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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 Invictus   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:46 am

Invictus
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Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:00 am
Location: Perth, WA

And from From the Highlands
"Almost there," said Citizen Sergeant Fallon. "She can't be more than a hundred yards away. And whoever's with her. Youngsters, I think, the way these readings keep coming up. One boy and one girl, would be my guess. Her age or younger."
Victor raised his head and stared at the wide opening which loomed before them. The room they were in, for all its size, was like a half-collapsed ancient vault. It was well-illuminated by their lanterns, but the ancient corridor ahead was still buried in darkness.
He hesitated for not more than a second or two. His jaws tightened with decision.
Here. Now.
Victor hefted the flechette gun in his hands. Except for one of the Scrags, Victor had the only flechette gun in the party. Everyone else was armed with pulse rifles. As casually as he could manage, he looked over his shoulder and studied the soldiers and the Scrags following him. Quickly, easily—an officer doing a last inspection of his troops before he led them into combat. He spotted the Scrag holding the other flechette gun and fixed her location in his mind.
"Citizen Sergeant Fallon and I will take the point," he said. His voice sounded very harsh, ringing in his own ears. The other three soldiers in the SS detachment, hearing the announcement, seemed to relax a bit. Or so, at least, Victor hoped.
Fallon cleared his throat. "If you'll pardon me saying so, sir, I think—"
Whatever he thought went with him. Victor leveled the flechette gun and fired. He had already set the weapon at maximum aperture. At that point-blank range—the muzzle was almost touching Fallon when Victor pulled the trigger—the volley of 3mm darts literally cut him in half. The citizen sergeant's legs, still connected by the pelvis and lower abdomen, flopped to the ground. Fallon's upper body did a grotesque reverse flip, spraying blood all over. The Scrags standing near him were spewed with gobbets of shredded intestine.
The butt of the gun came up to Victor's shoulder quickly and easily. He took out Citizen Corporal Garches next. Other than Fallon, she was the only combat veteran in the Peep detachment. The other two were simply typical SS guards.
A burst of flechettes shredded Garches. Victor's aim moved on, quickly. The Scrag holding the other flechette gun came under his sights. The woman was standing paralyzed. She seemed completely in shock. One of her hands, in fact, had left the gun and was wiping pieces of Fallon from her face. An instant later, her face was disintegrated, along with the rest of her body above the sternum.
SS next. Quick! He swung the flechette gun back and took out the two remaining members of Fallon's squad with a single shot. They never did more than gape before Victor erased them from existence.
Victor had never been in combat, but he had always taken his training seriously. He had never stinted on the officially mandated hours spent on the firing range and the sim combat tanks. Indeed, he had routinely exceeded them—much to the amusement of other SS officers.
Dimly, he heard the Scrags shouting. He ignored the sounds. Some part of his mind recognized that the genetic "supermen" were beginning to react, beginning to raise their own weapons, beginning—
No matter. Victor stepped into their very midst, firing again and again. In close quarters, a flechette gun was the most murderous weapon imaginable. The weapon didn't kill people so much as it ripped them apart. In seconds, the underground cavern was transformed into a scene from Hell. Confusion and chaos, blood and brains and flesh spattering everywhere, the beams from wildly swinging hand lanterns illuminating the area like strobe lights.
Abstractly, Victor understood his advantage—had planned for it. Despite his lack of actual combat experience, he had trained for this. Had spent hours, in fact, thinking through this very exercise and quietly practicing it in the sim tanks over the past two days. He expected what was happening, where the Scrags were still half-paralyzed with shock.
Or, even where they weren't paralyzed, they had so much adrenaline unexpectedly pumping into them that their motions were too jerky, too violent. When they managed to get off shots, they missed their target—or hit one of their own. Shrieks and shouts turned the nightmare scene into pure bedlam. The noise, added to the bizarrely flickering light beams, added to the gruesome splatter of wet human tissue flying everywhere, was enough to overwhelm any mind that wasn't braced for it.
Victor ignored it all. Like a methodical maniac, he just kept stepping into them. Almost in their faces, surrounded by their jerky bodies. Twice knocking rifle barrels aside to get a clear shot himself. He expected to die, in the instant, but he ignored that certainty also.
He ignored everything, except the need to slay his enemies. Ignored, even, the plan which he and Kevin Usher had agreed upon. Victor Cachat was supposed to spray the Scrags with a single burst of automatic fire. Just enough to scatter them and confuse them, so that the Ballroom would have easy pickings while Victor made his escape.
It was insane to do otherwise. If the Scrags were not trained soldiers, still and all they were genetically conditioned warriors with superb reflexes and the arrogance to match their DNA. Suicide to stand your ground, lad, Kevin had told him. Just scatter them and race off. See to the girl. The Ballroom will take care of the rest.
But Victor Cachat was the armed fist of the Revolution, not a torturer. A champion of the downtrodden, not an assassin lurking in ambush. So he thought of himself, and so he was.
The boy inside the man rebelled, the man demanded the uniform he had thought to wear. Say what they would, think what they would.
Officer of the Revolution. Sneer and be damned.
Victor waded into the mob of Scrags, firing relentlessly, using the modern flechette gun in close quarters like a rampaging Norseman might have used an ax. Again and again and again, just as he had trained for in the years since he marched out of the slums to fight for his own. He made no attempt to take cover, no attempt to evade counterfire. Never realizing, even, that the sheer fury of his charge was his greatest protection.
But Victor was no longer thinking of tactics. Like a berserk, he would meet his enemies naked. The Red Terror against the White Terror, standing on the open field of battle. As he had been promised.
He would make it so. Sneer and be damned!
The shots went true and true and true and true. The boy from the mongrel warrens hammered supermen into pulp; the young man betrayed wreaked a war god's terrible vengeance; and the officer of the Revolution found its truth in his own betrayal.
Sneer and be damned!

