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Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?

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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by Fox2!   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:54 am

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Scene takes place sometime in November 1922PD, I suspect. Of course, those idiots haven't realized that they should have started Operation Houdini when they activated Operation Oyster Bay.


That should have been the obvious decision.
Announce to the galaxy that somebody has a set of previously unknown capabilities, decades in advance of plan. Fail to anticipate that those attacked would point the finger at you. Have intelligence agents from attacked star nation escape with defecting scientist, while a soured counter-intelligence creates a distraction by setting off the self-destruct mechanism in one of your most secret research centers. Create further disruption by attempting to assassinate the hostess of a peace conference. Attempt to assassinate the commander of main offensive fleet, using nanotech strikingly similar to that used in attempt on peace treaty hostess, and suspected in other assassination attempts. Which points to you as the source of the weaponized nanotech. Start escape plan for key personnel six to 12 months too late. Victory!
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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by CDRE Arghun   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:06 am

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Oh RFC read from an upcoming work at Manticon. And he gave a choice of two things to read - so THAT may be the two other projects.

(And no I am not telling what he read. Love ya David!)
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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by pappilon   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:26 am

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Fox2! wrote:
Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Scene takes place sometime in November 1922PD, I suspect. Of course, those idiots haven't realized that they should have started Operation Houdini when they activated Operation Oyster Bay.


That should have been the obvious decision.
Announce to the galaxy that somebody has a set of previously unknown capabilities, decades in advance of plan. Fail to anticipate that those attacked would point the finger at you. Have intelligence agents from attacked star nation escape with defecting scientist, while a soured counter-intelligence creates a distraction by setting off the self-destruct mechanism in one of your most secret research centers. Create further disruption by attempting to assassinate the hostess of a peace conference. Attempt to assassinate the commander of main offensive fleet, using nanotech strikingly similar to that used in attempt on peace treaty hostess, and suspected in other assassination attempts. Which points to you as the source of the weaponized nanotech. Start escape plan for key personnel six to 12 months too late. Victory!


Which obviously caused Admiral Steader Bitch to go berserk and kill Pritchard's security guard, reload the finger pistol, plant it securely in Pritchard's ear and ... request she return as her guest to Manticore to sign a peace treaty. When all Prichard & Theisman want to do is stick their fingers back into the meat grinder that is Honor's fleet armed with Apollo system missiles.

Ok, I see that. Probably should have started as soon as the GA was announced instead of waiting for Filareta to take his nanite induced swan dive. Just because a newly back from medical leave Captain with no royal connection took on Monica with scant evidence would lead one to believe that Admiral the-5th-in-line-to-inherit-the-throne would be too afraid of career repercussions to take on Mesa after dealing with the entire Meyers sector.
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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by kzt   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:39 am

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I still think having the Monica plot discovered just a bit too late would have made for a more interesting situation.
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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by pappilon   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:12 am

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kzt wrote:I still think having the Monica plot discovered just a bit too late would have made for a more interesting situation.


Huzzah Huzzah! More Battle Porn & more Raghnild Pavletek. Derails Ginger's first command, Helen's tour as flag LT. and Abigail as TO. Ok fair trade.
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by JohnRoth   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:59 am

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:Scene takes place sometime in November 1922PD, I suspect. Of course, those idiots haven't realized that they should have started Operation Houdini when they activated Operation Oyster Bay.


They should have had it as a contingency as soon as the Lynx terminus was discovered.
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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by runsforcelery   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:02 pm

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pappilon wrote:
Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Scene takes place sometime in November 1922PD, I suspect. Of course, those idiots haven't realized that they should have started Operation Houdini when they activated Operation Oyster Bay.


Fox2! wrote:
That should have been the obvious decision.
Announce to the galaxy that somebody has a set of previously unknown capabilities, decades in advance of plan. Fail to anticipate that those attacked would point the finger at you. Have intelligence agents from attacked star nation escape with defecting scientist, while a soured counter-intelligence creates a distraction by setting off the self-destruct mechanism in one of your most secret research centers. Create further disruption by attempting to assassinate the hostess of a peace conference. Attempt to assassinate the commander of main offensive fleet, using nanotech strikingly similar to that used in attempt on peace treaty hostess, and suspected in other assassination attempts. Which points to you as the source of the weaponized nanotech. Start escape plan for key personnel six to 12 months too late. Victory!


Which obviously caused Admiral Steader Bitch to go berserk and kill Pritchard's security guard, reload the finger pistol, plant it securely in Pritchard's ear and ... request she return as her guest to Manticore to sign a peace treaty. When all Prichard & Theisman want to do is stick their fingers back into the meat grinder that is Honor's fleet armed with Apollo system missiles.

