A Call To Vengeance – Snippet 07

A Call To Vengeance – Snippet 07

CHAPTER FOUR

“– about the size of it, Your Majesty,” Cazenestro said, looking up from the display recessed into the tabletop before him. “We’ve got better data on them, but I still wouldn’t call it good. And our ships…”

“Yes,” Edward murmured, gazing at the screen. He’d seen plenty of tactical displays when he was Captain His Royal Highness six years ago, but none of them had painted a bleaker picture. There were a lot of numbers involved: positions, accelerations, times until wedges could be raised, times to arrival at Manticore.

But the bottom line was that too many of the Navy’s ships were off at Sphinx and Gryphon, and none of them could get here ahead of the intruders. “Well, this is what we have to work with. Let’s focus on what this better data tells us.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Cazenestro said. “I’ll just mention in passing that Admiral Locatelli’s observations from Excellent track very closely with the ones we’re getting from Eigen and Aegis Force.”

“I assume Excellent’s launchers are also ready?” Edward asked, turning to the com screen where Admiral Locatelli sat in the Thorson command room.

“As ready as they can be,” Locatelli said, his image on the com screen tight-lipped. He’d been pushing for years to upgrade the missile launchers on Manticore’s single lunar base, Edward knew, but as always there was never enough money to go around.

Still, the missiles that were there offered at least a theoretical last-ditch defensive shield.

“We’ve IDed four warships with a high degree of confidence,” Cazenestro continued. “Vanguard’s CIC calls it at seventy-five percent; Commodore Osgood’s people on Excellent call it eighty-five. We still haven’t been able to get anything I’d call a good look at them, but we’ve picked up active radar emissions from at least two sources that look an awful lot like HighLink Sevens or Eights. Coupled with the formation they’re maintaining, it looks like at least four warships — probably nothing bigger than a cruiser, judging from the wedges — screening four or five ships pulling civilian-grade accelerations.”

Edward pursed his lips. The Solarian-made HighLink radar systems were ubiquitous among naval vessels, including the RMN’s own, but their cost and maintenance issues meant they were seldom found on merchant vessels. “Four or five transports, you think?”

“Hard to see what else they could be, Your Majesty,” Cazenestro said grimly. “I’m not sure why they’ve turned up three weeks after the attack, but it has all the hallmarks of an occupation force coming in to tidy up.”

“Maybe.” Edward planted his forearms on the tabletop. “But as you say, why wait three weeks? Why not come in with the attack force and wait outside the limit until the shooting had stopped? Or at least take up station a few light-hours out and wait for a courier to come get them?”

“We don’t have an explanation,” Locatelli said. “My best guess is that they simply screwed up their intended coordination. We don’t know where the attack originated, and we don’t know what their own logistic and timing constraints may have been. Maybe there was a delay loading the ground troops, or maybe one of the transports had an engineering issue and they were delayed repairing it.” He gestured somewhere off-screen. “But the fact that they’ve been in-system for over half an hour and still haven’t said a word suggests they aren’t exactly here to make friends. I think we have to operate under the worst-case assumption that this is exactly what it looks like.”

“Agreed,” Edward said. “The question is how we want to respond. I’m inclined to go with the argument that this is a chance to get some of the intel we desperately need. Drawing them deeper in-system may give us an opportunity to take some prisoners and, if we’re very lucky, perhaps even capture a computer system more or less intact.”

“But if we let them too far in-system, it makes a battle significantly more likely,” Cazenestro warned. “At their current profile they’ll reach turnover in three and a half hours. At that point, it’s fight or surrender.”

“Or blow straight through the system and hope we can’t hit them,” Locatelli added. “It seems to me they’re putting in way too much time and effort just to surrender or run. I agree that we need to learn more about them, Your Majesty, but at this point I think keeping them away from Manticore is the more important goal.”

“As do I,” Cazenestro said.

“Very well,” Edward said. As King, he could still override them, but much as he wanted to know who the hell this was who was threatening his people, keeping those same people safe had to be his first priority. “I just wish we had a better idea what we’re facing. If the biggest thing they have is a cruiser, then a battlecruiser with a cruiser and destroyer in support ought to be more than they’d care to tangle with. But if this is Tamerlane’s backup, it’s probably got a heavy tech advantage, and that could even things out considerably.”

