Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests

Honorverse favorite passages

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:47 pm

hanuman
Captain of the List

Posts: 643
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:47 pm

Vince wrote:The name of the sector is La Martine, IIRC.


Aha, that's it! Thank you, Vince.
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by roseandheather   » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:15 pm

roseandheather
Admiral

Posts: 2055
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

“Well, this is an interestin’ development,” Rear Admiral Michael Oversteegen drawled.

Michelle Henke restrained an urge to hit him over the head. It was difficult.

~ Shadow of Freedom, in reaction to the news of the Grand Alliance

Basically, any time Michael Oversteegen and Michelle Henke share a scene, I prepare to wind up in stitches. Said preparation almost invariably comes in handy.
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:21 am

Hutch
Vice Admiral

Posts: 1831
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

Well, I was checking In Enemy Hands for another reference, and found a couple of passages (and one quote, which I'll post here since I'm no longer in the one-liner thread... ;) ).

The sergeant walking towards Clinkscales staggered as the first explosion shuddered through the ship's hull. He threw his arms out for balance, lurching through a dance to stay on his feet which would have looked ludicrous under other circumstances. But there was nothing humorous about these circumstances, and as Clinkscales threw out his own left arm, bracing himself against the bulkhead, he saw the sergeant's eyes dart past him to the minicomp still plugged into the access slot. There was no logical reason for it, but it didn't matter. The sergeant didn't know how it had been done, or why, but in that instant of intuitive insight, he knew who had caused it. It was as if his mind were somehow linked to the ensign's, for even as the sergeant guessed Clinkscales had somehow caused whatever was happening, Clinkscales knew he had.

There was no sign of the clumsy youngster who'd boarded GNS Jason Alvarez with Lady Harrington in the tall young man whose left hand thrust him suddenly away from the bulkhead. His push propelled him towards the sergeant, who was still fighting for balance while he opened his mouth to shout an alarm. But he never got it out, for even as he started to yell, Carson Clinkscales' left fist caught the front of his tunic and jerked him close. The two men went down, with Clinkscales on the bottom, and the sergeant felt something hard dig into his chest. He looked down into Clinkscales' eyes, confusion giving way to hate, but he still hadn't figured out what was pressing into his chest when Clinkscales squeezed the trigger and a burst of pulser fire ripped his heart apart.

The body convulsed atop Clinkscales, drenching him in a scalding rush of blood. He thrust it aside and rolled up on one knee just as the ship lurched to the explosion of Boat Bay Three and Horace Harkness' amplified voice blared through the galley of Boat Bay Four.

"Propellant leak!" it announced. "Multiple propellant leaks! Evacuate the bay immediately. Repeat, evacuate the bay immediately!"

It was neither a computer-generated voice nor a stored message, and as panic swept the bay, no one noticed that they didn't have the least idea just whose voice it was. It came from the intercom speakers, and it spoke with absolute authority. That was all they needed to know, and they stampeded for the lifts as red and amber danger lights began to flash. Tepes lurched yet again as Boat Bay Five blew up, and the fresh concussion lent desperation to their flight. They piled into the lifts, too frantic to escape even to notice the blood-soaked corporal kneeling beside a dead sergeant, and as Carson Clinkscales watched them go, he knew that for the first time in his life, he'd gotten everything exactly right.


Haven't seen a lot of Carson, but according to HoS his career has progressed (per HoS, he was CO, GNS Erastus(no mention of ship class)), but I suspect he'll be on the scene come the next book or too (you listening, RFC?).

Go!" LaFollet snapped, and Robert Whitman vaulted from the lift shaft into the brig passage. "At least one got around the turn!" LaFollet warned him.

The other armsman nodded, but he never slowed in his dash for the security console. He went down on one knee, weapon ready, and stiffened as he heard a voice.

"Timmons! Timmons! What the fuck is going on down there?"

He realized instantly what he was hearing—and that whoever was on the other end of that com link would be sending help as quickly as he could. Time had just become an even more deadly foe, and he looked back over his shoulder at LaFollet and Candless, just starting to climb out of the shaft.

"Open com link!" he shouted, and then, before anyone could stop him, rolled out of his cover with the flechette gun on full automatic.

