Honor Stephanie Harrington was born on October 1, 1859 PD, or 256 AL, at Craggy Hollow, County Duvalier, in the Duchy of Shadow Vale on the planet Sphinx to two physicians, Dr. Alfred Harrington, a former Surgeon Commander in the RMN, and Doctor Allison Chou Harrington. (UHH)
Early life Edit
Honor was born on Sphinx in the Star Kingdom of Manticore as a scion of several old clans, the Harrington Clan through her father, and the Chou and Benton-Ramirez families through her Beowulfan mother. (HH11)
Academy years Edit
While at Saganami Island Academy, Honor took Fourth Form Tactics under the tutelage of Captain Raoul Courvosier. She did poorly in her mathematics courses. When she was a midshipwoman, Pavel Young attempted to rape her, but she thoroughly thrashed him in self-defense, sending him to the infirmary for repairs. He was forced to apologize to her by Commandant Hartley, but not expelled since she declined to explain what had happened. (HH1)
During a regatta, Honor and Michelle Henke buzzed the Commandant's yacht; he dove overboard into the water, fearing a collision. She collected quite a few black marks as a result of the incident. Her academic performance and Michelle's relation to the Crown (5th in succession) likely spared them both more serious reprimand. (HHA3.1: MMH, HH1)
Honor was introduced to coup de vitesse by Chief Petty Officer MacDougal, one of her instructors. She studied it at the Academy, making the demonstration team, and eventually became a black belt in the form later in her career. (HH2)
Midshipman cruise Edit
As her final exam, Honor served her midshipwoman or "snotty" cruise aboard the heavy cruiser HMS War Maiden, commanded by Captain (SG) Thomas Bachfisch. Bachfisch had personally selected her on the high recommendation of Courvosier. War Maiden was assigned for that patrol to anti-piracy duty in Silesia.
Assistant Tactical Officer Lieutenant Elvis Santino, unlike most of the other officers serving on War Maiden, displayed a towering sense of superiority, and had a hectoring sneer, particularly toward Honor and Nimitz. He seemed to have an issue with the presence of Nimitz, and at times reminded Honor of Pavel Young. After a series of less than acceptable performance incidents, Santino was replaced during the cruise by Lieutenant Saunders, after the ship's Executive Officer found him to be abusive toward the midshipmen he was responsible for training.
Captain Bachfisch introduced Honor to regular meals with subordinate officers as a good way to get to know them. On meeting him for the first time, Honor was mildly disappointed that he didn't fit her image of the dashing and distinguished captain of a King's ship; her opinion changed as she realized how well he worked with his staff, and how he drew all his officers into discussions at dinner.
Honor accompanied the Marine boarding party that inspected RMMS Gryphon's Pride after War Maiden unsuccessfully chased pirates that had been boarding her. The pirates had massacred the crew.
Lieutenant Santino was instructed to lead a prize crew aboard Gryphon's Pride on the return to Manticore, and Honor was promoted to acting Assistant Tactical Officer in his place. In that role, she was involved in the destruction of Prism Space Navy's heavy cruiser Annika after Captain Bachfisch was severely injured as the battle began. As a result, Captain Bachfisch promoted her to acting Lieutenant (junior grade) and to the permanent rank of Ensign. (HHA3.1: MMH)
After a tour in command of a light attack craft, she was assigned an executive officer on another vessel, and then to HMS Manticore as tactical officer. During her time aboard the ship, she saved the life of several crewmembers when the forward power room exploded. After graduating from the Commanding Officer's Course, she waited two months before taking command of HMS Hawkwing, a destroyer. Upon finishing her tour with on that ship, Honor was selected for the coveted Advanced Tactical Course, normally a requirement before a hyper-capable command. She graduated first in her class, which was taught in part by the ATC commander, Admiral Courvosier.
1900 – 1901 PDEdit
Honor took command of HMS Fearless (CL-56), whose not quite completed experimental weapons complement included energy weapons suitable for close encounter only (a very limited range) which had displaced missiles with longer range. Only surprise could get them past an enemy’s defenses, close enough to use either the grav lance or the energy torpedoes. During war games, Fearless' first action, Honor succeeded in such a surprise ambush, killing the "enemy" flagship, but once the enemy knew of her capabilities, she suffered repeated, humiliating defeat.
Perhaps in response to poor war game performance, Honor and her crew were ordered to Basilisk Station, long regarded as a backwater to which only those in disgrace were sent. Yet her duties were important — protection against smuggling and prevention of Haven (or any enemy) from making a surprise attack via the local wormhole terminus. Arriving at Basilisk, Honor was immediately summoned to meet the senior officer — Pavel Young. He informed her that he and his ship was returning to Manticore for an urgent refit, and she – a Commander – would be the senior officer on station.
