John Ringo: Honor of the Clan

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John Ringo Honor of the Clan
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    Honor of the Clan
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Honor of the Clan: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Duty. Honor. Country. Three words that resound in the heart of the warrior. But what is duty when country is gone? Where does honor lie when allies are revealed as enemies, when friends are not who they seem and when enemies are the ones we love? For Cally O’Neal and the O’Neal Bane Sidhe, underground fighters against the tyranny of Earth’s Darhel “allies,” duty lies in the overthrow of the established order. For Major General Michael O’Neal, her father, duty lies in maintaining that order to prevent a reinvasion by the dreaded Posleen. When diamond meets diamond, when O’Neal battles O’Neal, the only sure outcome is fireworks.

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Honor of the Clan

John Ringo and Julie Cochrane


Master Corporal Erin Melvin Doyle

KIA in the Panjwayi District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, 11/8/2008.


SPC Ray Joseph Hutchinson (Hutch)

KIA on patrol with Alpha Co 2/502 101st Airborne in Mosul, Iraq, 12/7/2003.

They do not grow old as we who are left grow old.


As always:

For Captain Tamara Long, USAF

Born: May 12, 1979

Died: March 23, 2003, Afghanistan

You fly with the angels now.


Saturday, December 19, 2054

The room was ornate in a way that put rococo to shame. On the walls, many of the sub-details in the gilded reliefs incorporated fractals, so that one could have examined the gilded scenes and abstract curlicues with a microscope and not run out of exquisite detail. The base for the gilding was a white substance similar to ivory, but with an opalescent sheen that no elephant tusk could ever boast.

All in all, the effect would have given a Himmit a heart attack, had one of those worthies tried to rest on that surface, and had it had a heart. The other surfaces were similarly ornate, reducing the Himmit on the carpet to a body surface of merely gothic levels of detail that shifted quiveringly. Every hour or so, the Himmit placed a forelimb against its head, as if it was in pain.

In the center of the room was a large table of stone. In the stone was a sword. From the sword emanated a voice that was heavily modulated to prevent identification.

“This situation disrupts the entire plan. It is grossly unacceptable. Curse the Epetar group for clag food! What were the rest of you thinking? Progress be damned, I’ll be hard pressed to salvage something other than outright war over this,” he fumed.

“Abject apologies, Master.” The Indowy got no further.

“Don’t bother. You, yourself, didn’t do it, so your apologies are hardly sincere for all that you speak for others. Shut up and let me think.”

The Indowy decided that it was more likely than not to be in the interests of his clan to volunteer some information. “Master, I have news that the O’Neal is traveling to Barwhon to approach the Tchpth on a diplomatic mission,” it said.

The leader of the Bane Sidhe, whoever it was, was not known for its sense of humor. Indeed, so seldom was its humor triggered that its existence was largely regarded as mythical. The Indowy before it and the Himmit in the corner were, therefore, shocked senseless when a strange sound emanated from the blade of the sword.

“Stop… stop…” it rasped. “I’m not… it’s just… O’Neal… diplo… too funny.” The rasping crept into its voice. For just a moment it became normal enough to make out what sounded strangely like the melfluous tones of a Darhel.

“The greater problem still exists,” the sword hummed with a last chuckle. “Whether this drives the plan backwards or advances it must be considered. I will give you orders in time. You are dismissed.”

If the Himmit was affronted, neither of the other species had the experience with its expressions to discern it. The crack at the edge where the ceiling met the wall widened around the body of the Himmit as it exited, sealing back to invisibility behind it.

“O’Neal. A diplomatic mission,” the sword hummed once more. “Too funny. Oooo. I have an idea…”

Then it vanished.

Chapter One

Covered in sweat and blood
Yet still our heads held high
Actions have consequences
When you live for foolish pride

— Atreyu, “Honor”

Sunday, December 20, 2054

Major General Mike O’Neal rolled his AID, then slapped it onto his wrist forming a band. Slapped it on hard.

“Hey,” Shelly said. “Don’t take this out on me!”

“Sorry,” Mike said grumpily.

He was intensely bored. Bored of gaming, bored of reading newsfeeds, bored of reading, period. Bored of watching movies, TV and every other form of video broadcast. Porn just wasn’t his style but he’d even watched some of that. And found it very boring indeed.

In part it was his own fault. When he’d been recalled to Earth and boarded his first Fleet vessel he had treated the Fleet officers with even more disdain than usual. Fleet had, year by year, sunk lower and lower in his opinion. The officers were slovenly and corrupt, the sailors were abysmal and the only reason the ships operated at all was that they were Indowy made and damned hard to break. He’d never been the diplomatic type and his dislike of Fleet was displayed by saying he’d be in his cabin. An orderly, or whatever you called it in the Fleet, brought his meals, he made trips to the tiny gym and that was that. For the last five months the only time he’d spoken to a living soul was at starports.

The rest of it wasn’t on him. First of all there was the fact of five months on board ships. That was just insane. These weren’t even the bulk transports they’d used in the first part of the war. These were Fleet vessels, the fastest in the universe. But between having to hunt from star system to star system and tween-jump transits, not to mention jump transits, it just took forever to get to Earth from out on the edge of the Blight.

Then there was the recall. It read damned near as relief. Just a simple order to turn over command of the First Division to his assistant division commander and return to Earth. No clue as to why, no incoming division commander. Nada.

So five months of not speaking to a living soul and worrying, any time he let it get past his iron self-control, about what the orders meant.

Probably it meant a staff job on Earth. He’d done them. It wasn’t his favorite job by a long shot but he could do the deal. But that begged the question why there wasn’t an incoming division commander. And if it was just a staff job they’d probably have said that in the orders along with “and General So-And-So will be along at some point to take over the Division.”

It could be forcible retirement. But Fleet Strike didn’t have an “up or out” policy. To avoid the cronyism that was destroying Fleet, positions were purely merit based. To get his division, some younger brigadier would have to show that he was better at running the division than Mike. They rotated potential commanders in from time to time, shuffling the commander off to a staff position or sideways. But most of the time the new commanders, after a reasonable time to learn the job, went back to a lower rank or wherever they hell they’d come from. Mike and Major General Adam Lee Michie had been running divisions of the ACS corps for nigh on thirty years. Some time in and out but mostly in command. Mongo Radabaugh was the junior, having beaten out Bob Tasswell about five years ago to take over one of the division commander’s slots.

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