"Crazy kid!" hissed Jeremy. He and the others had been following Victor and his would-be executioners. They were now hidden in the shadows toward the rear of the chamber. Jeremy sensed his Ballroom comrades raising their own pulse rifles. They were aiming at the mob of shrieking Scrags swirling in the center of the vault. But there was no way to fire without hitting Victor himself. He was right in the midst of the Scrags.
What was left of them, anyway. Half the Scrags were down already, ripped to shreds by Cachat's murderous madness.
Murderous, yes, and mad besides. But Jeremy X had been accused of the same, often enough. And there were times, the truth be told, when he thought the accusation was dead on the money.
Such a time was now.
"Hold your fire!" he shouted to his comrades.
With the agility of the acrobat he had been brought into the world to be, Jeremy sprang over the rubble and landed lightly on his feet. Then, bounding forward like an imp, he hefted the handguns which were his favored weapons. One in each hand, as befitted his version of the court jester, gleefully calling out the battlecry of the Ballroom.
"Shall we dance?"
The Scrags who had managed to survive Cachat's fire just had time to spot the capering fool, before they were cut down. Court jester or no, Jeremy X was also, in all likelihood, the deadliest pistoleer alive. The shots came like a master pianist's fingers, racing through the finale of a concerto with a touch as light and unerring as it was thunderous. The sound was all darts flying and striking. There were no screams, no groans, no hisses of pain. Each shot was instantly fatal, and the shots lasted not more than seconds.
Not one of the Scrags managed so much as a single shot at Jeremy. The only moment of real danger for him came at the very end, as the last Scrag fell to the ground. His body one way, his head another. Jeremy's shot had severed the neck completely.
Jeremy found himself looking down the barrel of Cachat's flechette gun. Jeremy was the last thing still standing in the chamber, and the young SS officer had naturally brought the deadly weapon to bear on him.
A tense moment, that. Cachat's young face looked like the face of a ghost. Pale, taut, emotionless. Even his eyes seemed empty.
But the moment passed, the gun barrel swung aside, and Jeremy gave silent thanks to training.
By the time Jeremy's comrades made their way into the chamber, it was all over. Stillness and silence. Slowly, Victor Cachat lowered the flechette gun. More slowly yet, as if in a daze, he began to examine his own body. Astonished, it seemed, to find himself alive.
"And well you should be," muttered Jeremy. The lanterns dropped by the dying Scrags cast haphazard light here and there. He swiveled his head, examining the corpses scattered all over the chamber. The ancient stone floor was a charnelhouse of blood and ruin. Carrying their own lanterns, the Ballroom spread out and began moving slowly through the human wreckage, searching for survivors.
They found one still alive. His last sight was the tongue of his executioner.
Then, silence again.
Jeremy caught motion in the corner of his eye. He turned, raising a pistol, but lowered it at once. With his uncanny reflexes, of mind as much as body, he recognized the motion. A captain and a master of the martial arts, advancing slowly into the light.
The silence was broken, by a scream out of darkness.
"Daddy!"
Motion anew, a girl's blurring feet. Racing across a field of carnage as if it were a meadow; skipping through havoc as easily as they would have skipped through grass.
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!"
"It's an odd sort of place, this universe of ours," mused Jeremy. He smiled at the comrade at his side. "Don't you think?"
Donald X was cut from more solemn cloth, as befitted such a thick creature. F-67d-8455-2/5 he had been, once, bred for a life of heavy labor. "I dunno," he grunted, surveying the scene with stolid satisfaction.
"Master Tye! Master Tye!"
"Seems just about right to me."
Daughter struck father like a guided missile. Jeremy winced. "Good thing he's a gold medalist. Else that's a takedown for sure."
His eyes moved to a young man, standing alone in a lake of blood. The flechette gun was held limply in his hands. There was nothing in that face now but innocence, wondering.
"Odd," insisted Jeremy. "Galahad's not supposed to be a torturer."


