The ram rebellioneric Flint with Virginia DeMarce

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1634: THE RAM REBELLIONEric Flint with
Virginia DeMarce
 This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2006 by Eric Flint with Virginia DeMarce. Stories copyright by individual authors.

A Baen Books Original

Baen Publishing Enterprises


P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com

ISBN 10: 1-4165-2060-0


ISBN 13: 978-1-4165-2060-7

Cover art by Tom Kidd

First printing, May 2006

Distributed by Simon & Schuster


1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Flint, Eric.
1634 : the Ram rebellion / Eric Flint with Virginia DeMarce.
  p. cm.
  "A Baen Books original."
  ISBN 1-4165-2060-0
  1. Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648—Fiction. 2. Germany—History—1618-  1648—Fiction. 3. Americans—Germany—Fiction. 4. West Virginia—  Fiction. I. DeMarce, Virginia Easley, 1940- II. Title.

PS3556.L548A61842006


813'.54—dc22
                 2006005327

Printed in the United States of America Baen Books by Eric FlintRing of Fire series:1632 by Eric Flint


1633 by Eric Flint & David Weber
Ring of Fire ed. by Eric Flint
1634: The Galileo Affair by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
Grantville Gazette, ed. by Eric Flint
Grantville Gazette II, ed. by Eric Flint
1634: The Ram Rebellion by Eric Flint with Virginia DeMarce et al.
1635: Cannon Law by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis (forthcoming)
Grantville Gazette III ed. by Eric Flint (forthcoming)Joe's World series:The Philosophical Strangler
Forward the Mage (with Richard Roach)

