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And on the third... Spoilers

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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by JohnRoth   » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:40 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:This is awkward to do on the phone, but here’s one do the places the ‘cat’s effectiveness at finding spies was discussed.
UC wrote:She twitched her head in the direction of the SIS Director and Patricia Givens, and Honor nodded. One unanticipated—although it darned well should have been anticipated—advantage of the treecat bodyguards was the enormous edge they gave counter-intelligence agents. There still weren’t enough of them—treecats were a top-tier predator species; their population densities had always been low—but they’d already made their presence felt in a big way. The vetting process was still in its early stages, but the human-’cat teams had already unmasked no less than eleven spies in the upper levels of the ministries’ professional staffs. Four of them had “died of natural causes” when they realized they’d been detected, which left little doubt about who they’d been working for. The seven who hadn’t died didn’t know who their employers had been.


Thank you - that's one of the scenes I thought I remembered.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by JohnRoth   » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:45 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:This is awkward to do on the phone, but here’s one of the places the ‘cat’s effectiveness at finding spies was discussed.
UC wrote:She twitched her head in the direction of the SIS Director and Patricia Givens, and Honor nodded. One unanticipated—although it darned well should have been anticipated—advantage of the treecat bodyguards was the enormous edge they gave counter-intelligence agents. There still weren’t enough of them—treecats were a top-tier predator species; their population densities had always been low—but they’d already made their presence felt in a big way. The vetting process was still in its early stages, but the human-’cat teams had already unmasked no less than eleven spies in the upper levels of the ministries’ professional staffs. Four of them had “died of natural causes” when they realized they’d been detected, which left little doubt about who they’d been working for. The seven who hadn’t died didn’t know who their employers had been.

tlb wrote:Thank you (I assume you mean UH, instead of UC). I will start rereading in the morning, clearly I need a refresher.
The strategy to have people die immediately on questioning seems strange, because it marks them as agents. The SL is even thinking people who do not die are okay. Is there another route Malign could have taken that would not be so obvious?


They were assuming that their cloak of "too insane to be true" was the first line of defense. When the incident on Torch blew that defense out of the water, it was too late to invent something else and distribute it.

Then Barregos discovered it independently, and the team on Earth did the same, although they had Barregos' information to correlate.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by JohnRoth   » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:35 pm

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I found another of the passages suggesting that the treecats are helping find spies. It's on p. 402, the paragraph beginning "'fraid not," Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been.

Unfortunately I can't post it because I don't have a machine-readable copy.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by Weird Harold   » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:28 am

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JohnRoth wrote:I found another of the passages suggesting that the treecats are helping find spies. It's on p. 402, the paragraph beginning "'fraid not," Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been.


Uncompromising Honor
eARC wrote:
“’Fraid not.” Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been. “I had a report from him a couple of days ago. Apparently, the Manties are rolling up his networks in a big way. We always knew there was a risk of that—once those bastards Zilwicki and Cachat blew the top off, they were bound to start looking under every rock—but this appears to be worse than our worst-case assumptions. So far, we don’t have a clue how they’re doing it, and however they’re pulling it off, they’re obviously working their way down from the top. It seems to be spreading to Beowulf, too, although it looks like it’s going slower there. And I’m afraid we took out his best bet for getting us the kind of info your people need ourselves. Oyster Bay killed a lot of the agents he’d managed to insert into their construction units.”


That doesn't suggest anything about Treecats unless the reader already knows Treecats are involved.
.
.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by ldwechsler   » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:04 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:I found another of the passages suggesting that the treecats are helping find spies. It's on p. 402, the paragraph beginning "'fraid not," Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been.


Uncompromising Honor
eARC wrote:
“’Fraid not.” Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been. “I had a report from him a couple of days ago. Apparently, the Manties are rolling up his networks in a big way. We always knew there was a risk of that—once those bastards Zilwicki and Cachat blew the top off, they were bound to start looking under every rock—but this appears to be worse than our worst-case assumptions. So far, we don’t have a clue how they’re doing it, and however they’re pulling it off, they’re obviously working their way down from the top. It seems to be spreading to Beowulf, too, although it looks like it’s going slower there. And I’m afraid we took out his best bet for getting us the kind of info your people need ourselves. Oyster Bay killed a lot of the agents he’d managed to insert into their construction units.”


That doesn't suggest anything about Treecats unless the reader already knows Treecats are involved.


They already knew about treecats. Not everything but the fact that the attack on Torch was aborted had to tell something and they've been following what happened with the treecats for a long time. Remember also that Honor and Nimitz's actions on Grayson were widely reported.

In THIS instance, the Dets were talking about how many people they lost on the space stations...probably the highest concentration of spies they had were there since that's where the navy mainly functioned.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by JohnRoth   » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:03 pm

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JohnRoth wrote:I found another of the passages suggesting that the treecats are helping find spies. It's on p. 402, the paragraph beginning "'fraid not," Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been.


Weird Harold wrote:
Uncompromising Honor
eARC wrote:
“’Fraid not.” Benjamin shook his head, his expression much less cheerful than it had been. “I had a report from him a couple of days ago. Apparently, the Manties are rolling up his networks in a big way. We always knew there was a risk of that—once those bastards Zilwicki and Cachat blew the top off, they were bound to start looking under every rock—but this appears to be worse than our worst-case assumptions. So far, we don’t have a clue how they’re doing it, and however they’re pulling it off, they’re obviously working their way down from the top. It seems to be spreading to Beowulf, too, although it looks like it’s going slower there. And I’m afraid we took out his best bet for getting us the kind of info your people need ourselves. Oyster Bay killed a lot of the agents he’d managed to insert into their construction units.”


