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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 cthia   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:05 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12815
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Ashes of Victory
"No!"

Elizabeth III came to her feet in one supple motion, and her fist slammed down on the conference-room table like a hammer. More than one person in the room flinched...

Shame on anyone who needs further hints about what this exclamative regards.

I can always produce clear images of this.

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   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:11 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12815
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Flag in Exile
"Well, there they are, Citizen Commissioner." Thurston sounded disgusted, Preznikov noted, and looked a question at him. "Oh, I'm not complaining," the citizen vice admiral said. "But remember what I said about how when they decided to come out would indicate how good they were? Well, it looks like the answer is not too good."

This is one of my favorite passages because it sparks a giggle every time. This Old Earth adage always comes to mind...

"Never judge a book by its cover."

or

"Never judge a fleet by a single maneuver."

or

"Never trust a sheep in Salamander's clothing."

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 Hutch   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:18 am

Hutch
Vice Admiral

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

I'm rereading Shadows of Saganami (great book, IMHO), and after searching realized these two related passages weren't in this thread.

Mission accomplished (with a tear of two). Death and Rememberance.


"Stand by, Lieutenant Hedges," Ragnhild said. "We'll be coming up on her main personnel hatch in another five minutes."

"Right, Ragnhild," Michael Hedges acknowledged with a smile.

He was one of the very few people serving in Hexapuma who looked almost as young as Ragnhild did. It was unfortunate that he'd had the bad judgment to become a Marine rather than a Navy officer, but he was awfully cute anyway. Of course, he was considerably senior to her, but Regs only prohibited relationships between officers in the same chain of command. Technically, that included Marines aboard a ship, but it was a technicality that was winked at most of the time. So maybe it wasn't such a bad thing he was a Marine after all. . . .

She smiled back at him and returned her attention to her HUD, and one eyebrow rose as she saw half a dozen patches of plating blowing away from the freighter's hull. One of the sudden openings was almost directly in front of the pinnace, and she saw something in it. It was an indistinct, barely visible shape, but there was something naggingly familiar about that half-glimpsed form, and it seemed to be turning to point in her direction.

God, it's a—!

Ragnhild Pavletic never completed the thought.



Helen knelt on the decksole and slowly, carefully dialed the locker's combination. Aikawa was on duty—the Captain was keeping him there, she knew, because he blamed himself. If he hadn't identified the freighter, none of this would have happened. It was foolish to condemn himself for it, but he did, and the Skipper was too wise to let him sit and brood.

But someone had to do this, and it was Helen's job.
Her hands shook as she gently lifted the lid, and she blinked hard, trying to clear her eyes of the sudden tears. She couldn't. They came too hard, too fast, and she covered her mouth with her hands, rocking on her knees as she wept silently. She couldn't do this. She couldn't. But she had to. It was the last thing she would ever be able to do for her friend . . . and she couldn't.
She didn't hear the hatch open behind her. She was too lost in her grief. But she felt the hand on her shoulder, and she looked up quickly.

Paulo d'Arezzo looked down at her, his handsome face tight with grief of its own. She stared up into his gray eyes through tear-spangled vision, and he went down into a crouch beside her.

"I can't," she whispered almost inaudibly. "I can't do this, Paulo."

"I'm sorry," he said softly, and her sobs broke free at last. He went fully to his knees, and before she knew what was happening, his arms were around her, holding her. She started to pull away—not from the embrace, but from the humiliation of her weakness. But she couldn't do that, either. The arms around her tightened, holding her with gently implacable strength, and a hand touched the back of her head.

"She was your friend," Paulo said softly into her ear. "You loved her. Go ahead. Cry for her . . . and then I'll help you do this."

It was too much. It broke her control, and with it her resistance, and she pressed her face into his shoulder and wept for her dead.
***********************************************
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 roseandheather   » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:40 pm

roseandheather
Admiral

Posts: 2052
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hutch wrote:I'm rereading Shadows of Saganami (great book, IMHO), and after searching realized these two related passages weren't in this thread.

Mission accomplished (with a tear of two). Death and Rememberance.


"Stand by, Lieutenant Hedges," Ragnhild said. "We'll be coming up on her main personnel hatch in another five minutes."

"Right, Ragnhild," Michael Hedges acknowledged with a smile.

