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Honorverse favorite passages

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:46 am

cthia
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Nice post Bruno! However, it reminds me of my anger that Honor didn't get her just dessert from her presence of mind and her rare command authority in an officer so inexperienced. Praised as a hero was what I was expecting. Yet another incident that goes to show one simply cannot second-guess human nature and how one shall assimilate facts.

****** *


A Rising Thunder
And Mother and Daddy have changed their attitudes, too, she thought sadly.
There’d been a time when her parents had put up with the twins’ personal armsmen only because Grayson law required them to. They’d realized Jeremiah Tennard and Luke Blackett kept a watchful eye on them, as well, but they’d regarded it as a necessary (if rather touching) nuisance in their own case. One to be evaded whenever possible.

Not since the Yawata Strike. Not since Allison Harrington and her grandson had lived only because two of those armsmen had died for them.

They hadn’t raised even a token objection when Honor informed them, firmly, that from now on, they had their own personal armsmen. And despite an initial standoffishness—a defensive reaction born of the hurt of LaFollet’s and Tennard’s deaths—they’d adjusted better than she’d been afraid they might. Not that she hadn’t put some careful consideration into picking the proper guardians.

Touching. How many lives has Grayson's armsmen saved? I must admit, I didn't care too much, initially, for Grayson armsmen. I thought they were a pretentious aberration born of an even more pretentious planet. Where in actuality, they have come to be amongst the most loved characters in the series. I miss every one of them, who always gives his life willingly and with passion. Profound characters.

Why do I feel that a female armswoman would infuse so much excitement into the storyline? And why do I feel that a female armswoman would make so many preceding august personages incredibly proud?

Because she would! Because she would!

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Yow   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:25 pm

Yow
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House of Steel
[God bless her ornery little soul]

“I’M TELLING YOU, ROGER, she’s brilliant. We agree on that, all right?! But she knows she’s brilliant, and she has about as much tact as . . . as—”
Jonas Adcock shook his head, obviously unable to come up with the simile he wanted, then threw up both hands.
“Hell, she doesn’t have any tact! In fact, I don’t think she’s ever even heard the word!”
“Now, now, Jonas!” Roger shook his own head reprovingly. “You know perfectly well she has to have heard the word used at least in passing as much as, oh, two or three times just at the Island!”
“Then she sure as hell wasn’t paying attention,” Adcock growled.”
“Should I assume from your obvious despair that she’s . . . stepped on someone’s toes again?”
“I’m astonished young Alexander didn’t wring her neck,” Adcock said bluntly. “Or that the two of them didn’t spend their lunch hour down at the dueling grounds, for that matter!”
“Oh? And what was the source of their . . . mutual discontent this time?”
“The usual,” Adcock sighed. “Mind you, this time it was all Sonja’s own fault. Not that she was prepared to admit it! She ran into him when he dropped by Section Thirteen to discuss the latest ‘burn’ settings on the Mark Ten.”
He paused, raising his eyebrows, and Roger nodded his understanding.

SNIP (info dump "Mk 10")

“Well, Sonja was over there to see Commander Mavroudis about something completely separate, but she overheard the question and made some remark about how ‘obsolescent dual mode warheads’ are becoming.”
He looked at Roger again, this time expressionlessly, and Roger groaned.
“Tell me she didn’t say anything about Python!” he begged.
“No,” Adcock said judiciously. “Not in so many words, anyway. But she’d said enough to make Alexander curious, and he asked her what she was talking about. At which point she realized she wasn’t supposed to be talking about Python to anyone—Mavroudis was doing everything but send her semaphore messages from behind Alexander’s back to shut up about it—and fell back on simply giving him a smug, Sonja, I-know-something-you-don’t-know look. Which convinced him she didn’t have a clue what she was talking about—that it was just Sonja being Sonja again—and he made a relatively scathing observation about people who happened to be obsessed with shiny toys and what a pity it was they couldn’t spend the same amount of mental effort on weapons, instead.”
“Oh, Lord.”
Roger’s tone was almost mild, his expression that of a man watching two ground cars slide unstoppably towards one another on a sheet of ice, and Adcock chuckled sourly.