“We’ll see what we can do about getting you that information, Your Majesty,” Locatelli promised.

Edward nodded silently. He just hoped they could get it while they could still use it.

* * *

“Excuse me, Mr. Llyn.”

Jeremiah Llyn looked up as the Pacemaker’s captain appeared on the intercom display. “Yes, Captain?”

“Signal from Hamilcar, Sir,” Katura said. “General Haus is asking — again — if he should go ahead and initiate contact.”

“Getting a little anxious, is he?” Llyn suggested.

“I’m sure he wouldn’t put it that way, Sir.

“No, I’m sure he wouldn’t,” Llyn said, frowning at the chrono. The Axelrod/Barcan force had been headed in-system for almost forty minutes, and still nothing from Gensonne.

Llyn could think of some reasons the Volsung commander would take his sweet time about checking in. Not good ones, perhaps, but Gensonne always enjoyed proving his own cleverness.

Still, Llyn had always held to the rule to never ascribe to malice that which could be explained by incompetence. Especially when the individual in question had such an abundant store of incompetence to draw upon.

General Haus had been something of a pain throughout the voyage to Manticore. Still, on this one he had a point. His four ships represented a significant chunk of the Royal Starforce of the Free Duchy of Barca, with an equally significant percentage of Barca’s troops aboard those transports. Under the circumstances, it wasn’t unreasonable for him to be nervous about the ongoing silence.

“Very well,” he said to Katura. “Put me through.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Katura’s image disappeared, replaced a moment later by the distinguished, square-jawed, silver-haired Haus.

“General,” Llyn greeted him courteously. “How can I help you?”

“I’ve been going over Admiral Gensonne’s timetable, Mr. Ichabod,” Haus said. As always, he leaned just a bit on the name, his not-so-subtle way of saying that he didn’t believe for a minute that was the operation organizer’s real name. “It seems to me that he should already have hailed us. Since he hasn’t, I suggest we go ahead and com the planet directly.”

“I think we should probably wait on that, Sir,” Llyn said “Admiral Gensonne’s firepower was more than sufficient to deal with the Manticoran Navy, but it’s possible that he took some damage, or that he’s still dealing with Manticoran fugitives dodging around the system. If he’s had to go farther in-system for some reason, he might not yet have detected our wedges.”

“In that case, shouldn’t he have left one of his lighter units orbiting the planet?”

“I’m sure you’d have done exactly that,” Llyn agreed. “So would I. But again, the Manticorans may have decided to be pesky.”

“Perhaps,” Haus said with an impatient wave of his hand. “The Admiral had best notice us sometime in the next two or three hours, though. Otherwise, you and I will be having another conversation.”

“I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about, Sir,” Llyn soothed him. “Nothing at all.”

* * *

“Ready to proceed, My Lady,” Captain Ermolai Beckett said.

“Thank you, Ermolai,” Admiral White Haven replied, never taking her eyes from the icons in HMS Nike’s main display. So far, their information on Bogey One’s composition was one hell of a lot vaguer than she could have wished, but she was confident additional information was en route. Twenty-eight light-minutes was a long way for a message transmission to come.

And even longer for a pair of warships to cross.

“My Lady,” Beckett said quietly, “I really think –”

“I know what you think, Captain,” White Haven interrupted. “But micro jumps are too risky. You know how easy it is to be off by as much as four or five million kilometers even on a longer jump. On a micro jump, that margin of error goes up catastrophically.”

“I realize that, My Lady. But –”

“The last thing Locatelli and Eigen need is for us to wind up somewhere the hell and gone away from where they expect us. And the last thing we need is to find these people — whoever they are — far enough inside us that they can finish Eigen off in detail before we can join forces with him.”

Beckett was silent for a long moment. White Haven turned her eyes from the display and met his gaze coldly. For a moment they held that pose, and then Beckett looked away.

“With all due respect, My Lady, I intend to log my formal disagreement with your decision.”

“Do whatever you think right,” White Haven said, letting her tone frost over. “In the meantime, you will get the squadron underway.”

“Yes, My Lady,” Beckett replied. He looked at Nike’s helmsman and astrogator, both of whom had been studiously deaf during the conversation. “Proceed as directed,” he ordered.