He was one of the very few people serving in Hexapuma who looked almost as young as Ragnhild did. It was unfortunate that he'd had the bad judgment to become a Marine rather than a Navy officer, but he was awfully cute anyway. Of course, he was considerably senior to her, but Regs only prohibited relationships between officers in the same chain of command. Technically, that included Marines aboard a ship, but it was a technicality that was winked at most of the time. So maybe it wasn't such a bad thing he was a Marine after all. . . .

She smiled back at him and returned her attention to her HUD, and one eyebrow rose as she saw half a dozen patches of plating blowing away from the freighter's hull. One of the sudden openings was almost directly in front of the pinnace, and she saw something in it. It was an indistinct, barely visible shape, but there was something naggingly familiar about that half-glimpsed form, and it seemed to be turning to point in her direction.

God, it's a—!

Ragnhild Pavletic never completed the thought.



Helen knelt on the decksole and slowly, carefully dialed the locker's combination. Aikawa was on duty—the Captain was keeping him there, she knew, because he blamed himself. If he hadn't identified the freighter, none of this would have happened. It was foolish to condemn himself for it, but he did, and the Skipper was too wise to let him sit and brood.

But someone had to do this, and it was Helen's job.
Her hands shook as she gently lifted the lid, and she blinked hard, trying to clear her eyes of the sudden tears. She couldn't. They came too hard, too fast, and she covered her mouth with her hands, rocking on her knees as she wept silently. She couldn't do this. She couldn't. But she had to. It was the last thing she would ever be able to do for her friend . . . and she couldn't.
She didn't hear the hatch open behind her. She was too lost in her grief. But she felt the hand on her shoulder, and she looked up quickly.

Paulo d'Arezzo looked down at her, his handsome face tight with grief of its own. She stared up into his gray eyes through tear-spangled vision, and he went down into a crouch beside her.

"I can't," she whispered almost inaudibly. "I can't do this, Paulo."

"I'm sorry," he said softly, and her sobs broke free at last. He went fully to his knees, and before she knew what was happening, his arms were around her, holding her. She started to pull away—not from the embrace, but from the humiliation of her weakness. But she couldn't do that, either. The arms around her tightened, holding her with gently implacable strength, and a hand touched the back of her head.

"She was your friend," Paulo said softly into her ear. "You loved her. Go ahead. Cry for her . . . and then I'll help you do this."

It was too much. It broke her control, and with it her resistance, and she pressed her face into his shoulder and wept for her dead.


For what it's worth, the only explanation I will ever give anyone for not Cupiding Helen with someone who isn't Paulo is to show them that second passage.
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by timmopussycat   » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:31 am

timmopussycat
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:41 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Here's another example of why it's not a good idea to push Honor too far. From FiE:

Harrington House was entirely too large, luxurious, and expensive for her own taste, but she hadn't been consulted when it was built. The Graysons had intended it as a gift to the woman who'd saved their planet, which meant she couldn't complain, and she'd come to a slightly guilty acceptance of its magnificence. . . .

They emerged from the garden, and she dropped to a more decorous pace as the permanent sentry at the East Portico—Harrington House's main public entrance—snapped to attention and saluted. Honor suppressed a naval officer's automatic reflex to return the salute and settled for a nodded reply, then swept up the steps with LaFollet just as a fierce-faced, white-haired man emerged from the guarded door and gave his own chrono a harassed glance. He looked up at the sound of her foot on the steps of native stone, and his scowl vanished into a smile as he came down them to meet her.

"I'm sorry I'm late, Howard," she said contritely. "We were on our way when Nimitz spotted a chipmunk."

Howard Clinkscales' smile turned into a grin any urchin might have envied, and he shook a finger at the 'cat. Nimitz flicked his ears in impudent reply, and the Regent chuckled. Once upon a time Clinkscales would have been far less at ease with an alien creature—not to mention horrified by the very notion of a woman's wearing the steadholder's key—but those days were gone, and his eyes gleamed as he looked at Honor.

"Well, of course, My Lady, if it was important no apologies are necessary. On the other hand, we are supposed to have the paperwork ready when Chancellor Prestwick coms to confirm Council's approval."

"But it's also supposed to be a 'surprise announcement,' " Honor said plaintively. "Doesn't that mean you can cut me some slack?"

"It's supposed to be a surprise to your steaders and the other Keys, My Lady—not to you. So don't try to wiggle out of it by wheedling me. You haven't acquired the proper knack for it, anyway."

