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Third A Rising Thunder Snippet

This is the place where we will be posting snippets of soon-to-be published works!
Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by Duckk   » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:34 pm

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Just copying/archiving the snippet from David posted in the Honorverse on 8/21/2011.

I find it impossible to understand how anyone could possibly accuse me of having a sick sense of humor. I mean, puh-leeze!

However, in the spirit of sharing with my readers, I attend the following (brief) snippet from A Rising Thunder. Honor and Hamish have just been waked up around 4:00 in the morning to take an FTL com call from Sphinx.

Note: I thought long and hard about exactly where to end the snippet. Given the aspersions cast upon my sense of humor, I mean. [G]


"Anyway," Arif went on, her expression more serious, "earlier this evening, I was discussing today's progress with Song Shadow when she suddenly stopped in mid-sign. She just sat there for several seconds, obviously 'listening' to someone else. It's not like her to just stop like that, without at least warning me, and whoever she was talking to, the conversation went on a long time for a 'cat. When it was over, she asked me to send an air car to Bright Water Clan."

Honor felt herself frowning. She wasn't going to interrupt with questions — even with the grav-pulse com, interplanetary conversations quickly disintegrated if people started breaking in on one another — but her curiosity burned brightly as she wondered where the linguist was going.

She'd never met Song Shadow, but from her name, she was obviously a "memory singer." Arif was still exploring exactly what memory singers were, but she'd already learned enough to recognize they were absolutely central to treecat society as its historians and teachers. From what Arif had so far discovered, a memory singer could literally "record" and play back the actual experiences of another treecat. In fact, they could play back centuries worth of those experiences.

Honor doubted any human — even she, who'd developed her own version of the treecats' empathy — would ever truly grasp what that meant, appreciate the continuity "mind songs" bestowed upon a telepathic species who could literally "hear" the mind-voices and experience the very emotions of treecats who'd died centuries before their own birth. But the fact that Samantha was a memory singer had been critical to Arif's success in teaching the 'cats to sign, because once she'd learned how, she'd been able to "teach" any other treecat the same thing.

"I sent the car, of course," Arif continued. "It took an hour or so to get to Bright Water's range, and the SFC ranger had to wait a while for all his passengers to arrive. Then they had to fly all the way to Green Bottom."

She rolled her eyes slightly, and Honor nodded. Green Bottom was halfway around Sphinx from Bright Water Clan's home range. And, she thought more grimly, from the ruins of Yawata Crossing, as well.

"Thanks to all the delays, they only got here about an hour ago, and I was more than a little surprised by who Song Shadow had sent a ride for." Arif shook her head. "It was seven other memory singers."

Honor felt her eyes widen. One thing they had learned about memory singers was that they virtually never left their clans' ranges. Which, of course, raised the question of exactly what a memory singer by the name of Samantha was doing bonded to a human. Honor had the impression that neither Nimitz nor Samantha was being as forthcoming about that as they could have, although it was obvious Samantha wasn't exactly your typical memory singer.

Obviously, there'd always been some exceptions (besides Samantha), especially recently, since memory singers had been involved with Dr. Arif's efforts from the beginning. But Honor didn't think there'd ever been more than two or three of them in Green Bottom at any one time before.

"I know I don't have to tell you how surprised I was when the ranger opened the car door and seven memory singers piled out!" Arif said wryly. "I'd met three of them before: Wind of Memory, Songstress, and Echo of Time." Honor pursed her lips in a silent whistle as Arif named all three of Bright Water Clan's senior memory singers. "Song Shadow introduced the others once they got to my office. Songkeeper and Clear Song are the senior and second singers of Laughing River Clan. Winter Voice is the senior singer of Moonlight Dancing Clan. And then" — Arif's eyes darkened and her voice dropped — "there's Sorrow Singer." The linguist swallowed. "She's the only surviving memory singer of Black Rock Clan, Honor."

Samantha and Nimitz keened softly, and Honor inhaled sharply.

"I didn't know any of them had survived," she said, voice soft, when Arif paused. "I thought the entire clan had been killed."

