Not about to get her army trapped in place for a week or even for days, Faustina proves her earlier guess correct: her boys were going to pay for their days of easy marching. On the heels of a 45-mile day, they must cover another 25… and the rain from the hurricane is starting to fall…
I like an episode arc that starts in sunshine and ends in clouds. It guarantees further action. Under the fold, the empress meets with a diplomatic embassage of rump Louisiana, trying to find out what is going on between them and the Gulf Short States, who she and her boys are on their way to visit. At the end, Ryland startles Faustina very badly… something I’m still seeing and will try to wrap up Thursday.
Faustina has a short meeting with her legates but makes time to be informal with her cousin, Ryland. For a kid genius, who usually are monomaniacs and burn out early, Ryland is surprisingly perceptive. I wonder if being a mutt is a factor? Or her mother’s close relationship with the machines of tribe Tohsaka? We’ll likely find out later or sooner.
I have written a little past this but have to go make an early dinner for my family. If not too drunk to write more, maybe I can get another update ready to later.
In the published novel, this will be the start of chapter two of Part III. It hearkens back to what happened at the very end of Part II, where, as Arpad and Ryland were about to return to the Texas-controlled side of the Mississippi, he received a note of some kind. We know is was significant, otherwise, why is Faustina’s young cousin travelling with them into another battle zone?
I’ve seen what happens right after this memory and am writing it now. This is a very productive weekend!
Now beginning Part III of “Empress’ Crusade.” Following Colonel Rigó getting news from Texas, Faustina has re-mobilized her army and is moving south. I’m not entirely sure why as yet, but am confident they’ll let me know soon. In the meantime, the two young cousins have a chance to talk.
This little addition will conclude what will be part two of “Empress’ Crusade.” As I mentioned last time, I need to collate and overhaul my notes before I write one more word. That is going to take a few days. Sorry.
In an interesting tangent to my works, yet another person today told me that “I like you ideas but have no time to read. Do you have audiobooks?” Once I finish “EC” I shall take a break from writing and bring myself fully up to speed on creating said audiobooks. It seems I’m missing out on more than have of my market. Time to fix that.
In the five days that Faustina ran around former northern State of Mississippi with two legions, her boys from Fourth have not been idle.
I’ve DayJob this weekend and Monday so am not sure about another update. I’ve seen how she gets her army back to Vicksburg and did a little research about what comes next. But that “what comes next” will be another 15k word arc. Before I do that, I must sit down and make a complete re-assessment of the staff of the 4+1 legions she has at her disposal. My clutch of hand-written notes scattered over five pages just is not holding up anymore.
When I stumbled into DayJob at 1300 yesterday, half in Faustina’s world and half in this (notice how carefully I don’t define what’s real?), a young colleague asked what was wrong. Startling him, I described Fussy’s concern as to whether Gen’l Willis can keep control of his own left brigade. After a minute of pharmacists and techs looking at one another with uncomfortable looks that said, “this is Clayton we’re dealing with,” the young colleague said, “I think he can’t.”
He was wrong. Who knew?
I’d seen the middle of this scene, where Faustina and Willis are talking, over the weekend but had no idea how they came to be standing there. Even with a little trouble at my DayJob, I was able to come home and write down how this parley came to happen. I remain concerned about the forces on Willis’s left, at the north end of his line. Are his conscripts riotous or are the Chekists stirring things up? Will Fussy present a treaty in two hours or start shelling them? I have no idea and, having to go back to work 2nd shift today, won’t know until, I hope, sometime Thursday.
About a generation ago, when I was a regular reader of James Lilek’s The Bleat, something he said stuck with me (and I paraphrase from memory): “do you mind if I smoke? No one ever said no in the pre-WWII years, simply because daily baths were such a rarity. It was closer to the truth to reply ‘I’d rather smell tobacco than you.'”
Something lost in our ultra-hygienic world is what the past smelled like, especially each other. Beyond exposure to those curry-radiating Pajeets who make deliveries, the idea of smelling other people is a lost concept to modern, Western whites.
I honestly don’t know what prompted Faustina to realize that she stunk as much as the men about her, but I had to smile at her feminine, human, reaction. I think if someone had pointed out to her she was acting like a ‘normie,’ she would have bit their head off. Perhaps this is the story telling me that she might not ultimately be lost to us, after all?