"But you keep telling me to learn to compromise. How am I supposed to do that if you won't compromise with me?"

"Hah!" Clinkscales snorted, yet they both knew her whimsical plaint had its serious side. She was uncomfortable with the autocratic power she exercised as a steadholder, yet she'd often thought it was fortunate things were set up as they were. It might be alien to the traditions under which she'd been reared, but, then, she would have been supremely unsuited to a government career back in the Star Kingdom, even without the unpleasant experiences the rough and tumble of Manticore's partisan strife had inflicted upon her.

. . .

"All right, be that way. But watch yourself, Howard! Someone has to make that speech to the Ladies' Gardening Guild next week."

Clinkscales blanched, and his expression was so horrified Honor surprised herself with a gurgle of laughter. Even LaFollet chuckled, though his face went instantly blank when Clinkscales glanced at him.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:52 pm

Hutch
Vice Admiral

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

This is pretty long, but given it's importance to the future history, the first conversation between Admirals Henke and Byng, in orbit around Monica, is worth recording here;

From Storm from the Shadows:

"I'm Admiral Josef Byng, Solarian League Navy," the white-uniformed man on her display said. "To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?"

Michelle managed to keep her jaw from tightening. She'd never thought much of SLN officers' efficiency, but she rather suspected that Byng's subordinates had at least bothered to inform him of the identity of his caller. And she'd asked for him by name and rank, which made his self-introduction a deliberate and patronizing insult.

I can already see how this is going to go, she thought.

"Vice Admiral Gold Peak," she replied. "Royal Manticoran Navy," she added helpfully, just in case he hadn't recognized the uniform, and had the satisfaction of seeing his lips tighten ever so slightly.

"What can I do for you today . . . Admiral Gold Peak?" he inquired after a moment.

"I only screened to extend my respects. It's not often we see a full Frontier Fleet admiral this far out in the sticks."

From the look in Byng's eyes, he appreciated being called a Frontier Fleet officer even less than Michelle had expected him to. That was nice.

"Well, it's not often we have the sort of . . . incident which occurred here in Monica, either, Admiral Gold Peak," Byng replied after a moment. "Given the Union of Monica's long-standing and friendly relations with the League, I'm sure you can understand why it seemed like a good idea to send someone of our own out here for a firsthand impression of events."

"I certainly can," Michelle agreed. "We felt a need to do the same thing after the unfortunate events here in Monica." She shook her head. "I'm sure all of us regret what happened after Captain Terekhov attempted to ascertain exactly what President Tyler's intentions were. According to our own investigations, those battlecruisers provided to him for his projected attack on the Lynx Terminus were supplied by Technodyne. Have your people been able to turn up anything more about that, Admiral?"

"No." Byng showed his teeth in something a professional diplomat might have described as a smile. "No, we haven't. In fact, according to the briefings I received when I was dispatched, we still haven't managed to confirm where they came from."

"Aside from the fact that they obviously came from the SLN. Originally, I mean." Michelle smiled, adding the carefully timed qualifier as Byng appeared to swell visibly. "Obviously, once ships are listed for disposal and handed over to private hands for scrapping, the Navy's responsibility for them is pretty much at an end. And the paper trail can easily become . . . obscured, as we all know. Especially if some criminal—and civilian, of course—type is doing his best to make it obscure."
"No doubt. My own experience in those areas is somewhat limited, however. I'm sure our own investigation will be looking very carefully at the recordkeeping of our various suppliers. No doubt Technodyne will be included in that process."

.....

"I'm sure it will be," she said instead. "In the meantime, however, may I assume you're also here in something of the role of observer of the Talbott Quadrant's integration into the Star Empire?"
"Star Empire?" Byng repeated, raising his eyebrows in polite surprise. "Is that what you've decided to call it?" He gave her a small, almost apologetic wave of his hand. "I'm afraid I hadn't heard that before I was deployed."

His tone made his own opinion of the delusions of grandeur involved in calling something the size of Manticore's new star nation an "empire," and Michelle smiled sweetly at him.

"Well, we had to call it something, Admiral. And given the political arrangements the Talbotters came up with at their constitutional convention, the term sounded logical. Of course, its early days yet, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is." Byng smiled back at her, but his smile was considerably colder than hers had been. "I'm sure it's going to be interesting to see how . . . successfully your experiment works out."

