Ground Zero: Bourgogne

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Elben, May 18, 2019.

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  1. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Chagny, Grand Duchy of Bourgogne

    Senior officers of the grand ducal armed forces were gathered around a table. Reports coming from the Pillau Republic elaborated on earlier estimates of the republic's military strengths. What it lacked in arms and numbers, it no doubt made up for in fervor. And the officers themselves knew that there were plenty of men from their own ranks who had immediately defected, men with skills.

    "Gentlemen, the republican forces arrayed against us may have been laughable last year, but with the Neustrian double-cross, we are vulnerable." The chief of staff looked around at his colleagues.
    __________
    Grand Ducal Palace

    Mireille sat and fanned herself with some documents she had been reading. The doctors had told her no more work, but she had convinced Leopold to sneak in a few things for her to read. Her husband was out at meetings with the prime minister and some of the leadership of the Orange Vests. Leadership! Ha! With new factions rising and falling every week, it seemed like no one was in charge.

    Behind the princess at the door stood a man wearing a suit and an earpiece for his radio. No mere bodyguard, he and the rest of Team Alpha had arrived in Chagny the other day with specific orders not the let the royal couple out of their sight. At least one of the team was with them, except in the bathroom and bedroom.
    __________
    Neustrian Foreign Ministry, Ouistreham

    Claude worked methodically, a pen light in his mouth aimed at the desk as his hands worked the micro-camera. Paper copies of the dispatches between Pillau and Ouistreham were quickly photographed and then replaced in their safe. Claude, a senior under-secretary, had readily offered his services to the new government of his ancestral homeland. Or so his boss thought. In reality, he had grown up in Chagny, the son of a train brakeman with a gift for accents.

    By morning, the camera would be hidden in a car on its way to the very porous border with the rump grand duchy.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  2. Burgundian People's Republic

    Burgundian People's Republic Active Member

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    Agneaux, Elben-Bourgogne

    The city's police station was burning, smoke billowing up into the night sky, Republican agents had infiltrated the building and set off an explosive, as the police officers streamed out, eyes watering and spluttering they ran into a hail of bullets from the waiting Republicans. The whole affair was over almost as soon as it had begun, the Republicans fleeing into the night stopping only to spray paint anti-Chagny and pro-Republican slogans on the walls of nearby buildings.

    Similar attacks where taking places all over Elben-Bourgogne, with the Armée Républicaine Nationale testing its mettle and that of the forces loyal to the Chagny government.
     
  3. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    0250, Palace, Chagny

    The officer-in-command of the night watch of Team Alpha was in the command center for palace security when a voice was heard over the loop. Unlike the imperfect, but comprehensible French the team's members had been working on to communicate with the locals since being posted to Bourgogne, the voice spoke in German.

    "Command, this is Bedroom. She's having the baby."
     
  4. Burgundian People's Republic

    Burgundian People's Republic Active Member

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    Chagny, Elben-Bourgogne.

    They had parked the car a few streets over from the Elben embassy security was too tight to get any closer,still at least this would make the Elbeners nervous, let them know this wasn't their country and never would be.

    The bomb was set to go off at midnight, loss of life was not the goal rather it was to show that nowhere was safe.

    As the would be bombers were making their escape they stumbled into a pair of Gendarmes out on patrol, but just when they were expecting arrest, and possible death, the Gendarmes simply brushed past and one leaned over and whispered.

    " goodnight gentlemen, good luck....and long live the People's Republic".

    Midnight struck and the bomb went off, shattering the night's silence.
     
  5. Neustria

    Neustria Active Member

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    The team was across the border. Stepan had nixed the idea of taking out Baby Elben. That'd take some real doing. The team had neither the manpower, firepower, or time for that kind of operation. Stepan was thinking of the bombings and wondering where he could get some semtex when one of the Slavonian girls he'd recruited volunteered an excellent idea. "My da is in Nekmet. ..."

