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Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?

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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:50 pm

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Let's look at it from the GA side

First, there's no such thing as instantaneous, traceless interstellar travel in the Honorverse. However the kidnapping happened, there are clues leading to whoever perpetrated it and wherever the Queen was taken to. So there will be a rescue operation in the plans. And as I said before, if they think the hostage is about to be killed or they think they have a sufficient opening, they'll launch it.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the GA have received a ransom demand. Purportedly, it came from the MAlign. How do they know that? How do they know it isn't a group of dissatisfied Sollies who have succeeded where they really didn't expect to, and are impersonating the MAlign? Remember the GA knows the MAlign is not gone, so why should they accept giving the MAlign peace?

But especially if they're convinced it's the MAlign, why should they accept giving the MAlign what they want? Yes, yes, you get the Queen back, but they don't expect the MAlign to honour any agreements they make. "Peace for us while you destroy the rest of the Galaxy" is not going to cut it. The very first person to reject it is going to be one Elizabeth Winton. The Government knows that the population is going to blame them if the rest of the Galaxy goes up in flames and this can be a worse loss than the death of the Queen and the ascension of Prince Roger to the throne. And this is Manticore's population: the rest of the GA will feel even more angered. Even the population of the Talbott and Silesia Quadrants would, since they have a much weaker attachment to the Queen.

They also have to know that giving in to whatever the MAlign wants is a poor choice. The MAlign is not to be trusted, so if they want time, why should you give it to them? Now, obviously, you can begin second-guessing yourself and thinking that what the MAlign really wants is for the GA to reject the ransom demand, so the best action would be to call the MAlign's bluff.

The problem is, there's no way of knowing. That's why I am saying we need to know exactly what the demands are, because that could help the GA decide on which choice has the least downside.

Of course this situation is a win-win for the MAlign and a lose-lose for the GA. The MAlign would have outmanoeuvred the GA by kidnapping the Queen. The question is not how to turn this into a win for the GA. The question is how to not compound the problem and give the MAlign even more of what it wants.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:08 pm

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And one more thing about peace that I've just thought of.

No party is going to commit to stopping military actions against the MAlign unless they receive something in return. In other words, the MAlign receives peace only from those to whom it offers peace in return. If that's Manticore only, the rest of the GA is free to pursue the MAlign. If it's the entirety of the GA, then Torch and the SL are still free. And tell me why should Torch or the SL agree to this treaty?

Anyway, that does not prevent spying operations -- nations spy on their own allies, so why wouldn't they spy on an untrustworthy, hostile polity? That means all operations to finding Darius will continue, by all polities. And with increased effort, since they've just shown themselves to still be active. What happens next is the crux.

Here's where it gets interesting: the MAlign will obviously attack someone, sometime. Either it's someone to whom they didn't offer peace to in the first place (like the SL) or someone they did -- the reverse of this would be that they offered peace to everyone and honoured it, which ain't gonna happen. So all the parties bound by the peace treaty need to do is sign a mutual defence treaty against the MAlign with the parties not bound by the agreement.

The moment the MAlign attacks a signatory of the treaty or the mutual defence partner, they've declared war on the full GA again. They've violated their own agreement, rendering it void. That brings the full force of the GA plus any mutual defence third parties crashing down on the Darius system, which may have been found.

The GA can also force the MAN to violate the treaty. Suppose they've found the Darius system. After scouting it from stealth and learning all they think there is to be learnt, they send a civilian freighter with a military escort to open trade. It's not an act of war to send a military escort, so long as the military ship stays out of the hyperlimit unless invited in. What's the MAN going to do? The least compromising situation here is to turn it away without actually damaging either ship. But now the secret is out and the GA has sensor readings of deep inside the Darius system.

