Colour Her Surprised

Right on the heels of hearing the wife of a Crown Prince is not allowed to travel, Aurie gets another shock to learn Jimmy Burns is no longer just under house arrest but the authorities are transferring him to the provincial capital. Without her older friend there for her, she might have started two wars in five minutes.

As an encore, Colour then goes on to suggest a way out of this mess, with her nephew on the Northern Federation’s Governing Council playing a part.

Starting, or I suppose, resuming, in the next installment we are back to Jimmy’s perspective. I must have had a lot to cover as I already lay down about 3300 words. This is morphing into my largest book ever.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

Not sure what all that meant, Colour carefully stood and moved across, putting Aurie’s head into her lap.

Treating me like a daughter again.

“Why don’t you rest?” she suggested, brushing her black-purple hair.  “It’s only, what, another twenty minutes or so.”

“I wish I could.” Hartmann sat up but rested her head on the woman’s shoulder.  “It gets worse.  And I want to start lobbing nukes.”

“Calm down.  I’m right here,” she replied, putting her arm about her.

I am not some colicky baby!

“Jimmy has been moved from Canso to Halifax.  There is talk of Ottawa,” the dangerous demi-human said to her chest.  “I will not allow this.”

“I agree,” Colour said, surprising her and pushing her off.  “We should put together a plan right now.  And no nukes.”

“We should?  You will?” Aurelia was nearly speechless for once.

“You said in private and public he’s your man,” Colour said with a toss of her head.  “But, like with my country when you showed up with your army, let’s start with a ‘please.’  Hey, now, what’s this?”

The princess’ eyes were filled with tears that would not fall.

I want to call her mama.  I cannot.  Never.

“It’s nothing,” Aurelia said in a rough tone, sitting back and dragging her jacket sleeve across her face.  “What do you suggest?”

“After that address of yours, and of course what the Canadians know from the pirate raid, you cannot say there’s nothing between you and Jimmy,” Colour mused, just catching the sign of the river they were crossing:  Tennessee.  “So, why not ask for him?  Couch it in diplomatic terms if you want but say ‘I really like this guy and want to keep him.’”

“And, ‘I’ll nuke you if you say no!’” Aurelia laughed at Colour’s glare.  “Kidding!”

“Sometimes I don’t know with you…”

“The train will be arriving just as we do,” the demi-human said with a flash of her eyes.  “Wanna record a message for Filk now, while it’s just us in the back of the car?”

“Record…?”

“Just tell me what you want him to hear.  I’ll turn it into text and send it to him.” A blink.  “Y’all do still manage email, right?”

“We don’t have spaceships but we are not primitives, little girl,” Colour groused.  “Uh.  Let me see… Dear Nephew, it’s been an amazing ten days since my last message to you…”

Hartmann’s face was inches from hers, listening.  That she just barely whispered back what Jansen was saying as she said it, the human found disconcerting and a little confusing.

“…and as you have surely heard, my houseguest is now the functioning empress of the imperium.  Anything you want to apologize for?  In the last two days, I have seen more agricultural and industrial power than in my long life.  They, well, she, Aurelia, even showed me their spaceships.  This is a land of wonders, Filk.”

“…wonders, Filk.” Aurie’s lips barely formed.

“But, culturally, we a very different.  I think the vote of the plebiscite was right:  let’s trade goods and ideas for a while before committing our Northern Federation to an alliance.  Honestly?  I think we will have to, sooner or later, but they are willing to give us time.  That’s polite and, I think, demonstrates their sincerity.”

“…demon-strates…” the demi-human smiled.

“If there is going to be a problem, it will be from our northern neighbor, in Ottawa and Trudeau, not Montreal.  In fact, I may need you, personally, to help out with a matter related to that.  Quite the coup for you if you can broker a minor deal about a personnel issue between these two powers.  Maybe that would be enough to impress your girl into marrying you!”

“Sneaky…” Aurelia mouthed.

“Until then, behave yourself.  And check on my house.  Dust it, too.  With love, Aunt Colour.”

“Have the NorFeds broker a deal between this unstable, young regent and the sane, stable Canadians, even for such a small matter,” the princess smiled, leaning back.  “I liked you from the moment I saw you.  I know more why, now.”

“Let me know what your nephew says,” Aurelia told her as the cars came to a stop at the MAGLEV station.  “And this may involve you taking a trip back up north to make it all work.  Let’s talk about this more on the ride to Savannah, Colour.”

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