"So far, it seems to be going quite well," Michelle said.

"So far," he agreed, with another of those smiles. "In answer to your question, however, yes. I have been instructed to observe events out here in the Talbott area. I'm sure you're aware the public back home was deeply interested in events out here. Especially after that unfortunate business on Kornati began to make it into the newsfaxes." He shook his head sadly. "Personally, I'm confident the entire affair was grossly exaggerated—newsies do need to sell subscriptions, after all. Still, the Foreign Ministry does feel a certain responsibility to get a firsthand impression of events there, as well as throughout the Cluster. I'm sure you can understand why that would be the case."

"Oh, believe me," Michelle assured him with deadly affability, "I can understand exactly why that would be the case, Admiral Byng. And, speaking for Her Majesty and Her Majesty's government, I'm sure all of the Star Empire's new member systems will be prepared to extend every possible courtesy to you."

"That's very welcome news, Admiral."

"And, while you're here, Admiral, if there's any way Her Majesty's Navy can assist you—for example, if you would care to set up joint anti-piracy or anti-slavery patrols—I'm sure Admiral Khumalo would be as delighted as I would to coordinate our operations with you."

"That's very kind of you." Byng smiled again. "Of course, unlike your new Star Empire, the League has no direct territorial interests in this region. Aside from the security of our own allies in the area, that is. And, of course, the security—and territorial integrity—of those star systems which have been taken under the protection of the Office of Frontier Security. I believe we can see to those obligations out of our own resources. At least, it's difficult for me to conceive of a threat to those interests which we couldn't deal with out of our own resources."

"No doubt." Michelle smiled back at him. "Well, in that case, Admiral Byng, I won't keep you any longer. We won't be in Monica for very long. This was just in the nature of making certain our new allies here were secure, so I imagine we'll be on our way to Tillerman shortly. I need to pay a courtesy call on President Tyler first, however. Governor General Medusa has instructed me to inform him that the Star Empire is prepared to extend government-guaranteed loans to any of its citizens who might be interested in investing here." Her smile turned sweeter. "I believe Baroness Medusa—and Her Majesty—believe it's the least we can do to help Monica recover from the consequences of that unfortunate event."

"That's remarkably generous of your Star Empire," Byng said.

"As I said, I'm sure everyone regrets what happened here, Admiral Byng. And Manticore's experience has been that extending a helping hand to ex-enemies and treating them as equals is one of the better ways to see to it that there's no repetition of all that unpleasantness."
"I see." Byng nodded. "Well, since you seem to have quite a lot that still needs doing, Admiral Gold Peak, I'll bid you good day."

"Thank you, Admiral. I hope your mission here is a successful one. Henke, clear."
***********************************************
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 roseandheather   » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:12 pm

roseandheather
Admiral

Posts: 2052
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hutch wrote:This is pretty long, but given it's importance to the future history, the first conversation between Admirals Henke and Byng, in orbit around Monica, is worth recording here;

From Storm from the Shadows:

"I'm Admiral Josef Byng, Solarian League Navy," the white-uniformed man on her display said. "To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?"

Michelle managed to keep her jaw from tightening. She'd never thought much of SLN officers' efficiency, but she rather suspected that Byng's subordinates had at least bothered to inform him of the identity of his caller. And she'd asked for him by name and rank, which made his self-introduction a deliberate and patronizing insult.

I can already see how this is going to go, she thought.

"Vice Admiral Gold Peak," she replied. "Royal Manticoran Navy," she added helpfully, just in case he hadn't recognized the uniform, and had the satisfaction of seeing his lips tighten ever so slightly.

"What can I do for you today . . . Admiral Gold Peak?" he inquired after a moment.

"I only screened to extend my respects. It's not often we see a full Frontier Fleet admiral this far out in the sticks."

From the look in Byng's eyes, he appreciated being called a Frontier Fleet officer even less than Michelle had expected him to. That was nice.

"Well, it's not often we have the sort of . . . incident which occurred here in Monica, either, Admiral Gold Peak," Byng replied after a moment. "Given the Union of Monica's long-standing and friendly relations with the League, I'm sure you can understand why it seemed like a good idea to send someone of our own out here for a firsthand impression of events."