Chills. Everytime.
Sneer and be damned!

"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power." Sam Starfall
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Invictus   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:12 am

Invictus
Commander

Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:00 am
Location: Perth, WA

The end of From the Highlands

On the second night of their journey home, her father didn't return to their suite on the yacht. Once she was sure he wasn't going to, Helen made up her bed on the couch in the small salon. It took her a while to settle Lars and Berry for the night, in the stateroom which she was sharing with them. Partly, because something of her own good cheer seemed to infuse them. But mostly it was because they were afraid of sleeping without her.
"Come on!" she snapped. "We aren't going to be sharing a bed forever, you know." She eyed the huge and luxurious piece of furniture. "Not one like this, anyway. Not with Daddy on half-pay, at best."
She did not seem noticeably upset at the prospect of future poverty. Lars and Berry, of course, were not upset at all. Their new father's "half" pay was a fortune to them.
"Get to sleep!" Helen commanded. She turned off the lights. "Tonight belongs to Daddy. And tomorrow morning too."
* * *
In the time which followed, Helen set her clever alarms. She did the work with the same enthusiasm with which she had spent the evening designing them.
But, in the event, the alarms proved unnecessary. She never managed to sleep herself. So, when she heard her father coming through the outer doors, early in the morning, she had time to disengage them before he entered. She even had time to perch herself back on the couch. Grinning from ear to ear.
The door to the salon opened and her father tiptoed in. He spotted her and froze. Helen fought to restrain her giggles. Talk about role reversal.
"So!" she piped. "How was she?"
Her father flushed. Helen laughed and clapped her hands with glee. She had never managed to do that!
Her father straightened, glared at her, and then managed a laugh himself.
"Rascal," he growled. But the growl came with a rueful smile, and he padded over to the couch. The moment he sat down next to her, Helen scrambled into his lap.
Surprise crossed her father's face. Helen had not sat in his lap for years. Too undignified; too childish.
The look of surprise vanished, replaced by something very warm. A film of tears came into his eyes. A moment later, Helen felt herself crushed against him, by those powerful wrestler's arms. Her own vision was a bit blurry.
She wiped away the tears. Whimsy, dammit!
"I bet she snores." She'd planned that sentence for hours. She thought it came out just right.
Again, her father growled. "Rascal." Silence, for a moment, while he pressed her close, kissing her hair. Then:
"Yeah, she does."
"Oh, good," whispered Helen. The whimsical humor she'd planned for that remark was absent, however. There was nothing in it but satisfaction. "I like that."
Her father chuckled. "So do I, oddly enough. So do I." He stroked and stroked her hair. "Any problem with it, sugar?"
Helen shook her head firmly. "Nope. Not any." She pressed her head against her father's chest, as if listening to his heartbeat. "I want you full again."
"So do I, sugar." Stroked and stroked her hair. "So do I."