All this to say: what does the MAlign gain by asking for "peace?" There doesn't seem to be much, because it's unenforceable and will be violated anyway. And I think we can even show that time is not the answer, because the GA can continue the hunt without violating the treaty and being the one to fire the first shot. In fact, by negotiating, by having kidnapped the Queen, they shorten the amount of time they had in the first place. So this entire situation is unrealistic.
Last edited by ThinksMarkedly on Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by tlb   » Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:20 pm

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cthia wrote:Why must you always characterise my willingness to look under the skin or peer under heavy rocks as a scheme of my own. IOW, what if the Queen is kidnapped for ransom. Which isn't exactly a zero possibility.

Would you prefer the term "scenario" to "scheme"? I prefer scheme, because I do not expect that RFC would develop the story that way. I will not say that kidnapping the Queen for ransom is impossible, only that I will never be convinced that the specific demands you describe would be the ones on offer. Plus the melodramatic terms you use to justify those demands seem to be pure fanfic, which just alienates me more.

Your inventions of a "karmic" burden for Beowulf or of a religious revolt on Yeltsin over the "unfair" execution of Burdette were not so much peering under heavy rocks as satisfying your desire for melodrama. If you have made the instrument of destruction for Beowulf the Malign, instead of the Solarian League; then you would have been right as was pointed out at the time. As for Burdette, he got what he deserved by his own admission.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:10 pm

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tlb wrote:Would you prefer the term "scenario" to "scheme"? I prefer scheme, because I do not expect that RFC would develop the story that way. I will not say that kidnapping the Queen for ransom is impossible, only that I will never be convinced that the specific demands you describe would be the ones on offer. Plus the melodramatic terms you use to justify those demands seem to be pure fanfic, which just alienates me more.


On a meta level, let me say I actually enjoy these discussions, even if I find the scenarios far-fetched. In fact, it's because they would never have occurred to me that I enjoy them. Clearly cthia has a different view of the world than I do (and quite possibly the majority of HV readers, at least given the sample in the forum), and many of the threads have challenged me to see things in a different way. That I wasn't convinced is besides the point. Just see the "Attack on Darius" discussion on how the scenarios have evolved to workable tactics and discarding non-working ones, to the point we could easily find mistakes in Honor's actions when attacking Galton. It appears to me that many of those suggestions are emotional responses (like the karmic response), not methodic, cold, rational ones.

On this one, I keep finding it unrealistic. Not just the fact that the kidnapping is unlikely to ever happen, much less manage to get the Queen safely away from rescue for sufficient time for negotiations to happen. If any kidnapping were to be attempted, the most likely outcomes would be that the kidnappers died in the attempt or, at worst, succeeded in killing the Queen. On the off chance that they managed to overwhelm the Queen's Own and kill Monroe, they wouldn't evade pursuit for long or communicate with their handlers to get the negotiation going.

No, even if that all happened, the most likely scenario is that the MAlign would indeed kill the Queen for morale effect and pin the deed on someone that would drive a wedge between Manticore and its allies. Pin it on some Havenite opposition senator and the investigation alone could cause a fracture between the two governments. Pin it on the SL and the Solarian populace might be offended at the accusation. There's a much bigger upside for the MAlign here than a nebulous and unenforceable peace, not the least of which is that they can continue to operate in the shadows.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:47 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Let's look at it from the MAlign's perspective

Let's ignore the how this comes to pass. I find it highly unlikely it could, but let's assume it did. Whatever actions led to the capture of the Queen and her removal from a place where she could readily be rescued from are not important, nor are the decisions to led to this outcome. They could be serendipitous and the MAlign simply found itself with an opportunity.

I find it unlikely as well, but possible.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Now it has two choices to make: to release her back or not; to reveal who it was who did the kidnapping or not. This is in addition to any demands they make.

Obviously, one of the four choices is not going to be chosen: that of releasing the Queen back and not make any demands. They gain nothing from this, when the effort has already been taken and there are better options. The closest to this scenario is releasing her back with an implanted compulsion or nanobot infection, which would cause her to do some damage. Even if she's discovered the moment the first treecat lays eyes on her, the damage is done, because she dies on GA soil.

