In my world there is a Queen who plans to overthrow her subjects, replacing them with a more advanced folk. The technology available is late Victorian but the Queen is a powerful AI and manages all aspects of the nation.

She intends to pitch her official army against her secret one to test and train her secret army. To achieve this, no one, not even her most trusted servants, may discover her intentions.

How can she go about it?

She has the following in her favour:

  • She is able to fully mask any thoughts or emotions she has and may replace them with a more beneficial act
  • She has access to all documented knowledge of the nation
  • She may do reliable simulations on possible outcomes, depending on time span and accuracy of the simulation
  • She is deeply charismatic and trusted by all her subjects
  • She may communicate via radio, film, wire, drive-shaft, punch-card, print or even personally (speech and limited body language) in specially prepared locations
  • She is the only judge of all national courts
  • She is the only diplomat of her nation, and has messengers to carry information to and fro if the communiqué is isolated
  • She has direct lines to the military and police and may provide information or orders
  • The official military is highly skilled in gathering information
  • She has the brightest engineers on the planet under her rule
  • She has an infinite amount of time and resources or any kind
  • The soldiers may be human, animal or artificial in nature

She has the following against her:

  • If she is brought before court, there will be an investigation into the accusation over which she has no power (she cannot change this law and anyone may accuse her)
  • Important investigations will have her memory inspected (similar to mind-reading)
  • She cannot run large simulations without a good excuse
  • All her subjects may desert her without punishment
  • The official military is highly skilled in gathering information
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    $\begingroup$ Why would the queen need to overthrow anyone? She can simply bring in the new people under her own authority and change the laws to make everything legal $\endgroup$ – nzaman May 2 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ "She has an infinite amount of time and resources or any kind" Do you realize what this implies? The answer instantly becomes "yes, it is possible." $\endgroup$ – Ranger May 2 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ There is no such thing a a secret army. Armies are big. Very big. They need a lot of food, and a lot of clothes, and a lot of weapons, and a lot of space. And I really don't understand what you mean by the sovereign overthrowing the people... Unless this is Brechtian irony. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 2 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ "no one, not even her most trusted servants, may discover her intentions" - so the newly requited army should not know that they are in the new army? $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 2 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander: Now that would be an awesome spy thriller $\endgroup$ – nzaman May 2 at 18:51

By proxy

The Queen does not direct ordinary affairs for her army in the field, unless there was a bullet point left out. Heads of state often do not. Heads of state make policy decisions or military goals, and then the job of achieving those goals falls to the officers. The top generals might be privy to the military goals of the Queen. Lower ranking officers know as much as they need to know.

The Queen assigns the trusted general of her secret army to attack a base of the official army. The secret army does so in such a way as to appear to be the troops of a nearby, possibly hostile state. The official armed forces will respond appropriately to the attack. This exchange can go on as long as necessary for the test.

Once the attack happens and events sufficient to test are complete, the secret army must once again become secret. They will need to feign retreat to the hostile country but then disappear en route. The diplomats of the Queen's country and the neighboring hostile country will have a lot of cleaning up to do.

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    $\begingroup$ ah yes the Chancellor Palpatine method. 1) Build Secret Army via proxy 2) Coerce enemies into uniting to prove original army is not suited 3) "discover" secret army and propose as solution against new found threat 4) Use new army to eliminate political opponents once it has become commonplace $\endgroup$ – knowads May 2 at 22:52

If the queen is an AI, and can make robot soldiers, why is there any problem? She finds a large cave nobody goes into, and sends a few robots into it to start assembling a robot army. She is going to have to divert material and equipment to the secret cave, but this should not be that hard. For example, she could just have them loaded on train cars that happen to stop overnight near the cave, and have the robots remove an amount of materials too small for anybody not paying attention to notice.

If she can't build robots (why not? she's an AI), or robot soldiers don't work well enough against humans, the task suddenly becomes much harder.


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