SNIP (info dump "Project Python")

“Give her her due,” Adcock said after a moment. “She obviously realized she should never have opened her mouth about it, and she wasn’t about to breach security, even when Alexander whacked her up aside the head. But that doesn’t mean her temper was any better than usual. She let him have it right back, and they were off to the races in a bloodbath that didn’t have one single thing to do with hardware or weapon systems anymore. One of the little drawbacks of having known each other since they were weaned, I suppose.” He shook his head. “Mavroudis says it took him ten minutes to separate them . . . and it felt like ten hours! He also asked me if I could put her on a leash in the future.”
“Oof!”
Roger grinned. Commander Anders Mavroudis was one of the easiest-going officers in the Queen’s Navy. The fact that he’d made a request like that spoke volumes about how . . . interesting the discussion must have become.
“He commed me while she was still in transit,” Adcock continued, “so I took the opportunity to give her a few quality moments of my own time on her arrival and then sent her off to Sebastian for a refresher review on Security 101, and I’ll just let you guess how well she took that. For a minute there, I thought he was going to invite her out for a little pistol practice this afternoon!”
Adcock grimaced disgustedly. Despite a degree of patriotism which made the most fervent nativeborn Manticorans’ look positively anemic, there were some aspects of the Star Kingdom of which he’d never fully approved. One of those was the persistence of its Code Duello . . . which didn’t mean there weren’t times he could understand how useful people might find it in certain situations.
Roger chuckled, although he had to sympathize with his friend. Lieutenant Commander Sonja Hemphill, the granddaughter of Vice Admiral Robert Hemphill (who’d finally been forced into a long overdue retirement at BuShips), was just as brilliant as Adcock had suggested. And while she wasn’t quite as socially tone deaf as the other captain’s diatribe might suggest, she did have a pronounced gift (which she had obviously inherited from her grandfather) for stepping on toes. It didn’t help that she and Commander Sebastian D’Orville didn’t like each other very much, and the fact that she obviously thought D’Orville—who happened to be senior to her—was slightly denser than battle steel helped even less.
Lieutenant Commander Hamish Alexander, on the other hand, was just as smart and at least moderately more tactful than Hemphill.

SNIP (info dump "Janacek")

Unfortunately, young Hamish had inherited the White Haven temper from his father in all its glory. The First Space Lord’s ability to totally demolish some unfortunate soul with a handful of carefully chosen, icily furious words was famous throughout the service. Hamish had the same gift, and one fine day, when Janacek could no longer hide behind the protective rampart of his superior rank and Article Twenty’s prohibition of actions or language “of an insubordinate nature, tending to undermine the authority of a superior officer,” Hamish Alexander was going to demonstrate that to him in full. Roger only wished he could be a fly on the wall when it happened.
Even more unfortunately, Hamish and Sonja were already equal in rank, which took Article Twenty off the table in her case. Worse, the two “of them had known one another since childhood, and Roger was of the opinion that they’d probably had their first fight in a kindergarten sandbox.
Be fair, he scolded himself. The real problem is that he thinks she’s a “panacea merchant.” He’s not the only one, either, and the fact that she can’t tell him what’s really going on in Jonas’ shop isn’t making things any better. Whatever her other failings, she takes her security clearance and its restrictions seriously, God bless her ornery little soul, which forces her to talk in generalities, rather than specifics, in public. Her frustration quotient’s getting bigger, too, now that she sees all those tantalizing possibilities she can’t talk about, which is undermining whatever effort towardsu tactfulness she might otherwise make. In fact, that’s probably what set this one off, and in some ways I can’t really blame her. But if this keeps up, or gets even worse, a lot of people are going to start sharing Hamish’s opinion, and that really could be a problem farther down the line.

SNIP (info dump "Hamish")

