27 Festivis, 1137
I hate this dream.
It wasn’t the nightmare; I only get that one after I read my security reports. No, this was one of a series. Not strictly frightening, just disquieting because they’re so bleeding frequent.
This was the dance dream, and in it, I’m enjoying dancing — which tells me it is fantasy because I hate dancing — with my chestnut haired Pronator. The dream is mostly memory; we revolve down the Presentation Hall. I look into his face, meeting his direct, dark blue eyes. We talk, sometimes about my work, though always my work now rather than what it was when the memory was formed. Sometimes we talk about his, though rationally, I know my mind merely fills in the script; I don’t know much of what he did. Engineering, or maybe architecture. He always smells of sandalwood, sage, and a sweetness for which I have no name, but sometimes he wears smoke, or pine sap or sulphur, too. His coat always appears to be fine, smooth indigo worsted, but that’s not always what my hand on his shoulder feels. I’ve touched as little as a single layer of fine linen over wiry, solid shoulders, or several layers of wooly knitted tunic, or wet waxed canvas. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 02 – 27 Festivis 1137 Cazerien”
26 Festivis, 1137, seven days after Midwinter
“Find them!” I roared. “Get the Ingeniae Corps on it. Observers better be pulling puissance within four minutes!” I pointed at two runners in the hall outside my office. “You, Outriders — they’ll have their directions at the stable. You, summon a security detachment.”
My uncle Vohan, Razin of Galantier, was late returning to Northwest Border One, my garrison. Only an hour, but that’s half too much. The Monarch of Galantier travels with outriders and three carriages — if one breaks, it’s left behind. If the Razin becomes incapacitated, an outrider on a fast horse proceeds to the destination for assistance.
He’d spent the seventh, eighth and ninth days of this progress he’d usurped from my cousin at Western Two; this morning, the heliograph reported that he’d left on time to come north again. Given his security detachment of twenty heavy cavalry, two dozen guards, fast horses, good carriages and his ingeniae, he shouldn’t be late. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 01 -26 Festivis 1137 Ragin”
Incitement: Winter, 1129
I never should have come, I should have stayed in the field.
I pulled my collar tighter as I ducked through a torrent of icy rain overflowing the Karsai’s gutters. The Reception Hall felt no warmer than the street, but a marble room the size of a tosca-ball field just can’t be warmed, not without enough fire to blacken every wall in a half-hour.
Worse, there was a line. There’s always a line when you’re impatient. A slow line. I blew on my hands and studied the bas-reliefs of events and people most Galantierans barely remember. Could we build this today? Would we bother? Impressive as the Karsai is, Galantier doesn’t need a cube of marble covering two acres. A millennium ago, the Founders feared another black rain, but now…
This tenday’s bitter, freezing rain wasn’t mostly ash, but I understood why the Founders commissioned this fortress. I craved shelter, too. I can’t, I won’t do it, but I can’t get out of this alone. Bright god of the sun and holy mother of wisdom, send me somebody who’ll listen. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion: Incitement Winter 1129 Quin”
Elevator pitch – The West Wing, if it were set in Westeros.
Action heroes experience some serious trauma. It’s not easy to beat up the bad guys and walk away unscathed. Even if that hero has really good reasons for putting their opposition in the vitamix, the hero still has to go home, look at their loved ones, look at themselves, and heal. That leaves marks on bodies and psyches.
The real heroes in those stories are the civil servants — the 911 operators who take the calls, the beat cops who get the civilians out of the way, the firefighters and EMS who handle the immediate emergency, the FEMA admins who get the money to get the destroyed buildings rebuilt, the social workers who handle the post-event trauma. The people who are doing the job of keeping civilization ticking. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion – Overview – README”
Or, how you’re killing your own business, alienating most of the population, and making yourselves irrelevant.
Continue reading “An Open Letter to Game Developers”
The meal progressed as all intimate celebratory meals do, with laughter and cheer, and much lingering over the courses. There were a few tears, as there had been at previous graduations when Andrew Halivand had been missed; but joy salved the wound. The early mosquitoes and the clock drove the party indoors, and Olivia went upstairs to change into practical clothing.
When she came down, Rebecca was shaking Avery’s hand, and saying, “Thank you for attending to us so well, Mr. Godwin. Please consider yourself welcome here any time you please.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Halivand. You’ve been a wonderful hostess, and have delighted my poor, travel-stained soul.”
“What about us?” Susannah demanded mockingly. “Mom may hold title on the property, but we do the work around here!”
Continue reading “Artifacts of Affection (CH7)”
“He likes you,” Corrine said, standing before the bathroom sink, cleaning her face and teeth.
Olivia soaked in the old iron bathtub with the navy curtain drawn round it so Corrine couldn’t see her expressions. “That’s nice,” she finally said around splashing her wash cloth idly.
“That’s nice?” Corrine stamped her foot. “Nice is all you can say about it? He’s … well… he’s great for you! He’s not exactly hot, and he’s criminally ignorant of the arts and kind of single-minded about science, but you like geeks, and he’s a nice one.”
“I think you give him too little credit,” Olivia said. “He’s really smart, and I think he’s lovely. Just because he doesn’t know opera doesn’t mean he’s not well-rounded. We had a wonderful talk about architecture a couple of days ago.”
“So you do like him?” Corrine peeked in.
“I appreciate his friendship, but he’s off limits.”
Corrine huffed. “What crap, Olivia. By what standards? Who has the right to stand in the way of love and happiness?”
Continue reading “Artifacts of Affection (CH6)”