“That’s how deals are made”

Again, I’m no longer posting everything, but I do want to show that I am returning to the human-Machine interchange. Their interests and goals are very, very different and – I think – it will all segue into part two of “Goddess’ Crusade” with what might be happening to Faustina. Don’t know; not even after three Manhattans.

There was military planning before this excerpt and after it. I think chapter 8 will be the big battle. I’ve been known to suddenly be distracted by something before and I refuse to rule it out this time. All in all, I’d like to see it over and what comes next.

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Life imitates my works… I’ve lost count…

On the first hand:  “China and Russia ditch dollar in move toward financial alliance”

On the second hand:  “Step 4: Impeach or otherwise remove Trump by non-Constitutional means.”

On the gripping hand (from the prologue of Friend & Ally):

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.”

I’m not kidding:  I was writing science fiction, not current events…

“Empress’ Crusade” MS Complete

Sorry for the silence; been busy.  After my Hey, hey! incident, I tried to work within the new confines of that to find a way to wrap up EC.  I found a way out via Faustina’s fast ride from Vicksburg to Birmingham and onto Huntsville.  We’ve seen from way back that she is attracted to the 32-year-old mayor of that town, so I decided to have her push her feelings to see what happens.  While not completely happy with the end, it is at least an end.  I’ll  be able to think about it better as a make my editing pass before farming it out to a copyeditor.  I’m leaning toward re-using Stephen Zimmer, as he copyedited “Princess’ Crusade” and has knowledge of the characters and plot.

With that being checked, I have spent some money, read, and watched many videos on how to narrate audiobooks.  Once my wife gets the basement un-wrecked from her current project, I’ll carve out a space, hang some blankets, and see what I can do.  However, if that gets delayed, I will have to at least start notes and plans for the final book of this trilogy, “Goddess’ Crusade.”

Below the fold, rather than the entirety of Part IV of EC, is just a snippet from toward the end, showcasing Faustina and Mayor Robert Wade.

Continue reading ““Empress’ Crusade” MS Complete”

“Men from the Sky might fall…”

A riff on Lucretius.  You’ll see why when Nichole 5 shows up.

This again slightly longer installment marks the end of Part 3 of the MS for “Empress’ Crusade.”  I want to wrap the whole thing up in no more than 40-60 more pages.  I’ve reams of notes and images in my head but, honestly, am not sure which way to jump right now.  I know Faustina moves due east but not with how many of her four legions in Vicksburg.  I see the huge old Army base of Fort Benning.  I see what’s left of Atlanta and those in it a generation on.  I also understand her operational desire to secure the rest of the Deep South and a land route to Savannah.

This weekend will be spent in note-taking and, very likely, a series of micro-stories to try to muddle my way through this.  I don’t want to inflict that kind of “blue skying” on anyone, so it is likely that my updates will dwindle to nothing for June.

I am still looking forward to playing about with creating audiobooks over the summer.  Once I have the rest of EC in the can, so to speak, I might just post my prototype voice efforts on you, my poor, unsuspecting readers… and listeners.

Below, Faustina once again reaches out to her extended family to make a point to President Dysart of the Gulf Shore States:  the world is a much, much smaller place than he thought it was.

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Achievement unlocked! Peace.

This is a little longer, too, but there was no good place to break it up.  Just think of it as a nice read to distract you from all of the stupidity in the news.  Which is mostly propaganda, anyway.

Having made her point and walked-back her over-the-top demands, Faustina gives Dysart time to reach out to the main players in his coalition government.  No one, not even Faustina, I think, sees this as a long-term treaty, but it is a start… a peaceable start.

Looks like we get another “beach episode” in the next scene!

Continue reading “Achievement unlocked! Peace.”

Hoping for a clearer sky

I particularly enjoyed Faustina’s non-denial denial of what happened to the refinery.  And how she uses Alene as a conduit to let Dysart know she is sincere.  As readers, we know, via Thaad, the hole she dug for herself and her army.  The GSS President doesn’t know that.  He only knows this freak led 10,000 soldiers into his backyard.  I find their jockying for position to be very interesting!

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A Brunch of Words

Here in the US, it is a three-day weekend for Memorial Day.  One which, fortunately, I am not assigned to work for my DayJob.  So, besides a short honeydew list – and my own need to rebuild my rusty outdoor grille – it is a chance to write and write.

As I’ll be busy doing that, here’s a much longer update to the story.  Sit down with some coffee in the morning or a drink in the evening and look over the shoulders of President Dysart and Empress Faustina as they have their first, real, diplomatic exchange.  And it ends up being a doozy.  Hope to have more late Monday!

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Intelligence

As I suspected, Dysart gets the low-down on Faustina.  The Gulf Shore States may be 90% maritime but that does not mean their landward army cannot have a decent staff.  And it looks like they are blessed with a very capable intel officer in the form of Captain Alene, a careful and thorough man.  He gives his best summary of the empress and the imperium to his commander-and-chief, saving the worst for last.

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Show off

Knowing what we know, it is a little hard to not want to slap the top of Faustina’s head for being a smartass, here.  Not technically a lie, even by omission, but her blizzard of disinformation is not going to go done well once President Dysart understands what is going on.  And given how Fussy runs her mouth without her legates around, that will happen sooner rather than later.

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