“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.

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“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!

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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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Generally speaking

So that’s who shows up… this time and so far.  The fact that in the last installment President Dysart saw drones in the air means to me that Faustina is at very least in live contact with her legions if not seeing into the Void, as well.

Allow me to preen over the touch that had Fausta’s simulacrum of her god-daughter not have any burn scarring.  It’s quite possible as a machine, Fausta is not even aware of her namesake’s permanent damage.

It looks as if the young general is trying very hard to be diplomatic for once.  I wonder if she can keep it together?

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Known Unknowns

Getting to know a little more about the current situation in and around GSS President Dysart.  I don’t see him in my head as a bad actor, per se.  I do wonder why his administration decided to choke off Louisiana’s trade… antagonizing Texas in the process.  When I need to know I suppose they will tell me.

This transition scene is rather brief.  I want to see what kind of fireworks – if any – there are once he meets Faustina Hartmann.  I wonder:  will he be meeting the General or the Empress?

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