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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 Amaroq   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:59 pm

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hanuman wrote:My all-time favourite passage. Like you, it makes me cry every time I read it.


Same here. I included the part where White Haven reaches out to touch the screen in the one-liners thread. Up to that point Hamish had been more stoic but in that scene he just loses it.
*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:27 pm

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Invictus wrote: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."


What IS it with you guys and causing me to cry the whole darned time? THAT is another all-time favourite passage of mine.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by hanuman   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:33 pm

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Hutch wrote: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.


THAT is probably Mr Weber's greatest strength as an author, that he writes characters that are so rich, powerful and believable that his readers cannot help but fall in love with them.

And whether he means to or not, that ability tells us quite a lot about his own personality and character, as well.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by roseandheather   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:35 pm

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“I never realized just how much worse a victory could make a defeat taste,” Augustus Khumalo said much later that evening.

He, Michelle, Michael Oversteegen, and Sir Aivars Terekhov sat with Baroness Medusa on the ocean-side balcony of her official residence. The tide was in, and surf made a soothing, rhythmic sound in the darkness, but no one felt very soothed at the moment.

“I know,” Michelle agreed. “It kind of makes everything we’ve accomplished out here look a lot less important, doesn’t it?”

“No, Milady, it most definitely does not,” Medusa said so sharply that Michelle twitched in her chair and looked at the smaller woman in surprise.

“Sorry,” Medusa said after a moment. “I didn’t mean to sound as if I were snapping at you. But you—and Augustus and Aivars and Michael—have accomplished an enormous amount ‘out here.’ Don’t ever denigrate your accomplishments—or yourselves—just because of bad news from somewhere else!”


LOOK AT MY BABY GO!!!
~*~


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 hanuman   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:37 pm

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cthia wrote: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'


Crying again, Cthia? Don't feel ashamed, this once (JUST this once, you understand) I've joined you. My nose is all snotty.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by roseandheather   » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:39 pm

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[Dame Estelle] was alone in a dark room, groping for shadows, and none of it made any sense. Not any sense at all.

She rose from her chair and walked to her office's huge window, staring unseeingly out over the Government Compound's low wall at the monotonous Medusan countryside. It couldn't be one of her people. It couldn't! Whatever the ultimate objective, whatever the reward, she couldn't—wouldn't—believe that any of her people could feed mekoha to the natives and connive at the cold-blooded murder of their own fellows!

But someone had installed a power tap in the one place neither she nor any of Harrington's people had even considered looking. And if it was built in, not added as an afterthought . . .

She closed her eyes, leaning her forehead against the tough, plastic window, and gritted her teeth in pain.


Here's another one that will just grab your heart and squeeze. Add OBS-era Dame Estelle to the list of "Characters Rosie Needs to Give A Goddamn Hug."
~*~


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 hanuman   » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:51 am

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Tenshinai wrote: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.


What attitude are you talking about, exactly? This one, maybe?

"Sorry, but your cavalier dismissal of the dirty savages is extremely unrealistic." Your words, not mine.

That is a very offensive remark, especially given that I engaged in that discussion in a very civil, respectful and objective manner. At no point did I imply that Native Americans were "dirty savages". At no point did I attack you, or insult you, or bait you, or in any way get personal like you did with that sentence.

And I do find that kind of vicious, underhanded accusation extremely personal. I'm an Afrikaner, as you well know, and my people have been the perpetrators of one of the most brutal, evil systems of racist oppression and exploitation in all of recorded history. I've worked very hard to be better than that.

It is deeply offensive and hurtful to be accused of regarding a whole population in such a demeaning manner, when I have never said or implied that Native Americans are in any way less human than myself.

To clarify my position, Given the knowledge of North America's wealth of land and resources that Grantville brought from the future, the temptation to initiate an immediate large-scale colonization of North America in order to gain control over those riches would be too much for the great powers of 17th century Europe to resist. That meant that North America's indigenous societies would not have enough of a chance to develop the necessary societal matrix that would have enabled them to successfully resist European encroachment - a societal matrix that did not need to be identical but had to be equivalent to that of Europe, which took many centuries to acquire.

Nothing in that is derogatory of Native Americans as human beings, and my entire argument is in fact supported by actual historical fact. Not speculation. Fact. It is what actually happened in real history, and there can be no dispute or doubt about that.

I suspect that it is your usual modus operandi when you recognize that your argument is insupportable by fact, to get offensive and personal.

I refuse to lower myself to that level, and will appreciate it if you do not engage with me again. Thank you.
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Re: Honorverse favorite passages
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:18 am

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hanuman wrote:
cthia wrote:
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'


Crying again, Cthia? Don't feel ashamed, this once (JUST this once, you understand) I've joined you. My nose is all snotty.


You're welcome to join me and cry tears in my beer anytime. But BYODT — I never seem to have any surplus of my own.

