History Main / TheLostFleet

7th Mar '13 4:24:25 PM Xtifr
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'''''The Lost Fleet''''' is a hard science fiction series by JackCampbell (actual name John G. Hemry). John "Black Jack" Geary of the Alliance Navy is escorting some merchant ships when the convoy is attacked in the first strike by the Syndicate Worlds, or Syndics. He fights a rear guard action, ejecting from his ship at the last moment, but the transmitter of the escape pod is broken, so he isn't found for nearly a century. When he's awakened, the fleet is preparing to use the enemy hypernet gate network, with a traitor-provided key, to strike at the Syndic home system. It goes wrong. He takes command of the fleet and must use his knowledge of forgotten tactics to save the fleet from certain destruction deep behind enemy lines. The attrition rate of ships and experienced personnel has forced the Alliance to cut down costs and production times and replace traditional officer training with a twisted code of honor that demands [[AttackAttackAttack attacking the enemy head on]]. The only good news, until Geary shows up, is that the Syndics have had to do the same. He also has to defend himself against the treachery and stupidity of dissenting captains, and keep his love interests from killing each other. Also, there seems to be a mysterious race of Aliens behind the ongoing war and the barely-understood technology of the hypernet gates. Two follow on series continue the store of Captain Geary and the leaders of a particular planet. The first, ''Beyond the Frontier'', follows now Admiral Geary as the fleet investigates the aliens and continues to fight internal forces that threaten it and the Alliance. The second deals with the break-up of the Syndicate Worlds from the perspective of Syndic [=CEO=]s [[AscendedExtra Iceni]] and Drakon, the leaders of Midway as they fight to maintain order (and power) on their planet and nearby worlds. The completed series is composed of six books: * ''Dauntless'' * ''Fearless'' * ''Courageous'' * ''Valiant'' * ''Relentless'' * ''Victorious'' The direct sequel series, ''Beyond the Frontier'': * ''Dreadnaught'' * ''Invincible'' * ''Guardian'' tentatively titled (May 1, 2013) For the sidequel series, see ''Literature/TheLostStars'': ---- !!Tropes * AcceptableTargets: In-Universe concerning lawyers several times. At one point, someone mentions to Geary that they had pirates in their ancestry and Geary confides that he had ''[[EvilLawyerJoke lawyers]]'' in his. One officer comments that there are fates too horrible even for lawyers, and explains that his brother is a lawyer. Captain Duellos offers condolences. ** The Syndics get splashback from this because of the suits they wear one, mingled with CorruptCorporateExecutive. * AccidentalHero: Captain Geary. The Alliance government made him this after his last stand to inspire the Alliance in the war. When asked about his heroics, Geary is the first to point out that he was in exactly one battle before being stuck in stasis, and that was the one where he lost his ship and was only saved from death by dumb luck. * AIIsACrapshoot: {{Invoked}} as the reason why neither side will use artificial intelligence to pilot their ships. * TheAlliance: A huge conglomeration of systems actually called the Alliance, and two other nations, the Rift Federation and the Callas Republic. * AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: One of Gearys captains and an enemy commander fell in love while the captain was in a prison camp, and were mutually used by their nations intelligence agencies. Once the war is over they're finally free of their use as spies, but duty and suspicion leave little chance they'll ever be together, nevermind the continued monitoring both are subject to. They express as much in communications between each other that Geary has to read or watch (with their knowledge). * AnxietyDreams: Mixed with BadDreams. * AnyoneCanDie: But to keep more from dying, their death may be pushed aside with little fanfare. * ApocalypseHow: It is implied that before the event of the book, both sides regularly inflicted varying degrees of widespread planetary destruction. The worst incident is referenced in regard's to Tulev's home planet, which suffered a Planetary Species Extinction. ** The Syndic Navy opts to [[spoiler: collapse the hypernet gate at Lakota]] to prevent Geary from using it. The resulting shock wave causes a Continental Total Extinction on the side facing the blast, with a Planetary Societal Collapse affecting the survivors. ** Kalixa suffers a Stellar Total Extinction when [[spoiler: the aliens blow its hypernet gate]]. * ArbitraryMaximumRange: Averted. It's specifically stated that the weapons have a maximum ''effective'' range, where any further basically means its too hard to hit a target and therefor worse than useless to shoot at all. * ArtifactTitle: TheLostFleet ceases to be lost by ''Relentless''. When the title of the series was changed to add "Beyond the Frontier" it happened again when by ''Invincible'' the fleet has gone beyond the frontier and come back home. * BadassBoast: Geary in ''Valiant'' when dealing with a Syndic base that won't take back ITS OWN CIVILIANS. -->Geary: Listen, you are going to do what I say, or I will hit your station so hard that [[NoKillLikeOverkill the quarks that make up your component atomic particles won't be able to find their way back together.]] Am I Clear?! ** Chased out of the Lakota system to Ixion, Geary realizes that they don't have time to go anywhere else before Syndic pursuers arrive in a force the Fleet won't be able to defeat. [[spoiler: So he orders his ships to immediately turn and jump back to Lakota, where at least they'll be unexpected. When Rione asks him what if there are overwhelming enemy forces still in Lakota]], he replies, "I guess that'll be too bad for them." His crew goes wild, cheering. ** Further quotes just from the first book: ---> "I am Captain John Geary. I am now in command of the Alliance fleet. You're dealing with me now. These are my ships. Back off." ---> "My name is John Geary. I used to be known as Black Jack Geary a long time ago. I'm in command of this fleet now, and I'm taking it home. Anyone who wishes to try to stop this fleet will have to deal with me." * BackFromTheBrink: The premise of the series. * BadDreams: Some of the rescued prisoners. Geary. * BadFuture: At least for Captain Geary. He went into Survival Sleep after he pulled off a YouShallNotPass on a attacking Syndic fleet at the first battle of the ForeverWar, and wakes up a hundred years later to find out that the war is still going on, he's been made into a larger than life demigod, and he's the only one who still knows tactics. * TheBait: the entire fleet in ''Invincible'' * BerserkButton: Under no circumstances do you ever kill [=POWs=] while under Geary's command. He doesn't care what's happened in the past hundred years. You do '''not'''. --> Geary's control snapped. "I don't care what's been done before! I don't care what our enemies do! I will not allow any prisoners to be massacred by any ship under my command! I will not allow this fleet and the Alliance and the ancestors of all aboard these ships to be dishonored by war crimes committed under the all-seeing eyes of the living stars! We are sailors of the Alliance, and we will hold ourselves to the standards of honor our ancestors believed in! Are there any further questions?" * BigDamnHeroes: the ending of Relentless * {{Blackmail}} * BlessedWithSuck: In the beginning of the third book, Geary finds that the Fleet is seriously short of critical supplies despite recently taking on large quantities of raw materials ... because the selection of raw stocks was based on what would be needed under a commander who got a lot more ships and people killed. The fact that Geary's tactics have kept so many alive means they didn't take on enough of the materials they need; he's got problems because he's doing too good a job. ** By book 7 Geary has been so good at not getting his ships destroyed that his ships are falling apart; while in his time ships were built to last 50-100 years (150 with an overhaul), by this stage of the war they're designed to last three years at most. * BloodKnight: Desjani. Until Geary helps her see the errors of her ways. Not that she shakes off her lust for battle too much. -->She turned a pleading look on Geary. "Now can we blow up something? Just to show him we mean business?"\\ "Sorry," he told her. "Not yet."\\ "Peace sucks," Desjani grumbled. * BlueAndOrangeMorality: Two of the three aliens species so far. ** The enigma aliens, as their name implies, don't even have a real frame of reference to even properly ''guess'' what they're thinking. Most of what is gathered later points to a near fanatical adherence to privacy and paranoia, doing whatever they can to try and keep themselves from being studied, fought, or even seen. They go as far as to blow up their ships to prevent them and their crews from being studied. ** The second species encountered is more easily to figure out, if not to comprehend. The teddy bear-cows or 'kicks' are herbivores with a herd mentality and view anything else as a mortal threat that can't be negotiated with due to likely deception and desire to eat them, so they don't respond to communications and commit suicide with their brains as soon as they realize they've been captured. ** The third species is known as the spider-wolves or 'dancers' and though still very odd, at least communicate with humans and don't kill them on sight and have thought patterns we can relate to. They appear to tend towards viewing things in terms of patterns, as opposed to our binary tendencies. * BoardingParty: When Geary tries to capture an alien superbattleship. * BrainBleach: Captain Duellos invokes the general concept when Desjani says two captains, one quite unsavory, could be in bed together- in the metaphorical sense, but the image gets stuck in his head and he leaves the conversation to take a shower. * BrickJoke: When they first see the spider-wolves and are digesting their unpleasant appearance, Charban remarks "at least they don't have tentacles." Later, it is learned that they ''do'' have tentacles, as manipulators on the ends of their claw arms. * BurialInSpace: Launched toward the sun. * ChekhovsGun: Geary's first big speech about not committing war crimes. It first serves a purpose in establishing Geary's attitudes about warfare and honor in relation to how far his society has come, so you may be forgiven for forgetting it. [[spoiler:It's later used as spontaneous evidence by Rione to convince the Grand Council of Geary's honor again.]] * CluelessChickMagnet: John Geary may know all there is to know about commanding women in battle but he breaks whole new ground in cluelessness over how to read - and deal - with them romantically. * ColonCancer: After the first series finishes, two sub series start. Starting with Dreadnaught: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier. * CorruptCorporateExecutive: Most of the power structure for the Syndics are these, to the point higher officers in their fleet are various ranks of CEO. * CoversAlwaysLie: For some reason the publishers felt it necessary to put Geary in armor holding a BFG while posing in some exotic location even if such a scene has never appeared in any of the books to date. Heck, until ''Victorious'' he doesn't even leave the ''Dauntless'', and then for a space station. It took until the ''Beyond the Frontier'' series for him to finally set foot on a planet -- a friendly one, where the biggest danger was hordes of adoring fans. Lampshaded in ''Invincible'', when Geary and Desjani are talking about her writing a tell all book about him if he dies and she jokes that it will have a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall misleading cover]] of him doing something he never did, like [[SelfDeprecation making a heroic pose with a gun.]] ** Averted on the British editions which actually had individual space ships hanging in space. Still a case of this, as the ships on those covers are blocky and rigid, where as the ships in the series are more smooth and sharklike * CrazyEnoughToWork: ** Geary's plan to 'charge' the missile swarm of a species just encountered (the missiles being ''piloted'' they're so massive), and tell ships to maneuver independently. ** Realizing their formation is about to be destroyed by the enemy Armada, Captain (Jane) Geary takes command of all the Battleships in the group and has them charge the enemy. She desperately orders them to fire all the Kinetic Penetrators they can, projectiles which are ''never'' used against ships because they're so easy to avoid...and the enemy doesn't avoid them, blowing a hole big enough in the enemy to get through. * [[CutAndPasteSuburb Cut And Paste Planet]]: The bear-cows have razed their entire planets ecology and set up housing that's identical to each other.. * CuteAsABouncingBetty: While extracting [=POWs=] from a prison camp (and covering the guards and their families in a cease fire agreement) in the fifth book, stealthed commandos are spotted approaching, carrying 'hupnums'. When Geary asks for elaboration while musing to himself that they sound like a cute fairy tale creature, Colonel Caribali clarifies it as 'Human Portable Nuclear Munitions'- and though they allegedly have timers, the Alliance had them too and no one who trained with them, including the instructors, thought the timers were real. So basically, stealthed nuclear suicide bomber commandos. * DeadGuyJunior: Not yet, but Desjani made Geary agree that should they ever have a daughter she be named after [[spoiler:Jaylen Cresida]] whom fell in the final battle getting the fleet home. * DeadlyDodging: Geary involves the entire fleet in this in escaping the Bear Cow home system, involving both the enemy fleet and their space station blocking the jump point out * DeathGlare: Geary apparently possesses one capable of silencing the most fractious of his captains. * DirtyBusiness: Reading a private letter. * DividedWeFall: All the time. * DoctorsOrders: Inverted. Doctors ignore officers' orders. * DontYouDarePityMe * DoomedHometown: Captain Tulev's homeworld of Elyzia was bombarded until nothing was left on the surface, including his family. * DuctTapeForEverything: The Universal Fixing Substance, key to finally making friends with an alien race. * [[DyingTown Dying Planet]]: When the hypernet was