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

A moment later Nike was on the move, accelerating away from Sphinx at 1.57 KPS² — twice Bogey One’s reported acceleration, but of course she had a lot farther to go. The plain, ugly fact was that there was no way in hell they could reach Manticore in time to make any difference at all to the upcoming battle.

We never should have been stationed here to begin with, the admiral thought bitterly. The fact that she’d said so at the time was of little consolation now that she and the rest of the Star Kingdom were looking the consequences of that disastrous decision squarely in the eye.

Her mind ran the relentless calculations yet again. Nike was ten hours from Manticore orbit; Bogey One would enter planetary orbit in only three hours and forty minutes.

She might be there in time to pick up any remaining pieces. But nothing more.

* * *

“I understand, Sir,” Eigen said, studying Locatelli’s expression on the com display. As always, there was no way to tell which side of the prisoners-and-intel versus keep-them-at-arm’s-length argument he’d come down on. Locatelli definitely knew how to play the political game.

“I’m sure you do, Kyle,” Admiral Locatelli replied. “And let me underscore that no one disagrees that we still need all the intel you can squeeze out of this.”

“We just have do it from farther away.”

“Exactly,” Locatelli said. “How soon can you break orbit?”

“Vanguard, Gryphon, and Bellerophon are ready to go now, Sir. Aries and Taurus are still loading missiles, though, and the rest of the Reserve is still over an hour from bringing its impellers online. I want those corvettes as close to fully rearmed as I can before we head out, and I want the Reserve close enough to be another factor in their thinking.”

 

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28 Responses to A Call To Vengeance – Snippet 07

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    > “Free Duchy of Barca”
    > Signal from Hamilcar

    [Sigh]

    Too thick a hint. Why not call themselves “Evil Forces of Evil” then? Also – why, why all the hate to Carthage among the authors, who feel obliged to side with the Roman (biased) view and translate said view in the far future, where the designated Bad Guys ought to choose their nomenclature from the much maligned Punic Republic?

    • Daryl Saal says:

      Sigh. Just enjoy the story. Why would the authors want to malign countries 3000 years dead?

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “Why would the authors want to malign countries 3000 years dead?”

        Seriously – why? And Why would 1400+ years in the future people still believe in the Black Myth about the Spanish Inquisition?

        • Obelix says:

          Lyttenburgh,

          I suggest to concentrate criticizing on the impossible and nonsensical and let the occasional improbable slide. How likely was it that Dsengis Khan (?) died exactly in time to save Europe from serious mongol attack ?? That Attila died directly before invading Italy? Improbable things do happen. In fact, improbable things happen all the time.

          And I do think there is a good probability that the spanish inquisition will not be forgotten in 500 years (or even 2000 years) time, if we talk about “westerners” & most people with Christian tradition.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “How likely was it that Dsengis Khan (?) died exactly in time to save Europe from serious mongol attack ?? That Attila died directly before invading Italy? Improbable things do happen. In fact, improbable things happen all the time.”

            You are both investing too much in the “Great Person Concept”, while simultaneously adapting the approach of the contemporaries of the events, who saw the Divine Intervention in that events.

            “And I do think there is a good probability that the spanish inquisition will not be forgotten in 500 years (or even 2000 years) time, if we talk about “westerners” & most people with Christian tradition.”

            Why? And even if it would be remembered – why only the Black Legend version of it? Why so much had been forgotten and left the memetic field of the common European narrative for the last 800-1400 years (to the point of them being virtually completely different), yet the society of the far, far future looks comfy similar as the version of the present?

            • Obelix says:

              While I generally adhere to the hypothesis that things happen when the time is ripe for them, in these two specific cases IMO the great person concept holds. AFAIK the mongolian conquest >was< called off due to his death (death rites, who gets to be his successor ? – nobody far away from capital), and again AFAIK very similar with Attila – he was the brain and the undisputed leader, after his death the huns quickly disunited.

              And why should the inquisition not remembered? It is reported today to have been atrocious, that makes for a "good story". Same as the huns and the mongols – their name is used denigrating until today. Same with "Cartago delenda est" – good story. Similar with Pyrrhic victory, Diogenes in his barrel, the Marathon run, Midas golden touch, Cesars wife (and cesars philandering) – and so on and so on. Some things capture the imagination of many people and survive as folks stories or sayings, (Semi-) independent from any formal education which forms most of our todays knowledge

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                Obelix, I have no idea why you think, that either Attila or Temujin died right on the precipice of the Great Military Endeavor to Change Everything ™. I think it’s for the same reason, why the best albums/books/verses are those unwritten by the rockstars/writers/poets dying too young.

