“Hey, hey!”

In manga and anime high school rom-coms, there is a trope where the female childhood friend of the male protagonist, after years of keeping her love of him a secret, finally screws up her courage to confess.  It is at that moment when the hot-looking, overbearing transfer student bursts into the classroom shouting, “hey, hey!” and all of the quiet friend’s plans are shattered.

On Friday, my family departed for a 10-day vacation at my sister-in-law’s place on a lake in N. Louisiana.  Perfect, I thought, I can finally wrap up the MS for “Empress’ Crusade,” pass it onto a copyeditor, then relocate myself into the basement to begin practicing audio recording to make audiobooks!  Heck, EC is already 72k words, making it one of my longest, so it is time to stick a fork in it and say it’s done…

“Hey, hey!”

Doing some calculations about moving Faustina’s legions about the Deep South and the goings on around Fort Benning, I saw someone.  Another female (of course) but older; hard to tell her exact age as the room was very dark.  She had no need for light:  her eyes had been torn out some years before.  I beheld Alexandra;  part Muscogee Indian and also another demi-human (though she’s yet to tell me who modified her) who is halfway between what Faustina is and what Tracy came to be at her ascension.  A new character and a huge wild-card at that, in the setting sun of the second book of my Crusade Trilogy… exactly what I need (if I used emojis there would be an eyeroll here).

I’ve spent most of today, Sunday, getting Faustina from Birmingham up to Huntsville.  I stopped there for two reasons:  she really likes the 32-year-old Mayor of that town and it is her 19th birthday.  I don’t think she sleeps with him – she is in the middle of campaign, after all – but I did not want to rush things.  Once I have that written down, I’ll have to turn to understand just who and what Alexandra is; there is a definite religious aspect to her, which would turn any assault of Faustina’s army against Fort Benning into a religious war… never a good idea.

The one and only time that Faustina looked into the Void and at what few electronic systems and records there were at Benning, she did not encounter any conscious mind, human or machine.  Perhaps Alexandra was asleep then?  I’ve no idea.  I just hope to resolve this time a timely –

“Hey, hey!”

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