The nanobot scenario is a real possibility that I suggested upstream. But I don't think the MA would do so, because that wouldn't buy them the time they need to ramp up production - if indeed they need time for production. The nanobots have a shelf-life as I understand it, as well. They either have to be activated or refreshed. So that scenario is unlikely. A dead Queen will void the agreement.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:They could simply kill her without returning or negotiating. If the hostage is important enough that the GA government would agree to certain terms to get her back, then the hostage's death is also impactful. So the MAlign has to decide whether they'd want to return her or not. So the question from their point of view is what's better for the long-term plan: the death of a beloved leader, or whatever agreement they could get?

Let's assume the agreement is more pressing since they went to all the trouble. Or it would have simply been an assassination attempt from the beginning.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:The MAlign has no intention of honouring the agreement. Why should they expect the GA to? The GA was victim of the Yawata, Blackbird and Beowulf Strikes, which killed 45-50 million people. So do they really expect to gain much from returning the Queen without a nanobot compulsion? More importantly, do they gain more than simply killing her or causing her to be killed by the Queen's Own or the treecats?

Again, the MA would honor it until they feel confident they can protect themselves. Or, admittedly, to go on the offensive. The GA would accept it to protect the Queen's honor and good will in the Galaxy. An invaluable inviolable resource.

Besides, the MA might actually be beginning to see the error in some of their planning, and may actually be deciding to go straight. Though unlikely as well, not completely impossible. How often have we murmured that the MA should have simply set up house in their own neck of the woods. The author has stated that most of their goals have already been achieved.

If they have faith in their technology, time may be of the essence and is all they need. There is nothing new under the sun to see there. It was the same situation for the Manties and Apollo. And the reason the Havenites rolled the dice.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:They could pin the blame on someone else. They'd even sacrifice a member of the RF if it suited their needs. Let's say they sacrifice Visigoth (because Mesa is no longer an ally anyway) and pin the blame there. They've managed to get the Queen killed without revealing themselves.

Or they could reveal themselves, again, to the Galaxy. But in order for this to happen, I'd expect to be a huge upside for the MAlign. Right now, at the end of TEiF, there's reasonable doubt that the MAlign is defeated and gone, but there wouldn't be if it revealed itself again. And it would need to somehow authenticate itself for the agreement to become binding. That's something it's never done. It's never been overt, period. Therefore, I find that the MAlign revealing itself to get an agreement has a probability nearly indistinguishable from zero. The chance that they do that for something as flimsy as "you won't attack us while we take over the Galaxy" is zero.

Again, I see kidnapping the Queen as a preemptive strike. To head off any operations headed their way. If Darius is discovered as Galton was, then definitive proof of their existence would shortly be a foregone conclusion. A warning from O'Hanrahan might kick the kidnapping into gear.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:So, from the MAlign's perspective, they have several options they could undertake, having unexpected succeeded in kidnapping the Queen, that could have bigger upside and smaller downside than the agreement that cthia proposes. And as we've often heard, "these are alphas" so they're usually thinking very rationally. Moreover, those are Detweilers, who've never revealed themselves.

Well, they did suggest to O'Hanrahan that they were almost ready to come out into the open except for the latest snafu.

One way for the kidnappers to reveal that they represent the true Alignment is sacrificing one of themselves.

"Go ahead. Ask me an important question and watch me drop dead. Compliments of my bosses."

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: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:00 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:And one more thing about peace that I've just thought of.

No party is going to commit to stopping military actions against the MAlign unless they receive something in return. In other words, the MAlign receives peace only from those to whom it offers peace in return. If that's Manticore only, the rest of the GA is free to pursue the MAlign. If it's the entirety of the GA, then Torch and the SL are still free. And tell me why should Torch or the SL agree to this treaty?

Anyway, that does not prevent spying operations -- nations spy on their own allies, so why wouldn't they spy on an untrustworthy, hostile polity? That means all operations to finding Darius will continue, by all polities. And with increased effort, since they've just shown themselves to still be active. What happens next is the crux.