set up, it left a number of systems out because the only reason to go there had been as a waypoint to somewhere else via the jump points, and hypernet bypasses this. Some of these systems, where there weren't enough resources for survival without trade, have become {{Ghost Planet}}s; the Fleet rescues the last 500-some humans from a Syndic world where their employers had left them (and their families) to die forty years before. * TheEmpire: Although they fill this role, the Syndicate Worlds are themselves a huge union of various interstellar mega-corps. * EnemyWithin: In a way. Around book three, Geary's thoughts are starting to tell him to do things he wouldn't otherwise, since he ''could'' get away with it. He and Madame Co-President Rione call those thoughts 'Black Jack' Geary. * EvilKnockoff: The Syndicates attempt to duplicate Geary's improvised ship minefield, unsuccessfully * FacePalm: Geary does this a ''lot'', usually when brought up against the modern fleet mindset. Most often the 'massage bridge of nose' version but rarely the full on 'bury face in hands'. * FakeDefector: Mentioned posthumously. The guy that gave the Alliance the Syndic hypernet key so they could fall right into a trap; he was killed as soon as the Alliance commander realized it ''was'' a trap. Although it's suggested that the defector ''might'' have been tricked, not treacherous. * FearlessFool: Geary discusses with his niece. * FieldPromotion: Frequently, with all the deaths or arrests happening. * FireForgedFriends: The captain of the ''Diamond'' after they stood against the hyperspace gate. * FirstGirlWins: Desjani. See Love Triangle below. * FishOutOfTemporalWater: Geary. By most of a century. * FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Some capital ships have a weapon called a "null field" that is projected from the front of the ship. Unlike most of this type of weapon, it's short range (for a space weapon), but tends to be an OneHitKill as it just disintegrates a large chunk out of whatever ship it hits and breaks down most shields. * FlauntingYourFleets: When Geary encounters [[spoiler: the spider-wolve's]] beautiful fleet formation, he orders his fleet to assume a ceremonial formation to better present themselves. * ForeverWar: The war in ''TheLostFleet'' has been going on for over a hundred years between the evenly matched Alliance and Syndicate Worlds. For the Alliance it's a simple matter of "They attacked us first!" For the Syndics, well... [[spoiler: it seems likely they were hoping to wipe out the Alliance with the help of the alien Enigma Race - but for one reason or another, they ended up attacking alone and were unable to strike a decisive blow against the Alliance, resulting in a stalemate.]] Not that they'll ever admit that. * ForgottenSuperweapon: The Null-Fields employed by the Alliance warships don't receive any mention of being used in the sequel series. * FunWithAcronyms: Pretty much a running gag in Invincible. * GeneralRipper: Pretty much every Alliance officer. * GenreShift: In a manner of speaking, and much smaller than usual. The series starts out as fleet battle focused series on a long spanning human war, then slowly shifts to the consequences of first contact with aliens and how to deal with their technology and ideologies. * GloryHound: Captain Falco makes himself out to be the hero of the Alliance even though his victories are all but indistinguishable from his defeats. * GoMadFromTheIsolation: Several of the rescued prisoners show a touch of this. * GoodIsOldFashioned: Geary's old-fashioned principles and phrasings get more respect than usual in this trope. * HarsherInHindsight: In-universe example: While eating ration bars, Geary notes that one brand was used as far back as his original tour of duty. He relates a joke from back then about it's tastelessness, stating that they made the bars to trade with the Syndics, but didn't [[FunnyAneurysmMoment for fear that they would start a war]]. Geary at least manages to cut it off before getting to the punchline once he realizes that [[TheForeverWar present circumstances]] make it a little less funny. [[BlackHumor But it's still probably funny to the reader]]. * GreenEyedMonster: Rione has a ''bad'' case of this towards Desjani over Geary's affections in ''Valiant'', to the point of making jabs at Desjani while sitting in Desjani's command bridge. * HerHeartWillGoOn: Discussed * HeroicBSOD: Not who you think. [[spoiler: Captain Falco has one resulting from the first time he's in battle after spending twenty years in a Syndic labor camp. He got forty ships to mutiny with him, and then his incompetence got most of them destroyed. Afterward, he's completely separated from reality and giving meaningless orders like Hitler did in the final days of WorldWarII.]] ** Captain Geary initially has this when he's pulled out of his escape pod 100 years after he was thought to have died, and realizes everyone he's ever known and loved is long dead. * HoldYourHippogriffs: There are a number of phrases used invoking Geary's name, usually in a similar context to phrases like "God himself could not..." or "Only God could...." Needless to say, Geary hates everyone of them. They'll probably amuse the reader though. ---> '''Captain Michael Geary''': "I assure you I will carry out my duties as if Black Jack Geary himself were my commander." ---> '''Captain John Geary''': "Tell me that's not a common phrase." It is. * HollywoodTactics: The Alliance subscribe to this battle style right up to the beginning of the series. Averted by Captain Geary, which is the only reason everyone isn't dead. When Geary reports to the Senate, an admiral has the gall to claim that Geary must be lying about his victories, because: -->"Our ancestors knew the secret of winning, all-out attack, with every captain [[GloryHound competing to see who could display the most valor]] and strike the enemy first and hardest. These victories we're being told about violate those principles! They cannot be true, not if we honor our ancestors."\\ ** Geary stared at Otropa in disbelief.... * HomeSweetHome: Admiral Lagemann * HonorBeforeReason: A literal code of Death Before Dishonour is promoted by the Alliance to encourage its progressively greener conscripts to fight on through the stalemate. At the rate both sides are chewing through new recruits, this is probably the best conditioning they can give the fresh meat in preparation for combat. Geary has a very low opinion of this. Geary has to deal not only with the Syndics, [[spoiler: aliens]], and traitors, but also the very ingrained belief his subordinates have in this. It very painfully costs some people their lives. --> Falco: "The moral is to the material as three is to one." * HumanPopsicle: What Captain Geary is before he is found by the alliance fleet. * HumansAreWhite: Averted, or rather dodged, in that neither skin nor hair nor eye colour are ever mentioned. ** Used on the [[CoversAlwaysLie book covers]], which always portray Geary as a European, and often a blond one at that. Granted, his name does suggest British descent. ** ''Dreadnaught'' finally specified someone's hair colour: green (due to genetic engineering). She's from the colony world Éire. Given the choice of name, they might well be more ethnically European than not. * HyperspaceLanes: In effect, although more effective Portal Network is set up in important systems and the FTL pathways are almost forgotten about until the events of the series. * IGaveMyWord: Geary. To the point where even near the end, the Syndics would only trust his word, and his alone. * ImNotAHeroIm: Geary outright says he's not a hero, and he's tired of everyone treating him like one. But he's not just the HumbleHero, he genuinely dislikes the unwavering trust everyone puts into him, especially Disjani, because he can't live up to the impossible standard of his legend. Though as Rione points out he comes about as close as mortal flesh possibly could. * IndestructibleEdible: The ration bars the fleet's crews have to force down. Someone who's taste-tested some captured enemy rations says the only good quality they have is that they make the worst Alliance ration bars, the ghastly Danaka Yoruks, seem tasty by comparison. -->"If I have to face death today, why does my possibly last meal have to be a Danaka Yoruk bar?" Geary complained. He ripped the seal, then bit off a chunk and tried to swallow without actually tasting the bar. * InertialDampening: Quite a useful thing to have when you are flying at 0.1c. However, they are not infallible. Accelerate above 0.25c and it's very likely that they will fail, turning you and your ship into a cloud of dust. * InItsHourOfNeed: CEO Iceni, the Syndic leader of Midway, stays behind and coordinates an evacuation in the face of alien invasion and possible extermination of human life on the planet rather than taking the first ship off as is usually expected. Geary is still suspicious of her since she IS a CEO, but is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt due to this. She will be the main character of a spinoff series. * InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: Earth is briefly mentioned as a hallowed ground of sorts (worthy of inclusion in the PortalNetwork, at least), but matters little to the workings of the universe at large. Well, except that if someone were implicated as ''destroying'' it, it'd rouse the Alliance populace to genocidal anger against the killers. ''Very'' hallowed ground. ** The "hallowed" part makes perfect sense in the books, since humans follow a form of ancestor worship. It's hard to get more ancestral than ''Earth.'' * InterserviceRivalry: Some navy vs. marines. * IronLady: Rione. * ISurrenderSuckers: The Syndics make use of this, but both sides are notorious for [[IWillFightSomeMoreForever fighting until the very end]], even if doing so is totally futile. It doesn't help that both sides have been executing prisoners. ** This gets to the point where Geary and the fleet won't believe them any more. Only once they've picked up your life pod after blowing your ship from underneath you and you're in an interrogation chamber will they believe you. *** And then only because they have machines and technicians who can tell if the Syndic is lying or not. * ItHasBeenAnHonor: Just about everyone gets to say this at some point. Mostly said to or by Geary. Since nobody knows how many of them, if any, will live to the end. * IWasJustPassingThrough: Inverted. Geary, the Hero, saves Syndic civilians who were abandoned by their leaders. * KickedUpstairs: Captain Gundel, commander of the auxiliaries, gets this after being too busy to even know the needs of his own ship, not to mention the rest of the ships in the division he's commanding. * KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: Played straight with the use of Grapeshot, tiny metal ball bearings fired from railguns which do huge damage in relativistic-speed combat and 'Rocks', huge multi-ton metal slugs fired at high speed to cheaply demolish ground emplacements. Averted with the heavy use of Hell-Lance batteries, essentially charged-particle cannons, alongside grapeshot in fleet combat. * KingInTheMountain: Geary's reputation * KnightTemplar: Captain 'Fighting' Falco. Geary and [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Captain Duellos]] both agree this is why he is such a charismatic and dangerous man. Because he honestly believes what he says. * LastNameBasis: People seem to be refereed to by their last names more than their first names. Even in situations where it wouldn't be required to address someone by their last name. * LastStand: The bear-cows aboard a crippled Super Battleship and abandoned by their leadership fight to the last being against the marines that board it. * TheLeader: Geary. To an extent that surprises his subordinates. * LeeroyJenkins: Several of the Alliance officers are this to Geary's plans. [[spoiler: Especially Captain Falco.]] Their fates [[TooDumbToLive are rather predictable.]] * LikeAGodToMe: Geary himself never get's close to AGodAmI, but plenty of others are willing to pick up the slack, though, it should be said, not without a bit of a point: --> '''Admiral Timbale: '''"At that point? The fleet believed lost, the Syndics running amuck in this star system, our few defenders barely hanging on, then the fleet appears and swoops down like angels of vengeance on the Syndics, and transmissions tell us that Black Jack is back, that he's saved the fleet, and now he's saving us." Timbale laughed softly. "At that moment, Black Jack was a god." * LivingLegend: Geary. So much in fact the certain people in the Alliance want to remove him because of the power he holds with the military and public. they are scared of what he could do * LoveTriangle: Geary, Rione, and Desjani. At least until [[spoiler: they find out Rione's husband might not be dead.]] ** In the end, it almost neatly solves itself, as Rione decides to end it once Geary/Desjani's mutual attraction becomes more apparent. It's not that [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy she cares that much for Geary]], she's just no one's second choice (also, that thing with her husband). The triangle essentially ends, but, almost to the point of comedy, Desjani and Rione still snipe at each other as if it were still going strong; if anything, they seem to become ''more'' embittered with each other after the triangle ends. ** Almost comes back to bite them in ''Dreadnaught'', with Rione's husband being found with the VIP POW's * MaliciousSlander: That Geary exploded the hyperspace gate himself. * MeaningfulName: ** In retrospect, is it any surprise that [[spoiler:Captain Kila]] turned out to be a murderer? ** A scientist specializing in until-now-theoretical intelligent nonhumans is Dr. