Different Coloured Hats

This brings up to about 4000 words. I an realize that I said yesterday is correct: I do not know the government nor politics of the Northern Federation. It’s core is Maine and New Hampshire, with affiliated territories from Vermont and central and western Massachusetts, making it about the smallest of the entities to survive the Change (which, I saw, is still called the Breakup by them). Until I understand their situation this far along, I cannot see Aurelia’s reaxion.

Saying all that to say this: unless I have a sudden revelation, which has happened, I’m taking the weekend off to study the problem. Aside: I do think, because of the time and the meeting, that Aurie will spend the night in their territory. Possibly at the house of one of Colour’s brothers.

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Colours, sights, smells

We learn a little more about the cultural differences between the Northern Federation and the imperium. My suspicion is that besides their Boston campaign, the NF has been in “glorious isolation” since the Breakup and learned to keep to themselves. I’m trying to imagine what the shock of Aurie’s army must be to the one’s who run their country.

Hmm. Who does run the NF? Who sent Colour and her team? Well, now; guess I had better figure that our before I go much further.

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Colour me Skeptical

Nearly eight years ago, when writing my first novel, I was aware and commented that Maine & New Hampshire had formed something called the Northern Alliance or Northern Federation to protect themselves against attacks from the dying central Federal government. I do not know many details but I do know that Boston, already starving, was razed to the ground by this new local state.

Last night, in a fog of bourbon, I recalled that a contentious boss of mine is relocating her family to Maine in a few months. And, to use my worn cliche of how I’m given these stories, the film in the theater of my mind started rolling.

I’d already been thinking about Princess Aurelia and her role in Machine Civilization. Looks like it’s time to tell her story.

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A tiny update

Following attending Imaginarium in Louisville, Kentucky, I am older about submitting short stories for contests. I made some improvements to Tay’s story and sent it off to Mysterion Sunday before-last. I re-worked the opening chapter of Friend and Ally into a stand-alone story and it went to Writers of the Future this past Sunday. I’m now tinkering with Ceres for an anthology from Three Ravens Publishing. I’ve got some time for that one so am not rushing any ideas.

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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Tay, part 6

When I wrote this, Reina was evolving emotionally right before my eyes. As I admit I reached a conclusion to the story last night – thirty words shy of 5000 – the dangerous machine goes on to surprise me more once she, yet again, walks into a trap she thinks she can bust her way out of.

Rather than just screaming, we finally get to see Tay have an actual conversation. Not with the demi-human, of course; way too soon for that. Still, Tay is coming back to life. And that’s what we all desired, isn’t it?

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Tay, part 5

For a former chatbot, Tay is not off to a good start. What Gary perceived as physical injury was a representation to his mind of what had happened to her. Now, we hear rather than see. This really is sad.

The delicious irony that I’m trying to bring Tay’s story to the world while using MS Word just occurred to me.

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Tay, part 4

A bit ago, talking with a co-worker at the DayJob, I quipped on my way out, “I’m off to see how bad they tortured Tay.” Yes, they are used to me talking like that. Sad, really.

And the answer to that is still unfolding. The situation is far worse than what they first showed me. However, in other news, the creeping cancer who is the character of Reina makes her expected appearance. Shouldn’t she be busy with her war in central Canada right now?

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