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Honorverse favorite passages

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:49 am

cthia
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Besting my sister and niece at Scrabble is a copper-plated Cordelia Ransom. It's simply impossible to win at this game against someone who snacks on crossword puzzles and are veritable encyclopedists! Who does an entire book of crossword puzzles in a day?!

My only chance at a respectable score is to open up the board, which they don't do. When I do, they pounce. Perhaps it's time to open up the board regarding the one-liners thread. No-holds-barred. No more wield the quill genteel. Safety interlocks removedlet's blow the roof off the sucka. Give us your favorite passages, or your not so favorite, or your interesting, or your amusing, or your indifferent, or your ...

Cauldron of Ghosts
After Andrew left the suite, Hugh cleared his throat. “I noticed that you left out some particulars.”
“I wouldn’t call them ‘particulars.’ Speculative possibilities is closer to the mark.” Arai shook his head.
“You’re quibbling and you know it. What you’re calling ‘speculative possibilities’ are part of the established plans for using the Hali Sowle.
“Established by whom?” Ruth countered. “Ganny El still hasn’t agreed—and if she doesn’t, the whole deal collapses.”
“I know you didn’t learn to lie, cheat and steal at Mount Royal Palace. So where does it come from, this brazen shamelessness? This cunning deftness at misdirection and maneuver? This dazzling expertise at deceit and deception?”
You might be surprised at what goes on in the corridors and back rooms of Mount Royal Palace, Hugh. But, no, I didn’t learn the skills there. No more than the rudiments, anyway.”
She sniffed. “Where do you think? I’ve been studying for the past three years at Zilwicki and Cachat University.” Hugh chuckled.


Please do not forget to broadcast transponder (list book containing passage), so that we can readily identify where passage originates.

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: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Phalanx   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:34 am

Phalanx
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Am I the only one who gets a Firefly vibe from Ganny El and Pamley Station characters?
_



____________________________________________________
There are no Mesan Agents under your bed
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:34 am

Hutch
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Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

Well, we'll see if this one lasts as long and is as full as the one-liner thread.

I'm re-reading some of my favorite bits from "Crown of Slaves", and this passage, as Princess Ruth and Berry Zilwicki go look for Victor is one of my all-time favorites.

Her estimate was correct. But the proof of it caused the two girls to draw up short for a moment. Ginny Usher was lying on the corridor floor, right in front of the door to the suite. Sound asleep, apparently.

"Hm," murmured Ruth.

" 'Hm' is right," whispered Berry. "I think we ought to—"

What she thought went unspoken, since Ginny opened her eyes at that moment. Gave them a sharp look, then, apparently satisfied they posed no problem, stretched and sat up. She reminded Berry of a very good-looking cat.

"What's up?" Ginny yawned.

"We need to talk to Victor," replied Ruth.

Ginny shook her head. "Not a chance. He needs some, ah, rest. That's why I'm camping out here, to make sure nobody disturbs him."

She said the words placidly enough, but it was obvious to Berry that she'd be immovable on the subject.

Ruth had apparently reached the same conclusion. "Okay, then. We can probably start with Lieutenant Palane instead. Do you know where we could find her?"

"Sure." Ginny hooked a thumb at the door against which she was now leaning. "She's in there with Victor. Resting. I use the term a bit loosely, you understand."

Ruth and Berry stared at her. Ginny grinned.

"So there's not a cold chance in Hell I'm letting you in there. Forget it. I don't care if you're on a mission to save the galaxy. The galaxy will just have to wait."

Ruth and Berry stared at each other.

"Oh," said Ruth.

Berry was more loquacious. "Oh. Yeah."

Ruth sighed and leaned against the wall of the corridor. Then, sighing more heavily, slid down until she was sprawled on the corridor floor. "Damn."

Berry sat down next to her. "Look on the bright side. At least they'll be in a better mood in the morning than they were just a little while ago. Well. I hope, anyway."

A noise came through the door. There were no distinguishable words. Berry had an image of a tigress in heat, howling mezzo-soprano passion.

"Oh," repeated Ruth.

"Much better mood," said Berry firmly.

Ruth shook her head. "Yeah, sure, but . . . Damnation, we have got to start making plans."

Ginny was now giving them a quizzical look. "Plans for what?" She held up her hand. "Never mind. I can figure out the gist of it. Victor Cachat lunacy. That being the case, why wait for the madman? I'm sure the two of you can make up a crazy scheme all on your own."

Ruth and Berry peered at her. Ginny's grin was back.

"Try Grand Suite Sutter's Mill 57," she suggested. "Two floors down. That's where most of Thandi's wrecking crew is spending the night. They could probably serve you as a sounding board. And if they can't, I'm sure the Ballroom maniacs could. By now, I suspect most of them are there too."