Mother of Demons
The Shadow of the Lion (with Mercedes Lackey & Dave Freer)
This Rough Magic (with Mercedes Lackey & Dave Freer)
The Wizard of Karres (with Mercedes Lackey & Dave Freer)
Rats, Bats & Vats (with Dave Freer)
The Rats, the Bats and the Ugly (with Dave Freer, forthcoming)
Pyramid Scheme (with Dave Freer)
Crown of Slaves (with David Weber)
Boundary (with Ryk E. Spoor)The Belisarius series, with David Drake:An Oblique Approach
In the Heart of Darkness
Destiny's Shield
Fortune's Stroke
The Tide of Victory
The Dance of TimeThe General series, with David Drake:The TyrantCAST OF CHARACTERS German Nobleman and OfficialsBayreuth, Christian: Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, ally of Gustavus Adolphus
Bimbach, Fuchs von:
Freiherr, estates both near Bayreuth (headquarters and Schloss there) and near Gerolzhofen; leader of the opposition to the NUS administration in Franconia and to the Ram Rebellion
Dantz, Adrian von: Pomeranian captain in Swedish army stationed in Grantville
Faber: Bamberg city councilman
Seifert: Head of Bamberg city council
Felder, Bruno Commander of the Swedish garrison in Suhl
Hesse-Kassel, Wilhelm V: Duke of Hesse-Kassel, ally of Gustavus Adolphus
Krausold, Johann Friedrich: Saxe-Weimar treasury official sent to Würzburg with the auditors; informant for Wilhelm Wettin
Lenz, Polykarp: Adviser to Freiherr Fuchs von Bimbach
Wettin, Wilhelm: Formerly Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar; leader of the opposition party 
Members of the Ram movementAbleidinger, Constantin: School teacher in Frankenwinheim, organizer of the Ram Rebellion
Blumroder, Ruben: Gun manufacturer in Suhl
Jost, Gerhardt:
Jaeger; associate of Constantin Ableidinger in the Ram movement
Kronacher, Else: Printer's widow in Bamberg; the "ewe" of the Ram Rebellion
Kronacher, Martha: Daughter of Else Kronacher
Neideckerin, Judith: Mistress of Freiherr Fuchs von Bimbach
Neideckerin, "die Alte": Boardinghouse keeper in Bamberg; widow, mother of Judith Neideckerin
Vulpius, Kaethe: Wife of Rudolph Vulpius
Vulpius, Rudolph: Mayor of Frankenwinheim 
Officials of the New United StatesBellamy, Arnold: Deputy, then Secretary of the NUS Department of International Affairs after Ed Piazza becomes President of the NUS
Carstairs, Liz (Thornton): Chief of Staff for Mike Stearns 1632; later for Ed Piazza; president of Grantville LDS Relief Society and secretary of the League of Women Voters
Hatfield, Anse: Warrant officer in TacRail; NUS military representative to Suhl
Junker, Egidius "Eddie": Law student at the University of Jena; later assistant to Noelle Murphy
Murphy, Noelle: Grantville tax official; special envoy and general troubleshooter for Mike Stearns and Ed Piazza in Franconia
Stearns, Rebecca "Becky": Wife of Mike Stearns; national security advisor 1631; senator in the NUS (New United States) 1632; daughter of Balthasar Abrabanel
Stearns, Michael "Mike": Head of RoF Emergency Committee; later President of NUS; later prime minister of USE
Piazza, Ed: Secretary of the NUS Department of International Affairs; succeeds Mike Stearns as President of the NUS in autumn 1633
Rau, Jochen: Corporal, NUS TacRail unit, assigned to Suhl with Anse Hatfield
Riddle, Veleda: Founder and President of Grantville League of Women Voters; mother of NUS Chief Justice Charles (Chuck) Riddle
Swisher, Jamie Lee: Staff member, NUS Department of International Affairs
Sybolt, Red: UMWA organizer, working in Bohemia as one of Mike Stearns' unofficial troubleshooters 
NUS officials in Franconia, headquartered in WürzburgSalatto, Steve: Chief civilian administrator in Franconia, headquartered in Würzburg; married to Anita Masaniello
Blackwell, Scott: Chief military administrator in Franconia, headquartered in Würzburg
Haun, John Frederic
"Johnnie F.": Head of NUS "Hearts and Minds" team in Franconia, headquartered in Würzburg
Masaniello, Anita: NUS official in Würzburg, married to Steve Salatto
Meyfarth, Johann Matthaeus: Lutheran pastor, poet, diplomat; chief of staff for Steve Salatto in Franconia; founder of a new Lutheran congregation in Bamberg
Petrini, David: NUS economic liaison in Franconia, headquartered in Würzburg
Weckherlin, Georg Rodolf: Poet and diplomat, originally from Wuerttemberg; previously stationed in England; succeeds Johann Matthaus Meyfarth as chief of staff for Steve Salatto in Franconia, stationed at Würzburg
Wendell, Saunders: Deputy to Steve Salatto in Franconia, stationed in Würzburg 
NUS staff in BambergHawker, Stewart: Head of NUS "Hearts and Minds" team in Bamberg
Jackson, Wade: UMWA official in NUS administration in Bamberg
Kacere, Jane "Janie": NUS real estate specialist in Bamberg
Kacere, John Christopher: NUS economic liaison in Bamberg, married to Janie Kacere
Marcantonio, Vincent: NUS head civilian administrator in Bamberg
Miller, Walter "Walt": NUS military in Bamberg, dealing with Forchheim fortress, assigned to the Special Commission on Religious Freedom in Franconia
