About The Wildcat’s Burden.
Gisel Matah is now the military governor of the port city of Skrona, the very place she was instrumental in capturing five years before. That could be a good thing, except many of the former residents from Lubitz who are to be displaced are planning revenge. Even the Tarnlanders who expect to gain from the others’ losses are impatient with the fair and systematic way she intends to carry out the changeover. And Iskander, that holds a Mandate to govern the city in the interim, is insistent that neither of their allies should have reason to accuse her of partiality or bias.
That wouldn’t be a problem for our old Wildcat, but this one is pregnant, and her first child is expected in a matter of weeks.
As if the local scene were not challenging enough, Skrona is the transshipment point for almost all Iskander goods, conveyed south from Bergrund on the recently completed railroad and shipped out by the merchant ships of twenty nations. Spies, bandits, confidence tricksters, and would-be millionaires have flocked to the city to grab as much of the Iskander knowledge and wealth as they can.
Gisel’s husband, Yohan Felger, is still the manager of the Felger-Iskander Partnership but he has issues with the radical ideas about women’s and workers’ rights she is implementing in the city. He is still hopelessly in love, but is aghast that she will not conform to his people’s practice of secluding a mother-to-be from troubles and vexations. “What is my son to become?” he wonders. “A solid merchant banker or some mercenary stormcrow?”
Into this hotbed of deception and violence come old enemies of Gisel’s, bent on stealing military secrets and making an attempt on her life. Commandante Zagdorf brings new and deadly henchmen to increase the Empire’s intelligence gathering. Count f’Doornam who lost titles and wealth because she outwitted him at Lubitz has one more chance at restoring his fortune, but is prepared to risk all to gain his revenge against the couple. The Tarnlanders and displaced Lubitz citizens are waiting to bring their contest for the wealth of Skrona into the streets with the object of murdering their opponents. Gisel is confident she can keep control until her confinement starts, but what plan can she devise for that crisis? It better be good.