                The job of any monarch is to be a warlord. This is double so for the people, who happened to be at the head of their nations during their earlier periods of developments. Their whole life resolved around planning, executing or resting after this or that military campaign. Did Attila and Chenghis Khan continue to campaign even when advanced in age? Yes. Is it possible that even before their deaths they were planning some future campaigns? Most likely. Would that campaign turn out to be something earthshattering? There is no evidence for that, and assuming that they would be is akin to imagining that some unwritten poem by Byron would be better than everything else he’d wrote before. I.e. – it would be a wishful thinking, a speculation.

                As for the Spanish Inquisition being remembered in the far future only in its Black Legend slanderous form (that’s what I’m arguing against, not that it wouldn’t be remembered at all). Two categories of the people are immune to the Black Legend of the Inquisition – those who are knowledgeable enough to know the truth, and those who completely lack any knowledge about it plus any desire to learn any “facts” about it. Those who continue to propagate this (and many, many other) myth are the victims of the modern benign education, who, instead of really knowing, just “heard something”, and thought that’s enough.

                Every time and period has its own form of what the people “heard about something(s)”, which they tend to accept as probability that needs no verification. Should any uptimer go and try to “impress” some, say, Lancashire village of 1650s with the speculative revelation (which would be as accurate as the Black Legend) that, say, Egyptian pyramids were constructed by the Ancient Aliens ™ or try to share the latest theory on the “true” authorship of Shakespeare’s plays simple folks from the Lancashire will just shrug – they won’t be interested in something completely alien to them, about which they have neither knowledge nor the interest to learn more. But should you speculate in their presence about witches and their kin, or that Irish papists are ready to invade England any moment now – the people will listen, they will agree, and get ready to act.

                As the time will progress less and less people will really care about Inquisition, Black Legend or not. It will be, without doubt, be replaced in the memesphere with something more appropriate. So, the vast majority of humanity of the future will shift into the “ignorant and don’t care” category.

                P.S. Oh, and as you can notice – Huns are no longer badmouthed. Vandals – yeah, they had the dubious honor of becoming rooted into some of the criminal codes. Goths? Oh, poor Goths…

        • Johnny says:

          How likely is it that so many of our idioms are from Shakespearean times? How likely is it that children sing “Ring Around the Rosie” today? Shoot, how likely is it that we have King Arthur as a mishmash of folklore and maybe poorly remembered history? Talking about the Spanish Inquisition in 1500 years is roughly equivalent to us talking about a “round table” or calling the White House “Camelot”.

          Why do you think that Carthage is “evil”, for that matter?

          • Westrim says:

            Cathage has a strong association with being salty.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “How likely is it that so many of our idioms are from Shakespearean times?”

            Google says (you did try to google it before asking me, didn’t you?) that while some of them remain popular, quite a huge number fell out of use. It is perfectly possibly for Shakespearean idioms to fall out of use completely some time in the future, replaced by something more memetic. So, yes, one day people won’t refer to the jealousy as the “green-eyed monster”, as virtually no one today uses such idioms as “wear your heart on my sleeve” or “to swim with fins of lead”.

            “How likely is it that children sing “Ring Around the Rosie” today?”

            Not much.

            “Shoot, how likely is it that we have King Arthur as a mishmash of folklore and maybe poorly remembered history?”

            Because we don’t have King Arthur – we have a complex character of the Ideal Monarch, which would be alive as much as the idea of the monarchy. Depending on the nation, his characteristics might be applied to other monarchs of the past – be the Charlemagne or Freidrich Barbarossa. These meme might even morph into an Ideal Presiden/PM over time, and ol’ Arthur will be totally forgotten.

            And the Arthurian myth didn’t appear overnight in its present form, to become the mainstream of the pan-European culture. Einhard in his Vita Karoli appealed not to some half-mythical barbarian lord from across the pond, when he created his idealized biography of Charlemagne. He referenced Seutonious and his “Lives of Caesars”, especially heavily borrowing from the chapter about Octavian.

            “Talking about the Spanish Inquisition in 1500 years is roughly equivalent to us talking about a “round table” or calling the White House “Camelot”.”

            Why?

