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     Solarians 

Governor Oravil Barregos

A Maya Sector governor under the Office of Frontier Security (at least on paper), Oravil Barregos is a major player in the Wages of Sin spinoff series. An extremely shrewd and ambitious politician, he is totally dissatisfied with the way OFS runs its pocket fiefdoms, and, seeing ahead to the inevitable outcome for the League, does his best to prepare himself and his sector for it. He's not above personal gain, though: the best way, as he saw it, was to carve out the Maya Sector as his own personal little kingdom.

  • Anti-Hero: Is Barregos building a political lifeboat to save the entire population of the Maya Sector from the impending collapse of the Solarian League? Yes. Does he stand to make an enormous personal fortune and live like any other corrupt Oligarch while ruling Maya when his plan comes to fruition? Double yes. Does he sleep soundly at night knowing he's plotting treason and has murdered several people who have gotten in his way? Triple yes.
  • The Chessmaster: A careful and patient planner. After multiple books setting up the Maya Sector, Barregos is able to secede from the League by making the Maya Sector vote on its own government, then he pulls a PR coup that ensures he will essentially be elected President for Life.
  • The Strategist: The brains behind a very promising separatist movement. Barregos is able to secure himself against Manticore, Haven, and the Solarian League by offering guarantees of protection to Torch and political cover to Erewhon. Torch keeps Manticore and Haven from sniffing around in his backyard. And Erewhon gets him a brand new fleet full of that sweet, sweet cutting edge Manticoran technology that can fly faster, shoot better, and last longer than the newest Solarian vessel in service.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Both successful assassinations in the Crown of Slaves were done on his orders.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His ultimate goal is to spare the Maya Sector from the shockwave of the crumbling League, but he's not above some, ahem, questionable means. Including outright assassinations.

Rear Admiral Luiz Rozsak

The main associate of Governor Barregos and the military man in the duo that rules Maya Sector, he is the iron hand in Barregos' velvet glove. A commander of the Frontier Fleet detachment tasked with local protection, he provides the means to turn the governor's schemes into reality, as well as devising schemes of his own. He's just as ambitious as Barregos, and no less willing to do what he has to do. As it is, he comes out as a rather ambivalent character: he's extremely ambitious and ruthless and not above some dirty tricks, but at the same time is responsible and noble, having moral standards and being willing to fight for his convictions.

  • Anti-Hero: After a round of Character Development.
  • The Brigadier: One of the few genuinely competent Solly officers in the series. He's one of the few Solarians to trade blows with "modern" Havenite ships, survive, and realize how hopelessly far behind the invincible Solarian Navy is when compared to pirates from the People's Republic.
  • The Captain: He was, until not so long ago.
  • The Cavalry: Riding to the rescue of Torch.
  • Character Development: From somewhat less than savory, if likable, secondary character, to the genuine (if still somewhat less than savory) hero.
  • The Chessmaster: The military fist behind Barregos' political handshake. Loyal to his direct superior and the plan, Roszak prefers careful and deliberate planning over rash action. If Rozsak says it can't be done, Barregos knows to listen.
  • The Determinator: As it happened, to the Harrington level, no less.
  • Four-Star Badass: In a series where half the main characters could qualify for this trope without lifting a finger, Rozsak stands out for being able to do more with less, developing a sector navy that goes from being delusional about their inherent superiority, to curb-stomped by Havenite pirates, to one that could (theoretically) fight off the Solarian Juggernaught even before Honor decapitates their navy at Jupiter.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His main hobby is... cooking. And he's very good at it. Barregos actually has sensitive, top secret political conversations over dinners cooked by Roszak.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is written as "Luis Roszak" throughout A Rising Thunder.
  • War Is Hell: Which he realizes after the conclusion of his very first naval battle, against The People's Navy In Exile.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: And we really mean "well intentioned" here, because he even got to prove his intentions.

Captain Daud ibn Mamoun al-Fanudahi

A Battle Fleet officer assigned to the Office of Operational Analysis. One of the few who has taken Manticore's technological advances seriously.