"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power." Sam Starfall
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:15 am

Hutch
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Posts: 1831
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Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

Invictus, you could quote that whole damn story and I for one wouldn't object.

OK, here's one from Storm from the Shadows that isn't a battle scene or even a particulary emotional one, but for some reason gets into my spine every time I read it.

HMS Hercules departed Flax orbit exactly eight hours and thirty-six minutes after Rear Admiral Khumalo's meeting with the Provisional Government.

It was unlikely that the elderly superdreadnought had ever taken such precipitous leave of a star system in her entire previous career. Captain Victoria Saunders had certainly never expected to do so, and she felt more than a little out of breath at the sheer whirlwind energy which Khumalo and Loretta Shoupe had brought to the task of getting her ship and every other hyper-capable RMN unit in the Spindle System underway.

Saunders stood beside the captain's chair on her command deck, hands folded behind her, and watched the master plot as Hercules, the light cruisers Devastation and Inspired, and the destroyers Victorious, Ironside, and Domino accelerated steadily away from Flax. Ericsson, her sister ship White, and the ammunition ships Petard and Holocaust followed in the warships' wakes, and Khumalo had commandeered five additional dispatch boats. It was, at best, a lopsided and ill-balanced "squadron," although Hercules certainly looked impressive as its flagship. Unless, of course, one knew all of the old ship's manifold weaknesses as well as Saunders did.

But she's still a damned superdreadnought, Khumalo's flag captain told herself. And we're still the Queen's Navy. And I will be damned if Augustus Khumalo hasn't actually remembered that.

She shook her head, bemused and, to her own astonishment, proud of her Admiral. She'd skimmed Terekhov's dispatches—she hadn't had time to actually read them—and she couldn't decide whether Terekhov had brilliantly deduced the essentials of a complex plot or whether he was a raving lunatic. But if he was right, if the Republic of Monica really was in bed with the Jessyk Combine—which meant with Manpower—then he was probably also in for the fight of his life.

Which is saying quite a bit, given what he went through at Hyacinth.

In fact, it was possible, perhaps even probable, that if his fears were justified, Aivars Terekhov would be dead long before Hercules and her mismatched consorts ever got to Monica. For that matter, it was possible Khumalo's relief force might find itself destroyed, as well. But whatever happened to Terekhov, or to them, the Admiralty would have been warned, and the Republic of Monica would damned well find out that it should never have screwed with the Star Kingdom of Manticore.
***********************************************
No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow.

What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here! Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM! -LT. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Invictus   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:26 am

Invictus
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Posts: 215
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Location: Perth, WA

Don't think I wasn't tempted!
Nice choice btw

"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power." Sam Starfall
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Hutch   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:44 am

Hutch
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Posts: 1831
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama y'all

OK, one more and I will get to work (not that there is much work getting done the day before a 3-day holiday)

The ending too "I will Build my House of Steel" in House of Steel.

“Wait here.”

The fair-haired, blue-eyed colonel looked sharply at her monarch and started to open her mouth in protest. But Elizabeth only looked back and shook her head.

“Not this time, Ellen,” she told the woman who’d headed her personal security detachment from the day she took the throne.

They stood alone in the silent, incense-scented, dimly lit nave of King Michael’s Cathedral. The enormous cathedral never locked its doors, but at this still, quiet moment, five hours yet before the dawn, it was empty, deserted save for the presence light burning above the altar. The Palace Security detachment had been greeted by the night duty priest when Elizabeth arrived. Father O’Banion’s astonishment at the Queen’s unannounced, unscheduled, middle-of-the-night arrival had been obvious, but he’d recovered quickly. Now he stood at Elizabeth’s elbow, waiting quietly, while she faced Colonel Shemais.

Elizabeth reached out and touched Shemais lightly on the shoulder.

