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Quoteables from the Ring of Fire

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Re: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by Hutch   » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:41 pm

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Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

Caroline sat at her desk for two hours. Part of the time, staring at the objects on it. Part of the time, staring at a photograph which she pulled out of her desk drawer. Most of the time, staring out the window. To the northwest, where the army camp lay, so she had to crane her head a little.

Finally, seeing the sun lowering itself into the window, she realized what time it was. And how little time remained.
--Caroline Platzer finally puts her pre-Ring of Fire life behind her (roseandheather, if you haven't read this book yet, you have a couple more characters to fall in love with...)

The young countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt handed the shoes to her. "Don't be silly," she said, smiling. "Yes, they mean exactly what you think they mean, Caroline. What else would they be?"

The older countess was at the table, now, frowning at the things.

"Yes, of course. He is asking you to betroth him. But—Caroline . . . You can do better than a former farmer and an army sergeant. I'm quite sure. Much better, in fact."

Caroline looked around, saw an empty chair, and sat down. Then, quickly, she took off her shoes and began trying on the new ones. As always when she was under tremendous emotional stress, she grasped at practicality.

"No, Anna Sophia, I don't think I can. I really don't—and believe me, I've thought about it a lot, the last few weeks. More to the point—way, way more to the point—I don't want to."
--Caroline

Suddenly, she started striding toward him. That same very athletic stride that could still arouse him so. But he only watched from the corner of his eyes, since he couldn't really bear to look at her directly.

Until she was standing just three feet way, and extended the shoes. The gesture was oddly tentative, not the firm thrust he'd expected.

"Thorsten . . . Oh, damnation. Look, I can't help it. It's just the way I am, take it or leave it. I'm a practical girl. And I've got big feet for a woman. The shoes are too small. But . . ."

Hope surged, where he'd thought there was none. His eyes went to hers.

There was no anger at all, in those green orbs. No smile on the face below, either. But the eyes were simply . . .

Appealing? Uncertain?

"Can I—or you?—I don't care—trade them in? I'd love to have a pair that fits." Her eyes started watering. "I can't tell how much I would. But . . ."

Her voice was barely above a whisper. "I don't know what to do, either. And I don't want to do anything wrong. Not now. God, not now."

Perhaps he smiled. He never remembered. Whatever. Finally—for sure—he did something right.

Caroline's full smile erupted. She dropped the shoes. "Oh, f*** it," she said. "And f*** whatever horse anybody rode in on."

The next thing he knew she had him in a fierce embrace, and was kissing him more fiercely still.

So. At least that legend was true. Americanesses did use the Austrian kiss. Her tongue felt like it was halfway down his throat. Good thing he came from sturdy farmer stock, with stout hearts on both side of the family. Or he would have died, right then and there.
--Awwwwwwwww....

Good. Now, first thing. Since they're still letting the Warders guard our quarters in St. Thomas—f****** idiots, but there it is—we need to start sending the men over there, one at a time. Whenever nobody looks to be watching."

"That's not a problem," said Andrew. "We've often come into St. Thomas' Tower, helping Nellie with the groceries. Can't stay inside for more than half an hour, though, or suspicions might get aroused."

Darryl smiled thinly. "With you guys, half an hour will be plenty. Biggest problem will be just tearing you away from your newfound loves."

Both Warders frowned at him, puzzled.

"Won't be able to fire them, of course. But the noise of working the slides ain't much, and we'll only do it when one of your kin is standing guard at the door anyway."

Darryl's smile wasn't thin at all, now. "Gentlemen. I will shortly be introducing you to a couple of very sleek dames. Lady Pump-Action Shotgun and Lady Automatic Pistol. Several sisters there, actually. I'm personally partial to Ms. Nine Millimeter. You'll even like their papa, Mr. Dynamite."
--Yeoman Warders--up-time weapons--Oh my.

But, eventually, she made it to the house that was closest to the one she sought. Carefully peering around the corner of the house, she found herself staring right into the barrel of what she thought was a gun. A pistol of some sort, although it seemed much smaller than the wheel lock Anthony had owned.

