Shout of Honor – Chapter 1

In which Commander Vepal considers a field tour.

Ah, Ambassador Vepal. I’ve been wondering what he and his team were up to since they didn’t show up in Neogenesis.

I’m not sure this story is going to answer that question, though. Vepal appears to be at a bit of a loose end; that suggests the story may take place before The Gathering Edge, which ended with Vepal taking an interest in Korval’s Yxtrang, and the implication that he intended to follow that trail.

Something about Perdition Enterprises and their secret mission strikes me as untrustworthy, and I suspect it’s going to turn out that the path of honor will involve acting against them.

The bit about how “those sent to intercept your ambassadorial team failed, so far as we know, to arrive” also strikes me as suspicious, or at least as something asking for further elaboration.

The fact that every person we’ve seen in a command position so far is Liaden suggests to me the Department of the Interior, and that they’re gathering forces for a strike against Korval. Although perhaps not directly against Korval, especially if their first choice for the job was an Yxtrang Conquest Corps; they’ve already seen Korval defeat one of those.

(An alternative that’s occurred to me is that it might be Rys’s team, gathering forces for a strike against the Department. But I can think of plenty of reasons to discount that: neither of the Liadens Vepal meets have familiar names, Rys’s plan was for a smaller and less overt strike, and it seems unlikely that Rys in particular would think of Yxtrang as a first option. Also, news of Rys’s progress is significant enough to be kept for one of the novels.)

A large gathering of mercenaries offers the potential for some familiar faces to show up again. Mentioning just the ones most significant to Vepal, we might get a return appearance of Commander Sanchez from The Gathering Edge — or, since a mercenary career was one of the options suggested for them, this might be the occasion for him to finally meet Chernak and Stost. I doubt the latter, though, the more I think about it; having done all the set-up for it in the novels, I presume that’s going to be paid off in the novels as well.

5 thoughts on “Shout of Honor – Chapter 1

  1. Othin

    Nice reasoning. I especially like your thought that things getting set upfor in novels beeing more likly to be paid off in novels as well.

    At that point I also thought of the DoI, but kept wondering if I might be wrong and this would somehow be Rys’s teams doing. Now that I read your thoughts – the “witch”, Tanrona Rusk, that Shan set free also occurs to me to.

  2. Ed8r

    I immediately jumped to the assumption of it being the DOI, looking for extra troops (or Troop) to wipe out Korval on Surebleak.

    I had presumed the timing to be after we last saw the Ambassador and hoped it would show us Vepal with Commander Sanchez, because their meeting in The Gathering Edge so skillfully set up some kind of association down the road.

  3. Ed8r

    A belated thought:
    Vepal is shown to be on a “mission to discover…the proper entity for those of the Troop who survived the collapse of the old universe to offer their allegiance and their skills.” We know from Neogenesis that Chernak and Stost choose to entrust their cases to “the leaders of the central civilian authority” in the person of the Uncle. Does that mean that we’re headed toward the Uncle being recognized as the high command of the Troop?
    Since Miri and Val Con think that Chernak and Stost belong with the mercenaries, will we eventually see, through various connections and associations, Vepal become the “high command” for the entire Troop in this universe?

  4. Paul A. Post author

    Regarding the first possibility: I don’t believe so. The Uncle accepted the cases, but didn’t want or need Chernak and Stost — indeed, Miri offered him the cases for safe-keeping precisely because he’s never needed or wanted an army. So it seems very unlikely he’d accept the Troop entire. Also, it’s made clear that Miri isn’t setting a precendent for considering the Uncle a central authority; her judgement is that the current universe does not have any such thing, and that therefore a solution must be looked for in whatever lesser authority will best serve necessity.

    I have a couple of thoughts about the second possibility, but they relate to parts of this story that haven’t come up yet.

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