Timmons heard the shout and grinned viciously. The bastards knew someone would be coming up their backsides any minute now. All he and his remaining men had to do was hold out, and he suddenly realized how he could do just that. These idiots had to be here to rescue Harrington, so all he had to do was open her cell and drag her out into the middle of the firefight, and—

His thoughts broke off as someone rolled out into the very middle of the passage. His sudden appearance took Timmons totally by surprise, and he gaped at the apparition in shock, unable to believe anyone would deliberately throw himself into what he knew had to be a deathtrap. But that was because he'd never encountered a Grayson armsman whose Steadholder was in danger. Robert Whitman had only one purpose in life, and his very first shot tore Citizen Lieutenant Timmons to bloody rags.

The two men further up the passage poured fire back, but the bare bulkheads and deck offered no cover . . . for anyone. Deadly clouds of flechettes shrieked past one another, intermingling and then separating, all of them set for maximum dispersion, and there was no place to hide.


Robert Timmons...RIP.

Pulser darts shrieked as they ricocheted from some projection in a shower of sparks, and LaFollet ducked involuntarily. But he never stopped moving, and he quickly caught up with Candless and McGinley. They were bellied down behind a flange supporting one of the shaft's pressers, with an excellent field of fire. Unfortunately, the Peeps further up the shaft had an equally excellent field of fire, which meant the escapees' best covert route to Boat Bay Four was blocked.

More pulser darts screamed down the shaft, and Candless moved to the side to hose the enemy with flechettes in response. He had the dispersion pattern set for medium coverage, and he tracked his fire across the entire width of the shaft. A horrible, gurgling shriek answered, and he drew back into cover just as more darts whined past.

"How many?" LaFollet asked.

"I don't know," Candless replied, eyes sweeping the dimness ahead. "It was pure luck we saw them in time to take cover. I'd guess there're at least fifteen or twenty. No heavy weapons—yet—or they'd already have taken us out, but that's going to change."

"If they can coordinate well enough," McGinley put in. She sounded much tenser than Candless, but then, this wasn't exactly her kind of fight. "If Harkness' sabotage worked, their communications're probably at least as screwed up as ours are."

LaFollet nodded absently. Their own stolen communicators were getting only gibberish, which probably meant Harkness' efforts to cripple the Peeps' central communications net had worked. But the presence of those people up ahead was proof it hadn't worked completely . . . and that somebody on the other side had figured out at least part of what was going on. If they hadn't guessed what was happening, they wouldn't have known to block the lift shaft between the brig and Boat Bay Four, and if they hadn't had at least some communications ability, they couldn't have gotten these people here to do the blocking. But how much com capability did they have? If it was any more than fragmentary, he'd never get the Steadholder to safety, because there were simply too many people aboard this ship. If their officers could tell them where to go to intercept the escapees . . .

"I'll take it," Candless said calmly. He hadn't even glanced at LaFollet, and he never looked away from the shaft now, but his conversational tone proved he'd been thinking exactly what LaFollet had. "Head back about sixty meters and try that service tunnel on deck nineteen," he went on. "Commander McGinley can show you."

"Now wait a minute!" McGinley began. "We can't just—"

"Yes, we can," LaFollet said softly. "Here." He thrust the memo board at her, then jabbed a thumb back down the shaft. "Go," he said, and his flat voice held an implacable note of command. McGinley stared at him for a moment, then inhaled sharply, turned, and slithered into the dimness, and LaFollet looked at Candless.

"Are you sure, Jamie?" he asked quietly.

"I'm sure." Candless' reply was almost serene, and he turned his head to smile at LaFollet. "We've had some good times, Major. Now go get the Steadholder out of this."

"I will," LaFollet told him. It wasn't just a promise; it was an oath, and Candless nodded in satisfaction.

"You'd better be going then, Andrew," he said much more gently. "And later, when you've got her out of here, tell her—" He paused, unable to find the words he wanted, and LaFollet nodded.

"I will," he said again, and put one arm around his fellow armsman, hugging him tight. Then he turned and followed McGinley back down the shaft.

It took him only a few minutes to reach Honor and Venizelos. They stood where McGinley had already passed them, gazing up the shaft as a flechette gun coughed again in rapid fire, and he stepped brusquely past them.

"This way, My Lady," he said, gesturing for them to follow him, but Honor didn't move.

"Where's Jamie?" she asked, and he stopped. He stood for a moment, staring after McGinley, then sighed.

"He's not coming, My Lady," he said as gently as he could.

"No! I can't—"

"Yes, you can!" He rounded on her fiercely, and she flinched before the mingled pride and anguish in his face. "We're armsmen, My Lady, and you're our Steadholder, and you can do whatever the hell it takes!"

She stared at him for a breathless moment, unable to speak, and then her shoulders sagged and her personal armsman took her by the hand, almost as if she were a child.

