Dear readers, tonight we interview a man from a dystopian future, where an economic catastrophe has left just a small eilte living in the London Enclave. He’s the brother of the protagonist, and here to tell us about his military career standing against the radical elements.
Excuse me, are you Cost-Centre Lieutenant Lawrence Aldingford?
Yes, how can I help?
My name is Darcy Cruikshank-Chaudhary.
Pleased to meet you!
I work for The Glorious Gazette. Do you have a few minutes to spare? I’m running a series called “Leaders of the Future” and I’d love to interview you.
Well… Yes, all right. Let’s find a seat over in this corner… Maybe even get a waiter… Could we have a couple of coffees please? Do sit down—no thank you, I don’t smoke, but you go right ahead.
This is my first conference. Isn’t it amazing to see that big hall filled with General Wardian uniforms? I haven’t seen that many people since my graduation from Oxford… You don’t seem impressed.
It’s pretty run-of-the-mill for a spring conference. The executive-marshal’s speech was excellent, he’s done a fine job growing market share. The director of personnel on the other hand was just spouting platitudes.
Have you travelled far to be here?
Not as far as some, but a respectable distance. I’m based at the Oban garrison. You’ve never heard of Oban, have you? It’s an obscure but important port on the west coast of Scotland. The Krossingtons own the town and a large area around it called the Mull and Morvern Estate. It’s their main colony in the north, and it’s empty. Even before the Glorious Resolution it was empty—there are no abandonments. The population is actually greater now than it was back in the Public Era.
That must be surreal.
It creates challenges for us in General Wardian. The Oban garrison has 600 square miles of Krossington land to protect, and almost all of it is helpless wilderness. It’s like holding a new-born baby. Fortunately, there is not much surplus flow that far north, just a trickle across the Irish Sea. You would not believe how surplus will throw itself onto the bleak seas on hollowed-out logs and barrels and any other detritus it can lay its hands on. Our patrol barges pick up the lucky stuff. I don’t like to think how much simply vanishes into the Nameless Gone.
That’s a good point, and relevant to what I want to talk to you about. As you’ll know, the radicology has been growing on university campuses in the last few years. We’ve seen a fall in applications for officer training. The executive-marshal has asked me to put together some profiles of our best young officers to show that General Wardian glory trust is a perfectly respectable choice of career.
So why pick me?
Well, you’re very young for such a senior rank.
But I didn’t go to university.
You… Oh, that’s most unusual…
I signed up at seventeen as a probationary basic and worked my way up from the ranks.
Very impressive! To what do you attribute your rapid promotion?
Action. To get on in General Wardian—or any glory trust for that matter—you have got to seek action. You are going to lead men into danger. You have got to be certain of your ability to deal with anything, or you are a fraud in fancy dress. I started my career in a hygiene unit just outside London, near the Great West Drain. We saw combat every week. Calamitous irruptions of surplus flow, gangs of Night Side smugglers, nests of infestation… We dealt with the full gamut of glory action. Extracting nests was probably the most nerve-wracking. I know it’s not said in polite society, but amongst ourselves we have to acknowledge that the surplus is composed of illiterate, spawning savages. Extracting a nest of infestation is much worse than destroying a nest of hornets. Hornets don’t hide spikes up their sleeves.Continue reading “Lawrence Aldingford (of A Bloody Arrogant Power, by Malcolm J. Wardlaw)”