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"Beauty and the Beast", written by David Weber, is the third short story in the sixth Honorverse anthology, Beginnings, published in July 2013. It tells the story of how Honor Harrington's parents first met.
Timeframe: 1842 PD
Having just arrived on the planet Beowulf, Lieutenant Alfred Harrington of the Royal Manticoran Navy is met by Captain Jacques Benton-Ramirez y Chou of the Biological Survey Corps. He is soon told by the local Manticoran military attache that the meeting was likely not coincidental.
On the following day, Harrington rubs shoulders with a fellow student, an entitled Manticoran aristocrat named Franz Illescue, who is himself meeting a young Beowulfer named Allison Benton-Ramirez y Chou, who is in fact Jacques' twin sister. His complaining about Harrington inadvertently sparks an interest for the Lieutenant in the young woman. Both are irritated by their immediate strong attraction to each other, but neither dares to act on it.
A crisis arises when Allison is kidnapped by Mesan agents in order to force her brother to hand over BSC secrets. Alfred senses that something is amiss, and follows her by using the latent psychic connection he has been having to the young woman for days, while Jacques alerts his superiors at the Corps.
Alfred finds Allison and her kidnappers in a hunting lodge outside the city, and quickly starts killing off the Mesans using his advanced combat training. When he finds one of them torturing their hostage with a neural whip, he bashes the man's skull in with the butt of a pulse rifle. He takes Allison away from the compound, but the remaining Mesans hunt them down, cornering them in a ditch not far away. A firefight ensues, in which Alfred holds off the attackers long enough for Allison to call Jacques. Minutes later, a BSC assault shuttle arrives, bombing the Mesans' position and killing all but one of them.
Some time later, Allison wakes up in a hospital, with her brother and Alfred by her side. He explains that the BSC and the Audubon Ballroom have interrogated the sole survivor of the Mesan team, and, using the information he provided, are in the process of killing every person involved in the operation, including at least two targets on Mesa itself.
Allison then talks to Alfred. He confesses that he decided to go to medical school and become a healer because he was just too good at killing people. Referencing the ancient story of Beauty and the Beast, Allison tells him that maybe they were meant for each other, their love making up for each other's shortcomings.
Giuseppe Adamson | Giuseppe Ardmore | Allison Benton-Ramirez y Chou | Jacques Benton-Ramirez y Chou | Riley Brandão | Brockmann | Leonard Detweiler | Aurèle Fairmont-Solbakken | Gerlach | Kuprian Grazioli | Häkon Grigoriv | Sean Hamilton-Mitsotakis | Alfred Harrington | Clarissa Harrington | Franz Illescue | Kipling | Tangevec | Tobin Manischewitz | McLeish | Lazare Meakin | Kazimierz Mészáros | Emiliano Min | Rinaldo Mönch | Penelope Mwo-chi | Terjo O'Connor | Gualberto Palacios | Patterson | Rikki-Tikki-Tavi | Sawney Sugimoto | Sojourner X | Yang | Howard Young | Rudi Zepeda
Beowulf | Benton Hall | Camp Oswald Avery | Chicago | Clematis | Earth | Grendel | Haswell | Hope | Landing | Lytton System | Manticore | Mesa | New Denver | Priestly Hall | Rosalind Franklin Park | Sasebo System | Sol System | Sphinx
air car | Alessandra Farms | assault shuttle | Audubon Ballroom | beer | Beowulf Biosciences Code | Beowulf System-Defense Force | Beowulf Terminus | Biological Survey Corps | Black Mountain Security | Board of Directors (Beowulf) | Cantrell modification | Cherwell Convention | Deneb Accords | Descorso | Earth's Final War | Edgar Anderson Avenue | Erewhon Wormhole Junction | Eridani Edict | OCS | Frontier Fleet | Ignaz Semmelweis University Hospital | Kismet modification | Manticore Wormhole Junction | neural disruptor | neural whip | Osterman Cross | Quelhollow | Manpower Incorporated | Meyerdahl | Prescott-Chatwell | pulser | Royal Manticoran Marine Corps | Royal Manticoran Navy | Ignaz Semmelweis University of Beowulf | Simpson & Wong 216 holosight | Society for Creative Anachronisms | Solarian League Assembly | Special Actions Group | Sphinx Forestry Service | stone raven | System Bureau of Investigation | tea | Old Tilman | uni-link | Warshawski University | wine