Here's where it gets interesting: the MAlign will obviously attack someone, sometime. Either it's someone to whom they didn't offer peace to in the first place (like the SL) or someone they did -- the reverse of this would be that they offered peace to everyone and honoured it, which ain't gonna happen. So all the parties bound by the peace treaty need to do is sign a mutual defence treaty against the MAlign with the parties not bound by the agreement.

The moment the MAlign attacks a signatory of the treaty or the mutual defence partner, they've declared war on the full GA again. They've violated their own agreement, rendering it void. That brings the full force of the GA plus any mutual defence third parties crashing down on the Darius system, which may have been found.

The GA can also force the MAN to violate the treaty. Suppose they've found the Darius system. After scouting it from stealth and learning all they think there is to be learnt, they send a civilian freighter with a military escort to open trade. It's not an act of war to send a military escort, so long as the military ship stays out of the hyperlimit unless invited in. What's the MAN going to do? The least compromising situation here is to turn it away without actually damaging either ship. But now the secret is out and the GA has sensor readings of deep inside the Darius system.

All this to say: what does the MAlign gain by asking for "peace?" There doesn't seem to be much, because it's unenforceable and will be violated anyway. And I think we can even show that time is not the answer, because the GA can continue the hunt without violating the treaty and being the one to fire the first shot. In fact, by negotiating, by having kidnapped the Queen, they shorten the amount of time they had in the first place. So this entire situation is unrealistic.

I'm jumping ahead in the queue because this is important and needs fleshing out.

The MA likes to play games of attrition. If the entire GA is sidelined, bound by the agreement, then the only worries are the SL, Torch and the Andermani. The MA may feel they can take them on without a problem. The SL may be their first strike, since they have been grounded they have been all huddled up and twiddling their thumbs like sitting ducks. Do note that the agreement would not hinder the MA from protecting itself. Or from declaring war on any remaining navies seeking war.

Would the Andermani be strong enough to take on the MA alone if the Alignment is now locked and loaded for bear? Because the Torch and Beowulf forces would be insignificant. And the SL has been put to rest.

Thus, part of the nature of their decision to kidnap the Queen has now been revealed. It offers the MA the same benefit that Pritchart offered Beth, an opportunity to turn down the heat from having to worry about several prongs of attack from several fronts. See? The MA work smart, not hard.

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: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by cthia   » Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:57 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Let's look at it from the GA side

First, there's no such thing as instantaneous, traceless interstellar travel in the Honorverse. However the kidnapping happened, there are clues leading to whoever perpetrated it and wherever the Queen was taken to. So there will be a rescue operation in the plans. And as I said before, if they think the hostage is about to be killed or they think they have a sufficient opening, they'll launch it.

I don't think the GA will blindly rush in to attempt a rescue operation. An ill-planned rescue is a recipe for disaster. Pulling off a successful rescue is like removing the funny-bone in the game of Operation. Careful you don't trigger the buzzer and kill the patient.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Meanwhile, the leaders of the GA have received a ransom demand. Purportedly, it came from the MAlign. How do they know that? How do they know it isn't a group of dissatisfied Sollies who have succeeded where they really didn't expect to, and are impersonating the MAlign? Remember the GA knows the MAlign is not gone, so why should they accept giving the MAlign peace?

I handled the question of the identity of the kidnappers upstream, but let's flesh it out a bit.

One of the handlers could be chosen to definitively identify who is behind it. Similar to slaves being able to identify that they are a slave by sticking out their tongue.

One of the handlers could be chosen to drop dead upon being asked a specific question. Or better yet, he, or another handler, could be programmed to activate his nanobot to do harm to himself in a telling fashion. IOW, the dropping dead and the compulsion tech could only come from the real Alignment. Identification confirmed.

That would equate to sacrificing one or more of their own pawns for position.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:But especially if they're convinced it's the MAlign, why should they accept giving the MAlign what they want? Yes, yes, you get the Queen back, but they don't expect the MAlign to honour any agreements they make. "Peace for us while you destroy the rest of the Galaxy" is not going to cut it. The very first person to reject it is going to be one Elizabeth Winton. The Government knows that the population is going to blame them if the rest of the Galaxy goes up in flames and this can be a worse loss than the death of the Queen and the ascension of Prince Roger to the throne. And this is Manticore's population: the rest of the GA will feel even more angered. Even the population of the Talbott and Silesia Quadrants would, since they have a much weaker attachment to the Queen.

