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SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius

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SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:27 pm

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(trying to keep the spoilers about the end vague)

Very early in the book, in the March 1923 section, Benjamin Detweiler is thinking about how the Detweiler Plan is completely off the rails. He also mentions he will not live to see its end. Considering he'll live for 300+ years, that's a LOT of time. It's also clear they've been replanning. So what's that plan?

How long do they plan to stay hidden? And is part of the plan to shrug off blame from the 1920s, or just buy time? Because I can't really believe that the Galaxy will forget what happened for a century, so if the Alignment on Darius comes out with spider-driven warships and weapons of mass destruction before then, they'll be connected to the events, whether the patsy was believed or not.

And so will their supporters who've been duped into believing Darius was the home of the anti-militaristic Alignment.

Two more things:


First, what of the Renaissance Factor? It looks like they've been written off. The RF's part in the previous iteration of the Detweiler Plan was to be the shining beacon of civilisation amidst chaos, but with genetic uplift permitted. Right now, they are just one of many splinter groups and even Chuck Ganon didn't list them first, instead his attention was on Maya. But the leaders in the RF were Detweiler-Zone members of the Alignment, they knew of a lot of details of the plans. Could there be some resentment?

The Alignment can't be hands off Mannerheim, though.


Second, and this is a topic that I haven't seen anyone bring up in any of the spoiler threads so far, is the discussion about changing the Beowulf Code. Coupled with bringing the Benign Alignment (a.k.a. Engagement) into the light and giving them a meaningful and useful short-term objective, they've created a powerful counter to the Alignment's plans. If the Beowulf Code does indeed get updated to allow some genetic uplift, without the castes, stratification and speciation that the Detweilers want, that removes a lot of teeth from the Detweiler Plan. It changes the nature of the discussion from what to do to how to do it. In one corner, you have the Galaxy, with the Beowulfers and the Engagement, doing good work, and on the other you have those lunatics arguing that they should be in control of what's already happening.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by Relax   » Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:33 pm

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All of the points you brought up, I too thought about as I read the book.

I didn't post about them pretty much because it is either completely open ended and frankly nothing to argue about. Or, to discuss requires a LOT of typing and uggg... Or will be fait a compli in next book when Darius gets found finishing the series and a few bad guys vanish into the night to stew in their hatred of the plebs... :o
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Oct 10, 2021 5:15 pm

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The RF is in-play but not to the extend the Alignment wanted or intended at this point as the breakdown of the SL didn't go according to plan.

While the RF is apparently gathering some new members and remember that nobody in the SL or the GA knows the RF was predesigned and structured by the Alignment. The RF was to both serve as a defensive alternative to systems- SL and non-SL- looking for some shelter and support as the SL disintegrated and as the insertion vector for the genetic uplift of the Detweiler persuasion and all of the moral and philosophical adjustments to various systems that need to go along with creating the broad basis for that type of uplift to go forward.

So it is there and it is moving forward and the driving to Detweiler/Alignment is going to take time. Some of the RA are already well along with the fundamental changes and, based on the number of Alphas that appear to be homegrown in the Mannerheim SDF, it may be functioning there in plain sight if not generally acknowledged. Think of this as an infection of morals and philosophy. It was not designed to accomplished overnight. It will take centuries.

My opinion is that the core of the Alignment has always intended to operate from the shadows, playing puppet-masters while remaining cloaked and theoretically unfindable. But we shall see.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by munroburton   » Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:09 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:First, what of the Renaissance Factor? It looks like they've been written off. The RF's part in the previous iteration of the Detweiler Plan was to be the shining beacon of civilisation amidst chaos, but with genetic uplift permitted. Right now, they are just one of many splinter groups and even Chuck Ganon didn't list them first, instead his attention was on Maya. But the leaders in the RF were Detweiler-Zone members of the Alignment, they knew of a lot of details of the plans. Could there be some resentment?

The Alignment can't be hands off Mannerheim, though.

Well, Gannon listed them second and was possibly going to list other groups before Kingsford stopped him. A month later, the Renaissance Factor had overtaken Maya as a potential problem for the League; Gannon considered the Mannerheims to be smarmy, secretive and less trustworthy than Barregos/Rozsak.

I wonder if Mannerheim is the ticking bomb that may eventually get Darius killed...