Unfortunately, his very interest in history made him far more conservative than Hemphill where the potential for a true technological “equalizer” was concerned, especially without any access to the sorts of projects Adcock’s small, secretive command was contemplating. It wasn’t that Alexander opposed R&D; it was simply that he felt Hemphill had far too much faith in pie-in-the-sky future super weapons which threatened to prevent concentration on the improvement of existing technologies. He’d pointed out more than once that the best was the worst enemy of good enough, and argued that the Navy had to build innovative tactical and operational doctrines around hardware it knew was attainable if it was going to confront an opponent like the PRH. It couldn’t afford to depend on stumbling across some radical transformation of war-fighting technology which had somehow managed to elude the rest of the galaxy for the past couple of T-centuries; instead (as he’d told Sonja on more than one scathing occasion), the emphasis should be on improvement of known technologies. Pure, speculative R&D had a place in his view, but primary emphasis should be placed on applied research to provide the greatest possible qualitative edge in existing offensive and defensive systems.
The problem, Roger thought, is that we need both of them because both of them are making very valid arguments. Sonja really is too convinced she’s going to come up with a silver bullet if she just throws enough ideas at the bulkhead until one of them sticks. She’s not interested in how we get the best use out of the systems we’ve already got, because she’s so confident she’s going to be able to replace them with something so much better. And Hamish is too stubborn—and smart, and outside the loop of what we’re looking at over here—to pin his hopes on something that may well never materialize. No wonder the two of them are at each other’s throats! But at least he doesn’t think Sonja’s a cretin with delusions of godhood the way he sees Janacek. Or not yet, anyway. I suppose that’s always subject to change if this . . . spirited discussion of theirs goes on long enough.
“So what are you going to do about them?” he asked.
His tone darkened with the question. It was a small thing, but Adcock knew him well and gave him a sudden, sharp look. Roger saw it and shrugged with a crooked smile. There was a reason he’d asked Adcock what he was going to do about it instead of asking what they were going to do about it.
“There’s not much I can do about young Alexander, since he’s not under my command,” Adcock pointed out after a moment. “For that matter, I doubt he and I have even spoken to one another more than three or four times, so I can hardly sit him down and ‘reason’ with him on any personal basis.” He shrugged. “I have talked to Sonja . . . again. And she promises to behave better—hah! What she means is she’ll try to behave better for at least a couple of weeks, but then she’s going to get buried in something and step on somebody’s toes—again—without even realizing she’s done it. And I’m going to try to make the fact that we’re losing Sebastian back to fleet duty an advantage. I’ll have him sit down and ‘counsel’ her—bluntly—before he leaves. Maybe that’ll keep her on the straight and narrow at least long enough for Stovalt to settle in at his desk before he has to separate any fractious children!”


I probably should have snipped more but I couldn't decide where so there we are.

Cthia's father ~ "Son, do not cater to the common belief that a person has to earn respect. That is not true. You should give every person respect right from the start. What a person has to earn is your continued respect!"
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:47 pm

cthia
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Nice Yow. And I haven't read that yet. I always wondered about the tension between certain officers. Darn good post! I've got to make time and get to it.

****** *

A Rising Thunder
“Hush!” Emily smacked Honor on the head with her working hand. “I want to see if Rosalinda has a stroke on system-wide HD.”

“You wish,” Honor muttered.

Don't you just hate people who talk through tv shows and movies? Apparently, Emily does too. Not many people can smack Honor. :o :lol:

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Yow   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:00 pm

Yow
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More of my love of Sonja :oops:

House of Steel
[She’s just being Sonja]
“...I'm going to have Styler and Tillman list Gram as carrying acting commodore’s rank for whoever’s in command. That’ll give you the seniority you need and keep you off the Captains List, and as black as Gram is, no one’s going to be seeing anything about your acting rank in the open press. And”—he raised an index finger when Jonas opened his mouth—“if you argue with me about it, I will have you put on the List.”
Jonas closed his mouth again, and Roger smiled.
“Better,” he said. “And while we’re on the subject of personnel, what’s this I hear about Sonja?”
“She’s just being Sonja,” Adcock sighed. “Tactless, brilliant, opinionated, tactless, irritating, energetic, tactless, bouncy, confident, tactless, over enthusiastic, overly focused—did I mention tactless?”
Roger laughed and shook his head.
“Tactless I can stand, but your latest memo said something about polarizing?”
His tone had become more serious and his eyebrows rose, and Adcock sighed again, more deeply.
“I’m afraid that’s true,” he said. “It’s not that I think she’s wrong, you understand. In fact, I’m positive she’s right most of the time, at least theoretically. The problem is that where she sees glittering possibilities“, a lot of my other people see harebrained notions produced by someone without any real tactical experience of her own. No one’s done it explicitly yet, but sometime soon someone’s going to bust her chops on exactly that issue, at which point things are going to get . . . lively. And even if we weren’t having that problem in-house, eventually we’ll have to come out into the open with at least some of our notional hardware. We’ll have to sell whatever we come up with to a lot of thick-skinned dinosaurs, most of whom have backgrounds as ‘shooters’ themselves, and they’re going to feel exactly the same way about it. For that matter, I feel that way sometimes. The woman really is brilliant, Roger, but she needs a bigger dose of . . . reality? Experience? I don’t know the exact word, but something to . . . temper that enthusiasm of hers.”
“I agree, and I’ve been thinking about it.” Roger took another pull on his cigar, then waved it once more. “She’s going to hate it, and you can blame it on me or Rodriguez to take the heat off you, but we’re going to put her back into shipboard command. I know she’ll feel like a square peg in a round hole, at least at first, but you’re right—she needs that experience for her own perspective, and she needs her ticket punched if she’s going to have credibility with those dinosaurs of yours.”
“You’re right, she won’t like it,” Jonas said. “But you’re also right that she needs it.” He grinned. “And it’ll do her good to have to put on her big girl panties and get out there in the trenches with the rest of us mere mortals!”
“I don’t think I’d be too quick to use that last sentence when you explain the situation to her,” Roger said dryly.
“Oh, I’m far too wise to do that!” Jonas reassured him. “But it really will do her maturity quotient some good.”
“I think it will, too,” Roger agreed.