"Not bad for an amateur," said a soft male voice. "Didn't trip even once, the last stretch. All right, Elizabeth Lytle, just step around quietly. No fuss, no ruckus. I'm not going to hurt you, I'm not going to rob you, and I'm not going to rape you. But if you give me any trouble, I will shoot you dead on the spot. Don't think I won't."
--And Elizabeth Lytle makes the acquaintance of Harry Lefferts...

And we'll take up again in a minute (I love the Baltic War--so much happening)
***********************************************
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: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by Hutch   » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:17 pm

Hutch
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Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

Mike let it go on for a few minutes, simply to establish the façade that he was a thoughtful fellow who considered all matters judiciously and ponderously. He might have even broken into "Tradition," except he really couldn't carry a tune that well.

Façade, though, is what it was. He'd already decided where he'd hold court—to call "negotiations" by their right name—before he'd passed through the gate. Torstensson had recommended the place to him.

"Enough," he said eventually. "We'll continue this in St. Jakobi church."

The city councilmen and CoC members squinted at him. Despite the age difference—the former, all middle-aged; the latter, mostly in their twenties—their expressions were almost identical. A painter might have called it "Owls, Suspicious."
--Mike Stearns beginning his 'negotiations' with the Hamburgers...

"That went quite well, I thought," he said to Torstensson a bit later, after summarizing the settlement.

The Swedish general extended his forearm and looked at his watch.

Mike frowned. "Is there some deadline I don't know about?"

"Oh, it's not that. I just wanted to make sure you hadn't somehow swindled me out of my timepiece while we were talking."
--After Mike finishes his "negotiations".

Probably Baldur, if for no other reason than the natural injustice of the universe, which the past half a year had made so blindingly clear to Eddie. In a world run according to sane and rational principles, it would be a shy and bespectacled seventeenth-century geek equivalent who'd manage to deduce, just from matching various entries in an encyclopedia against each other, that radio didn't actually require huge towers hundreds of feet tall. Not for every purpose, at least, especially military ones.

In this universe, of course—mad universe; insane; irrational; unreasoning; worst of all, deadly dangerous to hapless peglegged West Virginia country boys—it was entirely fitting that the deduction would be made by a man who only needed maybe an earring to be the spitting image of Captain Morgan, Pirate Extraordinaire.
--Eddie reflecting on the conundrum that is Baldur Norddahl..

Needed: Someone who could enlist—impress, to be honest about it—a large number of merchant ships from Hamburg's harbor which could be used to transport the mounts for the cavalrymen and the dragoons.

That took a bit of time, but not much. Mike immediately enlisted the assistance of the many members of Hamburg's CoC who were either sailors or stevedores. It didn't take them more than five minutes to agree that the best choice was Captain Juan Hamers. The man's credentials were three:

First, he was an experienced and able ship captain.

Second, he claimed to be from a Scots family that had settled in Seville, thereby explaining the last name and the heavy Iberian accent. Not a single person Mike talked to believed the story for a minute. Hamers was obviously a marrano, a Sephardic "secret Jew," of whom there were many in the merchant shipping trade. Hamers was unusual only in having risen to the post of captain and claiming to be Spanish instead of the usual "Portuguese." For the CoCs, being Sephardic was a plus mark. Not much chance he'd betray them to the Ostenders, after all.

Third, he was the meanest son of a bitch among the merchant captains currently residing in the city.

Hamers resisted the notion, for a few minutes. First, he tried to claim he couldn't understand Mike's German, and his English was worse. No problem. Mike switched to Spanish. He'd studied the language in college and, better still, had gotten a thorough seventeenth century brush-up from his wife and father-in-law; for whom, as was true of most Sephardim, it was their native tongue.

Hamers then fell back on being a mean son of a bitch. But Mike's mean son-of-a-bitch routine was way better than his—especially with half a dozen armed CoC members to back him up.
--We haven't seen any more of Captain Hamers, but one can hope....

"Things are going to get messy when we reach Luebeck, Franz," he said after moment, still gazing into the north. "You saw what we did to Railleuse with only two hits. Well, it's going to be a lot worse than that when we engage Admiral Overgaard's squadron in the Bay of Luebeck. What happened to Railleuse isn't going to have much effect on what happens at Luebeck, but after this is all over, the word will get around."