****** *


Once again, the masterpiece that is On Basilisk Station

Trouble, Captain." McKeon spoke softly and seemed to be struggling with some inner conflict, and she raised her eyebrows. The exec shifted uneasily in his chair, then sighed, and some of his stiff formality seemed to fall away. "Whatever else Tremaine finds, Hauptman is going to insist they didn't have anything to do with it, and you can bet they've got the paper to 'prove' they didn't. The best we're going to manage is to nail Mondragon's master and, probably, her purser."

"It's a start, Exec. And the paper may not be as cut and dried as you think."

"Look, Ma'am, I know we don't always—" The lieutenant commander broke off and bit his lip. "What I mean is, you're going to make the cartel very unhappy with you, and they've got the friends in high places to make their unhappiness felt. You've caught a shipment of illegal furs, but is it worth it? Really worth it?" Honor's eyes hardened dangerously, and he went on quickly. "I don't mean it wasn't illegal—God knows it was!—and I can see what you're trying to do. But the day we leave Basilisk Station, things are going to go right back to the way they were. This is probably a fleabite to them, something their cash flow won't even notice, but they're going to remember you."

"I sincerely hope they will, Commander," Honor said icily, and McKeon stared at her, his eyes worried. For the first time in far too long he was worried about his captain because she was his captain, but there was no give in that dark, armor-plated glare.

"But you're going to jeopardize your entire career over something that won't even make a difference!" he protested. "Captain, this sort of thing is—"

"Is what we're supposed to stop." Her voice cut across his like a dagger, and he winced as he saw something like hurt under the anger in her eyes. Hurt and something else. Contempt, perhaps, and that cut deep, too deep. He closed his mouth, and her nostrils flared.

"Commander McKeon," she said in that same, cold voice, "my duty is not affected by what others may or may not do to discharge their own. Nor do I care which criminals may engage in a criminal activity on my watch. We will support Ensign Tremaine to the maximum. In addition, I want an extra effort devoted to all other vessels—all other vessels, Commander—chartered by the Hauptman Cartel. Is that understood?

Understood, Ma'am," he said unhappily. "I only—"

"I appreciate your concern, Exec," she said sharply, "but Fearless will discharge her responsibilities. All of her responsibilities."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Thank you. Dismissed, Commander."

He rose and left her cabin, confused and worried, and the burden of a strange, deeply personal shame went with him.


Rereading this, after subsequently becoming enamored with McKeon in later passages, I feel sorry for him. It isn't often that one encounters someone who is larger than life. Someone in which you can believe in. With Honor, you don't only get to believe the hype. Honor is the hype.

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   » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:43 am

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On Basilisk Station

That's the one," Webster agreed with an unwilling grin of his own. Then he sobered. "At the moment, Commander Harrington is Acting Senior Officer on Basilisk Station."

"She's what? What in God's name is an officer who can pull off something like that doing on Basilisk Station?!"

"It wasn't my idea," Webster protested. "It came down from on high, one might say, after Sonja's brainchild proved something of a brat in the later Fleet problems."

"Oh, so she decided to sweep her mistake under the carpet, whatever it cost the officer who actually made it work once for her?" Alexander's disdain was clear, and Webster shrugged.

I know you don't like Sonja, Hamish. For that matter, I'm not too crazy about her myself, but I really don't think it was her idea this time. I think it was Janacek. You know how that reactionary old—" Webster caught himself. "I mean, you know he watches after the family interests."

"Um." Alexander nodded, and Webster shrugged again.

"Anyway, he made his desires known, and I was too busy horse-trading with him on the new engineering wing for Saganami Island to say no."

"All right, but what's a commander doing as SO? That ought to be at least a captain."

"Agreed." Webster tipped his chair back. "What do you know about Pavel Young?"

"Who?" Alexander blinked at the apparent non sequitur. "You mean North Hollow's son?"

"That's the one."

"Not much—and the little I do know, I don't like. Why?"

"Because Captain Lord Pavel Young is supposed to be the senior officer in Basilisk. Unfortunately, his ship required 'urgent refit,' and he felt the repairs involved were too complicated to leave in the hands of his executive officer. So he brought her home himself—leaving Harrington and a single light cruiser on the station." Alexander stared at him in disbelief, and Webster flushed under his astonished gaze.

The legendary Alexander stare. Can this be captured on HD? Here's to not expecting too much from the movie.

Too busy horse trading huh? To save the career of a quite promising officer...from the clutches of an evil arse, who doesn't belong in the Navy himself. More reasons why politics...sucks! Someone should have stood up for Harrington; it would have been for the good of the Navy. Especially since it was obvious what Young was trying to do. Someone should have jerked him up short right then. Since SO of Basilisk Station was at least a Captain's billet, Young actually abandoned Harrington then!

It seems criminal to me to allow that kind of horseshit in the Navy. Lives are at stake, even your own. So why?

I hope my own beloved military isn't susceptible to the same excrement. Someone, please, 'say it ain't so!'