I thought I remembered someone questioning wether Sonja had any command experience. Well this is where she got her start I suppose.

Cthia's father ~ "Son, do not cater to the common belief that a person has to earn respect. That is not true. You should give every person respect right from the start. What a person has to earn is your continued respect!"
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:33 am

cthia
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Such good taste Yow.

****** *
And now, from my favorite book in any series — the best kept secret in town ... On Basilisk Station ...


She settled back in her seat as the cutter separated from Warlock and headed back to Fearless, and her mind reached out to grapple with her crew's reaction to this latest development. No doubt they would see Warlock's departure as one more sign that they'd been demoted to the least important duty the Fleet could find and abandoned, and they would soon realize just how heavy a burden Young had dropped on them. Her single ship would be required to police the entire system and all of the traffic passing through the Basilisk terminus, and there was no way they could do it. They couldn't be in enough places at once, and trying to would impose a mind- and body-numbing strain on all of them.

Which was exactly what Young had intended. He was leaving her an impossible job, content in the knowledge that her failure to discharge it would go into her record. Unlike him, Honor had yet to make list, and if she botched her first independent command, however it had fallen on her, she never would.

But she hadn't botched it yet, and she nodded to herself—a choppy, angry nod. Even knowing that Young had set her up, that he intended for her to fail and ruin herself, was better than serving under his command, she told herself. Let him take himself off to Manticore. The sooner he got out of the same star system as her, the better she'd like it! And of one thing she was certain; she couldn't do any worse at the job than he had.

She'd made a mistake once where he was concerned. She wouldn't let him push her into another. Whatever it took, she would discharge her own duties and meet her own responsibilities. Not just to protect her career, but because they were her duties and responsibilities. Because she would not let an aristocratic piece of scum like Pavel Young win.

She straightened her spine and looked down at the data chip of her orders, and her dark brown eyes were dangerous.


Beware a woman born of dark brown eyes and a cold soprano voice. Beware.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:58 pm

cthia
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Posts: 11274
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More from the shores of On Basilisk Station.

Obviously, ladies and gentlemen, a single light cruiser can't be in all those places at once. Nonetheless, I have my orders from Captain Young, and I will discharge them."

McKeon sat silent, staring at her in disbelief. She couldn't be serious! As she herself had just proven, no single ship could discharge them.

But she obviously meant to try, and his cheeks burned as he realized what she'd been doing in her quarters over the three hours since her return from Warlock. She'd been tackling her impossible assignment by herself, wrestling with it without even attempting to involve her officers in its solution, for they'd proven that she couldn't. He'd proven that she couldn't.

His hands gripped together under the edge of the table. The final responsibility would have been Harrington's in any case, but captains had officers—and especially first officers—specifically to help them in situations like this. More, McKeon had already grasped the malice behind her new orders. He'd suspected there was something between her and Young; now he knew there was. Young was running a grave risk with his own career by quitting his station, though it seemed likely he had the patronage and influence to stave off outright disaster. But if Harrington failed to discharge the responsibilities he'd dumped on her, however impossible . . .