Priest, Cliff: Captain, NUS head military administrator in Bamberg
Trelli. Matthew "Matt": NUS military in Bamberg, dealing with Kronach fortress, assigned to the Special Commission on Religious Freedom in Franconia 
NUS staff in FuldaBeattie, Orville: Head of NUS "Hearts and Minds" team in Fulda
Jenkins, Wesley: NUS head civilian administrator in Fulda
Utt. Derek: NUS military administrator in Fulda 
Auditors assigned to FranconiaFodor, Willa: NUS auditor in Franconia, mother of Lynelle Calagna
McIntire, Estelle: NUS auditor in Franconia
Utt, Maydene: NUS auditor in Franconia 
Special Commission on Freedom of ReligionCalagna, Lynelle (Fodor): Wife of Paul Calagna; daughter of Cyril and Willa Fodor
Calagna, Paul: Member of the Special Commission
Early, Mark: NUS military in Fulda, assigned to the Special Commission
Ellis, Reece: Member of the Special Commission
Longhi, Philip: Member of the Special Commission 
Members of LDS (Mormon) Church active in FranconiaCarstairs, Howard: LDS member in Grantville; husband of Liz (Thornton) Carstairs
Thornton, Willard: LDS missionary in Franconia
Thornton, Emma (Davidson): High school English teacher in Grantville, wife of Willard Thornton
Faerber, Lydia: Wife, later widow of Councilman Faerber in Bamberg; convert to LDS church 
NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY:"Ewegenia": Depending on time and place, can be either the head of Veleda Riddle turned into a sheep as the symbol of the Franconian League of Women Voters or the name assigned to Else Kronacher as the "ewe" of the Ram Rebellion  PREFACEEric FlintThis is something of an oddball volume, so it's perhaps fitting that it has an oddball history. Many of the stories contained herein first saw life as stories intended to be published in the electronic magazine devoted to the 1632 series, the Grantville Gazette. (Of which, seven volumes are now published, and the first two in a paper edition as well.)As I watched these stories being written, however—originally with no overarching framework—it occurred to me that, willy-nilly, the writers were in fact shaping the way in which the revolution begun by the Ring of Fire was starting to have an impact on central Germany.Once I realized that, this volume was born. I had long intended to write a companion volume to 1632, 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War, that would depict the same events covered in those novels but with a focus that you might call closer to ground level. (1632 and 1633 are already in print. David Weber and I are now close to finishing 1634: The Baltic War.)It's in the nature of fictional narrative that an author tends, whether he agrees with the Great Man theory of history or not—and I happen to despise it—to write stories that focus on "great heroes." It's simply hard to avoid that, given the dramatic imperatives of story-telling.But such stories give a skewed view of the way human events unfold. People in their great numbers are creators of their own history, not simply the passive material from which history is shaped. The purpose of this book, more than any other, is to depict that in the form of fiction.It's an oddball volume, as I said, something of cross between a traditional anthology and a novel. There are many different stories in these pages, written by many different authors. At the same time, all the stories share not only a common setting but a common story arch and a common plot thread—as obscure as that may seem to the reader in the first two parts of the book.Virginia DeMarce and I provided that, partly in stories we wrote separately, but especially in the short novel we co-authored that concludes the volume and shares the same title: The Ram Rebellion. All the separate threads that are first introduced in Parts I and II begin to come together in Part III, and reach their final culmination in Part IV.So what to call it? I don't know, to be honest. Let's just settle for "a 1632 book," and I hope you enjoy it.Part I: Recipes for RevolutionThe hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know."Ezekiel 37:1-3CookbooksEric Flint June, 1631After Melissa Mailey ushered Mike Stearns into her living room and took a seat on an armchair facing him, she lifted her eyebrows. The expression on her face was one that Mike still remembered from years earlier, when he'd been a high school student and Melissa had been the most notorious teacher in the high school.Which she still was, for that matter.For the adult population of Grantville, Melissa's notoriety stemmed from her radical political opinions. For her students, however, that notoriety had an entirely different basis. Whatever flamboyantly egalitarian views Ms. Mailey entertained regarding society as a whole, there was not a shred of evidence for them in her classrooms.The students who thought she was basically okay—Mike himself had been one of them—called her either The Schoolmarm from Hell or Melissa the