Ok, I see that. Probably should have started as soon as the GA was announced instead of waiting for Filareta to take his nanite induced swan dive. Just because a newly back from medical leave Captain with no royal connection took on Monica with scant evidence would lead one to believe that Admiral the-5th-in-line-to-inherit-the-throne would be too afraid of career repercussions to take on Mesa after dealing with the entire Meyers sector.


Okay, let’s look at some timeline here. Now, I realize that I have an unfair advantage in that I actually have the complete timeline, but the general sequence of what I’m going to be talking about should be pretty clear from the books.

Battle of Monica – 2/22/1921
Anisimovna arrives back in Mesa — 4/12/21
Damien Harahap recruited for Operation Janus — 5/5/21
Pequod System incident (first step in the New Tuscany operation) — 7/12/21
Operation Beatrice (First Battle of Manticore) — 7/24/21
Green Pines Incident (Simões’ defection) — 10/2/21
Admiral Byng destroys RMN DDs at New Tuscany — 10/21/21
Michelle Henke destroys Admiral Byng at New Tuscany — 11/17/21
Admiral Crandall leaves Meyers for Spindle — 12/31/21
Battle of Spindle (aka Crandall Comes a Cropper) — 2/10/22
Oyster Bay — 2/26/22
Filareta leaves Tasmania for Manticore — 4/30/22
Second Battle of Manticore (aka Filareta Takes the Fall) — 6/11/22
news of 2nd Manticore (and the Grand Alliance) reaches Mesa — 6/20/22
Operation Houdini stood up — 6/21/22
Mike Henke leaves Montana for Tillerman — 7/10/22
Mike Henke leaves Tillerman for the Myers System — 7/21/22
Mike Henke conquers the Myers System — 8/11/22
Mike Henke invades Mesa — 11/3/22

Now, this means that a total of almost exactly 16 months pass between the Battle of Monica and the beginning of Operation Houdini. But only four months pass between Oyster Bay and Albrecht Detweiler’s decision to order an expedited Operation Houdini following the 2nd Battle of Manticore. (And note that the original Houdini ops plan was designed as a rapid withdrawal of the core of the Onion from Mesa; when Albrecht ordered it expedited it became a crash extraction. This is significant because of a point I’ll be making below.)

Up until Filareta got hammered at Manticore, nobody in the Alignment had any reason to believe that anybody in Manticore — or anywhere else — had any clue that the Alignment existed. Yes, in Oyster Bay the Alignment revealed the existence of new technologies and capabilities, but there were exactly zero fingerprints pointing to Mesa, the Mesan Alignment, or (for that matter) any identifiable actor. In the time which had passed between then and Second Manticore, there’d been no sign that anyone had a clue who’d been responsible for it, for the very good reason that no one did.

The Alignment knew that Zilwicki and Cachat had been on Mesa back in October of the previous year (eight months before 2nd Manticore), but it also “knew” that both of them had been killed, that McBryde was dead, and that Simões had died in the explosion. There was no evidence that they’d gotten away with anything they might have learned, far less a living, talking witness, and there was a ton of evidence that they’d died, instead.

So, all of the investigations and hoopla coming out of the Battle of Monica point at Technodyne and other Solarian transstellars. Then eight full months pass between Green Pines and Filareta’s Fall, with no indication that anyone in Manticore or Haven has any knowledge at all of the Alignment’s existence (other than the “well, somebody built the damned spider drive ships”) or the fact that it’s operating out of Mesa. The Alignment has no reason at all to believe that its existence has been compromised until, all of a sudden, in the wake of 2nd Manticore, this new Grand Alliance is announced as a bolt out of the blue and for the first time in history anyone outside the Alignment suggests that it might exist.

And it takes Albrecht less than one full day to order the expedited Houdini. The Alignment had already been moving its operations to Darius. They couldn’t pull the folks earmarked for evacuation in Houdini out of Mesa in a mass extraction without risking somebody’s noticing, but what you might think of as a slow-motion Houdini had been in operation for literally years. The fact is that Albrecht reacted extraordinarily quickly to the implications of the Alignment’s discovery, and he was ruthless enough to realize that he was going to have to kill an awful lot of people who he had never wanted to kill if he was going to cover his tracks in the shortened timeframe he was now fully aware applied. This is the point I said I’d be making. The Alignment was in the process of removing every trace of its existence from Mesa well before anyone ever learned it existed; Houdini had already been planned as a contingency for a more rapid withdrawal; and the expedited Houdini was authorized within less than 24 hours after Albrecht learned that the Alignment’s existence had leaked. Under the original Houdini plan, quite a lot of the installations which were taken out with nuclear bombs in the expedited version would have been quietly demolished without the need to kill any innocent bystanders. None of the personnel from inside the Onion would have been left behind. There would have been no need for megadeaths to cover the untraceable disappearance of a few thousand individuals.