  • Cassandra Truth: One of the few Solly officers who realizes that the SLN is badly behind the times. Of course, almost no one believes him.
  • Properly Paranoid: He's one of the first non-suborned Solarians to realize the Mesan Alignment is manipulating the League into its conflict with Manticore. Anyone he explains his reasoning to quickly finds himself or herself wishing for a large helping of Brain Bleach.
  • The Smart Guy: Once variosu intelligence leaders finally do start taking him seriously and inviting him into their ranks. Everyone their tends to be pretty smart, but he's the one with the most details and insight about big-picture stuff.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Most of the people he works with got their positions based on patronage rather than ability, and it shows in the quality of their work.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: al-Fanudahi knows that his constant pointing out of Manticore's greater capabilities is going to inevitably cost him his career. Especially as the Solarian Navy suffers more defeats and he's in prime "I told you so" position. But by the time that happens, all the information will be out there and his successor will be better placed to help strategize based on it.

Permanent Senior Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Innokentiy Kolokoltsov

Officially, he is a high-level bureaucrat who works for the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. In reality, the arrangement is actually the other way around, and his "boss" does well to keep that in mind. While he considers himself something of a chessmaster, he freely admits that he lacks any expertise in military or economic matters. As a result of this, he only begins to grasp the depth of the situation involving the Solarian League and the Manticoran Empire after things have begun to spin badly out of control. He harbors a theory that the so-called "Mesan Alignment" is just a conspiracy theory cooked up by the Republic of Haven to get the Manties to shoot at someone else for a change.

  • Almighty Janitor: While he is admittedly a high ranking bureaucrat on paper, his actual power and authority vastly outstrips that of any of his superiors in the government, and this is essentially an open secret even amongst other governments such as the Star Empire of Manticore. Of course, none of his power is supported by the League's Constitution, but most people stopped paying attention to that centuries ago.
  • Break the Haughty: He and the other Mandarins suffer this badly by the end of Uncompromising Honor, seeing their government defeated by a power then looked down on for so long, and then being arrested for war crimes.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Amusingly, he's not — by the League standards, anyway — and genuinely tries to do the right thing as he sees it. He's just rather inept at this.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: He is not amused when he and his fellow Permanent Senior Undersecretaries are dubbed "The Five Mandarins" in Audrey O'Hanrahan's investigative news reports.
  • Everyone Is Standards: Constantly appalled by reports he's getting from the front (and by his colleagues Abuzzri and Mac Artney's utter ruthlessness and complacency).
  • Evil Chancellor: Though only a junior minister, he effectively controls the government, with the responsible cabinet official serving mostly as a figurehead.
  • Got Me Doing It: He later catches himself using the "Mandarins" moniker in his own internal monologues, much to his chagrin.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Is on the receiving end of this trope. If Kolokoltsov continues to prosecute the war with Manticore, millions will die and the League will bleed funds and ships until the military is destroyed and the government toppled. If he makes peace, the myth of inevitable League invincibility will be shattered and the galaxy will be hit with such a case of Balkanize Me that Manticore and Haven could snatch up any systems they want unopposed- and no one could stop them.
  • Ironic Name: His given name a Russian variant of the late-Latin name "Innocent", which means exactly what it seems.
    • Under a certain angle he might indeed been viewed as innocent — a proverbial babe in the woods, used by Alignment as their unwitting pawn.
  • Jumping Off A Slippery Slope: Goes form try gin to stop a war that a renegade Solarian captain started, to trying to blame Manticore for that war (while still trying to limit casualties) to authorizing or implicitly condoning increasingly vicious and criminal behaviors by Solarian League Naval commanders. He's helplessly aware of this, and unhappy about it, but not enough to stop. At one point, he looks over an operations proposal and wonders if his fellow Mandarins will be as sickened by it as he is, and then wonders whether they'll also vote to authorize it anyway.
  • The Man Behind the Man: By the end of A Rising Thunder, any of the men who he is officially behind are blatantly ignored by pretty much everyone.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Falls under the President Scheming, as while on paper he's a mere bureaucrat, with the way League's actually working, he's effectively its acting Prime Minister, and his default working mode is to plot and to pull the strings — like, in fact, everyone in the League who wants anything done.
  • President Puppet: Is guided by the Alignment by the tip of his nose for the whole time he's onscreen, but still fails to notice that.
  • Slave to PR: Once the hostilities with the Grand Alliance broke out, he is forced to stick to the losing game, because in his opinion once he does the sensible thing and as much as listens to them (with the precarious state the League's unity is in), it will cause the PR catastrophe so huge that it would pretty much ensure the League's breakup.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Has thus far failed to realize that he is just another pawn in the Mesan Alignment's chess game.