" 'The word,' sir."

"The word that we blew the piss out of her with only two hits—and that as soon as we did, we went alongside and helped put out her fires. We're about to teach the world a new kind of sea warfare, Captain, one with weapons that are going to be more destructive than anything anyone's ever seen before. So, when we teach that to everyone else, I intend to teach them something about the Navy of the United States of Europe, as well."

"What, sir?" Halberstat asked, when the admiral paused.

"Something Winston Churchill once said. I always did admire that old dinosaur. It went, 'In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity.' We may have to knock them down and stomp on them, from time to time, but when it's finished, it's finished, and it's time to remember that they're human beings, too."

He watched Halberstat's lips move as the flagship's captain repeated the phrases to himself. Then Halberstat nodded in approval.

"I like that, sir," he said simply.

"Good. Because that's the navy we're going to build, Franz. That's the kind of navy we're going to build."
--John Chandler Simpson--ADMIRAL (and now admirable)

You know, Franz," he said slowly, "we don't have those nice, tall masts and sails they do. And at this range, both sides are still hull-down from one another."

"Sir?" Halberstat said, when the admiral paused. Simpson quirked an eyebrow, and the flag captain smiled. "You appear to have something . . . unpleasant in mind, sir."
--Indeed he does, Captain; indeed he does.
Last edited by Hutch on Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
***********************************************
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: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by Hutch   » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:32 pm

Hutch
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Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

And now it's time for The Great Escape!

She heard a sharp cracking sound, coming from somewhere outside. That had to be a rifle shot. Glancing over, she saw that Darryl was already—

"Yee-haaaaa!" he shouted.

The noise was deafening. Even the heavy stonework seemed to shake.

Darryl was up and entering the main part of St. Thomas' Tower the instant the blast ended. "Oh, man!" she heard him shout. "You wanna talk about a beautiful sight!"

Melissa lowered her head. "I can't believe it. We just blew up the Tower of London." Her voice began to rise. "For God's sake, it's a historical monument!"
--The first of Melissa Mailey's lines--won't be the last.

"Another one," said Alex Mackay. "No, two. To your left, by the Bell Tower."

Julie's aim shifted. Three seconds later, she fired. Three seconds later, fired again.

Neither Anthony nor Patrick was watching any longer for inconvenient passers-by, other than a quick glance every ten seconds or so. No need to, really. In Southwark, by now, any pedestrian who'd been ambling about in the vicinity was long gone.

But they'd probably have done the same, even if alertness had been necessary. Experienced soldiers both, they were simply too fascinated by what they were seeing. The concept of "marksmanship" was by no means unknown, in their day, to be sure. Some of Patrick's skirmishers were very good shots, with their rifled muskets.

But that was by a definition of "good shots" that now seemed as antiquated as the pharaohs. They'd heard the tales of the young American woman's ability to use a rifle, but hadn't really quite believed them.

They did, now. Reaching across an entire river, she was striking down any man who showed himself on the Outer Wall. Seven of them, all told, since she'd taken out the four men on the gun crew. She'd only missed once—and that was if you counted as a "miss" a man whose shoulder was shattered and was as surely out of the fray as if he'd been slain outright.

"Now, another. All the way over by the Well Tower."

A few more seconds passed, and the angel of death spread her wings again.
--Good to see Julie's shootng eye is as good as ever.....

"Tom!" Dunn exclaimed. "What is the name of all that's holy is happening out there?"

The Warder was obviously not in the least bit suspicious, even though there was no logical reason for Tom to have entered the Salt Tower. Dunn's grip on his halberd was simply that of a man keeping a heavy weapon from toppling and hurting someone.

"Don't know, Michael. Some sort of robbery, I think."

Dunn frowned. "Robbery? But why—"

Tom's fist ended that. He sucker-punched the poor guy. Hit him pretty hard, too, although at least he'd been able to catch him while he fell and keep the halberd from gashing him.