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI Setin]]. * MegaCorp: The Syndicate Worlds are seemingly comprised of several Mega Corps. Officers in the fleet are even referred to as [=CEOs=]. * TheMenFirst * {{Metaphorgotten}}: A cultural example in-universe, as in the intervening time between Geary's hibernation and the present timeline of the story the phrases "The witch is dead" and "the fat lady sings" have been conflated into "the witch sings." Slightly less {{egregious}} than most, as both are used to mean something is over. * MildlyMilitary: Until Geary came back, the Fleet had stopped the tradition of saluting (except the Marines). Also until Geary, admirals didn't give out battle orders, they made suggestions on what to do next and all the captains of the fleet voted on it. And gaining high rank in the fleets was often more due to one's skill as a politician than as a leader. * MilitaryMaverick: Inverted. Captain Geary is thought of as crazy ''because'' he uses reasonable and not particularly noteworthy tactics. This baffles his officers, who fervently believe charging in guns blazing straight at the enemy is the only honourable and sensible way to fight in fleet combat. ** Ironically, this HonorBeforeReason mindset was inspired by the cult of personality built up around Geary's very own LastStand at the start of the war. * NapoleonDelusion: Mention is made of a medical condition called a Geary Complex where an officer believes that they are the only one who can save the Alliance, sometimes believing themselves to be the reincarnation of Captain Geary. At least one medical officer seems to believe the THE Captain Geary is suffering from a Geary Complex. * TheNeidermeyer: Captain Numos in Spades. * NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: Played straight and Averted. Geary never speaks ill of the dead, even when frustrated with commanders who got their crews killed due in part to the mindset of the fleet commanders and his training to praise in public and admonish in private. Rione has no such compunction. ** Geary also tries to give [[spoiler: Captain Falco]] credit for things he may have done before the ship he was on blew up. * NoodleIncident: "Black Jack" Geary refuses to explain how he got his nickname. ** A particularly dark version is referenced, an incident a long time ago prompted the Alliance to devise the [[ThisIsUnforgivable most dishonorable death]] that they could humanly imagine. And some felt that it ''[[DisproportionateRetribution still]]'' wasn't bad enough punishment. * NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Subverted right in the beginning. Captain Geary tries to make good on this only to realize that several of his ships are clearly not going to make the escape from the enemy until another ship (commanded by his grandnephew!) performs a HeroicSacrifice. ** In ''Invicible'' they are scrupulous about it. * NoPronunciationGuide: Numerous instances, including Commander Gaes (according to the audio books, her name is pronounced "gaysh") * ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: It's about to happen, and then Geary interrupts it when he flies into an angry lecture admonishing his sailors for such extremely deplorable methods. It's almost a figurative slap to the face toward everyone, who was turning a blind eye to it all. * OfficerAndAGentleman: Geary and Desjani fit this to a T. Painfully so, after they clearly communicate in unspoken language [[spoiler: their mutual romantic attraction.]] But do not act on it, or even acknowledge it in words, because it would be inappropriate. * OhCrap: At the end of the third book, the Alliance fleet is about to leave Lakota [[spoiler: for the first time]]. While they were there, [[spoiler:the aliens diverted to Lakota about half of a Syndic main force]] who'd been going somewhere else. As they're leaving, who else should show up but [[spoiler: the ''other'' half of the Syndic fleet,]] following them from Ixion. ** Basically, anything involving [[spoiler: exploding hypernet gates or alien ships]] is a very, very big OhCrap moment. ** [[spoiler: Right at the end of ''Dreadnaught'', the fleet jumps into what they suspect might be the border of yet another alien race. They are not disappointed as the system has a planetoid sized fortress at each jump point, capable of firing 900 ship sized missiles at once, and the largest ships yet seen. Quite the change from the much more reserved Enigma race, whose one claim to awe-inspiring technology was the Hypernet Gates.]] * OldFlameFizzle: A problem when reuniting with prisoners of war. * OlderThanTheyLook: Geary, being a popsicle going on 100 years will do that to ya * OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: Averted, with a twist. There's no mention made of any of our present religions, but both Alliance and Syndics believe in a divine power referred to as "the living stars." The Alliance, at least, also devotes one of the most protected areas of each ship to a chapel, of sorts, where people come to commune with the spirits of their ancestors. The relation between the living stars and the ancestors is never really spelled out, but people speak of either group, more or less interchangeably, having sent Geary to save the Fleet ''and'' get it back on the right moral track. ** Then later subverted when Geary hears of a new myth that appeared in the last 100 years: if you pass through a black hole system, it makes you want to fly the ship into the black hole. Geary is left wondering where the hell that came from, because it used to be standard procedure to use those systems for travel. * OverclockingAttack: Attempting to destroy the hypernet gates results in an explosion somewhere between a nuclear bomb and a supernova (depending on how they are destroyed). [[spoiler:From all appearances, the gates were designed to work this way, but [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum humanity]] [[BlackBox never noticed]].]] * PointDefenseless: Averted completely. The weapons all capital ships carry are just as effective against small targets as large ones and small one man craft have neither the weapons nor the shielding to be able to win against larger vessels. They aren't any faster or maneuverable either thanks to the vacuum of space. * PortalNetwork: The hypernet gates. ** Also, the jump points in each system which allow for FTL travel between nearby systems. * PropheciesAreAlwaysRight: It is believed that the ancestors of the Alliance would send Black Jack Geary to save the Alliance [[InItsHourOfNeed when he was needed most]]. Though, technically it was more like, the Alliance ''found'' Black Jack Geary when they would need him most. * RammingAlwaysWorks: Highly unrecomended, given the speed the ships are traveling even the slightest contact would destroy both ships involved. * RankUp: In Relentless, after the fleet gets back to the Alliance, the senate council promotes Geary past every rank directly to Fleet Admiral, which hasn't been issued in centuries, to his extreme discomfort. * [[ViewersAreGeniuses Readers Are Geniuses]]: The descriptions of the battles. Very complex 3D tactics are involved. * ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Captain Geary's subplot primarily involves him being this and resisting becoming a dictator. ** It's also one of the few blessings he gets over the course of the series. Not all the ship captains are as gung-ho as others. Even some members of the Senate's Grand Council, for all the accusations of corruption the fleet directs at the civilian government, are reasonable, and cement this fact by refusing to use the Hypergates as doomsday weapons. * RedBaron: 'Black Jack' Geary. Many of the Syndics and some of the Alliance officers are practically ''terrified'' of him. More than one [[CassandraTruth refuses to believe]] he is who he says he is. Interestingly [[ZigZaggedTrope flip flopped]], since Geary is ''not'' the heroic 'Black Jack' persona the Alliance crafted of him; however, he spends much of the book fighting [[DrunkWithPower his own temptations]] to use that image to [[TyrantTakesTheHelm become a despot.]] ** Also 'Fighting' Falco and Otropa 'The Anvil' * RedemptionEqualsDeath: After she comes under suspicion of being disloyal to the anti-Geary conspiracy, they kill [[spoiler: Captain Gaes -- and her entire crew]]. But not before she manages to out the killer to Geary. * ResignedToTheCall: Eventually Geary realizes that, even if he gets the fleet home, he can't resign his commission. The Alliance ''[[ButThouMust needs him]]''. * {{Revenge}}: Geary contemplates this on aliens. * TheRival: Desjani and Rione are this to each other. First being romantic competitors for Geary, even after Desjani ends up with John, they still bicker with each other over almost everything. * RunningGag: ** The ''Fast'' fleet auxiliary ships. Which move with all the speed of a beached whale and even slower when they're loaded with cargo. The implication seems to be that they're fast compared to their predecessors. Which is like saying a snail is fast compared to a two-toed sloth. ** Anytime there's a reference to something from our time, usually a phrase (such as "persian donkeys"), the characters have absolutely no idea where it originated from. * SchrodingersCat: One admiral is embarrassed to say he did not know which side he would take if Admiral Bloch [[spoiler: attempted to seize power]] if he succeeded in ending the war when he first left to attack the Synic Homeworld. ** [[CallBack Called back]] later: "You know, Admiral, we talked once about the cat in the box, about not knowing whether you'd do the right thing, no matter what, when the time came. I'm happy to inform you that the cat is alive." * SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Dear living ''stars'', averted. The fleet jumps into a system, and its sensors show where all enemy ships in the system are -- or rather, where they ''were'' when the light the fleet is seeing left them. The enemy won't see the fleet for another however many hours -- days, in some cases. And if the enemy force is large, they know there'll be a fierce battle ... in another day or three. At one point, Geary thinks about how bizarre it seems that he's leaving the bridge for about six hours to get some food and sleep while they're technically in the middle of a battle -- but right then, there's literally nothing useful he ''can'' do except make sure he's well-rested when it's time for quick decisions. ** Played straight considering the length of time both sides have been fighting. The idea that two enemies could sustain a war to a stalemate for almost 100 years is very far fetched, considering how much a war time economy drains a nation's resources, in terms of financial capital, equipment, metallurgy, and especially manpower. ** At least by the end of the sixth book, the Syndic Systems are falling apart, with similar circumstances being all too possible for the Alliance (had Geary's victories not severely bolstered morale). The newest ships in Geary's fleet, the ''Adroit'' class, are also appalling underdesigned, having cut back on basically everything and with corners cut everywhere they could, including sensors so bad they need to mooch off of ''other'' ships' to function. It is all too clear that the war was very nearly over, one way or another, before Geary got into the picture. * SecretTestOfCharacter: DoubleSubverted. When the Alliance fleet comes across a small colony of abandoned Syndics (Dying Planet, below) who will soon die if they don't intervene. Geary decides to save them because he thinks it's a SecretTestOfCharacter provided by their ancestors. Even though there is no test to speak of, he still believes they need to pass it. [[spoiler: Later it's revealed the governor of one of the Syndic worlds had family that Geary helped save, and in thanks she provides them with the location of much needed supplies they can get.]] * ShoutOut: A one-line mention in ''Victorious'' that Captain [[TheIncredibles Parr]] commands the ship ''Incredible''. He later speak up more often as the series goes on. ** ''Dreadnaught'' has a Shout Out to ''Literature/OrlandoFurioso'' with [[spoiler: Alliance Captain Bradamont who's fallen in love with a Syndic officer named Rogero]]. ** If a spaceship had plants on board, one was usually called [[Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors Audrey]]. The reason for that, if there was a reason, was "lost in the mists of the past." * ShroudedInMyth: Captain John 'Black Jack' Geary after he is used as the shining example of a sailor by the alliance. [[spoiler: 'Black Jack' because his 'official' biographies claim, among other things, that his performance reports were always in the black - that is to say, meeting or exceeding expectations. Geary denies that this was true, and evidently always disliked the nickname.]] * SinkTheLifeBoats: a habit on both sides. Geary is ''not pleased'' when he finds out. ** The enigma race sink their entire ships, crew and all, if they can't escape to prevent anything from being learned about them. * SoProudOfYou: Geary's reaction to the fleet on a regular basis. * SpaceIsAnOcean: Averted. Space battles and maneuvers always take full advantage of three-dimensional space. The fact that direction is based entirely on point of view in space is addressed more than once. One minor exception to this aversion would be when Geary notes that evading ships will always travel "up" relative to the plane of the system, when "down" makes just as much sense. * SpeciesLoyalty: The spider-wolves appear to be impressed by this in humans. * SpinOff. Beyond The Frontier is a Type 8 for the Lost Fleet. * {{Squick}}: An in-universe example. It's never stated what, and not even a clue is given to the exact genre of squick (ie. sexual or not), but there are underground networks in the fleet used to share videos of ... something ... that makes battle-hardened veterans become very queasy. The officer who reveals that this network was used to transmit a viral worm is very nervous about coming forward. ** Extends somewhat into ThereShouldBeALaw, except that it's mentioned it's technically not illegal, as it's all computer generated. If actual humans were used, "the producers would find themselves facing eternity in prison." * StandardSciFiFleet: Of course, but nothing smaller than a destroyer is fit for relativistic combat due to mass-thrust ratios. Fast Attack Craft (starfighters) do exist in small numbers but they're short-range, weak and easily destroyed. * StarcrossedLovers: Captain Bradament and CEO Rogero. * StarfishAliens: ** Those who know about the enigma aliens spend most of their time trying to figure out how they might look or think, and come to very little real conclusions, fitting their name. The aliens are later proven to be amphibian physically, though their exact mentality is subject to debate, aside from ''extreme'' paranoia. ** Geary encounters two new alien species, one that looks like teddy bears, the other like an unholy cross between spiders and wolves. Ironically, the spiders-wolves are the only ones we can relate to and who actually communicate instead of trying to kill us. * StealthInSpace: Considered