(that might resonate a little for those of you over the age of fifty; if not, just press on)
By forcing these out, I am essentially chasing myself. To keep a steady flow of installments going, I need to stay 1k-2k words ahead. Weekend updates for me to be reasonably sober and do my damn job.
Below, we meet someone from “Obligations of Rank.” Someone who is not at all happy about his current assignment. If you walk away from the imperial family to try to lead your own life, getting jerked around by the Empress’ lacky is insulting.
And a tired and hungry Jimmy sure as hell runs his mouth more than he should. And yes, that is a “Pulp Fiction” homage by Robert.
Wrote myself out of Medicine Hat and past Sgt. Sergei Konev’s first contact with Cartaphilus. It seems that what’s left of Saskatoon is much worse than I imagined. Yes, about 50% of the population fled south against the ice and snow of the Maunder Minimum. The other half looked to the sky, the sun and stars, and went “native.” Did I mention the Change and mysticism?
But a few families lingered in the area of the old city. That’s the mistake of never making a hard, clear-cut decision; you pay for your mistakes. Cartaphilus harvested them.
In other odd news, the 77th Imperial Russian Brigade will meet a battlegroup of the Canadian Army head-on around Winnipeg. In the midst of that, Sgt. Sergei Konev will encounter another oddity in the basement of a riverside museum. When I run this through Grammarly it will once again freak out over my “write it as you hear it” style of accents.
[breathless voice, whispers] “Imagine… imagine if something, someone, like some old scifi story, actually came to life *coughs**wipes a bit of blood from mouth* but… but they weren’t made for it… not bred, not… even… thought of, Sergeant Konev,” Schreber said to the Russian, in his dark office of the blackened museum on the banks of the Red River in Winnipeg. “What… what if that person, excuse me, what if… that person is… what everyone needs but… absolutely no one wants? What… *coughs**retches* what then, Sergeant?”
“All sides would hate him,” Konev said in a quiet voice.
“Welcome to my personal Hell, Mister Konev.” Schreber pitched forward out of his chair, barking more blood. The sergeant yelled for his medic.
Not going to dwell on no posting again. RealLife comes for all of us every now and then.
“New Russia,” the working title of my next MS, ground to something of a halt in chapter three. It was turning into another military story. I wrote a trilogy about those and do not want to get sucked into the details of TOEs and campaign planning yet again.
From my “try to so something different” file, I considered: I’ve war, politics, espionage, romance, romance/horror, and even slice-of-life. What to do?
Took the dogs for walks in nice weather. Stared at maps of Canada. Would I have to abandon this particular project and start from scratch? Sgt. Sergei Konev and his scout team are driving to Saskatoon to see if it is under the ice, like Edmonton. Wait. Who is the old man in the horse-drawn cart coming south? From the wares on the cart, he looks like a typical dystopian tinker. Through his field glasses, as the Tigr (the Russian version of a Hummer) slows, Konev is puzzled. He looks old; not old. Sick; not sick. His eyes are black and dead but the skin of his arms and hands holding the reins like that of a young man.
Mystery. Not as in “whodunit,” but more like mysticism. Early in my books the collapse of the US and W Europe was called the Breakup. By “Foes and Rivals,” it was beginning to be known as the the Change. A few sensitive people – humans and Machines – were waking up to the fact that reality was not what it had been. That is what I am going to explore. Beginning with Cartaphilus.
One last time: if you’ve any thoughts – besides “he said there would be a war” – I’m working on that in chapter three, please let me know.
This short is the final piece of chapter one. And for those of you who have read, or shall soon be reading, “Obligations of Rank,” you’ll recognize who shows up in the last scene. As this book will be from Sergei Konev’s POV, I’ll not let this particular cat out of the bag.
This still feels to me as if it will be at least a novella. I’ve already two pages of notes about the Russian army (organization, tactics) and I’d hate that to go to waste. And, as I said in the last post, I’d really like to blow things up again. At least for a little while.
I’ve no intention of serializing the entire work but thought, maybe, at least the first chapter. That way, if there is any comments, suggestions, or criticism, it will come early so I can make course corrections as needed.
After slightly more than a week – and trust me, it was awful – of no writing, I may have settled on a new idea I can turn into another novel. Being me, contrarian, what with anyone stupid enough to pay attention to the MSM, they would think the Russians are the modern Hitler; every last man, woman, and child. Of course, the idiots who listen to the MSM also thought covid-19 was a pandemic.
So, being said contrarian, my next book, if it takes hold in my mind, will be about Russians. Specifically, the Russian Empire moving into what is left of former US and Canada after the Change in my future history of Machine Civilization.
I’ve mentioned often enough that while there are some legacy Romanovs on the throne in St. Petersburg, all real power is held by the Prime Minister, Reina. Reina is also an AI made by the Mendrovovitch Company, hence their tribe name. Like kudzu, this person runs through all of my recent stories and there seems no way to get rid of her. Admittedly, she is very interesting: unlike tribe Tohsaka with their Four Laws, Reina kills easily.
In my second-to-last novel, Obligations of Rank, Part Two has a Canadian Officer Cadet, Eloise Patel, telling “undercover” Crown Prince Robert about the Canadian’s two military engagements with the Imperial Russian Army. I wondered: the Russians have Alaska, British Columbia, and are about to take the Kingdom of Columbia… why push over the Rocky Mountains against someone who can still shoot back?
Once I asked the question, they started to give me answers. Let’s see how this unfolds, friends.