Despite inadequate resources, Honor resolved to perform the duties Young had neglected. She deployed sensor buoys throughout the system, sent inspection teams to Basilisk Traffic Control and Medusa, coordinated with the Resident Commissioner, and so on. Her actions caused complaints from the Havenite ambassador, the Havenite consul on Medusa, merchant cartels, and Havenite merchant captains. Yet she received praise from the Resident Commissioner for Planetary Affairs, the Native Protection Agency, and Basilisk Traffic Control.
After finding out about a new type of mekoha drug, Harrington used one of Fearless' pinnaces for sensor runs attempting to locate the processing lab, if it were on the surface. She and the Resident Commissioner suspected that Havenite trade envoys were attempting something underhanded. When the discovered lab exploded and caused numerous NPA deaths, she sent Royal Marines down to Medusa, while Fearless secretly investigated PMSS Sirius, which had been in orbit as a casualty for some time. When trouble broke out on the surface, and Sirius left orbit, Harrington saw what was being attempted. She sent a Case: Zulu signal to Manticore via the Terminus, and chased Sirius down. The ships fought and Sirius was destroyed in the First Battle of Basilisk. Fearless was heavily damaged, limping back to Medusa.
In 1901 PD, Harrington was promoted to Captain (senior grade) in recognition of her actions at Basilisk, was given command of the new heavy cruiser HMS Fearless (CA-286), and awarded the Manticore Cross. (HH1)
1901 – 1902 PDEdit
In the aftermath of the battle, a Havenite court tried her in absence, and proclaimed her guilty of murdering an innocent freighter crew. Manticore fought back with informing the galaxy that the freighter had been a Q-ship.
When HMS Fearless (CA-286) put in for a refit at HMSS Vulcan, Honor took a two week leave to visit her parents on Sphinx. During the Fearless' recommissioning ceremony, Harrington learned about her next assignment at Grayson; she would be the senior officer of a freighter convoy escort. The convoy would bring more than one hundred fifty billion Manticoran dollars worth of supplies to Grayson. She would also transport a team of diplomats headed by Raoul Courvosier who were tasked with negotiating an alliance treaty with Grayson.
Honor had doubts about the diplomatic mission, especially after learning how women were treated on Grayson. When she observed the way the Grayson officers were acting when she was present, she thought her presence was interfering with the mission and ordered Fearless to accompany HMS Apollo and HMS Troubadour to the Casca System with the remainder of the convoy, even though only the destroyer Madrigal remained to assist Grayson. While underway and on hearing of the harassment of Ensign Carolyn Wolcott by Grayson officers, Harrington ordered a ship wide investigation of any more incidents.
Returning to Yeltsin's Star, Fearless and its companions encountered a group of LACs. Harrington thought they were from Grayson, but the LACs fired on and damaged Troubadour. The RMN ships returned fire, destroyed them, and then proceeded to Grayson. Only a message from Ambassador Anthony Langtry that Masadan warships were in the system, including modern ships of Havenite origin, explained the LAC attack. He also informed her of Admiral Courvosier's death, which she took hard and blamed herself for.
Harrington went down to the Manticore Embassy for a meeting, and argued with Reginald Houseman, who demanded immediate evacuation of all Manticorans. Honor maintained that the Queen's honor would be irreparably damaged if they abandoned Grayson now. Houseman threatened her commission, and Harrington slapped him, to general acclaim. When the Grayson Space Navy refused to cooperate with her, Harrington demanded a meeting with Protector Benjamin IX, threatening to withdraw from the system if he refused. (HH2)
Assassination attempt on Benjamin Mayhew IXEdit
The Protector responded by inviting Harrington to dinner with his family in their residence; she brought Nimitz. During the dinner, she informed Benjamin IX of the difficulties she had been having with various officers of the Grayson Navy regarding the deployment and tactics of her squadron, and he agreed to rearrange the command structure of the Grayson navy to allow the necessary coordination.