"I certainly can," Michelle agreed. "We felt a need to do the same thing after the unfortunate events here in Monica." She shook her head. "I'm sure all of us regret what happened after Captain Terekhov attempted to ascertain exactly what President Tyler's intentions were. According to our own investigations, those battlecruisers provided to him for his projected attack on the Lynx Terminus were supplied by Technodyne. Have your people been able to turn up anything more about that, Admiral?"

"No." Byng showed his teeth in something a professional diplomat might have described as a smile. "No, we haven't. In fact, according to the briefings I received when I was dispatched, we still haven't managed to confirm where they came from."

"Aside from the fact that they obviously came from the SLN. Originally, I mean." Michelle smiled, adding the carefully timed qualifier as Byng appeared to swell visibly. "Obviously, once ships are listed for disposal and handed over to private hands for scrapping, the Navy's responsibility for them is pretty much at an end. And the paper trail can easily become . . . obscured, as we all know. Especially if some criminal—and civilian, of course—type is doing his best to make it obscure."
"No doubt. My own experience in those areas is somewhat limited, however. I'm sure our own investigation will be looking very carefully at the recordkeeping of our various suppliers. No doubt Technodyne will be included in that process."

.....

"I'm sure it will be," she said instead. "In the meantime, however, may I assume you're also here in something of the role of observer of the Talbott Quadrant's integration into the Star Empire?"
"Star Empire?" Byng repeated, raising his eyebrows in polite surprise. "Is that what you've decided to call it?" He gave her a small, almost apologetic wave of his hand. "I'm afraid I hadn't heard that before I was deployed."

His tone made his own opinion of the delusions of grandeur involved in calling something the size of Manticore's new star nation an "empire," and Michelle smiled sweetly at him.

"Well, we had to call it something, Admiral. And given the political arrangements the Talbotters came up with at their constitutional convention, the term sounded logical. Of course, its early days yet, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is." Byng smiled back at her, but his smile was considerably colder than hers had been. "I'm sure it's going to be interesting to see how . . . successfully your experiment works out."

"So far, it seems to be going quite well," Michelle said.

"So far," he agreed, with another of those smiles. "In answer to your question, however, yes. I have been instructed to observe events out here in the Talbott area. I'm sure you're aware the public back home was deeply interested in events out here. Especially after that unfortunate business on Kornati began to make it into the newsfaxes." He shook his head sadly. "Personally, I'm confident the entire affair was grossly exaggerated—newsies do need to sell subscriptions, after all. Still, the Foreign Ministry does feel a certain responsibility to get a firsthand impression of events there, as well as throughout the Cluster. I'm sure you can understand why that would be the case."

"Oh, believe me," Michelle assured him with deadly affability, "I can understand exactly why that would be the case, Admiral Byng. And, speaking for Her Majesty and Her Majesty's government, I'm sure all of the Star Empire's new member systems will be prepared to extend every possible courtesy to you."

"That's very welcome news, Admiral."

"And, while you're here, Admiral, if there's any way Her Majesty's Navy can assist you—for example, if you would care to set up joint anti-piracy or anti-slavery patrols—I'm sure Admiral Khumalo would be as delighted as I would to coordinate our operations with you."

"That's very kind of you." Byng smiled again. "Of course, unlike your new Star Empire, the League has no direct territorial interests in this region. Aside from the security of our own allies in the area, that is. And, of course, the security—and territorial integrity—of those star systems which have been taken under the protection of the Office of Frontier Security. I believe we can see to those obligations out of our own resources. At least, it's difficult for me to conceive of a threat to those interests which we couldn't deal with out of our own resources."

"No doubt." Michelle smiled back at him. "Well, in that case, Admiral Byng, I won't keep you any longer. We won't be in Monica for very long. This was just in the nature of making certain our new allies here were secure, so I imagine we'll be on our way to Tillerman shortly. I need to pay a courtesy call on President Tyler first, however. Governor General Medusa has instructed me to inform him that the Star Empire is prepared to extend government-guaranteed loans to any of its citizens who might be interested in investing here." Her smile turned sweeter. "I believe Baroness Medusa—and Her Majesty—believe it's the least we can do to help Monica recover from the consequences of that unfortunate event."

"That's remarkably generous of your Star Empire," Byng said.

