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Ione Saldana

The current "Lord of Ruin." A sensuous young woman, the first female Lord descended from Michael Saldana. Saldana’s are a super-genetic family line with a 200 year life expectancy, very high IQ, and much internal strengthening. She wants Joshua to make her pregnant, much to his shock. She highly suspects Joshua has psychic abilities as evidenced by his uncanny ability to make the greatest discoveries with the Ruin Ring. She thinks this kind of extrasensory ability would make a perfect genetic contribution to the Saldana lineage. Ione’s reason for the long continued research on the Laymil is that they were very similar to humans in many respects. Whatever happened to them could also happen to humans, so it is a matter of importance to discover what caused their destruction. She speculates that the Laymil were destroyed either by something they discovered for themselves which caused them to commit mass suicide or because something discover them and destroyed them.

The Laymil research project manages to translate 3 minutes from the intact circuitry found by Joshua in the Ruin Ring. Ione gets to experience this through sensevised technology and discovers what consciousness is like from the Laymil perspective. There are about 8,000 hours of usable sensorium data yet to be translated. The find is an astonishing breakthrough in the research project and reveals details of a mating ritual. Upon this experience, Ione immediately orders a shift in the focus of the research effort away from analyzing Laymil technology and physical attributes toward studying their cultural make-up.

Even though the couple placed a fertilized egg into zero-tau, Ione is, in addition, pregnant with Joshua’s child in her womb, but she does not tell him.

Learning that the latest research on the Laymil indicates that they destroyed themselves when they came across some sort of mysterious force causes her to want to once again experience the sensedata first hand. She takes on the consciousness of the Laymil shipmaster, escaping the planet. She first learns of the term “Reality Dysfunction”, used in the context of what the Laymil have encountered. For them this means that Unimerion’s life-harmony has been disrupted. The ship escapes the planet. When the sensevised experience is over, Ione inquires about the ‘reality dysfunction.” Lieria offers the explanation that it is more than just the violation of the Laymil life-harmony essence. “The impression conveyed by the memory is that it is more than a mental reorientation, it also incorporated a distortion within the local physical matrix.” Parker Higgins summarizes: “We believe this reality dysfunction, whatever it is, is behind both the removal of the Laymil planet and the suicide of the spaceholms.” It sudden dawns on Ione that this phenomenon is very similar to descriptions of Laton’s “energy virus” report on Lalonde.

Upon Joshua’s return she realizes that there is no chance of them remaining together as a couple for long. She being tied to Tranquillity as a dictator, he being unable to resist space travel. She tries to work through her feelings with Tranquillity and it is revealed in the course of the dialog that she is actually carrying Joshua’s child in her womb. This is a second child conceived just before Joshua's Norfolk run. Ione elects not to tell Joshua about this child. Her motivations for keeping this a secret are unclear, but they may have something to do with her (soon to be revealed) plans for Joshua. Tranquillity believes that the child needs to be nurtured in a complete family (i.e. with a father and mother). Ione wants to do what’s best for her child, but she also wants to do what is best in the Dr. Mzu escape situation. She knows Joshua is the best person to search for the Garissan scientist. She talks Joshua into taking the assignment with promises of plenty of assistance from serjeants and combat wasps supplied by Tranquillity.

She uses her affinity bond to download portions of her personality to the four serjeants sent by her to assist Joshua in tracking down Dr. Mzu. It startles Joshua when the serjeant first speaks and he realizes that it is Ione. This is the first time she has ever ventured beyond the safety of Tranquillity. She is thrilled by the prospect of exploring a new world, even if it is only the asteroid Ayacucho.

When Parker Higgins’ team uncovers a Laymil memory of the spaceholm suicide, she asks to sensovise it. She learns that the Laymil offered no resistance to the possession of their race. Instead, they all hastened to suicide without consideration of any other recourse.