The title of this article is a conjecture. Though the topic is found within the Honorverse, no official name is given.

A secret Havenite planetary prison was located on Hades, often referred to as "Hell", a planet in the Cerberus System.

The location of Hades and the Cerberus System itself was a state secret, known only to InSec and its successor, the Office of State Security. Because the prison was an unacknowledged rumor, it served as a terror threat to any possible opposition. And as it did not officially exist, State Security felt itself unconstrained by the Deneb Accords in its management of the planet.

History[edit | edit source]

The Republic of Haven began to use the planet as a prison world during the Legislaturalist period. The People's Republic regime merely continued the prior practice, though after a time, they acknowledged Hades existed. Little was explained and so it remained a source of terror, though a less legendary one.

It was initially established by the Office of Internal Security to manage political prisoners (enemies of the state). These included prisoners of war from the assorted systems Haven conquered in the period before the war with Manticore.

When StateSec took over following the Pierre coup, it began keeping political and military prisoners closer to the Haven System for easy interrogation, and began using Hades as a dumping ground for prisoners too troublesome to keep elsewhere, but too valuable to shoot outright.

By 1911 PD, about half a million prisoners were scattered in small camps across Hades, guarded by State Security personnel under the command of Brigadier General Dennis Tresca. (HH7)

In 1911 PD, Manticoran Commodore Honor Harrington was captured and brought to Hades for execution. However, her crew freed her from PNS Tepes in the Cerberus System. They escaped to the surface of the planet in two assault shuttles. With the support of POWs on the planet, Havenite warships were captured and the Elysian Space Navy was created. After the Battle of Cerberus, the Elysian Space Navy left for the Manticoran Alliance territory, rescuing almost 400,000 people from Hades. (HH8)

See: Operation Lunch Basket

Camp Charon[edit | edit source]

Camp Charon, the planetary administration center, was on a large island (Styx). It contained the control center for the system defense network, the only maintenance and supply center for aircraft, and had the only communication equipment on the planet.


  • Charon Control, including communications department
  • Base Ops
    • 2 duty pinnaces
    • shuttles
  • ground units
    • Morgue - at least 50 battle armor suits
    • armored units
  • hospital
  • agricultural department

Charon Isle had been terra-formed and was the only source of foodstuffs for the entire planetary population. Farming was done by prisoners, supervised by the prison staff. This arrangement allowed a very large inmate population to be controlled and managed by a very small guard detachment, making Hades an extremely economical operation.

Known personnel[edit | edit source]

Commissioned Officers[edit | edit source]

Enlisted Personnel[edit | edit source]

  • Sergeant (SS) Rodgers - Jardine's shuttle crew (†)
  • Corporal (SS) Gearing - Jardine's shuttle turret operator (†)
  • Corporal (SS) Fierenzi - Jardine's shuttle crew (†)

Uncertain Rank or Rating[edit | edit source]

Shrevner - Base Ops crew

Mentioned prison camps[edit | edit source]

Prisoners were assigned to one of several hundred camps, physically isolated from all others. Camps were limited in population to prevent any from achieving 'critical size' during an attempted uprising, and to permit a single cargo shuttle flight to deliver a month's ration for the camp. Most of the camps on the planet were named by number and continent. Thus Camp Alpha 315, or Beta 12. Only one camp had no number, Camp Inferno.

Inferno[edit | edit source]

Camp Inferno was the only named prison camp, and served as a collection point for those deemed incorrigible (eg, as troublemakers), but insufficiently so to earn execution. It was located near the center of the Alpha continent, directly on the equator. (HH8)

Alpha 11[edit | edit source]

Lieutenant Weiller was imprisoned in the Camp Alpha Eleven.

Alpha 78[edit | edit source]

Camp Alpha Seven Eight was mentioned as supplied by StateSec functionary Harriman in 1913 PD.

Alpha 79[edit | edit source]

Alpha Seven Nine was mentioned in 1913 PD as supplied by StateSec functionary Harriman with over 225 thousand rations per month. There were about 2500 prisoners.

Beta 11[edit | edit source]

Camp Beta Eleven was one of the camps to which were transferred prisoners who elected to remain in Hades, after the planet was taken by Harrington and her people. The inmates there decided not to have a radio.

Beta 28[edit | edit source]

There were about 2500 prisoners in the Camp Beta Two Eight as well.

Delta 19[edit | edit source]

Some high ranking officials from the Legislaturalist's Treasury Department regime had been imprisoned there.

Delta 40[edit | edit source]

Camp Delta Forty was used as a holding facility for People's Navy officers who had been defeated in battle or who had otherwise incurred StateSec displeasure, but who hadn't (yet) been executed. Since the Committee of Public Safety had hopes of eventually rehabilitating some of them, the conditions at Delta Forty were rather better than at other camps, lest the officers held there be permanently embittered against the regime. Possible senior officer - Admiral Sabrina Longmont.

Other camps[edit | edit source]

  • Captain Harriet Benson's previous camp, where she was commanding officer, punished with five months of starvation, inmates poisoned with toxins present at the false-potatoes, a couple of dozen Manticoran POWs were sent there,
  • Lieutenant Henri Dessouix' first camp, where he left his people,
  • Rear Admiral Harold Styles' camp, where he was a very likely senior officer,
  • two depopulated camps between supply flights - probably because of diseases,
  • two camps starved to death, called Kilkenny Camp No. 1 and 2.

Prison policies[edit | edit source]

Camps were not provided seeds for edible plants, nor livestock, and so all were entirely dependent on food drops, made monthly, for survival. Prisoner food supplies were laced with contraceptives.

If a camp attacked a supply shuttle, the camp was excluded from food supply runs, leading to death by starvation. Two such camps had been treated in this fashion before 1911 PD. Even defying orders from shuttle crews could result in skipped monthly supply runs, resulting in nerve damage as residents attempted to sustain themselves by eating the only semi-edible native plant, or by resorting to cannibalism. StateSec personnel nicknamed this "Kilkenny Cat Provisioning", after the Kilkenny Cat story from Old Earth.[3]

If a weapon were to be detected within one hundred meters of a supply shuttle landing pad, everyone within the landing zone was killed by heavy pulser fire.

Camps were so located that travel time on foot between any two required more rations than could be saved.

Post-escape provisional administration[edit | edit source]

It wasn't described, who was left to operate Camp Charon - to provide a food supply and medical care for wounded naval personnel - after the Battle of Cerberus and evacuation of willing prisoners. StateSec chain of command very likely was reestablished after three months, in January 1914 PD, when StateSec investigators from Haven appeared on Hades.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. According to Havenite Public Information Honor Harrington's execution was carried out by an officer in rank of full Colonel.
  2. Commander (SS) Ragman was the false identity, created to mimic some communications officer.
  3. To relieve the boredom in their barracks, sadistic soldiers stationed in Kilkenny, Ireland, tied two cats together by the tails, hang them over a washing line to fight and place bets on the "winning" cat. Although gambling was contrary to military regulations, the story goes that the soldiers, alarmed by the impending arrival of an officer, released the cats by cutting their tails with a sword. When the officer arrived and inquired about the scene facing him, he was told that two cats had fought each other so fiercely that all that remained were the two stubs of their tails on the ground.
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