Sep 24, 2019 4:52 AM
Foresight and Cherish in the Honor Harrington universe
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"I can see what people are about to do before they do it, and I can make things but they disappear when I stop holding them," she summarizes. 

 She looks at the downed guard, then away. Not thinking about it, what she's trying to stop is worse, just keep going.

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"If I showed you a ranged weapon, could you make something like that?" she asks.

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"Probably not. I could make something that looked like it, but any parts I couldn't see I couldn't get right. I have to know a lot about what I'm doing. Though maybe something that looks like a gun but isn't could still be useful."

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"Damn. Their guns are fingerprint locked. They probably won't believe we've gotten one we can fire."

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"Darn. Though, uh, I could have someone else's fingerprint if I got a look at their finger." Having fingerprints at all would be super weird, but it's better than melee combat."

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"We'll loot the next guard, then."

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"Alright." Once she gets within a few hundred feet of danger, she can steer them either toward or away from it. Probably toward, since they aren't pushing for anywhere in particular beyond "secure more of the ship".

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Indeed, this really isn't a very organized rebellion.

Still, they can pick up a few others, including people who know anything at all about strategy.

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More people: good. People who know anything about strategy: great. Margaret isn't thinking of herself as anything like the leader of this rebellion; she'll happily take direction from anyone who seems to know what they're doing.

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People give her sort of first pick at leadership, but when it's clear she doesn't want the position, someone else takes over smoothly. The woman with the wrench who first rescued her is in charge of a major segment, in fact.

Slowly, violently, they take the ship, until the last guards are starting to surrender.

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She knew this was going to be violent when she started it. It's still more injury and death than she's seen in the entire rest of her life combined. She's relieved when guards start to surrender, and even more relieved when it turns out a ship like this has enough places to confine people that they can respect those surrenders. 

They're still all dead if they don't find anyone who can fly the ship.

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...It's possible the people who know how to fly the ship are, themselves, already dead. They can manage sublight propulsion - that's practically automated - but they're floating far from any stars.

It's fortunate, someone mutters, they weren't in hyperspace during the revolution.

What, so they can die slow instead of fast, someone else mutters back.

(There's a creeping thrum of danger permeating the air, humming along the lines of the ship, swirling around everyone with a shortening temper and rising fear - )

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Looks like "start things off and hope someone else takes over from there" wasn't a complete plan. She straightens up to her full height, spreads her wings a bit, and speaks over the muttering, trying to sound calm and authoritative.

"There is no need to panic. We don't need one person who knows how to fly the ship; we just need to be able to figure it out collectively. I watched it being done; some of the rest of you probably know important things about it. I'm going to the bridge; anyone who thinks they might be able to help should come with me, and together we can figure it out. Trouble will come and we will not end here."

This last is spoken in a voice no human can speak with; the words linger and echo in the air in a way that makes it obvious that they are magic.

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That startles some people - enough they grow silent.

And, slowly, a handful start to volunteer to follow her, while others start to organize the rest to find food and medical supplies.

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Back to the bridge, then. Hopefully someone cleaned up the variously taken-out people. 

Margaret attempts to decipher the control panels enough to determine where they are. Are they close enough to a civilized star system to reach it without hyper, or do they need to figure that out too? Probably the latter.

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There's some blood smears but it looks like the clean-up has gotten here at least.

They're five light-years away from a civilized star system, which is their original destination.

The next non-hostile star system is another twenty light-years away.

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Okay, so even if you don't constrain "civilized" to mean "won't just re-enslave them all" they still have to learn to work the hyper drive. They could also try activating the emergency distress beacon, but between their location and their ship's ID she doesn't like their odds on who would show up to help. So, looks like it's down to their combined knowledge and any manuals they can pull up.

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Manuals: exist, but assume a lot of prior knowledge and schooling.

One person on the ship has ever been part of the piloting crew of a hyper-capable ship, but that was twenty years ago and the way they organize controls has changed somewhat dramatically.

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Fortunately, control panel configurations are one of the things the manuals have the most detail on. Unfortunately, that still leaves a lot of gaps. They debate options for many minutes. Margaret explains that her danger sense is uninformative about which actions will increase or decrease the danger she's in, so she can't just contemplate pressing a button and learn how it will go. 

Eventually, they agree that a particular series of actions has about an 80% get them safely into hyper, and a 20% chance of splattering their atoms across a multi-light-second radius. Someone suggests telling the rest of the ship before they try it; someone else suggests definitely not telling. Margaret stands by the panel that would be her part of the sequence, twisting the rings on her fingers until someone with skin would have scraped it raw.

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- There's a ding from the console.

Margaret would recognize it; she's been on this bridge often enough.

It's an incoming hail. 

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Everyone with their hands poised above consoles is glad enough to stop when she says, "Wait".

Can she figure out who's hailing before she opens a call? There's no time to steal a guard's uniform, but she can at least gesture at someone more human-looking to get in front of the video pickup.

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Someone more human-looking steps forward.

The mystery ship's identification is as a merchant liner.

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It's a better chance than the one they were about to take. She picks up.

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A woman appears, dressed formally, but not in a recognizably military style.

"This is Captain Cherish Uccelo of the merchant liner Pinion. We're in need of medical aid and engineering assistance."

(Scans don't seem to indicate anything wrong with their ship, but, well, this is tricky equipment.)

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"Ah," says Designated Talking Guy, "We may be able to help, but we're rather in need of help ourselves. We have medical supplies aboard, and some amount of engineering capacity, but our pilot was incapacitated and we can't go anywhere."

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