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What's the Point of Raoul?

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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:08 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:I think he will not have an important role.
MC1560 wrote:Explain.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:
The timeline has changed and been brought forward a couple of decades. What David had planned, like having Raoul serving in Adm. Tourville's staff, the man whose actions caused his mother's death, are not likely to happen. The roles that he had planned for Raoul and Katherine are reassigned to other characters, like Abigail Hearns, Helen Zilwicki, Paulo, and others.

Because of this, there's currently no indication that Raoul and Katherine will play any significant role in the uncovering and defeat of the MAlign.

Nonsense. The biggest role that Raoul and Katherine will play, along with any other of Honor's children, is that of a limited perspective. Seeing the story told through these children's eyes forces the reader into one of an understandable level of ignorance. David can pick and choose just how much to share with the reader through the children's eyes.

From that perspective, they should be quite central to the story. Depending on just what sort of relationship David wants to create between Treecats and humans, the POV from the children's perspective can fill in that part of the story as well.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:38 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Nonsense. The biggest role that Raoul and Katherine will play, along with any other of Honor's children, is that of a limited perspective. Seeing the story told through these children's eyes forces the reader into one of an understandable level of ignorance. David can pick and choose just how much to share with the reader through the children's eyes.

From that perspective, they should be quite central to the story. Depending on just what sort of relationship David wants to create between Treecats and humans, the POV from the children's perspective can fill in that part of the story as well.


That sounds like "young adult novels", like the ones focused on Stephanie Harrington. I like them, but it's not the same thing as the main, military sci-fi that focuses on either Honor or Travis, or any of their surrogates of comparable age and experience (Tourville, Gold Peak, even Abigail). They can be a complement and maybe David will ask Jane Linskold or some other writer to help him write those. They are not a replacement.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by Brigade XO   » Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:23 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:That sounds like "young adult novels", like the ones focused on Stephanie Harrington. I like them, but it's not the same thing as the main, military sci-fi that focuses on either Honor or Travis, or any of their surrogates of comparable age and experience (Tourville, Gold Peak, even Abigail). They can be a complement and maybe David will ask Jane Linskold or some other writer to help him write those. They are not a replacement.


Given who they are, who their parents are and the conditions and circumstances we expect they will be raised in, they are probably going to be getting both first class educations in the traditional sence, an understanding of the political and social dyamimcs at many levels and with Treecat involvemente the next opening into other things as well. Raoul may still indeed serve on Tourvill's staff. He's the Steadholder Heir, possibly dual citizenship with SEM/Grayson and if goes through the Academy could be posted to an allied service (Republic of Haven) for a time. Kind of tough and unexpected to get added as a Flag Lt right out of the Academy but a year or two later.....and it would be based on merit given both parents and Tourville.
Baring some serious personality or mental defects (and the close association with Treecats should make any drift in that direction unlikely- and if he was having mental problems I'm certain that he would be moved out of harm's way and not inficted on the world) he's not going to end up like Highridge or Young. Of course RFC could have other plans but I expect the troubles to come from the outside of the family, not the inside.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by jtg452   » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:34 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
... From that perspective, they should be quite central to the story. Depending on just what sort of relationship David wants to create between Treecats and humans, the POV from the children's perspective can fill in that part of the story as well.

I can see Raoul, Katherine- and any of the yet unnamed other children- being the vehicles that RFC uses to continue the development of the treecat/human interaction and the symbiotic relationship of bondings.

Raoul, in particular, has already shown that he's inherited some of Honor's mental abilities and he's been, quite literally, raised with treecats as nannies and babysitters and with Nimitz's and Sam's litter as playmates. Nobody's ever had that level of constant and intense interaction with treecats from birth- on top of his 'other' abilities.

I can actually see that being their raison d'être, at least in the early books, for the reasons I've mentioned above.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:29 am

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jtg452 wrote:I can see Raoul, Katherine- and any of the yet unnamed other children- being the vehicles that RFC uses to continue the development of the treecat/human interaction and the symbiotic relationship of bondings.