“This is something I have to do myself,” she told the colonel. “Just me. And Ariel, of course.” She quirked a smile and reached up to touch the treecat’s head. “I think you can trust him to look after me this once.”
Shemais looked back at her stubbornly for perhaps ten seconds, but then the colonel’s expression softened.

“All right, Your Majesty. This once,” she said.

“Thank you.”

Elizabeth squeezed the colonel’s shoulder, then turned to O’Banion.

“And now, Father, if you please.”
* * *
Elizabeth descended the final three steps to the polished marble floor. Father O’Banion waited silently at the head of those steps, by the antique-looking grill whose door he had unlocked to allow her entrance. The bars of that grill looked like wrought iron, but they were actually battle steel, not that it mattered. Not now, at this moment.

She crossed the private family crypt silently, Ariel very still on her shoulder, and stopped before the carved marble plaque. It was very simple, that plaque, compared to the far more ornate one set into the cathedral floor above it:

Roger Michael Danton Maxwell WintonAugust 19, 1809–October 7, 1883 PD
Beloved husband and father, who reigned too briefly
in this city and reigns forever in our hearts.
“I will build my house of steel.”

Elizabeth stood before that plaque, looking at it, thinking about the seventy T-years between her father’s first letter to the Proceedings and this moment. Thinking about her uncle, who hadn’t lived to see this day yet had known it was coming. Thinking about all the sacrifices, all the pain, all the destruction and lost lives and shattered hearts. Thinking about how many had given so much to bring her here, to this place, on this still, quiet night.

Feeling the tears break loose.

They fell into the silence like lost, broken bits of crystal, those tears, kissing that marble floor. And then, finally, she reached out and touched the words. Let her fingertips run gently, tenderly across them, and leaned forward, resting her forehead against the cool, unyielding stone while Ariel crooned lovingly in her ear.

“We got them, Dad,” she whispered into the stillness. “We got them.”


You know, he only appeared in this novelette and the first chapter of a short story (repeated virtually verbatim in the novelette), but I really, really miss Roger Winton....a very memorable character.
Last edited by Hutch on Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
***********************************************
No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow.

What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here! Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM! -LT. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Tenshinai   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:18 am

Tenshinai
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Posts: 2893
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Sweden

hanuman wrote:Yeah, well. I shouldn't have bitten the bait, but ever since we had that bit of unpleasantness over on the Assiti forum, there's been a bit of antagonism between us, it would seem. Or is that dislike? Unfriendliness? Animosity? :grin:


That´s just because you didn´t understand what i meant or why i used the phrasing as i did. You might just want to revisit and read my reply.

I was attacking your ATTITUDE, no more no less. Because if there´s one thing i´ve learned after 30 years of interest in history, it´s that there are no absolutes to be found there.


Evilnerf wrote:Let it never be said I passed a pointless semantic argument.

You're both right. Narratively speaking, he was an antagonist in Fanatic, even if, in truth, his true motives were not what they seemed.

However, in CoG, the two characters are not even slightly involved in each other's "plots" so they are not antagonistic.


And even in Fanatic, it´s quite a stretch because Yuri isn´t actively trying to work against Cachat, not really trying to oppose him or ruin his plans or anything.

Anger, resentment, wanting to give his nuts a swift kick, or even wanting to mess with him, none of that need to have anything to do with antagonism (even if it can be a background or a reason for antagonism).

The dictionary link i used was useful in how it specified an "active hostility or opposition". Essentially, an antagonist that doesn´t DO anything isn´t really an antagonist.


How can there be a POINTLESS semantic argument? That´s definitely a blasphemous idea!
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:37 pm

hanuman
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Posts: 643
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:47 pm