Tom felt pretty guilty about the whole thing. But nowhere nearly as guilty as he'd have felt if he'd had to kill a Warder.

There turned out to be a positive side to the whole thing, too. When Tom entered Laud's chambers to rescue him from captivity, he was in a peevish enough mood to handle the old man properly.

Red-faced and shrill, Laud protested and denounced him and flatly refused to go. So, Tom sucker-punched him too, and took him out over his shoulder.
--I'd pay real money to see that scene on TV/Movie....followed quickly by...

"You slugged the archbishop of Canterbury?" Rita's mouth stayed wide open for seconds after she posed the question.

Grimacing, Tom passed Laud's still unconscious body over to Felix and Darryl, who'd get him down the ramp and into the barge.

"Yeah, 'fraid so. But look on the bright side, hon."

Her mouth gaped wider still. "There's a bright side to punching out the primate of your own church?"

"Sure is. I figure my chances of getting ordained as a priest just went down the tubes. Forget bishop."

Rita's jaw snapped shut. "Maybe you shoulda kicked him, too. Right in the nuts."
Tom and Rita--quite a pair.

"What the bloody hell is taking so long with Wentworth?" he half-shouted. "The soldiers'll be rallying any moment."

Cromwell nodded. "What I figured."

Hamilton glared at him. "And what are you doing here?"

"I believe I owe the man a debt, of sorts. Seeing as how I had him executed once, in another universe." And with that, Cromwell passed through the door.

Andrew stared at Hamilton. After a moment, with a rather odd look on his face, Stephen shrugged. "It makes sense, you know. If you look at it the right way."
--Oliver Cromwell has his moment of Awesome...

"Thomas," Cromwell said gently. "Look at me."

Wentworth's eyes came up. Cromwell extended his hand.

"In how many worlds can you serve the same faithless king? Be it a hundred, Thomas—be it a thousand—he'll betray you in every one. Come, man. Let's try it a different way."
....and tops it off rescuing Wentworth

Melissa half-rose from her seat. "My God! You blew up London Bridge!"

"Nah," said Harry, waving his hand dismissively. "That's just the smoke bomb—"

"Stink bomb, too!" interjected Jack Hayes eagerly.

"—that we set off first. Make sure there's nobody around."

Melissa was just gaping at the sight of the bridge. Her face, pale by nature, now looked as white as a sheet.

After ten seconds or so, her head jerked, as if something had finally registered. "What do you mean—nobody around? Nobody around for what?"

Harry frowned at her. "What do you think? For when we—"

"And two!" Gerd cried gleefully, working the detonator again. In the distance, there seemed to be a much smaller puff of smoke emerging from within the larger cloud. Perhaps a second later, London Bridge—parts of it, rather—began collapsing into the river.

"Actually blow up the bridge," Harry concluded.


"Just give it a minute. We didn't need no fancy big explosives for this one. Just some nice incendiaries. That great big honking idiot thatch roof will burn like nobody's business."

It took perhaps five seconds for the meaning of that to register on Melissa. By then, the first flames could be seen and she no longer seemed pale. She seemed positively translucent.

"You—you—you—"

She was actually gobbling, for just a moment there. But she rallied by seizing her hair in both hands.

"You burned down the Globe theater? You barbarian!"

Harry looked aggrieved. "Jeez, Ms. Mailey, ease up some, willya? It ain't like we're talking about Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood, you know."

"That was Shakespeare's theater, you—you—you—"

She was gobbling again.

"Yeah, well, and what of it?" said Harry, unimpressed. "Julie says the place was a dump and nobody seems to be able to agree who Shakespeare was in the first place. I been to Grauman's Chinese, Ms. Mailey. Seen Marilyn Monroe's handprints in the sidewalk with my own eyes."

"You burned down the Globe theater!"
--Melissa has a hysterical-historical moment.

Still, off he went. Leaving in command the thirty-one-year old Charles de la Porte, seigneur de Meilleraye, after having stripped him of all the cavalry forces that remained to the French army.

