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BOOK I OF THE UPRISING TRILOGY
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Book I of the Uprising Trilogy
Copyright 2012 by Michael Seeley
BOOK I OF THE UPRISING TRILOGY
They've killed the king. They've replaced him with an imposter. Now they want his twin.
Nathaniel Fletcher and Viscount Logan Harling are two young Englishmen on their Grand Tour through Europe. But when they stumble into a plot to kill the King of Riktenburg, it's all they can do to stay alive.
A ruthless secret society known only as The Faith butchers the king, ending the monarchy that has betrayed the divine right of kings. The radicals replace him with a master imposter and order the execution of the dead king's twin brother.
Logan and Nathaniel are the only ones who can stop Rikenburg from descending into tyranny. But how can they save the kingdom and their own lives when they're being chased by The Faith?
The Faith is the action-packed opening to the Uprising Trilogy!
This edition contains 10,000 words of extra features from Seeley's upcoming works and other genres!
Preview of The Invasion: Book II of the Uprising Trilogy (Coming Late Fall 2012) - A hanging goes awry, and Logan, Nathaniel, and Jacob are called to save Riktenburg again.
Preview of Duty: A Retelling of Waterloo - In addition to writing fiction, Seeley is a Napoleonic historian. His second novel, Duty, asks what might have happened if Napoleon had won at Waterloo.
Dulce et Decorum - Seeley's Napoleonic short fiction is collected in the Men of Eagles series. In this story, a mother offers her son to Napoleon's armies with disastrous consequences.
A Questionable Affair - An insulted man must protect the villain he is also forced to kill in this Steampunk adventure.
Sine Qua Non
Table of Contents
About the Author
Preview of The Invasion: Book II of the Uprising Trilogy
Preview of Duty: A Retelling of Waterloo
Dulce et Decorum
A Questionable Affair
"Bloody French are back to murdering each other," I said. Noting a lull in our conversation, I had picked up a copy of Le Moniteur left by a previous passenger on the train. Although it was two days old, the following headline caught my eye: "Angry Student Kills — Be Warned!"
Logan looked up from gazing at the onrushing plains out the smudged glass of the train. Leaning forward he spoke, "What?" When I didn't answer, he said "Nathaniel."
"Just this," I replied at last. I pointed towards the article, and he motioned for the paper.
"Well," he said after glancing at the headline, "You mustn't believe everything in Le Moniteur. Louis Philippe's got his hands all over it." My friend was right of course. The French king had seized control of the paper, and the publication was slandered for its blatant propaganda.
"Read it," I said. He nodded, flipped the paper open to see the entire article, and coughed to clear his throat.
"'Angry Student Kills — Be Warned! Early yesterday morning, the state police received several complaints about a gathering of boisterous students along the Rue des Écoles. The reports warned of shouting, angry cries, and chanting. The mob had taken up residence in the middle of the street, blocking all traffic. Upon seeing the gendarmes, the mob screamed even louder. They hurled slanderous comments about the king, his family, and the entire French government. Next, the devils threw stones. No gendarmes were injured in these attacks.
"'Given the students' predisposition to violence, disruptive nature, and dangerous tone, the gendarmes dispersed the mob by force. These lay-abouts and laborers did not comply, but the police compelled most of them in the end. However, one cluster refused to leave. One gendarme dismounted and began shoving them out of the road. Enraged, one of these student lashed out. He knifed the policeman in the chest and took to his heels. Hearing the strangled cry of the mortally injured man, other gendarmes gave pursuit and took the murderer into custody, tackling him to the flagstones.
'"The criminal is being held at an undisclosed location and will stand trial this coming Tuesday. Given the overwhelming amount of evidence, he will, of course, be found guilty and executed for his crime. The writers of this paper warn all subscribers to be wary of such dangerous elements within the city. Furthermore, to all protestors: justice is swift upon those who defy the peace of France.'" He paused as the tracks shuddered beneath us. "And that's it," Logan finished.
"Cheery bit of news, isn't it?" I commented dryly.
"Things are coming to a head." For months, news from the Continent had been spooling through the English papers. Workers and students were out of work, out of bread, and out of patience. Hunger was rampant, and the excesses from before the French Revolution were returning. In the German states, in Austria, and throughout France, anger was brewing. "And our Tour?" he continued.
I nodded. "I don't suppose it's dangerous enough to warrant a change in plans . . ."
