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Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3

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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by runsforcelery   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:41 am

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JohnRoth wrote:Yildun does not have any habitable planets. Everything is in orbital habitats. I suspect it might not be all that easy to separate Technodyne facilities from unassociated civilian facilities. Although, since Yildun has a major wormhole junction, I've wondered why it wasn't rolled up with Lacöon 2.



This is an excellent question, and the answer has several parts.

One part is that when Eric and I were writing Crown of Slaves, a couple of . . . incorrect modifiers got into print. For example, Crown says that Yildun is "almost exactly on the boundary between the ultra civilized core planets of the original League and the more recently settled systems" which is inaccurate. When we were working on the book, the map shared with Eric was marked with circles around the Sol System indicating the depth of the various components of the explored galaxy. That is, the point at which what is commonly known as the Verge begins and the Core ends and the point at which the Verge ends and the Fringe begins. The problem is that those distances are only approximations, and in some cases they are extremely approximate because the Fringe and Verge aren't neatly delineated circles. They are actually a lot more like clouds that inter-penetrate along boundaries that can be extremely erratic. The map Eric and I were working from was intended as an easy visual approximation, unlike my much more complicated master map, and that led to a description of Yildun's location that I really should have expanded upon in the editing process if I wanted to be fully accurate.

In fact, Yildun does lie at the distance from Sol to given in Crown . . . but in the wrong direction and in what you might think of as one of the “rifts” in the Fringe. In fact, it actually lies beyond the Fringe, in many ways, without very many settled stars in the vicinity and even fewer “outward” from it.

A second part is that although Yildun does have the “second oldest known wormhole Junction,” the hyper bridges in question are relatively short. The longest — the one connecting Yildun to the Templar System — is only 135 light-years long. Now, Templar, in turn, is only about 69.5 light-years from Sol itself, so in that sense Yildun (like Manticore) is very close to the heart of the League. The Yildun Junction, however, was discovered only when the single terminus in Templar was explored, and its two shorter bridges connect to the Dickerson System and the Mascot System, neither of which have additional termini, although Mascot is only about 42 light-years from Olivia, which is one terminus of a very long hyper bridge that ends up out in the sticks on the “southwestern” fringe of explored space.

From a shipping perspective, Yildun is important but not vital. The actual description in Crown may be a little misleading in that respect when it calls the system “a central hub for shipping.” It is a “hub” and its relative proximity to Sol (via Templar) does make it “central,” but it never handled remotely the amount of shipping that a single-terminus star system like Beowulf does because it doesn’t have Beowulf’s “central” location in terms of its physical proximity to the Sol System’s neighbors or to the peripheral arc of hyper bridges dominated by the Manticoran Junction.

Given Yildun’s position — virtually on the opposite side of the entire League from Manticore — and the Yildun Junction’s relatively short “legs," it actually has lower priority on Lacoön Two’s hit list than a lot of other, single-terminus systems. That is, in terms of its strategic location, Yildun is pretty far down the RMN’s to-do list. And given the fact that Yildun's defenses — especially Cataphract pods, one might safely assume — are probably even heavier than those of the Sol System, coupled with the "logistic" concerns I talk about below, any operation against it would require major fleet support (unlike most of Lacoön Two's wormhole seizures) and be fraught both complications and the potential for (indeed, the virtual certainty of) serious moral and political downsides.

While Yildun’s HQ and the traditional core of its manufacturing capacity lie in Yildun, it has enormous satellite locations in a great many other star systems. In fact, what is arguably its most important R&D facility is in the Sol System, co-located with Naval Station Ganymede, the biggest Solarian League Navy base in existence. Hitting the Yildun System would put a serious dent in Yildun’s productivity, but it would scarcely cripple it, given the number of secondary facilities which have been built up over the centuries. For example, there’s a facility (and major administrative center) in Mesa, although it isn’t a huge one (which was "taken out" — in more than one sense of the word, thanks to Operation Houdini — when Tenth Fleet arrived), and there are also significant satellite facilities in other Core systems. Yildun builds military hardware for a bunch of the smaller militaries, both inside and outside the League, as well as for the SLN. It’s huge. It’s also more of a dispersed target than many readers may have inferred from the passing references to it in earlier books. That’s my fault in the sense that I didn’t take the time or spend the words to make all of this clear in those earlier books. Trust me, there are a lot of bits and pieces of background information I haven’t “made clear” in an effort, both because it wasn't critical to the storytelling at that point and to avoid absolutely unbridled infodump proliferation.