That doesn't suggest anything about Treecats unless the reader already knows Treecats are involved.


ldwechsler wrote:They already knew about treecats. Not everything but the fact that the attack on Torch was aborted had to tell something and they've been following what happened with the treecats for a long time. Remember also that Honor and Nimitz's actions on Grayson were widely reported.

In THIS instance, the Dets were talking about how many people they lost on the space stations...probably the highest concentration of spies they had were there since that's where the navy mainly functioned.


The last two sentences in the quote are not the same as what precedes them. The first part is talking about the top-down elimination of moles and spies; the last two sentences are talking about what they lost in Oyster Bay, which is a different issue.

Also, they haven't associated the purge with the treecats. I've underlined the relevant clause.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by ldwechsler   » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:16 am

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ldwechsler wrote:They already knew about treecats. Not everything but the fact that the attack on Torch was aborted had to tell something and they've been following what happened with the treecats for a long time. Remember also that Honor and Nimitz's actions on Grayson were widely reported.

In THIS instance, the Dets were talking about how many people they lost on the space stations...probably the highest concentration of spies they had were there since that's where the navy mainly functioned.


The last two sentences in the quote are not the same as what precedes them. The first part is talking about the top-down elimination of moles and spies; the last two sentences are talking about what they lost in Oyster Bay, which is a different issue.

Also, they haven't associated the purge with the treecats. I've underlined the relevant clause.[/quote]


I greatly doubt there were a real lot of hierarchies among the spies and moles. It would make little sense. Catching one would lead to a lot of key people.

Chances are each mole had a handler. The handler might know a few people but would be responsible for getting info out and might not (should not) know who he/she was reporting to. Even more to the point, there are ways info can be reported that do not require people to actually meet. Having a recruiter get some spies in line would be useful, but even better would be setting up a way for information to be passed indirectly. The recruiter could leave the planet and the treecats etc. would hit dead ends.

The MAlign could have more controls because they had death protocols.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by tlb   » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:03 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:It occures to me that meetings with varioius leadership and agents of the political parties on Manticore might also flush out some interesting answers- along with suddenly dead politicians- which could ultimatly sort out some problems beyond the otherwise normal political difficulties such as the stuff that North Hollow's group were causing.

The Crown would have to be very discreet about doing that but some man or woman having a conversation at a political reception with a Treecat and it's assigned two-leg might end up dead on the floor of the conference room floor (nano inflicted) or in some very deep and hot water with otherwise polite conversation taking them to to places they never though would see the light of day or public scrutiny.

With regard to the nanotech suicide protocol; wouldn't it have to be set up so that casual conversation did not trigger it? Surely there has to be the threat of incarceration before it kicks in, otherwise there could be all sorts of awkward deaths.
I have not gotten back to him in my reread; but I wonder about the card-playing buddy, who thought that a shipping firm was paying him to shade reports. Why would he die when asked about his handler? Clearly he had the nanotech, but why would he if he was a dupe?
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by JohnRoth   » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:07 pm

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tlb wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:It occures to me that meetings with varioius leadership and agents of the political parties on Manticore might also flush out some interesting answers- along with suddenly dead politicians- which could ultimatly sort out some problems beyond the otherwise normal political difficulties such as the stuff that North Hollow's group were causing.

The Crown would have to be very discreet about doing that but some man or woman having a conversation at a political reception with a Treecat and it's assigned two-leg might end up dead on the floor of the conference room floor (nano inflicted) or in some very deep and hot water with otherwise polite conversation taking them to to places they never though would see the light of day or public scrutiny.

With regard to the nanotech suicide protocol; wouldn't it have to be set up so that casual conversation did not trigger it? Surely there has to be the threat of incarceration before it kicks in, otherwise there could be all sorts of awkward deaths.
I have not gotten back to him in my reread; but I wonder about the card-playing buddy, who thought that a shipping firm was paying him to shade reports. Why would he die when asked about his handler? Clearly he had the nanotech, but why would he if he was a dupe?


Nanotech is a "get out of plot problems free" card. It's like magic or a number of other gimmicks - it has to be well designed to avoid simply being a deus ex machina [1].

[1] And the original use of the "god machine" made perfect sense in the original setting. It doesn't today.
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Re: And on the third... Spoilers
Post by ldwechsler   » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:56 pm

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[
tlb wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:It occures to me that meetings with varioius leadership and agents of the political parties on Manticore might also flush out some interesting answers- along with suddenly dead politicians- which could ultimatly sort out some problems beyond the otherwise normal political difficulties such as the stuff that North Hollow's group were causing.

The Crown would have to be very discreet about doing that but some man or woman having a conversation at a political reception with a Treecat and it's assigned two-leg might end up dead on the floor of the conference room floor (nano inflicted) or in some very deep and hot water with otherwise polite conversation taking them to to places they never though would see the light of day or public scrutiny.

With regard to the nanotech suicide protocol; wouldn't it have to be set up so that casual conversation did not trigger it? Surely there has to be the threat of incarceration before it kicks in, otherwise there could be all sorts of awkward deaths.
I have not gotten back to him in my reread; but I wonder about the card-playing buddy, who thought that a shipping firm was paying him to shade reports. Why would he die when asked about his handler? Clearly he had the nanotech, but why would he if he was a dupe?


Nanotech is a "get out of plot problems free" card. It's like magic or a number of other gimmicks - it has to be well designed to avoid simply being a deus ex machina [1].

[1] And the original use of the "god machine" made perfect sense in the original setting. It doesn't today.[/quote]

There would be a lot of resentment about using treecats in domestic politics. And frankly I doubt there are too many spies in Manticore's political system. One or two yes and we know of at least one major figure.

But you don't need very many in politics. You need people in the know about the navy and tech, etc. Maybe a few in the media. But the more you have, the more likely you are to have one or more discovered.
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