Rally, Ho!

Faustina goes to a recruitment rally as she has very little time to recruit and train men.  I’m already sure that her legions for the Mississippi Valley Campaign will be under-strength:  eight cohorts each instead of ten.  I’m doing much research on the side to learn how this will play out.

Afterward she and her newest legate discuss the background of what might have been going on in the lands to their west and southwest.  If talk about HBD scares you, just skip over that part.

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Recalling the Breakup

Faustina gets fed up with all of her paperwork and tunes out to tune in to her godmother’s sparring ground in the home of tribe Tohsaka.  After beating each other with sticks, the demi-human has questions.  Pictures being worth what they are, Fausta answers by pushing one of her memories from before Faustina was born into the girl’s mind.

I think more and more that the Faustina we see emerge from this coming 20-month campaign will be a much harder person than the young woman we know now.

PS  Mild spoiler warning.

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Council meeting, pt 2

Wherein Faustina shows just a little of the iron in her otherwise sweet little girl persona.  I know I mention a dinner and another meeting but I think those will happen in the background and be alluded to by her while she frantically recruits and trains another 12,000 men.

Also below the fold is a poor map of what her world looks like, right now.  The red areas are the city-states that survived the Breakup or, in the case of Huntsville, were rebooted shortly after.  The blue region is what Faustina conquered in “Princess Crusade” (available soon!) and is under her personal dominion.  The blue arrows will probably be her main axis of attack toward Vicksburg.  But there will be many, many marches and counter-marches to bring the locals of the old Deep South under her control.

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Council meeting, pt 1

Who doesn’t love a meeting?  Besides, that is, every normal person on Earth?  Still, no matter what form of government you have, consensus among those who actually run things is critical for longevity of the oligarchy.  And all governments, everywhere, are oligarchy.

In this first part we find Faustina’s success in Savannah to already be destabilizing to the powers-that-be of Greater Knoxville.  The issues here are internal.  Part two, this weekend, will be external.  I wasn’t sure where our main character was headed, but out of the mouths of babes, little Aurelia had it right back in the latter parts of “Princess’ Crusade.”

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Second Shaft

Just coming off of ten days on second, or evening, shift at my DayJob.  It might be a good shift for older folks with nothing better to do or students with morning classes, but I hate it.  You wake up late with only a few hours before work.  Work ten hours, get home at midnight and go to bed.  What little time I have I to myself was spent with my subconscious mind fretting about work.  So precisely nothing got done writing, regardless of my Lenten obligation to complete “Empress’ Crusade.”

Having worked the weekend I had today off and thus have tried very hard to get back into the groove.  Although I wanted to keep this early section focused on humans, Reina informed me that was not to be.  Once she has her say, even Faustina finds her plans for the future suddenly in flux.  My next installment, when Fussy asserts herself against the Council of Five, is going to be very, very interesting.

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Check. Up.

Looked over my notes for a-while this morning (another day off; work the next three) and saw PART 1:  KEEP HUMAN circled.  My handwriting so I guess I was drunk.  Imagine.  Still, per my Lenten oath to not only complete the MS for “Empress’ Crusade” but also to make it more Christian than its predecessor, I’m trying to keep the opening parts of this story in that vein.

My other, more coherent notes, speak to Faustina chatting with MacRae, (check) and Reina.  As she’s the machine who will end up as Acting Prime Minister of the Russian Empire (should I have said *spoiler warning*?  oops) that is not “keeping it human.”  So, instead, I saw Fussy’s nurse drop in at the legionary fort to check up on her.

One of my other scrawled notes was “eugenics.”  That plus Faustina is not something I want to think about right now.

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End. Middle. Begin.

The design contest for the cover of my short story collection, “Empire’s Agent” is complete.  I hope to have a proof copy in my hands in less than a week and a commercial release days after that.

At 57k words I have passed the MS of “American Imperium: Princess’ Crusade” onto one of my new copyeditors.  He’s a little spastic about “?!” punctuation but I like the cut of his jib.  Once “Empire’s Agent” is loose in the wild I shall likely begin another cover design contest.  Tricky:  the main character, 18-year old Faustina, spends half the book in a hospital bed with 2nd degree burns and no hair.  Not the stuff for an eye-catching cover, is it?

And… speaking of Faustina:  if there’s a part one, there better be a part two.  Below the fold is the opening scene of “American Imperium:  Empress’ Crusade.”  Faustina is utterly full of herself and as arrogant “af” – as the kids say.  I wanted to start things slow and humble.  I have tiny, faint glimpses of where she might be going, but I won’t know until she gets there.  Enjoy the ride with me!

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