"Come on, My Lady," he said softly, and she followed him down the shaft while Jamie Candless' flechette gun coughed behind them.


Why her private ship is named the Jamie Candless. Perhaps (IMHO) the most powerful scene in the Honorverse.


and the qoute, well worth making as the speaker would die not to longer after...

"You stay here," Andreas Venizelos told her flatly. She opened her mouth, and he shook his head. "You're a commodore. More to the point, you're that man's Steadholder, and he didn't come all this way to get you just to have you killed now."
***********************************************
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
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:59 am

hanuman
Captain of the List

Posts: 643
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:47 pm

Hutch wrote:
The sergeant walking towards Clinkscales staggered as the first explosion shuddered through the ship's hull. He threw his arms out for balance, lurching through a dance to stay on his feet which would have looked ludicrous under other circumstances. But there was nothing humorous about these circumstances, and as Clinkscales threw out his own left arm, bracing himself against the bulkhead, he saw the sergeant's eyes dart past him to the minicomp still plugged into the access slot. There was no logical reason for it, but it didn't matter. The sergeant didn't know how it had been done, or why, but in that instant of intuitive insight, he knew who had caused it. It was as if his mind were somehow linked to the ensign's, for even as the sergeant guessed Clinkscales had somehow caused whatever was happening, Clinkscales knew he had.

There was no sign of the clumsy youngster who'd boarded GNS Jason Alvarez with Lady Harrington in the tall young man whose left hand thrust him suddenly away from the bulkhead. His push propelled him towards the sergeant, who was still fighting for balance while he opened his mouth to shout an alarm. But he never got it out, for even as he started to yell, Carson Clinkscales' left fist caught the front of his tunic and jerked him close. The two men went down, with Clinkscales on the bottom, and the sergeant felt something hard dig into his chest. He looked down into Clinkscales' eyes, confusion giving way to hate, but he still hadn't figured out what was pressing into his chest when Clinkscales squeezed the trigger and a burst of pulser fire ripped his heart apart.

The body convulsed atop Clinkscales, drenching him in a scalding rush of blood. He thrust it aside and rolled up on one knee just as the ship lurched to the explosion of Boat Bay Three and Horace Harkness' amplified voice blared through the galley of Boat Bay Four.

"Propellant leak!" it announced. "Multiple propellant leaks! Evacuate the bay immediately. Repeat, evacuate the bay immediately!"

It was neither a computer-generated voice nor a stored message, and as panic swept the bay, no one noticed that they didn't have the least idea just whose voice it was. It came from the intercom speakers, and it spoke with absolute authority. That was all they needed to know, and they stampeded for the lifts as red and amber danger lights began to flash. Tepes lurched yet again as Boat Bay Five blew up, and the fresh concussion lent desperation to their flight. They piled into the lifts, too frantic to escape even to notice the blood-soaked corporal kneeling beside a dead sergeant, and as Carson Clinkscales watched them go, he knew that for the first time in his life, he'd gotten everything exactly right.


Haven't seen a lot of Carson, but according to HoS his career has progressed (per HoS, he was CO, GNS Erastus(no mention of ship class)), but I suspect he'll be on the scene come the next book or too (you listening, RFC?).

Go!" LaFollet snapped, and Robert Whitman vaulted from the lift shaft into the brig passage. "At least one got around the turn!" LaFollet warned him.

The other armsman nodded, but he never slowed in his dash for the security console. He went down on one knee, weapon ready, and stiffened as he heard a voice.

"Timmons! Timmons! What the fuck is going on down there?"

He realized instantly what he was hearing—and that whoever was on the other end of that com link would be sending help as quickly as he could. Time had just become an even more deadly foe, and he looked back over his shoulder at LaFollet and Candless, just starting to climb out of the shaft.

"Open com link!" he shouted, and then, before anyone could stop him, rolled out of his cover with the flechette gun on full automatic.

Timmons heard the shout and grinned viciously. The bastards knew someone would be coming up their backsides any minute now. All he and his remaining men had to do was hold out, and he suddenly realized how he could do just that. These idiots had to be here to rescue Harrington, so all he had to do was open her cell and drag her out into the middle of the firefight, and—

His thoughts broke off as someone rolled out into the very middle of the passage. His sudden appearance took Timmons totally by surprise, and he gaped at the apparition in shock, unable to believe anyone would deliberately throw himself into what he knew had to be a deathtrap. But that was because he'd never encountered a Grayson armsman whose Steadholder was in danger. Robert Whitman had only one purpose in life, and his very first shot tore Citizen Lieutenant Timmons to bloody rags.

