One of the characters in Retribution - book 4 of Warner's World - is Bernie Wong. He's the senior political adviser to the Defence Minister at the Federation Supreme Council in Washington DC. I really enjoyed creating and then developing this character. It reminded me of my days as a senior policy officer in our Department of Defence when I would have regular dealings with the senior advisors in the Defence Minister's office. He's not modelled on any specific individual but I like to think he's cast in the mould.
Anyway last month I decided to take a break from writing Resilience - book 6 of Warner's World - and so I started writing a new book called Bernie's Crusade. It's not in the main stream of the other Warner's World books but it's set within the framework albeit six years before The Awakening.
It starts ten days after the new government has been sworn in. The newly elected cabinet has a full agenda and a pent up passion to prosecute it. High up on its list is to reign in the military which under the previous government exercised a growing amount of autonomy especially over activities in the newer systems of the Far Reaches. They campaigned hard on this issue and believe they have a mandate. But the joint chiefs are not inclined to give up their freedom to act.
Add to this mix the rising independence movement within the Far Reaches. It has grown frustrated with the political processes and is now determined to achieve its objectives through whatever means it can. As usual the Federation Fleet officers on the line become the meat in the sandwich. One of these is Lieutenant Commander Chelsea Baxter who commands the corvette Daring. She has been charged with enforcing the Fleet imposed 'control orders' that call for her to inspect all ships coming into the colonised moon, Josker.
For her its a simple matter of doing her duty. But this simple perspective cannot stand up to the competing interests that are about to erupt in a flashpoint that will become the Baxter Incident. Her life is about to change dramatically as she is caught within a moral vice. And it is Bernie Wong who will be tightening the screws at one end.
I've written just over forty pages now and I'm enjoying it immensely.
Dave O'Connor is an award winning designer of computer war games, a consultant to the military in the simulation space, an expert in artificial intelligence and now author of the Warner's World series of sci-fi books. He is probably best known as President of Panther Games and designer of the Command Ops computer wargame series. He lives in Canberra, Australia, with his wife Joy. He has two adult children.
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