            “Why do you think that Carthage is “evil”, for that matter?”

            Me? I don’t think so. Ask the authors who think so and embrace pro-Roman anti-Carthage bias, while deciding to give the “bad guys” such “signature” names.

            • Johnny says:

              Lol Lytt. I don’t have to google things sometimes. It’s like I have life experience outside of the the internet.

              We say “sleep tight” because children slept on trundle beds whose mattresses where made of tight ropes.

              We say “box office” because the theatre fares were kept in a box, locked in an office, during Shakespeare’s time.

              We say “top crust” because bread was baked in home ovens, and was sliced horizontally – the top was the best part, with the bottom being burnt and ashy. The head of the family got the top, and the youngest got the “bottom crust.”

              We say “chairman of the board” because houses had enough money to afford a single chair and then benches, and tables were a board balanced on a seat that were taken down during the day to let there be room in the kitchen. Again, the head of household sat at the chair.

              Also, did you just mishmash the Matter of Britain with the Matter of France as if they are interchangeable? Boy, fellas, we have a literary mater here.

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                “We say “sleep tight” because…”

                1) For how long “we” are saying that?

                2) For how long will we be saying that in the future?

                3) What other idiomatic expressions have already been lost?

                4) Do you really think that all things that surround you today will last forever?

                “Also, did you just mishmash the Matter of Britain with the Matter of France as if they are interchangeable?”

                No, I didn’t. Please, show where.

    • Mike says:

      Obviously this was somebody’s idea of a joke, to throw in a Hamilcar Barca reference. Either it was the authors’ joke to the readers or it was more meta and the authors decided that someone in the “Grand Duchy Of Barca” would think it amusing (or fitting) to name a ship (I think that’s what is going on there) after Hamilcar Barca.

      I really don’t think it’s supposed to have any more significance than that.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “I really don’t think it’s supposed to have any more significance than that”

        Or the whole plot is some kind of “Aesop” for “plucky Romans vs Savage Carthaginians” meme.

        • Johnny says:

          “Or the whole plot is some kind of “Aesop” for “plucky Romans vs Savage Carthaginians” meme.”

          What? Have you read a single book in the series? It is not even close to that.

  2. donny says:

    History may be a science, but it is at best an inexact science. The records it relies on are always incomplete, and often prejudiced. It might get some help from archeological studies, but these are subject to interpretation and frequently dispute. It would be well if historians would show a little modesty in their opinions

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “History may be a science, but it is at best an inexact science. The records it relies on are always incomplete, and often prejudiced.”

      History is as exact as any other science. Just because we don’t have 100% understanding of the laws of the universe in any given field of science (otherwise there would be no more scientific discoveries) does not meant that all those sciencies asre not “exact”. To say otherwise is ignorant and unscientific and gives too much leeway for the militant dilatants, who scream on the top of their lungs that “Nothing is true! Everything is possible!”

      No. Some things are impossible. And there is truth – which also makes things that run against it untrue.

      “It would be well if historians would show a little modesty in their opinions”

      Like how?

      • donny says:

        Like not saying utter nonsense.

        The hard sciences do not pretend to explain the entire workings of the universe. They do however explain their specific subject matter quite well. Nothing in history is as sure as, for example, the laws of chemistry. I am not one of the dilletantes (note spelling) who scream nothing is true, but truth is a lot harder to determine that you think in your arrogance.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Like not saying utter nonsense.”

          Such as?

          “The hard sciences do not pretend to explain the entire workings of the universe. They do however explain their specific subject matter quite well. Nothing in history is as sure as, for example, the laws of chemistry.”

          Oh! You ARE a militant dilettante after all! History – as a science – studies all sources of data about the humanity’s past, in order to construct from them a consequent chain of events (the historical process) utilizing the logic to objectively describing the facts and analyzing the evidence, in order to draw conclusions on the causes of said events that make up the historical process. Sooner or later, all becomes a Past, i.e. the matter that history studies.

          What here is so arcane and confusing for you? The laws are logic are not “sure” for you? You deny the existence of the objective reality?

          Just because history is not one of the so-called precise sciences does not mean, that the results of its findings are less true or are open for gross misinterpretation by the ignorant people. You might even deduce why is it so.

          “…truth is a lot harder to determine that you think in your arrogance.”