Raoul, in particular, has already shown that he's inherited some of Honor's mental abilities and he's been, quite literally, raised with treecats as nannies and babysitters and with Nimitz's and Sam's litter as playmates. Nobody's ever had that level of constant and intense interaction with treecats from birth- on top of his 'other' abilities.

I can actually see that being their raison d'être, at least in the early books, for the reasons I've mentioned above.


And that's a good plot idea and they may indeed be such. Whether David decides this is while they're teenagers, in their tweens or when they're much older, remains to be seen.

My argument is that they will not be the main POV characters in the struggle against the Alignment, at least not as it currently stands. Being who they are and the titles they inherit does not automatically grant them 30 T-years of experience and there's no indication David will suddenly add transhumanist elements to the HV whereby kids get "downloads" as education (see the Gordian Universe [Multiverse?] for that). That means, as we currently understand the timing of this struggle, they simply can't be the main characters.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by jtg452   » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:19 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:And that's a good plot idea and they may indeed be such. Whether David decides this is while they're teenagers, in their tweens or when they're much older, remains to be seen.

My argument is that they will not be the main POV characters in the struggle against the Alignment, at least not as it currently stands. Being who they are and the titles they inherit does not automatically grant them 30 T-years of experience and there's no indication David will suddenly add transhumanist elements to the HV whereby kids get "downloads" as education (see the Gordian Universe [Multiverse?] for that). That means, as we currently understand the timing of this struggle, they simply can't be the main characters.


You must not be keeping up with the thread.

That's been beat to death already and the consensus is the shorter the jump in time between the last novel and the 1st one of the new arc is, the less important the kids could plausibly be.

The 20 years number that has been bandied around barely gets Raoul off of Saganami Island and there's little chance, in a peace-time Navy of a prolong society, that he would be able to become an impact as a decision maker (Captain of a major vessel, possibly commander of a division of mid level ones wouldn't count unless he's the one that pulls the trigger to set off a series of events) in less than 50.

Flag Lieutenants (a favorite suggestion for an Ensign or Lt(jg) Harrington)don't impact policy- they get coffee for the people that impact policy.

To put it in perspective, Scotty was an Ensign on his 1st cruise at Basilisk and even he- with the battle honors and professional reputation he's gathered- hasn't got his flag yet. It'll happen- but he couldn't get it done even with a career that spans the entire war AND being a Harrington protege.

Under peacetime circumstances, I don't see Raoul making more than Commander by age 50 and he'll be lucky to do that.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:39 pm

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jtg452 wrote:I can see Raoul, Katherine- and any of the yet unnamed other children- being the vehicles that RFC uses to continue the development of the treecat/human interaction and the symbiotic relationship of bondings.

Raoul, in particular, has already shown that he's inherited some of Honor's mental abilities and he's been, quite literally, raised with treecats as nannies and babysitters and with Nimitz's and Sam's litter as playmates. Nobody's ever had that level of constant and intense interaction with treecats from birth- on top of his 'other' abilities.

I can actually see that being their raison d'être, at least in the early books, for the reasons I've mentioned above.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:
And that's a good plot idea and they may indeed be such. Whether David decides this is while they're teenagers, in their tweens or when they're much older, remains to be seen.

My argument is that they will not be the main POV characters in the struggle against the Alignment, at least not as it currently stands. Being who they are and the titles they inherit does not automatically grant them 30 T-years of experience and there's no indication David will suddenly add transhumanist elements to the HV whereby kids get "downloads" as education (see the Gordian Universe [Multiverse?] for that). That means, as we currently understand the timing of this struggle, they simply can't be the main characters.

I think the next story arc will be written like the Shadow of Saganami arc. There will be no one key character. Instead we will have and ensemble of characters each telling the story from a separate part of the plot.

Honor will occupy the central hub where all the spokes connect. Yet much like any central hub, it doesn't really move as much as the outer edge of the spokes. She will command the central fleet and speak with the movers and shakers of the Confederated Alliance.

Those spokes will include Firebrand, Fire watch and Indiana coordinating with Thandi, Black Victor and Captain Zilwiki of the Spaceways chasing the Rabbit through the many holes.