The two men further up the passage poured fire back, but the bare bulkheads and deck offered no cover . . . for anyone. Deadly clouds of flechettes shrieked past one another, intermingling and then separating, all of them set for maximum dispersion, and there was no place to hide.


Robert Timmons...RIP.

Pulser darts shrieked as they ricocheted from some projection in a shower of sparks, and LaFollet ducked involuntarily. But he never stopped moving, and he quickly caught up with Candless and McGinley. They were bellied down behind a flange supporting one of the shaft's pressers, with an excellent field of fire. Unfortunately, the Peeps further up the shaft had an equally excellent field of fire, which meant the escapees' best covert route to Boat Bay Four was blocked.

More pulser darts screamed down the shaft, and Candless moved to the side to hose the enemy with flechettes in response. He had the dispersion pattern set for medium coverage, and he tracked his fire across the entire width of the shaft. A horrible, gurgling shriek answered, and he drew back into cover just as more darts whined past.

"How many?" LaFollet asked.

"I don't know," Candless replied, eyes sweeping the dimness ahead. "It was pure luck we saw them in time to take cover. I'd guess there're at least fifteen or twenty. No heavy weapons—yet—or they'd already have taken us out, but that's going to change."

"If they can coordinate well enough," McGinley put in. She sounded much tenser than Candless, but then, this wasn't exactly her kind of fight. "If Harkness' sabotage worked, their communications're probably at least as screwed up as ours are."

LaFollet nodded absently. Their own stolen communicators were getting only gibberish, which probably meant Harkness' efforts to cripple the Peeps' central communications net had worked. But the presence of those people up ahead was proof it hadn't worked completely . . . and that somebody on the other side had figured out at least part of what was going on. If they hadn't guessed what was happening, they wouldn't have known to block the lift shaft between the brig and Boat Bay Four, and if they hadn't had at least some communications ability, they couldn't have gotten these people here to do the blocking. But how much com capability did they have? If it was any more than fragmentary, he'd never get the Steadholder to safety, because there were simply too many people aboard this ship. If their officers could tell them where to go to intercept the escapees . . .

"I'll take it," Candless said calmly. He hadn't even glanced at LaFollet, and he never looked away from the shaft now, but his conversational tone proved he'd been thinking exactly what LaFollet had. "Head back about sixty meters and try that service tunnel on deck nineteen," he went on. "Commander McGinley can show you."

"Now wait a minute!" McGinley began. "We can't just—"

"Yes, we can," LaFollet said softly. "Here." He thrust the memo board at her, then jabbed a thumb back down the shaft. "Go," he said, and his flat voice held an implacable note of command. McGinley stared at him for a moment, then inhaled sharply, turned, and slithered into the dimness, and LaFollet looked at Candless.

"Are you sure, Jamie?" he asked quietly.

"I'm sure." Candless' reply was almost serene, and he turned his head to smile at LaFollet. "We've had some good times, Major. Now go get the Steadholder out of this."

"I will," LaFollet told him. It wasn't just a promise; it was an oath, and Candless nodded in satisfaction.

"You'd better be going then, Andrew," he said much more gently. "And later, when you've got her out of here, tell her—" He paused, unable to find the words he wanted, and LaFollet nodded.

"I will," he said again, and put one arm around his fellow armsman, hugging him tight. Then he turned and followed McGinley back down the shaft.

It took him only a few minutes to reach Honor and Venizelos. They stood where McGinley had already passed them, gazing up the shaft as a flechette gun coughed again in rapid fire, and he stepped brusquely past them.

"This way, My Lady," he said, gesturing for them to follow him, but Honor didn't move.

"Where's Jamie?" she asked, and he stopped. He stood for a moment, staring after McGinley, then sighed.

"He's not coming, My Lady," he said as gently as he could.

"No! I can't—"

"Yes, you can!" He rounded on her fiercely, and she flinched before the mingled pride and anguish in his face. "We're armsmen, My Lady, and you're our Steadholder, and you can do whatever the hell it takes!"

She stared at him for a breathless moment, unable to speak, and then her shoulders sagged and her personal armsman took her by the hand, almost as if she were a child.

"Come on, My Lady," he said softly, and she followed him down the shaft while Jamie Candless' flechette gun coughed behind them.


Why her private ship is named the Jamie Candless. Perhaps (IMHO) the most powerful scene in the Honorverse.


and the qoute, well worth making as the speaker would die not to longer after...