"As far as Sorrow Singer knows, she's not just Black Rock's surviving singer," Arif said a few seconds later. "She's the only survivor, period. And the only reason she's alive is that she was visiting Moonlight Dancing Clan. One of her litter brothers had married into Moonlight Dancing, and their central range was just far enough away to be outside the blast area and firestorm." The linguist shook her head slowly. "Moonlight Dancing was close enough its memory singers felt Black Rock die . . . and so did she."

Honor felt her hand press her lips, felt Hamish's arm encircle her, felt Nimitz pressing against the back of her neck, and all she could think of was the horror of a telempath — a memory singer — actually experiencing the deaths of everyone she'd ever known and loved.

"I don't know how they kept her from suiciding," Arif 's voice was softer than Honor's had been. "I . . . have the impression it wasn't easy."

Her eyes met Honor's from the display, and Honor nodded. Treecats who'd adopted almost never survived the deaths of their human partners. Before prolong, that had been the great tragedy of the bonds, for treecats normally lived over two hundred T-years, and their humans' deaths had deprived them of all those additional years. Honor could think of only two 'cats in her own lifetime who'd survived their humans’ deaths: Prince Consort Justin's companion Monroe and Samantha, herself. What it must have been like when every single person in Sorrow Singer's Clan was ripped away from her in one brutal instant . . . .

"It must have been terrible for all the clans in range," Arif went on starkly, "and Moonlight Dancing was closest of all. The SFC says they've lost over a dozen 'cats since the strike, and others don't look good. Which made me wonder why in God's name the clan's two senior memory singers were traipsing off to visit me at a time like this."

Stillness hovered. Then, finally, Honor cleared her throat.

"Why —" She paused, her soprano husky, and cleared her throat again. "Why had they come, Adelina?"

"I know Nimitz and Samantha were off-world when it happened," Arif said a bit obliquely, "but from what Song Shadow and the others say, every 'cat who wasn't off-world felt it. The more distant clans felt it less strongly, thank God, but even our crew here at Green Bottom got hammered. Trust me, it was bad. Really bad.

"I don't know if they understand exactly how it happened even now, but they know it was the result of a human attack. Personally, I wouldn't have blamed them for turning their backs on all humans, but that's not the way treecats' heads work. Apparently they've been passing around Nimitz's experiences with you, and especially what happened with Lieutenant Mears, for some time now. And, according to Song Shadow, they've overheard at least part of the newscasts about President Pritchart and Dr. Simões; some of the SFC rangers were viewing the news channels during a medical visit to Moonlight Dancing. They've figured out Nimitz and Samantha must've actually met Simões, and the clans want them to come home for the memory singers to get their first-hand experience with his mind-glow, but I think that's just a formality. They figure that if he were lying, or if he were crazy, Nimitz would already've told you. For that matter, they know you can sense emotions. So there's not much question in their minds that Simões is telling the truth . . . or that Mesa is behind everything that's happened."

"I'm glad they don't blame us for it, although God knows I sometimes do," Honor said somberly. "I still don't understand why they wanted to come see you in person, though. For that matter, I don't see how Song Shadow got the word all the way from Bright Water that they did! Nothing I've ever seen has suggested they've got enough range to reach halfway around a planet."

"I'm pretty sure they relayed from clan to clan," Arif said. "And the reason they wanted to see me is that Sorrow Singer has a proposal."

"A 'proposal'?" Honor's eyes narrowed. "What sort of 'propsal'?"

"She wants to tell you herself," Arif replied, and a slender, dappled brown and white form jumped into her lap and into her com's field of view. The treecat sat up on her rearmost limbs, facing the com, her eyes and body language somber. She looked so small, so fragile, Honor thought, feeling the tears at the back of her own eyes.

"Sorrow Singer?" she asked softly, and the treecat nodded.

Honor wanted to reach out and hug that distant 'cat. To share with her the depth of her own grief for what had happened to Sorrow Singer's clan. Her sense of guilt that humans — any humans — could have caused such an atrocity. But she couldn't, and so she simply bent her head in a small half bow of acknowledgment.

