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Collin's assassination list

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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by tlb   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:41 am

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cthia wrote:Could that even be considered a successful assassination for the Peeps? They wanted Beth and Benjy. Would they even have gone through the trouble to take out the others?

Jonathan_S wrote:And yet, the assassination actually achieved Saint Just's overall strategic goal -- preventing Manticore from completing the defeat of Haven. The exact mechanics that led to Manticore pausing probably weren't ones he could envision. And getting an actual formal ceasefire was probably more than he realistically hoped to achieve. But he got his goal; and so there's a fair argument that the assassination mission was a successful one (even if not all the targets were killed).

Though gaining his immediate strategic goal didn't to him any personal favors :D

cthia wrote:Is that true? I never realized the assassination was even remotely responsible for the ceasefire. I can't recall the specifics, but wasn't Beth livid at the sight of natural Peep stripes? Did I miss something?

Very much so, because it put High Ridge in as head of government and even though the Queen was vehemently opposed to the ceasefire as head of state, it would be a major constitutional crisis if she fought the government on this. As I stated in one of the other recent threads: St Just proposed the ceasefire because he knew he was losing and High Ridge could accept the ceasefire because everyone knew Haven was losing. This gave the High Ridge coalition a chance to reclaim popular support while they "built the peace" and hold off the new lords that might vote away the prerogatives of the upper house.
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:14 pm

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tlb wrote:Very much so, because it put High Ridge in as head of government and even though the Queen was vehemently opposed to the ceasefire as head of state, it would be a major constitutional crisis if she fought the government on this. As I stated in one of the other recent threads: St Just proposed the ceasefire because he knew he was losing and High Ridge could accept the ceasefire because everyone knew Haven was losing. This gave the High Ridge coalition a chance to reclaim popular support while they "built the peace" and hold off the new lords that might vote away the prerogatives of the upper house.
IIRC (not going to try to find it now) the books even said that killing Cromarty instead of Beth worked out better for Saint Just. If Cromarty had lived he'd have held his government together, Prince Rodger would become King, and nobody in power would be the least bit interesting in anything but a complete and unconditional surrender from Haven. And 8th fleet's SD(P)s and CLACs were ready to force that upon them.
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by tlb   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:39 pm

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tlb wrote:Very much so, because it put High Ridge in as head of government and even though the Queen was vehemently opposed to the ceasefire as head of state, it would be a major constitutional crisis if she fought the government on this. As I stated in one of the other recent threads: St Just proposed the ceasefire because he knew he was losing and High Ridge could accept the ceasefire because everyone knew Haven was losing. This gave the High Ridge coalition a chance to reclaim popular support while they "built the peace" and hold off the new lords that might vote away the prerogatives of the upper house.

Jonathan_S wrote:IIRC (not going to try to find it now) the books even said that killing Cromarty instead of Beth worked out better for Saint Just. If Cromarty had lived he'd have held his government together, Prince Rodger would become King, and nobody in power would be the least bit interesting in anything but a complete and unconditional surrender from Haven. And 8th fleet's SD(P)s and CLACs were ready to force that upon them.

From Ashes of Victory, chapter 47:
But as the first, fragmentary reports about the domestic Manty reaction to Hassan came in, Saint-Just had begun to realize it might actually be better this way. If he'd gotten Elizabeth and Benjamin but not Cromarty, Elizabeth's son would simply have assumed the throne with the same Government in place. At best, the result would have been only to delay the inevitable, not stop it. But by killing Cromarty and leaving Elizabeth alive, Saint-Just had inadvertently created a totally different situation. When the Manty Opposition's leadership announced its decision to form a government which excluded Cromarty's Centrists and the Crown Loyalists, a dazzling opportunity had landed squarely in Oscar Saint-Just's lap, and he had no intention of letting it slip away.
--- snip ---
"I've examined the relevant treaties carefully, Your Majesty," High Ridge assured her. "They contain no specific bar to unilateral negotiations between any of the signatories and the People's Republic."
"Perhaps because it never occurred to the negotiators who put those treaties together that any of their allies would so completely and cold-bloodedly betray them," Elizabeth suggested conversationally, and watched High Ridge flush.
"That's one way to look at it, Your Majesty," he said. "Another way is to point out that if we succeed in negotiating peace between the Star Kingdom and the People's Republic, peace between the PRH and our allies must also follow. In which case it is not a betrayal, but rather accomplishes the true goal of those treaties: peace, secure borders, and an end to the military threat of the People's Republic."
He had an answer for everything, Elizabeth realized, and she didn't need any signs from Ariel to know that virtually every member of the Cabinet agreed with him. And, she admitted with bitter honesty, her own attitude hadn't helped. She should have kept her mouth shut, controlled her temper, and bided her time; instead, she'd come out into the open too soon. Every one of High Ridge's fellow cabinet members knew she'd become their mortal enemy, and it had produced an effect she hadn't anticipated. The threat she posed to them—the vengeance they all knew she would take as soon as the opportunity offered—had driven them closer together. The natural differences which ought to have been driving them apart had been submerged in the need to respond to the greater danger she represented, and there was no way any of them would break lockstep with the others to support her against High Ridge, New Kiev, and Descroix. And without a single ally within the Cabinet, not even the Queen of Manticore could reject the united policy recommendations of her Prime Minister, her Foreign Secretary, her Home Secretary, and the First Lord of the Admiralty.
"Very well, My Lord," she made herself say. "We'll try it your way. And I hope, for all our sakes, that you're right and I'm wrong."
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by cthia   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:21 pm