    They'd gotten a car easy enough. They'd accessed the weapons cache others had smuggled in. The operation was a go. Beta, the girl, was driving a couple of her male comrades armed with SMG-10s. Cruising the streets of Chagny, Beta and her team spotted a crowd standing outside of a restaurant. They quickly donned balaclavas, got their weapons ready and cruised by. When the Slavonians were at their closest, they opened up, spraying gunfire into the crowd. At over a thousand rounds per minute, the SMGs' thirty round mags quickly emptied and the Slavonians were gone.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  6. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Chagny police were combing the streets for information to do with the bombing. A shop's security camera was being reviewed by technicians due to suspicious persons moving past the shop after dark moments after a pair of gendarmes (identities also being determined) had walked past on their nightly patrolling. The two pairs must have met off camera before the suspicious pair had come into view, but they had not been arrested on sight for breaking curfew.

    On the other side of the central districts of Chagny, emergency personnel were responding to a mass casualty incident. Police were already on the scene trying to learn what they could from those still alive. Pandemonium had broken out when the drive-by shooting had begun outside the popular bistro, one of the few that had remained open for the tourist trade after the midnight bombing. Many had run away, leaving the injured to bleed on the pavement.

    "We're losing this one, we need to get her going now!"

    "Start compressions!"

    "The bullets shredded that guy's aorta, he's gone."

    A senior police official arrived on the scene and looked on as the medical teams worked. He turned to his subordinate and shook his head at the carnage.
     
  7. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

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    President Hortefeux sat with Bernard Lavosnier in the Blue drawing room at the Chateau de Ferriere. It had been noted with considerable concern that the Burgundian disintegration posed a serious national security threat to the interests of Serenierre, especially now that a unification of the pretender lines had occurred in Elben.

    "M. Lavosnier, what are we going to do?"

    "M. Presidente, we shall be contacting the Government of Neustria and ensuring that they are well supplied and the frontier is protected. Whatever evil scheme this is, now as a member of the Gallian League, Neustria must be granted full support from our end to ensure no serious issues prejudicial to the state arise."

    "Good. We need to be completely on one page with the Neustrians. I'm sure Premier Martinique will agree, the establishment of the Gallian League was specifically for such situations. Get in touch with the Neustrian chancellor as soon as possible."
     
  8. Neustria

    Neustria Active Member

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    Neustrian Foreign Minister, Ouistreham

    The Ambassador of Bourgogne was summoned before Foreign Minister Dumont who berated him for the better part of an hour.

    "The King is asking questions! I am demanding answers!"

    "The lawlessness you allow in Gallia is reprehensible!"

    "It's spreading already!"

    "The bomb threat was just the beginning!"

    "Can't Bourgogne put it's own affairs in order without interference!?"

    "I suggest your hillbilly royals quit Chagny before the BPR stands them all against a wall."

    "Well, don't just stand here, say something! Answer me?!"
     
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  9. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Neustrian Foreign Minister, Ouistreham

    The Ambassador of Bourgogne tried to get in a word here and there during the minister's harangue...

    "They seem to have in for all of us royals. They want a republic across all of Bourgogne, Neustria too!"

    "We're doing the best we can. A shame Neustria claimed so much of Bourgogne's military assets."

    "These hillbillies as you call them are standing firm."
     
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  10. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

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    Pillau - Burgundian People's Republic
    Officers from the Serenien intelligence agency, Directorate 77, had arranged to meet with officials in the nascent People's Republic. The D77 had been more than pleased with the anarchist acts of the north Burgundians. The chaos was good. It made it easier to operate. The Director General had stated categorically in the meeting that using blackmarket connections, the Pillau Government was to be provided with anti-personnel weaponry. Obviously, the "goods" would not be traceable to Serenierre.

    The Director General had tasked agents to find Burgundian military surplus from the Trivodnian front, guns of Eiffellander and Retalian markings - just about anything possible to distance Serenierre. In the meeting, the agents in Pillau informed their counterparts that Serenierre was, in addition to providing the weaponry, would be providing 15 million euromarks to arm the insurgents of the BPR. Payment for this would be made, again, utilizing connections in the narcotics and smuggling mafia of the Long Sea.

    As the agents were leaving, they handed over a dossier to the BPR agents. When they would open the file, they would see the plans of the Serenien embassy in Chagny and a handwritten note: "Put on a show here. 5 million for it." The question now was whether the BPR had the means to pull off such an audacious act.
     