"You stay here," Andreas Venizelos told her flatly. She opened her mouth, and he shook his head. "You're a commodore. More to the point, you're that man's Steadholder, and he didn't come all this way to get you just to have you killed now."


Okay, Hutch, that's enough of that. Big men ain't suppose to cry, dammit.
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Tenshinai   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:36 pm

Tenshinai
Admiral

Posts: 2893
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:34 pm
Location: Sweden

hanuman wrote:
Tenshinai wrote:I don´t think "antagonism" is the right description. Yuri more recently seems more in awe than anything else, about Cachat.


He definitely does NOT like Cachat on a personal level. Yes, he's in awe of the man, but his dislike stems from what Cachat did to Justice. It doesn't matter that Cachat had no choice in the matter, or that his actions made it possible to purge the worst StateSec elements in the sector (man, what is the name of the province?). Yuri KNOWS all of that, he just doesn't care. What he cares about is that Cachat had hurt Justice. That is the very definition of 'antagonism'.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/antagonism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antagonism

He wants to kick Cachats teeth in, not be his outspoken enemy, opponent or, antagonist.
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:46 pm

hanuman
Captain of the List

Posts: 643
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:47 pm

Tenshinai wrote:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/antagonism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antagonism

He wants to kick Cachats teeth in, not be his outspoken enemy, opponent or, antagonist.


Okay, since you insist on this ridiculous pissing contest:

antagonism: "an active hostility or opposition"
animosity: "a feeling of strong dislike, ill will, or enmity that tends to display itself in action"

synonyms of 'animosity': "hostility, unfriendliness, opposition, antagonism, animus, hatred"

synonyms of 'antagonism': "1. conflict, friction, strife. 2. animosity."

What does it matter? Yuri does not like Victor. Not at all, despite how much he respects him. Jeez!!!
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Amaroq   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:42 pm

Amaroq
Captain of the List

Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:39 pm
Location: Princess Anne, Maryland

Some Abigail love from SoS:

And as Abigail had studied her trade, mastered the professional requirements of a tactical officer, she'd come to realize that the highest duty of an officer wasn't to engage in honorable, face-to-face combat. It was to take her opponent by surprise. To ambush him. To shoot him in the back, without warning, without the ability to return her fire. Because if he had that opportunity, some of her people would die. And if she gave him that opportunity when she didn't have to, then the responsibility for those deaths would be hers.

It was a bitter lesson, one she'd accepted intellectually while still at Saganami Island, and one which had been turned into polished steel and hammered home on the surface of a planet called Refuge.


Reflecting on the realities of what they taught at Saganami Island.
*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Evilnerf   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:48 pm

Evilnerf
Ensign

Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:53 pm

hanuman wrote:
Tenshinai wrote:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/antagonism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antagonism

He wants to kick Cachats teeth in, not be his outspoken enemy, opponent or, antagonist.


Okay, since you insist on this ridiculous pissing contest:

antagonism: "an active hostility or opposition"
animosity: "a feeling of strong dislike, ill will, or enmity that tends to display itself in action"

synonyms of 'animosity': "hostility, unfriendliness, opposition, antagonism, animus, hatred"

synonyms of 'antagonism': "1. conflict, friction, strife. 2. animosity."

What does it matter? Yuri does not like Victor. Not at all, despite how much he respects him. Jeez!!!


Let it never be said I passed a pointless semantic argument.

You're both right. Narratively speaking, he was an antagonist in Fanatic, even if, in truth, his true motives were not what they seemed.

However, in CoG, the two characters are not even slightly involved in each other's "plots" so they are not antagonistic.
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:28 pm

hanuman
Captain of the List

Posts: 643
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:47 pm

Yeah, well. I shouldn't have bitten the bait, but ever since we had that bit of unpleasantness over on the Assiti forum, there's been a bit of antagonism between us, it would seem. Or is that dislike? Unfriendliness? Animosity? :grin:
Top
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Invictus   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:46 am

