...I mean it IS robotechnovels.com ,,,,, and some of the Facebook posts do get long and I don't like the look of them.

So for this post I wanted to give some time to one of The Sentinels secondary characters;

Harry Penn...

Described as a "designer of exotic mecha" (I'm open to your suggestions)...and one of the branches of Emil Lang's tree of specialists in Robotechnology which included Sheamus Bronson, R. Burke and of course Lazlo Zand.

Is he one of those characters that stands out like some of the others? Hmmm...not so much. He is the oldest member of the Plenipotentiary Council...and...kind of a grouch.

"Toys," Dr. Harry Penn told Lang, an undisguised note of disapproval in his voice. "War toys, when we could be fashioning wonders." He was a large man with a gruff-looking exterior that masked the gentlest of spirits. The thick mustache and beard he had grown to mask the pockmarked, hooked-nose cragginess of his face had only ended up adding to the effect he had hoped to minimize. It was a scholarly, academic image he was after, and as the oldest member of the Plenipotentiary Council and one of Lang's top men he felt he deserved no less.

"There'll be time for that when this mission returns," Lang said evenly. "Until then we have to be sure of our strengths."

Penn made a disgruntled sound. "A peaceful mission, a diplomatic mission...Am I the only one who remembers the meaning of those words?"

RN - Sentinels: The Devil's Hand

But his claim to fame in the Robotech: The Sentinels isn't so much of his mecha designing skills and being the cynic.

He's father to one main character Karen Penn.

Karen, will get her own posts in the future, but it is interesting to see his overly protective nature with her.

Max rogered the transmission; Karen Penn, Harry's only daughter, said, "We're on our way." 

Lang risked a quarter turn and found Penn regarding him with a mixture of surprise and rage. "You're awfully quiet, Harry, is something wrong?" 

"Have you gone mad, Lang! You know I didn't want Karen participating in this test." 

"What was I supposed to do, Harry, refuse her permission? Don't forget, she volunteered, and she's one of our most able young pilots." 

"But I don't want her to get mixed up in this, Emil. Can't you understand that? Science is her future, not warfare." 

RN - The Sentinels: The Devils Hand

And as I have said on the Facebook Page, one of the outstanding themes in the Sentinels story arc is liberation. When it occurs to Karen, that doesn't sit too well with dad.

"Karen, a moment please." "You gonna chew me out now?" 

"Calm down," said Lang. "I'm going to recommend you for assignment to a Veritech team." 
"Just a minute, Emil," Penn said, one hand clasped around Karen's upper arm. "Don't you think you're overstepping your authority?" He had already lost his wife, and Karen's joining the RDF had threatened to destroy what had once been a close relationship. Now Lang seemed bent on trying to scuttle what small joy he had left. 

Lang pried his friend's fingers open and motioned Karen along. "I'm sorry, Harry, but she's old enough to make up her own mind. You can't hold on to her forever. Besides, if this mission should encounter resistance, we're going to need experienced pilots." 

"Resistance," Penn snorted, and began to storm off. But half-a-dozen steps away he swung around. "All the more reason to hold on to her for as long as I can."

RN - The Sentinels: The Devils Hand


Brian and Jim do clue us in on the why of Harry Penn wanting to hold on to his only child.

Here's a peculiar thing: I wasn't the only one at the Academy with something to prove or disprove; I never asked, but it seems to me now that there were a lot of em like me, pushing the envelopes of their own lives the way the test pilots were pushing the envelopes with their aerospacecraft.

My father's Doctor Penn, naturally, and everybody calls him the leading brain on Earth after Emil Long. I like my father, but I think he has the conviction that because I didn't accept that New Rhodes scholarship, and went into the Academy instead, I'm some sort of intellectual failure. Since I'm enjoined to tell you about all the things that pertain, I'll say that my father still holds the death of my mother, in childbirth, against me-unconsciously, of course.

I forgive him-he's a brilliant man. But I don't want him running my life. I have my own agenda.

From REF-selection diagnostic session, cadet-graduate Penn, Karen

RN - Sentinels: Dark Powers


Karen's eventual joining with the Sentinels puts a rift between Lang and Harry which from a Plenipotentiary Council standpoint, and this is guesswork, wold have probably affected his votes concerning T.R. Edwards.

"With Rick and Lisa and all the other men and women who had joined the Sentinels' cause missing and presumed dead, there were precious few people Dr. Lang could trust, let alone seek out for company or old-fashioned good counsel. Things had not been the same between Lang and Harry Penn since Karen left..."

RN - The Sentinels: Death Dance

Harry Penn...a grouch....a designer of exotic mecha...loving father (in a really clumsy way!)...

Then there's Jack Baker...

But that's another story for another day.

Much love and kick ass!




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