Not surprisingly, the first words spoken by de la Porte after Angoulême left were "that f****** bastard." So were the next three, and the three after that.
--On Incompetent Commanders

***********************************************
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: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by Hutch   » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:05 pm

Hutch
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Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

And finish off with the Battle of Copenhagen and Eddie's "rescue":

Anne Cathrine was now lolling back on a pile of very expensive looking cushions and blankets. Lolling, as in lying on one hip and giving him a look that was at least two decades too sultry. Fifteen going on Scheherazade.

Or the set from A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, maybe, although he wasn't sure if they'd ever made a movie of that book. He'd read it, though.

She waved her hand, way more languidly than any girl her age ought to be able to, at a small stack of baskets toward the bow. "There is plenty of food. Breads, cheeses, delicacies. Plenty of wine, too. We may have to hide here for days, before we can be sure my father's temper will have subsided."

Some part of Eddie's brain—a tiny little cluster of neurons somewhere in the left cortex making a valiant last stand, but even now being overwhelmed by the thalamic hordes—was trying to gibber something on the subject of fathers and their tempers in general, and royal fathers and royal tempers in particular—but they were soon slaughtered mercilessly.

"Come here, Eddie," she said. "Now."
--And Eddie Cantrell goes to Heaven....

...but only for a bit-I quote a whole Chapter here, simply for the joy of it (another scene I would love to see on TV/Movies someday..

A stay in heaven, Eddie Cantrell discovered, lasts for two and a half days. On the evening of the third day, the Devil came to collect the bill—seeing as how Eddie had tried to cheat and get to heaven before he was actually dead.

An oversight which could easily be remedied, of course.

The soldiers who tried to clamber into the submarine eventually realized they'd have to leave their halberds behind. By then, Anne Cathrine was in full protest mode—they paid that no attention at all—and Eddie knew the jig was up.

So, he surrendered without a struggle.

Once he was hauled out of the submarine, with Anne Cathrine being hauled only a bit more gently behind him, he found himself standing face to face with King Christian IV.

The father in question. Whose temper, alas, showed no trace of subsidence. Not the least, tiniest, littlest bit.

"So!" bellowed the Danish monarch. As big as he was, he seemed to loom over Eddie like a mountain. Or a troll king.

Christian stomped over to the submarine. He was too fat to get in, but he did manage to stick his head in far enough to examine the interior.

"So!" he bellowed again, his voice sounding like it came from an echo chamber.

He came back out and gave Eddie a glare that dwarfed any glare in Eddie's experience. Admiral Simpson's glare, which he'd once thought ferocious, was like a candle to an arc light.

"So!" He pointed a rigid finger at Eddie. "Arrest him!"

That seemed a pointless sort of thing to say. Eddie already had two soldiers holding him by the arms, with two more prodding his back with halberd blades.

"Papà!" wailed Anne Cathrine. "You can't do this!"

"Watch me!"


Frank nodded. "Yep, sure can. As Christian IV proved when he agreed to let Eddie go in return for Prince Ulrik—and then dragged out the process until the emperor arrived, so he could demand that Gustav Adolf have him arrested. Drunk or sober, he ain't no dummy. He needed Gustav Adolf here to squelch the admiral, who was making loud noises by then about reducing the rest of Copenhagen to rubble if his lieutenant wasn't goddamit produced on his flagship right f****** now. Even then, Gustav had to do some truly imperial squelching before the admiral shut up."


Ulrik wanted to clear his throat, which felt very dry, but managed to restrain himself. "I believe you have come here to Copenhagen to rescue Lieutenant Eddie Cantrell from captivity. And I believe it would be fruitful if we could discuss the matter, before you do anything."

Every person at the table became suddenly motionless. The aura of menace, heretofore present but subtle, was no longer subtle at all.

Captain Lefferts made a small motion with his hand. A little downward flap, as if to quiet restless monsters.

"Interesting theory, Prince. If you don't mind me asking, is it yours—or your father's?"

Ulrik pointed with his thumb to Baldur, standing next to him. "His, actually. This is Baldur Norddahl, my . . . ah, call him companion. Or 'sidekick,' to use American idiom."

The eyes of everyone at the table now went to Baldur. As impossible as it seemed, the motionless figures grew intensely motionless. In the manner that wary monsters will, encountering another.
--Baldur and Ulrik meet the Wrecking Crew...