Audrey O'Hanrahan

One of the few honest investigative reporters in the Solarian League, O'Hanrahan also happens to be one of the only one of those who has a very large audience in the League, and as such, she has become quite the thorn in the side of the Mandarins during the political and military crisis between the Solarian League and the Star Empire of Manticore. Also, she is a high-placed deep-cover agent in the Mesan Alignment.

  • Going for the Big Scoop: Just when it looks like things are turning up Aces for the Grand Alliance, the Alignment decides to use Audrey's public credibility to give the Alliance a black eye. She's packed up and sent to Mesa to cover the Ballroom Terrorism Campaign gripping the system and make it look like the Alliance is allied to a bunch of lunatic terrorists killing tens-of-thousands of innocent people. Never mind that the bombs are an Alignment operation to cover up Houdini, but she doesn't need to know that...
  • Intrepid Reporter: Famously so. She is one of the few widely-viewed reporters in the League who tries to cover both sides in the League's disputes with the Manticorans. A Mesan agent takes advantage of this to leak information to her that will lead to further decay in the relations between the Manties and Sollies.
  • The Mole: See above.
  • Spanner in the Works: For the Solarian League's more sinister plots, due to her willingness to dig up and reveal secrets about what they are secretly up to.

Commissioner Lorcan Verrochio

The OFS commissioner in charge of the Madras sector, adjacent to the Talbott Quadrant.

  • Corrupt Politician: Par for the course in the OFS, although less vile in his practices than most.
  • Unwitting Pawn: On several levels, even. Not only does his vice commissioner manipulate him, he is also a pawn of The Alignment.

Vice Commissioner Junyan Hongbo

Second-in-command to Lorcan Verrochio and distinctly more competent than his immediate superior.

Commodore Francis Thurgood

The senior Frontier Fleet officer in the Madras Sector.

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     Mesans 

Albrecht Detweiler

Albrecht Detweiler is the current CEO of Manpower Incorporated, which just happens to be the galaxy largest supplier of genetically engineered slaves. He was genetically engineered and trained from birth to lead the corporation and the entire planet of Mesa. He is also the de facto leader of the Solarian League (or at least a fairly large chunk of it); not to mention he probably has his hands in the domestic and foreign affairs of several other star nations. Unbeknownst to most people, Manpower and the slave trade are only a cover for Detweiler's real plans of galactic domination.

Aldona Anisimovna

A member of the Manpower Incorporated Board of Directors and one of Detweiler's operatives. She has been behind the multiple attempts by Mesa to destabilize Manticore's annexation of the Talbott Cluster. This has included supplying arms to militant groups opposing the annexation, trying to get the star nation of Monica to start a war with Manticore over the annexation, and generally trying to create a situation where the Office of Frontier Security could move in and seize control of Talbott.

  • Ambiguously Gay: She checks out a beautiful young secretary during her stay on New Tuscany in Storm from the Shadows, even thinking said secretary would be great as one of Manpower's pleasure models. Of course, as she had been brought into the Onion by that time she might have only been appreciating her genes more than anything else.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: A must for any Mesan worth her salt.
  • The Chessmaster: Par for the course for Mesan agents.
  • Ensign Newbie: In a way. She's fairly big in the outwardly visible Mesan hierarchy, but was fully brought into the Onion only recently.
  • Evil Is Sexy:invoked Referred to (tongue-in-cheek) by a Manticoran officer as a "Man Eating Blonde". Somewhat to her detriment as it makes it much easier for the Manticorans to connect the dots when various compromised plotters end up giving very distinctively similar descriptions of their handler.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: And, surprizingly to everyone, it's Manticoran culture.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Most of Manticore's enemies in the Talbott Cluster were taking orders from her, or at least receiving assistance from her.
  • Wicked Cultured: To a minor extent. She's a huge fan of Manticoran classical music.

