Born in the Pegasus System, Harriet Benson joined the Pegasus Navy and reached the rank of Captain by the time the system was conquered by the People's Republic of Haven. Her attempts to organize a resistance movement against the Havenite occupation led to her arrest by the Office of Internal Security, which sentenced her to life imprisonment on the planet Hades shortly after the surrender of Pegasus.
By 1913 PD, Benson had spent sixty-five years of her life as a prisoner in Hades under InSec first and then under the Office of State Security. She was originally assigned to a regular prison camp and became its senior officer, but when she led her fellow inmates in a desperate attempt to prevent a StateSec officer from taking a fellow female prisoner as a sexual slave (a decision which led StateSec to withhold the delivery of supplies to the camp for the next three months), she and fellow prisoner and ringleader Henri Dessouix were relocated to Camp Inferno.
Benson was the first Inferno inmate to meet Commodore Honor Harrington when the latter approached the camp to make contact with its prisoners. She then introduced Harrington to Henri Dessouix (with whom Benson had already entered a romantic relationship) and later to the camp's senior officer, Commodore Jesus Ramirez, late of the San Martin Navy. After helping Harrington and Ramirez to organize and conduct a raid to take control of the StateSec base in Styx Island, Captain Benson became one of Harrington's senior officers in what would eventually become the "Elysian Space Navy". Due to her past history with the Havenites, Benson excluded herself from participating in the courts-martial convened to trial captured StateSec officers. (HH8)
Benson "refreshed" her naval skills aboard the captured heavy cruiser ENS Krashnark and later went on to take command of the light cruiser ENS Bacchante and the battlecruiser ENS Kutuzov, which she led during the Battle of Cerberus and the subsequent breakout of Hades' prisoners to San Martin. (HH8, HH9)
When Protector Benjamin Mayhew IX created the Protector's Own Squadron of the Grayson Space Navy out of the ships and crews of the Elysian Space Navy, Benson accepted a commission as an officer in the GSN and relocated to Grayson, where she eventually married Henri Dessouix, adopted Grayson citizenship and went on to reach the rank of Rear Admiral and command of the Protector's Own's First CLAC Squadron (HH9, HH10)
Service Record Edit
- trainee, ENS Krashnark
- Commanding Officer (Prize Master), ENS Bacchante
- Commanding Officer (Prize Master), ENS Kutuzov
- Commanding Officer, Carrier Squadron 1, Protector's Own