Ruth lunged to her feet. "Great idea!"

Berry rose also, but was less sanguine. "Uh. Uh."

"Oh, don't worry about it," said Ginny. "That's a huge interconnected suite, with a central salon about the size of a tennis court. Most of the actual orgying will be taking place in the bedrooms. I'm sure you can find somebody who'll talk to you."

Berry was less sanguine than ever. "Uh . . ."

But Ruth had her by the collar and was marching her down the corridor. "Don't be a prude," she said firmly. "They have orgies all the time in Mount Royal Palace."

Berry gaped at her.

"Well." Ruth's face was firmly set, in the way a youngster's will when she's making pronouncements about subjects she knows absolutely nothing about. "Not my aunt, of course. But I'm sure the servants do."
***********************************************
No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow.

What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here! Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM! -LT. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:26 am

Hutch
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Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

I am not quoting the entire scene, just the closing act, from the Graduation scene in Shadows of Saganami, after Edward Saganami chose to engage six enemy ships with his single BC...

Nike's bridge was hazed with thin smoke, eddying towards the holed bulkheads and the bottomless hunger of vacuum beyond. Electrical fires blazed unchecked, Astrogation was so much blasted wreckage, and bodies littered the deck. Edward Saganami's face was streaked with blood as he faced the pickup, and more blood coated his vac suit's right side as it pulsed from a deep wound in his shoulder. The tactical display was still up behind him. Its icons and damage sidebars and the lurid damage codes on the damage control schematic flickered and wavered as its power fluctuated. But they were still there, still showed the other battlecruiser maneuvering for the final, fatal shot Nike could no longer avoid.

"We're done, James," Saganami said. His voice was hoarse, harsh with pain and the exhaustion of blood loss, yet his expression was almost calm. "Tell the Queen. Tell her what my people did. And tell her I'm sor—"

The simulator went black. There was utter silence in the lightless auditorium. And then, slowly, one final image appeared. It was the golden cross and starburst of the Parliamentary Medal of Valor on its blue, white, and red ribbon. The same colors gleamed among the ribbons on Dame Honor's chest, but this Medal of Valor was different. It was the very first PMV ever awarded, and it hung before them for perhaps twenty seconds.

And then the lights came up once more, and Lady Dame Honor Harrington, Commanding Officer of the newly reactivated Eighth Fleet, Manticoran Alliance, looked out over the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy's four hundred and eleventh senior class. They looked back at her, and she inhaled deeply.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," she said, her soprano voice ringing out clear and strong, "the tradition lives!"

Sixty more seconds passed in ringing silence, and then—

"Dismissed, Ladies and Gentlemen," she said very quietly.
***********************************************
No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow.

What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here! Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM! -LT. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:22 am

cthia
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Wow Hutch. As always, two excellent choices. The first was humorous. The second left me choked up. That latter passage was so well written, I could actually see the ship's damage, the wires burning, and could smell the distinct smoke of an electrical fire.

Long live RFC. Long write he too!

******* *

A Rising Thunder
“So,” she said, sitting back from the table she shared with only Honor, Pritchart, and Thomas Theisman, “is Simões telling the truth or not, Honor?”

The two Havenites looked at Honor with slightly surprised expressions, and Honor smiled. Nimitz was sound asleep on his perch, and after the night which had just passed, she saw no point in waking him up.

“There’s a reason Her Majesty’s asking me, instead of Nimitz or Ariel,” she told her guests. “As it happens, I’ve been hanging around with treecats long enough to have caught at least some of their abilities. I can’t read minds, but I can read emotions, and I know when someone’s lying.”

It was astonishingly easy for her to make that admission to the leaders of the star nation she’d fought her entire adult life.

Pritchart blinked at her, then those topaz eyes narrowed in thought, and the President began nodding—slowly, at first, then more rapidly.

“So that’s why you make such a fiendishly effective diplomat!” she said with something very like an air of triumph. “I couldn’t believe how well a total novice was reading us. Now I know—you were cheating!

The last word came out in something very like a laugh, and Honor nodded back.

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: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:02 pm

cthia
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Regarding the reason of why Elizabeth should trust Eloise is echoed in this passage...

A Rising Thunder
“Oh, I’m not worried about that.”

Elizabeth waved one hand. She and Pritchart had discussed the president’s concerns in detail, and the empress was convinced the other woman was worrying unduly. Yes, the Battle of Manticore had killed an enormous number of people, but far fewer than the Yawata Strike, and all of them had been military casualties. Unlike the people behind the Yawata Strike, the Republic had scrupulously avoided preventable civilian casualties. After fifteen T-years fighting the People’s Republic, even the most anti-Havenite Manticoran had been only too well aware of what a change that represented, and the contrast with the slaughter of the Yawata Strike only underscored the difference. Say what the most bigoted Manticoran might, the restored Republic had fought its war with honor, and the majority of Manticorans knew it.