As dinner was ending, men in security uniforms entered and attacked the Protector. Harrington and Nimitz acted swiftly to defend him and his family, killing and wounding several of the assassins. Harrington was hit in the face with disruptor fire and had to be brought back to Fearless. All the nerves on the left side of her face from her eye to to her chin were destroyed, and her left eye was damaged beyond repair. In addition, she suffered severe soft tissue damage to her left cheek, a broken cheek bone, a broken nose, bruises and internal bleeding. An investigation by Howard Clinkscales revealed that the Brotherhood of Maccabeus was responsible. The leader of the plot was Jared Mayhew, the Protector's cousin. (HH2)
A few hours after the Maccabeans' attack, Harrington, along with Nimitz, Commander Truman, and Commander McKeon, visited the Grayson Command Central and met with Admiral Leon Garret and Admiral Matthews. She explained the plan that she and her staff had come up with to fight against Masada, which had backed the Maccabeans. The plan used the new type of Recon Drone developed by the RMN that used FTL capabilities to create a basic sensor net across likely approach vectors in the Yeltsin's Star System. Freighters returning noncombatants to Manticore would bring an urgent request for reinforcements, but they would take days to arrive.
Howard Clinkscales thanked Harrington for her part in thwarting the assassination attempt, and explained that one of the Brotherhood of Maccabeus's pilots revealed that Masada put an advanced forward base on Blackbird and that their "biggest ship", MNS Thunder of God, was in the Endicott System, which prompted Harrington to move against the Masadan base before it returned.
She deployed the Grayson-RMN forces so that their LACs could mask the energy signatures of the larger vessels. Her fleet destroyed or captured the entire Masadan force, forcing Principality, originally Breslau, captained by Commander Thomas Theisman, to surrender. Theisman informed her that HMS Madrigal's survivors were being held at Blackbird Base, and implied that they were in danger. Harrington called a meeting of the fleet's senior officers and formulated new battle plans.
An assault force led by Manticoran Marines took Blackbird Base. In captivity, Colonel Harris informed her where to find the Madrigal survivors. In that location, Harrington found Commander Mercedes Brigham and Ensign Mai-ling Jackson badly injured, and learned that the majority of Madrigal survivors had suffered brutal deaths at the Masadans' hands. Captain Jason Alvarez was killed as he tried to protect the women from being raped and beaten. In rage, Harrington almost killed the base's commander, Captain Williams, but was restrained by Major Ramirez, Admiral Matthews, and Lieutenant Tremaine. Matthews vowed that the Masadans would be put to justice. (HH2)
The aftermath of BlackbirdEdit
Captain Harrington questioned Commander Theisman and had him present when Fritz Montoya gave a report of the injuries that Mercedes Brigham and Mai-ling Jackson had suffered. Theisman agreed to testify against Captain Williams and the other Masadan officers of Blackbird.
She then ordered Commander Truman and Apollo to leave for Manticore as soon as possible and to request reinforcements in preparation for combat with MNS Thunder of God, now known to be a battlecruiser. She also ordered all the seriously wounded from Fearless and Troubadour to be moved Apollo. Harrington promised Admiral Matthews that she would stand with Grayson against any Masadan threat.
Captain Harrington enjoyed a meal of steak prior to the Masadan invasion of Yeltsin's Star System. She finished her meal even when she was informed about the MNS Thunder of God entered the system. This action helped galvanized her crew by showing she was not fazed by the battle cruiser. (HH2)
Because of disagreements and mutual distrust between the Masadans and the Havenites, Thunder of God was delayed in the Endicott system for four days and was packed with Masadans who mutinied and took control of the ship.
Fearless detected its approach from the far side of Yeltsin’s Star and observed it for several hours, undetected. Harrington put Fearless on a spiral course inside Thunder of God's path in order to protect the planet, noting the clumsiness of Thunder of God's tactics and realizing that Masadans were controlling it. She suspected that the Masadans would attack Grayson from a distance if they had the opportunity.
In repeated missile battles, Troubadour was destroyed and Fearless suffered severe damage, but Thunder of God was badly hurt as well. A relief force commanded by Admiral White Haven arrived, and White Haven ordered Harrington to break off. When she did not respond, he realized her communications were out, and fired a missile salvo, knowing he was out of range and the missiles would be unable to maneuver when they reached their target. However, some of them did hit, and attempting to evade, Thunder of God turned its bow toward Fearless and was destroyed by a broadside.
A few weeks later, Harrington met with Admiral White Haven, Ambassador Langtry, Protector Benjamin and Admiral Matthews. White Haven informed her that a reprimand was in her file as a result of her striking Reginald Houseman, and warned her that other such incidents would end her career.
Despite the reprimand, she received honors for her actions: Protector Benjamin asked her to sign the draft treaty of alliance in the name of Queen Elizabeth III, and informed her that funds had been approved to form the new Harrington Steading with her as the first female Steadholder in Grayson history. Langtry told her that the Queen would make her a Countess, and Admiral Matthews presented her with the Star of Grayson. In addition, she was made a Knight Companion of the Order of King Roger. (HH2)
1904 – 1905 PD Edit
Honor Harrington took command of a new battlecruiser, HMS Nike, in 282 AL. Commander Michelle Henke became her executive officer. Nike was assigned as flagship for Rear Admiral Sarnow, commander of Battlecruiser Squadron 5, a part of the Task Force Hancock, commanded by Vice Admiral Sir Yancey Parks. A stickler for protocol, Parks had formed a negative opinion about Harrington based on what he had heard about her, and he refused to invite her to meetings of top officers until Sarnow confronted him about it.