"Oh of course it isn't. What would our fathers think?" Logan interrupted. Grand Tours aren't simply changed. "Their king will sort it all out. He's got Louis XVI, XIII, and Charles before him to act as guides," my friend spoke. It was very true. Given that the recent French kings had been executed, forced to abdicate, and exiled did not bode well for any man who refused to listen to the Parisian mob. "We'll continue as we are, and hope that our time in Paris won't be interrupted by another Tennis Court Oath."
I laughed in agreement but changed the subject. My mind kept slipping back though. The article had unsettled me, perhaps more than it had Logan. But I couldn't say what exactly bothered me. Maybe it was a sense of caution. Logan was a Viscount and I a commoner, only his friend. We were just starting upon a Grand Tour, a rite of passage reserved for the affluent. In the end I resolved not to worry too much. How much enjoyment would that bring me?
The train rolled on and on under our feet. I glanced out the window and was again caught by the rolling beauty of my home, England. Her flowing fields and proud trees were a constant reminder of the majesty of our people. It struck me suddenly that it might be years before I saw her beloved shores once more. A small, nagging voice in my head reminded me that the world was full of beautiful places. Eventually I let myself drift off to sleep.
As the day's sun dipped towards the horizon, the rolling, rocking motion of the locomotive came to a halt with a final burst of steam. The nearby sound of gulls filled the silence left by the engine's rest.
I smiled over at Logan and gave a chipper "Shall we?" before standing and ushering myself out of Compartment 12A and onto the bustlin
g Dover platform. He followed and we collected our trunks and took stock of our situation as we stood in the crowd, isles amid a sea of movement. In the distance, we could hear the chaotic sounds from the wharf.
Porters carried our luggage, two trunks apiece, as we jaunted down the busy street and finally came to a queue waiting for passage to Calais. Stowing our possessions and inspecting the fine accommodations of a first-class birth, the pair of us tipped our porters and settled in for the short trip to our first foreign land.
After perhaps a quarter of an hour of lounging about, Logan leaned up from his chair and slapped his knees. "What else is there to do aboard a ship?" he questioned.
Yawning, I replied, "The journey's only a few hours to begin with." Luckily for my vivacious companion, we had arrived only minutes before the vessel was slated to depart. We had just enough time to hop aboard and take our leave of the porters before she set sail. "There's always the sea," I said offhandedly. The words had scarcely escaped my mouth before Logan had leapt up and was donning his frock coat and rushing towards the door. My laugh rang out through the empty room as I raced to collect my own wardrobe and catch up with the man.
Finally, I found him along the portside rail of our vessel. While I had seen the expansive ocean before, this particular view was gorgeous.
The pallid face of Dover's cliffs hung behind us. Majestically, they pushed us forward, and resolutely, they reminded us from whence we came. Ahead, wave after rolling wave painted the movable mass of the sea. Droplets coated the air, and passengers sat about, reading their papers and puffing their cigars. Beneath us, I could feel all the power of those waves. Then, my eye was drawn upwards. Above, the sky stretched like some divine canvas. Quiet clouds drifted in the celestial sea, while the setting sun smiled warmly upon us as her rosy fingers grasped the sky.
In a word, it was breathtaking.
The two of us stood transfixed as we gazed upon all these wonders. I let a roaring, boy-like cheer escape my throat. The joyful sound echoed across the waves and drew not a few looks from our fellow passengers, but I didn't care.
"You do know how to make a scene, don't you Nathaniel?" laughed Logan, clasping me on the shoulder.
"I do try, anyway. How else would I steal any attention from your Eminence?" I bowed playfully and jumped back as his kick cut through the air. We dashed about the deck, laughing and pointing towards every new sight that caught our ecstatic eyes. As darkness swallowed all aboard, we returned to our cabin for a night of fulfilled rest. Although the ship would reach France long before the morning, the vessel offered the courtesy of remaining aboard overnight to all privileged passengers. Given our day's travels, we were all too keen to accept this offer of hospitality.
Opening my eyes the next morning, I immediately noted the decrease in movement. The gentle waves of the harbor lacked the luster and the strength of their counterparts amid the open sea. It was no matter, though. I woke Logan, who complained endlessly in good fun about the noisy cabin-mate. We again retrieved our gear, left the ship, and once more, boarded another train. It seemed that this voyage would involve a lot of monotonous travel. Although the scenery was fantastic, the rolling and often uncomfortable seats of a locomotive are not the best of accommodations.
Walking towards it, Logan glanced over. "Behave yourself; wouldn't want you to get shot by some gendarme."
I threw him a mock salute. "Welcome to France."
We stopped talking then and ran to catch the train. Laughing together, we stepped aboard as it threw out a burst of steam and began winding its way towards Paris.
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