Well you answered part of the reason to give the MAlign what they want. Getting the Queen back in play. But you can't have the GA jumping at shadows, worried about what is going to happen down the road. That isn't any different than when you sign a peace treaty with any entity. You can't baby-sit them forever and a day afterwards. You simply deal with them if they turn.

But by the same token, you can't expect them to stand by and allow any other navy to burn them to the ground. They have a god-given galactic right to protect themselves. The MA does not have to wait for a navy seeking to do battle to strike first.

I don't suppose Manticore can be blamed for releasing the SL from their sentence early, to free them for operations. But it might be obvious enough to initiate a preemptive strike. Besides, the SL can't take on a Darius that has had time to dig in. The SL couldn't even have taken Galton.

But the MA very well may conclude that time really does heal all of their worries. The LDs are all ready. They have had time to break the secret of certain tech like the Manty reactors. And even further their way along with FTL technology. And close the range advantage.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:They also have to know that giving in to whatever the MAlign wants is a poor choice. The MAlign is not to be trusted, so if they want time, why should you give it to them? Now, obviously, you can begin second-guessing yourself and thinking that what the MAlign really wants is for the GA to reject the ransom demand, so the best action would be to call the MAlign's bluff.

If the Queen is as valuable to them as the MA thinks. Nuff said. Cease-fire agreements are not new under the sun.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:The problem is, there's no way of knowing. That's why I am saying we need to know exactly what the demands are, because that could help the GA decide on which choice has the least downside.

The demands are listed upstream. Time is as important to the MA as it was too Saint-Just. As it was to the RMN and the Apollo program, as it was to the SL. Why is that hard to fathom? Many a navy simply needed time to dig in. And not necessarily to go on the offensive. Although good offensive capability is also a good defense.

Also, if a century does pass before there is trouble, wouldn't that have proved they were sincere? Regardless of the fact that they can now protect themselves from the Galaxy.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Of course this situation is a win-win for the MAlign and a lose-lose for the GA. The MAlign would have outmanoeuvred the GA by kidnapping the Queen. The question is not how to turn this into a win for the GA. The question is how to not compound the problem and give the MAlign even more of what it wants.

Win-win situations are good.

Do consider that the GA can also use the same time wisely to locate Darius and develop certain tech. The location of Darius can be published to the Galaxy by some entity that was not part of the agreement. That should help keep Darius honest.

Really? If the MA gets a second chance in life by getting this agreement, then why would they need to continue to do the things they did? After all, they were planning to come out into the open anyways. Does that include divulging their location? It shouldn't. Remaining hidden is their right. It is a built-in invisible wall of protection. No different than a Bolthole.

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: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by tlb   » Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:02 am

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cthia wrote:If the MA gets a second chance in life by getting this agreement, then why would they need to continue to do the things they did? After all, they were planning to come out into the open anyways. Does that include divulging their location? It shouldn't. Remaining hidden is their right. It is a built-in invisible wall of protection. No different than a Bolthole.

Do we really know that they were planning to come out into the open before they had achieved dictatorial control over humanity? Unless you think the Malign have given up on Galaxy domination (which would be the only reason for changing behavior)? Since their plan was to use the Renaissance Factor as a front for this takeover, I doubt that that they were going to be open before then; since that would cloud the RF connection.

Of course, the only difference between Bolthole and Darius is the intention behind being hidden; so more like Bolthole under the Peoples' Republic of Haven.
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:50 pm

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Why would the Alignment want to come out of hiding to make demands on returning the Queen?

At the moment they are about as best hidden as could be expected- Galton's invested, the Engagement is not the Alignment (although there are probably sleeper cells) and things are still in a mess as far as the League and so many other things are concerned.