Nike arrived at Hancock with damage due to a flaw undetected in the new ship's initial tests. Captain Paul Tankersley, executive officer of the shipyard, supervised the repairs. He and Harrington became sparring partners in coup de vitesse and, after a few weeks, lovers as well.
Harrington was present at an officers' meeting where a war warning from the Admiralty was read. Parks decided to split his fleet, sending smaller task groups and squadrons to defend allies along possible routes of attack. Task Group Hancock 001 under Sarnow's command was left to defend Hancock. Parks assumed that the People's Navy had no surveillance capability until one of his ships caught Havenites querying their recon drones. They hurried back to Hancock, but not before Admiral Rollins exploited the opportunity Parks had provided.
With most of the Royal Manticoran Navy deployed elsewhere to prevent the Havenite provocations, Honor and Admiral Sarnow found themselves forced to defend Hancock Station from the vastly superior Havenite armada that arrived insystem. With the help of Harrington's unorthodox tactics, the task force was able to hold off the Havenites for long enough for reinforcements to arrive. In the final stages of the battle, Rear Admiral Sarnow was incapacitated, leaving it up to Harrington to pass on command. But as the reinforcement arrived at this point, she found that passing on command would only cause confusion and possibly allow the enemy to escape, so she kept command while leading the Havenites further in system to trap them by using her taskforce as bait.
Pavel Young's cowardice nearly cost Harrington her life when he disobeyed orders and fled the defensive formation protecting the wounded Nike. Harrington managed to keep the rest of the formation together despite this, until she ordered the task force to scatter for safety when the pursuing force has reached a point of no return and could no longer escape the Manticoran reinforcements. (HH3)
Pavel Young's court martial placed Harrington in the center of a political storm. Despite the Queen's strong support for her actions, many in Manticore's aristocracy saw the court-martial as a vindictive attack on Young by Harrington. They were not satisfied when Young was removed from the Navy but acquitted on the capital charges, and opposed a declaration of war against Haven which the Queen and the Admiralty desperately wanted. To allow political feelings to calm, Earl White Haven asked Harrington to take an extended leave.
On Grayson, Harrington was admitted formally to the Conclave of Steadholders. As the only living holder of the Star of Grayson, she was also the Protector's Champion. Although she had an outstanding regent, Howard Clinkscales, she quickly became absorbed in the duties of a Steadholder.
When Adam Gerrick presented his proposal to Harrington and Clinkscales to build protective domes of crystoplast to cover cities and farms, both liked the idea. However, Gerrick had been unable to convince investors, and no public funds were available. Harrington invested some of her personal fortune gained from the capture of Havenite ships in the First Battle of Hancock, and Grayson Sky Domes, Ltd. was born.
Soon afterward, Mike Henke arrived bearing the news that Denver Summervale had killed Paul Tankersley in a duel. She brought Harrington and her dozen armsmen back to Manticore aboard her ship, HMS Agni. Harrington was so devastated by Tankersley's death that even Nimitz could not console her. She determined to duel with Summervale, and began practicing with an automatic pistol.
On a tip from Admiral Sarnow, Colonel Tomas Ramirez brought a platoon of Marines to find Denver Summervale in a remote lodge on Gryphon. Ramirez learned that Pavel Young – now Earl North Hollow – had hired Summervale to kill both Tankersley and Harrington.
Confronting Summervale publicly in a bar, Harrington goaded him to challenge her. Taking advantage of her opponent's overconfidence, she managed to kill him in the duel. Later, an attempt to shoot her in a restaurant was thwarted by Andrew LaFollet's speedily pushing her under a table.
Pavel Young, frightened, avoided contact until she accused him in the House of Lords. On the dueling grounds, Young cheated and fired early. Saved by Andrew LaFollet's warning, Honor ducked and was wounded in the left shoulder. Despite her wound, she fired and killed Young. In the political uproar that followed, she was removed from command of Nike and returned to Grayson.
1908 – 1910 PD Edit
About a year after the Fourth Battle of Yeltsin, Harrington took command of HMAMC Wayfarer, a freighter converted into a Q-Ship. She led a squadron of four such ships into the Breslau System in Silesian space to fight pirates that were plaguing Manticoran commerce.