Isabel Bardasano

Another scion of Mesan star genetic lines, Bardasano was up-and-rising member of the Alignment and one of its senior security specialists. In fact, she was responsible for much of the Mesan espionage and behind-the-scene operations, where she was usually partnered with Aldona Anisimovna, another senior Mesan executive. But where Anisimovna was a planner and manipulator, Bardasano was an enforcer, and she rather loved her job. In the end, however, she tasted enough of her own medicine when one of her senior subordinates decided that he's got enough and did a Heel–Face Turn.

Jack McBryde

A mid-level Mesan security operative, who was coming from a less-tweaked genetic lines (but still an Alpha). He was, however, high enough on the ladder and effective enough to be fully brought into the Alignment's plans, and one of Bardasano's henchmen. He was a chief of security in the scientific center where Dr. Simões worked, and, after hearing the man's story and becoming his friend, did a Heel–Face Turn, ensuring his escape to Manticore.

(Dr.) Zack McBryde

Brother of the above and one of the more prominent Mesan scientists, deemed important enough for the Alignment to be included in Houdini. Originally introduced in Torch of Freedom to complement his older brother, one of the storylines in Cauldron of Ghosts centers more on him, his evacuation from Mesa, the reasons why he did not like it in the slightest, further proofs of the LRPB being too clever for their own good, and the start of his inevitable Heel Realisation too.

  • Foil: To his brother.
  • Guile Hero: He managed to hide his disillusionment with the Alignment and a couple of bodies coming from it pretty well.
  • Heel Realisation: Once he himself felt the true methods of the Alignment security apparatus, he understood his brother's disillusionment pretty quickly.
  • Indy Ploy: The guy thinks pretty fast on his feet, which isn't a trait frequently seen in theoretical physicists.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Well, he didn't commit any true betrayal so far, but he lost his faith in the Alignment and its goals pretty much completely, so it is only a matter of time.

Dr. Herlander Simões

Mesan hyperphysicist introduced in the Torch Of Freedom. A supremely talented scientist, he was perfectly content with his research and his family, until this nice little world was shattered by the outside force. Namely, a decision of Long Range Planning Board, the supreme Mesan policy-making authority, to cull his daughter as a failed experiment.note  This started a downward spiral leading to him having a nervous breakdown, Heel Realization and finally deciding to defect.

  • Defector from Decadence: Decided to defect to Manticore to somewhat make up for serving the Alignment.
  • Happily Married: He was until his daughter was selected for culling, but his crusade against the LRPB and his unending grief finally cost him his marriage.
  • Heel Realisation: He didn't like what he saw around, when he finally looked.
  • Papa Wolf: When he knew that his daughter is to be taken from him he did everything he could to get her back. Unfortunately, with the rather predictable results.
  • The Professor: A near-textbook example.
    • It was mainly Simões who came up with the streak-drive — the new-gen hyperdrive that allowed speeds almost twice as great as any other design. And now he works for The Haven-Manticore Alliance.
  • There Are No Therapists: There are, but he just knows too much to let anyone of them even to his general vicinity.

Damien "Firebrand" Plays with Fire Harahap

The Alignment agent in the general Talbott area, including also nearby Solarian controlled systems in the Madras sector, who is tasked with causing the general unrest and bringing Manticore and the League in conflict. An ex-Solarian Gendarme, he's a personable, but incredibly cynical guy who is explicitly said to follow "the best game in town". Later, after his operation blows into his face, he defects to the Grand Alliance and gets adopted by the treecat named Clean Killer/Fire Watch — who, in turn, gives him his treecat name of Plays with Fire.

