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.
Got the copyedit of “Princess’ Crusade” back with the typical thousand corrections. As always, a humbling experience. But this time, also a vital one.
After my little so-called vision as to where my current MS, “Empress’ Crusade” might be leading me, I was increasingly aware that I was having trouble keeping my future history dates in my head. When the PC edit came back and at three times pointed out and asked “is this date correct? is her age correct?” I realized that, even though I’ve been shown some very interesting things about Faustina and the young man who is the Mayor of Huntsville, I have to sit myself down and draw up a proper timeline of all primary and secondary characters, what has already happened, and what I think will happen. “EC” is going to unfold over two in-book years and I cannot have my readers jerked out of the story saying, “that makes no sense… the timing is all wrong!”
Below the fold is what I was able to get down following the triumph. A little politics, a little romance (maybe?), and a swim across the Tennessee River. Hope everyone who is sheltering in place has ordered copies of my books to keep them entertained!
Against her centurions’ advice, Faustina crosses the bridge into a still-live battlefield, the PLA garrison surrender notwithstanding. I was curious how she would handle it. This is part one of the aftermath. Part two shortly.
Let’s start with a graph…
And end with a quote from my novel, Friend & Ally (emphasis mine):
Hakane took another drag off his cigarette in Somi Corporation’s breakroom, laughing at his colleague’s comment. It wasn’t so much their company discouraged smoking as that they wished to make sure their products were not contaminated. Given the delicacy of some of the prototypes, all respected this rule.
“Can you believe it, Atazaki?” he asked, flourishing his newspaper. “The US economy imploding like this? I’m an engineer, not at economist, but how in the world…”
“Call it belief; call it faith. Lose it, and your world ends,” his friend replied, looking at a domestic part of his own newspaper.
“What’s that?” What Hakane knew of politics could fit into a sake cup.
“Since the war,” for a Japanese, that meant only one thing, “the world economy had the US dollar as its reserve currency, backed, not by gold or silver, but by the faith – mind you – that the US will always be there!”
Atazaki glanced at the clock over the inner door and decided one more cigarette was in order.
“So now we find,” he said, pointing at Hakane’s paper with his lighter, “that as the American President is being removed via extra-Constitutional means, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are rolling out a new currency… what’s it called?”
“The ria,” Hakane managed.
“Whatever. Backed by the gold they’ve been buying up for a generation, and indexed to oil. At that point, US dollars became valueless.”
Hakane was still confused. But why…
“Why is there rioting in the US? And getting worse so fast?”
Atazaki blew a blue-grey cloud toward the ceiling’s scrubbers.
“It’s a replay of what almost happened back in 2008: credit dries up, the velocity of money drops to zero.”
Atazaki realized his friend didn’t get a single word. He tried again.
“Credit cards stop working; all the zeros and ones in banks are gone, and, for the Americans,” he took another drag, “their food-welfare cards, whatever they’re called, stopped working.”
He exhaled again and sat back.
“All cities in the US are starving right now. And there is nothing… nothing at all, to stop it.”
Atazaki took another drag while looking out the window at bustling Osaka.
“They’re done for.” Quieter. “God help us; we’re all alone.”
In anticipation of the imminent release of my next novel, “Worlds Without End: A Sequel to Echoes of Family Lost,” I am making my first two novels available FOR FREE for a limited time!
Please see the links below to Smashwords for both “The Fourth Law” and “Echoes of Family Lost,” the introductory stories to my rapidly growing future-history of Machine Civilization. Enjoy!
After what I last wrote, I was stuck for once. I thought about Sylvia’s long drive across west Texas (I’ve done it a few times; it takes longer than you think) and how it looks like that odd place where she met the Ninon person. Still, I have already written “road sequences” for this story before… boring! Done and done!
Saturday late morning, just before noon in fact, in the IV Room, having just finished the Batch, it hit me: this is one of Director Barrett’s three chief underlings. She would fly to El Paso to meet with the Mexican diplomats about the coming partition of New Mexico! And the moment I saw her in a small jet, I knew what Ninon’s True Form was…
Into the night, out of the dark, take to the sky chasing the stars
All that we said, all that we are, waiting to fly, this is the start!
That then gave me the “machine dream” sequence I needed. A quick stop at a bridge over the dry Rio Grande and an encounter with a Special Guest from “Cursed Hearts,” and our Deputy Director is off to the National Labs in Los Alamos to continue laying plots for the eventual termination of ExComm.
And, I just broke the 30k word barrier! Woot.
Not writing anything on Sunday freaked me out so I thought about things Monday – so much my brain shorted out and I had to leave DayJob at 1500 – and came home to write a little. I’d thought I’d try following on Empire’s Agent, about Arpad and Lily. I dropped about 400 words and went to bed. Going back to look at them, just now, I must have been worse off than I thought: just awful!
The problem, of course, is me. After starring in my first two novels, Lily Barrett is something of an iconic figure of my future history. One doesn’t just randomly use icons in short story writing exercises. I’m going to spend the rest of this evening thinking and making a few notes. I am really interested where this might lead but I don’t want to bugger it up.
Content tomorrow. Something. Promise.
Funny that I’ve yet to reach the plot point that made me laugh out loud while driving to work yesterday. Perhaps tomorrow. Whether 500 or 5000 words, I need to create a permanent or temporary close to this story: the professional edit and new cover for my first novel “The Fourth Law” are complete and I need those uploaded to Createspace. The cover is the easy part. The text body has to go from Word to pdf, wherein I edit and move, then request a physical proof for review. I’ve done this three times already, but at about once every nine months I drink too much to recall the details.
Below the fold, I’d had some conversations recently with some in the medical field about challenges that might be faced by new-made humans.
Apologies for going dark yesterday: while a personal and Lenten challenge to lay down at least 500 words each day, my wife and daughter #2 were kind enough to pass their headcolds onto me. That, plus coming down off another long RealLife (TM) work-week rendered me useless on Saturday.
Oh, yes, this: from the files of ‘no such things as coincidences,’ the family in the pew in front of us at Mass this morning had a son & daughter in their early teens. From the little smiles when they whispered to each other and the completely unselfconscious physical contact they shared, I could not help but grin, imagining I was sitting behind Gary and Faustina. Good kids!