and averted. in the case of the enigma. They try to figure out how they hide their ships, then eventually realize that they're just hacking their sensors. * TheStoic: Captain Shen, who's facial expression remains firmly neutral. Geary is surprised to even see a ''ghost'' of a smile touch his lips on one occasion. * StrangerInAFamiliarLand: In a conversation with Geary, Duellos talks about his visit home after the war ended and how completely everyone's mindset had changed, leaving him feeling obsolete. * StunnedSilence: Captain Badaya's reaction for about half a minute when Geary allows him to keep his command after he chokes in a bad situation. * TakingYouWithMe: Two sets of aliens go in for suicide attacks. * ThemeNaming: In-universe, the bureaucratic workers of the Alliance appear to have a sense of humor, though perhaps a particularly bland one, when it is revealed it is common practice for them to assign Admirals with similar last names, at least with the same first letter, to a system. Perhaps for ease of filing. ** The star systems of the Enigma that the fleet passes through are all named after some unpleasant version of the afterlife. * ThereAreNoCoincidences * ThickerThanWater * ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: A non-heroic example. Commander Benan attempts to do one against Geary after he learns Rione slept with him, forcing Desjani to interrupt him before he can issue the challenge before she's required by regulations to execute him for it. Apparently, this became a common thing during the war and the Alliance had to work hard to quash it through heavy handed regulations. * TitleDrop: The series name is only mentioned once in the main set of six books: Right after Geary manages his closest victory yet, nearly totally out of power, and returning the fleet home. ** The individual books titles (ships) are mentioned at least once during their respect books and usually have a key part in the story. * TortureAlwaysWorks: Sharply averted; the Intelligence officer says they ''never'' use torture because it's unreliable. In fact, he distinguishes between "beating them up" and "outright torture," saying that the former isn't quite as unreliable as the latter, but they still never use either. Considering that until Geary came back, the Fleet had gotten into the habit of murdering prisoners, this wasn't a decision based on moral concerns. * TrappedBehindEnemyLines: The entire premise of the beginning of the series. Almost the whole Alliance fleet gets ambushed in their attack on the enemy homeworld. In fact, [[spoiler: the Syndics believe they have the Alliance fleet SO badly trapped they neglected to defend the system jump point, because everyone has almost stopped using them altogether after they became obsolete.]] * {{Two-DSpace}}: ''Heavily'' averted. The formations and tactics used by Geary are not simply 3 dimensional, but ''4'' dimensional. Time plays an incredibly decisive factor in winning a battle, especially since everything the commander sees is happening hours after it happened. At one point, Geary is simply unable to micromanage every part of his fleet in the middle of battle trying to account for it all. ** [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in ''Dreadnaught'', where it is used to interpret new regions in a simpler fashion and [[spoiler:figure out that the Enigma Race has political borders within its own territory, indicating that the species is subdivided into factions.]] * UncannyValley: [[spoiler: When the Enigma Race communicates, they use a computer-generated human avatar. They seem realistic enough until they start talking, and then the combination of tone, expressions, gestures, and syntax becomes extremely off-putting and obviously unnatural.]] [[invoked]] * UnequalPairing: Geary and Desjani. They're pretty much the ''only'' people in the entire fleet who realize why they can't be in a relationship. Everyone else, even those who know they're not in a relationship, are either all for it, or joke about it approvingly, much to their equal dismay. * UnfriendlyFire: Captain [[spoiler: Kila]] attempts to kill Geary ''three times'' before she is discovered. * UngratefulBastard: [[spoiler: Kila]] who, despite having been saved by [[spoiler: Geary's leadership]] [[MoralEventHorizon kills fellow Alliance sailors]] just to oust [[spoiler: Geary]] because he doesn't fight the all-out, GuiltFreeExterminationWar way she wants him to. * UnwantedFalseFaith: In the years after his supposed death, Geary's legend developed into a sort of cult-like following, where military commanders admonish each other for what they think Geary would supposedly say about their ideas. It's quite clear that Geary feels ''extremely'' [[StopWorshippingMe uncomfortable]] with the ardent faith his subordinates have in his flawlessness. It doesn't help that even people like Desjani think he's been sent by the God's themselves to deliver them unto victory. ** This also complicates the nature of his command, since his captains have all adhered to the cult surrounding his legend, and have all have mostly exaggerated or distorted views on what they thought Geary was suppose to believe. It becomes hilarious when he catches one belligerent captain about to invoke his name...against him. Because he isn't the legend they've all been led to believe, Geary constantly battles doubts against him that extended hypersleep made him feeble. * TheUriahGambit: Minus the MurderTheHypotenuse undertones though. It becomes increasingly clear throughout ''Dreadnaught'' that the First Fleet has been sent out to die by the Alliance government to remove the troublesome situation Geary's mere existence causes (as well as that of the VIP POW's they were ordered to pick up on the way out). * UrsineAliens: The bear-cows. * {{UST}}: Which is less romantic than the people not involved seem to find it. * VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The premise of the first book series is modeled on the march of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Thousand_%28Greek%29 Ten Thousand.]] * WartsAndAll: Geary. The way each character reacts to the "real" Geary speaks volumes as to their own character, with some even preferring his real self to the myth. * WeCanRuleTogether: A rather bizarre, sort-of version done by Geary. He's trying to convince a young CEO (or at least an officer) that both the Alliance and Syndics need to achieve some sort-of peace, and that it's for the greater good that he reveal any information on [[spoiler: the aliens]]. Rione snaps at Geary that this guy is a CEO, and to appeal to his greed for power. Geary suggests that, of course, when the time comes for talks, Geary will need someone he's familiar with to facilitate an agreement. The man instantly perks up. * WeHaveReserves: Both sides. There are far too few combat veterans in the officer corps because the attrition rate is so high. By the time of ''Dauntless'', the turnover rate of the officer corps is so high both sides are reduced to Death Before Dishonour tactics to keep fighting. * WhatDidIDoLastNight: Rione has to ask Geary this the morning after a drunken BSOD upon learning her husband may be alive. * WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt: Geary discusses the naming of the battlecruiser 'Invincible' with one of his subordinates, who observes that ships named 'Invincible' (high turnover rates mean the Alliance military gets by using the same set of a few hundred ship names for all the new ships produced) tend to have an even shorter combat life than most. [[spoiler: Sure enough, the new 'Invincible' turns out to be a bullet magnet, but subverts the trope in that it narrowly escapes destruction as the most damaged (surviving) ship in the entire fleet.]] ** The previous ''Invincible'' '''barely''' survived the Mutiny with Captain Falco, and they wound up scuttling it anyway since it was too battle-damaged to save. Geary and the rest of the cast were amazed that it could even move let alone have enough of the hull intact to keep the survivors alive. *** Well, it ''did'' survive the attack, just not well enough. [[FridgeLogic Might be considered]] a {{Deconstruction}} on 'Invincibility' *** It should be noted that it is in the fleet where 3-years-old ship is considered exceptionally old. ** The ship ''Arrogant'' becomes the first to [[spoiler: disobey a direct order]]. ** ''Dreadnaught'' leads a hopelessly outnumbered charge into the enemy to protect its compatriots. Although, averted later as Jane tells John that when she ordered the charge, she was scared out of her wits. * WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Averted with the fate of Captain Grundel, a lazy and obstructive officer Geary had 'transferred' to conduct a worthless study in the first book. He isn't mentioned again until the last book, where the fleet leaves him behind in Alliance space (and he's still working on a study of the supplies the fleet will need to get back to Alliance space). * WhatMeasureisANonCute: The spider wolves. * WithDueRespect: Used, discussed, and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at various points. * WouldNotShootACivilian: Geary is horrified the Alliance kills [=POWs=] and Syndic civilians en masse. And his enraged rant about how they will ''never'' do it again so long as he is command is a slap in the face to all his officers. * WritersSuck: Captain Desjani mentions in casual conversation she considered becoming a literary agent rather than joining the fleet, but "taking that job would have meant I had to work with writers, and you know what they're like." * YouAreInCommandNow: Geary, obviously, but also Colonel Carabali when the marine general is murdered with the rest of the high command and numerous junior officers after Geary fires their superiors for treason, incompetence, or cowardice. * YouCantGoHomeAgain: Geary * YouShallNotPass: Geary pulls one a hundred years before the story begins at the first battle of the ForeverWar. This leads to the Alliance making him into a demigod-like war hero to rally around. The problem was that [[HesJustHiding he was in survival sleep in an escape pod with a damaged beacon]]. ** The seventh Battle ship division stay behind during the first retreat from Lakota, [[CurbstompCushion giving them hell as they go.]] ----
to:
'''''The Lost Fleet''''' is a hard science fiction series by JackCampbell (actual name John G. Hemry). John "Black Jack" Geary of the Alliance Navy is escorting some merchant ships when the convoy is attacked in the first strike by the Syndicate Worlds, or Syndics. He fights a rear guard action, ejecting from his ship at the last moment, but the transmitter of the escape pod is broken, so he isn't found for nearly a century. When he's awakened, the fleet is preparing to use the enemy hypernet gate network, with a traitor-provided key, to strike at the Syndic home system. It goes wrong. He takes command of the fleet and must use his knowledge of forgotten tactics to save the fleet from certain destruction deep behind enemy lines. The attrition rate of ships and experienced personnel has forced the Alliance to cut down costs and production times and replace traditional officer training with a twisted code of honor that demands [[AttackAttackAttack attacking the enemy head on]]. The only good news, until Geary shows up, is that the Syndics have had to do the same. He also has to defend himself against the treachery and stupidity of dissenting captains, and keep his love interests from killing each other. Also, there seems to be a mysterious race of Aliens behind the ongoing war and the barely-understood technology of the hypernet gates. Two follow on series continue the store of Captain Geary and the leaders of a particular planet. The first, ''Beyond the Frontier'', follows now Admiral Geary as the fleet investigates the aliens and continues to fight internal forces that threaten it and the Alliance. The second deals with the break-up of the Syndicate Worlds from the perspective of Syndic [=CEO=]s [[AscendedExtra Iceni]] and Drakon, the leaders of Midway as they fight to maintain order (and power) on their planet and nearby worlds. The completed series is composed of six books: * ''Dauntless'' * ''Fearless'' * ''Courageous'' * ''Valiant'' * ''Relentless'' * ''Victorious'' The direct sequel series, ''Beyond the Frontier'': * ''Dreadnaught'' * ''Invincible'' * ''Guardian'' tentatively titled (May 1, 2013) For the sidequel series, see ''Literature/TheLostStars'': ---- !!Tropes * AcceptableTargets: In-Universe concerning lawyers several times. At one point, someone mentions to Geary that they had pirates in their ancestry and Geary confides that he had ''[[EvilLawyerJoke lawyers]]'' in his. One officer comments that there are fates too horrible even for lawyers, and explains that his brother is a lawyer. Captain Duellos offers condolences. ** The Syndics get splashback from this because of the suits they wear one, mingled with CorruptCorporateExecutive. * AccidentalHero: Captain Geary. The Alliance government made him this after his last stand to inspire the Alliance in the war. When asked about his heroics, Geary is the first to point out that he was in exactly one battle before being stuck in stasis, and that was the one where he lost his ship and was only saved from death by dumb luck. * AIIsACrapshoot: {{Invoked}} as the reason why neither side will use artificial intelligence to pilot their ships. * TheAlliance: A huge conglomeration of systems actually called the Alliance, and two other nations, the Rift Federation and the Callas Republic. * AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: One of Gearys captains and an enemy commander fell in love while the captain was in a prison camp, and were mutually used by their nations intelligence agencies. Once the war is over they're finally free of their use as spies, but duty and suspicion leave little chance they'll ever be together, nevermind the continued monitoring both are subject to. They express as much in communications between each other that Geary has to read or watch (with their knowledge). * AnxietyDreams: Mixed with BadDreams. * AnyoneCanDie: But to keep more from dying, their death may be pushed aside with little fanfare. * ApocalypseHow: It is implied that before the event of the book, both sides regularly inflicted varying degrees of widespread planetary destruction. The worst incident is referenced in regard's to Tulev's home planet, which suffered a Planetary Species