IIRC, the Alignment has control of the Renaissance Factor's leadership but this was done through infiltration methods, akin to how they corrupted Haven rather than building from the ground up like Galton or Darius. Consequently, there are variables they can't control forever due to the genuine self-interest within those populations and even compromised institutions.

For an example of what I mean by genuine self-interest, consider how Thomas Theisman came out of nowhere; a state-raised orphan who loyally served his star nation until he was in a position to cut the snake's head off - and meaningfully reformed that nation. What's more, Haven actually produced two such people in the same era - Rob S Pierre himself had genuine intentions of fixing the People's Republic which might ultimately have ended its expansionism(and did enact several reforms which helped Theisman get there).

Mannerheim is trying to quietly buy every claim to the Felix system and the Alignment is using this as an internal cover story to keep people from talking about it.

But at some point, such people who care about Mannerheim - plus those like Hauptman who would stand to personally benefit from expanding his cartel via new wormhole routes - will start pushing to do something, anything with the Felix Junction, leading to colonisation of the planet and platforms/forts at the wormhole. The Alignment will be forced into it; either they bow to this pressure or they see their puppets undercut/replaced.

So they have to flood Felix's Astro Control with agents to ensure nobody figures out that it has two Bridges Which Must Be Concealed. Unfortunately, they can't prevent Manticoran merchants who use the other two revealed bridges from passively accumulating data and passing it to Manticoran agencies. All it takes is one treecat accompanying any diplo-scientific visit and the jig's up. GA agents will start digging around the Renaissance Factor.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:17 pm

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munroburton wrote:So they have to flood Felix's Astro Control with agents to ensure nobody figures out that it has two Bridges Which Must Be Concealed. Unfortunately, they can't prevent Manticoran merchants who use the other two revealed bridges from passively accumulating data and passing it to Manticoran agencies. All it takes is one treecat accompanying any diplo-scientific visit and the jig's up. GA agents will start digging around the Renaissance Factor.


Which is why I don't think they can announce the wormhole, whether they get the rights to it or not. It has to be kept very, very secret. With just 12 light years distance to Mannerheim, the Felix-Mannerheim-Warner junction could be an incredibly important commercial route. Just see how the Phoenix Cluster has profited from its "junction", which connects the Manticore and Erewhon junctions to one another, via a small distance in hyper. And the other end of the Mannerheim-Warner wormhole is somewhere close to the core of the League.

So they won't want to announce. But like you said, commercial interests in the Republic of Mannerheim could begin to force the government's hand. I'm pretty sure all of the big shots in the business leadership there are also Alpha lines, but you can only keep indoctrination for so long.

But I don't think this will be the way they get revealed.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by munroburton   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:45 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Which is why I don't think they can announce the wormhole, whether they get the rights to it or not. It has to be kept very, very secret. With just 12 light years distance to Mannerheim, the Felix-Mannerheim-Warner junction could be an incredibly important commercial route. Just see how the Phoenix Cluster has profited from its "junction", which connects the Manticore and Erewhon junctions to one another, via a small distance in hyper. And the other end of the Mannerheim-Warner wormhole is somewhere close to the core of the League.

So they won't want to announce. But like you said, commercial interests in the Republic of Mannerheim could begin to force the government's hand. I'm pretty sure all of the big shots in the business leadership there are also Alpha lines, but you can only keep indoctrination for so long.

But I don't think this will be the way they get revealed.


I agree, it won't be how they get caught out. But you've done a good job of illustrating why they can't keep a lid on Felix forever. It's much too valuable in comparison to the nearly useless(at least commercially) bridge from somewhere in Haven to Bolthole.

I did think of another option; they can reveal the junction in its full four-lane glory but make sure no survey ships return from two particular lanes. It'd probably be unprecedented for a junction to have two killer termini, but one-way wormhole bridges are not unknown, even if Congo's termini was also artificially deadly.

If they go with that option, they won't need all those agents in Astro Control and can just have people who genuinely believe it's too dangerous to allow anyone to transit those lanes again.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by Theemile   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:21 am

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munroburton wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Which is why I don't think they can announce the wormhole, whether they get the rights to it or not. It has to be kept very, very secret. With just 12 light years distance to Mannerheim, the Felix-Mannerheim-Warner junction could be an incredibly important commercial route. Just see how the Phoenix Cluster has profited from its "junction", which connects the Manticore and Erewhon junctions to one another, via a small distance in hyper. And the other end of the Mannerheim-Warner wormhole is somewhere close to the core of the League.