  11. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    The first task of the new Minister of Foreign Affairs was inviting the ambassadors of Elben and Bourgogne for a lunch in a luxurious restaurant. Minister Gianluigi di Gravesano-Carone decided not to choose Hotel Radlohne for that. Indeed, it was the most luxurious hotel-restaurant in and around Trier, but it was in the middle of the city, at a place where a discrete meeting could never be held. Instead, he chose for a luxurious restaurant at the banks of the Trierer See, the big lake to the Southwest of Trier. Also because of the high temperatures in the city. It was mid June now, and the temperature had risen to 35 degrees Celsius. The weather would be at least a bit cooler near the lake.
     
  12. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    The ambassador from Elben and the ambassador from Bourgogne knew each other from diplomatic functions and such, but despite the political goings-on back home, they had not had cause to meet to present a common front in Eiffelland at all. So when they found themselves both invited to lunch, they went separately.

    Georg from Elben and Chateaubriand from Bourgogne arrived at about the same time and gave each other a nod. A maitre'd seemed to be expecting them and he escorted them to a table where there was a nice breeze from the lake.
     
  13. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Despite the heat, Minister Di Gravesano-Carone had not taken off his jacket. He was wearing a dark blue suit, a white shirt, a tie with very narrow dark red and dark blue lines and brown shoes. The reason why he had chosen brown shoes was that black shoes do not fit well with a dark blue suit. When Ambassador Georg and Ambassador Chateaubriand arrived, he stood up, gave both ambassadors a hand and said: "Please sit down, gentlemen."

    As soon everyone was seated, he asked: "Which language do you prefer, Engellish, German or French? I can speak all three languages."

    Being a Retalian, Minister Di Gravesano-Carone was a bit more alcohol-resistant than the average Eiffellandian. However, despite that, he chose to start with mineral water first; he would switch to wine during the lunch.

    All three men were talking small talk about many different subjects, while looking at the sails of the sailing boats on the lake, as well as the motorboats.

    At a certain moment, a waiter came to table and said: "Gentlemen, your table is ready. Would you please mind to follow me?"

    They went to a closed room with a separate air conditioning system on the first floor. Shortly before, agents of the counterespionage department of the USD had checked the complete room for microphones and cameras, including the air supply.

    Minister Di Gravesano-Carone had chosen a four-course lunch: Soup, main course, dessert or cheese (or both) and coffee. The reason was that he didn't want the waiter to come in too often.

    After the soup had been served, Di Gravesano-Carone mentioned the reason why he had invited both ambassadors: "Gentlemen, I want to thank you for freeing up time for this meeting. The reason why I invited you is the following. After the death of Grand-Duke Charles VI, God have his soul, a lot happened in Bourgogne, and a lot is still happening in the Grand-Duchy of Bourgogne, because of which the Government of Eiffelland-Retalia is worrying."

    He remained silent for some moments. Then he continued: "We are asking ourselves if we could be of any help."
     
  14. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Georg looked at his colleague from Bourgogne and then back to the minister from Eiffelland. The Elbener had no authority to speak in any way for Bourgogne. The meal had been nice, the conversation interesting for the most part, but Georg had no idea why he was here and felt like his time was being wasted.

    Chateaubriand was aware of the problems back home. He smiled pleasantly and responded, "At this time, the grand duchy has its internal affairs under control. It's just a matter of dealing with a few malcontents. The rogue Pillau Republic will find out it is not prepared for a sustained campaign of terror. Of course, if Eiffelland wished to impose sanctions, it is more than welcome to do so."
     
  15. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    "Maybe good to explain why I invited you both here," Minister Di Gravesano-Carone said. "At this moment, His MajestyKing Karl Maria is also the Grand-Duke of Bourgogne. His Royal Higness Crown-Prince Leopold of Elben and his wife Her Royal Highness Princess Mireille, who is a niece of the late Grand-Duke Charles VI, are his regents in Bourgogne. From that point of view, even when taking into account that Bourgogne is independent from Elben despite the personal union, Elben has an interest in Bourgogne. That is the reason why I invited you here as well, Mr. Georg.
    Mr. Chateaubriand, I will propose to my government to impose sanctions on the Pillau Republic. It is relieving to hear that the Grand-Duchy has the situation under control. However, we have concerns. We have indications that agitators from outside the country are trying to influence the situation in the Grand-Duchy. To be precise, agitators from Serenierre. I know that last year's war made us extra alert on the Sereniens, but nevertheless.
    Mr. Georg, Mr. Chateaubriand, Elben and Bourgogne are sovereign countries. Eiffelland-Retalia completely respects that sovereignty. We have seen, however, several Serenien attempts in the recent past to reshape Gallia according to its preferences. We think that it is in the interest of Gallia and Germania, so also in the interest of Elben and Bourgogne, to prevent those attempts from becoming too successful. If that is also the opinion of your governments, we would like to help. For instance, we could help you with counterespionage activities ... Or with the delivery of weapons."
     