Sorrow Singer inclined her own head in response. Then her hands rose, and she began to sign with a flowing grace that somehow communicated a bottomless sea of sadness.
Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by sullchar   » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:39 pm


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you bât_rd

really, I mean REALLY!!


gotta have it now I won't sleep for days
Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by rdt   » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:52 pm


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But isn't it obvious? No, huh? Well I think that Madame President is about to get a permanent visitor named Sorrow Singer (not an adoption, just an...emigrant from Sphinx to Haven) as adjunct to her staff. Eloise will be learning to sign.
Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by Launian   » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:41 am


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rdt wrote:But isn't it obvious? No, huh? Well I think that Madame President is about to get a permanent visitor named Sorrow Singer (not an adoption, just an...emigrant from Sphinx to Haven) as adjunct to her staff. Eloise will be learning to sign.

And exactly how did you come to that? Not trying to be a jerk, just curious.

To me, it seems that Arif mentions Pritchard and Simoes in the context of the 'cats' reaction to the strike on Yawata Crossing (that they didn't link the manticoran humans to the strike because they trust in Nimitz' and Honor's judgment, and they believe that, if there was any sign that Simoes was lying, they would've picked it up by then), not on the context of whatever proposal Sorrow Singer has.

On the other hand, I could see a proposal of taking Treecats to other planets wich beling to the Alliance. After all, if they actually grasp the difference between factions (the MAling and the Manticoran Alliance), they have to realize that the Grayson Colony is in a great danger because, leaving the size of the populations, unlike the Sphinx treecats, they can't sustain themselves if something happens to whatever dome they're living at at the moment of an attack. And if they understand the dinamics of the Alliance, they have to know that Grayson is the second most tempting target for any attacker, at least until Haven comes completly to Manticore's side.

Anyways, thanks a lot for the snippet. Even if it IS going to mean a harder wait till the eARC comes out.

Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by Thirdbase   » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:51 pm


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rdt wrote:But isn't it obvious? No, huh? Well I think that Madame President is about to get a permanent visitor named Sorrow Singer (not an adoption, just an...emigrant from Sphinx to Haven) as adjunct to her staff. Eloise will be learning to sign.

More than likely, it is a proposal to either help find any other adjusted people, or a proposal to provide body guards for certain key personal. Likely this will be in exchange for territory for clans to set up "colonies" in Havenite and alliance space.
runsforcelery wrote:
Thirdbase wrote:I think that was the next novel.

Allow me to demonstrate my concision, brevity, and economy of phrase:

"Smart alec!" ;p
Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by Manty01Actual   » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:44 pm


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I've batted around a couple of interesting vignette story lines, one of my favorites is actually militarizing some of the Scouts as deep cover, fast moving, six limbed assassination teams. Remember the axiom of that particular segment of tree cat society: there are two types of enemies: those who had been sufficiently dealt with, and those that were still breathin. MA definitely falls into that last category, and they have a history with the tree cats. With the advent of forming alliances with good humans capable of rapid interstellar travel, I could see, hell, I want to see a tree cat version of Special Furry Forces whooping that a$$ all over MA, MANS, and Sollie space.
Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by Talleyrand   » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:50 pm


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Duckk wrote:I find it impossible to understand how anyone could possibly accuse me of having a sick sense of humor. I mean, puh-leeze!

.....Clearly not sick at all. Or sadistic. Or deliberately horrible.

But somewhat endearing, in a twisted sort of way. You have trolled, Sir, and trolled well.
Voila! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate.
Re: Third A Rising Thunder Snippet
Post by justdave   » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:15 pm

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the unusual grouping of memory singers providing emotional support to Sorrow Singer is a possibility but I've had another thought based on the history of massed 'cats/memory singers providing extra 'power' and it relates to the physics of the 'cats telepathy

the MWW hasn't dealt with this at all to my knowledge but if they use an electromagnetic 'connection' perhaps with a highly boosted 'signal' they can communicate w/Sam thru the FTL!

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