Invictus
Commander

Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA

Here's a few of my favorites:
From the epilogue of Echoes of Honor-
The chirp of the com interrupted his thoughts, and he hit the acceptance key. Lieutenant Robards's face appeared on it, but White Haven had never seen his aide with an expression like the one he wore. His eyes were huge, and he looked as stunned as if someone had used his head for target practice with a blunt object.
"Nathan? What is it?" the admiral asked quickly, and Robards cleared his throat.
"Sir, I think-" He stopped, with an air of helpless confusion which would have been almost comical if it had been a trace less deep.
"Go on," White haven encouraged.
"Admiral, System surveillance picked up a cluster of unidentified hyper footprints about twelve minutes ago," the Grayson lieutenant said.
"And?" White Haven prompted when he paused once more.
"Sir, they made transit quite close to one of the FTL platforms, and were identified almost immediately as Peeps."
"Peeps?" White Haven sat suddenly straighter in his chair, and Robards nodded.
"Yes, Sir." He glanced down at something White Haven presumed was a memo pad display, cleared his throat once more, and read aloud. "Tracking made it five battlecruisers, four heavy cruisers, a light cruiser, and two of their Roughneck-class assault transports."
"What?" White Haven blinked. He couldn't possibly have heard right. That was a decent enough squadron for something like a commerce raid, or possibly even a strike at some lightly picketed rear system, but twelve ships, without even one of the wall among them, wouldn't stand a snowflake's chance in hell against the firepower stationed here at Trevor's Star. And what in the name of sanity would a pair of transports be doing here? They'd be dead meat for any decent warship- even one of the old fashioned, pre-Shrike LACs!- if they moved inside the hyper limit.
"I assume they hypered back out immediately?" he heard himself say. The only logical explanation was that someone on the other side had made a mistake. Perhaps the Peeps were planning a major attack on Trevor's Star and the transport echelon had arrived too soon... or the main attack force was late. In either case, the sensible thing for the Peep CO to do would be to flee back into hyperspace- at once.
"No, Sir," Robards said, and drew a deep breath. "they didn't do anything at all, Sir. Except sit there and transmit a message to System Command HQ."
"What sort of message?" White Haven was beginning to be irritated. Whatever ailed his flag lieutenant, prying the facts out of him one by one was like pulling teeth. What in God's name could have someone normally as levelheaded as young Robards so off-balance and hesitant?
"They said- But, of course it can't be, only- I mean, she's-" Robards broke off again and shrugged helplessly. "Sir, I think you'd better see the message for yourself," he said, and disappeared from White Haven's terminal before the earl could agree or disagree.
The admiral frowned ferociously. He and Nathan were going to have a little talk about the courtesy due a flag officer, he thought thunderously, and after that they'd-
His thoughts chopped off in a harsh, strangled gasp as another face appeared on his display. Other people might not have recognized it with the hair which framed it reduced to a short, feathery mass of curls and one side paralyzed, by Hamish Alexander had seen that same face in exactly that same condition once before, and his heart seemed to stop beating.
It can't be, he thought numbly. It can't be! She's dead! She's-
His thoughts disintegrated into chaos and incoherence as the shock roared through him, and then the woman on his display spoke.
"Trevor System Command, This is Admiral Honor Harrington." Her voice sounded calm and absolutely professional- or would have, to someone who didn't know her. But White Haven saw the emotion burning in her good eye, heard it hovering in the slurred soprano. "I'm sure no one in the Alliance expected to see me again, but i assure you that the rumors of my recent death have been exaggerated. I am accompanied by approximately one hundred and six thousand liberated inmates of the prison planet Hades, and I expect the arrival of another quarter million or so within the next eleven days- our transports have military hyper generators and we made a faster passage than they will. I regret any confusion or alarm we may have caused by turning up in Peep ships, but they were the only ones we could... appropriate for the voyage."
The right side of her mouth smiled from the display, but her voice went husky and wavered for a moment, and she stopped to clear her throat. White Haven reached out, his fingers trembling, and touched her face on the com as gently as he might have touched a terrified bire, yet the terror was his, and he knew it.
"We will remain where we are, with our drives, sidewalls, weapons, and active sensors down until you've had time to check us out and establish our bona fides," she went on after a moment, struggling to maintain her professional tone, "but I'd appreciate it if you could expedite. We were forced to pack these ships to the deckheads to get all our people aboard, and our life support could be in better shape. We-"
She broke off, blinking hard, and Hamish Alexander's heart was an impossible weight in his chest- heavy as a neutron star and yet soaring and thundering with emotions so powerful they terrified him- as he stared at her face. He was afraid to so much as breathe lest the oxygen wake him and destroy this impossible dream, and he realized he was weeping only when his display shimmered. And then she spoke again, and this time everyone heard the catch in her breath, the proud tears she refused to shed hanging in her soft voice.
"We're home, System Command," she said. "It took us a while, but we're home."


I tear up. Every time. Same goes for the first chapter of Ashes of Victory.

"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power." Sam Starfall
Top

Return to Honorverse