For those who’ve not been following along, this is a continuation of yesterday’s post and the latest story of Faustina’s recollections about building her private army. Many things going on… when this becomes a novel it will likely take two chapters to unpack.
Ever since I met her in “Worlds Without End,” I knew that Faustina, Gary Hartmann’s slightly younger sister, would have her own novel.
I just didn’t expect to have her showing me things so soon.
Like all of my stories, as I learned from Jerry Pournelle, this is starting in the middle: set maybe five or eight years after WWE, Faustina has led her personal army from Knoxville over the mountains and down the river to take the important port city of Savannah. At great cost to herself.
I confess that, as always, I’ve no idea at all where this is going and am interested as you are…
Just about everyone is where they need to be. Some shuttle diplomacy by Nichole, getting Brunelli, Reilly, and Jenkins back into the fray, and then I can let everything go to hell. How nice, for me.
Did I mention I’m taking the rest of the year off after this?
A good weekend: no one died, in the story or in RealLife, and I was able to lay down 4k words. Wish my tanjed DayJob boss would get her shit straight with Madam Clio and find another job! Not one of any of the other pharmacists I work with have issues such as hers; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” We’d one dog from southern Indiana; a Westie, so pre-crazy. Everyone else I’ve known from Indiana seems deranged, just like her.
Anyway. Show’s over and the Nation is on the move! A few, short, snapshots to get them over the pass and into the Centralia Valley. I did get a little sidetracked – still working on it, in fact, but the lead combat force of the horsemen, basically 17,500 dragoons with 2,500 responsible for light to medium artillery, are bearing down on Napaville as we speak. I allow Rhun a tell about how he plans to run the op against the cannibals, as well as letting you, the pre-readers, know how the turnabout against the City’s Regulars will happen, too.
Those of you that are of the faith, pray for me that I can keep this up all week; I know I cannot do this alone. Deus Volt!
Wrote about 500 words in the early afternoon and quickly realized I was going B-F-B-F again; it happens when you’re a Pantser: you’re getting along on a storyline and suddenly realized, crap! I didn’t give that any exposition! So, I spent an hour polishing the 500 words and inserting them retroactively while making several other editing changes, all the while imaging what it was like in the 20th Century where writers quite literally cut and pasted their manuscripts.
Having said all that to say this: the first part is what I wrote about Jenkins then spent time retconning it into what you’ve already read. The rest is getting the Nation moving north and west, ending with Nichole putting on her new Bard hat! One more gloss to see the military units of the Nation over the Cascades, meeting the City’s Regular Army, then turning north against the cannibal’s main horde, as the civilians on the horse-drawn wagons make their way into the area around Napavine… and then…
As in sailing. This was leading me away from the plot. So I saw Nichole show off and swing things about. This part two is supposed to be centered around Mackenzie d’Arcy, just as part one was about Nancy Brunelli. That means I need my main character back home.
Where she just might walk into her friend’s flat, with Mac’s hair in twin-tails and Gil with his shirt off… I like to think of it as a love-hexagon.
From Chapter 13, page 207 of Cursed Hearts:
They walked quickly, generally to the southeast. Emma had told her new acquaintance that the Geisel Library was at the center of campus, so it was easy to find local food vendors set up around it all through the day. As Miss Barrett’s stomach continued to growl – embarrassing her for some reason – the sooner they got there, the better.
“…came here after getting my BS at Portland State.” Emma sighed. “The Breakup began just afterward. Most people left, but there was nowhere for me to go… so, like some friends of mine, we stuck it out here.”
“I do not understand how the world’s superpower could have been so stupid as to walk into that trap.”
“T… trap?” Taller, Emma worked to keep pace with the young woman. “But I thought just a coin-”
“Idiot.” Emma was learning quickly that her new acquaintance lacked manners. “Your President removed via extra-Constitutional means just as Russia, China, India roll out a new currency?” She stopped and turned so quickly, Emma almost ran into her.
“Look at you.” The scowl was there, but Emma hoped it was a spark of mirth she saw in those odd eyes. “You’re a walking cliché: blue jeans and blue eyes; blonde hair and an unnecessarily large chest! All the while knowing nothing about how this world really works! Bismarck was right!”
“Bi… Bismarck?” Maya shook her head and turned back around, looking at the Library.
“They should crucify this architect, too.”