Mulish Colour

I think the relationship between these two is evolving. I’m rather curious as to where.

Also nice to see Colour is no longer taking Aurie’s bullshit. It’s as if the more powerful Hartmann becomes, the stronger Jansen’s spine becomes.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

Fifteen minutes later, with everyone returning to work, Aurelia tossed her head for her friend to follow.  Out another door, Colour shaded her eyes with her hand against the bright sun.  It looked like another hangar was ahead.  Blinking and getting used to the light, she looked and looked, hearing a tiny snort from Aurie.

“What am I looking at?” she finally whispered.  Something rectangular, the size of a soccer field, but maybe twenty feet thick.  And ten feet off the ground.  Silent.

“An L2; troop transport,” Aurelia laughed, hugging Colour.  What will she tell her homeland about this?  “It can move four cohorts and their equipment, including artillery, anywhere on earth in less than two hours.”

She paused to watch her friend do the math:  two thousand men at thousands of miles per hour.  Aurelia saw in her face she was recalling her experience in the scout saucer.

“For natural disasters, things like that,” the princess kept on.  Her blood pressure is high right now.  “I guess someone could use it for an air assault… not really thought about it.”

“Liar.” Another whisper.  “You, all of you, built this for a reason.”

“Saw through me again, Friend.  Are nations static things?”

“Static… what?”

“A nation, and certainly an empire, is a meta-consciousness.  It has a life cycle just as we mortals do.  And, right now, the empires of the Polar Alliance are young and feeling their oats.” We should get something to eat soon.  “Do you know what I hear through my lines right now?”

Colour turned to frown at her.  “Don’t patronize me.”

“The Mexicans are moving a brigade and two regiments north from San Diego, occupying the rest of old California.  Their Central Valley was once the most productive agricultural land in the world.  San Francisco is a near-perfect deep-water harbor,” Aurelia said, ignoring the jab.


“Yeah, long way from your home, so who cares, right?” She smiled to not let her words hurt.  “The Texans, our friendly neighbors, are nervous about this.  The Russians, our allies, have hegemony over Oregon Province, at least down to Eugene, and an historical claim to northern California.”

“And all of this while Empress Faustina is on her way to Mars.  Just by accident, I’m sure,” she concluded.

“My headstrong young friend, we both know…” Colour began.

“There are no such things as coincidences,” they spoke together.

“But,” for once, Colour took the initiative and kissed the princess’ forehead, “that still doesn’t justify – ”

“Would it be better,” Hartmann interrupted her, “for the Mexicans to meet a, shall we say, peacekeeping force around Redding, at the northern reach of the Central Valley?  Or would a meeting engagement with the Russian Army be better?  If my aunt could burn St. Louis to bedrock, what do you think someone like Reina could and would do?”

“Similarly,” the Regent said, putting her hand into the small of Jansen’s back and pushing her into motion, toward the huge transporter, “suppose my army wasn’t still up north?  After my play this morning, the Canadians, seeing you on the stage with me, could have troops pouring across the border right now.”

“Which,” Colour counter-interrupted, “is something I am older about, to steal your idiom, that you did very deliberately.”

“Of course.  The empress is not old but does not have the recklessness of her youth.  I would see a complete solution to the Canadian question before she returns,” she said, as they crossed to the shadow of the great craft.

“I feel like it’s going to fall on me,” Colour muttered.

“It had better not!” Aurie laughed.  “Unless everyone associated with the motor wants to hang from crosses!”

At that unpleasant declaration, Jansen stopped again.

“You want to face the Canadians down.  Just to be the heir,” she accused.

“Just?  No.  I want to do it because I can,” Regent General Princess Aurelia Hartmann admitted.  “You, and my love, have seen me for what I really am.  A demon.”

“Stop that!” Jansen yelled, attracting attention from those nearby.  “You are not!  That was a one-time event to, as you admitted, save the ones you love.  Don’t pull stupid shit like that with me, friend.”

“I apologize,” the princess said with a tiny nod.  “Come, I have a meeting with chief of engineering about readying a rescue craft if we need one.  What we will say is just classified enough that I’ll drop you off at the mess hall on the way.  You get whatever you want and a plate of some meat and cheese for me, please.”

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