HHA5 InFireForged cover1


An Act of War
Let's Dance!
An Introduction to Modern Starship Armor Design

"Ruthless", written by Jane Lindskold, is the first short story in the fifth Honorverse anthology, In Fire Forged, first published in February 2011.

Timeframe: ~ 1895 PD

Plot Edit

Two and a half years after their spectacular escape from Masada, the Sisterhood of Barbara have settled down on Manticore. Judith Newland has a little bit of trouble keeping her adventurous baby daughter, Ruth, under control. One day, Ruth goes missing. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Michael has to deal with the affections of an old school friend, Alice Ramsbottom, all the time hiding the fact that he has actually fallen in love with Judith.

Alice's parents, a rich and powerful couple, contact Judith in disguise and inform her that they have her daughter, and that she must convince Prince Michael to publicly humiliate himself and insult the Manticoran people in order to get Ruth back. If she does not comply, Ruth will be sent to her father on Masada. This way, the Ramsbottoms, who are staunch isolationists, want to embarrass the Crown and get the Star Kingdom to change its foreign policy.

Once Michael and his friend Todd Liatt arrive, Judith tells them what happened. They begin to investigate and soon discover that the kidnappers have changed Ruth's appearance and taken her to a nearby spaceport. Michael organizes an armed transport, the Ogapoge, in order to follow the kidnappers' ship. However, the Ramsbottoms are one step ahead, and change their plan for Ruth to be transferred to a hyper-capable ship and brought to Masada.

The Prince and his friends follow the kidnappers to Aslan Station, where they discover that Alice Ramsbottom has unknowingly helped them change ships. Alice believes Michaels story, and offers her assistance. With a little trickery, Alice and Judith are able to board the kidnappers' new shuttle, the Cormorant, overwhelm their enemies, and retrieve Ruth.

On the way back to safety, Michael and Judith finally admit their love for each other; Michael proposes on the spot, and Ruth accepts.

Finally, the Ramsbottoms receive a letter from their daughter, informing them that although the royal family may never be able to expose their evil plans, several people are well aware of what happened. Alice also threatens to reveal several embarrassing family secrets if she and the Wintons are not left alone. She herself will live with Judith for the time being, advising her in her new role as a member of the royal family.

Background Edit

This story is a sequel to "Promised Land".

References Edit

Characters Edit

Galina Caruso | Queen Elizabeth III | Lawrence | Todd Liatt | Dulcis McKinley | Judith Newland | Ruth Newland | Alice Ramsbottom | Babette Ramsbottom | George Ramsbottom | King Roger III | Prince Roger | Dinah Templeton | Ephraim Templeton | Vincent Valless | Wallace Ward | Joanna Winton | Michael Winton

Starships Edit

Stations Edit

Locations Edit

Choire Ghlais | Colonial Memorial Spaceport | Friedman's Valley | Grayson | Gryphon | Landing | Manticore | Masada | Mount Royal Palace | Sphinx

Other Edit

Anywhere Anytime | air car | Arrow-class | Astro Control | Conservative Party | Crown Loyalysts | Hearts Aloft | Highland Mining Associates | House of Winton | Human Services | Liberal Party | Mountain Holding Trust | Palace Security | People's Republic of Haven | Pryderi-class | Royal Manticoran Navy | Sisterhood of Barbara | Starflight Rentals | Timberlake Incorporated

Main Honor Harrington series
HH1 On Basilisk Station HH9 Ashes of Victory
HH2 The Honor of the Queen HH10 War of Honor
HH3 The Short Victorious War HH11 At All Costs
HH4 Field of Dishonor HH12 Mission of Honor
HH5 Flag in Exile HH13 A Rising Thunder
HH6 Honor Among Enemies HH14 Uncompromising Honor
HH7 In Enemy Hands
HH8 Echoes of Honor
Spin off Series
Crown of Slaves Saganami Island
CS1 Crown of Slaves SI1 The Shadow of Saganami
CS2 Torch of Freedom SI2 Storm from the Shadows
CS3 Cauldron of Ghosts SI3 Shadow of Freedom
SI4 Shadow of Victory
Star Kingdom Manticore Ascendant
SK1 A Beautiful Friendship MA1 A Call to Duty
SK2 Fire Season MA2 A Call to Arms
SK3 Treecat Wars MA3 A Call to Vengeance
HHA1 More Than Honor HHA4 The Service of the Sword
HHA2 Worlds of Honor HHA5 In Fire Forged
HHA3 Changer of Worlds HHA6 Beginnings
Tales of Honor Comic Series
TOH1 Tales of Honor #1 TOH4 Tales of Honor #4
TOH2 Tales of Honor #2 TOH5 Tales of Honor #5
TOH3 Tales of Honor #3 TOHV1 Tales of Honor Vol 1