Take Me to the River

My wife wafted through the dining room where I write.  “When did your Breakup stories stop being fiction?” she asked.

I never wanted any of this.  It was just to be a backdrop to the relationships I saw.

Anyway.  Part Two of “Empress’ Crusade” begins!  As is my wont, I skip forward almost three months and put Faustina at her destination:  Vicksburg.  But, as her father pointed out, and her uncle told her brother, “anyone can get into trouble; it’s the professionals who get out alive.”  I think I’m about to see what that looks like.

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Tough Times Demand Tough Talk

A bit of a long-ish addition.  I wanted to wrap up Part One of Empress’ Crusade, at about 18k words, and get on to the campaign itself.  For the historically minded, it will be loosely based on Caesar’s Gallic Wars, always a good read.  In the meantime, I have some research to do about the populations of former Alabama and Mississippi and how that extrapolates one generation on into the Breakup.

Below the fold is a family who loves one another but find it increasingly hard to like one another.  That is probably an odd concept for my younger readers but is something we in our dotage just nod at.  Thanks for everyone’s support!

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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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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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