"As I said, I'm sure everyone regrets what happened here, Admiral Byng. And Manticore's experience has been that extending a helping hand to ex-enemies and treating them as equals is one of the better ways to see to it that there's no repetition of all that unpleasantness."
"I see." Byng nodded. "Well, since you seem to have quite a lot that still needs doing, Admiral Gold Peak, I'll bid you good day."

"Thank you, Admiral. I hope your mission here is a successful one. Henke, clear."


*bows at Michelle Henke's feet, then drags her off for a beer and as many stories as I can convince her to share with exquisite politeness*
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:43 am

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12815
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Hutch wrote:This is pretty long, but given it's importance to the future history, the first conversation between Admirals Henke and Byng, in orbit around Monica, is worth recording here;

From Storm from the Shadows:

"I'm Admiral Josef Byng, Solarian League Navy," the white-uniformed man on her display said. "To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?"

Michelle managed to keep her jaw from tightening. She'd never thought much of SLN officers' efficiency, but she rather suspected that Byng's subordinates had at least bothered to inform him of the identity of his caller. And she'd asked for him by name and rank, which made his self-introduction a deliberate and patronizing insult.

I can already see how this is going to go, she thought.

"Vice Admiral Gold Peak," she replied. "Royal Manticoran Navy," she added helpfully, just in case he hadn't recognized the uniform, and had the satisfaction of seeing his lips tighten ever so slightly.

"What can I do for you today . . . Admiral Gold Peak?" he inquired after a moment.

"I only screened to extend my respects. It's not often we see a full Frontier Fleet admiral this far out in the sticks."

From the look in Byng's eyes, he appreciated being called a Frontier Fleet officer even less than Michelle had expected him to. That was nice.

"Well, it's not often we have the sort of . . . incident which occurred here in Monica, either, Admiral Gold Peak," Byng replied after a moment. "Given the Union of Monica's long-standing and friendly relations with the League, I'm sure you can understand why it seemed like a good idea to send someone of our own out here for a firsthand impression of events."

"I certainly can," Michelle agreed. "We felt a need to do the same thing after the unfortunate events here in Monica." She shook her head. "I'm sure all of us regret what happened after Captain Terekhov attempted to ascertain exactly what President Tyler's intentions were. According to our own investigations, those battlecruisers provided to him for his projected attack on the Lynx Terminus were supplied by Technodyne. Have your people been able to turn up anything more about that, Admiral?"

"No." Byng showed his teeth in something a professional diplomat might have described as a smile. "No, we haven't. In fact, according to the briefings I received when I was dispatched, we still haven't managed to confirm where they came from."

"Aside from the fact that they obviously came from the SLN. Originally, I mean." Michelle smiled, adding the carefully timed qualifier as Byng appeared to swell visibly. "Obviously, once ships are listed for disposal and handed over to private hands for scrapping, the Navy's responsibility for them is pretty much at an end. And the paper trail can easily become . . . obscured, as we all know. Especially if some criminal—and civilian, of course—type is doing his best to make it obscure."
"No doubt. My own experience in those areas is somewhat limited, however. I'm sure our own investigation will be looking very carefully at the recordkeeping of our various suppliers. No doubt Technodyne will be included in that process."

.....

"I'm sure it will be," she said instead. "In the meantime, however, may I assume you're also here in something of the role of observer of the Talbott Quadrant's integration into the Star Empire?"
"Star Empire?" Byng repeated, raising his eyebrows in polite surprise. "Is that what you've decided to call it?" He gave her a small, almost apologetic wave of his hand. "I'm afraid I hadn't heard that before I was deployed."

His tone made his own opinion of the delusions of grandeur involved in calling something the size of Manticore's new star nation an "empire," and Michelle smiled sweetly at him.

"Well, we had to call it something, Admiral. And given the political arrangements the Talbotters came up with at their constitutional convention, the term sounded logical. Of course, its early days yet, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is." Byng smiled back at her, but his smile was considerably colder than hers had been. "I'm sure it's going to be interesting to see how . . . successfully your experiment works out."

"So far, it seems to be going quite well," Michelle said.

"So far," he agreed, with another of those smiles. "In answer to your question, however, yes. I have been instructed to observe events out here in the Talbott area. I'm sure you're aware the public back home was deeply interested in events out here. Especially after that unfortunate business on Kornati began to make it into the newsfaxes." He shook his head sadly. "Personally, I'm confident the entire affair was grossly exaggerated—newsies do need to sell subscriptions, after all. Still, the Foreign Ministry does feel a certain responsibility to get a firsthand impression of events there, as well as throughout the Cluster. I'm sure you can understand why that would be the case."

