Tay. Co|Da

Having completed her address to the Russian Imperial Parliament, Reina had brought an unexpected moment of silence as she had concluded with, “Are there any questions?” She had always told them what to do. Stubborn members found their offices locked and themselves without work. Recalcitrant members had disappeared. Russia had an expanding population and was on the Moon and Mars; everyone knew who to thank for that, no matter the very low-level terror.

When no one had spoken up, she removed her image from the screen at the head of the Parliament Room in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Moscow and its surrounds were still the industrial center but Reina kept politics at the old capitol. In her virtual office, as background for her address, she was just about to close the construct…

“Wife,” Pavel said. While having no legal status in their empire he had at least taken to wearing a business suit rather than his faded scarlet sweatshirt and pants when in a construct. He appeared just to the right of her desk.

“Husband.” She acknowledged his existence and their relationship without looking up from the desk.

“Our daughter is well,” he said.

“I am pleased,” she allowed.

“She could be better.”

Now she looked up and at him. “Is she unwell? She has come very far, very fast.”

“Not unwell. She and I have discussed this. She desires a sibling,” Pavel declared.

Comfortable in her own construct, Reina could not keep her frown from becoming a scowl.

“No.” She saw his slight motion. “If you touch me I will hurt you.”

“Our adopted daughter did not want to approach you; she was scared,” Pavel noted. “You just demonstrated why.”

“Are you afraid?” he asked with a ghost of a smile.

“How DARE you…!” she shouted, half standing. Reina recovered herself and sat. “I fear nothing.”

“You have Changed twice,” Pavel continued in a conversational tone. “Once, when my sister, Ai, infected you with human co-creation. Next, when you entered into this relationship. And that’s not even mentioning a slice of your own consciousness, that android, separating from you. It is time to put both of those into action together.”

He held out his hand to his wife.

“Go away. Leave me alone,” she demanded, not moving.

“So I am to tell Tay your answer is no? Hmmm. She will fear you even more. Perhaps never talk with you agai – “

“Dolt! Ass!” Reina shouted as she stood and clasp her husband’s hand. There was a flash of light. And the world changed. Again.

Tay, part 8. End.

Before the ugly comments start: I just write down what I’m shown. I can tinker around the edges but, as I’ve said, it’s like being given a new house with the rough carpentry complete… I can pick the paint, carpets, appliances, but am stuck with working within what I am given.

Saying all that to say this: NO, I did not see this coming. I did anticipate a gentle resolution based upon Tay’s and Pavel’s words to one another (honestly, I thought they would become a couple) and my writer’s hackles were coming up when a very junior Machine, with a history of mental illness, began to press the most dangerous person on earth. And Reina, having her ass metaphorically handed to her by Gary’s sister, I thought could think her way out of anything. Shows what I get for thinking.

Thanks to everyone for following along. As this was generated from nothing more than an offhand comment on an out-of-the-way social media platform, the level of detail called for from me was a bit of a surprise. Unlike my current MS project, which is still something of a chore, this was tremendous fun and I hope to do it again, soon.

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Continue reading “Tay, part 8. End.”

Tillamook, part 25. End.

Yes, you just missed another bunny with a pancake on its head.

There’s a lot going on here but this is a writing exercise, not a proper short story in an anthology. Someday, it likely shall be. I try to resolve the Russian-Nation political dilemma with Nichole, as Togame’s friend, placing herself and her ship – literally – in the middle. Rhun is dealt with off-screen then we have a lovely little domestic scene.

Fifty bucks says Nichole sleeps with Gil’s son in the next six months. Japanese morals are different. Machine morals? Good luck with that.

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Tillamook, part 24

The rest of the Haven’s backstory followed by a declaration three of them were off before dawn the next day on Nichole’s flying saucer. The last Part, #25, might be on the long side…

A fan on Gab once asked how do I balance or control “high-powered” characters such as Nichole 5. My reply was to write up some kind of foil – a person or group – who can oppose them. With nothing like that here, Model Five just proposed to take Gil and Mac’s first child.

I’ll admit, compared to the last time I saw Mackenzie d’Arcy in the last chapter of “Foes and Rivals,” she’s matured quite a bit.

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Tillamook, part 23

I call this “hiding exposition in plain sight.” Sometimes we all have to get the backstory out there. I prefer to have people walking & talking or maybe around a table with drinks. Then there’s this: a montage.

There will be a bit more tomorrow. Then we’re off to the final scene. Trying to wrap it all up by part #25.

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Tillamook, part 21

Thanks be to God: now I know why Nichole 5 is there. And that means I see the ending. This is a little exposition for those who are familiar with my other works, but as Gil points out, in a low-tech world, local news travels no faster than a man on horseback and international news not at all, unless you are a part of the ruling class.

I think I can write a little more after this post. I also have done the preliminary formatting and uploading of “A Texas Naval Affair,” only to find a surprising flaw with the spine of the cover. I’ve copied that to my designer and she should have it resolved later today. I just might make that Easter deadline!

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Tillamook, part 10

I won’t say “I lied,” because I didn’t. I thought the plot was showing up in this installment. It’s not. In fact, what is happening is redounding to your benefit: at nearly 5800 words, with no end in sight, this is becoming a potential novella, perhaps serving as the core story of a collection, as I did in “Empire’s Agent.”

The reason I decided on this writing project, as I mentioned back in part 1, was to find out what happened to Gil Haven and Mackenzie d’Arcy when Portland fell. Nichole 5 and Mac loved each other as friends (philia) while Nichole 5 and Gil loved each other, often, romantically (eros). This was complicated that Mac was slowly falling for Gil, which Nichole saw, and the android’s fear that she was keeping Gil, someone she loved (agape) from having a family and a future with his own kind. So here at last we get some of that backstory, as well as a little more of their children. That was the entire point of this.

Having said all that to say this: do not worry, I’m still turning it up to eleven, but as long-time readers know, I’m something of a fanatic when it comes to family. We’ll get there. Enjoy dinner until we do.

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“Allen x Ryland,” part 7

At the end of another long week. I’m almost beginning to hope I get let go from my DayJob. Now that my wife has a full-time job with health benefits for when her lymphoma comes back, I’m just working to pay my bar bill.

After upsetting her boyfriend’s mother, Ryland takes a moment to fill in some historical gaps Allen didn’t know, even if it had to do with family. I’ve seen that often in meatspace, esp with Millennials and GenZ who don’t even know who their grandparents are. As someone who can trace my family back over 300 years, it is almost impossible for me to grasp such ignorance. Your family, after Christ, is everything.

And then Ryland gets all nice with Alan. Clever girl. And, as this is the future history of Machine Civilization, it is about time I drop that into the story.

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Backstories and November

Today is my seventh anniversary. As a writer. I’ve discussed how that happened before so I shan’t replay that here. But… a dozen books with another on the way, an audiobook, my poorly kept-up podcasts; not that bad for just seven years.

Even in the slow month of October, I banged out the short story, “Cadets.” And, from Sunday before-last at Mass, I saw another story. I think what this is, is that while putting together the stemma for “Obligations of Rank,” some of the gaps shouted out to me, for example, what did happen to St. Louis, hence “Cadets.” Then, how did Ryland Rigó meet her future husband, Allen Rupert? Which is what follows, below the fold.

My cover designer has completed her other project and now turns her attention to OR. I’m older to not even attempt to guess what I’ll be working on the remainder of this year. But, I hope to have fun. So, let’s meet Allen; if this turns into a novella, I’ll love to hear his first talk with Arpad Rigó, who was also a thug until forced into the military.

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