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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.
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:22 pm

Hutch
Vice Admiral

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

Number two is from Ashes of Victory, as Admiral Caparelli, after giving Honor her new jobs, has one more surprise for her...

I'm not quite in love with characters the way rosenheather is, but Tom Caparelli has always been a favorite of mine.

"You may be right, Sir," she said instead, trying another approach, "but ATC has always been an admiral's billet, and if you've expanded it as much as it sounds like, I'd think that would be even more true now than when I went through it." Caparelli listened gravely, then pursed his lips and nodded. "Well, I realize I carry an admiral's rank in the Grayson Navy, but ATC is a Manticoran facility. I'd think there'd be an awful lot of stepped-on toes and out-of-joint noses if you brought in a Grayson to command it."

"That might be true of any other Grayson, Your Grace. We don't expect it to be a problem here. And if you're concerned about it, we could always put you in command as an RMN officer, instead."

"But that was my point, Sir. I don't have the seniority for the post as a Manticoran: only as a Grayson. As a Manticoran, I'm only a commodore."

"Oh, I see what you're getting at now," Caparelli said, and once again his thoughtful tone was completely at odds with the bubbling mischievousness behind his sober expression. He sat there for several seconds, rubbing his chin, then shrugged. "That may be a valid concern," he admitted. "I doubt it would be the problem you seem to be assuming it could, but it might cause some friction. I suspect, however, that there are countervailing considerations of which you are, as yet, unaware."

"Countervailing?" Honor repeated, and his sobriety vanished into a huge grin as he heard the suspicion in her voice. Yet he didn't answer immediately. Instead, he reached into the pocket of his tunic and withdrew a small case.

"I believe I said there was one other matter I meant to discuss with you, and I suppose this may be as good a time as any." He held the case out to her. "I think you'll find the explanation of those countervailing considerations in here, Your Grace," he said.

She took it gingerly. It was a fairly typical jeweler's case, with two thumb notches for a magnetic lock. Like many routine tasks whose performance two-handed people took for granted, opening it presented a daunting challenge for a woman with only one, but Nimitz reached out an imperious, long-fingered true-hand. She smiled and handed it over, and his busy fingers did what she could not.

The lid sprang open, and Nimitz peered into the case, then bleeked in profound satisfaction. Honor's eyebrows went up as she tasted his pleasure, but she couldn't see past his prick-eared head until he looked up and passed the case back to her.

She glanced into it . . . and her breath caught.
Nestled into a bed of space-black velvet were two small triangles, each made up of three nine-pointed golden stars.

She recognized them, of course. How could she not recognize the collar insignia of a full admiral of the Royal Manticoran Navy?

She looked up, her expression stunned, and Caparelli chuckled.

"Sir, this— I mean, I never expected—" Her voice broke, and he shrugged.

"In point of fact, Your Grace, I believe this is the first time in the Star Kingdom's history that an officer has been jumped straight from commodore to admiral in one fell swoop. On the other hand, you've been an admiral in Grayson service for years now, and performed in exemplary fashion in that role. And you did spend two years in grade as a commodore, you know . . . although I understand you chose to act in your Grayson persona for most of that time in an effort to defuse certain seniority problems."

His voice turned darker with the last words, and Honor understood perfectly. Rear Admiral Harold Styles had been allowed to resign his commission rather than face trial on the charges of insubordination and cowardice she'd laid against him, but not everyone felt that was sufficient punishment.

"We've decided you shouldn't have to face that particular problem again," Caparelli told her. "Besides, you and I both know that only political considerations delayed your promotion to commodore as long as we had to wait. Those considerations no longer apply, and we need flag officers like you."

"But three grades—!"

"I think it likely you would have made vice admiral before your capture but for the caliber of your political enemies," Caparelli said, and she tasted his sincerity. "Had that been the case, then an additional promotion out of the zone would certainly have been appropriate after your return, given the nature of your escape and the multiple engagements you fought in the process." He shrugged. "I won't deny that there's an element of politics in jumping you quite this far in a single leap, Your Grace. I understand you turned down the PMV, and Baroness Morncreek passed along the reasons you gave Her Majesty and Duke Cromarty. I respect your decision, although I also think you've amply demonstrated that you deserve that award. This promotion, however, is quite another matter. Yes, it will offer political advantages to Cromarty and the Foreign Office. Yes, it will make Grayson happy—not a minor concern in its own right. And, yes, it's a way to punch the Peeps right in the eye by showing how we regard their charges against you. But it's also something you have absolutely and demonstrably earned, both in the Queen's service and as the woman who won at Fourth Yeltsin and Cerberus in someone else's uniform."

