Empire and Earth discussion and excerpt

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Empire and Earth is the concluding book of a 'tight' trilogy where each book takes up very quickly after the conclusion of the others, yet each book has it's own story, conflict, and resolution.


In Empire and Earth, the background events warned of in the first two books come to a head, reaching a tipping point and escalating rapidly from there.I woke up to the thought that I can't keep doing this.
I couldn't keep fighting demons like that solo.

It wasn't that I was getting old. It was simply that I wouldn't stand a prayer against a basileus or one of the uniques that could dominate even them. I could maybe handle terostes, even nephraim, but against any of the great nobles I was toast. I had no evidence that there were any more demons on Earth, but I didn't have any evidence that there weren't, either. You think there weren't any more demons on Earth after my most recent victory up north? Great - now prove it. I couldn't prove it either. Even if there weren't any now, that didn't mean there couldn't be more arriving in the future. The stons might have been stupid and unfocused, but they were at least a credible threat to keep any demons that might be on Earth under some type of control. Removing them had removed that threat and that control.

Asking which came first, stons or demons, was not a productive line of questioning. Whichever had brought the other, clearly the demons now had some sort of access to Earth. I wasn't certain I understood Instance Portals; they were beyond what I could do thus far. I'd have Asto or one of the others explain more when I got back. Maybe I could handle an Instance Portal; it was just nobody had explained how yet. When billions to trillions of operant mindlords are building up the science of the mind over tens of thousands of years, don't expect to master it all in a few months, no matter how fast your mind works now. All those other Guardians have minds that work just as fast.

Speaking of which, progress on my real goal - insulating people from the coming government failure - was thus far going nowhere. Yeah, I was making a lot of money selling dogs in the Empire - even if the land for my dog farm suddenly became worthless, I was still in the black. But I couldn't reach the real goal by myself. I needed other people from the Empire helping me for that. One person may be enough for an underground resistance, but it's not enough to make it a viable replacement for the multi-trillion dollar economy the government was going to kill. I needed lots more people and lots more traffic for that.

Before I went back to the Empire, though, I had to catch up with the backlog of pickups. It had been four days while we were preparing to fight the demons, a fourth night to actually do it, and it was now after noon of the fifth day since the last time I had picked up any dogs from my suppliers. If you've got a farm, you've got to work it - doesn't matter whether that farm is crops in the soil or a supply chain. I had just had a gap in pickup of three weeks; I couldn't leave pickups another five to seven days until I was caught up and had prepared my suppliers. That catching up took me three days, by which I was time I was two days past my planned stay, and had to get back before Asto came looking for me. I let Ray and my suppliers know that I was planning to be back in six days, and shaped course back for the Empire with almost exactly six thousand dogs.

I dropped back into the Home Instance, and the first thing I got was Asto's sense of relief. It was almost funny in a way, and I suppose from his point of view it was a little scary: I find out my new husband's family secret - that they were really Seventh Order, not Fifth - and promptly go over-schedule. Think about the obvious conclusion to be drawn from that. Sorry about being late. There were some demons, and after I spent four days on preparing and fighting them, I had to catch up the business before I could leave. I was worried you'd come looking for me and we'd cross paths.

Anana told me I had to wait a full day, he replied, but then she and Parnit would come with me in case it was stons or another basileus. Imperial Home Instance Time ran about one quarter the speed of Earth. Neither one of us mentioned Iaren's splinter.

Sorry to cause you worry. I got feedback to the effect it couldn't be helped.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on December 31, 2018 6:22 AM.

A Guardian From Earth discussion and excerpt was the previous entry in this blog.

Excerpt from Work in Progress: The Gates to Faerie is the next entry in this blog.

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