"Oh, believe me," Michelle assured him with deadly affability, "I can understand exactly why that would be the case, Admiral Byng. And, speaking for Her Majesty and Her Majesty's government, I'm sure all of the Star Empire's new member systems will be prepared to extend every possible courtesy to you."

"That's very welcome news, Admiral."

"And, while you're here, Admiral, if there's any way Her Majesty's Navy can assist you—for example, if you would care to set up joint anti-piracy or anti-slavery patrols—I'm sure Admiral Khumalo would be as delighted as I would to coordinate our operations with you."

"That's very kind of you." Byng smiled again. "Of course, unlike your new Star Empire, the League has no direct territorial interests in this region. Aside from the security of our own allies in the area, that is. And, of course, the security—and territorial integrity—of those star systems which have been taken under the protection of the Office of Frontier Security. I believe we can see to those obligations out of our own resources. At least, it's difficult for me to conceive of a threat to those interests which we couldn't deal with out of our own resources."

"No doubt." Michelle smiled back at him. "Well, in that case, Admiral Byng, I won't keep you any longer. We won't be in Monica for very long. This was just in the nature of making certain our new allies here were secure, so I imagine we'll be on our way to Tillerman shortly. I need to pay a courtesy call on President Tyler first, however. Governor General Medusa has instructed me to inform him that the Star Empire is prepared to extend government-guaranteed loans to any of its citizens who might be interested in investing here." Her smile turned sweeter. "I believe Baroness Medusa—and Her Majesty—believe it's the least we can do to help Monica recover from the consequences of that unfortunate event."

"That's remarkably generous of your Star Empire," Byng said.

"As I said, I'm sure everyone regrets what happened here, Admiral Byng. And Manticore's experience has been that extending a helping hand to ex-enemies and treating them as equals is one of the better ways to see to it that there's no repetition of all that unpleasantness."
"I see." Byng nodded. "Well, since you seem to have quite a lot that still needs doing, Admiral Gold Peak, I'll bid you good day."

"Thank you, Admiral. I hope your mission here is a successful one. Henke, clear."

roseandheather wrote:*bows at Michelle Henke's feet, then drags her off for a beer and as many stories as I can convince her to share with exquisite politeness*

You two have driven me, driven me I say, to reread a few of this books lovely chapters.

I simply grow excited of the imageries of Michelle setting her jaw, firming her lips and giving an exasperated unlady-like snort with a ship heading to exact justice while taking her gloves off.

*all sorts of assorted sniffs and glees flee from me*

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   » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:04 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12815
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

I couldn't find this posted here, lest I overlooked it. Forgive the redumbdancy if so. Although part is in the one-liner's thread. So, with good intentions of correcting a grave oversight and supplying raw entertainment value...

Storm from the Shadows
"Are you seriously suggesting that Manpower's deliberately set out to embroil us in an all-out war with the Solarian League, Willie? That that's what they were really after in Monica?" Langtry asked, and Grantville shrugged.

"I don't know, Tony. For that matter, Manpower might simply have stumbled into all this. They may not have had any concerted plan from the get-go. For all I know, they've been improvising as they go along, and everything that's happening could be pure serendipity from their perspective. But whether they're behind what happened in New Tuscany or not—and the similarity to what happened at Monica does appear to be rather striking, doesn't it?—we're still faced with the consequences. I don't think anyone sitting at this table is likely to criticize Mike, Baroness Medusa, or Admiral Khumalo for their response to the destruction of Commodore Chatterjee's ships. I certainly don't, and I know Her Majesty doesn't. Under these circumstances, they're absolutely right; when that idiot Byng opened fire, it was an act of war."

He paused, letting that last sentence sink fully home, then shrugged.

"I know none of us really want to think about all the implications of that, but Mike, Medusa, and Khumalo had to do just that. And, frankly, I'm of the opinion that they've made the right call."

He glanced at the queen, who nodded her own agreement. She didn't look happy, but it was a very firm nod.