"But, Sir—"

"The discussion is closed, Admiral Harrington," Sir Thomas Caparelli said, and there was no mistaking the command in his voice. "The Promotions Board, the General Board of Admiralty, the First Space Lord, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Prime Minister of Manticore, and the Queen have all reached the same conclusions; the chairman of the Military Affairs Committee assures Duke Cromarty that the promotion will be duly approved; and you are not allowed to argue with us. Is that understood?"

"Yes, Sir." The live side of Honor's mouth quivered just a little, and Caparelli smiled.

"Good! In that case, why don't I take you over to Cosmo's for lunch? I understand a few dozen or so of your closest friends are waiting to help you celebrate your promotion—I can't imagine who could have let the 'cat out of the bag to them about it—and after that, we can hop out to Saganami Island and let you meet your new staff."
***********************************************
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   » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:36 pm

Hutch
Vice Admiral

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

Number three of the four showcases Honor's sense of humor...of course, when you're a Fleet Admiral, the jokes can get pretty broad...

From War of Honor:

"Admiral's day cabin, MacGuiness speaking," he told the pickup in decidedly repressive accents.

"Bridge, Officer of the Watch, speaking," Lieutenant Ernest Talbot, Werewolf's communications officer, replied in a respectful voice. "Sorry to interrupt Her Grace's breakfast, Mr. MacGuiness. But the Captain asked me to inform her that Perimeter Security has just picked up an unidentified incoming hyper footprint. A big one, twenty-two light-minutes from the primary. According to CIC, there are over twenty major drive sources."

MacGuiness's eyebrows rose, and he started to turn towards Honor, but she was by his side before the movement was more than half completed. She laid one hand on his shoulder and leaned a bit closer to the pickup herself.

"This is the Admiral, Lieutenant Talbot," she said. "I assume that the grav-pulse challenge has already been sent?"

"Of course, Your Grace." Talbot sounded suddenly crisper. "It was transmitted as soon as they were picked up, exactly—" he paused, obviously checking the time "—seven minutes and forty-five seconds ago. There's been no response."

...Snip....

The rest of Honor's staff was waiting on Werewolf's flag bridge when she and Mercedes, both now wearing their skinsuits, stepped out of the lift. She nodded to them all, but her attention was on Andrea Jaruwalski.

"Still no reply to the challenge?" she asked. She reached up to rub Nimitz's ears where he sat on her shoulder in his custom-built skinsuit, and he pressed back against her hand. He held his miniature helmet tucked under one mid-limb, and she smiled as the taste of his emotions flowed through her.

"No, Ma'am," Jaruwalski replied. "They're accelerating in-system at a steady four hundred gravities, and they haven't said a word. CIC has managed to refine its data a little further, though. They make it twenty-two superdreadnoughts or dreadnoughts, eight battlecruisers or large heavy cruisers, fifteen or twenty or light cruisers, and what looks like four transports."

"Transports?" Honor raised an eyebrow at her operations officer, and Jaruwalski shrugged.

"That's CIC's best guess so far, Ma'am. Whatever they are, they're big, but their wedge strength looks low for warships of their apparent tonnage. So it looks like they're military auxiliaries of some sort, whether they're actually transports or not."

"I see." Honor continued across the flag deck to her command chair and racked her own helmet on its side. Her command station was no more than three long strides from the flag plot, and her small com screen blinked to life as she eased Nimitz down from her shoulder and set him on the back of her chair. Rafe Cardones' face looked out of it at her, and she smiled in welcome.

"Good morning, Rafe," she said.

"Good morning, Ma'am," he responded more formally, and his smile was a bit tighter than hers had been. "It looks like we've got visitors," he added.

"So I've heard," she agreed. "Give me a few minutes to get myself brought up to speed, and we'll decide what sort of welcome mat we want to put out."

...Snip...

Ninety minutes trickled past without a single transmission from the incoming strangers. The transports—or whatever they were—had fallen back, trailing along behind the probable ships of the wall with what looked like three light cruisers or large destroyers riding herd on them. The rest of the unidentified formation simply continued to bore straight in, and tension had ratcheted steadily higher on Werewolf's flag deck as the range continued to drop just as steadily.

"Scotty is about fifteen minutes from contact, Ma'am," Jaruwalski reported.

"Has he gotten a visual yet?" Honor asked.

"No, Ma'am," the ops officer admitted with an unmistakable edge of chagrin. "Whoever this is, they're clearly familiar with our remote sensor platform doctrines. They haven't tried to take any of them out, but the formation they've adopted makes that unnecessary . . . so far, at least."