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More wonderful morsels of text, tlb. It also refreshes my memory of exactly how High Ridge came to power.

Although I disagree with Saint-Just's musings. I'd think if he'd gotten Beth and Benjy too, he would have really made out like a bandit. That Alliance was strained after High Ridge was seated. Without Beth, and Benjy, that Alliance may have sank.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:50 pm

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cthia wrote:More wonderful morsels of text, tlb. It also refreshes my memory of exactly how High Ridge came to power.

Although I disagree with Saint-Just's musings. I'd think if he'd gotten Beth and Benjy too, he would have really made out like a bandit. That Alliance was strained after High Ridge was seated. Without Beth, and Benjy, that Alliance may have sank.


I doubt it. If the sovereign of both nations got assassinated, public opinion and outright rage would force the Navies to stop at nothing short of Saint Just's head on a platter. They would demand total and unconditional surrender of the PRH and, if OSJ had escaped, they'd continue to search for him until he was caught. I don't know if he misjudged this outcome; I think he imagined he'd create sufficient chaos to give him a few more months until some other plan presented itself.

And I don't think he knew High Ridge would accept the cease fire. If High Ridge hadn't been interested in just being different from his predecessor, he could would just have continued the war until the PRH surrendered. I don't know if it had already occurred to High Ridge and his cabinet to drag out the negotiations, but this couldn't have been part of Saint Just's thinking either. Unless StateSec still had assets close to the parties supporting the new Government and made the suggestion.
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by tlb   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:55 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:And I don't think he knew High Ridge would accept the cease fire. If High Ridge hadn't been interested in just being different from his predecessor, he could would just have continued the war until the PRH surrendered. I don't know if it had already occurred to High Ridge and his cabinet to drag out the negotiations, but this couldn't have been part of Saint Just's thinking either. Unless StateSec still had assets close to the parties supporting the new Government and made the suggestion.

St Just does muse that he can get them to waste a few months just arguing about the size and shape of the conference table, but the High Ridge coalition was interested in wasting much more time than that. From Ashes of Victory, chapter 48:
"They bought it?" the PRH's dictator demanded, as if he hadn't quite been able to believe Kersaint the first time around. "They went for it? For all of it?"
"Yes, Citizen Chairman. They've agreed to a cease-fire in place, with both sides to retain systems they currently occupy, pending comprehensive negotiations to end the war. They request—" he glanced at his memo pad "—that we immediately send a delegation to confirm the details of the truce and begin formal talks within two standard months."
"Good. Good! We can tie them up for months with talks. Years if we have to!" Saint-Just actually rubbed his hands, looking like a man who'd just received a new lease on life . . . or at least a temporary stay of execution.
"At least years, Sir. And we may even be able to negotiate an actual treaty."
Last edited by tlb on Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:00 pm

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cthia wrote:More wonderful morsels of text, tlb. It also refreshes my memory of exactly how High Ridge came to power.

Although I disagree with Saint-Just's musings. I'd think if he'd gotten Beth and Benjy too, he would have really made out like a bandit. That Alliance was strained after High Ridge was seated. Without Beth, and Benjy, that Alliance may have sank.

Um, I don't see anything in Saint-Just's musings about how it might have played out if he'd gotten everyone. So you seem to be disagreeing with something he didn't say/think... :)

He mused about "If he'd gotten Elizabeth and Benjamin but not Cromarty".

and he mused about "But by killing Cromarty and leaving Elizabeth alive"

And of those 2 options the only one that could open a door to avoiding a rapid outright defeat was killing Cromarty and triggering the fall of his Centrist government.
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by George J. Smith   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:05 am

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Unless the news of the assassination arrived in a dispatch that included instructions to stand down, why didn't Whitehaven continue the assault which was planned for the following morning?

I have always thought that Whitehaven made an almighty blunder by not going through with the plan(s) for the advance towards Haven.
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by cthia   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:33 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:More wonderful morsels of text, tlb. It also refreshes my memory of exactly how High Ridge came to power.

