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Thirty Nine Thousand Words and Counting! It’s a Fourth of July Miracle (Here in the United States of America). As a reminder ALL Steam Empire Chronicle novels are 25% off this July at Smashwords, and Roma Aeronautica is free! Tell your friends! Tell your family!

Here’s today’s snippet after the break.

“So far, it appears to be working.”

Octavia turned to face Thomas. He had been reading dispatches from the front, listening to General Regillus’ increasingly terse words. His men had held, barely, and been unexpectedly savaged by the assault of the rebel warmachines. Regillus himself had been wounded leading the rearguard before the arrival of nightfall had saved the loyalist army.

Even now, the advance pickets of Minnicus’ Thema Italia pushed against the pickets of the Thema Grecia. I wish there were reinforcements to send him, but we have to make this look like a suitably desperate defense. Even now, her own people were playing a part. The city of Tranapolis, a key junction along the road and railroad lines here in Thrace, was being evacuated. Civilians were moving east towards the safety of Thema Anatolia and Constantinople. Barricades were being established along roads and alleyways. Tranapolis was an unwalled city, having outgrown and reused its original walls as building blocks for new construction.

Certainly now the inhabitants were regretting that decision.

“It may be working, but we haven’t seen any sign of General Minnicus throwing his men forward. Nor any sign of creating a cavalry heavy component to try and break through one part of Regillus line.” She trailed off, thinking hard. “He’s up to something.”

“Domina?”

“Minnicus is up to something. I don’t know what it is yet, but I’ll figure it out soon, I’m sure.”