Honor nodded in understanding. The strangers' formation was unorthodox, to say the least. Rather than a conventional wall formation, the capital ships had settled into a roughly spherical alignment, then rotated ever so slightly on their axes. The result was to turn the roofs and floors of their impeller wedges, which had just as powerful a warping effect on visible light as on anything else, outward in all directions. In effect, they had created a series of blind spots directed towards their flanks, which just happened to be where doctrine called for sensor drones to be deployed.

"Has Scotty considered vectoring his drones around behind them for a look up their kilts?" she asked.

There wasn't that much to choose between looking down the throat or up the kilt of an impeller wedge, except that the throat was deeper than the kilt, which gave a sensor drone a better angle on its target. Unfortunately, the forward sensors and point defense armament of a warship were better than those guarding its stern precisely because the throat was more vulnerable than the kilt. Given these people's apparent awareness of the defenders' probable doctrine, it was a fairly safe bet that any drone, however stealthy, which wandered in front of them would be dead meat unless they chose not to kill it.

"Yes, Ma'am, he has," Jaruwalski acknowledged. "But they should be going for turnover in another ten minutes or so."

"Understood," Honor said. When the bogeys flipped to begin decelerating towards Sidemore, they'd turn their own kilts directly towards Scotty's shipboard sensors.
She leaned back in her command chair, with Nimitz curled comfortably in her lap, and let her gaze wander around her flag bridge. The tension was palpable, but her people were functioning smoothly and efficiently under it. None of them had been able to come up with an explanation for the intruders' actions, but from the taste of their emotions, most of them had come to the conclusion that the bogeys were most probably Andermani.

Mercedes and George Reynolds, Honor knew, both suspected that this was one more provocation, this time on a grand scale. A sort of interstellar game of chicken between task forces. Jaruwalski disagreed. She didn't know who these people were, but she was firmly convinced they weren't Andies. There was entirely too much potential for someone to panic and start shooting if those were Andermani warships out there, and nothing anyone had reported, including Thomas Bachfisch, suggested that the Andermani could possibly be able to overcome such unfavorable numerical odds. If Honor's staff was aware of that, then surely the Andermani were, as well, and risking that much tonnage and the personnel required to crew those ships just to "send a message" was a far cry from risking a single cruiser here or there. And whatever else the Andies might be, it struck her as extremely unlikely that any senior Andermani officer could be crazy enough to take such a chance. She'd been polite about it, but she'd also made her disagreement with both the chief of staff and the staff spook clear, and Honor smiled ever so slightly at the thought. Then she glanced at the time and date display on the bulkhead, and beckoned to Timothy Meares.

"Yes, Your Grace?" the youthful flag lieutenant said quietly as he stopped beside her command chair.

"I think it's about time, Tim," she told him, equally quietly.

"Yes, Ma'am," he said, and walked casually across the bridge towards Lieutenant Harper Brantley, Honor's staff communications officer.

She watched him go, then turned her head as she tasted a sudden spike in Mercedes Brigham's emotions. Her chief of staff was gazing at her in intent speculation.

Speculation that became something else when Honor grinned cheerfully at her. Brigham's eyes narrowed, then snapped from Honor to Meares and Brantley, and Honor felt Nimitz's delighted amusement. Which was only to be expected from someone whose treecat name was "Laughs Brightly," she reflected.

Brigham looked back at Honor and opened her mouth as if to say something, then closed it again and shook her head severely at her admiral, instead.

None of the other staffers had noticed the silent exchange. They were all far too intent on their own duties to pay any attention to Meares' movements or the chief of staff's expression. Nor did they notice when the flag lieutenant bent over Brantley's shoulder to whisper quietly in his ear.

The com officer's head popped up, and he looked incredulously at Meares for just a moment, then darted a half-accusing, half-amused looked at his admiral before he bent back over his console. He murmured something into his hush mike, then leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms.

Nothing at all happened for perhaps ninety seconds, and then quite a lot of things happened in rapid succession.
The incoming bogeys suddenly and simultaneously made turnover over ten minutes early, and as they did their icons began to multiply in the plot. Dozens—scores—of additional light codes appeared, spreading outward like captive constellations, and Honor tasted her staffers' consternation as they recognized what they were seeing. It was a sight they'd seen scores of times over the past three or four T-years; it was just that they'd never seen anyone else lunching full deckloads of LACs.

