After slightly more than a week – and trust me, it was awful – of no writing, I may have settled on a new idea I can turn into another novel. Being me, contrarian, what with anyone stupid enough to pay attention to the MSM, they would think the Russians are the modern Hitler; every last man, woman, and child. Of course, the idiots who listen to the MSM also thought covid-19 was a pandemic.
So, being said contrarian, my next book, if it takes hold in my mind, will be about Russians. Specifically, the Russian Empire moving into what is left of former US and Canada after the Change in my future history of Machine Civilization.
I’ve mentioned often enough that while there are some legacy Romanovs on the throne in St. Petersburg, all real power is held by the Prime Minister, Reina. Reina is also an AI made by the Mendrovovitch Company, hence their tribe name. Like kudzu, this person runs through all of my recent stories and there seems no way to get rid of her. Admittedly, she is very interesting: unlike tribe Tohsaka with their Four Laws, Reina kills easily.
In my second-to-last novel, Obligations of Rank, Part Two has a Canadian Officer Cadet, Eloise Patel, telling “undercover” Crown Prince Robert about the Canadian’s two military engagements with the Imperial Russian Army. I wondered: the Russians have Alaska, British Columbia, and are about to take the Kingdom of Columbia… why push over the Rocky Mountains against someone who can still shoot back?
Once I asked the question, they started to give me answers. Let’s see how this unfolds, friends.
“Those are your orders, General. If you think you are unable to execute them, I shall find a man who can.”
The voice from the tablet’s screen was harsh, grating, commanding. And that of a young girl. Not a single subject in the entire Russian Empire, military or civilian, made the mistake of thinking her one.
“You mistake my question, Prime Minister,” Major General Suvorov replied. “I was pointing out that the late spring snows have delayed our final supply train from Vancouver over the Rocky Mountains. I requested a one-week postponement until it has pulled into the station, here in Calgary. The men will perform better knowing their supplies are on this side of the backbone of this continent.”
Not being human, the image only showed a reaction when she wanted to. On the tablet, he saw only her head – attractive Slavic face of clear white skin, wide, slightly reddish eyes, short dark hair except for a two-centimeter fringe down the right side of her face to her chin. Below that, Suvorov could see she wore the collarless, dirty white shirt of a Chekist. It was ominous she chose that rather than a high-collared military jacket.
“You and Major General Maslov were to move in concert: he south through former Seattle, then into first the Centralia Valley, through Portland, then down the Willamette Valley.” She blinked once. “At the same time, your force leaves Calgary, making for Winnipeg. Any delay allows the possibility of an enemy to concentrate against one divergent thrust at a time.”
“There is no military or political coordination between the Kingdom of Columbia and the Republic of Canada…” he began.
“That we know of,” she interrupted. “Couriers on horseback are invisible to people such as I.”
A Thinking Machine. The most dangerous on earth.
“Plus,” Suvorov bulled on, “my counterpart is moving six hundred kilometers through territory where he is expected. I, on the other hand, am traversing twice that against a power we have already fought with twice.”
He decided to gamble.
“If anything, General Maslov should be held in reserve to support my force if we meet overwhelming resistance, Prime Minister.”
Her reddish eyes narrowed just slightly. Not a good sign.
“You started riding that hobbyhorse when this operation was planned.” The tablet felt colder in his hands. “I said no then and I’m saying no, now.”
“However.” Her face returned to its normal expression; that is, expressionless. “Weather is a factor. There is a stationary front about six hundred klicks north of you. If it drifts south, the passes might be closed again.”
“I allow you to delay your operation by three days. If I do not perceive your forces in motion east at that time, your career is over.”
The screen went blank.
And quite possibly my life along with it.
Suvorov wanted to swear but you just never knew who was listening. Instead, he stood and walked out of his private office to where the staff of the 77th Brigade waited for him.
“Three-day delay,” he announced. The relief in his men was obvious. “But in that time, I want our lead scouts patrolling further out.”
A few steps had him to a table covered in maps.
“At least a company in Brooks,” he said, pointing at the map of western Canada. “And I’d like some eyes on Medicine Hat, as well.”
“Won’t that just telegraph our intentions to any pickets the enemy may have out?” his intel captain asked.
“The Canadians are socialist mongrels but they are not stupid,” the general replied. “They know we’re coming.”