The only “foolish” thing Albrecht did (note that I am not commenting on the morality of his actions) was to insist that he wasn’t leaving until the last of the second-tier evacuees were out of the system, and he did that because he felt a genuine sense of responsibility and he already knew a lot of “his people” who’d thought they were getting out were going to die, instead. You can call it an act of contrition, you can call it salving his conscience, or you can call it the captain’s responsibility to his passengers and crew, but whatever it was, he was going to wait until the last minute — until the last person he could get out had been gotten out — before he left. And his wife wasn’t going to leave without him. They had even less time than they’d thought they had because Michelle acted with such rapidity. It’s important to remember here that they predicted exactly what she was going to do. Under the circumstances, and given that she moved not towards Mesa but towards Myers in July, a month after Albrecht authorized the expedited evacuation, they ought to have had time to get a lot more people — including him — out. It was the speed of her reaction that confounded them, not how she reacted.

The Alignment has made a lot of mistakes, but I think that if you take into consideration the speed at which information moves in the Honorverse and when it’s become aware of critical facts, its footwork actually hasn’t been all that bad. And without Simões and McBryde, the Grand Alliance still wouldn’t know who’d been behind Oyster Bay, there wouldn’t be a Grand Alliance, and Manticore would be looking at the short end of a war of attrition because it wouldn’t have an infinite supply of Mark 23s. The Solarian League would still have gotten hurt one hell of a lot worse than any one in Old Chicago could even have imagined — which was, when you come down to it — what the Alignment wanted, but without the backing of Haven (and Beowulf) Manticore would ultimately have lost against something with the League’s sheer size. As soon as the Alignment learned that its existence had been discovered, it reacted very quickly to get out of Dodge. Until that happened, it could afford to proceed with the slow and steady withdrawal which, hopefully, would neither have killed people in job lots nor left anything behind to start its enemies wondering if it had ever existed.

(Edited to clean up a slightly convoluted turn of phrase. ;) )
Last edited by runsforcelery on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by Eagleeye   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:15 pm

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Thanks for the explanation, RFC, but I still have a question. The news of Operation Beatrice hit the Alignment unexpected. I think, that's safe to say. They reacted to that news by activation of Oyster Bay; even if they knew the Oyster Bay they could manage wasn't the operation they intended initially. They planned to wait, because they wanted to use the Detweilers, if I remember correctly.

But if things are rushing - and do it in a way they're not expected to - should that not ring some alarm bells? Why not analyze the new situation and adapt their plans as far as possible?

Or is the ... age of this conspiracy somewhat like a mental rock? Is the MAlign simply not on the right mental footing for making such drastic decisions in time - even if they think they are?
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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by runsforcelery   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:44 pm

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Eagleeye wrote:Thanks for the explanation, RFC, but I still have a question. The news of Operation Beatrice hit the Alignment unexpected. I think, that's safe to say. They reacted to that news by activation of Oyster Bay; even if they knew the Oyster Bay they could manage wasn't the operation they intended initially. They planned to wait, because they wanted to use the Detweilers, if I remember correctly.

But if things are rushing - and do it in a way they're not expected to - should that not ring some alarm bells? Why not analyze the new situation and adapt their plans as far as possible?

Or is the ... age of this conspiracy somewhat like a mental rock? Is the MAlign simply not on the right mental footing for making such drastic decisions in time - even if they think they are?



What make you think they haven't?

The alignment was nearing the point at which they were supposed to begin engineering the breakup of the Solarian League.

Previously, the main threat to their plan had been seen as the Republic of Haven (pre-People’s Republic of Haven), which would have offered a countervailing source of authority, security, and legitimacy to challenge their own Renaissance Factor. So, a couple of centuries earlier, they set about accomplishing the triple purposes of crippling the Republic of Haven’s economy, delegitimizing it in the eyes of the galaxy's neutrals, and creating the tool they needed to smash the League when the time came. The way they decided to do that was to get behind the creation of the People’s Republic of Haven and push.