For a few, brief moments consternation (and something just a bit more akin to panic than any of them would ever have admitted) was all they felt as they grappled with the sudden awareness of how far the bogeys' unexpected possession of LACs would go towards evening the tactical imbalance they had assumed favored Task Force Thirty-Four so heavily. But before they could react, the flood of LAC icons began to blink from the crimson of unknown, assumed hostiles to the steady green of friendly units. The color change flowed through the formation in a cascade, one LAC squadron at a time as each of them brought its transponders online. And as each LAC group completed its transition, its mothership's icon blinked to green, in turn.

"Your Grace," Jaruwalski began, "we know those ships! They're—"

She chopped herself off abruptly and turned to favor Honor with a much more old-fashioned glance than the one Brigham and turned upon her as she realized how superfluous her report actually was. Honor returned her look—it would never have done to call it a glare, of course—with her best innocent smile.

"Yes, Andrea?" she said.

"Never mind, Your Grace." For a moment, the ops officer sounded remarkably like a Grayson nanny who had surprised her charges in the act of painting the nursery purple. But then, almost against her will, she began to grin and shook her head at her Admiral.

"Never mind, Your Grace," she repeated, in quite a different tone. "I suppose by now we should all be accustomed to what passes for your sense of humor."
***********************************************
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   » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:40 pm

Hutch
Vice Admiral

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

And last but not least, from Shadow of Freedom, a smart and honorable SLN Admiral (yes, there actually are some) finds that he is not quite smart enough....

“That’s it, Sir,” Captain Wayne said quietly, taking the message board Lieutenant Commander Olaf Lister, Thurgood’s communications officer, had just sent to the briefing room. “Colonel Trondheim’s officially surrendered.” The chief of staff shrugged and handed the board back to the flag bridge yeoman who’d delivered it. He twitched his head at the briefing room door, and the yeoman vanished as Wayne turned back to Thurgood.

“Not like he had a lot of choice once they dropped into orbit around the planet and demanded his surrender,” the commodore observed. “In fact, if I’m surprised by anything, it’s that it took that long for the Manties to find someone to do the surrendering!”

And that we actually got the chance to run for it, he added mentally, trying to feel grateful for his good fortune.

To be honest, he’d never expected the Manties to simply let him go, not with their acceleration advantage. They could easily have dropped a handful of cruisers into Meyers orbit and sent everything else after him, and he’d never had any illusions about what would have happened if they had. The fact that they’d opted to simply ignore him and continue on their profile to secure the capital planet had been an enormous relief, yet there was a part of him which almost…resented it.

That wasn’t the right verb, and he knew it, but it came close. It was as if he and his ships were so sublimely unimportant that the Manty admiral couldn’t even be bothered to send someone to squash them. Francis Thurgood had never been one of those Battle Fleet idiots, and he’d never felt any particular urge to die for the honor of the flag. The lives of the men and women under his command were far too important to waste doing stupid things. But still that sensation of being casually brushed aside…

Better that than being turned into glowing wreckage, he reminded himself. Not that your career isn’t going to get turned into wreckage when Old Terra finds out about this. Alonso y Yáñez will probably realize you did the right thing, but that prick Rajampet sure as hell won’t. The civilians are going to be looking for scapegoats, too, and you can bet your bottom credit they aren’t going to put any of the blame on Verrocchio. Hell, they’ll probably turn him and Hongbo into martyrs! The courageous civilian administrators who stayed at their posts while the military cut and ran on them. Blech.

“I suppose we should head back to Flag Bridge,” he said out loud, pushing back from the table. Wayne and Commander Merriman followed him out of the briefing room, and he tried hard to shake free of the numb dejection which had flowed over him in the last three and three-quarters hours.

It had taken the Manties roughly three hours and twenty minutes to reach Meyers, and Trondheim had surrendered the planet to them as soon as they did. No doubt they’d been “discussing” his options with him throughout their approach. Of course, it had taken another twenty-five minutes for Trondheim’s lightspeed message to overtake Thurgood’s fleeing command. Which meant he’d been up to a base velocity of almost 79,000 KPS, and only 89.6 million kilometers from the hyper limit—and safety—when Edgehill received the confirming transmission.

Trondheim’s career would be going down the toilet, too, he reflected. For that matter, plenty of other careers were going to get turned into mush right along with his before this rat fuck of a war was over. But at least his people were going to live to fight another—

His thoughts cut off abruptly as an alarm shrilled.
“Hyper footprint!” Captain Macpherson snapped. “Multiple hyper footprints at zero-zero-zero by zero-zero-two! Range eight-niner-point-seven million kilometers!”
Thurgood’s breathing seemed to stop as the blood-red icons appeared on the master plot directly ahead of his battlecruisers. How—?