We also will have Abigail Hearnes, Ms. Owen, as a senior grade captain in the GSN patrolling the Verge as part of Admiral Terekov's Talbot Station. Helen Zilwiki might well be part of Abby's crew.

We have Michelle Henke coordinating with the other regional polities like MARS, the Renaissance Factor, the SL 2.0 as well as the other min post SL regional polities. I see her as spending time as an ambassador much like James Webster. I suspect that Eloise Pritchart will be part of the diplomatic team.

These are the three main areas that RFC has to include in his story. Each will have sub-arcs that flow from it. That being the case, there cannot be a main character like there was in the original Mainline Honorverse story arc. The children will be spread between those primary arcs as well as all the other characters. In that sense they will be as central as any other primary character.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:27 pm

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jtg452 wrote:I can see Raoul, Katherine- and any of the yet unnamed other children- being the vehicles that RFC uses to continue the development of the treecat/human interaction and the symbiotic relationship of bondings.

Raoul, in particular, has already shown that he's inherited some of Honor's mental abilities and he's been, quite literally, raised with treecats as nannies and babysitters and with Nimitz's and Sam's litter as playmates. Nobody's ever had that level of constant and intense interaction with treecats from birth- on top of his 'other' abilities.

I can actually see that being their raison d'être, at least in the early books, for the reasons I've mentioned above.

We know that the treecats believe that both Katherine and Raoul will be adopted after their minds have matured a bit more. I agree with your implication that the constant interaction with 'cats will foster those other abilities. I will add one more item to your list. Trauma.

We know that emotional trauma has accelerated the development of Honor's mental abilities. Each time she has experienced mental anguish, he sensitivity increased. As I recall Alfred's and Allison's link also experienced strengthening after their ordeal. It follows that Raoul might well respond in similar ways after mental and emotional trauma.

So, when Raoul experienced his mother's nearly suicidal anguish after losing both Hamish and Emily, not only might that have shaped Raoul's personality but also accelerated the development of his telempathic acuity. This development has very interesting potential implications for Katherine and all of his future siblings, because Raoul's sensitivity will be on the same "wavelength" as other humans' potential telempathic sensitivities. Folks like Darkness' Foe, the doctor who was the contemporary of Stephanie Harrington. This commonalty of wavelength means that Katherine's more limited telempathic potential might resonate with Raoul's stronger, realized potential and grow from that resonance. The same will be true for Raoul's siblings. Heck, the 'cats might well refine their interspecies abilities with Raoul as their Rosetta Stone.

One more thought to add. We have Alfred Harrington the product of the Mesan Star lines AND Allison Benton-Ramirez y Chou the product of THE BEST in a long line supreme Beowulfian geneticists each having telempathic sensitivities sufficient for them to "bond", connect or resonate. The Star lines added the Harrington mods very early on in their modified Meyerdahl B mods. I suspect that serendipitous and not planned. I do think that the Benton-Ramirez y Chou mods were planned, but they simply did not know the full implications of that mod. Those mods likely were used by other Beowulfers. Toss in the naturally occurring telempathic sensitivity in the post Plague Sphynx population, the level of intermarrying between Manties and Buewulfers and I am not surprised that we might end up with examples of human telempathy, expecially in the combination of the Harrington Benton-Ramirez y Chou lines.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by jtg452   » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:43 pm

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PeterZ wrote:We know that the treecats believe that both Katherine and Raoul will be adopted after their minds have matured a bit more. I agree with your implication that the constant interaction with 'cats will foster those other abilities. I will add one more item to your list. Trauma.

We know that emotional trauma has accelerated the development of Honor's mental abilities. Each time she has experienced mental anguish, he sensitivity increased. As I recall Alfred's and Allison's link also experienced strengthening after their ordeal. It follows that Raoul might well respond in similar ways after mental and emotional trauma.

So, when Raoul experienced his mother's nearly suicidal anguish after losing both Hamish and Emily, not only might that have shaped Raoul's personality but also accelerated the development of his telempathic acuity. This development has very interesting potential implications for Katherine and all of his future siblings, because Raoul's sensitivity will be on the same "wavelength" as other humans' potential telempathic sensitivities. Folks like Darkness' Foe, the doctor who was the contemporary of Stephanie Harrington. This commonalty of wavelength means that Katherine's more limited telempathic potential might resonate with Raoul's stronger, realized potential and grow from that resonance. The same will be true for Raoul's siblings. Heck, the 'cats might well refine their interspecies abilities with Raoul as their Rosetta Stone.