The primary secondary threat to the Renaissance Factor’s planned dominance was the Star Kingdom of Manticore, which was supposed to be eliminated by the People’s Republic of Haven. Under this subhead of the plan, there would be no Star Kingdom and the PRH would be a very large — and very distrusted — star nation with lots of territory, lots of military muscle, and probably still in straitened economic circumstances. The conflict needed to break up the League would be engineered against the PRH, and the People’s Republic would not be very attractive to neutrals as an alternative to the League, especially with the Renaissance Factor waiting in the wings. In other words, they’d be back to the master plan, and — working through their contacts with Technodyne — they could make sure that the League’s military capabilities were at least in shouting range of the PRH’s when the nickel dropped.

Unfortunately, King Roger ushered in an entirely new era in war-fighting technology, the Star Kingdom of Manticore turned into a military powerhouse, and with the discovery of the Lynx Terminus, the Star Empire of Manticore looked like being an even greater threat. It had certainly supplanted the original Republic of Haven as a long-term threat to the master plan, and its extension into the Talbott Sector posed a short-term and immediate threat to the Mesa System.

In short, the emergence of the SEM was an existential threat that had to be seen too. So, how did they do that? They did it (hopefully) by taking out the Manticore Binary System and the Grayson shipyards through Oyster Bay. Remember that at this point Eloise Pritchart was still very much an unknown quantity, but she had gone back to war against the Star Kingdom and she had rolled the dice in Operation Beatrice. Yes, she’d been trying to negotiate an end to the fighting, but they’d clearly spiked that wheel, and if they presented her with an opportunity for outright victory in the wake of Oyster Bay — and after the losses that the Republic had taken in Operation Beatrice — it really wasn’t unreasonable to expect her to take it. However altruistic she might be, she was the chief executive of a star nation which had been on the very brink of defeat for a second time and who’d clearly been willing to risk thousands — hundreds of thousands — of combat deaths to prevent that.

Setting up the planned war between a post-Pritchart Haven and the Solarian League might be more difficult following the elimination of the SEM, but remember that the Alignment had been . . . meddling significantly in the PRH’s domestic politics for a long time and that Eloise and Tom Theisman were still trying to ride a rather skittish mount, as Giancola’s machinations demonstrated. It was entirely possible that it would be possible to engineer the departure of Eloise Pritchart/Boris Yeltsin and replace her with Arnold Giancola Mark II/Vladimir Putin, at which point they could be off to the races once more. In fact, a Republic of Haven which returned to the model of the People’s Republic of Haven after having acquired the Manticoran Wormhole Junction and ingested Manticore’s tech would be an even more dangerous threat to the League in the fullness of time. And, of course, the Alignment could go right ahead with its plan to feed the League the amount of tech needed to be sure that the war between it and Haven was as mutually destructive as necessary.

The problem was that Pritchart didn’t bite. And, to be honest, the main reason that she didn’t was Jack McBryde’s conscience.

She didn’t want to hit Manticore again, and one of the reasons she didn’t was to avoid giving any encouragement to the elements in the ROH that wanted to go back to the old ways. But she would have been derelict in her responsibilities if she hadn’t at the very least used Oyster Bay and its consequences as a spiked club to bludgeon the Manties into a peace settlement, and probably one that would favor the Republic significantly and have at least some of the effect that the outright conquest of Manticore would have had. And, just in case Pritchart didn’t come up to scratch, they set the Crandall/Filareta strand of their operation into motion in order to use the League to crush Manticore. That was definitely their second choice, however, because they really didn’t want the League getting its hands on the full panoply of Manticoran war-fighting capability. Still and all, the most probable outcome was that Filareta would get beaten, he’d take a further bite out of the Manties, and at that point the Republic of Haven – who really, really wouldn’t want the League controlling the Manticore Junction — would be under even more pressure to swoop in and snap up Manticore.

But then Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat turned up with Herlander Simões in tow and evidence of something called the “Mesan Alignment,” and Pritchart saw a third way. "Since we have a common enemy, why don’t we make peace by becoming allies instead of by one of us conquering the other one and go break the bastards’ kneecaps together?” Eloise Pritchart is a very nice person; she is also a hardened assassin and as pragmatic as they come. She didn’t propose her alliance to Elizabeth Winton just because she was that “nice person.” She did it because she wants the toughest bitch in the galaxy — after her, perhaps — watching her back while the two of them figure out why this “Alignment” wants to destroy both of them. The fact that she is a good person and that she and Elizabeth hit it off like a house on fire was icing on the cake, not something she counted on.

So the point at which the Alignment’s “master plan” truly broke down was Jack McBryde. Oyster Bay probably would have put it back on the rails if Pritchart hadn’t been handed the silver bullet that would let her propose an alliance with her star nation’s most bitter enemies and have it accepted.

