Saturday, January 18, 2014

Page 507

That’s awfully considerate of you,’ said Voreese with more than a hint of doubt in her voice.

Yeah, we’re nice like that.’ Darsihm leaned back in the air, as if lying on an invisible bed, and crossed his ghostly arms. ‘But it’d also be problematic if one of Mehlsanz’s old comrades came to kill you. We’d rather the Vanguard not be collectively blamed for the assassination of the Atreyan Queen. But then, that is precisely why Mehlsanz here resurrected her, isn’t it? To hide behind her status?

I didn’t think anyone would actually come to protect me,’ said Mehlsanz. ‘Especially not a Lt. General.

“We weren’t planning to, either,” said Harper. “But then word got out that the Queen was traveling around, visiting different divisions all haphazard-like. If you stumbled onto the wrong people, they might’ve done something very stupid.”

“So you’re only here for damage control,” said Roman.

We’re only here because Mehlsanz and I share an old friend,’ said Darsihm. ‘Valess.

Mehlsanz shifted. ‘Ah... that wonderful fool. It’s been ages. How is he?

Finally took on a new servant. When he heard about the trouble you were in, he wanted to come for you himself, but he doesn’t have that kind of freedom or authority. So he begged me to have Harper come help you, instead.

“Wait,” said Roman, “so you weren’t even ordered to come here?”

Harper is a Lt. General in title only,’ said Darsihm. ‘In truth, he’s more of a freelance officer.

Helen tilted her head. “I do not understand. How does that work?”

“Basically,” said Harper, “I don’t have the authority to order anyone around, but in exchange, I don’t have to take orders from anyone below the rank of general, either. So Darsihm and I are usually able to go where we like and do as we please.”

“Sounds like my kind of deal,” said Roman. “How’d you swing that?”

Rather than answering, Harper just returned a confident smile.

Would you mind saving the chat for later?’ said Kohzek, whom Helen had nearly forgotten about. ‘I have other matters to attend to.


  1. Snowtail the KhajiitJanuary 19, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    Bah, Kohzek, you're so serious. Let 'em talk! They're bonding!

  2. Yeah shut up, Kohzek! That's why your mother named you after a sneeze!

  3. Mehl has a love interest?

  4. Rereading this page (again) and I had a bit of a realization. Coming from the later arcs, I think I know who Valess' servant is. It makes a lot of sense to me...

    Also, I'm not quite familiar with military structure, but it seems Harper/Darsiihm got the raw end of their deal. I mean, seeing as how General is one rank above Lt. General, wouldn't they have to take order from one regardless of their agreement? Wouldn't it have made more sense if they only had to take orders from someone at least 2 ranks above them? As it is, their deal only means they can't order people around, but they have to obey any order they normally would anyway. Like, fuck the what...? (O_o)

  5. He did say "in title only". He may mean that he was given a title higher than what he would normally rate, in exchange for giving no orders. Consider: Sair alone, which isn't a particularly big country, has at least 5 servants over a hundred. Yet the Vanguard, which covers a third of the WORLD, has a thirty-year-old in its top forty? Granted, a naturally blessed and very precocious thirty-year-old, but still.

  6. Your comment...had nothing to do with what I said...

    Again, the "deal" would make more sense if they only had to respond to orders given from, say, a Cpt. General or above. Saying they don't have to take the orders of anyone below the rank of General is pretty much saying nothing has changed in their orders. (O_<)

  7. My point being that he may have been like a Colonel or something before the deal, and traded that for being a commandless Lt. General.

  8. I don't see the point of that. What difference would a freelance Lt. General make compared to a hypothetical freelance Colonel? What, would a freelance Colonel have to obey order from a Lt. General, and Harper sought to avoid that? Would that not be quite a bit of speculation there...?

  9. No, I'm saying he traded a regular, order-giving Colonel? rank for his current status. That when he was freed from all authority below General, they took away his regular rank and gave him the rank that normally answers to no one below General, which is Lt. General.

  10. And I'm saying that in that case, he could be given ANY rank. However, I'm saying that it's meaningless to give him ANY rank, ANY "deal," that says he has to answer to the rank directly above him, because that's what happens anyway. In such a deal, ANY rank wouldn't be beneficial. And POINT of his rank was that he could he could do what he wants, right? Except, he can't.

  11. You're not grasping me. I'm saying that his rank is the one that normally answers to generals BECAUSE he now answers directly to generals, and that if he was a normal officer who has underlings and gives orders, his rank would be lower.

  12. Eric, I understand you perfectly. It is you who is not understanding. I've explained my point as plainly as I can. I'll give up here. I don't like to go in circles.

  13. Can anyone else help one of us explain? Because we're just not connecting here.

  14. Haaang on, I think I figured out where the disconnect lies. You're saying "he gives up underlings, but he still reports up one rank like anybody else, so where's the benefit?" right?

    I'm saying "he gives up underlings, and in exchange HE GETS PROMOTED, maybe several ranks, there's the benefit." The deal affects what rank he is, not how he interacts with people who still outrank him.

    He may also not be assigned as any specific general's underling, so that he only has to ask permission to move around rather than having to seek a formal transfer each time

  15. Hmm I typed a long reply but it somehow disappeared. I'm glad, however, I let my frustration come out in it. So, again, I'll say I won't go around in circles.

  16. I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying, but I'll try to explain Eric's idea a bit more clearly.
    Originally, Harper was a normal moderate ranked soldier
    He wanted freedom more than he wanted authority.
    His superiors agreed to give him almost total freedom in exchange for giving up his subordinates.
    Because he is still a member of the Vanguard, he still needs to have a formal rank, at least for administrative reasons. However, since he now has the freedom of a Lt. general and the authority of a PFC, his old rank is pretty meaningless.
    Since PFC and Lt. general are both equally accurate, and he is too respected to even only on paper demote, they formally promote him to Lt. general.

  17. *sighs*

    Christ above, I understand what Eric, and now you, are trying saying. You, and Eric, are explaining the same thing over and over again like I'm an idiot. Worse, even though I understand what's already in the story, you and Eric are using things that's not even hinted at and it's actually annoying me. Case in point, your (and Eric's) supposition depends on Harper not actually deserving the promotion. Problem with that is logic would then question why he's worthy of any deal in the first place. Your assertion doesn't hold water and I'm seriously tired of going over the same faulty reasoning. The story itself is better than what you and Eric are saying.