          You have no idea what I think. Plus, your line of logic claims that either anyone can say anything and this might be a truth, no matter what OR that there is no use even trying to seek the truth.

          • donny says:

            You equally have no idea what I think, but you have no difficulty attributing to me what you want me to think . If this is not arrogance, what is it?

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “You equally have no idea what I think, but you have no difficulty attributing to me what you want me to think”

              Where I did that?

          • Obelix says:

            Lytt,
            history is two-part. You have the facts, and you have the interpretations by historians. The interpretations change based on the preconceptions of the historians, many they are likely not aware of.
            And some “facts” can have a very narrow data base and can get disputed lateron – just think about the discussion how many human sacrifices the Aztecs actually made … thouasands, or maybe just a handful ?? It may largely have been spanish propaganda ….

            As a consequence, history is far more prone to drastic re-evaluations as e.g. physics, where even a drastic re-evaluation today just leads to a refinement of the world view, not a complete overhaul.
            Also, nobody except Karl Marx has tried to formulate “history laws” like physical laws. At best, history might be able to formulate something similar to the biological rules (Allen rule, Bergmann rule), but I am not aware of any such yet for history (maybe you can enlighten me on this point … would indeed interest me)

            ==> I would consider history as a (very?) “soft” science

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “The interpretations change based on the preconceptions of the historians, many they are likely not aware of.”

              […]

              This is also extremely ignorant approach, that presents history as a subject to the “views”, not to actual analysis.

              Okay, let me make an imperfect comparison. Any historian is like a detective, who wants to solve a crime. In order to do that, our detective-historian talks to the witnesses (narrative sources and chronicles), examines the scene of the crime (archeology and work in the archives), resorts to the service of the experts, who can gleam more from the crime scene, murder weapon or the body of the victim (paleography, archeological laboratories, cross discipline analysis). Then begins the serious work of cross examining the evidence (critique of the sources), background checks (references to the existing historiography on the subject). In the end, you construct the case and tries to answer “Whodunnit”. With this you come to the court, where your work will become an object of other people’s scrutiny.

              You can have this for your legal system/approach to history, or you can have a lynching mob. What would you choose?

              What are you talking about are just abstracts. If you have some valid criticism and appropriate evidence that shows, that history, as you claim, is notoriously prone to wild revisions – go for it. Saying “I heard something about Aztects” is not an option. Facts, please.

              And, yes – history has no laws akin to the laws of the precise sciences. It has instead consistent, regular patterns.

  3. Lyttenburgh says:

    Naming conventions of the star nations in the Honorverse serve to reinforce the image/stereotypes about said nations. In that sense – they all make sense.

    A) Grayson’s Navy ship names derive from the Old Testament, various virtues useful in the way of smiting enemies of the Tester and after the great people of the past of that nation.

    B) Haven’s Navy ship names depended on the time period and the plot twist. In the first half of the series they were teeth-cringing in their blind emulation of the French Navy of the Age of Sail in order to drive home the idea, that this is “Hornblower in SPAAACE”. To forcefully drive home the point that they are the Bad Guys, bent over on the conquest and domination we have here Conqueror-class (with the ship of the same name), PNSs Conquérant and Conquistador (Triumphant-class battleships) and many, MANY others with “screaming” names. But after Powers That Be decided that Haven is just “USA in far future that made a wrong turn and now makes itself great again tries to come back to Normality”, we began encountering such ship names as RHNS Douglas MacArthur, RHNS Majestic and even RHNS William T. Sherman

    C) The nomenclature of the Anderman Imperial Navy looks exactly like it should – vaguely German-sounding, as imagined by the people, who expect something vaguely German-sounding. Andermani is nation of insane cosplayers – that was the message, and the books convey it brilliantly!

    D) Silesian “Navy” derived its names for the ships from – wait for it! – the Old Earth’s region of Silesia. Wow! No need to worry about them anymore – in the Totally Not Reminding Us Anything Event ™, the Silesian Confederation had been partitioned between its two powerful neighbors, in order to further friendship and mutual understanding. Yeah…

    E) Solarian Navy is a study in contravention. OTOH, the ships of the Scientist-class are all named rather inoffensive (SLNS Marie Curie or SLNS Charles Babbage channel something, I dunno, exploratory-scientific – not the fact that you are a superdreadnaught). OTOH the Warrior-class nomenclature looks suspiciously like a “pre-Conversion” Heavenite one (SLNS like Napolen). Oh, and the mere existence of the Indefatigable and Nevada classes – that’s a nice call-back/trolling, given who are the new enemies of the Solarian League.