The People's Republic of Haven had four battlecruisers in Silesian space on a secret mission to harass Manticoran shipping. Commander Warner Caslet, commanding PNS Vaubon, was searching for a particularly nasty pirate group and found two pirate cruisers attacking a freighter that turned out to be Wayfarer. Both pirate ships were destroyed, and Vaubon surrendered and was sent back to Manticore with a prize crew. With information from the pirate ships' computers, Harrington engaged the pirates in the Marsh System, destroying four more of their cruisers. She then negotiated with their leader, Andre Warnecke, persuaded him to leave the planet, captured him and turned him over to the Sidemoreans who now rebelled against his rule. She recommended that the Admiralty set up a naval base in the system.
On patrol again, Wayfarer encountered a battle between PNS Kerebin and HMS Hawkwing, which was escorting the Hauptman Cartel armed passenger liner Artemis, which had Klaus and Stacey Hauptman on board. Hawkwing was destroyed and the liner was damaged. Wayfarer destroyed Kerebin, but the Havenites' final salvo inflicted serious damage on the Manticoran Q-Ship; Artemis could not flee the scene, and Harrington's fighting ability was very limited. While Harrington and Artemis' Captain, Margaret Fuchien, discussed their options, Klaus Hauptman interrupted and tried to bully Harrington. When he called Harrington a coward, his daughter made her disapproval clear. Because of Wayfarer's damaged life support, Harrington arranged to transfer all nonessential crew to Artemis and provided six LACs as an escort. The liner cut its emissions and hid while Harrington distracted the Peeps with an EW drone.
PNS Achmed saw Kerebin vanish, engaged Wayfarer and each inflicted fatal damage on the other. Harrington's Chief Engineer, Harold Tschu, whose treecat Samantha had mated with Nimitz and was expecting kittens, was killed. Harrington invited Achmed's few survivors to join her, even though she was certain that they all would die. Yet, a repentant Klaus Hauptman had sent a rescue party from Artemis. Aboard the liner, Harrington made arrangements to repatriate the surviving Havenites. (HH6)
Captivity and Escape from HadesEdit
After eight months of maternity leave working in BuShips, Harrington returned to Grayson, where she would be part of the Eighth Fleet being organized under Earl White Haven's command. Shortly after, Steadholder Harrington arrived from Manticore accompanied by ten adult treecats and four kittens, White Haven and Harrington got into a vigorous debate about weapons and strategy. He realized she had grown and developed as a Steadholder and a GSN admiral. Social distance evaporated and he found himself attracted to her. Unbeknownst to him, she was aware of his thoughts and feelings and found, to her dismay, that she was in love with him. Constrained by the Articles of War as well as White Haven’s love for his wife Emily, both made determined efforts to avoid disclosing their feelings. Agony over this dilemma was on her mind when she volunteered to command a squadron escorting a supply convoy.
The convoy's fourth stop was in the Adler System. Harrington did not know that the People's Navy had occupied the system, but contingency plans called for HMS Prince Adrian, commanded by Captain Alistair McKeon, to drop out of hyper about 45 minutes ahead of the convoy. Harrington was visiting his ship, and ordered him to surrender to the Havenites since they could not escape. She ordered the rest of the convoy to leave Adler immediately.
Harrington and the Prince Adrian's crew were brought to Barnett. Cordelia Ransom took charge of her, using her conviction in absentia for murder eleven years previously as a pretext. When she ordered guards to kill Nimitz, he responded with deadly force. Harrington and Nimitz were both seriously injured in the fight. Cordelia Ransom's ship Tepes took the captives to Hades. The Manticoran crew, led by Horace Harkness, escaped and destroyed Tepes. They landed on Hades with two Havenite assault shuttles. (HH7) Harrington was near starvation. Her artificial eye and the repairs on the left side of her face had been destroyed, and her left arm was amputated. While Harrington recovered from her injuries, Harkness began monitoring Havenite communications. They located Camp Inferno where the most troublesome prisoners had been kept, some for as long as 70 years. Harrington recruited leaders among the captives and organized a breakout. Using their assault shuttles, they attacked the warden’s headquarters at Camp Charon about a year after their capture.