Extinction. ** The Syndic Navy opts to [[spoiler: collapse the hypernet gate at Lakota]] to prevent Geary from using it. The resulting shock wave causes a Continental Total Extinction on the side facing the blast, with a Planetary Societal Collapse affecting the survivors. ** Kalixa suffers a Stellar Total Extinction when [[spoiler: the aliens blow its hypernet gate]]. * ArbitraryMaximumRange: Averted. It's specifically stated that the weapons have a maximum ''effective'' range, where any further basically means its too hard to hit a target and therefor worse than useless to shoot at all. * ArtifactTitle: TheLostFleet ceases to be lost by ''Relentless''. When the title of the series was changed to add "Beyond the Frontier" it happened again when by ''Invincible'' the fleet has gone beyond the frontier and come back home. * BadassBoast: Geary in ''Valiant'' when dealing with a Syndic base that won't take back ITS OWN CIVILIANS. -->Geary: Listen, you are going to do what I say, or I will hit your station so hard that [[NoKillLikeOverkill the quarks that make up your component atomic particles won't be able to find their way back together.]] Am I Clear?! ** Chased out of the Lakota system to Ixion, Geary realizes that they don't have time to go anywhere else before Syndic pursuers arrive in a force the Fleet won't be able to defeat. [[spoiler: So he orders his ships to immediately turn and jump back to Lakota, where at least they'll be unexpected. When Rione asks him what if there are overwhelming enemy forces still in Lakota]], he replies, "I guess that'll be too bad for them." His crew goes wild, cheering. ** Further quotes just from the first book: ---> "I am Captain John Geary. I am now in command of the Alliance fleet. You're dealing with me now. These are my ships. Back off." ---> "My name is John Geary. I used to be known as Black Jack Geary a long time ago. I'm in command of this fleet now, and I'm taking it home. Anyone who wishes to try to stop this fleet will have to deal with me." * BackFromTheBrink: The premise of the series. * BadDreams: Some of the rescued prisoners. Geary. * BadFuture: At least for Captain Geary. He went into Survival Sleep after he pulled off a YouShallNotPass on a attacking Syndic fleet at the first battle of the ForeverWar, and wakes up a hundred years later to find out that the war is still going on, he's been made into a larger than life demigod, and he's the only one who still knows tactics. * TheBait: the entire fleet in ''Invincible'' * BerserkButton: Under no circumstances do you ever kill [=POWs=] while under Geary's command. He doesn't care what's happened in the past hundred years. You do '''not'''. --> Geary's control snapped. "I don't care what's been done before! I don't care what our enemies do! I will not allow any prisoners to be massacred by any ship under my command! I will not allow this fleet and the Alliance and the ancestors of all aboard these ships to be dishonored by war crimes committed under the all-seeing eyes of the living stars! We are sailors of the Alliance, and we will hold ourselves to the standards of honor our ancestors believed in! Are there any further questions?" * BigDamnHeroes: the ending of Relentless * {{Blackmail}} * BlessedWithSuck: In the beginning of the third book, Geary finds that the Fleet is seriously short of critical supplies despite recently taking on large quantities of raw materials ... because the selection of raw stocks was based on what would be needed under a commander who got a lot more ships and people killed. The fact that Geary's tactics have kept so many alive means they didn't take on enough of the materials they need; he's got problems because he's doing too good a job. ** By book 7 Geary has been so good at not getting his ships destroyed that his ships are falling apart; while in his time ships were built to last 50-100 years (150 with an overhaul), by this stage of the war they're designed to last three years at most. * BloodKnight: Desjani. Until Geary helps her see the errors of her ways. Not that she shakes off her lust for battle too much. -->She turned a pleading look on Geary. "Now can we blow up something? Just to show him we mean business?"\\ "Sorry," he told her. "Not yet."\\ "Peace sucks," Desjani grumbled. * BlueAndOrangeMorality: Two of the three aliens species so far. ** The enigma aliens, as their name implies, don't even have a real frame of reference to even properly ''guess'' what they're thinking. Most of what is gathered later points to a near fanatical adherence to privacy and paranoia, doing whatever they can to try and keep themselves from being studied, fought, or even seen. They go as far as to blow up their ships to prevent them and their crews from being studied. ** The second species encountered is more easily to figure out, if not to comprehend. The teddy bear-cows or 'kicks' are herbivores with a herd mentality and view anything else as a mortal threat that can't be negotiated with due to likely deception and desire to eat them, so they don't respond to communications and commit suicide with their brains as soon as they realize they've been captured. ** The third species is known as the spider-wolves or 'dancers' and though still very odd, at least communicate with humans and don't kill them on sight and have thought patterns we can relate to. They appear to tend towards viewing things in terms of patterns, as opposed to our binary tendencies. * BoardingParty: When Geary tries to capture an alien superbattleship. * BrainBleach: Captain Duellos invokes the general concept when Desjani says two captains, one quite unsavory, could be in bed together- in the metaphorical sense, but the image gets stuck in his head and he leaves the conversation to take a shower. * BrickJoke: When they first see the spider-wolves and are digesting their unpleasant appearance, Charban remarks "at least they don't have tentacles." Later, it is learned that they ''do'' have tentacles, as manipulators on the ends of their claw arms. * BurialInSpace: Launched toward the sun. * ChekhovsGun: Geary's first big speech about not committing war crimes. It first serves a purpose in establishing Geary's attitudes about warfare and honor in relation to how far his society has come, so you may be forgiven for forgetting it. [[spoiler:It's later used as spontaneous evidence by Rione to convince the Grand Council of Geary's honor again.]] * CluelessChickMagnet: John Geary may know all there is to know about commanding women in battle but he breaks whole new ground in cluelessness over how to read - and deal - with them romantically. * ColonCancer: After the first series finishes, two sub series start. Starting with Dreadnaught: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier. * CorruptCorporateExecutive: Most of the power structure for the Syndics are these, to the point higher officers in their fleet are various ranks of CEO. * CoversAlwaysLie: For some reason the publishers felt it necessary to put Geary in armor holding a BFG while posing in some exotic location even if such a scene has never appeared in any of the books to date. Heck, until ''Victorious'' he doesn't even leave the ''Dauntless'', and then for a space station. It took until the ''Beyond the Frontier'' series for him to finally set foot on a planet -- a friendly one, where the biggest danger was hordes of adoring fans. Lampshaded in ''Invincible'', when Geary and Desjani are talking about her writing a tell all book about him if he dies and she jokes that it will have a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall misleading cover]] of him doing something he never did, like [[SelfDeprecation making a heroic pose with a gun.]] ** Averted on the British editions which actually had individual space ships hanging in space. Still a case of this, as the ships on those covers are blocky and rigid, where as the ships in the series are more smooth and sharklike * CrazyEnoughToWork: ** Geary's plan to 'charge' the missile swarm of a species just encountered (the missiles being ''piloted'' they're so massive), and tell ships to maneuver independently. ** Realizing their formation is about to be destroyed by the enemy Armada, Captain (Jane) Geary takes command of all the Battleships in the group and has them charge the enemy. She desperately orders them to fire all the Kinetic Penetrators they can, projectiles which are ''never'' used against ships because they're so easy to avoid...and the enemy doesn't avoid them, blowing a hole big enough in the enemy to get through. * [[CutAndPasteSuburb Cut And Paste Planet]]: The bear-cows have razed their entire planets ecology and set up housing that's identical to each other.. * CuteAsABouncingBetty: While extracting [=POWs=] from a prison camp (and covering the guards and their families in a cease fire agreement) in the fifth book, stealthed commandos are spotted approaching, carrying 'hupnums'. When Geary asks for elaboration while musing to himself that they sound like a cute fairy tale creature, Colonel Caribali clarifies it as 'Human Portable Nuclear Munitions'- and though they allegedly have timers, the Alliance had them too and no one who trained with them, including the instructors, thought the timers were real. So basically, stealthed nuclear suicide bomber commandos. * DeadGuyJunior: Not yet, but Desjani made Geary agree that should they ever have a daughter she be named after [[spoiler:Jaylen Cresida]] whom fell in the final battle getting the fleet home. * DeadlyDodging: Geary involves the entire fleet in this in escaping the Bear Cow home system, involving both the enemy fleet and their space station blocking the jump point out * DeathGlare: Geary apparently possesses one capable of silencing the most fractious of his captains. * DirtyBusiness: Reading a private letter. * DividedWeFall: All the time. * DoctorsOrders: Inverted. Doctors ignore officers' orders. * DontYouDarePityMe * DoomedHometown: Captain Tulev's homeworld of Elyzia was bombarded until nothing was left on the surface, including his family. * DuctTapeForEverything: The Universal Fixing Substance, key to finally making friends with an alien race. * [[DyingTown Dying Planet]]: When the hypernet was set up, it left a number of systems out because the only reason to go there had been as a waypoint to somewhere else via the jump points, and hypernet bypasses this. Some of these systems, where there weren't enough resources for survival without trade, have become {{Ghost Planet}}s; the Fleet rescues the last 500-some humans from a Syndic world where their employers had left them (and their families) to die forty years before. * TheEmpire: Although they fill this role, the Syndicate Worlds are themselves a huge union of various interstellar mega-corps. * EnemyWithin: In a way. Around book three, Geary's thoughts are starting to tell him to do things he wouldn't otherwise, since he ''could'' get away with it. He and Madame Co-President Rione call those thoughts 'Black Jack' Geary. * EvilKnockoff: The Syndicates attempt to duplicate Geary's improvised ship minefield, unsuccessfully * FacePalm: Geary does this a ''lot'', usually when brought up against the modern fleet mindset. Most often the 'massage bridge of nose' version but rarely the full on 'bury face in hands'. * FakeDefector: Mentioned posthumously. The guy that gave the Alliance the Syndic hypernet key so they could fall right into a trap; he was killed as soon as the Alliance commander realized it ''was'' a trap. Although it's suggested that the defector ''might'' have been tricked, not treacherous. * FearlessFool: Geary discusses with his niece. * FieldPromotion: Frequently, with all the deaths or arrests happening. * FireForgedFriends: The captain of the ''Diamond'' after they stood against the hyperspace gate. * FirstGirlWins: Desjani. See Love Triangle below. * FishOutOfTemporalWater: Geary. By most of a century. * FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Some capital ships have a weapon called a "null field" that is projected from the front of the ship. Unlike most of this type of weapon, it's short range (for a space weapon), but tends to be an OneHitKill as it just disintegrates a large chunk out of whatever ship it hits and breaks down most shields. * FlauntingYourFleets: When Geary encounters [[spoiler: the spider-wolve's]] beautiful fleet formation, he orders his fleet to assume a ceremonial formation to better present themselves. * ForeverWar: The war in ''TheLostFleet'' has been going on for over a hundred years between the evenly matched Alliance and Syndicate Worlds. For the Alliance it's a simple matter of "They attacked us first!" For the Syndics, well... [[spoiler: it seems likely they were hoping to wipe out the Alliance with the help of the alien Enigma Race - but for one reason or another, they ended up attacking alone and were unable to strike a decisive blow against the Alliance, resulting in a stalemate.]] Not that they'll ever admit that. * ForgottenSuperweapon: The Null-Fields employed by the Alliance warships don't receive any mention of being used in the sequel series. * FunWithAcronyms: Pretty much a running gag in Invincible. * GeneralRipper: Pretty much every Alliance officer. * GenreShift: In a manner of speaking, and much smaller than usual. The series starts out as fleet battle focused series on a long spanning human war, then slowly shifts to the consequences of first contact with aliens and how to deal with their technology and ideologies. * GloryHound: Captain Falco makes himself out to be the hero of the Alliance even though his victories are all but indistinguishable from his defeats. * GoMadFromTheIsolation: Several of the rescued prisoners show a touch of this. * GoodIsOldFashioned: Geary's old-fashioned principles and phrasings get more respect than usual in this trope. * HarsherInHindsight: In-universe example: While eating ration bars, Geary notes that one brand was used as far back as his original tour of duty. He relates a joke from back then about it's tastelessness, stating that they made the bars to trade with the Syndics, but didn't [[FunnyAneurysmMoment for fear that they would start a war]]. Geary at least manages to cut it off before getting to the punchline once he realizes that [[TheForeverWar present circumstances]] make it a little less funny. [[BlackHumor But it's still probably funny to the reader]]. * GreenEyedMonster: Rione has a ''bad'' case of this towards Desjani over Geary's affections in ''Valiant'', to the point of making jabs at Desjani while sitting in Desjani's command bridge. * HerHeartWillGoOn: Discussed * HeroicBSOD: Not who you think. [[spoiler: Captain Falco has one resulting from the first time he's in battle after spending twenty years in a Syndic labor camp. He got forty ships to mutiny with him, and then his incompetence got most of them destroyed. Afterward, he's completely separated from reality and giving meaningless orders like Hitler did in the final days of WorldWarII.]] ** Captain Geary initially has this when he's pulled out of his escape pod 100 years after he was thought to have died, and realizes everyone he's ever known and loved is long dead. * HoldYourHippogriffs: There are a number of phrases used invoking Geary's name, usually in a similar context to phrases like "God himself could not..." or "Only God could...." Needless to say, Geary hates everyone of them. They'll probably amuse the reader though. ---> '''Captain Michael Geary''': "I assure you I will carry out my duties as if Black Jack Geary himself were my commander." ---> '''Captain John Geary''': "Tell me that's not a common phrase." It is. * HollywoodTactics: The Alliance subscribe to this battle style right up to the beginning of the series. Averted by Captain Geary, which is the only reason everyone isn't dead. When Geary reports to the Senate, an admiral has the gall to claim that Geary must be lying about his victories, because: -->"Our ancestors knew the secret of winning, all-out attack, with every captain [[GloryHound competing to see who could display the most valor]] and strike the enemy first and hardest. These victories we're being told about violate those principles! They cannot be true, not if we honor our ancestors."