The range was still the next best thing to five light-minutes. It was going to be a while before they had any lightspeed sensor results, but gravitics were FTL, and he watched silently as a pale-faced Macpherson leaned over a sensor rating’s shoulder, staring at the detailed information from CIC. The ops officer’s eyes darted from side to side, absorbing the data, and then she straightened slowly.

“From the impeller signatures, CIC makes it at least six of those big battlecruisers of theirs, Sir. Looks like they’ve got four heavy cruisers and at least four light cruisers—or maybe those outsized destroyers—to back them.”

“I see.”

Thurgood looked back at her for a moment, then clasped his hands behind him and walked slowly over to the communications section. He paused behind Lieutenant Commander Lister, waiting for what he knew had to come.
No wonder they didn’t chase us, his mind reflected in the still calm that followed utter disaster. They didn’t have to. All they had to do was send somebody back up into hyper to tell the people they’d left there where they had to go to intercept us. And all I managed to do was to build up enough velocity I can’t possibly avoid running right into that fucking long-ranged missile basket of theirs!

He felt his jaw muscles ache with the pressure of his clenched teeth and forced himself to relax them. No doubt those fleeing freighters were going to find themselves picked off, too, he thought. Which meant Verrocchio and Hongbo weren’t going to manage to run out on their mess after all. That was something, at least.

“We have a message request, Commodore,” Lister said quietly. “It’s from a Rear Admiral Oversteegen.”

“I’ve been expecting it, Olaf,” Thurgood replied with a thin smile. “I suppose you’d better go ahead and put him through.”
***********************************************
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 dvarnes   » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:49 pm

dvarnes
Midshipman

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:04 pm

This is one of my favorite passages, it is so like the real navy

"Imperator, this is India-Papa-One-One, requesting approach instructions."
"India-Papa-One-One, Imperator Flight Ops. Be advised our approach pattern is currently full. Please stand by."
"Flight Ops, India-Papa-One-One. Understand approach pattern is currently full. However, be advised that I have Eighth Fleet flag on board."
There was a moment of silence, and the pinnace's pilot grinned at his copilot.
"Ah, India-Papa-One-One, Imperator Flight Ops." The controller aboard the flagship sounded suddenly much brisker. "Come to approach vector Able-Charlie. You are cleared for immediate approach to Boat Bay Alpha."
"Thank you, Flight Ops. India-Papa-One-One copies approach vector Able-Charlie for immediate approach to Bay Alpha," the pinnace pilot acknowledged, without allowing even a trace of satisfaction to show.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:38 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12894
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Ashes of Victory. Came across this while sifting thru the ashes... and it belongs.
Giscard and Tourville both knew Theisman well, yet neither of them would ever have expected him to be picked to replace Amanda Graveson as the commander of Capital Fleet . . . or to prove so adroit at handling Saint-Just. But he had, and Tourville suspected that Denis LePic was one of the main reasons for his success. The citizen vice admiral had known LePic almost as long as he'd known Tourville, and the citizen commissioner had always seemed a bit too decent for a StateSec spy.

Rather, he thought wryly, like the commissioners in this briefing room.

Of all the surprises he'd suffered since McQueen's death, few had matched the impact of discovering the true relationship between Giscard and Pritchart. Tourville had begun nursing some suspicions about Pritchart. Less because of anything she'd ever said or done, for she'd played her role to perfection, than because Giscard had shown just that little bit too much independence and freedom of maneuver in exercising his command authority. But not even he had dreamed the two of them were lovers. He'd thought it was something else, like his own pre-Cerberus relationship with Honeker. The possibility that the two of them were actual partners, working jointly to deceive StateSec's other spies, had been a total shock . . . and explained a great deal.

Not that it seemed likely to make much difference in the long run. If it had been likely to, he doubted Giscard and Pritchart would ever have let him and his own people's commissioner in on the secret. As it was, they clearly had little left to lose, and there was no sense in jumping through any hoops to maintain a deception that no longer mattered. Especially not if jumping through those hoops might hamper the achievement of anything which could conceivably give them a chance of survival.

Except for Pritchart, of course, the citizen vice admiral thought, and his eyes softened as he gazed at the beautiful, platinum-haired woman. Saint-Just obviously doesn't suspect her even now. If he did, he never would have passed on his conversation with Theisman to her . . . or let her know he still plans on shooting all of us afterward. But if he does still trust her, all she and Javier had to do was keep their mouths shut, and she, at least, might have walked away alive.

But there was no sign Giscard and Pritchart had even contemplated that course. Tourville doubted Giscard was happy about it, but it was clear she'd made her own decision. Live, or die, she and Giscard would fight to the last ditch together.

"And here we are," the citizen vice admiral agreed, smiling grimly at his CO. "You know, I realize Tom did the best he could for us under the circumstances, but right this minute, I find it just a tad difficult to feel suitably grateful."