One more thought to add. We have Alfred Harrington the product of the Mesan Star lines AND Allison Benton-Ramirez y Chou the product of THE BEST in a long line supreme Beowulfian geneticists each having telempathic sensitivities sufficient for them to "bond", connect or resonate. The Star lines added the Harrington mods very early on in their modified Meyerdahl B mods. I suspect that serendipitous and not planned. I do think that the Benton-Ramirez y Chou mods were planned, but they simply did not know the full implications of that mod. Those mods likely were used by other Beowulfers. Toss in the naturally occurring telempathic sensitivity in the post Plague Sphynx population, the level of intermarrying between Manties and Buewulfers and I am not surprised that we might end up with examples of human telempathy, expecially in the combination of the Harrington Benton-Ramirez y Chou lines.



I figure the repeated treecat adoptions through the generations shows that the line's less mind blind than the normal run of humans. The Mesan Long Range Planning Board might breed for certain traits but the Harrington line has been 'feral' and breeding as they wished for centuries.

I think the young age that she was adopted combined with the near constant high stress environment that she and Nimitz has been in for most of the bonding and you have a blueprint for her learning to 'exercise' mental muscles that she didn't know that she had. Her Dad recognized that he had the ability to read people, had 'hunches' that were worth following and had the ability to home in on his soon to be wife's location from a great distance. Sounds eerily like treecat mated pairs, doesn't it?

I'm not saying that Allie didn't contribute to Honor's abilities but I think that it was more like putting icing on a cake that had been mixing since Stephanie and Lionheart hooked up and was baked during the Havenite Wars.
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Re: What's the Point of Raoul?
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:32 pm

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jtg452 wrote:I figure the repeated treecat adoptions through the generations shows that the line's less mind blind than the normal run of humans. The Mesan Long Range Planning Board might breed for certain traits but the Harrington line has been 'feral' and breeding as they wished for centuries.

I think the young age that she was adopted combined with the near constant high stress environment that she and Nimitz has been in for most of the bonding and you have a blueprint for her learning to 'exercise' mental muscles that she didn't know that she had. Her Dad recognized that he had the ability to read people, had 'hunches' that were worth following and had the ability to home in on his soon to be wife's location from a great distance. Sounds eerily like treecat mated pairs, doesn't it?

I'm not saying that Allie didn't contribute to Honor's abilities but I think that it was more like putting icing on a cake that had been mixing since Stephanie and Lionheart hooked up and was baked during the Havenite Wars.

More than simply icing on a cake. Allison proves that there are degrees of sensitivity or power. Not sure if that points to the human telempathic ability being located in several locations or is a product of the size of the operant area. Either way can work within the story tying Allison and Alfred together.

I suspect that there are multiple areas that combine to enable telempathic communication. What Allison and Alfred had shown in their initial meeting was simply a mental connection. Very little else was passed along. Yes, there was a stream of emotional data flowing largely from Allison to Alfred.

In UH we already know that Raoul can pickup Honor's emotions as a toddler. Also that he is beginning to flex his mental telempathic muscles before those mental muscles have truly begun to take form developmentally. Given that sensitivity, we might conclude that Raoul recognizes the mental "tastes" of other individuals. Was he close enough to Emily and Honor to feel Emily dying or even Honor's anguish of Emily's mind glow going forever dark? Even if he isn't does he recognize that Emily is no longer there? That Honor's pain is tied to Emily not being around anymore.

All this psycholobable is trying to emphasize that Raoul will be central to the story not just because he is the next generation of Harrington, but also because he will be instrumental to smelling or tasting MAlign influences. As good as a tactician as he might be, one suspects that he will be a spook in the next story arcs. Katherine will be the straight leg naval tactician. Perhaps Katherine and their youngest sibling will hold the Alexander-Harrington naval legacy of starship command.
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