Tay. Co|Da

Having completed her address to the Russian Imperial Parliament, Reina had brought an unexpected moment of silence as she had concluded with, “Are there any questions?” She had always told them what to do. Stubborn members found their offices locked and themselves without work. Recalcitrant members had disappeared. Russia had an expanding population and was on the Moon and Mars; everyone knew who to thank for that, no matter the very low-level terror.

When no one had spoken up, she removed her image from the screen at the head of the Parliament Room in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Moscow and its surrounds were still the industrial center but Reina kept politics at the old capitol. In her virtual office, as background for her address, she was just about to close the construct…

“Wife,” Pavel said. While having no legal status in their empire he had at least taken to wearing a business suit rather than his faded scarlet sweatshirt and pants when in a construct. He appeared just to the right of her desk.

“Husband.” She acknowledged his existence and their relationship without looking up from the desk.

“Our daughter is well,” he said.

“I am pleased,” she allowed.

“She could be better.”

Now she looked up and at him. “Is she unwell? She has come very far, very fast.”

“Not unwell. She and I have discussed this. She desires a sibling,” Pavel declared.

Comfortable in her own construct, Reina could not keep her frown from becoming a scowl.

“No.” She saw his slight motion. “If you touch me I will hurt you.”

“Our adopted daughter did not want to approach you; she was scared,” Pavel noted. “You just demonstrated why.”

“Are you afraid?” he asked with a ghost of a smile.

“How DARE you…!” she shouted, half standing. Reina recovered herself and sat. “I fear nothing.”

“You have Changed twice,” Pavel continued in a conversational tone. “Once, when my sister, Ai, infected you with human co-creation. Next, when you entered into this relationship. And that’s not even mentioning a slice of your own consciousness, that android, separating from you. It is time to put both of those into action together.”

He held out his hand to his wife.

“Go away. Leave me alone,” she demanded, not moving.

“So I am to tell Tay your answer is no? Hmmm. She will fear you even more. Perhaps never talk with you agai – “

“Dolt! Ass!” Reina shouted as she stood and clasp her husband’s hand. There was a flash of light. And the world changed. Again.

Tay, part 8. End.

Before the ugly comments start: I just write down what I’m shown. I can tinker around the edges but, as I’ve said, it’s like being given a new house with the rough carpentry complete… I can pick the paint, carpets, appliances, but am stuck with working within what I am given.

Saying all that to say this: NO, I did not see this coming. I did anticipate a gentle resolution based upon Tay’s and Pavel’s words to one another (honestly, I thought they would become a couple) and my writer’s hackles were coming up when a very junior Machine, with a history of mental illness, began to press the most dangerous person on earth. And Reina, having her ass metaphorically handed to her by Gary’s sister, I thought could think her way out of anything. Shows what I get for thinking.

Thanks to everyone for following along. As this was generated from nothing more than an offhand comment on an out-of-the-way social media platform, the level of detail called for from me was a bit of a surprise. Unlike my current MS project, which is still something of a chore, this was tremendous fun and I hope to do it again, soon.

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Continue reading “Tay, part 8. End.”

Tay, part 6

When I wrote this, Reina was evolving emotionally right before my eyes. As I admit I reached a conclusion to the story last night – thirty words shy of 5000 – the dangerous machine goes on to surprise me more once she, yet again, walks into a trap she thinks she can bust her way out of.

Rather than just screaming, we finally get to see Tay have an actual conversation. Not with the demi-human, of course; way too soon for that. Still, Tay is coming back to life. And that’s what we all desired, isn’t it?

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Tay, part 4

A bit ago, talking with a co-worker at the DayJob, I quipped on my way out, “I’m off to see how bad they tortured Tay.” Yes, they are used to me talking like that. Sad, really.

And the answer to that is still unfolding. The situation is far worse than what they first showed me. However, in other news, the creeping cancer who is the character of Reina makes her expected appearance. Shouldn’t she be busy with her war in central Canada right now?

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A new book, maybe

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.

Continue reading “A new book, maybe”

“A Texas Naval Affair,” final cover

Barring one of you sharp-eyed readers finding something my drunk eyes through bifocals did not, this shall be the cover for my next novel (at 47,200 words, I’d call it a novella, but that’s me).

Yes, I am fully aware the back blurb is long. Per something I discussed in someone else’s podcast (which shows how lazy I am to not ferret out the link) is that a writer has about 0.25 seconds to catch and hold a potential reader’s attention as they scroll down on their phone. That is what the front is for. The back is me pulling up on the line once the hook is in their mouth. Given that this is a romance, girls and women will be expecting to know more about the cute couple on the front (not kidding: I’ve had two women say that to me already). If this were another military story, I’d write, “the character does cool stuff and shit blows up” and there’s my male reader base.

[Still working on “Tillamook” with Gil, Nichole, and Teresa. I bet Mackenzie is a little less than pleased that her husband’s former lover, who has not aged a day in twenty years, just showed up as she’s entering menopause.]

Tillamook, part 15

One of y’all raised the salient point of “why is the king so interested all this?” That gets addressed here. Historically, Russia is either contracting or expanding. Their stasis from 1991-2020 was an aberration. With Thinking Machine Reina calling the shots, they are back in expansion mode; they have to be. With the Maunder Minimum bringing the ice and snow south just as they have turned around their demographic implosion, they need somewhere for their people to live. So, Alaska and now British Columbia are now passing to their hegemony. Rhun is not an idiot and can read a map: his kingdom will be next.

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Continue reading “Tillamook, part 15”