"Do you?" Giscard managed a smile of his own. "Well, I look at it this way, Lester. Even if the Manties shoot Salamis right out from under me and Eloise, there are still life pods. And, frankly, the possibility of being picked up after the battle seems a whole lot more attractive than somehow winning the damned thing and going home to face Saint-Just! If he's nervous now, imagine how unhappy he'd be to have 'The Men Who Stopped the Manties' riding into Nouveau Paris on their white horses!"

"An unhappy but no doubt accurate summation," Tourville admitted.

"At least they seem to have slowed down for the moment," Honeker put in.

"Only to catch their breath, Everard," Tourville told him. "They're just refitting and resupplying before their next lunge . . . and guess who's sitting right on top of what has to be their primary target."

Several people around the table surprised themselves with weary chuckles, and all eyes shifted to the star chart above the conference table.

The Lovat System lay before them in all its glory. The space about the central star glittered with the icons of military and civilian shipyards, processing plants, deep-space factories, fortresses, minefields, old-style LACs, missile pods, and the serried squadrons of Twelfth Fleet. Against any normal enemy, that massive concentration of power would have been impregnable. Against what was going to come at them, probably in no more than a month or two, all it was likely to accomplish was to inflate the body count.

"I wish," Tourville said very quietly, even here, before people he trusted with his very life, "we could just surrender the damned place to White Haven." Eyes swiveled to him, and he twitched his shoulders uncomfortably. "I know. It goes against the grain. But, Jesus! It's not just what's waiting for us back on Haven. Think of all our people, sitting here in ships the Manties have just turned into nothing but targets. How many thousands of them are going to get killed just because Saint-Just is too frigging stubborn—or stupid—to realize it's over and surrender?!"

"You may have a point, Lester," Giscard conceded. "No, you do have a point. Unfortunately, there's no way to pull it off after Saint-Just stuck us with his fresh 'reinforcements.' " His smile was a sour grimace, and Tourville nodded. Twelfth Fleet now boasted two complete squadrons of StateSec SDs which no longer even pretended that their real job wasn't to watch Giscard's and Tourville's flagships. "Even if we didn't have to worry about Heemskerk and Salzner, we couldn't pull off a successful surrender without at least discussing it with our own squadron commanders and the local defense COs. And if even one of them disagreed with our intentions . . ." He shrugged.

"I know," Tourville sighed, gazing into the display. "I know. It just irritates the hell out of me to die so stupidly. And not even because of my own stupidity!"

"Me, too," Giscard admitted. He, too, gazed into the display, then inhaled. "Have you and Everard decided about telling your staff?"

"I think not," Tourville said heavily. "There's always the chance Saint-Just will decide they're too junior to deserve a pulser dart, and I know Tom will do his best for them—especially for Shannon. Besides, I'm afraid of what might happen if I told them. I'm pretty sure Yuri's figured it out, anyway, but Shannon scares me these days. If she found out, she might decide to do something about it. I'm sure it would be spectacular and no doubt inflict all sorts of damage, but it wouldn't change anything in the end. Except to guarantee she got shot, too." He smiled at McIntyre, Tyler, and Thaddeus. "I understand you three figured it out and insisted on shoving your noses into it. I respect that, but I'm going to try like hell to get at least some of my people out of this alive."

"Don't blame you, Sir," Andre McIntyre told him. "I tried to do the same thing for Franny here—" he nodded at Tyler "—but she's about as stubborn as Shannon."

Is this the understatement and underestimation of the series? It seems that everyone knew Shannon harbored a clear and present danger underneath her quiet exterior. Though how clear, how present and how dangerous they were a bit off.

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   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:54 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12894
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Further down in the Ashes...
"If you don't mind," Pritchart put in, "I'd just as soon concentrate on trying to get all of us out of this in one piece."

"All of us would," Honeker said gently. "The problem is that none of us see a way to do it."

"I don't see any great and glorious scheme for it, either," Pritchart said, "but I'd at least like us to do a little contingency planning. For instance, suppose something happens to Saint-Just back home? If he disappears from the equation, the whole situation is up for grabs. More to the point, if whoever takes over from him—assuming someone does, and the entire Republic doesn't simply dissolve into one massive dogfight among potential successors—sends us new orders, what do we do about them? For that matter, what do we do if White Haven decides to bypass Lovat and go straight for Haven?" Her smile was strained but genuine. "Maybe I just want to keep myself busy to avoid dwelling on our chances, but humor me. Let's put some thought into that kind of question . . . and see if any brilliant ideas fall out on the table in the process."