\\ ** Geary stared at Otropa in disbelief.... * HomeSweetHome: Admiral Lagemann * HonorBeforeReason: A literal code of Death Before Dishonour is promoted by the Alliance to encourage its progressively greener conscripts to fight on through the stalemate. At the rate both sides are chewing through new recruits, this is probably the best conditioning they can give the fresh meat in preparation for combat. Geary has a very low opinion of this. Geary has to deal not only with the Syndics, [[spoiler: aliens]], and traitors, but also the very ingrained belief his subordinates have in this. It very painfully costs some people their lives. --> Falco: "The moral is to the material as three is to one." * HumanPopsicle: What Captain Geary is before he is found by the alliance fleet. * HumansAreWhite: Averted, or rather dodged, in that neither skin nor hair nor eye colour are ever mentioned. ** Used on the [[CoversAlwaysLie book covers]], which always portray Geary as a European, and often a blond one at that. Granted, his name does suggest British descent. ** ''Dreadnaught'' finally specified someone's hair colour: green (due to genetic engineering). She's from the colony world Éire. Given the choice of name, they might well be more ethnically European than not. * HyperspaceLanes: In effect, although more effective Portal Network is set up in important systems and the FTL pathways are almost forgotten about until the events of the series. * IGaveMyWord: Geary. To the point where even near the end, the Syndics would only trust his word, and his alone. * ImNotAHeroIm: Geary outright says he's not a hero, and he's tired of everyone treating him like one. But he's not just the HumbleHero, he genuinely dislikes the unwavering trust everyone puts into him, especially Disjani, because he can't live up to the impossible standard of his legend. Though as Rione points out he comes about as close as mortal flesh possibly could. * IndestructibleEdible: The ration bars the fleet's crews have to force down. Someone who's taste-tested some captured enemy rations says the only good quality they have is that they make the worst Alliance ration bars, the ghastly Danaka Yoruks, seem tasty by comparison. -->"If I have to face death today, why does my possibly last meal have to be a Danaka Yoruk bar?" Geary complained. He ripped the seal, then bit off a chunk and tried to swallow without actually tasting the bar. * InertialDampening: Quite a useful thing to have when you are flying at 0.1c. However, they are not infallible. Accelerate above 0.25c and it's very likely that they will fail, turning you and your ship into a cloud of dust. * InItsHourOfNeed: CEO Iceni, the Syndic leader of Midway, stays behind and coordinates an evacuation in the face of alien invasion and possible extermination of human life on the planet rather than taking the first ship off as is usually expected. Geary is still suspicious of her since she IS a CEO, but is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt due to this. She will be the main character of a spinoff series. * InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: Earth is briefly mentioned as a hallowed ground of sorts (worthy of inclusion in the PortalNetwork, at least), but matters little to the workings of the universe at large. Well, except that if someone were implicated as ''destroying'' it, it'd rouse the Alliance populace to genocidal anger against the killers. ''Very'' hallowed ground. ** The "hallowed" part makes perfect sense in the books, since humans follow a form of ancestor worship. It's hard to get more ancestral than ''Earth.'' * InterserviceRivalry: Some navy vs. marines. * IronLady: Rione. * ISurrenderSuckers: The Syndics make use of this, but both sides are notorious for [[IWillFightSomeMoreForever fighting until the very end]], even if doing so is totally futile. It doesn't help that both sides have been executing prisoners. ** This gets to the point where Geary and the fleet won't believe them any more. Only once they've picked up your life pod after blowing your ship from underneath you and you're in an interrogation chamber will they believe you. *** And then only because they have machines and technicians who can tell if the Syndic is lying or not. * ItHasBeenAnHonor: Just about everyone gets to say this at some point. Mostly said to or by Geary. Since nobody knows how many of them, if any, will live to the end. * IWasJustPassingThrough: Inverted. Geary, the Hero, saves Syndic civilians who were abandoned by their leaders. * KickedUpstairs: Captain Gundel, commander of the auxiliaries, gets this after being too busy to even know the needs of his own ship, not to mention the rest of the ships in the division he's commanding. * KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: Played straight with the use of Grapeshot, tiny metal ball bearings fired from railguns which do huge damage in relativistic-speed combat and 'Rocks', huge multi-ton metal slugs fired at high speed to cheaply demolish ground emplacements. Averted with the heavy use of Hell-Lance batteries, essentially charged-particle cannons, alongside grapeshot in fleet combat. * KingInTheMountain: Geary's reputation * KnightTemplar: Captain 'Fighting' Falco. Geary and [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Captain Duellos]] both agree this is why he is such a charismatic and dangerous man. Because he honestly believes what he says. * LastNameBasis: People seem to be refereed to by their last names more than their first names. Even in situations where it wouldn't be required to address someone by their last name. * LastStand: The bear-cows aboard a crippled Super Battleship and abandoned by their leadership fight to the last being against the marines that board it. * TheLeader: Geary. To an extent that surprises his subordinates. * LeeroyJenkins: Several of the Alliance officers are this to Geary's plans. [[spoiler: Especially Captain Falco.]] Their fates [[TooDumbToLive are rather predictable.]] * LikeAGodToMe: Geary himself never get's close to AGodAmI, but plenty of others are willing to pick up the slack, though, it should be said, not without a bit of a point: --> '''Admiral Timbale: '''"At that point? The fleet believed lost, the Syndics running amuck in this star system, our few defenders barely hanging on, then the fleet appears and swoops down like angels of vengeance on the Syndics, and transmissions tell us that Black Jack is back, that he's saved the fleet, and now he's saving us." Timbale laughed softly. "At that moment, Black Jack was a god." * LivingLegend: Geary. So much in fact the certain people in the Alliance want to remove him because of the power he holds with the military and public. they are scared of what he could do * LoveTriangle: Geary, Rione, and Desjani. At least until [[spoiler: they find out Rione's husband might not be dead.]] ** In the end, it almost neatly solves itself, as Rione decides to end it once Geary/Desjani's mutual attraction becomes more apparent. It's not that [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy she cares that much for Geary]], she's just no one's second choice (also, that thing with her husband). The triangle essentially ends, but, almost to the point of comedy, Desjani and Rione still snipe at each other as if it were still going strong; if anything, they seem to become ''more'' embittered with each other after the triangle ends. ** Almost comes back to bite them in ''Dreadnaught'', with Rione's husband being found with the VIP POW's * MaliciousSlander: That Geary exploded the hyperspace gate himself. * MeaningfulName: ** In retrospect, is it any surprise that [[spoiler:Captain Kila]] turned out to be a murderer? ** A scientist specializing in until-now-theoretical intelligent nonhumans is Dr. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI Setin]]. * MegaCorp: The Syndicate Worlds are seemingly comprised of several Mega Corps. Officers in the fleet are even referred to as [=CEOs=]. * TheMenFirst * {{Metaphorgotten}}: A cultural example in-universe, as in the intervening time between Geary's hibernation and the present timeline of the story the phrases "The witch is dead" and "the fat lady sings" have been conflated into "the witch sings." Slightly less {{egregious}} than most, as both are used to mean something is over. * MildlyMilitary: Until Geary came back, the Fleet had stopped the tradition of saluting (except the Marines). Also until Geary, admirals didn't give out battle orders, they made suggestions on what to do next and all the captains of the fleet voted on it. And gaining high rank in the fleets was often more due to one's skill as a politician than as a leader. * MilitaryMaverick: Inverted. Captain Geary is thought of as crazy ''because'' he uses reasonable and not particularly noteworthy tactics. This baffles his officers, who fervently believe charging in guns blazing straight at the enemy is the only honourable and sensible way to fight in fleet combat. ** Ironically, this HonorBeforeReason mindset was inspired by the cult of personality built up around Geary's very own LastStand at the start of the war. * NapoleonDelusion: Mention is made of a medical condition called a Geary Complex where an officer believes that they are the only one who can save the Alliance, sometimes believing themselves to be the reincarnation of Captain Geary. At least one medical officer seems to believe the THE Captain Geary is suffering from a Geary Complex. * TheNeidermeyer: Captain Numos in Spades. * NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: Played straight and Averted. Geary never speaks ill of the dead, even when frustrated with commanders who got their crews killed due in part to the mindset of the fleet commanders and his training to praise in public and admonish in private. Rione has no such compunction. ** Geary also tries to give [[spoiler: Captain Falco]] credit for things he may have done before the ship he was on blew up. * NoodleIncident: "Black Jack" Geary refuses to explain how he got his nickname. ** A particularly dark version is referenced, an incident a long time ago prompted the Alliance to devise the [[ThisIsUnforgivable most dishonorable death]] that they could humanly imagine. And some felt that it ''[[DisproportionateRetribution still]]'' wasn't bad enough punishment. * NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Subverted right in the beginning. Captain Geary tries to make good on this only to realize that several of his ships are clearly not going to make the escape from the enemy until another ship (commanded by his grandnephew!) performs a HeroicSacrifice. ** In ''Invicible'' they are scrupulous about it. * NoPronunciationGuide: Numerous instances, including Commander Gaes (according to the audio books, her name is pronounced "gaysh") * ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: It's about to happen, and then Geary interrupts it when he flies into an angry lecture admonishing his sailors for such extremely deplorable methods. It's almost a figurative slap to the face toward everyone, who was turning a blind eye to it all. * OfficerAndAGentleman: Geary and Desjani fit this to a T. Painfully so, after they clearly communicate in unspoken language [[spoiler: their mutual romantic attraction.]] But do not act on it, or even acknowledge it in words, because it would be inappropriate. * OhCrap: At the end of the third book, the Alliance fleet is about to leave Lakota [[spoiler: for the first time]]. While they were there, [[spoiler:the aliens diverted to Lakota about half of a Syndic main force]] who'd been going somewhere else. As they're leaving, who else should show up but [[spoiler: the ''other'' half of the Syndic fleet,]] following them from Ixion. ** Basically, anything involving [[spoiler: exploding hypernet gates or alien ships]] is a very, very big OhCrap moment. ** [[spoiler: Right at the end of ''Dreadnaught'', the fleet jumps into what they suspect might be the border of yet another alien race. They are not disappointed as the system has a planetoid sized fortress at each jump point, capable of firing 900 ship sized missiles at once, and the largest ships yet seen. Quite the change from the much more reserved Enigma race, whose one claim to awe-inspiring technology was the Hypernet Gates.]] * OldFlameFizzle: A problem when reuniting with prisoners of war. * OlderThanTheyLook: Geary, being a popsicle going on 100 years will do that to ya * OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: Averted, with a twist. There's no mention made of any of our present religions, but both Alliance and Syndics believe in a divine power referred to as "the living stars." The Alliance, at least, also devotes one of the most protected areas of each ship to a chapel, of sorts, where