Although I disagree with Saint-Just's musings. I'd think if he'd gotten Beth and Benjy too, he would have really made out like a bandit. That Alliance was strained after High Ridge was seated. Without Beth, and Benjy, that Alliance may have sank.

Um, I don't see anything in Saint-Just's musings about how it might have played out if he'd gotten everyone. So you seem to be disagreeing with something he didn't say/think... :)

He mused about "If he'd gotten Elizabeth and Benjamin but not Cromarty".

and he mused about "But by killing Cromarty and leaving Elizabeth alive"

And of those 2 options the only one that could open a door to avoiding a rapid outright defeat was killing Cromarty and triggering the fall of his Centrist government.

That's my point. I think he should have wanted and mused about getting them all. I really think there was a good chance the Alliance would have crumbled. Remember, both Beth and Benjy was fighting with factions of their own government to keep the Alliance going. Benjy pretty much strong armed his government, he wielded that type of power. Without him, who would have fought, successfully, to continue the Alliance with heathens? Especially in the face of High Ridge. Then Benjamin's opposition would have been situated perfectly to stick it to Honor. That mission was meant to solidify the Alliance, because it needed it. That Alliance also needed Beth and Benjy. I remember a conversation which draws out the ease Benjamin had keeping his government in line compared to the Queen. But any replacement Protector would not have enjoyed that much power which Benjamin gained by underhanded tactics. At any rate, I wiped my brow when Beth and Benjy survived, because the Alliance may have been doomed. That's why I questioned the assassination's success. I thought it was why Beth and Benjy were targeted in the first place. They were the very wind beneath the Alliance's wings.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Collin's assassination list
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:28 am

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cthia wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Um, I don't see anything in Saint-Just's musings about how it might have played out if he'd gotten everyone. So you seem to be disagreeing with something he didn't say/think... :)

He mused about "If he'd gotten Elizabeth and Benjamin but not Cromarty".

and he mused about "But by killing Cromarty and leaving Elizabeth alive"

And of those 2 options the only one that could open a door to avoiding a rapid outright defeat was killing Cromarty and triggering the fall of his Centrist government.

That's my point. I think he should have wanted and mused about getting them all. I really think there was a good chance the Alliance would have crumbled. Remember, both Beth and Benjy was fighting with factions of their own government to keep the Alliance going. Benjy pretty much strong armed his government, he wielded that type of power. Without him, who would have fought, successfully, to continue the Alliance with heathens? Especially in the face of High Ridge. Then Benjamin's opposition would have been situated perfectly to stick it to Honor. That mission was meant to solidify the Alliance, because it needed it. That Alliance also needed Beth and Benjy. I remember a conversation which draws out the ease Benjamin had keeping his government in line compared to the Queen. But any replacement Protector would not have enjoyed that much power which Benjamin gained by underhanded tactics. At any rate, I wiped my brow when Beth and Benjy survived, because the Alliance may have been doomed. That's why I questioned the assassination's success. I thought it was why Beth and Benjy were targeted in the first place. They were the very wind beneath the Alliance's wings.
Isn't Benjamin's younger brother Michael likely to end up as effectively a regent (though probably called something else) for the young Bernard Raoul Mayhew?

Grayson as a whole seem very unlikely to just turn the other cheek to an enemy that just assassinated their ruler - that's likely to make them more determined to push on to total victory. And even less likely to break an alliance over a shared tragedy.

I guess if everyone dies then maybe, maybe Mueller's role in the assassination might not come out so soon. But it's still likely that the most prominent figure in the opposition is about to be exposed as a traitor and executed.

And third, the Keys literally do not have the power to break the alliance. So even if a majority of them changed their minds about supporting the war or the alliance the Protector still has the ultimate say and I can't see the protector-regent (again presumably Benjamin's brother) letting Haven go unpunished for his murder.


About the only way I could see the alliance fracture would be if they broke it in order to unilaterally reject the ceasefire Manticore was accepting; to have the GSN go impose unconditional surrender on Haven. Because they'd be that must more enraged -- guess that'd have Saint Just making out like a properly tried and executed bandit :D

But it's also possible that with Elizabeth dead King Roger and a new Centrist Prime Minister could leverage the extra outrage that should produce to hold enough of Cromarty's allied together and prevent the Centrist government from falling. Replacing, for a time, personal loyalty to Cromarty with determination to finish punishing Haven. They only have to hold on for maybe 6 months and if they fall after the surrender then that delayed High Ridge government can't stress the alliance or play ceasefire games they way they did historically.

So I'm far from convinced that getting the two leaders would actually have improved the outcome for Saint Just, or at least for Haven in general.
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