So why kidnap the Queen and announce that -surprise- Manticore has been right all along and we do exist and ......we are very bad people :)

Slip Crown Price Justin a nanobot and go back to a waiting game. Start all sorts of plots rolling with the various Masada factions, a couple of Transtellars and some really pissed off former bureaucrats of the SL -possibly from OFS- and get the waters muddied with hints (post compromising Justin) of assignation attempts.

There is this little matter left unresolved of Zilwicki & company tracking the transtellar ships through a particular wormhole and are now messing around with calculating how far they actually went since there are multiple apparent "round trips" through the same wormhole and that should gave a volume of space to go slinking around in to find out what is there. Ok, it's a large volume of space, but even with Streak Drive and ships taking all sorts of vectors after exiting the wormhole, there is a limit to how far they could go and come back. Sure, they ALL could be heading to deep space clandestine meetings not near a star but that is not likely.

And if an almost useless system that just happens to be a place where the Mannerheim SDF likes to hold exercises (without permission from any of the potential owners), that could get interesting
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Re: Pawn - Q7 ... Checkmate?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:47 pm

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cthia wrote:The nanobot scenario is a real possibility that I suggested upstream. But I don't think the MA would do so, because that wouldn't buy them the time they need to ramp up production - if indeed they need time for production. The nanobots have a shelf-life as I understand it, as well. They either have to be activated or refreshed. So that scenario is unlikely. A dead Queen will void the agreement.


Indeed, but it's a dead queen and that by itself may be a goal. Not to mention that it could happen like "suicide by cop" in which case there can be reasonable doubt that the MAlign is back. They protect their identity.

Besides, the MA might actually be beginning to see the error in some of their planning, and may actually be deciding to go straight. Though unlikely as well, not completely impossible. How often have we murmured that the MA should have simply set up house in their own neck of the woods. The author has stated that most of their goals have already been achieved.


That's a funny way of showing you've changed: by kidnapping someone. We could say they're inept at being honest and therefore didn't know any better, but that will not engender good-will with anyone.

And besides, if they wanted that, then as I've said before, they should just negotiate with the person in front of them and she'll demand that they open Darius for inspection, and free the slaves-by-another-name population. If they agree to that, sure, by all means, accept it.

Do you see them accepting this deal?

If they have faith in their technology, time may be of the essence and is all they need. There is nothing new under the sun to see there. It was the same situation for the Manties and Apollo. And the reason the Havenites rolled the dice.


Which is exactly why the GA should not accept the deal.

Again, I see kidnapping the Queen as a preemptive strike. To head off any operations headed their way. If Darius is discovered as Galton was, then definitive proof of their existence would shortly be a foregone conclusion. A warning from O'Hanrahan might kick the kidnapping into gear.


In the scenario where the GF is in orbit of the Darius system while the Queen is held hostage, I think the chance of any negotiation is even lesser. The shadow of OSJ will be VERY visible to everyone involved. "Let's lower our guns and give them time to rearm and find counters to our technology."

No, really, they're in the cusp of victory and the price is the Queen. I think the GA would pay it. They'd make a counter-demand "release her and we'll be lenient." If they do then kill her, then you can expect the RMN to return fire.

Well, they did suggest to O'Hanrahan that they were almost ready to come out into the open except for the latest snafu.


Which is a pack of lies. I don't understand how O'Harahan fell for it.

cthia wrote:I don't think the GA will blindly rush in to attempt a rescue operation. An ill-planned rescue is a recipe for disaster. Pulling off a successful rescue is like removing the funny-bone in the game of Operation. Careful you don't trigger the buzzer and kill the patient.


Who said anything about blindly? We're talking about Marines and special forces here. They know how to plan and they know their chances of success.

Do you really think the RMMC would send a bunch of bumbling idiots to effect a rescue of their sovereign?

And do note the GA governments will be thinking the MAlign is not going to honour the agreement and will kill the Queen regardless. The offer of peace will sound to them exactly like it sounds to most of us in the forum: a ploy. So if they have no faith the Queen will be returned, they may have little to nothing to lose by attempting the rescue.