Harrington assembled a panel of senior officers to try their former captors, punishing them for war crimes according to Haven's laws. After months of trials, a StateSec heavy cruiser, PNS Krashnark, arrived with new Alliance prisoners. Three shuttles from Camp Charon filled with armored troops docked with and captured Krashnark. The newcomers informed them that the Havenites had retaken Zanzibar, Alizon and Seaford Nine, and had inflicted serious damage in the Basilisk System. They also related the Havenites' story about Harrington's execution. Harrington decided she could not ask the Alliance to rescue them. They had to rescue themselves. She promised that everyone who wanted to leave Hades would get out. Soon afterward, the light cruiser Bacchante surrendered when orbital defenses locked on to it. The next arrival was a courier. Its messages included an inquiry about a courier that the Manticorans had destroyed months earlier. They transmitted a prepared response and the courier left. Another message in the download said that the Havenites were sending two batallions to Camp Charon along with transports to take a workforce of 70,000 to Seaford Nine and an escort of cruisers and battlecruisers. It was to arrive in three weeks. With a carefully planned ambush, Harrington gained enough transports to send Captain Cynthia Gonsalves to Trevor's Star with 286,000 evacuees. The newly formed Elysian Space Navy now had five battlecruisers and five cruisers.
Harrington hoped to have about three months before the convoy was missed, but a task group of 18 ships arrived much sooner than that. Moving invisibly on reaction thrusters only, the Elysian Space Navy maneuvered into the midst of the Havenite force, which did not notice them until they fired. Most of the warships were destroyed, but transports were added to their fleet. Harrington arrived at Trevor's Star with 106,000 former prisoners. Others arrived later in the slower transports, bringing the total to nearly half a million. (HH8)
Return to Grayson and Manticore Edit
Harrington returned to Grayson aboard the GNS Honor Harrington, designed and built during her absence. Reunited with her parents, Harrington learned that she had twin infant siblings; Faith Katherine Honor Stephanie Miranda Harrington was now Steadholder Harrington with Howard Clinkscales as her regent. James Andrew Benjamin Harrington was Faith's slightly younger brother. A four-meter bronze statue with eight meter base had been placed outside the Steadholders Hall, depicting the Protector's Champion awaiting single combat with the treacherous Steadholder Burdette. On Manticore, Harrington refused the Queen's offer of the Parliamentary Medal of Valor, recommending that it be awarded to Horace Harkness instead. In her absence, Countess Harrington's title had been given to her cousin Devon. In order for him to remain an Earl, the Queen made Honor a duchess and awarded her lands from the Crown Reserve on Gryphon.
Alfred Harrington supervised his daughter's medical treatment; her left arm needed to be replaced, as well as her left eye, and nerves on the left side of her face had to be repaired. Since she needed to remain in the Manticore system for medical treatment, Admiral Caparelli appointed her as Commandant of the Advanced Tactical Course at Saganami Island, promoting her three full grades from Commodore to full Admiral. In addition, she was a lecturer in tactics at the Academy and a mentor to many students, especially Graysons. She moved into a mansion on Jason Bay given to her by the Queen.
During this time she hired Dr. Adelina Arif to design and teach a sign language to treecats in order to enable the two species to directly communicate, which was first demonstrated in a private showing to the Queen.
After about a year, Harrington's medical treatment was mostly complete, and she returned to Grayson bearing a request from Queen Elizabeth for an invitation to visit Grayson. That visit was a great success, however, the queen and the Protector almost fell victim of an assassination plot instigated by Oscar Saint-Just and carried out by Masadan fanatics in cooperation with Steadholder Mueller, who presented to the Queen and to Prime Minister Summervale memory stones equipped with homing beacons. When the assassins activated the beacons and launched missiles, Grayson LACs observed it and moved to investigate. Monitoring their communications, Harrington used her military-grade sensors and gave a warning of the imminent attack. She positioned her yacht, the Jamie Candless, so its wedge would protect Grayson One from the missile detonation. No one could protect Queen Adrienne. The Protector and Queen Elizabeth survived, but Prime Minister Allen Summervale, the Chancellor of Grayson Lord Henry Prestwick, and many others were killed.
Shortly after, the new government formed by Baron High Ridge agreed to a cease-fire with the People's Republic. Instead of returning to active duty, Harrington remained at Saganami Island. The new government proved to be highly corrupt, short-sighted, and incompetent. Officers such as Admiral White Haven and First Space Lord Admiral Sir Thomas Caparelli were put on half pay and replaced with political cronies, though Harrington's great heroic status rendered her able to remain on as Commandant of the Advanced Tactical Course, aka the "Crusher." Here she did what she could to keep the Manticoran officer trainees sharp and prepared for war, despite a broad fleet build-down instituted by High Ridge. This was predicated by the new First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Edward Janacek's belief that Manticore's technological edge was insurmountable and the Prime Minister's plans to exploit the "emergency" war time tax rates to fund various pork projects and other schemes designed to increase his coalition's political favorability.