Hun. Behind her back, of course. The terms used by other students went downhill from there. Very rapidly downhill, in many cases.Granted, all of her students would admit that she was fair. But fair is not actually a virtue admired in a schoolteacher, by her students, especially when it was almost impossible to slide anything by her.Merciful, yes; easy-going, yes; absentminded, best of all.Fair, no.As one of Mike's schoolmates had grumbled to him at the time, "Who cares if she's `fair'?" The boy pointed an accusing finger at the book open before him on the cafeteria table. "So she's making all of us read this crap, equally and with no favoritism. Gee, ain't that great?"Mike grimaced. The volume in question was Dante's Inferno, a book he had soon come to detest himself. Ms. Mailey's notions of "suitable reading" for teenagers bore no relationship at all to what teenagers thought themselves." `Fair,'" his friend continued remorselessly, the accusing finger still rigid. "Sure she is. Just like Satan himself, in this miserable book."The expression on Melissa's face today was the same one Mike remembered from years before. The aloof, questioning eyebrow-lift with which she greeted a student who approached her with a problem after class. A facial gesture which, somehow, managed to combine three different propositions:One. You wish?Two. Yes, I will be glad to help you.Three. You will almost certainly wish I hadn't."You've got the oddest look on your face, Mike," Melissa said, bringing him back to the moment. "What's up?"He smiled, a bit sheepishly. "Just remembering . . . Ah, never mind. I need your advice.""Yes?"That was point one. Fearlessly, Mike plowed on."It's fine and dandy for me to give a fancy public speech about launching the American revolution ahead of schedule, now that our town is stranded in seventeenth-century Europe. I even got elected head of the emergency committee, because of it, thanks to you. But now, ah . . .""You've got to put your money where your mouth is. And you don't really know where to start, other than with some fine generalities—very vague, very politicianlike—about freedom and equality." She leaned forward in her chair, lacing her long fingers together. "Yes, I understand. I'll be glad to give you whatever advice I can."Point two, coming like the tides. Paralyzed for a moment, Mike studied her fingers. Very elegant and aristocratic fingers, they were. Absurdly so, really, for a woman with her political attitudes."Ah. Yes. I was thinking maybe . . ."But Melissa was already shaking her head. Another characteristic Mike remembered. Melissa Mailey was no more likely to let a student frame their own question than she was to provide them with an answer they wanted."Start with the land problem," she said firmly. "It stands right at the center of any revolution that shatters the old regime and ushers in democracy and the industrial revolution. That was true even in our own American revolution, though most people don't realize it."He couldn't think of anything better to say than he had as a teenager."Huh?"She smiled. Very coolly, as he remembered her doing. "Mike, it's complicated. Land tenure is always complicated, especially in societies with a feudal background—and there's nothing dumber than trying to carry through a revolution based on misconceptions. For instance, you're probably assuming that seventeenth century German farmers are a bunch of serfs toiling on land owned by the aristocracy. So the simplest way to solve their problem is to expropriate the land from the great nobles and turn it over to the peasants."He emitted the familiar response he remembered from high school. "Uh. Well. Yeah."That firm, detestable headshake."Not in the least. That's true in eastern Europe, if I remember correctly, but it's not true here. Mind you, my memory of the details of German social history in the early modern period is a little vague, now. I haven't studied the subject since college, because it's not something we teach in this high school. Or any high school in America, so far as I know. But I remember enough to tell you that land relations in Germany in this day and age are a tangled mare's nest. If we approach it the wrong way, we're just as likely to infuriate the farmers as the nobility, which is the last thing we want to do."She rose, moved over to one of the bookcases in the living room, and deftly plucked out two of the volumes there. "I've still got some of the relevant books, fortunately, and I've been refreshing my memory these past few days."Then, as Mike feared she would, she came over and handed one of them to him.Blessedly, the more slender volume."Start with this one. It's Barraclough's The Origins of Modern Germany and it's still—for my money, anyway—the best general history on the subject, even though it was written half a century ago."Quickly, and as surreptitiously as possible, he flipped to the end of the book.Not surreptitiously enough, of