So they won't want to announce. But like you said, commercial interests in the Republic of Mannerheim could begin to force the government's hand. I'm pretty sure all of the big shots in the business leadership there are also Alpha lines, but you can only keep indoctrination for so long.

But I don't think this will be the way they get revealed.


I agree, it won't be how they get caught out. But you've done a good job of illustrating why they can't keep a lid on Felix forever. It's much too valuable in comparison to the nearly useless(at least commercially) bridge from somewhere in Haven to Bolthole.

I did think of another option; they can reveal the junction in its full four-lane glory but make sure no survey ships return from two particular lanes. It'd probably be unprecedented for a junction to have two killer termini, but one-way wormhole bridges are not unknown, even if Congo's termini was also artificially deadly.

If they go with that option, they won't need all those agents in Astro Control and can just have people who genuinely believe it's too dangerous to allow anyone to transit those lanes again.


Why even announce the other 2 lanes exist? Or for that matter, just the 1 to Darius - and let people know about the twins link - but not the 2nd wormhole there. it's not like any third party will be swanning around doing sensor sweeps - and no one will expect a 2nd wormhole terminus in the same system. It's hiding a secret in plain site - no one is considering the possibility of secret military complexes under Disney theme parks while their kids are spinning on the teacups.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by munroburton   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:10 am

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Theemile wrote:Why even announce the other 2 lanes exist? Or for that matter, just the 1 to Darius - and let people know about the twins link - but not the 2nd wormhole there. it's not like any third party will be swanning around doing sensor sweeps - and no one will expect a 2nd wormhole terminus in the same system. It's hiding a secret in plain site - no one is considering the possibility of secret military complexes under Disney theme parks while their kids are spinning on the teacups.


If they open the Junction to regular traffic, partially, I figure there'll be any number of interested third parties taking a look. For starters, a bunch of astrophysicists looking for more data for their wormhole studies.

The Felix Junction's four lanes aren't as hard to spot as Manticore's latest bridge was - or the MAlign wouldn't have found them by now(heck, it might even have a fifth or sixth that has not been found yet). So third parties are going to suggest to Mannerheim, "Hey, you probably got one or two more lanes in there. Why aren't you looking for them? Do you want our help?" or, worst-case, "why don't you invite the Royal Manticoran Astrophysics Agency in?"

At that point, the best way of preventing anyone trying to explore those lanes becomes the "We already tried, the ships never came back. Go ahead if you dare..." approach.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:17 am

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munroburton wrote:At that point, the best way of preventing anyone trying to explore those lanes becomes the "We already tried, the ships never came back. Go ahead if you dare..." approach.


Which is a major ticking time bomb. Even if it's for the Darius end, it implies that the defences on the other side must be on readiness ALL the time for the next century. They can't let anyone come back.

More importantly, the major reason they can't open the Felix Junction to traffic is because the MAlign needs to use it. There can be no prying eyes when a ship transits to or from Darius.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF: the future of the Alignment on Darius
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:39 am

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munroburton wrote:I agree, it won't be how they get caught out. But you've done a good job of illustrating why they can't keep a lid on Felix forever. It's much too valuable in comparison to the nearly useless(at least commercially) bridge from somewhere in Haven to Bolthole.


In fact, there's a system of wormholes within one-week's travel from one another that could form a great circuit through the Core:
  1. Warner
  2. Mannerheim
  3. Felix
  4. The Twins
  5. Congo
  6. Erewhon
  7. Terra Haute
  8. Hennesy
  9. Manticore
  10. Beowulf

We don't know how far Beowulf is from Warner. We know Warner wasn't the closest target to Sol they were planning for Operation Rat Catcher, and it might be on the other side of Sol from Sigma Draconis, but both are still in the Core. I seriously doubt it would be longer than the Gregor-Basilisk transit through Silesia was for the RMMS, and it would be through MUCH richer regions.

That actually begs the question: are wormholes more common than we or they had thought?

I've just remembered one more thing: Warner is one week's travel from the Sarduchi-Włocławek Warp Bridge, which connects it to the Madras Sector, which the GA has just freed from OFS oppression. The Mannerheim and RF businesspeople, if they weren't controlled by the MAlign, should be salivating at the opportunity that those newly-opened markets could mean for them.
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