"Everything they've proposed is in strict accordance with our own existing, clearly enunciated policies and positions. More than that, it's all in strict accordance with interstellar law, as well. I'm quite sure that no one in the Solarian League ever thought for a moment that some 'neobarb navy' would ever have the sheer temerity to even contemplate applying that particular body of law to it, but that doesn't change the fact that the people responsible for deciding what to do about it have made the right choice. I suppose it's always possible that even Sollies will be able to recognize that, and, obviously, all of us hope the Solarian units in New Tuscany—assuming they're still there when our ships arrive—will comply with Mike's demands without any further loss of life. Unfortunately, we can't count on that.

"Even if they do, there are going to be plenty of Sollies who don't give a single solitary damn about what happened to our destroyers first," Langtry pointed out. "And for those people, whether any more shots are fired or not is going to be completely beside the point. We'll still be the 'neobarb navy' you were just talking about, Willie, and our 'arrogance' in daring to issue demands to them will constitute an act of war on our part, even if not a single one of their ships even has its paint scraped! After all, they're the Solarian League! They're important! Why, if the omnipotence of their Navy was ever challenged, it would be the end of civilized life as we know it! Assuming, of course, that the sheer impiety of anyone's having the audacity to even suggest that they should be held accountable for a minor thing like mass murder would probably bring about the end of the universe itself, given the fact that God is obviously a Solarian, too!"

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   » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:08 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 12815
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 pm

Storm from the Shadows

Anisimovna suffers a moment of guilty compassion. We really must get a pirated copy of Hammerwell. Seems it really does hath charm to soothe the savage beast.
Aldona Anisimovna reclined in a comfortable chair, eyes closed, while haunting strains of music filled the small, luxuriously appointed compartment. She didn't simply listen to the music; she absorbed it, as if all the skin on her body were one enormous receptor.

It was odd, a corner of her mind reflected dreamily. Of all the composers in the entire galaxy, it was a Manticoran who was her favorite. A Sphinxian, in fact. She'd never really understood why Hammerwell's skeins of melody spoke to her so strongly, yet they did, and there were times she needed that. Needed to let herself simply float upon the music, to empty herself of thoughts, of schemes and plans.

Of guilt.

Don't be silly, the part of her which hadn't been filled with woodwinds and the subtle interplay of brasses and strings scolded yet again. You're here as part of a strategy to provoke a war that's going to kill millions—probably billions—and you're agonizing over killing forty thousand people? You're coming a little late to that particular party, aren't you, Aldona? It certainly didn't seem to bother you very much during the planning stages.

No, it hadn't. But that had been when she was considering it as an abstract strategy, part of a carefully crafted piece of superlative manipulation, of the grand design which was going to have the greatest, most powerful political entity in the history of mankind dancing to the Mesan Alignment's piping. From that perspective, it had been . . . exciting. Enthralling. The sheer intoxication of playing the Great Game at such stratospheric heights and for such unimaginable stakes was like some powerful drug. There was a compulsion to it, a sense of reaching out near-godlike hands to take the entire universe by the throat and force it to do her bidding.

No wonder Albrecht is so fascinated with ancient mythology, she thought. I know he says it's to remind him of how many blunders all those ancient gods made because they were so convinced of their own power and so jealous of their own prerogatives. So petty and capricious. So unwilling to work together. Given what we're trying to accomplish, I suppose he's right, we really do need to remember the dangers of convincing ourselves that we're gods. I'm sure all of that's true . . . but it's really about Prometheus for him. About daring to steal the forbidden fire, to raise his hand—our hand—against all the established power of the galaxy and make it change.

Seen on that scale, the men, women, and children who had died aboard Giselle were literally insignificant. Such a small casualty total would be lost to the simple rounding process when the statisticians began counting up the cost of the Alignment's magnificent vision.

But that would only be after the Alignment had won, and this was now. This was when those deaths were fresh and immediate . . . and hers. Not a consequence of one of her strategies at a dozen removes, but deaths which she had personally ordered, personally contrived. It wasn't a Nordbrandt being provided with weapons through deniable cutouts and conduits. It was Aldona Anisimovna personally giving the order.

She'd get over it. She already knew that, although a part of her wanted to pretend she didn't. Pretend there truly was some inner core of innocence that would resist the next time something like this came along. But she knew herself too well to fool herself for long, and so she didn't even try. She simply sat back in her chair aboard the palatially furnished, streak drive-equipped "yacht" which had delivered her to New Tuscany, and let the music fill her.

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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