Perhaps Abby could find herself SO on station somewhere, as an even younger, more junior officer than Harrington because of some other similar nonsense. :D

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 Invictus   » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:09 am

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Hutch, thats a good passage, but the one from House of Steel that really makes me choke up is a scene earlier...

The attention light stopped blinking and the Admiralty House wallpaper appeared on her display. it lasted only a moment, then disappeared, and she found herself looking at Sir Thomas Caparelli, First Space Lord of the Royal Manticoran Navy. She knew he could see only her wallpaper, the coat of arms of the House of Winton, not the person to whom he was actually speaking, and she cleared her throat.
"Good evening, Sir Thomas," she said. "Or should I say 'good morning'?" she added a bit wryly, and he bobbed his head in an abbreviated bow of apology.
"I'm afraid it's 'morning,' Your Majesty- or will be in about another ten minutes," Caparelli said. "I apologize for waking you at this hour, but the dispatch from Admiral White Haven arrived about fifteen minutes ago."
Elizabeth Winton stiffened, nostrils flaring, and Ariel sat up abruptly, ears flat. The Queen of Manticore drew a deep, deep breath and ordered her voice to remain calm.
"In that case, Sir Thomas, no apologies are necessary. I believe I specifically directed that I was to be informed immediately when we heard back from Admiral White Haven."
"Yes, you did, Your Majesty." Caparelli inclined his head a second time, then looked straight into his own com pickup. "Your Majesty," he said formally, "I have the honor to inform you that Admiral White Haven, commanding Eighth Fleet, reports the surrender of the star system of Barnett, with all military personnel and facilities therein, to his forces."
Elizabeth's eyes closed. She kept them that way for a moment, then drew another breath.
"And Admiral White Haven's losses, Sir Thomas?" she asked levelly.
"None, Your Majesty," Caparelli said simply.
"None?" Elizabeth repeated, her voice sharpening slightly around the edges, and Caparelli nodded.
"Your Majesty, generalizing from a single operation is usually as dangerous as it is foolish. In this instance, however, I believe the conclusion is inescapable. We will, of course, provide ou with a detailed analysis of Admiral White Haven's report as soon as there's been time to prepare one, but the principal aspects of that analysis are already clear. And so is the central conclusion- The People's Republic of Haven has just lost the war."
Elizabeth raised one hand to her lips, a hand which quivered with a tremor she would never have let another human being see.
"The technology which has come out of the Weapon's Development Board, Project Gram, and- especially- Project Mjolner and Project Ghost Rider, has fundamentally transformed warfare," Caparelli continued in that same level, unflinching voice. "Thanks to your father's initiatives and your uncle's energy and inspiration, our fleet already outclassed the Peoples Navy in every aspect of war-fighting technology, even before Ghost Rider. Now, with the new multidrive missiles and the pod-layer capital ships actually in service, they can't even reply effectively to our fire. For all intents and purposes, their warships have become targets not threats, and I see no possible way for them to overcome their technological inferiority before we destroy their entire existing fleet."
It was the First Space Lord's turn to draw a deep breath, as if steeling himself for what he was about to say.
"Your Majesty, in my considered opinion as First Space Lord, The Manticoran Alliance will be in a position to dictate terms of surrender to the People's Republic of Haven within the next four to six T-months."
The single, uncompromising sentence hung between them for a long, silent moment, and a single tear glittered like diamond on Elizabeth Winton's cheek.
"Thank you for informing me, Sir Thomas."
Her voice sounded surprisingly level, but Sir Thomas Caparelli had come to know his monarch over the years he'd served her. He heard the emotion within it, and she saw a flicker of concern in his eyes, but she only continued in that same, formal tone.
"Please pass my thanks- my deep and sincere gratitude- to Admiral White Haven and all of the other officers and enlisted personnel who have served the Star Kingdom so long and so well. Your devotion and theirs has been all any queen could ever have hoped for... and no less than my house has come to anticipate from you. I'll thank them all more publicly and more formally in the very near future, but for now I'll let you get back to the many decisions I know must be made in the wake of Eighth Fleet's victory. Thank you, Sir Thomas."
"Your Majesty," Caparelli said quietly, "no thanks are necessary. It's been my greatest honor and privilege to serve you." He looked into the pickup again, meeting her unseen eyes. "Not every officer is given the gift of knowing he serves a monarch worthy of every exertion or sacrifice which may be required of him or the people under his command. Anyone privileged to serve you or your father has been given that gift, and on behalf of every man and woman in Manticoran uniform, it's my privilege to thank you."
Elizabeth's lips quivered and she scooped Ariel up, holding him to her chest. It took a moment, but she made her voice serve her again at last.
"You're kinder and more generous than I deserve, Sir Thomas. But thank you. Clear."
She reached out and touched the disconnect key, then bent over the silken warmth in her arms, hugging the treecat while tears soaked his silken coat.

"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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