The letter his envoy brought back from Denver was hardly satisfactory. Peter read it again, sometimes snorting, sometimes chuckling. She hadn't changed a bit.
“To: His Excellency Peter Martinez, the Honcho of Texas
We trust this missive find you in robust health as usual. We are the same, and expect this condition to hold for the foreseeable future. So don't go getting hopeful! Here are a few points to bear in mind:
1. We both know that armies have to be exercised or they get soft. But must it really come to this, after all that we've both accomplished? I am well aware of the advantage you believe yourself to possess from your discovery of the apparently untouched weapons cache hidden under the remains of Abilene. Let us not pretend that we do not both of us have our spies in foreign soil. I will only say that I, also, have certain advantages that you would be well advised to take into consideration in your own deliberations. Think carefully, and reconsider.
2. I can only agree with you that the current fractured condition of the former United States of America must not be allowed to continue indefinitely. We disagree only in the means by which it should be ended. Shall it be restoration, albeit with a radically new infrastructure? Or, instead, as you suggest, should it be replaced by a different form of government altogether, a continent-wide empire, with you as the first of a line of hereditary American monarchs?
You should be able to predict my answer by now. We have known each other for a long time. If, however, you cannot, then let these words answer.
I am perfectly aware that my present position as absolute ruler of the former State of Colorado is contrary in spirit to that form of government first created on this continent so long ago. I am equally aware of the many millions who have died over the centuries protecting that dream, until the chaos of the Fall seemingly demolished it forever.
But a dream cannot die. Not until the very last person who cherishes it dies or abandons the noble ambitions it embodies. And my late husband the General entrusted me with it.
I assure you that I have not died. Nor have I abandoned the Dream, even if it might seem so because I do not yet have the means to rekindle it in enough hearts and minds to make it manifest and tangible again for all.
3. Please be aware, therefore, that I shall do all in my power to nurture and foster the Dream in my associates. If I do not manage to bring about its restoration in my own lifetime, then I shall do my utmost to ensure that those who continue after me vow to do the same.
Her Excellency, Kristana D'Arcy, the Governor of Colorado.”
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