course."Oh, grow up," she said. "It's not even five hundred pages long. You can read it in a few days. What's so funny?"Despite himself, Mike had started chuckling."Dante's Inferno was shorter than this, and you gave us a month to read that one.""You were a callow youth, then. Besides, it was in terza rima and this is simple prose. So stop whining. Now . . ."A moment later, the other book—the great, fat, monstrous tome—was deposited firmly in his lap. It was all he could do not to groan."Then read this one."The size of the thing would have been bad enough. The title—Economic History of Europe, for the love of God—made it even worse."For Pete's sake, Mike, it's just a book. Stop hefting it as if I were asking you to lift weights.""Be easier," he muttered. "What'd they print it on? Depleted uranium?"She returned to her seat. "Make fancy speeches, get elected the big shot, pay the price. No pain, no gain. And if you think that book looks like a bitch, wait'll you—we, I should say—run into the real world."And that, too, he remembered. Such an oddly contradictory woman."Isn't that word politically incorrect?""Sure is. Ain't life a bitch?"She was grinning, now, nothing cool about it. Walking back to his house—listing, some, from the weight of the books tucked under his arm—Mike started muttering to himself."Point three. I almost certainly wish I hadn't." The worst of it, of course, was that it wasn't true, and Mike knew it. In the times coming, the books would look like a piece of cake, compared to the real world.It's complicated . . . coming from Melissa Mailey . . ."Damn," he muttered. "Can't we just dump some tea leaves in a harbor somewhere, storm a famous prison or two, and be done with it?" Birdie's FarmGorg Huff and Paula Goodlett Part I
June, 1631
"Birdie" Newhouse stood on his back porch and looked over his farm. Looked over, in fact, what was left of his farm. The farm was a little chunk of Appalachian valley, which was abruptly cut off by a German granite wall. The farm had been about half again as big before the Ring of Fire, but even then it hadn't been big enough to make a real living.Out to one side of the remainder of the farm, there was a little bit of field that you could plow, if you were real careful about the contouring. Most of his farm, though, consisted of skinny trees holding on to the hillside for dear life. A dry creek ran through the middle of the property. The creek was going to stay dry, unfortunately. The German land on the other side of the cliff tilted the wrong way to feed the creek.Birdie's eyes lost some of their worry as he again noticed the wellhead for the natural gas well on his land. He was more thankful every day that he had gone ahead and converted his equipment to work on natural gas. Willie Ray Hudson had made that suggestion several years ago. Birdie was glad he had listened.Birdie had everything a man needed to make a real farm. There was a tractor, a plow, the works. He even had some livestock, chickens and a couple of hogs.Buy much to his disgust, Birdie simply didn't have enough land. Even worse, the little bit of land that the Ring of Fire had left him was mortgaged to the Grantville Bank. There was plenty of land on the other side of the cliff created by the Ring of Fire, including a village about a mile beyond it. It wasn't much of a village, according to Birdie's sons Haskell and Trent, who'd been patrolling the area with the UMWA guys. But they said the land was good."Birdie," his wife called, interrupting his thoughts, "staring at that wall won't undo the Ring of Fire. Come inside. It's time for dinner.""Be right in, Mary Lee," Birdie answered, all the while thinking, There's land on the other side of the Ring Wall, if only I can get it."What do you think Mr. Walker will say?" Mary Lee asked as he was sitting down to dinner. When she was worried about something she couldn't just leave it alone, she had to talk about whatever it was."Don't know. Coleman's a decent enough sort but he's still a banker. The Ring of Fire took a third of our land. From where he's sitting, that means we have two-thirds the collateral for our loan. On the other hand, there's a fair bit of property that the bank is gonna get, chunks of land where the owners were outside the ring. Anyway, I think he'd rather extend the loan if he can see his way clear to do it. Maybe he'll give us six months to work something out.""And what will we have in six months that we don't have now?""Well, I've been giving that some thought while I was staring at that damn wall. Maybe, just maybe, I have a solution." He then refused to say another word on the matter, much to Mary Lee's dismay. Birdie loved teasing her like that. It still worked, even after almost thirty years. Birdie had an appointment with Coleman Walker, but didn't get to talk to him. Coleman was busy trying to set up some kind of money changing business for the Emergency Committee. Instead, Edgar came out to meet him, and