There’s no question that Yildun would be a legitimate target in terms of its contribution to the Solarian war effort, but it would be a very messy target and difficult to hit without creating an Eridani Edict violation unless the attackers were prepared to bring with them transports with sufficient lift for four or five million civilians. Unlike a great many other star systems — like Beowulf itself, for example — Yildun has no neat divisions between civilian habitats and industrial facilities. The civilian habitats grew up specifically to serve the industrial infrastructure, rather than almost the other way around, as in the case of many other star systems. It was also built as what you might think of as “company housing” (although very nice company housing) by Yildun, so proximity to the “workplace” was a critical factor in its initial placement.

Since there is no convenient habitable world to which displaced civilians could be transported even temporarily, the attackers would be theoretically justified under the Eridani Edict in killing them in their millions anyway in a hit-and-run raid because they would be striking a legitimate target, not executing a terror attack, and there would be no way that civilians could be first evacuated to a place of safety as the Eridani Edict and Deneb Accords both specify. (Looking back at that sentence, I think probably it would have been better to say "it could be legally argued, by a particularly loathsome subspecies of lawyer" that it would be theoretically justified. However, at the moment the Alliance isn't being run by people who think that way . . . unlike the Solarian League. But I digress.)

There is no way that the galaxy at large would interpret an attack like that on Yildun that way, however. Far more significantly, in many ways, there is no way that Manticore, having experienced the Yawata Strike, is morally prepared to inflict those kinds of casualties. And from a coldly pragmatic perspective, striking Yildun and killing three or four million people would be in direct opposition to the Grand Alliance’s basic strategy (first enunciated by Honor) of not providing the Mandarins propagandists with the sort of gut-punching emotional rallying points that could truly unify the League in general against the Mandarins’ enemies. Or, for that matter, fuel post-more Solarian revanchism. If taking out Yildun would simultaneously take out most or all Solarian weapons production, then Manticore might well scare up enough personnel lift by refitting many of those huge, idled freighters and hit the system anyway. Given some of the very points which have been recently discussed about how Beowulf can put current generation Manticoran systems into production relatively quickly and smoothly, however, any hit to the League’s overall production base would be temporary and so outweighed by the logistic, pragmatically political, and moral arguments against the strike.

So the answer to your question about the reasons Yildun hasn’t already been visited by an Alliance task force or three is . . . complicated. I haven’t dealt with it in the books — and I don’t deal with it in Uncompromising Honor, either — because it would take me down a storytelling rabbit hole (or a side path, at any rate) that didn’t strike me as critical to telling the story. The final rough draft after tweaking is still right on the order of 289,000 words, which makes it a big book (even by my standards), and I eliminated three or four story “strands” that would have been more important than this one in order to control length.

Sorry!


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by Joat42   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:10 am

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runsforcelery wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:Yildun does not have any habitable planets. Everything is in orbital habitats. I suspect it might not be all that easy to separate Technodyne facilities from unassociated civilian facilities. Although, since Yildun has a major wormhole junction, I've wondered why it wasn't rolled up with Lacöon 2.



This is an excellent question, and the answer has several parts.
..snip..
Sorry!

Nothing to be sorry about. I suspect all authors that writes a long series have tons of stories that would be interesting to write that fleshes out their universe but it wouldn't move the main plot forward which tends to make the fans restive.

On another note, it would be interesting to have access to the master map though, since most of the maps we have are derived from different printed ones which aren't too accurate.

I can understand that from a authors perspective it may be sub-optimal to publish the complete master map since it may spoil future plot events. And redacting it for publishing takes time from other tasks...

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by Bewildered   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:15 am

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How widespread is knowledge of the Yawata Strike? Is it largely limited to Manticore, or is it universal knowledge? Sorry it's been a while since I read the HH series and I'm a little rusty on the details. The reason I ask is if the SLN start doing scorched-earth attacks against neutrals, what is to prevent Manticore, or a third party, loading up a freighter or two with missiles, jumping to way outside detection range, then launching a heavy bombardment on a ballistic approach? Such a technique would only work on stationary targets but that includes all the infrastructure supporting the SU. True a minor player couldn't hit a major target, but revenge raids and accidental Eridani Edict violations seem plausible in light of a 'rogue' SLN, and post-Yawata universe.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by Joat42   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:30 am

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Bewildered wrote:How widespread is knowledge of the Yawata Strike? Is it largely limited to Manticore, or is it universal knowledge? Sorry it's been a while since I read the HH series and I'm a little rusty on the details. The reason I ask is if the SLN start doing scorched-earth attacks against neutrals, what is to prevent Manticore, or a third party, loading up a freighter or two with missiles, jumping to way outside detection range, then launching a heavy bombardment on a ballistic approach? Such a technique would only work on stationary targets but that includes all the infrastructure supporting the SU. True a minor player couldn't hit a major target, but revenge raids and accidental Eridani Edict violations seem plausible in light of a 'rogue' SLN, and post-Yawata universe.

