Friday, February 29, 2008

A considerate conference

At the Intendant's offices; an aide enters with the card of Herr Eberhard Kunegunde who wishes to speak with the Intendant. As Bastille knows that this man is rumored to be the head of the Hurtshog's secret police, an audience is quickly granted!

Bastille: Good afternoon, Msr. Kunegunde. What brings you out on a blustery day like this?
Kunegunde: Ah well, in February, a clear day is to be appreciated, and one enjoys talking over affairs with trusted comrades.
Bastille: (thinking, since when did we every trust each other?) May I offer you some hot chocolate or a good cup of Coffee?
Kunegunde; Danke. A warm cup would be appreciated.
Bastille: (and he doesn't even have a taster with him? this must be important)Rubberdeux, my aide, will quickly provide us with a good pot, no?
The aide takes the prompt and leaves.
Bastille: (walking over to check the door)Bien. Now, Kunegunde, what's this about?
Kunegunde: We are quite concerned over the developing situation between Hesse Homburg and Hesse Fedora, sire. The involvement of greater powers threatens to draw in Frankszonia.
Bastille: Gallia is quite pleased that it can rely on Frankszonia, no?
Kunegunde: Such reliance is touching, especially as we notice that you are establishing a new base not two days quick march away from your stronghold here.
Bastille: Ah, but this is simply to counter the Germanian foothold in Hesse Fedora. That's clear on the other side of the Tannesberg!
Kunegunde: Ja, das is richtig, aber ... Homburg sets upon the eastern flank of our northern fields quite this side of the Tannesburg.
Bastille: Now really, Msr Kunegunde! You're being quite paranoid.
Kunegunde: In such times, when one sees a neighbor suddenly being built up to power by outside forces, paranoia is probably quite contagious. Moreover, in spite of the complications involving Germania and the Imperial court, the Margraf von Fedora and our own Hurtshog have long been amicable. Now, we see the Hurtshog's opponents clustering to the court of Homburg, and that notorious scoundrel, Roquefort as well?
Bastille: Do not concern yourself, Msr. Kunegunde. You can assure the Hurtshog that Gallia will keep things in control.
Kunegunde: Actually, m Lord, the Hurtshog is most anxious that Gallia does not intrude its proboscis into the affiar.
Bastille: M'seur! (shocked and angry)
Kunegunde: (sternly) We have information that Limburger is building up to drive us back over the Tannesberg hogback. This Homburg / Fedora affair would provide an excellent screen for their nefarious plans. Given the influence of the vile Stagonians in certain Gallian circles and the machinations of Roquefort, Frankszonia would prefer that there would be no chance of Gallian casualties providing any raison de entre for further complications.
Bastille: (even more sternly) Hesse Homburg is now an ally of the Gallian monarchy. We will respond most forcibly to any assault upon them from ANY source.
Kunegunde: (sardonically) what a reassuring reply. Surely, Gallia would be just as eager to defend allies of even longer standing, even if they happen to be unpopular with the Wiener court?
Bastille: M'seur! You insult the Gallian Crown!
Kunegunde: But not its self interest, m'Lord. And, after all, we are speaking of a most worldly prince. Gallia is nowhere nearly as vile as its apparent client, Stagonia, Danke Gott. As a fellow Cathlic, I'm sure you're aware of what trust one can propose in any prince.
Bastille: (disdainfully) I've not seen the Hurtshog be any less worldly than any other prince.
Kunegunde: Nor does he pretend to be. However, given the Roquefort always seems to have access to funds that Frankszonia can't match, and that he is probably offering the assistance of Cheezer troops to Homburg even as we speak, it seems that another four cornered conflict is about to break out.
May I remind you that Frankszonia has already spent blood in your cause? I'm sure that our Reichsarmee contingent will be as good when it is tested.
Bastille: (grunts)
Kunegunde: The Hurtshog and his officers are confident of Frankszonia's abilities in any affair that is PURELY local, my Lord. We are hoping to ensure that the Hat war and the more cheesy affairs will be kept separate, but we have experienced the perfidy of our foes to often to ensure that the young Princess and her court will be immune.
Bastille: So, what do you propose now?
Kunegunde: We are repositioning our forces, sir. But we definitely have ruled out any sort of pre-emptive action against Homburg. At the moment, we're going to focus on securing our internal lines of communication and maintaining a close eye on the movements of the Limburgers.
All we want is an assurance that any Gallians who happen to be in the line of fire this time are strictly observers, in return we can assure you that our generals are not foolish enough to start shotting at a lion when a mad dog is bearing down on them from the other side!
Bastille: Ah, i smell chocolate! (opens door) Rubberdeux, man, did you have to go to America for the beans? Come in. Msr, you will find that his blend is most delicious ...
(the meeting devolves into small talk about trade on the Rhine) ...

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