He shivered internally and made himself concentrate on her words.

"Lieutenant Venizelos."
"Yes, Ma'am?"

"You will select thirty-five ratings and one junior officer for detached duty. Fearless will escort Warlock to the terminus. As soon as Warlock has departed, I will drop you, your chosen personnel, and both pinnaces. You will rendezvous with Basilisk Control and assume the duties of customs and security officer for the terminus traffic. You will be attached to Basilisk Control for that purpose until further notice. Understood?"

Venizelos gawked at her for a moment, and even McKeon blinked. It was unheard of! But it might just work, he admitted almost unwillingly. Unlike cutters, pinnaces were large enough to mount impeller drives and inertial compensators, and they were armed. Their weapons might be popguns and slingshots compared to regular warships, but they were more than sufficient to police unarmed merchantmen. Yet Venizelos was only a lieutenant, and he would be ten hours' com time from his commanding officer. He'd be entirely on his own, and one wrong decision on his part could ruin not only his own career but Harrington's, as well, which certainly explained his white, strained expression.

The captain sat motionless, eyes on Venizelos's face, and her mouth tightened ominously. One tapering forefinger tapped the tabletop gently, and the tactical officer shook himself visibly.

"Uh, yes, Ma'am! Understood."

"Good." Honor regarded him levelly for another moment, tasting his anxiety and uncertainty, and made herself step firmly on her compassion. She was throwing him into the deep end, but she'd been three years younger than he was now when she assumed command of LAC 113. And, she thought mordantly, if he screwed up, Pavel Young and his cronies would see to it that she paid the price for it, not Venizelos. Not that she intended to tell the lieutenant that.


Is there reading delight in any book I haven't discovered which features Honor in command of LAC 113? Is there huh? Is there huh? ... as cthia sits, begging like a dog, expectantly, hoping, paws in the air, panting, winded from excitement.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse series, the future..?
Post by kzt   » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:14 pm

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No, just mentioned in passing. I have no idea if David's background files have anything interesting, but it's just an entry in her file right now.
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Re: Honorverse series, the future..?
Post by cthia   » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:44 pm

cthia
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kzt wrote:No, just mentioned in passing. I have no idea if David's background files have anything interesting, but it's just an entry in her file right now.

Well at least this time it isn't another book I'm missing. However, I cringe when I think of Honor in a LAC. This had to be loong ago, when LACs were first considered a viable tactical option. Since textev stated that the use of LACs was discontinued due to their 'effectiveness and diminishing returns?,' until such time that the RMN introduced their innovations, I have to wonder what Honor was doing. Part of what 'tactical' or 'strategic' doctrine did she cut her teeth in? Like, what was going on in the Honorverse during that time? CLACS weren't available then, so I suppose she played some sort of system defense role? Or perhaps she policed overzealous freighter captains, similar to the way Honor used her pinnaces to police shipping in Basilisk Station.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by kzt   » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:43 pm

kzt
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I think the LACs were local defense/security forces under perimeter control or whatever that was called then.
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Re: Honorverse series, the future..?
Post by Hutch   » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:52 pm

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Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

cthia wrote:
kzt wrote:No, just mentioned in passing. I have no idea if David's background files have anything interesting, but it's just an entry in her file right now.

Well at least this time it isn't another book I'm missing. However, I cringe when I think of Honor in a LAC. This had to be loong ago, when LACs were first considered a viable tactical option. Since textev stated that the use of LACs was discontinued due to their 'effectiveness and diminishing returns?,' until such time that the RMN introduced their innovations, I have to wonder what Honor was doing. Part of what 'tactical' or 'strategic' doctrine did she cut her teeth in? Like, what was going on in the Honorverse during that time? CLACS weren't available then, so I suppose she played some sort of system defense role? Or perhaps she policed overzealous freighter captains, similar to the way Honor used her pinnaces to police shipping in Basilisk Station.


We have either short stories or textev about every ship command Honor held except this poor little LAC. I've maintained that (next to the Courtship/Marriage of Horace and Iris) this is the short story the MWW still owes us.

But that is DW's call, so it may be a forlorn hope...but I'll keep hoping.
***********************************************
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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