    F) Royal Torch Navy names its ships after anything related to the signature liberation of the people. There is one elephant hiding in the room, though, directly connected to this practice. If you look at examples from the other Space Navies here (Grayson, Andermani, Heaven’s, Solarian) you will find at least one example of the ship, named after significant (for that star nation – and its Navy) person, that lived in the relative past (from the novels point of view), but also in the relative future (from us, the readers). There are/were SLNS Adrienne Warshawski, a number of Emden-class Andermani ships also bearing the names of the famous “up-timers” (relative to us), Grayson (and Manticore, and Heaven…) has even more examples of that. Are you trying to tell us, that for the next 2000 odd years there won’t be any examples of what the “kingdom” of Torch values the most – i.e. the human liberation? Are you saying, that the history forever stopped it’s clock in the 20th century?

    G) Manticoran Navy is idealized Royal British Navy with everything that entails. It channels the essence of what is the Start Kingdom. A perfect Form, as a means to convey the Essence.

    Now, we have this Democratic Republic of Tyranny “Free Duchy of Barca”, that has its own Star Navy. If they thought that there was nothing worthy in the last 1500 years (for them) of the human history, to name your ships after, well, then… That’s one boring Galaxy, I can tell you that. Say, do they also a bunch of insane cosplayers, like ol’ coot Gustav Anderman was? In that case, given their nomenclature, I have the only question – do they sacrifice their children in the temple of Moloch on odd or even days of the week?

    If we are trying to view this book now as “[Something] recycled in SPAAACE”, then we must realistically analyze, what forced particular (always relevantly traditional AND superstitious) people like the Navy personnel to name their ships in a particular fashion, what thought process lead them to that. I.e. it’s more than improbable, that some bunch of completely unconnected in any fashion people would decide to name their ships/start nations after the old Carthage unless there was a reason for that.

    • Daryl Saal says:

      Like a nano virus, once infected by the Lyttenburgh bug, any comments pages become bogged down in arguing about the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin. I’m hoping that he/she will stray into some of the really hard core areas like Ringo or Drake’s and they will take actual therapeutic direct action.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “Like a nano virus, once infected by the Lyttenburgh bug…”

        Now I’m interested. Hey, Daryl – what do you know about nano viruses? Please – tell me more!

        “I’m hoping that he/she will stray into some of the really hard core areas like Ringo or Drake’s and they will take actual therapeutic direct action.”

        Why only “hope”, though? Surely, Daryl, such staunch and stalwart person as you can stand your own ground, defend your opinions, provide evidence, reference and be eloquent when expressing you thought! No, I refuse to think, that you would like some little, whiney pre adolescent just run away screaming “mommy!” or, even worse, resort to hiding behind “grown ups”. I mean, you are an adult man yourself!

    • Obelix says:

      Lytt,
      you do remember this is fiction, supposed to entertain ? For the author, it means money – and the more reader, the more money.
      That means (s)he will invest so much work in it that 95-99% of the reader like the story, and to hell with the rest – to satisfy the other 1-5% would take twice or ten times as long, which is not economic.
      And using “telling names” helps the reader to get the story better – like Rob S. Pierre …
      Hell, a large part of the Manticore society as described – nearly all Manticorans being always being highly effective, idealistic, etc (with the exception of a few villains and scapegoats) is “unrealistic”, when taken as a whole – even taking into account that more industrious people are more likely to end up near the top.
      Most people are gray, not black or white, but Weber chooses to tell the story with 90-95% of the people being either white or black. (And “strangely”, in Manticore 90% of the top people are white, and 9% black – nearly no gray people, and only the occsional “gray” people situation tossed in to let the whole story appear more realistic.

      So, the whole HH series is whacky if you compare to what reality would look like. But its still a hell of a read …. You just have to remember it is a read and not confuse with reality.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “And using “telling names” helps the reader to get the story better – like Rob S. Pierre”

        When I read it first time I facepalmed soooooo hard… But then I said – “Hey! It’s just Hornblower in SPAAACE! You can’t treat this as standalone normal ficton!”.

        Bloody postmodernism…

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