Apologies for yesterday. I try to stay about 1500 word ahead on these but I do not know if I was exhausted or just had some summer cold. Fortunately off from DayJob, I slept most of the day. I made a steak dinner but was too tired to eat and even didn’t drink any alcohol. Yeah: anyone who knows the slightest bit about me should re-read that: I turned down steak and alcohol.
Back to DayJob for just a little today as I also had to make a doctor’s visit about this ganglion cyst on the underside of my left wrist. Been putting up with it for two months but it started to hurt all the time. Looks like minor surgery in mid-September to excise it.
More importantly, it seems Aurie gets both playful and frisky in the early mornings. Can you imaging her doing this with a legion of 5200 men? Or her current army, four times that size? I bet all those men are in love with her and scared to death of her. Which is a good place to be for General Hartmann.
Aurelia awoke at 0500. Eyes shut and not moving, she listened to the sounds of the old house in a strong wind off the bays of the Atlantic, five miles to the southeast. Not just well built but well maintained, she thought. It would be a bother to fight these people.
Detecting no one else awake, she opened her eyes and sat up. Too far from any signal, she would have to wait until back in Brunswick to hear any dispatches from High Command or the empress. The only bathroom had a door, she had discovered last night, that locked from the inside of the bedroom, puzzled by that, once in, Aurelia realized there was another door from the bathroom out, acting as a mudroom as well as a bathroom for this sturdy house in a harsh climate.
Interestingly, neither had been locked. Crime here must be nearly zero. But, crime is driven by race, then culture, and I like what I have seen of both. Even annoying kid Filk got her just a little lubricious. Time for a shower!
There was a small natural gas-heated water tank but she ignored it. Legionary culture was that if there was an army in the field, none of them used hot water. And that includes my puffed-up aunt, too! she thought, doffing her camisole and panties and turning only the “cold” handle. It was freezing but unlike her poor men, she simply ignored the signals her skin was sending her brain. Colour had her own soap but, concerned over a possible skin reaction, Aurelia had brought hers from her saddlebags.
Rinsing, there was a tap at the door.
“Two clean towels!” Colour called, not coming in. Used to bathing in a river next to a thousand men, the little general smiled at her modesty. “I’ll start on breakfast.”
After drying off, she stepped on the carpet over the slate floor to her bags for a fresh uniform. Having expected this meeting, it was the only one she had not yet worn and so the only one that did not smell a little of mold or mildew. No indication of rank to make herself a sniper target, her only identifier was “Hartmann” stenciled over her right breast. A glance at her sidearm in the bag produced a fractional shake of her head. I am the greatest threat here, not a pistol.
Coming out into the main room, Colour’s nephew had just sat up in his sleeping bag, rubbing his eyes. His clothes were what he was wearing last evening. Her nose told her bacon and eggs; a staple of any army.
“Unzip that bag,” she ordered the young man, who immediately did. “Now, take my hand.”
Once he did, he was out and standing before he knew what happened. His only concession to comfort had been he had taken his trousers off. The princess leered.
“Morning wood,” she laughed at him, tossing her head over her shoulder. “Go take a cold shower, Councilman. That’s how we do things in the legions!”
Back to his glare of last evening, Aurelia deliberately smacked his butt with her hand. Because I can.