Faustina, awash in emotion, does something stupid. On the heels of that, she takes a walk to murmur a song. We are both older for this transitional scene.
A little more exposition of what Faustina seemed needed, so I brought an expert. They have things out pleasantly. Next, hopefully tomorrow, will be the formal celebration of the victory at Savannah. Why do I think my main character has some surprise in mind?
Who doesn’t love a meeting? Besides, that is, every normal person on Earth? Still, no matter what form of government you have, consensus among those who actually run things is critical for longevity of the oligarchy. And all governments, everywhere, are oligarchy.
In this first part we find Faustina’s success in Savannah to already be destabilizing to the powers-that-be of Greater Knoxville. The issues here are internal. Part two, this weekend, will be external. I wasn’t sure where our main character was headed, but out of the mouths of babes, little Aurelia had it right back in the latter parts of “Princess’ Crusade.”
The design contest for the cover of my short story collection, “Empire’s Agent” is complete. I hope to have a proof copy in my hands in less than a week and a commercial release days after that.
At 57k words I have passed the MS of “American Imperium: Princess’ Crusade” onto one of my new copyeditors. He’s a little spastic about “?!” punctuation but I like the cut of his jib. Once “Empire’s Agent” is loose in the wild I shall likely begin another cover design contest. Tricky: the main character, 18-year old Faustina, spends half the book in a hospital bed with 2nd degree burns and no hair. Not the stuff for an eye-catching cover, is it?
And… speaking of Faustina: if there’s a part one, there better be a part two. Below the fold is the opening scene of “American Imperium: Empress’ Crusade.” Faustina is utterly full of herself and as arrogant “af” – as the kids say. I wanted to start things slow and humble. I have tiny, faint glimpses of where she might be going, but I won’t know until she gets there. Enjoy the ride with me!
Faustina gives Wei a precis about ‘the machines home,’ the virtual world that dates back to the opening pages of my first novel, The Fourth Law. After that, Fussy’s relief is palpable when her godmother finally makes her appearance but as human minds are easily stressed in such an environment, it is soon time to go.
The little bit at the end, about Fuzhou, surprised me. I really do wonder if there’s a blood connexion between them. They’ll let me know if they want to, I guess.
After this – for my two days off this week – I’m going to try two big speeches: the first is Faustina to her senior centurions and the second to her assembled legions. I’m pretty sure about the former but the latter is still in fog. Praying for a clearer sky.
Not entirely sure if I’m sneaking up on the ending of what will be at least two books about Faustina or just the end of the first part of the longest novel I’ve ever written. We shall see.
Said part or book conclusion will be Faustina’s award ceremony for her army. I have already heard a few bits of it. “Land and titles” echo around my mind. She is not just conquering land, she plans to colonize it with young men and women from Greater Knoxville. And loyal to her, personally.
But first, she needs a venue. And right after that, to overcome a language barrier, she takes Nurse Wei to her godmother’s home.
Faustina continues her tour of the POW camp and meets someone unexpected. Afterward she and her legates head north to take a look at the Port of Savannah but find that to be too dangerous in the evening. Time for bed.
Over 3000 words this weekend! And it’s only 1300 on Sunday! A total of 51k so far! Where is this story going? Won’t someone tell me?