Sick Berth Attendant Third Class Sean Tyler, formerly of the Royal Manticoran Navy, volunteers for service in the Grayson Space Navy and ends up aboard GNS Francis Mueller, an obsolete old heavy cruiser that is used by the Graysons to shuffle off all personnel that would otherwise be ballast for the Navy.
Consequently, the ship is commanded by an irresponsible Captain, with a First Officer who would just love to haul half the crew out into space for "slackness", and a ship's chaplain who suffers from both overimagination and insomnia, thus constantly praying over the loudspeakers for the ship to be delivered from all sorts of horrible occurrences.
Tyler also learns that the crew likes to entertain themselves by sliding "down" Axial One, a large cargo tube running down the spine of the ship, on potato sacks. Many crew members are injured in these games, including Captain Zemet, who falls into a coma after crashing into a bulkhead.
While the captain is in the infirmary, his Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Greene, takes command and wants to space half the crew. Tyler and his superior, Chief Warrant Officer Robert Kearns, have to trick the XO into believing the crewmen in question are dead, until Greene is finally transferred to Blackbird Base on the order of Rear Admiral Judah Yanakov. After that, the Francis Mueller continues her run as the GSN's "nut-case".
This story is by far the most humorous aproach to the Honorverse material, mocking the generally serious undertones of the franchise, as well as the normally very religious, self-confident Graysons in particular.
A Ship Named Francis has a number of elements in common with the animé comedy Irresponsible Captain Tylor, which is also set aboard a disreputable starship where all of a space navy's misfits are sent.
- ↑ Most likely an error by the authors, though given the overall competence level of the bridge crew, it is impossible to be certain.