As of the activation of the expedited Houdini, it’s been less than four months since Oyster Bay was launched and 24 hours since Albrecht Detweiler found out that (1) Anton Zilwicki wasn’t dead; (2) Herlander Simões wasn’t dead; (3) Jack McBryde had sold out the fact of the Alignment’s existence; and (4) the star nation they’d been planning to use to destroy the Star Empire was now its ally, instead.

I think you’re probably expecting just a little too much for even the most brilliant conspirators in all of human history (which I’m not saying the Detweilers are) to do any fundamental “reanalysis” and adaption in that brief a time window. :lol:

For that matter, I’d argue that Oyster Bay and Operation Janus themselves represented a significant amount of adaptation in the face of changing parameters. And don’t forget that the key element in their recognition that they had an immediate problem was really the emergence of Apollo. The danger of a negotiated settlement between Manticore and Haven was bad enough, and the extension of the Star Kingdom into the Talbott Quadrant made it still worse, but up until the Manties deployed Apollo, there was no indication that the war was about to come to a screeching stop, especially after their assassinations had succeeded in derailing Pritchart’s bid for face-to-face negotiations with Elizabeth.

In my own opinion, Albrecht’s biggest mistake was to order Honor’s assassination. He had all kinds of eminently logical reasons, by his lights, for doing it, but there was another element — which you’ll find out about in Uncompromising — in his thinking which was just a tad more personal. It should have worked, however. In fact, it would have worked if not for the serious paranoia of Doctor (ex-Commander, ex-Sergeant) Harrington, which led him to embed a gun in his daughter’s artificial hand. For that matter, there was very little evidence of the “killer nanotech” even in Haven when Grosclaude flew his air car into the wall of the gorge. If Honor hadn’t been able to “taste” Timothy Mears’ emotions — if she hadn’t known that he was trying desperately not to kill her — it's highly unlikely that the investigation would have been pushed beyond the attitude of the CID officer she kicked off of the case. And in that case, the assumption would have been that either Mears went off his rocker or that he’d somehow been suborned. Certainly nobody in Manticore would have been looking for evidence to support the ludicrous conspiracy theories of a Havenite ex-spy and current policeman! It was not so much the attempt to kill Honor that was the mistake. The mistake was failing to kill someone who the Alignment had no way of knowing was a functional empath who would therefore know that something could compel an otherwise devoted subordinate and “honorary nephew” to murder her. And even that wouldn’t have been fatal if the McBryde/Simões revelations hadn’t led to Kevin Usher effectively comparing notes with Patricia Givens.

I think there’s a bit of a tendency to assume that because — as I’ve said myself, on more than one occasion — the Alignment’s fundamental goal is irrational that the people trying to achieve that goal are also irrational. Given their starting assumptions (which is always the only legitimate starting point for evaluating someone’s objectives and capabilities), they are smart, imaginative, rational, and very, very dangerous. The fact that they are also raving lunatics because of that goal’s irrationality doesn’t change that any more than the fact that Hitler’s irrational views on racism prevented him from being a deadly threat to Europe and the world.
Last edited by runsforcelery on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Out of order snippet? WHAT out of order snippet?
Post by isaac_newton   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:01 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:
Eagleeye wrote:Thanks for the explanation, RFC, but I still have a question. The news of Operation Beatrice hit the Alignment unexpected. I think, that's safe to say. They reacted to that news by activation of Oyster Bay; even if they knew the Oyster Bay they could manage wasn't the operation they intended initially. They planned to wait, because they wanted to use the Detweilers, if I remember correctly.

But if things are rushing - and do it in a way they're not expected to - should that not ring some alarm bells? Why not analyze the new situation and adapt their plans as far as possible?

Or is the ... age of this conspiracy somewhat like a mental rock? Is the MAlign simply not on the right mental footing for making such drastic decisions in time - even if they think they are?



What make you think they haven't?

SNIP ll trying to ride a rather skittish mount, as Giancola’s machinations demonstrated. It was entirely possible that it would be possible to engineer the departure of Eloise Pritchart/Boris Yeltsin and replace her with Arnold Giancola Mark II/Vladimir Putin, at which point they could be off to the races once more. In fact, a Republic of Haven which returned to the model of the People’s Republic of Haven after having acquired the Manticoran Wormhole Junction and ingested Manticore’s tech would be an even more dangerous threat to the League in the fullness of time. And, of course, the Alignment could go right ahead with its plan to feed the League the amount of tech needed to be sure that the war between it and Haven was as mutually destructive as necessary.
SNIP .



Really appreciate this snippet and the earlier explanation of the time lines.

BUT - are you being careful of your own health? Comparing Eloise to Boris Yeltsin may get a certain Rose after you with the extra sharpe pitch forks!!
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