Book 17. Part Two. 7

Interesting to learn that the imperium has factions in it, as well. Makes sense: any politics leads to factions. However, without any electoral system, would that scale up into parties or remain dissident cells?

Also, I think for the first time ever, there is a mention of India in my future history. I know Europe and China, and Mexico has annexed Southern California, southern Arizona, and western New Mexico, but India and South America are a blank to me. Perhaps Eloise can tell us more in Part Three.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer! 

The tour was about two hours.  They were two of the ten visitors there.  Afterward, at the Visitors Center, Eloise had tossed back her small portion all at once.

“Wow!” she cried.  “Sour mash whiskey!  Never even heard of it!  I want a case!”

“You are a case of nothing but trouble, Lieutenant,” Bob said softly.  Damn my family obligations, sometimes.  “Let’s walk about the grounds and have a talk.”


“Later, El.  Later.” Does alcoholism run in her family?

“I’m guessing,” he said, holding her left hand as they walked amongst the trees on the distillery’s grounds, “that ‘dog’s breakfast’ was just as much a code word as ‘garment,’ when you were speaking to General Burghy?”

“For a regular human, you pay too much attention, Bob,” she growled, clenching his hand.  “And yes.  Just as garment means I’m telling the truth, that means, well, it’s complicated.”

“A faction in your military?  Just like the problems Konev had with the Spetsnaz who treated you like a dog?”

She tore her hand away and rubbed her eyes.

“Dammit!  Bob!  I can’t…”

“Then don’t,” he said taking her hand back.  “You probably don’t know, but there are some old-timers, survivors of the Breakup, who hate the Empress and my family.  I can see by that look you didn’t.”

There was a bench a few yards ahead, under a tree.  It was getting cloudy but didn’t smell like rain.  He sat them down.

“Not many, mind you,” Bob went on.  “They tend to use ‘liberty’ as a password to signal to one another.  Mother is aware but not remotely threatened by it.  Thing is, as I’ve seen, and I bet the other two youngest, Ildi and Julian, have too, is that is a form of youthful rebellion here in the imperium.”

He moved his hand from hers to about her shoulder, pulling her in.

“I know history because I have to, given who I am.  But already, the ease of life my mother had made in just a generation and a half allows discontent.” He turned his head away and spat.  “Discontent!  These fucking kids – !”

“Bob,” Eloise leaned closer to kiss him.  “You are one of those kids.”

Me, sounding like Mother.  And human.  And a foreigner has to bring me back.  I am so stupid.

“You are right and I apologize,” he admitted.  “But they are still wrong.  Disaffected?  Join the legions.  Leave the imperium; no one is stopping them.  But to question rule by my family?  We have… we have a bad example.”

He took his arm back and leaned forward, head in hands.

“Which is…?” El asked, running her hand over his broad back.

“Great grandfather.  You know his name and I don’t want to talk about it right now.  Please.  El.”

“Then we won’t.  So, all of our countries contain factions.  I’m going to guess Japan does, too?” Bob twisted his head to shoot her a look.  “That’s a yes.  Even if Dad was from there, I’ve no idea how India has stayed together through all of this.  China is, on paper, one country, but even Canada treats with the warlords individually.”

“And,” she leaned down to where he still held his head, running her tongue over his ear, “your country is trying to break apart mine, as you already admitted.  Should we not be consolidating, rather than fragmenting, right now?”

“Will Ottawa legally yield all of central and western Canada to Reina?  Right now?” Bob shouted to the ground.  A few other tourists looked over at his outburst.

“I doubt it,” Eloise admitted.

“Then so much for consolidation.” He sat back up.

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