I can't see anyone from Manticore or the Grand Alliance doing that, those tactics are light-years removed from what Manticore and the GA stands for.

Also, from a PR standpoint they would create a public backlash of epic proportions and currently the GA doesn't need that kind of PR...

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by cthia   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:31 am

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snip

Since there is no convenient habitable world to which displaced civilians could be transported even temporarily, the attackers would be theoretically justified under the Eridani Edict in killing them in their millions anyway in a hit-and-run raid because they would be striking a legitimate target, not executing a terror attack, and there would be no way that civilians could be first evacuated to a place of safety as the Eridani Edict and Deneb Accords both specify. (Looking back at that sentence, I think probably it would have been better to say "it could be legally argued, by a particularly loathsome subspecies of lawyer" that it would be theoretically justified. However, at the moment the Alliance isn't being run by people who think that way . . . unlike the Solarian League. But I digress.)


snip


Disproves everything I thought I knew about the Deneb Accords and the Eridani Edict. I don't understand how even a sleazy lawyer can mitigate himself out of that hot seat. A scorching-hot seat.

And the inference that such a strike is not outside the thinking of the obviously barbarous, murderous, idiotic SLN is EXHIBIT C.

Moment of silence for Beowulf?

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: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by cthia   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:49 am

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Bewildered wrote:How widespread is knowledge of the Yawata Strike? Is it largely limited to Manticore, or is it universal knowledge? Sorry it's been a while since I read the HH series and I'm a little rusty on the details. The reason I ask is if the SLN start doing scorched-earth attacks against neutrals, what is to prevent Manticore, or a third party, loading up a freighter or two with missiles, jumping to way outside detection range, then launching a heavy bombardment on a ballistic approach? Such a technique would only work on stationary targets but that includes all the infrastructure supporting the SU. True a minor player couldn't hit a major target, but revenge raids and accidental Eridani Edict violations seem plausible in light of a 'rogue' SLN, and post-Yawata universe.


Technically, nothing is stopping them other than their own integrity --morals, scruples and values. (And politics.) Holding steadfast to her integrity has always stood Elizabeth, and Manticore, in good stead. There is absolutely no reason to abandon it now, especially in light of the indomitable tech advantage.

The difference is that the SLN has found out the result of intransigence and consequence and the arrogance of resting on its laurels. Eridani violations may be their only option. The hit and run of cowards with no other recourse.

Although Manticore can deliver tit for tat, they don't have to. The RMN's tech gives them the option of a "scorched space" policy, instead of a scorched Earth.

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: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by TangoLima   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:19 pm

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RFC I vote you keep writing and make it a two volume set,
but that just my greedy reading eyes talking.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by phillies   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:50 pm

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We are all always grateful for these interesting asides.

We all look forward to future volumes whose working titles might be Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela (well, they are all wars with Darius, aren't they?)

As another question for a thread that likely vanished. I somehow have the impression that at some point human expansion somewhat ran out of steam, so that we have Core, Shell, and Verge systems, with the boundary within which barbarians are subject to the beneficent rule of the OFS gradually expanding, but we don't see references to efforts to expand outwards. Are these ongoing?
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by TangoLima   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:18 pm

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Actually I suspect that the expansion is still going
strong. Some will want to get far, far, away from the
maddening crowd.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor, Snippet #3
Post by n7axw   » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:59 pm

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cthia wrote:
Bewildered wrote:How widespread is knowledge of the Yawata Strike? Is it largely limited to Manticore, or is it universal knowledge? Sorry it's been a while since I read the HH series and I'm a little rusty on the details. The reason I ask is if the SLN start doing scorched-earth attacks against neutrals, what is to prevent Manticore, or a third party, loading up a freighter or two with missiles, jumping to way outside detection range, then launching a heavy bombardment on a ballistic approach? Such a technique would only work on stationary targets but that includes all the infrastructure supporting the SU. True a minor player couldn't hit a major target, but revenge raids and accidental Eridani Edict violations seem plausible in light of a 'rogue' SLN, and post-Yawata universe.


Technically, nothing is stopping them other than their own integrity --morals, scruples and values. (And politics.) Holding steadfast to her integrity has always stood Elizabeth, and Manticore, in good stead. There is absolutely no reason to abandon it now, especially in light of the indomitable tech advantage.

The difference is that the SLN has found out the result of intransigence and consequence and the arrogance of resting on its laurels. Eridani violations may be their only option. The hit and run of cowards with no other recourse.

Although Manticore can deliver tit for tat, they don't have to. The RMN's tech gives them the option of a "scorched space" policy, instead of a scorched Earth.


My wager is still that Beowulf is successfully defended from attack by SLN, but suffers a bio weapons attack by the Alignment.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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