Well you answered part of the reason to give the MAlign what they want. Getting the Queen back in play. But you can't have the GA jumping at shadows, worried about what is going to happen down the road. That isn't any different than when you sign a peace treaty with any entity. You can't baby-sit them forever and a day afterwards. You simply deal with them if they turn.


Sorry, that makes no sense. We can agree that giving the MAlign what they want is a bad idea. One should only do that if the upside from doing so is significant.

Worrying about what's going to happen down the road is very much the responsibility of a responsible government. Kicking the can down the road is irresponsible. Very much a High Ridge thing to do.

You can baby-sit them for a while. Victors in wars do that all the time. It was not possible with the League because of the size of the League and the investment necessary, but monitoring Darius for a couple of decades? Perfectly doable.

I don't suppose Manticore can be blamed for releasing the SL from their sentence early, to free them for operations. But it might be obvious enough to initiate a preemptive strike. Besides, the SL can't take on a Darius that has had time to dig in. The SL couldn't even have taken Galton.


Agreed, but if there's a mutual defence treaty in place between the GA and the SL, the MAN attack on the SLN constitutes a declaration of war on the GA and voiding the previous agreement. That releases the GF to go on the offensive too.

Usually, mutual defence treaties include clauses about "who fired first" (it's a mutual defence treaty), so the SLN couldn't simply go and attack Darius. But it can be a roadblock and so can the GF. Just be everywhere the MAN is likely to show up and provoke them into giving causus belli.

If the MAN does not take the bait and does not attack anyone else, then the agreement has worked. The MAlign has peaceful intentions. Great.

But the MA very well may conclude that time really does heal all of their worries. The LDs are all ready. They have had time to break the secret of certain tech like the Manty reactors. And even further their way along with FTL technology. And close the range advantage.


And tell me again why the GA should give the MAlign the opportunity to do any of what you've just described and thus make the military options that much more painful, if not impossible?

The demands are listed upstream. Time is as important to the MA as it was too Saint-Just. As it was to the RMN and the Apollo program, as it was to the SL. Why is that hard to fathom? Many a navy simply needed time to dig in. And not necessarily to go on the offensive. Although good offensive capability is also a good defense.


I'm saying in detail. You have a vague suggestion. The devil will be in the details, so we need those details.

And you're making my argument for me: "time is as important to the MA as it was too (sic) Saint-Just". Since that worked out so well for the RMN and the original Manticore Alliance, why should they repeat history?

The Queen is important. I'm saying that maybe she's not as important.

Also, if a century does pass before there is trouble, wouldn't that have proved they were sincere? Regardless of the fact that they can now protect themselves from the Galaxy.


No, it wouldn't, especially if they spend this time building up forces to attack. Which is exactly what you're proposing they'd do anyway.

If they want to show they have changed, they will have to reveal the location of Darius and offer the secret of the spider drive. Nothing else is going to convince the GA.

Win-win situations are good.


Not for the other side, for whom it is lose-lose. Kobayashi Maru.

Do consider that the GA can also use the same time wisely to locate Darius and develop certain tech. The location of Darius can be published to the Galaxy by some entity that was not part of the agreement. That should help keep Darius honest.


I've said time and again: you can't count on serendipity striking again. There's no guarantee that a research that has barely begun will be useful. But there's a huge risk that your advantage will erode over time. So the stronger side has everything to lose and little to gain by providing the weaker side more time.

Really? If the MA gets a second chance in life by getting this agreement, then why would they need to continue to do the things they did? After all, they were planning to come out into the open anyways. Does that include divulging their location? It shouldn't. Remaining hidden is their right. It is a built-in invisible wall of protection. No different than a Bolthole.


Because the leonard...er, the leopard cannot change its spots.

They live in an echo chamber. They're convinced of their superiority and their god-given right to rule humanity. They've even got quantifiable evidence of genetic superiority. Unless an external force forces them to reevaluate their ways, it's not going to happen.

That external force may be the dissident group on Darius.
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