Kyle is granted the Vivacia upon Ephron Vestrit's death, much to the dismay of Althea Vestrit, with whom Kyle frequently clashes. He announces his intent to use Vivacia to enter the slave trade, and counters the general disapproval of the idea by citing the Vestrit family's failing finances as his motivation.
Kyle intends to groom one of his children to eventually succeed him as captain, but as Malta is female and Selden very young, he forces the reluctant Wintrow to serve aboard the ship. He is easily frustrated by Wintrow's philosophical nature, which is ill-suited to sailing, and frequently berates the boy for not having grown up meeting Kyle's expectations.
Wintrow attempts to escape the Vivacia and his father in Jamaillia City, but is imprisoned by a slave trader and tattooed with the Satrap's mark in anticipation of being sold. Kyle sees Wintrow at the slave auction and buys him, albeit starting the bidding with an insulting low sum. He then has Wintrow's face tattooed with a large image of the Vivacia's figurehead.
Kyle manages to survive the rebellion of the slaves aboard the Vivacia, and is spared by Kennit at Wintrow's behest. However, he is stripped of his authority, and thereafter spends all of his time inside a cabin. Whenever Wintrow visits him to bring food or water, clean, or doctor him, Kyle berates his son for having surrendered to pirates.
Kyle's attitude and the effect it has on Wintrow eventually bring Kennit to maroon and imprison Kyle on Key Island, where he will no longer be a concern. Kyle remains trapped on Key Island until Ship of Destiny, when the crew of the refitted Paragon discovers him while seeking Kennit's mother.