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"How could I have died and gone to hell without noticing the transition?

The opalescent force dome capped a surreal and alien landscape, frozen for a moment by Miles's disorientation and dismay. The dome defined a perfect circle, half a kilometer in diameter. Miles stood just inside its edge, where the glowing concave surface dove into the hard-packed dirt and disappeared. His imagination followed the arc buried beneath his feet to the far side, where it erupted again to complete the sphere. It was like being trapped inside an eggshell. An unbreakable eggshell.

Within was a scene from an ancient limbo. Dispirited men and women sat, or stood, or mostly lay down, singly or in scattered irregular groups, across the breadth of the arena. Miles's eye searched anxiously for some remnant of order or military grouping, but the inhabitants seemed splashed randomly as a liquid across the ground.
―Miles Vorkosigan's arrival[src]

Dagoola IV Top Security Prison Camp 3 (duh-GOO-lah) was the full name of the prisoner-of-war camp on Dagoola IV that held 10,000 Marilacans prisoner until Miles Vorkosigan and the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet came to their rescue.

The POW camp was composed of bare ground enclosed by an energy field. The only structures were groupings of latrines evenly placed around the perimeter of the dome. These had spigots that sometimes gave water. One region of the periphery shifted slightly from time to time for the collection of dead bodies, which were flash-incinerated immediately after collecting. Twice a day, combat rations were transferred into the camp along random locations on the periphery, and then left to the uncontrolled prisoners' activity.

Within the circle, there was no sort of organized grouping and prisoners-of-war were left to themselves; the groupings that existed among the prisoners mostly took the form of people who worked together for protection.

Prisoners-of-war were marked by a poisoned tattoo which was kept at bay by a field generated by the dome. This ensured that any prisoner who escaped would soon die.

Prisoners at the camp[]