Political Leadership and Scandal Edit
Working closely with White Haven, Harrington also actively participated in the Centrist-led Opposition in the House of Lords. Queen Elizabeth III had made a mistake in declaring when the new Government formed that she would actively seek their downfall, and so High Ridge was able to exploit the fears of Lords in his coalition to ensure unity across several otherwise diametrically opposed political factions. Despite this Harrington and White Haven effectively used their expertise on the military and foreign policy to greatly undermine the Government. Desperate to silence his critics, High Ridge initiated a smear campaign in the tabloid newsfaxes which falsely claimed that White Haven and Harrington were secret lovers. This put them both in a very awkward position, as unbeknownst to High Ridge, a strong mutual attraction between them had in fact existed for years, unconsumated due to White Haven's devotion to his invalid wife Emily. Eventually they were forced to admit their love to each other and to Emily, but she was able to defuse the firestorm in the press.
Return to WarEdit
To contain loss of face in the aftermath of the scandal and to ensure Harrington's inability to continue to interfere with the Government politically, High Ridge had Janacek order Harrington to the Sidemore system nearby the ever-conflicted Silesian Confederacy. Upon her arrival Harrington discovered over time that the Adermani Empire seemed to be engaged in increasingly aggressive action toward Manticore, disrupting the balance of power in Silesia. Events came to a head when a Manticoran vessel was destroyed in Silesia by an Andermani warship. Harrington was able to resolve the crisis by negotiating with Herzog Chen-Liu von Rabbenstrange, a senior Andermani admiral and Imperial Family member whom she had dealt with before, whereupon it became clear that the crisis had been provoked by a reckless anti-Manticoran Andermani officer who had exceeded his authority in provoking a potential war neither side wanted. These events also set the stage for a later alliance between Manticore and the Andermani.
Shortly afterward, Harrington was attacked by Admiral Lester Tourville, the only Havenite officer who had ever defeated her, in command of Haven's Second Fleet at Sidemore, as part of the massive Havenite assault called Operation Thunderbolt. Reinforced by units from the Protector's Own of Grayson, Harrington withstood the attack in the only Manticoran tactical success of the newly begun war between Haven and Manticore. As a consequence for completely failing to predict the renewal of hostilities and the massive defeats suffered at every other place hit by Thunderbolt, High Ridge was forced to resign and was replaced by a Centrist government under William Alexander, newly created Baron Grantville, brother to White Haven, who himself retired from the Navy to become the civillian First Lord of the Admiralty. Harrington returned to Manticore and was put in command of the famous Manticoran Heavy Assault Force, Eighth Fleet. Manticore engaged in a crash preparation effort to take the war to Haven.
"Cutworm" Offensives Edit
While Haven was occupied with consequences stemming from the reconquest of every system it had lost in the first war (save only Trevor's Star), Harrington worked to assemble the units and capabilities she needed to prevent future "Thunderbolt"-style offensives. She developed as a strategist by organizing a series of hit and run raids under several iterations of Operation Cutworm, on lightly defended but strategically important systems deep in Havenite territory. One after another Havenite controlled systems, many of which had not been touched in the first war, were invaded by Eighth Fleet and had their orbital industrial capacitty completely destroyed. Haven adapted by placing massive missile pod-based defenses in vulnerable systems controlled by a new fire control nexus platform codenamed Moriarty, a brainchild of Shannon Forraker. After suffering massive losses in a series of engagements between Eighth Fleet and Havenite forces supported by this defense, including the capture of Harrington's best friend Admiral Countess Gold Peak Michelle Henke, Harrington put the offensives on hold until a way around the defenses could be found.
In the interim period, Harrington and White Haven consummated their relationship with the acceptance of Emily. Harrington became pregnant and, due to her military duties, opted to have the fetus "tubed," grown in an artificial womb in a common practice of the day. An employee of the medical center where the procedure was done leaked the information to the press, and Harrington opted to make the affair public knowledge. In response to the scandal that resulted, Reverend Jeremiah Sullivan of Grayson's Church of Humanity Unchained pioneered a unique political arrangement where White Haven, Harrington, and Emily Alexander married each other polygamously under Grayson law. Thereafter, Harrington was known as Admiral Dame Honor Alexander-Harrington, Duchess and Steadholder Harrington. (HH11)
End of WarEdit
After resuming hostilities a new weapon that would prove to be as decisive as the invention of the weapons which had enabled Operation Buttercup became available. As part of Operation Sanskrit, using the Keyhole II, or "Apollo" missile platform, which enabled real-time fire control of missile volleys from extreme range, Harrington assaulted the strategically critical Havenite system of Lovat. As before, massive defenses were waiting for her under the command of Admiral Javier Giscard. Apollo enabled the destruction of the defenders with more efficiency and accuracy than had ever been seen before, and Giscard was killed when his flagship Sovereign of Space was destroyed. With the complete elimination of Havenite defenses and the Lovat system's space-bound industry, Harrington withdrew to Trevor's Star, as the weapon had not yet been fully deployed throughout Manticore's wall of battle, and the primary purpose of the operation had been to demonstrate the new weapon's power.