escorted him to an office, chattering all the way."You know, Mr. Newhouse," Edgar said, "here at the bank, we know that the farmers are going to be really important to the success of Grantville. There's been a lot of talk about that. The Emergency Committee got involved and asked, well, demanded, to tell the truth about it, that the bank put a hiatus on calling in any farm loans for at least a year. Mr. Walker agreed to it, right smartly, too."Birdie thought that was something of a miracle, all by itself. Getting Coleman Walker to agree to anything "right smartly" hadn't ever happened in Birdie's experience."Don't get me wrong, Edgar," Birdie responded, "Coleman's always been a good sort. But, there's got to be a catch in there, somewhere. Spit it out.""I don't know all the details, Mr. Newhouse. Mr. Walker talked to Mike and Willie Ray, as well as J. D. Richards and some other teachers from the tech school. It seems that the problem, well, one of the problems, is the stock of seeds we have here. We don't have enough improved crop seeds. And there's something about hybrid seeds not breeding true. And even if they did, there still isn't enough."Edgar's explanation wasn't any too clear, but Birdie got the gist of it. Willie Ray might have to ask the farmers to do things that weren't that profitable in the short run. Things like building up seed stock. Birdie, like many farmers, bought seed every year, instead of saving his own. Saving your own seed hadn't made much sense uptime."What it boils down to, is the bank is going to cut all the farmers some slack. Considering the circumstances, what with the Ring of Fire and all, we're giving you a year to get caught up."Birdie was pretty sure that Edgar wasn't telling him everything. Bankers always acted like it was their own money you were asking them for."Suppose I need some more money? Bank gonna be good for that? There's a lot that needs doing, and it ain't getting done for nothing.""We might loan you more money, Mr. Newhouse. If Willie Ray agrees that what you need it for is important to the town, it's more than likely that you'll get what you need."All this support came as a bit of a surprise to Birdie. Grantville had never been farming country. The hills were just too steep and the valleys too narrow. The focus had always been on industry of some sort, natural gas, coal mines, even the toilet factory. Just before the Ring of Fire, a fiber optics plant was being built. Farmers had never been a big part of the local economy.* * *"Poor bastards," Willie Ray remarked when he and Birdie reached Birdie's tractor. Willie Ray had been introducing Birdie to the local farmers. The introduction had been accomplished with gestures, for the most part, with a few badly accented words of German thrown in here and there."What happened to them?" Birdie asked."From what I gather, Sundremda, that's this little village here, used to have fifteen farming families plus a few folks who had houses and gardens in the village but weren't farmers. There was a blacksmith, a carpenter, and the like. This last year has been rough though. Now there are six farming families and four of those families are part-time farmers. Halbbauer the Germans call 'em. `Half farmers,' that would be in English."Birdie knew what that was like. He regularly had to work odd jobs to keep the farm going."They also lost a bunch of their livestock," Willie Ray continued, "which made getting in this year's crop just about impossible. Some of it was lost to the mercenaries that hit the place a few months back, and some to Remda, a little town that way, a ways, where they ran when the village got hit."Ernst, that fella you shook hands with, called it theft when I was out here before with Miss Abrabanel to translate. From what I understand the folk in Remda are saying they took the stock for rent and fines. Then, some bug came up about the same time, and quite a few folks died. So everyone's blaming everyone else and there are law suits goin' both ways. Meanwhile, the folks in Remda seem to figure possession is nine points of the law, so they're holdin' the stock till everything's settled. I'm guessing they're also holdin' the oxen to force the Sundremda villagers to settle their way."You clear on what's needed?" Willie Ray asked when he had finished his explanation.Birdie nodded. He and Willie Ray had walked the fields with Ernst and defined what was needed where. Willie Ray headed back to town and Birdie got to work harvesting and thinking. His farm was just over the Ring Wall, less than a mile away. If he could cut some sort of gap in the Ring Wall this would be the perfect farm for him. He didn't want to put anyone out of their homes but it looked like they needed him as much as he needed the land. Maybe he could buy this place or most of it anyway. Once he got done here he'd go see if Willie Ray would support him with the bank. 

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