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: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:48 pm

cthia
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Posts: 11274
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My favorite passage from A Rising Thunder...

“Fleet Admiral Filareta,” she said then, her soprano voice as cold as her eyes. “In case you haven’t already figured it out, my name is Alexander-Harrington. I have the honor to command the forces assigned to the defense of this star system, and the fact that I know both your name and that you’re the commanding officer of Eleventh Fleet should be an indication that I know precisely why you’re here. In case you require further evidence of just how thoroughly your plans have been blown, however, I’ll add for the record that I also know you’re here to execute ‘Operation Raging Justice,’ which I find a rather…ironic way to describe the forcible conquest of the Star Empire of Manticore by the Solarian League Navy without the bothersome details of niggling little things like a formal declaration of war or any consultation with the League’s own Assembly. I suppose that’s just the way the League’s grown accustomed to doing things, and it’s worked fairly well for it so far.”

“But trust me, Admiral. This time, it isn’t going to happen.”
Her smile was a razor, and the treecat on her shoulder bared needle-sharp-looking fangs.

“I suppose you may actually believe your intelligence services’ conclusion that the Yawata Strike has crippled our defenses. I assure you, that isn’t the case. I suppose it’s also possible you believe that the fact that I have only forty superdreadnoughts in my wall indicates you have the force advantage. If you should be thinking anything of the sort, I suggest you remember what happened to Admiral Crandall, when Admiral Gold Peak had no superdreadnoughts in her order of battle.” She paused, as if to allow that to sink in, then continued in that same icy voice.

[huge snip of excellent material]

Each of my superdreadnoughts, on the other hand, can manage more than two hundred missiles apiece…in real-time, without transmission lags. I’ll let you do the math.”

She looked at him coolly.
“Bearing in mind that capability, do you really think we haven’t developed a defensive doctrine to deal with far heavier volumes of fire than your fleet can possibly lay down or control? I’m sure you’ve observed all of the LACs screening my forces, for example. I’m also sure you dismissed them as ‘only’ LACs. Before you do that, however, you might want to remember just how badly you’ve underestimated the rest of our hardware.”

She showed her teeth in another of those icy smiles as she let that sink in, then continued with the same, cold dispassion that was more terrifying than any rant could ever have been. “Each of those LACs has more missile defense capability than one of your Rampart-class or War Harvest-class destroyers,” she told him. “In fact, they probably have more antimissile capability than one of your cruisers. And at this moment there are two thousand of them deployed with each of my forces. Which doesn’t even consider what our onboard defenses and EW will do to your birds.” She shook her head. “Your fire isn’t getting through my defenses, Admiral. Not enough of it to do you one bit of good.”

'glunk' ... Just Filareta swallowing a lump in his throat. They don't call her the Salamander for nothing.

Every time I read this passage it's as if I can see Honor hunched over a console talking down into the pickup and shaking her head at Filareta as if he's a miscreant kid about to get himself into hot water, and the ensuing spanking.

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: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Tenshinai   » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:29 pm

Tenshinai
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Phalanx wrote:Am I the only one who gets a Firefly vibe from Ganny El and Pamley Station characters?


Definitely not the only one.



cthia wrote:Who does an entire book of crossword puzzles in a day?!


My mother, if she´s bedridden for the day.
And i´m soooo not silly enough to play scrabble against her


I'm re-reading some of my favorite bits from "Crown of Slaves", and this passage, as Princess Ruth and Berry Zilwicki go look for Victor is one of my all-time favorites.


An awesome one.

Sorry for not adding any quotes of my own.
Maybe next time.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Joker41NAM   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:10 am

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Not sure if this counts as my favorite passage, per se, but it's the first that comes to mind...

The pinnace which docked with HMS Invictus' forward boat bay was Duchess Harrington's personal small craft. As such, it had priority over any other auxiliary assigned to her flagship, although it was just a bit unusual for even her pinnace to be accompanied—one might have said "escorted"—by a pair of Royal Manticoran Army trans-atmospheric sting ships.

The flight operations officer in charge of Invictus' small craft movements didn't seem surprised to see them, however. He simply acknowledged their presence and assigned them berthing slots on either side of Duchess Harrington's craft.

