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For All Nails #39: Body, Mind and Character

Aboard the private yacht _Jonquille_, in harbor
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
28 December 1972

Major Felipe Jackson was a man who believed in duty.
Among his more _macho_ vices was a secret one, an addiction
to the romantic novels of David Anson Henry[1].  He told 
himself that it was research -- since Henry had inspired
the Turnerites [2], who had built modern Manitoba, the 
spiritual center of the CNA, it was a way to better know
his enemy.  But he often found himself daydreaming about 
Henry's heros, strong men who tamed the Manitoban wilderness
in the company of strong women, all through their devotion
to duty.  Duty to family, to community, and to God, the wise
stewardship of nature, modeling the perfect love of Jesus and
his disciples...  

But for the present Jackson had his duty to country, and to his
superiors in Army Intelligence.  And it was in pursuit of this duty,
he reflected as he padded across the cabin from the head and 
stopped to take in the sight of the naked woman on his bunk, that
he had brought Astrid home from the bar.

He had a primary duty to maintain his cover identity.  It would
have been out of character for any man not to respond to Astrid,
and particularly out of character for an independently wealthy, 
handsome young yachtsman like Phil Jackson of Miami [3].  More
importantly, perhaps, Astrid was a naval _attache_ connected to one
of the many unpronouncable Scandinavian intelligence agencies.  She
could be a key source for intelligence on Scandinavian naval affairs,
a matter of increasing importance to Mexico.

The Scandies were the largest "neutral" country in Europe, but their
proximity to Germany made them natural allies of Britain and thus of
the CNA.  They had had little to do with Mexico since the latter's
bungled and never-acknowledged attempt to grab these very islands when
no one was looking during the Global War.  But Jackson had already 
learned enough -- three _very_ sophisticated ship-killer submarines,
possibly more, and facilities that could maintain even larger craft.
The Scandie engineers were good, but there was only one place with such
advanced submersible technology.  Jackson had half-expected to confirm
that a "Taiwanese Navy" undersea launch platform had already visited St.
Thomas.  That hadn't happened yet, but the base was ready for one and so
were a number of unmistakably Kramer personnel.

Astrid would soon note his curiosity, he was afraid.  He would then have
to "let her discover" that he was "actually" a free-lance journalist on
the trail of a Hoboken Prize [4] -- he could show her a few travel articles
with the byline "Jackson Phillips" to prove it.  Beyond that, he could 
always fall back on his old standby, an undercover assignment with the CBI.
It would be a long time, if ever, before Astrid need ever know his real
name and identity.

Anyone watching him closely over the last few weeks would have had no
trouble believing the CBI story, he reflected.  His last two stops had
been in USM-allied Cuba and neutral Puerto Rico[5].  It was amusing to think
of how his naval counterparts would react to a detailed report of what the
observant passerby could discover about the USM base at Guantanamo.  And
Puerto Rico!  With its still-ambiguous connections to a Spanish government
that was allied to Germany, at least this month, the revolutionary "Republic
of Boricua" and Mexico's chief allies were up to something.  He now knew
what, and sometime about now his microfoto'd report was being removed from
under the stamp of a postcard to "Phil"'s nonexistant aunt in New Orleans.
The Secretary would soon know the real nature of the "distillery equipment"
shipped from Germany to San Juan and nearly assembled in the western part of
the island.  And Jackson was willing to bet a hundred devalued _dolares_
that this was the first news the Secretary would have of it.

Jackson was not what his colleagues called a "big-picture _hombre_", and 
thus his need-to-know briefings were weak on the subject of atomic weapons.
But he was an avid reader of _Jane's Military Monthly_ and _Aeronautics 
Week_, two publications whose networks of confidential sources excited his
professional envy.  Everyone knew that the Bombs pointed from Britain to
Europe and vice versa were about the size and weight of a Dickinson [6].
The workhorse rockets of either size could throw such a Bomb 2500 or 3000
kilometers, and it was these rockets that were now on Puerto Rico.  A circle
of 2500 kilometers from the site included Charleston and the naval base at
Pensacola.  3000 kilometers was enough to reach New Orleans, New York, or
Burgoyne.  The "big picture _hombres_" would have to deal with the
implications of that.  For that matter, even the 2500-km circle included
most of Yucutan...

His attention returned to his present companion.  Here was a woman to make
a life with, he thought.  Henry's heroes were very careful to pick out 
exactly the right woman -- the perfect ideal in body, mind, and character.
(Their tendency to choose "women" in their early teens had been fodder for
literary critics and armchair alienists for generations.)  Astrid's body
was well displayed at the moment.  Strictly speaking, a Henry hero might
consider her beauty to be superficial, but Jackson had seen plenty of 
evidence of her strength and endurance earlier that evening.  Mind?  She
spoke English and Spanish like a native, and presumably knew several of the
bizarre collection of languages in her homeland.  Their conversation boded
well for her bearing smart children, or companioning long winter nights.
Character?  Turnerites thought that true character only emerged in bed 
(hence the controversial "community-building rituals" that had driven some
to exile).  Jackson would not go so far, but he was not without experience
with a number of women, and Astrid seemed to be someone he could trust.

Of course she was probably some sort of spy herself, but that could work
too, he thought.  They could go into "private practice" together, a family
farm raising secrets instead of Linnaean wheat [7].  They could get a bigger
boat, raise the kids right on it...

He carefully climbed into the bunk next to her.  She stirred, locked his
leg with hers, and snuggled up close.  "_Mi Felipe_," she murmured.

Notes:

[1] The closest I can come to an example of a story like one of D. A. 
    Henry's is _The Tale of the Adopted Daughter_, part of _Time Enough
    For Love_ by R. A. Heinlein.  Henry combines the emphasis on self-
    reliance in Thoreau with the imperative to make a new life in the 
    toughest country imaginable.  Henry was a mainstream Christian, but
    inspired the utopian Turnerite movement of the 1880's described in
    Sobel.

[2] Turnerites believed in community, self-reliance, and free love.
    Henry's novels leave out the free love part.

[3] It has been noted off-line that Miami should in all likelihood not
    have its OTL name in the FANTL, since the Miamis were a midwestern
    tribe.  But I sited Phil Jackson in Miami in #12.  Checking my 1910
    _Britannica _ I found that then-new Miami was set on the Miami River,
    which got named God knows how but possibly long ago.  In the FANTL
    Miami is a base for sport fishing, dwarfed by the larger resort and
    retirement cities of South Beach and Flaglerville.

[4] Gordon MacGregor, Lord Hoboken (1802-1878) was the son of the 
    eponymous inventor of the CNA industrial combine.  He MacGregorized
    the penny press of the NC and then the CNA by 1850 before buying
    the New York _Herald_ and turning to more respected (and more
    influential) journalism.  After retiring with his title to his New
    Jersey estate, he endowed the CNA's greatest prize for excellence in
    investigative reporting.

[5] Watch for Noel's #39b to come shortly with more on the highly
    confusing situation in Puerto Rico.  There are revolutionary movements
    currently in both Puerto Rico and Spain, and whether PR is tied to
    Spain depends on which side has the upper hand in each at the moment. 

[6] A CNA-built luxury locomobile.

[7] Carl von Linne (1707-1778), the Swedish naturalist, sent expeditions
    all around the world to discover useful plants.  In the FANTL, he found
    and developed a strain of wheat from Siberia that thrived in a short 
    growing season and limited rainfall.  This "Linnaean wheat" is one key
    reason the Manitoba and Northern Vandalia are far more intensively 
    farmed than in OTL.

Dave MB