Confronted with impending defeat-in-detail, Haven's Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Thomas Theisman knew he had one last chance to end the war on Haven's terms: by throwing everything he had directly at the Manticore system itself, where he anticipated the new weapon had not yet been deployed. Under the command of Admiral Lester Tourville, the combined remaining offensive strength of Haven's wall of battle sailed as part of Operation Beatrice. There, the largest naval engagement in human history, involving hundreds of capital ships between each side, was fought in the Battle of Manticore. Haven was nearly successful, destroying Manticore's Home and Third Fleets under Admiral Sebastian D'Orville and Theodosia Kuzak, before Harrington and Eighth Fleet arrived and used Apollo to decisively destroy the Havenite forces, forcing Admiral Tourville to surrender his surviving ships. Harrington's close friend Admiral Alistair McKeon was one of millions killed in the battle, which left Eighth Fleet the only surviving force of Manticoran ships of the wall. Harrington was temporarily made CO of Home Fleet and promoted to Admiral of the Fleet while the Star Kingdom recovered.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Manticore, Harrington as acting CO of Home Fleet played a key role in determining future policy toward the Republic of Haven. Recognizing that the reasons for renewed conflict between the Star Kingdom and Manticore were largely related to the inadvertent mutual engagement of both sides in bad faith peace negotiations, Harrington used her political influence and personal confidence with Queen Elizabeth III of Manticore to push for a new peace summit. As the second war had begun with a Havenite surprise attack, and the first attempt at peace prior to the Battle of Lovat had been sabotaged by what the government believed to be Havenite agents, Elizabeth was reluctant to trust Haven again. However, Manticore's radically changing political situation following the annexation of the Talbott Quadrant and the formation of the Star Empire of Manticore was producing rapidly escalating tensions with the Solarian League. After the RMN and the Solarian League Navy fought the Battle of New Tuscany, war appeared imminent.
Taking the helm of Eighth Fleet once again, Harrington made a direct and surprise voyage to the Haven system. In bringing enough force to annihilate the system's defenses and force a Havenite unconditional surrender, Harrington also offered to begin direct negotiations with Havenite President Eloise Pritchart, journeying without protection in her civillian yacht to Planet Haven itself. In doing this Harrington created perfect diplomatic ground for a fair and equitable negotiation process to proceed, sending the message that Manticore was prepared to risk a critical tactical advantage and the life of its most successful commander to achieve lasting peace. By meeting with Pritchart personally Harrington also accounted for the death of Admiral Javier Giscard, Pritchart's lover, at her hands in the Battle of Lovat. Though negotiations were delayed by enterprising Havenite politicians, Harrington and Pritchart began to hammer out an accord that would permanently end the war.
At this time, late December / early January 1921 P.D., Manticore suffered its worst strategic loss in history at the hands of the Mesan Alignment in the attack Mesa classified as Operation Oyster Bay. Unbeknownst to Manticore, Haven, and the Solarian League, the Alignment under Albrecht Detweiler had operated in secret for centuries to bring about galactic domination and control of humanity's genetic destiny. To that end, Mesa had manipulated Manticore and Haven, Mesa's most threatening enemies, to fight each other over the past several decades. It now acted to force a fatal confrontation between Manticore and The League, and to cripple the Manticoran Alliance's industrial capacity. Using new stealth technology and weapons systems, the Mesan Alignment Navy destroyed the space complexes HMSS Hephaestus, HMSS Vulcan, and HMSS Weyland, at a cost of 12 million Manticoran lives. Almost all personnel trained in the production of spacegoing ships and weapons of war were lost, but for those of HMSS Weyland who had evacuated by a matter of chance as part of an unscheduled emergency drill.
Harrington was recalled to Manticore, where she learned that HMSS Vulcan and other orbital stations around Sphinix re-entered her home world's atmosphere as ballistic objects and struck human and treecat settlements there. Most critically damaged was the city of Yawata Crossing, where many members of Harrington's family lived. Honor's trusted personal guardian of many years, Colonel Andrew LaFollet, was also killed. This left only her mother and father, Alison and Alfred Harrington, her child, and her siblings surviving amongst the many members of the Harrington Clan in residence on Sphinx.