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"A most extraordinary music began from somewhere, a racing rich complexity of harmonics. Miles could not identify the instrument—instruments, surely. He and Thorne exchanged a glance, and by mutual accord drifted toward the sound. Around a spiraling staircase, backed by the panoply of station, planet, and stars, they found the musician...
Little decorative colored sparkles defined the spherical field of a large null-gee bubble. Floating within it was a woman. Her ivory arms flashed against her green silk clothes as she played. All four of her ivory arms. . . . She wore a flowing, kimono-like belted jacket and matching shorts, from which the second set of arms emerged where her legs should have been. Her hair was short and soft and ebony black. Her eyes were closed, and her rose-tinted face bore the repose of an angel, high and distant and terrifying.
―Miles meets Nicol[src]

Nicol was a quaddie musician who decided to explore the universe to get away from her sisters. Her favored musical instruments were harp and double-sided hammer dulcimer.

She took a job working for Baron Fell on Jackson's Whole, but quickly realized that her contract was going to lead into slavery in a short time. When the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet paid a visit, she immediately saw an opportunity to flee the planet; she and Bel Thorne became lovers, but it remained with the fleet and she returned to her people. Some years later, Bel showed up at Graf Station, where she worked in the orchestra of the Minchenko Auditorium; the two of them became informally partners.


Nicol was one of the Quaddies after the Crossing who had no numerical designation.