of the baronies is commented on in-universe.
"Well I can't hold these guys off much longer." Grif tried to peer over the lip of the stairwell without exposing himself. "Sooner or later they'll realize it's just one pistol..." From below someone shouted "It's just one pistol!" "Damn it all tohell," Grif muttered. Amys rolled her eyes. "Nice work."
Part of the standard procedure for repelling boarders aboard the Fool's Errand is to turn the gravity on and off according to a prearranged schedule. Since any boarders wouldn't know the schedule, they would be unprepared for the sudden shifts in gravity. In addition, individual crew can have the bridge change the gravity in their specific section as an additional weapon.
Because the Fool's Errand uses older gravity technology, they can't have the artificial gravity on while they're in tach. Well, technically they can, but it would be dangerous to do so.
One Nation Under Copyright: According to the Foldspace Guide, the Free Trade Baronies started off as this. With the passage of time, they've evolved into standard governments, but most still have some of the trappings of their corporate past. For instance, most have powerful "executives" that that can, if need be, vote the baron out of office.
Overt Rendezvous: Getting Meaghan Sythe out of Ur Voys requires a meeting in a bar. Unfortunately, someone remembers seeing her there, which allows Mavis' agents to connect the break in with the Fool's Errand, and sets up the climactic battle.
Pants Positive Safety: As Grif is breaking out of the aforementioned hospital, he has to steal some clothes and a pistol. He doesn't have the chance to steal a holster.
Perma Stubble: Grif is described as having "a fine layer of stubble that never quite coaxed itself into a beard."
Sibling Yin-Yang: Grif Vindh is a smuggler, thief, and general ne'er do well. His sister, Velis Enge, is a high ranking officer in an Alliance black ops division (and is, not incidentally, the leader of the team that's blackmailing Grif).
Side Bet: The title of the work is a reference to Cyrus and Ktk's continual bets with each other about the outcome of the mission, how long it will be until they wind up in trouble in this particular portnote Neither one of them being brave enough to put money on "never"., whether they will survive their current screwup, etc. Every other member of the crew will bet with each other at the drop of a hat, but Cyrus and Ktk are the most frequent offenders.
Starfish Aliens: Ktk is described as a 2.5 meter hermaphroditic centipede with three prehensile tails.
Starfish Language: "Bugtalk" is "a binary language that starts with the total sum of all knowledge and drills down through it until it isolates the specific thought or concept the bug is trying to say." This is emphasized in the story by the fact that Ktk is never quoted directly.
Technopath: An (extremely rare) ability of certain very strong telepaths.
What Did I Do Last Night?: Grif and crew have a huge celebration with several of the other crews in port. They all get so smashed, the next morning, they can't remember what happenednote except for Ktk, but it won't say anything, since it's too embarrassed. This isn't the first such party, either: They've had to institute The List, a computer record of everyone's possessions that they had entered the party with, bets that were made, and the winners and losers of those bets.