  • The Ace: In fact, he was said by Honor to inhabit the same rarified sphere of high-level spookery as the likes of Anton Zilwicky, Victor Cachat, Kevin Usher and Jacques Benton-Ramirez y Chou.
  • Affably Evil: Firebrand is a genuinely affable guy who is actually averse to antagonizing his marks because this would upset his job.
  • Agent Provocateur: ...whose task is to throw the Solarian League and Star Empire of Manticore into war. He eventually succeeds, though largely because by that time both sides already were all for it. Subverted in that he never expected Manticorans to really support those rebellions in the Madras sector that he fomented in their name.
  • Anti-Villain: Firebrand isn't the evil man as such, and essentially was forced into serving the evil side. It's the fact that he does work equally well for both the bad and the good guys what makes him a truly ambiguous person.
  • The Atoner: After switching the sides he does what he may to correct what he did before.
  • Defector from Decadence: Firebrand has never much liked either of his employers, and once the chance presented itself was only delighted to switch for the good side.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Agnes Nordbrandt stepped up her terrorism campaign he was disturbed.
  • Heel Realisation: One of the main reasons for him switching sides was that he just got tired of justifying what he does for a living to himself.
  • He Knows Too Much: Which is why he's been implanted with the Alignment's suicide nanotech, presumably similar to their "Rat Poison" compulsion one, which would activate once it doesn't receive the reset command. It turns out, however, that he wasn't — which probably happened due to all the confusion after the Green Pines incident: he apparently was scheduled for this, but both the plans and the records were among the ones destroyed by Jack McBryde. This is what allowed his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Gets trapped on a planet when the revolution he was fomenting gets accidentally kicked off early and then the Manticorian support he lied about actually shows up.
  • Lovable Rogue: Whatever can be said about the guy, he has a hell of the charisma and tends to get liked by everyone.
  • Morality Chain: Clean Killer acts as one for him. As Honor points out, there are few better guarantees of good behavior than an adoption bond with a treecat.
  • Multi-Ethnic Name: As usual in Honorverse. "Damien" is French, and "Harahap" is Indonesian.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: When Mike Henke decided to really give the Manticoran support to various Madras sector resistance groups that he advertised. Which in several cases turned into the textbook examples of The Cavalry.
  • The Nondescript: Actually described as such once, which only helps in his line of work.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: He was thoroughly indifferent to the goals of both the League and the Alignment, and is only distantly engaged to the Alliance cause. In fact, he was stated to genuinely hate the League even despite rising to the officer rank in the OFS's Gendarmerie — it simply was the best way to escape the oppression in the Protectorates. Actually, he genuinely likes to be a spook, and mainly switched to the Alliance side because working for the good guys was easier on his consciousness.
  • Oh, Crap!: Damien has a colossal "Oh Crap" moment when a three-way coup happens on the planet Seraphim and he finds out about it at a Pad Thai restaurant. The System President dies while making a PR tour aboard an old, locally-built starship that mysteriously explodes. The Vice President, the System Military, and the local State Sec all think the others pulled an assassination, or they recognize the ship was a flying deathtrap and just plan to use the crisis to seize power. Systemwide communications are shut down, all interstellar vessels are grounded, and Damien Harahap has just made his first delivery of military grade weapons to the local rebel faction which they plan to immediately put to use- along with his promise Manticoran naval support.
  • Only in It for the Money: His main motivation. In fact, main reason that he now works for the Alliance is not because he buys into their goals, but because it's simply easier on his consciousness.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Doesn't bear his targets any malice whatsoever. To him it's all just another job.
  • Sadistic Choice: What (he thinks) he presents to the Manties in the Shadow of Freedom: if they don't support all those rebellions he promised aid in their name, they'd lose all credibility among the smaller nations around, and could also be blamed for the death and destruction. If they do support those rebellions, that would be an act of war against the League, which he assumed Manticore would want to avoid, or, at least, has no chance of winning — or so he (and his Alignment handlers) thinks. Unfortunately to him, by that point the Manties didn't give a good goddamn about the latter.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After the Manticorans actually show up to bail out the Seraphim revolutionaries, one com call lets the revolutionaries know they've been played by Damien. They bring him to the spaceport and he's greeted by a platoon of Seraphim soldiers and a pair of Manticoran Intelligence officers who'd like to have a chat with him about all the promises of naval support he's been making on the Queen's behalf. To his credit, Harahap just surrenders.
  • Wild Card: If Firebrand could be said to be on anyone's side, that'd be his own.

Rufino Chernyshev

A senior Alignment security operative and Firebrand's handler. After the Green Pines debacle he gets pulled from the field to step into Bardasano's shoes, which finally gives him the opportunity to see the bigger picture of the case he served so fathfully — and he doesn't seem to like it very much.


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