Invictus wrote:Here's a few of my favorites:
From the epilogue of Echoes of Honor-
The chirp of the com interrupted his thoughts, and he hit the acceptance key. Lieutenant Robards's face appeared on it, but White Haven had never seen his aide with an expression like the one he wore. His eyes were huge, and he looked as stunned as if someone had used his head for target practice with a blunt object.
"Nathan? What is it?" the admiral asked quickly, and Robards cleared his throat.
"Sir, I think-" He stopped, with an air of helpless confusion which would have been almost comical if it had been a trace less deep.
"Go on," White haven encouraged.
"Admiral, System surveillance picked up a cluster of unidentified hyper footprints about twelve minutes ago," the Grayson lieutenant said.
"And?" White Haven prompted when he paused once more.
"Sir, they made transit quite close to one of the FTL platforms, and were identified almost immediately as Peeps."
"Peeps?" White Haven sat suddenly straighter in his chair, and Robards nodded.
"Yes, Sir." He glanced down at something White Haven presumed was a memo pad display, cleared his throat once more, and read aloud. "Tracking made it five battlecruisers, four heavy cruisers, a light cruiser, and two of their Roughneck-class assault transports."
"What?" White Haven blinked. He couldn't possibly have heard right. That was a decent enough squadron for something like a commerce raid, or possibly even a strike at some lightly picketed rear system, but twelve ships, without even one of the wall among them, wouldn't stand a snowflake's chance in hell against the firepower stationed here at Trevor's Star. And what in the name of sanity would a pair of transports be doing here? They'd be dead meat for any decent warship- even one of the old fashioned, pre-Shrike LACs!- if they moved inside the hyper limit.
"I assume they hypered back out immediately?" he heard himself say. The only logical explanation was that someone on the other side had made a mistake. Perhaps the Peeps were planning a major attack on Trevor's Star and the transport echelon had arrived too soon... or the main attack force was late. In either case, the sensible thing for the Peep CO to do would be to flee back into hyperspace- at once.
"No, Sir," Robards said, and drew a deep breath. "they didn't do anything at all, Sir. Except sit there and transmit a message to System Command HQ."
"What sort of message?" White Haven was beginning to be irritated. Whatever ailed his flag lieutenant, prying the facts out of him one by one was like pulling teeth. What in God's name could have someone normally as levelheaded as young Robards so off-balance and hesitant?
"They said- But, of course it can't be, only- I mean, she's-" Robards broke off again and shrugged helplessly. "Sir, I think you'd better see the message for yourself," he said, and disappeared from White Haven's terminal before the earl could agree or disagree.
The admiral frowned ferociously. He and Nathan were going to have a little talk about the courtesy due a flag officer, he thought thunderously, and after that they'd-
His thoughts chopped off in a harsh, strangled gasp as another face appeared on his display. Other people might not have recognized it with the hair which framed it reduced to a short, feathery mass of curls and one side paralyzed, by Hamish Alexander had seen that same face in exactly that same condition once before, and his heart seemed to stop beating.
It can't be, he thought numbly. It can't be! She's dead! She's-
His thoughts disintegrated into chaos and incoherence as the shock roared through him, and then the woman on his display spoke.
"Trevor System Command, This is Admiral Honor Harrington." Her voice sounded calm and absolutely professional- or would have, to someone who didn't know her. But White Haven saw the emotion burning in her good eye, heard it hovering in the slurred soprano. "I'm sure no one in the Alliance expected to see me again, but i assure you that the rumors of my recent death have been exaggerated. I am accompanied by approximately one hundred and six thousand liberated inmates of the prison planet Hades, and I expect the arrival of another quarter million or so within the next eleven days- our transports have military hyper generators and we made a faster passage than they will. I regret any confusion or alarm we may have caused by turning up in Peep ships, but they were the only ones we could... appropriate for the voyage."
The right side of her mouth smiled from the display, but her voice went husky and wavered for a moment, and she stopped to clear her throat. White Haven reached out, his fingers trembling, and touched her face on the com as gently as he might have touched a terrified bire, yet the terror was his, and he knew it.
"We will remain where we are, with our drives, sidewalls, weapons, and active sensors down until you've had time to check us out and establish our bona fides," she went on after a moment, struggling to maintain her professional tone, "but I'd appreciate it if you could expedite. We were forced to pack these ships to the deckheads to get all our people aboard, and our life support could be in better shape. We-"
She broke off, blinking hard, and Hamish Alexander's heart was an impossible weight in his chest- heavy as a neutron star and yet soaring and thundering with emotions so powerful they terrified him- as he stared at her face. He was afraid to so much as breathe lest the oxygen wake him and destroy this impossible dream, and he realized he was weeping only when his display shimmered. And then she spoke again, and this time everyone heard the catch in her breath, the proud tears she refused to shed hanging in her soft voice.
"We're home, System Command," she said. "It took us a while, but we're home."