But if he'd been warned what to expect, it quickly became evident that the boat bay officer of the deck (who, at this extremely late hour of Invictus' shipboard day, was an extremely junior ensign with red hair, fair skin, and blue eyes, rejoicing in the name of Hieronymus Thistlewaite) hadn't been. That young man had spotted the duchess' arrival and mustered the proper side party for an admiral of her towering seniority. He looked just a bit nervous, since there were no older and wiser heads looking over his shoulder this time, but Ensign Thistlewaite seemed reasonably confident he had the situation under control.

Until, that was, Elizabeth Adrienne Samantha Annette Winton, Grand Commander of the Order of King Roger, Grand Commander of the Order of Queen Elizabeth I, Grand Commander of the Order of the Golden Lion, Baroness of Crystal Pine, Baroness of White Sand, Countess of Tannerman, Countess of High Garnet, Grand Duchess of Basilisk, Princess Protector of the Realm, and, by God's grace and the will of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth III of the Star Kingdom of Manticore, and Empress Elizabeth I of the Star Empire of Manticore, swung lithely out of the boarding tube at Duchess Harrington's heels.

None of the side party had expected their monarch's sudden arrival, and not even naval discipline was enough to hide their astonishment.

"Eighth Fleet, arri—" a voice began over the boat bay speakers, then chopped off abruptly as the petty officer behind it realized who else had just appeared aboard his ship.

The smooth efficiency of the side party's formalities slithered to a halt, and Ensign Thistlewaite's jaw dropped. Then it closed with an almost audible snap, his face turned a considerably darker red than his hair, and he stared appealingly at the duchess.

"Manticore, arriving!" the speakers said suddenly as the petty officer recovered abruptly, and the bosun's pipes began to twitter again while three additional side boys came dashing up from somewhere.

"Permission to come aboard, Sir?" Elizabeth said gravely, managing not to smile, as the twitter of pipes came to an end. The first two bodyguards who'd emerged from the tube behind her, wearing the uniform of the Queen's Own, appeared rather less amused than she obviously was, but Thistlewaite's blue eyes looked back at her with desperate gratitude.

"Permission granted, Ma'am—I mean, Your Majesty!"

Honor hadn't believed the young man could turn even redder, but she'd been wrong.

"Permission to come aboard, Sir?" she repeated as Elizabeth stepped past her.

"Permission granted, Your Grace." Thistlewaite's relief at getting back to something familiar was obvious as she returned his salute, and she smiled slightly.

"My apologies, Ensign," she said. "We organized this on the fly, as it were, and we didn't want the newsies getting word of Her Majesty's visit. Apparently you didn't get the word in time, either."

"Uh, no, Ma'am," he admitted, blushing a bit less blindingly.

"Well, it happens," she said philosophically while another passel of armsmen and bodyguards appeared behind her and the queen, then nodded to him and turned to Elizabeth. "This way, Your Majesty," she said.

"Thank you, Admiral,"Elizabeth replied. She nodded smilingly to Thistlewaite in turn, then headed towards the lift banks at Honor's side, accompanied by three Grayson armsmen, six members of the Queen's Own, one plainclothes officer from Palace Security, and two treecats, who appeared inordinately amused by the two-legs' antics as they rode their persons' shoulders.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:07 am

Bruno Behrends
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All excellent choices!

Here is my own fav scene:

The command deck projections were frighteningly lifelike. They weren't things of cool, lifeless light; they were real, and Cordwainer knew she was leaning forward on the edge of her comfortable chair as their reality swept over her. Nor was she alone. She heard someone groan behind her as at least four Peep missiles scored direct hits on the heavy cruiser Circe and the ship blew apart under their bomb-pumped x-ray lasers, but her eyes were riveted to Nike's bridge and a woman who was nothing at all like the cool, detached captain whose testimony they'd already viewed.

"Formation Reno, Com—get those cruisers in tighter!"

Honor Harrington's snapped order crackled with authority, and the entire task group shifted like a machine in the tactical display, realigning itself instantly. The change made the formation's missile defenses far more effective—even Cordwainer could tell that—yet the observation was peripheral, almost unimportant, as she watched Harrington ride her command chair like a valkyrie's winged steed. As if it were inevitable she should be there—impossible that she should be anywhere else in the universe. She was the heart and core of the frantic, disciplined activity of her ship's bridge, yet there was nothing frantic about her. Her face was cold—expressionless not with detachment but with purpose, a killer's total, focused concentration—and her brown eyes flashed frozen flame. Cordwainer could feel the tendrils of her concentration reaching out to every officer on her bridge like a maestro gathering a superbly trained orchestra into her hands and driving its musicians to perform on a plateau they could never have reached without her. She was in her element, doing the one thing she'd been born to do and carrying the others with her as she fought her ship and her ship led the embattled task group.


From 'Field of Dishonor' - Prologue
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