"I recommend that you avoid issues of age, Lieutenant. That's because, in this instance, the operative term is not actually 'oldest.' The operative term is"—again, the admiral glanced back at the document—"fifteen. That is, I believe, the age of the princess. Excuse me, king's daughter."

"Ah. Well. Sir, she's almost sixteen."

Eddie wondered where in hell John Chandler Simpson had learned that piercing gaze. The one that belonged on some sort of weirdo Hawk God determined to penetrate to the truth, where any reasonable human being would settle for a decent fudge.

Since the gaze seemed unrelenting, Eddie was forced to add, "Well. In about two months. Her birthday's August 10."

"In other words, fifteen. As I said. Which brings us to the core of the matter. Did you or did you not—in a submarine, no less, which may speak well of your nautical interests but does not help you in the least in these circumstances—deflower the fifteen-year-old daughter of the king of Denmark?"

"Well." Eddie cleared his throat. "Well, sir."

"Perhaps you're unfamiliar with the term 'deflower.' The common and much coarser variant is 'popped her cherry.' So, I repeat. Lieutenant Cantrell, did you or did not pop the cherry of the king of Denmark's fifteen-year-old daughter?"

For a moment, wildly, Eddie's mind careened back to the memory of what had been—to hell with admirals, standing at attention, kings, and the whole damn world—easily the most wonderful moment of his life.

"Well. Yes, sir. I guess. In a manner of speaking."

Simpson's stone face finally moved. Slightly. His eyebrows went up perhaps a quarter of an inch.

" 'In a manner of speaking.' Lieutenant Cantrell—since you force me to be clinical about it—that particular act is generally only carried out in one manner. The male involved inserts his penis into the female's vagina, which had not theretofore been penetrated in that manner and with that human organ, and does so fully. There may or may not be a hymen in the way, but whether there is or isn't does not actually affect the end result. The male usually but not always ejaculates inside the vagina when the act is concluded; but, again, whether he does or doesn't has no relevance here. Prior to the performance of this act, the female is considered a 'virgin.' Often, the term 'maiden' is used as well or instead. Thereafter, she is not."

He was back to that detestable piercing-gaze business. "So. I will rephrase the question, in the hopes that I might finally get a straight answer from a junior officer whom I have quite distinct recollections of being forthright even to the point of annoying the piss out of me. Is Anne Cathrine, the fifteen year old daughter of the king of Denmark, still a virgin?"

"Ah. Well." Eddie cleared his throat. "No, sir. She is not." He could have added—had the situation called for an imbecile hopping up and down in joyful remembrance of things past—not by a country mile, sir. Not after two and a half days in that submarine.

But he didn't. Not being actually an imbecile, even if he was probably doing a fair imitation.

"And you are responsible for this transformation in her status?"

"Well. Yes, sir."
--The grilling of Eddie Cantrell....

Simpson's hand propelled Eddie forward. When he was just a few feet from the emperor, Gustav said, "Kneel, sir."

He then glanced at a man standing next to him. Eddie didn't recognize him, but he was wearing a Swedish army uniform. "Have we established any firm protocol yet, Nils?"

The Swedish officer shook his head. "Not really, Your Majesty. This is only the second, so it's all still rather malleable."

"In that case, I'll do it like in the movies. It's got more style."
--Gustav gets his best line right at the end.

As he came near, the man looked at him and gave him a formal little bow. More in the way of an exaggerated nod, really.

"Good evening, Imperial Count of Wismar."

"Ah . . . Lieutenant Eddie Cantrell, please. That count business was none of my doing and I'm not too comfortable with it."

The stranger's blocky face was suddenly creased by a smile. One of those genuinely friendly smiles that made Eddie instinctively sense he probably liked the guy.

"Yes, I know," the man chuckled. "They made me the imperial count of Narnia right after I arrived. But I'm actually just Thorsten Engler."

He stuck out his hand and Eddie shook it.

"What are you doing here, Thorsten, if I might ask? And are you kidding about the Narnia business?"