people come to commune with the spirits of their ancestors. The relation between the living stars and the ancestors is never really spelled out, but people speak of either group, more or less interchangeably, having sent Geary to save the Fleet ''and'' get it back on the right moral track. ** Then later subverted when Geary hears of a new myth that appeared in the last 100 years: if you pass through a black hole system, it makes you want to fly the ship into the black hole. Geary is left wondering where the hell that came from, because it used to be standard procedure to use those systems for travel. * OverclockingAttack: Attempting to destroy the hypernet gates results in an explosion somewhere between a nuclear bomb and a supernova (depending on how they are destroyed). [[spoiler:From all appearances, the gates were designed to work this way, but [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum humanity]] [[BlackBox never noticed]].]] * PointDefenseless: Averted completely. The weapons all capital ships carry are just as effective against small targets as large ones and small one man craft have neither the weapons nor the shielding to be able to win against larger vessels. They aren't any faster or maneuverable either thanks to the vacuum of space. * PortalNetwork: The hypernet gates. ** Also, the jump points in each system which allow for FTL travel between nearby systems. * PropheciesAreAlwaysRight: It is believed that the ancestors of the Alliance would send Black Jack Geary to save the Alliance [[InItsHourOfNeed when he was needed most]]. Though, technically it was more like, the Alliance ''found'' Black Jack Geary when they would need him most. * RammingAlwaysWorks: Highly unrecomended, given the speed the ships are traveling even the slightest contact would destroy both ships involved. * RankUp: In Relentless, after the fleet gets back to the Alliance, the senate council promotes Geary past every rank directly to Fleet Admiral, which hasn't been issued in centuries, to his extreme discomfort. * [[ViewersAreGeniuses Readers Are Geniuses]]: The descriptions of the battles. Very complex 3D tactics are involved. * ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Captain Geary's subplot primarily involves him being this and resisting becoming a dictator. ** It's also one of the few blessings he gets over the course of the series. Not all the ship captains are as gung-ho as others. Even some members of the Senate's Grand Council, for all the accusations of corruption the fleet directs at the civilian government, are reasonable, and cement this fact by refusing to use the Hypergates as doomsday weapons. * RedBaron: 'Black Jack' Geary. Many of the Syndics and some of the Alliance officers are practically ''terrified'' of him. More than one [[CassandraTruth refuses to believe]] he is who he says he is. Interestingly [[ZigZaggedTrope flip flopped]], since Geary is ''not'' the heroic 'Black Jack' persona the Alliance crafted of him; however, he spends much of the book fighting [[DrunkWithPower his own temptations]] to use that image to [[TyrantTakesTheHelm become a despot.]] ** Also 'Fighting' Falco and Otropa 'The Anvil' * RedemptionEqualsDeath: After she comes under suspicion of being disloyal to the anti-Geary conspiracy, they kill [[spoiler: Captain Gaes -- and her entire crew]]. But not before she manages to out the killer to Geary. * ResignedToTheCall: Eventually Geary realizes that, even if he gets the fleet home, he can't resign his commission. The Alliance ''[[ButThouMust needs him]]''. * {{Revenge}}: Geary contemplates this on aliens. * TheRival: Desjani and Rione are this to each other. First being romantic competitors for Geary, even after Desjani ends up with John, they still bicker with each other over almost everything. * RunningGag: ** The ''Fast'' fleet auxiliary ships. Which move with all the speed of a beached whale and even slower when they're loaded with cargo. The implication seems to be that they're fast compared to their predecessors. Which is like saying a snail is fast compared to a two-toed sloth. ** Anytime there's a reference to something from our time, usually a phrase (such as "persian donkeys"), the characters have absolutely no idea where it originated from. * SchrodingersCat: One admiral is embarrassed to say he did not know which side he would take if Admiral Bloch [[spoiler: attempted to seize power]] if he succeeded in ending the war when he first left to attack the Synic Homeworld. ** [[CallBack Called back]] later: "You know, Admiral, we talked once about the cat in the box, about not knowing whether you'd do the right thing, no matter what, when the time came. I'm happy to inform you that the cat is alive." * SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Dear living ''stars'', averted. The fleet jumps into a system, and its sensors show where all enemy ships in the system are -- or rather, where they ''were'' when the light the fleet is seeing left them. The enemy won't see the fleet for another however many hours -- days, in some cases. And if the enemy force is large, they know there'll be a fierce battle ... in another day or three. At one point, Geary thinks about how bizarre it seems that he's leaving the bridge for about six hours to get some food and sleep while they're technically in the middle of a battle -- but right then, there's literally nothing useful he ''can'' do except make sure he's well-rested when it's time for quick decisions. ** Played straight considering the length of time both sides have been fighting. The idea that two enemies could sustain a war to a stalemate for almost 100 years is very far fetched, considering how much a war time economy drains a nation's resources, in terms of financial capital, equipment, metallurgy, and especially manpower. ** At least by the end of the sixth book, the Syndic Systems are falling apart, with similar circumstances being all too possible for the Alliance (had Geary's victories not severely bolstered morale). The newest ships in Geary's fleet, the ''Adroit'' class, are also appalling underdesigned, having cut back on basically everything and with corners cut everywhere they could, including sensors so bad they need to mooch off of ''other'' ships' to function. It is all too clear that the war was very nearly over, one way or another, before Geary got into the picture. * SecretTestOfCharacter: DoubleSubverted. When the Alliance fleet comes across a small colony of abandoned Syndics (Dying Planet, below) who will soon die if they don't intervene. Geary decides to save them because he thinks it's a SecretTestOfCharacter provided by their ancestors. Even though there is no test to speak of, he still believes they need to pass it. [[spoiler: Later it's revealed the governor of one of the Syndic worlds had family that Geary helped save, and in thanks she provides them with the location of much needed supplies they can get.]] * ShoutOut: A one-line mention in ''Victorious'' that Captain [[TheIncredibles Parr]] commands the ship ''Incredible''. He later speak up more often as the series goes on. ** ''Dreadnaught'' has a Shout Out to ''Literature/OrlandoFurioso'' with [[spoiler: Alliance Captain Bradamont who's fallen in love with a Syndic officer named Rogero]]. ** If a spaceship had plants on board, one was usually called [[Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors Audrey]]. The reason for that, if there was a reason, was "lost in the mists of the past." * ShroudedInMyth: Captain John 'Black Jack' Geary after he is used as the shining example of a sailor by the alliance. [[spoiler: 'Black Jack' because his 'official' biographies claim, among other things, that his performance reports were always in the black - that is to say, meeting or exceeding expectations. Geary denies that this was true, and evidently always disliked the nickname.]] * SinkTheLifeBoats: a habit on both sides. Geary is ''not pleased'' when he finds out. ** The enigma race sink their entire ships, crew and all, if they can't escape to prevent anything from being learned about them. * SoProudOfYou: Geary's reaction to the fleet on a regular basis. * SpaceIsAnOcean: Averted. Space battles and maneuvers always take full advantage of three-dimensional space. The fact that direction is based entirely on point of view in space is addressed more than once. One minor exception to this aversion would be when Geary notes that evading ships will always travel "up" relative to the plane of the system, when "down" makes just as much sense. * SpeciesLoyalty: The spider-wolves appear to be impressed by this in humans. * SpinOff. Beyond The Frontier is a Type 8 for the Lost Fleet. * {{Squick}}: An in-universe example. It's never stated what, and not even a clue is given to the exact genre of squick (ie. sexual or not), but there are underground networks in the fleet used to share videos of ... something ... that makes battle-hardened veterans become very queasy. The officer who reveals that this network was used to transmit a viral worm is very nervous about coming forward. ** Extends somewhat into ThereShouldBeALaw, except that it's mentioned it's technically not illegal, as it's all computer generated. If actual humans were used, "the producers would find themselves facing eternity in prison." * StandardSciFiFleet: Of course, but nothing smaller than a destroyer is fit for relativistic combat due to mass-thrust ratios. Fast Attack Craft (starfighters) do exist in small numbers but they're short-range, weak and easily destroyed. * StarcrossedLovers: Captain Bradament and CEO Rogero. * StarfishAliens: ** Those who know about the enigma aliens spend most of their time trying to figure out how they might look or think, and come to very little real conclusions, fitting their name. The aliens are later proven to be amphibian physically, though their exact mentality is subject to debate, aside from ''extreme'' paranoia. ** Geary encounters two new alien species, one that looks like teddy bears, the other like an unholy cross between spiders and wolves. Ironically, the spiders-wolves are the only ones we can relate to and who actually communicate instead of trying to kill us. * StealthInSpace: Considered and averted. in the case of the enigma. They try to figure out how they hide their ships, then eventually realize that they're just hacking their sensors. * TheStoic: Captain Shen, who's facial expression remains firmly neutral. Geary is surprised to even see a ''ghost'' of a smile touch his lips on one occasion. * StrangerInAFamiliarLand: In a conversation with Geary, Duellos talks about his visit home after the war ended and how completely everyone's mindset had changed, leaving him feeling obsolete. * StunnedSilence: Captain Badaya's reaction for about half a minute when Geary allows him to keep his command after he chokes in a bad situation. * TakingYouWithMe: Two sets of aliens go in for suicide attacks. * ThemeNaming: In-universe, the bureaucratic workers of the Alliance appear to have a sense of humor, though perhaps a particularly bland one, when it is revealed it is common practice for them to assign Admirals with similar last names, at least with the same first letter, to a system. Perhaps for ease of filing. ** The star systems of the Enigma that the fleet passes through are all named after some unpleasant version of the afterlife. * ThereAreNoCoincidences * ThickerThanWater * ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: A non-heroic example. Commander Benan attempts to do one against Geary after he learns Rione slept with him, forcing Desjani to interrupt him before he can issue the challenge before she's required by regulations to execute him for it. Apparently, this became a common thing during the war and the Alliance had to work hard to quash it through heavy handed regulations. * TitleDrop: The series name is only mentioned once in the main set of six books: Right after Geary manages his closest victory yet, nearly totally out of power, and returning the fleet home. ** The individual books titles (ships) are mentioned at least once during their respect books and usually have a key part in the story. * TortureAlwaysWorks: Sharply averted; the Intelligence officer says they ''never'' use torture because it's unreliable. In fact, he distinguishes between "beating them up" and "outright torture," saying that the former isn't quite as unreliable as the latter, but they still never use either. Considering that until Geary came back, the Fleet had gotten into the habit of murdering prisoners, this wasn't a decision based on moral concerns. * TrappedBehindEnemyLines: The entire premise of the beginning of the series. Almost the whole Alliance fleet gets ambushed in their attack on the enemy homeworld. In fact, [[spoiler: the Syndics believe they have the Alliance fleet SO badly trapped they neglected to defend the system jump point, because everyone has almost stopped using them altogether after they became obsolete.]] * {{Two-DSpace}}: ''Heavily'' averted. The formations and tactics used by Geary are not simply 3 dimensional, but ''4'' dimensional. Time plays an incredibly decisive factor in winning a battle, especially since everything the commander sees is happening hours after it happened. At one point, Geary is simply unable to micromanage every part of his fleet in the middle of battle trying to account for it all. ** [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in ''Dreadnaught'', where it is used to interpret new regions in a simpler fashion and [[spoiler:figure out that the Enigma Race has political borders within its own territory, indicating that the species is subdivided into factions.]] * UncannyValley: [[spoiler: When the Enigma Race communicates, they use a computer-generated human avatar. They seem realistic enough until they start talking, and then the combination of tone, expressions, gestures, and syntax becomes extremely off-putting and obviously unnatural.]] [[invoked]] * UnequalPairing: Geary and Desjani. They're pretty much the ''only'' people in the entire fleet who realize why they can't be in a relationship. Everyone else, even those who know they're not in a relationship, are either all for it, or joke about it approvingly, much to their equal dismay. * UnfriendlyFire: Captain [[spoiler: Kila]] attempts to kill Geary ''three times'' before she is discovered. * UngratefulBastard: [[spoiler: Kila]] who, despite having been saved by [[spoiler: Geary's leadership]] [[MoralEventHorizon kills fellow