I tear up. Every time. Same goes for the first chapter of Ashes of Victory.


My all-time favourite passage. Like you, it makes me cry every time I read it.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:59 pm

cthia
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Posts: 13444
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

Wow. You guys are killing me. Killing me with emotion. If certain of these passages are making some of you cry, you can somewhat imagine my dilemma. I'm bleeding tears from every orifice. At least I think they're tears. Oh shit!

Invictus. Darn man!

'snif' 'snif'

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 roseandheather   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:39 pm

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Hutch wrote:Invictus, you could quote that whole damn story and I for one wouldn't object.

OK, here's one from Storm from the Shadows that isn't a battle scene or even a particulary emotional one, but for some reason gets into my spine every time I read it.

HMS Hercules departed Flax orbit exactly eight hours and thirty-six minutes after Rear Admiral Khumalo's meeting with the Provisional Government.

It was unlikely that the elderly superdreadnought had ever taken such precipitous leave of a star system in her entire previous career. Captain Victoria Saunders had certainly never expected to do so, and she felt more than a little out of breath at the sheer whirlwind energy which Khumalo and Loretta Shoupe had brought to the task of getting her ship and every other hyper-capable RMN unit in the Spindle System underway.

Saunders stood beside the captain's chair on her command deck, hands folded behind her, and watched the master plot as Hercules, the light cruisers Devastation and Inspired, and the destroyers Victorious, Ironside, and Domino accelerated steadily away from Flax. Ericsson, her sister ship White, and the ammunition ships Petard and Holocaust followed in the warships' wakes, and Khumalo had commandeered five additional dispatch boats. It was, at best, a lopsided and ill-balanced "squadron," although Hercules certainly looked impressive as its flagship. Unless, of course, one knew all of the old ship's manifold weaknesses as well as Saunders did.

But she's still a damned superdreadnought, Khumalo's flag captain told herself. And we're still the Queen's Navy. And I will be damned if Augustus Khumalo hasn't actually remembered that.

She shook her head, bemused and, to her own astonishment, proud of her Admiral. She'd skimmed Terekhov's dispatches—she hadn't had time to actually read them—and she couldn't decide whether Terekhov had brilliantly deduced the essentials of a complex plot or whether he was a raving lunatic. But if he was right, if the Republic of Monica really was in bed with the Jessyk Combine—which meant with Manpower—then he was probably also in for the fight of his life.

Which is saying quite a bit, given what he went through at Hyacinth.

In fact, it was possible, perhaps even probable, that if his fears were justified, Aivars Terekhov would be dead long before Hercules and her mismatched consorts ever got to Monica. For that matter, it was possible Khumalo's relief force might find itself destroyed, as well. But whatever happened to Terekhov, or to them, the Admiralty would have been warned, and the Republic of Monica would damned well find out that it should never have screwed with the Star Kingdom of Manticore.


This passage. Makes me feel. So many things!!!

(Most of these things are Khumalo-related. And it's mostly "unconditional love". Sorry (not sorry).)
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by Yow   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:10 pm

Yow
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 348
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:32 pm
Location: North Carolina, United States

Field of Dishonor
Leadership
"Dame Honor." White Haven held out his hand in welcome. "It's good to see you again. Please, come in."
Honor obeyed the invitation, and memories of their last meeting replayed in her mind. That had been after the Second Battle of Yeltsin, and she had to suppress a smile as she remembered his lecture on the virtue of restraining her temper. Not that she hadn't deserved it, but since then she'd heard a few tales about times when he'd lost his temper which gave a certain "do as I say, not as I do" air to his admonition. On the other hand, one of the more famous episodes had singed every hair on then-Admiral Sir Edward Janacek's head, and White Haven had spent four T-years dirt-side on half-pay when Janacek became First Lord, so perhaps his warning had come from hard experience.

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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