My tiny handful of regular readers know that since I became a writer, one salutary fact has been rammed down my throat: there are no such things as coincidences. As a young godless materialist I would shrug and call an event a “statistical outlier.” Once I was a Catholic Christian, I fell back on “we cannot see God’s ways.”
In my second year as a writer, when I was 49 years old, I realized: fuck me.
Time and time and time again, I would see something and it would show up first in my writing and later in meatspace. God, obviously, is trying to make a point to me. One, admittedly, I am still learning. Saying all that to say this…
Four hours ago, see the post, I completed the raw manuscript of “Goddess’ Crusade.” The core battle of that novel is how Faustina recognizes her opponent has an overwhelming advantage of armor and considers what she can do to neutralize it and win. Being her military father’s daughter, she plucks an example from history and plans accordingly.
Five hours later, tired and just wanting to relax, I retire to my basement to watch a few videos before going to sleep. Ah! A new video from Kings & Generals… it’s about… about…
Fuck me. Pharsalus. There are no such things as coincidences.
“Exactly.” Their general walked away to get some hard cheese and a drink of water. She lifted her left hand and raised one finger at a time. “We’re deep in a land that not only is not ours, but disposed to the other side. With half-rations my legions can only last another fortnight. Rough intel says we’re slightly outnumbered in infantry and hopeless on armor. The terrain is to the enemy’s advantage. They have internal lines.”
She chopped at the air with her now open hand as she turned about.
“They’ll think they cannot lose,” Gibson said carefully.
“And we all know that we must win.” Faustina’s grin was wolf-like. Three steps had her back to the table. “We’re going to display the entire army for battle, here, in what looks like clear view but as excellent concealment if we wish it. It might take a day or two to provoke them – but I will, gentlemen! – and when they move against us we pull out, fast. Fast! I want their grunts all the way up to their nutjob leader wondering if we’re ghosts! Got that? Fast!”
She moved the map a little. And pointed again.
“We reform here. On the lesser terrain. Huddled in ourselves. Scared.”
The excitement in her voice was obvious.
“General?” Tapscott turned the map around and looked. Turned it again. Looked more. “You’re talking about – ”
“We are not going to say the name, legate!” she almost crowed. “My luck will be proverbial! But it is good planning, the best officers and staff, and speed, which will be the truth never told in the history books! Now, I want comments, criticisms and improvements. Tonight! I do not think we can march tomorrow but even if I’m on the road alone, by Christ I am leaving the morning after! Deus Vult!”