| "Bluff" |
Set in the 22nd Century
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Affiliations:||Crew of the William Howells|
Katerina Tolmasova was the captain of the William Howells. She was a strikingly beautiful Russian woman. Ramon Castillo was her lover. She was coldly logical, which came in handy even though she was not a scientist as such. She was also a devout Marxist.
She was the first to greet Pitkhanas, the king-steward of Kussara. Pitkhanas was initially insulted to be greeted by a female, and attempted to have Tolmasova seized. Instead she used a jet pack to fly out of the Kussarans' reach, prompting Pitkhanas to halt his attack.
As the various scientists aboard the William Howells struggled to understand why the Kussarans appeared to consult their various gods before making important decisions, Castillo happened to witness a poker game, wherein the Kussaran soldier Tushratta seemed to learn of the concept of "bluff" or "deceit" for the first time. He shared his observations with Tolmasova. When Tolmasova quoted Marx, that "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but rather their social existence determines their consciousness", it was enough to send Castillo on the right track.