"Why not?" Tourville's grin was almost as fierce as of yore. "One thing I've already decided is that they're not taking me back to Haven in suitable condition for shooting after arrival. And if I can come up with a way to cause them more grief than a shootout with SS goons in my quarters, I'm all for it!"

Did the idea of Theisman shooting St. Just originate from Eloise? Am I the only one who missed that!?

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 ncwolf   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:42 pm

ncwolf
Commander

Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:49 pm

Hutch wrote:And last but not least, from Shadow of Freedom, a smart and honorable SLN Admiral (yes, there actually are some) finds that he is not quite smart enough....

“That’s it, Sir,” Captain Wayne said quietly, taking the message board Lieutenant Commander Olaf Lister, Thurgood’s communications officer, had just sent to the briefing room. “Colonel Trondheim’s officially surrendered.” The chief of staff shrugged and handed the board back to the flag bridge yeoman who’d delivered it. He twitched his head at the briefing room door, and the yeoman vanished as Wayne turned back to Thurgood.

“Not like he had a lot of choice once they dropped into orbit around the planet and demanded his surrender,” the commodore observed. “In fact, if I’m surprised by anything, it’s that it took that long for the Manties to find someone to do the surrendering!”

<snip>
“We have a message request, Commodore,” Lister said quietly. “It’s from a Rear Admiral Oversteegen.”

“I’ve been expecting it, Olaf,” Thurgood replied with a thin smile. “I suppose you’d better go ahead and put him through.”


Actually, Thurgood is still a commodore; maybe he's too smart to be an admiral in the SNL. :)
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Vince   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:56 am

Vince
Vice Admiral

Posts: 1570
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:43 pm

cthia wrote:Further down in the Ashes...
"If you don't mind," Pritchart put in, "I'd just as soon concentrate on trying to get all of us out of this in one piece."

"All of us would," Honeker said gently. "The problem is that none of us see a way to do it."

"I don't see any great and glorious scheme for it, either," Pritchart said, "but I'd at least like us to do a little contingency planning. For instance, suppose something happens to Saint-Just back home? If he disappears from the equation, the whole situation is up for grabs. More to the point, if whoever takes over from him—assuming someone does, and the entire Republic doesn't simply dissolve into one massive dogfight among potential successors—sends us new orders, what do we do about them? For that matter, what do we do if White Haven decides to bypass Lovat and go straight for Haven?" Her smile was strained but genuine. "Maybe I just want to keep myself busy to avoid dwelling on our chances, but humor me. Let's put some thought into that kind of question . . . and see if any brilliant ideas fall out on the table in the process."

"Why not?" Tourville's grin was almost as fierce as of yore. "One thing I've already decided is that they're not taking me back to Haven in suitable condition for shooting after arrival. And if I can come up with a way to cause them more grief than a shootout with SS goons in my quarters, I'm all for it!"

Did the idea of Theisman shooting St. Just originate from Eloise? Am I the only one who missed that!?

No. Theisman did not have any contact with Eloise (she was still a People's commissioner at the time, and for Theisman to be talking to someone who reported to St. Just would raise all kinds of alarms) prior to shooting St. Just.

In addition, your quote is at the end of Chapter 41 of Ashes of Victory. Theisman's conversation with LePic (where he brings up the idea of doing something about the political situation) takes up all of Chapter 32 of Ashes of Victory, just after he gets orders to return to Haven and take command of Capital Fleet.
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History does not repeat itself so much as it echoes.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by timmopussycat   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:55 pm

timmopussycat
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 116
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Location: Vancouver, BC

Hutch wrote:Number three of the four showcases Honor's sense of humor...of course, when you're a Fleet Admiral, the jokes can get pretty broad...


Also from AoV. Tom Caparelli learns that it is risky to play a joke on Honor.

"In addition to the points we've already discussed, Your Grace, there was one other thing I wanted to tell you when I asked you to visit me this afternoon." He turned back to her, and she raised her eyebrows in polite question.

"I activated Operation Buttercup yesterday," he told her, and she felt herself sit straight upright in her chair. She knew about Operation Buttercup. She and Alice Truman had gamed out several variant strategies for it using the main tactical simulator at ATC, and the final ops plan had Honor's fingerprints all over it.

"Alice Truman will be leaving for Trevor's Star next week," Caparelli went on quietly. By the time you get back to Grayson, Eighth Fleet should be ready to move. At the moment, we seem to have the Peeps strongly committed to an offensive against Grendelsbane Station, and I had to divert some of the SD(P)s to bolster the station's defenses. But we managed to hit the basic force levels specified by the final ops plan. Some of the LAC wings are still a lot greener than I could have wished, but—"

He shrugged slightly, his emotions laced with the regret any good commander felt at sending his men and women into harm's way.