"To answer your questions in reverse order, the Narnia issue is still unsettled. My betrothed thinks that it's preposterous to force a whole town to change its name on a royal whim, and she's insisting that the princess tell her father to change it back. Princess Kristina, on the other hand, insists that 'count of Nutschel' sounds stupid and she likes Narnia and so there. In this instance, unlike many, I suspect the princess will win the contest of wills. As to the first . . ."

He looked up at the row of windows on the third floor of the palace. The very many windows on a palace the size you'd expect Christian IV to build. "As to the first, I'm faced with a quandary."

The proverbial lightbulb went off. "You're engaged to Caroline Platzer. Uh, betrothed, I mean."

"Yes, indeed. A simple farm boy, in my origins, who never expected he'd someday have to figure out which window . . . Ah!" He pointed an eager finger. "There!"

Looking up, Eddie saw that a window had been opened and a rope was being lowered. Thorsten began moving toward it.

Before he'd taken three steps, however, another window was opened and another rope began coming down.

The imperial count of Narnia came to an abrupt halt. "And now what?"

"Who ordered this?" demanded Eddie.
--The RoF books (at least the first three--have the best damn endings...
***********************************************
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: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by roseandheather   » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:06 pm

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1632 wrote:The Father of Modern War, Gustavus Adolphus almost certainly was not. But he may very well have been the Father of the Modern World. Because then, at that place, at the moment when the Saxons broke and the Inquisition bade fair to triumph over all of Europe, the king of Sweden stood his ground.

And proved, once again, that the truth of history is always concrete. Abstractions are the stuff of argument, but the concrete is given. Whatever might have been, was not. Not because of tactics, and formations, and artillery, and methods of recruitment—though all of those things played a part, and a big one—but because of a simple truth. At that instant, history pivoted on the soul of one man. His name was Gustavus Adolphus, and there were those among his followers who thought him the only monarch in Europe worthy of the name. They were right, and the man was about to prove it. For one of the few times in human history, royalty was not a lie.

Two centuries later, long after the concrete set and the truth was obvious to all, a monument would be erected on that field. The passing years, through the bickering and the debates, had settled the meaning of Breitenfeld. The phrase on the monument simply read: freedom of belief for all the world.

Whatever else he was or was not, Gustavus Adolphus will always be Breitenfeld. He stands on that field for eternity, just as he did on that day. September 17, 1631.

Breitenfeld. Always Breitenfeld.


I want to write like this one day.
~*~


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: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by phillies   » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:51 pm

phillies
Vice Admiral

Posts: 1641
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:43 am
Location: Worcester, MA

roseandheather wrote:
1632 wrote:The Father of Modern War, Gustavus Adolphus almost certainly was not. But he may very well have been the Father of the Modern World. Because then, at that place, at the moment when the Saxons broke and the Inquisition bade fair to triumph over all of Europe, the king of Sweden stood his ground.

And proved, once again, that the truth of history is always concrete. Abstractions are the stuff of argument, but the concrete is given. Whatever might have been, was not. Not because of tactics, and formations, and artillery, and methods of recruitment—though all of those things played a part, and a big one—but because of a simple truth. At that instant, history pivoted on the soul of one man. His name was Gustavus Adolphus, and there were those among his followers who thought him the only monarch in Europe worthy of the name. They were right, and the man was about to prove it. For one of the few times in human history, royalty was not a lie.

Two centuries later, long after the concrete set and the truth was obvious to all, a monument would be erected on that field. The passing years, through the bickering and the debates, had settled the meaning of Breitenfeld. The phrase on the monument simply read: freedom of belief for all the world.

Whatever else he was or was not, Gustavus Adolphus will always be Breitenfeld. He stands on that field for eternity, just as he did on that day. September 17, 1631.

Breitenfeld. Always Breitenfeld.


I want to write like this one day.


Verily, begin practicing. It works.
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Re: Quoteables from the Ring of Fire
Post by Senior Chief   » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:26 pm

Senior Chief
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:02 am
Location: Bear Flag Republic - San Diego, CA

All very good quotes!!! Hell the entire book (series)is quotabe!!!
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