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HFQ Official Snippet #12

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:03 am

First Space Lord

Posts: 2425
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Here you go.

I know I am a little late, but what with Thanksgiving, the exhaustion from the European trip, and the beginning of the great Hardware Overhaul, things have been a little hectic.

I hope all of you had good Thanksgivings, too. :D


“We should be there in about another ninety minutes,” he said now. “We’ll get there well before dawn, not that I expect anyone would be in a position to see us even at high noon. Not in the middle of the Mountains of Light in March.”

“I imagine that would be . . . somewhat unlikely,” she acknowledged, and he snorted.

“I think you can pretty much take it for granted. That’s the real reason Nimue’s Cave was located here in the first place.”

“‘Nimue’s Cave,’?” she repeated with a quirked eyebrow. “That’s an odd name, even for a seijins’ training camp. Does Captain Chwaeriau’s name have anything to do with the person it’s named for?”

“Actually, it does. Quite a lot, in fact. I can’t explain exactly what the connection is — not yet — but I think you’ll understand once we get around to explaining everything else to you.”

“I’m looking forward to that . . . I think.” Aivah’s eyes gleamed with anticipation, yet his indirect reference to how little she still knew, how much faith it had required to come this far on the basis of so few hard facts, awakened an undeniable darkness under the anticipation. “I have to admit it was probably wise of you not to tell me quite how far we’d have to travel for that explanation until we were in the air. I won’t guarantee I wouldn’t have backed out and run for my life, despite Saint Kohdy’s journal and his description of his hikousen, if you’d told me any sooner!”

She did not, he noticed, mention how much easier the isolation of their destination would make it if the inner circle ultimately decreed she must disappear.

“Oh, I think you’re made of sterner stuff than that,” he said out loud. “Still, honesty compels me to admit that my timing wasn’t exactly a coincidence.”

“No, really? I never would have thought anything of the sort!”

“Of course you wouldn’t have,” he agreed gravely. “On the other hand, I felt confident that someone of your . . . accomplishments would understand my thinking without taking it personally.”

“I think that’s a compliment.”

“A very deep one, as a matter of fact. In many ways, you remind me a great deal of Prince Nahrmahn.”

“Ah.” She smiled. “I never met Prince Nahrmahn. For that matter, I never crossed swords with him professionally, either. Still, everything I’ve ever learned about him suggests he was one of the best at the Great Game. I deeply regretted his death. Is it true he died protecting his wife from one of Clyntahn’s ‘rakurai’ with his own body?”

“Yes. Yes, it is.”

“Then I regret his death even more deeply.” Aivah sighed and turned to look back out through her canopy. “I’ve seen enough of cynicism, narcissism, and self-centeredness to last me two or three lifetimes. That’s what happens when you grow up too close to the vicarate. Sometimes it’s hard to remember there really are people willing to risk everything they have for the ones they love.”

“Odd,” Merlin said. She turned back to face him from the display, and this time his smile was almost gentle. “As far as I can tell, you’ve spent your entire life risking everything for people you love even if you’ve never met them.”

She opened her mouth, as if she meant to protest, then paused. Their eyes locked once again, and then, slowly, she nodded.

“You might have a point,” she told him. “I won’t say it’s the way I’ve always thought of myself, and I won’t pretend my motivation, especially in the beginning, didn’t have a lot more to do with anger and revenge than with love. But at least I already knew there truly were people in the world who loved me — loved me, whatever my miserable excuse for a father was like — because I had Adorai and her parents. And I had Sister Klairah at the convent, and Sandaria, and the rest of the Sisters since then.”

“Yes, you did. I don’t doubt for a minute that the need for revenge — vengeance — was a huge part of what started you on this road. But I’ve worked with you pretty closely for the last year or so, and I’ve talked to Adorai. I think it was that love you’re talking about that turned what you wanted into justice rather than personal vengeance.”

“Somehow I don’t think of myself as the new holy lawgiver,” she said dryly.

“I remember something Nahrmahn said once,” he countered. “We were talking about saints, and he said he suspected most of them had been pains in the ass.” Aivah chuckled, and he grinned. Then he sobered. “For a lot of reasons — reasons I think will become clear to you shortly — the last thing I’d want to be is a ‘holy’ anything. That’s not who or what I am, and I’ve seen where that kind of belief in your own infallibility can lead.”

“So have I, Merlin. So have I. And I think you and Cayleb and Maikel Staynair are right. Even if we manage to destroy the Group of Four we’ve got, the only way to prevent something just like it from reemerging is to break the Church’s monopoly on God’s own authority.” She shook her head, eyes sad once more. “I don’t like admitting that, because there’s so much good in want the Church could accomplish — so many good things the Church has accomplished — and even as a Sister of Saint Kohdy, it’s hard to reject the vicarate’s authority. To decide the Grand Vicar doesn’t speak with God’s own voice. But if God’s children are going to live together the way He wants them to, the thing His Church has become needs to be broken. I don’t think Samyl Wylsynn could ever have accepted that in his heart of hearts, but I also think that deep inside he knew it was true, anyway. And I’m sure Hauwerd did.”

Merlin nodded, his own eyes dark as he wondered how she was going to react to the full truth. Despite everything she’d said about Kohdy’s journal, even her belief that the original Adams and Eves had been “somewhere else” while the archangels created Safehold, the depth of her faith — of her belief in what the Church “was supposed to be” — upheld her like a pillar of iron. How would she respond when she learned what the foundation of that iron pillar truly was? And how would he deal with what he’d have to do if she responded . . . poorly? The decision to take her and Sandaria to the cave would give him options he hadn’t had far too many other times, yet even so . . . .

“Well, it won’t be so very much longer before you and Sandaria are in a position to see exactly why we think that way,” he told her.

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:15 am


Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:54 pm
Location: East Central Illinois

Thank You Oh Great And Magnificent Wizard Weber :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:
Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by 6L6   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:18 am


Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:37 pm
Location: Sourthern Md. USA

Yes Thank you so much RFC.
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by ksandgren   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:24 am

Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 342
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:54 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California

Thank You RFC! The withdrawal from mu addiction was getting painful.
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by Down Under   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:46 am

Down Under
Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:54 am
Location: New Zealand

Thank RFC

Good things do come to those who wait, (no matter how impatiently!)
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by Spacekiwi   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:06 am


Posts: 2634
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:08 am
Location: New Zealand

Our God of words is kind. :D

Thank you RFC.

its not paranoia if its justified... :D
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by akira.taylor   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:08 am

Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:28 pm

runsforcelery wrote:<SNIP> And how would he deal with what he’d have to do if she responded . . . poorly? The decision to take her and Sandaria to the cave would give him options he hadn’t had far too many other times, yet even so . . . .<SNIP>

Hmm. A hint that there have been mistakes? Or just concerns about them (resulting in not saying anything, to prevent a need for accidents)?
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by Alistair   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:27 am

Rear Admiral

Posts: 1280
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:48 am

Thanks DW

I think she will handle the truth quite well... but maybe some of the other sisters won't
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:34 am

Bruno Behrends
Captain of the List

Posts: 567
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:33 am
Location: Berlin

Thank you very much for this Thanksgiving present and your good wishes! I hope you had a good time too.

Good luck with that hardware upgrade :P

I like the way the story is going!
Re: HFQ Official Snippet #12
Post by Draken   » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:08 am


Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:58 am

Thank you RFC.

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