"I understand, Sir," Honor said, her voice equally quiet, and she thought about some of the men and women she knew in the ships committed to Buttercup. Scotty Tremain and Horace Harkness. Alice Truman. Rafael Cardones, who commanded one of Alice's CLACs, and Rear Admiral of the Red Alistair McKeon, one of her division commanders. There were dozens of others beyond those names, and she felt a momentary stab of fear, an echo of the gut-deep awareness that people died in battle.

"Thank you for telling me," she said after a moment, and forced a smile. "I never realized how much harder it is to send people off to fight when you can't go with them."

"One of the hardest lessons to learn . . . or accept, at least," he agreed, gazing back out over the city once more. "Here I sit, on a beautiful summer afternoon, and out there—" he twitched a nod at the deep blue vault of the sky "—hundreds of thousands of men and women are heading off into battle because I told them to go. Ultimately, whatever happens to them will be my responsibility . . . and there's not a thing in the universe I can do from this point on to affect what does happen to them."

"Whatever they pay you, Sir, it isn't enough," Honor told him, and he turned to grin wryly at her.

"Your Grace, they don't pay any of us enough, but if we can't take a joke, then we shouldn't have joined."

The hoary, lower-deck proverb took Honor completely by surprise coming from him, and she giggled. She couldn't help it, and his smile of delight as he startled the schoolgirl sound out of her only made it worse. It took her several seconds to get herself back under control, and she gave him a severe look once she had.

"I can think of one or two other clichés which might appropriately be applied to you, Sir Thomas. None of them, at the moment, complimentary, I'm afraid."

"Ah, well! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. And I'm used to the abuse by now. Very few people seem to appreciate what a fine, stalwart sort of fellow I actually am."

" 'Fine' and 'stalwart' are not the first two adjectives which spring to mind when I think of you, Sir," she told him severely, and he chuckled again. "However, I did want to take this opportunity to invite you to a small get-together Miranda and my mother are planning for next month. I understand it will be a modest little affair—no more than two or three hundred on the guest list—to clear the decks here in the Star Kingdom before we head back to Grayson. Her Majesty has consented to attend, and I hope you will, too."

"I would be honored, Your Grace," he said seriously.

"Good. Because between now and then, I'm going to put Nimitz, Farragut, and Samantha up to devising some proper greeting for a fine, stalwart sort of fellow like yourself." She smiled seraphically at him. "And knowing the three of them, Sir Thomas, you may just discover that you'd have been better off in the lead wave of Buttercup!"
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by SWM   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:46 pm

SWM
Fleet Admiral

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Location: U.S. east coast

cthia wrote:Cauldron of Ghosts
“The point being,” Honor continued, “any suicide device he’d carry—anywhere, not just here—wouldn’t be a bomb, or anything that would wreak indiscriminate damage. It’d be very selective, with just himself as the target.”

She glanced back at Captain Hawke and then over at the two members of the Queen’s Own Regiment standing guard against the wall behind Elizabeth. “We analyzed the one he brought aboard Imperator when he and Zilwicki paid me that little visit. If he’d activated it, it would have injected him with a chemical compound which would trigger a previously implanted chemical compound that was inert in the absence of the right catalyst…at which point it would have sent his heart into severe ventricular fibrillation while simultaneously triggering both brain and pulmonary embolisms.”

The empress grimaced. So did Hamish. For that matter—Honor glanced around the room—so did all the other people seated at the table. Those consisted of William Alexander, Baron Grantville and Prime Minister of the Star Empire of Manticore; Sir Anthony Langtry, the Star Empire’s Foreign Secretary; and two admirals: Sir Thomas Caparelli, First Space Lord, and Admiral Pat Givens.

“So don’t be too sure what Cachat might or might not have been carrying,” Honor continued. “If he thought it was called for, he’s perfectly capable of having a biological mechanism designed so that we could only detect it if we gave him a complete somatic screening. Which we didn’t, of course. That would have been undiplomatic, to say the least.”

Prime Minister Alexander looked alarmed. “If I’d known he was capable of that, I think we should have insisted on a somatic screen.”

I remember a thread or posts speculating about the sort of suicide device in question. I don't recall this textev being made an exhibit.

And who would volunteer to perform this closer more anal exam and who would volunteer to be the standby proctor? - that would probably be more like a proctor and gamble.

My interpretation was that the somatic screening they were talking about would have been blood tests and cellular exams. Your interpretation is more...visceral. :)
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