Alliance sailors]] just to oust [[spoiler: Geary]] because he doesn't fight the all-out, GuiltFreeExterminationWar way she wants him to. * UnwantedFalseFaith: In the years after his supposed death, Geary's legend developed into a sort of cult-like following, where military commanders admonish each other for what they think Geary would supposedly say about their ideas. It's quite clear that Geary feels ''extremely'' [[StopWorshippingMe uncomfortable]] with the ardent faith his subordinates have in his flawlessness. It doesn't help that even people like Desjani think he's been sent by the God's themselves to deliver them unto victory. ** This also complicates the nature of his command, since his captains have all adhered to the cult surrounding his legend, and have all have mostly exaggerated or distorted views on what they thought Geary was suppose to believe. It becomes hilarious when he catches one belligerent captain about to invoke his name...against him. Because he isn't the legend they've all been led to believe, Geary constantly battles doubts against him that extended hypersleep made him feeble. * TheUriahGambit: Minus the MurderTheHypotenuse undertones though. It becomes increasingly clear throughout ''Dreadnaught'' that the First Fleet has been sent out to die by the Alliance government to remove the troublesome situation Geary's mere existence causes (as well as that of the VIP POW's they were ordered to pick up on the way out). * UrsineAliens: The bear-cows. * {{UST}}: Which is less romantic than the people not involved seem to find it. * VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The premise of the first book series is modeled on the march of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Thousand_%28Greek%29 Ten Thousand.]] * WartsAndAll: Geary. The way each character reacts to the "real" Geary speaks volumes as to their own character, with some even preferring his real self to the myth. * WeCanRuleTogether: A rather bizarre, sort-of version done by Geary. He's trying to convince a young CEO (or at least an officer) that both the Alliance and Syndics need to achieve some sort-of peace, and that it's for the greater good that he reveal any information on [[spoiler: the aliens]]. Rione snaps at Geary that this guy is a CEO, and to appeal to his greed for power. Geary suggests that, of course, when the time comes for talks, Geary will need someone he's familiar with to facilitate an agreement. The man instantly perks up. * WeHaveReserves: Both sides. There are far too few combat veterans in the officer corps because the attrition rate is so high. By the time of ''Dauntless'', the turnover rate of the officer corps is so high both sides are reduced to Death Before Dishonour tactics to keep fighting. * WhatDidIDoLastNight: Rione has to ask Geary this the morning after a drunken BSOD upon learning her husband may be alive. * WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt: Geary discusses the naming of the battlecruiser 'Invincible' with one of his subordinates, who observes that ships named 'Invincible' (high turnover rates mean the Alliance military gets by using the same set of a few hundred ship names for all the new ships produced) tend to have an even shorter combat life than most. [[spoiler: Sure enough, the new 'Invincible' turns out to be a bullet magnet, but subverts the trope in that it narrowly escapes destruction as the most damaged (surviving) ship in the entire fleet.]] ** The previous ''Invincible'' '''barely''' survived the Mutiny with Captain Falco, and they wound up scuttling it anyway since it was too battle-damaged to save. Geary and the rest of the cast were amazed that it could even move let alone have enough of the hull intact to keep the survivors alive. *** Well, it ''did'' survive the attack, just not well enough. [[FridgeLogic Might be considered]] a {{Deconstruction}} on 'Invincibility' *** It should be noted that it is in the fleet where 3-years-old ship is considered exceptionally old. ** The ship ''Arrogant'' becomes the first to [[spoiler: disobey a direct order]]. ** ''Dreadnaught'' leads a hopelessly outnumbered charge into the enemy to protect its compatriots. Although, averted later as Jane tells John that when she ordered the charge, she was scared out of her wits. * WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Averted with the fate of Captain Grundel, a lazy and obstructive officer Geary had 'transferred' to conduct a worthless study in the first book. He isn't mentioned again until the last book, where the fleet leaves him behind in Alliance space (and he's still working on a study of the supplies the fleet will need to get back to Alliance space). * WhatMeasureisANonCute: The spider wolves. * WithDueRespect: Used, discussed, and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at various points. * WouldNotShootACivilian: Geary is horrified the Alliance kills [=POWs=] and Syndic civilians en masse. And his enraged rant about how they will ''never'' do it again so long as he is command is a slap in the face to all his officers. * WritersSuck: Captain Desjani mentions in casual conversation she considered becoming a literary agent rather than joining the fleet, but "taking that job would have meant I had to work with writers, and you know what they're like." * YouAreInCommandNow: Geary, obviously, but also Colonel Carabali when the marine general is murdered with the rest of the high command and numerous junior officers after Geary fires their superiors for treason, incompetence, or cowardice. * YouCantGoHomeAgain: Geary * YouShallNotPass: Geary pulls one a hundred years before the story begins at the first battle of the ForeverWar. This leads to the Alliance making him into a demigod-like war hero to rally around. The problem was that [[HesJustHiding he was in survival sleep in an escape pod with a damaged beacon]]. ** The seventh Battle ship division stay behind during the first retreat from Lakota, [[CurbstompCushion giving them hell as they go.]] ----[[redirect:Literature/TheLostFleet]]
27th Feb '13 1:41:14 AM Riftx
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* DeadlyDodging: Geary involves the entire fleet in this in escaping the Bear Cow home system, involving both the enemy fleet and their space station blocking the jump point out
27th Feb '13 1:36:15 AM Riftx
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* DeadGuyJunior: Not yet, but Desjani made Geary agree that should they ever have a daughter she be named after [[spoiler:Jaylen Cresida]] whom fell in the final battle getting the fleet home.
16th Feb '13 6:48:53 AM MAI742
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* HumansAreWhite: Averted, or rather dodged, in that skin color, and for that matter hair and eye color, are never even mentioned, for anyone. ** Used on the [[CoversAlwaysLie book covers]], which always portray Geary as white and usually blond. Granted his name does suggest British descent making him guess what color. ** ''Dreadnaught'' finally specified someone's hair color: green (due to genetic engineering). She's from the colony world Éire, which is why they engineered for green hair, so she's ''probably'' white.
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* HumansAreWhite: Averted, or rather dodged, in that neither skin color, and for that matter nor hair and nor eye color, colour are never even mentioned, for anyone. ever mentioned. ** Used on the [[CoversAlwaysLie book covers]], which always portray Geary as white a European, and usually blond. Granted often a blond one at that. Granted, his name does suggest British descent making him guess what color. descent. ** ''Dreadnaught'' finally specified someone's hair color: colour: green (due to genetic engineering). She's from the colony world Éire, which is why Éire. Given the choice of name, they engineered for green hair, so she's ''probably'' white.might well be more ethnically European than not.
28th Jan '13 2:12:22 PM Narsil
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Oops—the mistakes I caught were in the sequel series
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Humans have faster-than-light travel but not communication, and FTL travel doesn't work within a solar system—so in the many space battles, characters' information is limited by the speed of light. Usually this is done properly, but on a couple of occasions, characters on ship A see distant-ship B's reaction to event C (such as a fleet arriving from hyperspace) before A actually sees C (and they'll even have time to wonder what caused B to act as it did). Geometrically, that just can't happen—no matter where A, B, and C are, A will be able to see C before it can see B's reaction to C. * BadassBoast: Geary in, ''Valiant'' when dealing with a Syndic base that won't take back ITS OWN CIVILIANS.
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* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Humans have faster-than-light travel but not communication, and FTL travel doesn't work within a solar system—so in the many space battles, characters' information is limited by the speed of light. Usually this is done properly, but on a couple of occasions, characters on ship A see distant-ship B's reaction to event C (such as a fleet arriving from hyperspace) before A actually sees C (and they'll even have time to wonder what caused B to act as it did). Geometrically, that just can't happen—no matter where A, B, and C are, A will be able to see C before it can see B's reaction to C. * BadassBoast: Geary in, in ''Valiant'' when dealing with a Syndic base that won't take back ITS OWN CIVILIANS.
28th Jan '13 2:10:49 PM Narsil
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Added DiffLines:
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Humans have faster-than-light travel but not communication, and FTL travel doesn't work within a solar system—so in the many space battles, characters' information is limited by the speed of light. Usually this is done properly, but on a couple of occasions, characters on ship A see distant-ship B's reaction to event C (such as a fleet arriving from hyperspace) before A actually sees C (and they'll even have time to wonder what caused B to act as it did). Geometrically, that just can't happen—no matter where A, B, and C are, A will be able to see C before it can see B's reaction to C.
27th Jan '13 3:39:41 PM GeorgeTSLC
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Not an adjective series.
** The enigma aliens, as their name implies, don't even have a real frame of reference to even properly ''guess'' what they're thinking. Most of what is gathered later points to a near fanatical, adherence to privacy and paranoia, doing whatever they can to try and keep themselves from being studied, fought, or even seen. They go as far as to blow up their ships to prevent them and their crews from being studied.
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** The enigma aliens, as their name implies, don't even have a real frame of reference to even properly ''guess'' what they're thinking. Most of what is gathered later points to a near fanatical, fanatical adherence to privacy and paranoia, doing whatever they can to try and keep themselves from being studied, fought, or even seen. They go as far as to blow up their ships to prevent them and their crews from being studied.
26th Jan '13 9:47:59 AM RickOShea
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spelling corrected
* CoversAlwaysLie: For some reason the publishers felt it necessary to put Geary in armor holding a BFG while posing in some exotic location even if such a scene has never appeared in any of the books to date. Heck, until ''Victorious'' he doesn't even leave the ''Dauntless'', and then for a space station. It took until the ''Beyond the Frontier'' series for him to finally set foot on a planet -- a friendly one, where the biggest danger was hordes of adoring fans. Lampshaded in ''Invincible'', when Geary and Disjani are talking about her writing a tell all book about him if he dies and she jokes that it will have a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall misleading cover]] of him doing something he never did, like [[SelfDeprecation making a heroic pose with a gun.]]
to:
* CoversAlwaysLie: For some reason the publishers felt it necessary to put Geary in armor holding a BFG while posing in some exotic location even if such a scene has never appeared in any of the books to date. Heck, until ''Victorious'' he doesn't even leave the ''Dauntless'', and then for a space station. It took until the ''Beyond the Frontier'' series for him to finally set foot on a planet -- a friendly one, where the biggest danger was hordes of adoring fans. Lampshaded in ''Invincible'', when Geary and Disjani Desjani are talking about her writing a tell all book about him if he dies and she jokes that it will have a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall misleading cover]] of him doing something he never did, like [[SelfDeprecation making a heroic pose with a gun.]]

* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: A non-heroic example. Commander Benan attempts to do one against Geary after he learns Rione slept with him, forcing Desjani to interrupt him before he can issue the challenge before she's required by regulations to execute him for it. Apparently, this became a common thing during the way and the Alliance had to work hard to quash it through heavy handed regulations.
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* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: A non-heroic example. Commander Benan attempts to do one against Geary after he learns Rione slept with him, forcing Desjani to interrupt him before he can issue the challenge before she's required by regulations to execute him for it. Apparently, this became a common thing during the way war and the Alliance had to work hard to quash it through heavy handed regulations.
26th Jan '13 9:45:10 AM RickOShea
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* NoPronunciationGuide: Numerous instances, including Commander Gaes (according to the audio books, her name is pronounced "gaysh")
22nd Jan '13 1:11:07 AM Maka4
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* GreenEyedMonster: Rione has a ''bad'' case of this towards Desjani over Geary's affections in ''Valiant'', to the point of making jabs at Desjani while sitting in Desjani's command bridge.
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