  16. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Georg listened passively the Eiffellander explain his own country's relationship with Bourgogne. He had been chosen for this post precisely for his mellowness. At the end of it all, he looked over at Chateaubriand.

    Chateaubriand smiled thinly at the offer of weapons. "I don't think that will be necessary. As you so ably pointed out, Bourgogne has a new and close relationship with Elben and through it the Council of the North through which we may obtain what we need."
     
  17. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    "That is reassuring to hear, Mr. Chateaubriand," Minister Di Gravesano-Carone said. "In any case, our offer for help stands. Be it not with weapons, then in other means."

    Then he switched over to discussing the state of the world. Later during the lunch, he steered the conversation to economics. "I know that there are several cooperations between Eiffelloretalian, Burgundian and Elbener companies regarding technologies. What do you think that your governments' opinion would be on making such cooperations easier? Or other forms of economic cooperation? Eiffelland-Retalia would be very interested in that. We cannot take any decisions on that without consulting the government of Lars, but I have the impression that that country would favour an economic cooperation as well," he asked both ambassadors.
     
  18. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Chateaubriand nodded and replied, "At this time, the grand duchy is continuing to review its current relationships in light of the breaking away of Neustria and Pillau. Given the physical infrastructure that has ended up in the hands of those states, we are assessing what we will need in the future."

    Georg listened to this and then added, "Indeed, Elben has always worked to remain as self sufficient as possible and importing what we do need from our closest allies, Gunnland and Virumaa, and now Bourgogne of course." He smiled and lifted a glass in salute to Chateaubriand.

    Lunch was getting on and the diplomats were working on their refreshments after their food. Georg sipped his drink and asked his Eiffellander colleague, "A shame how the kingdom's relationship with Justosia has broken down so quickly. Elben seems to still be on good terms with them, mostly because they ignore us. Do you think that will last?"
     
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  19. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    "It depends," Minister Di Gravesano-Carone said. "The Justosian government continuously surprises the world with developing and maintaining its very own style of diplomatics. A style that is not easy to understand. Until recently, the Justosian Monarch considered us their closest ally, while we were still following the Justosian style of diplomatics with amazement." He took a sip of his drink, and then continued: "At least Elben has one of the prerequisites needed for maintaining good relations with Justosia: A King."

    Minister Di Gravesano-Carone understood the non-verbal communication between the two ambassadors very well, but he acted as if he hadn't seen it.
    He deliberately used the word "Monarch" to refer to the King of Justosia. The fact that the King of Justosia had crowned himself Emperor was something the Eiffelloretalian government unofficially had a negative opinion about but officially had not voiced an opinion on yet. More in general, the opinion of the Eiffelloretalian government on Justosia was a negative one: It considered the King a character from an operetta and his government a bunch of clowns. But that was not something you should voice as an official opinion. Furthermore, given the fact that Justosia was at a certain moment the only country that was friendly towards Eiffelland-Retalia was a reason to the government to stay friendly towards Justosia but at the same time try to introduce some reason in Justosia's foreign politics. Something that had failed miserably.
     
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  20. Burgundian People's Republic

    Burgundian People's Republic Active Member

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    Pillau, Burgundian People's Republic

    The situation in Neustria was deteriorating, with the sudden abdication of the country's King confusion reigned. In Pillau the BPR government was struggling to make use of the most of the situation and to mobilize as many men as possible for an expedition into Neustria as soon as possible. The ARN's decentralized nature was once again making it nigh on impossible to plan a coordinated operation, with units coming and going all across the Republic pursuing their own goals and agendas and trying to get them all in the one place at the same time was proving to be as easy as herding cats.

    " Mr Lierre, we've got maybe a thousand men here in Pillau ready and waiting, with at least that many on the way in the next few days".

    " Well, tell them they need to hurry. We can't afford to waste a moment, we've gotta strike when the irons hot, the whole house of cards in Neustria is falling down and if we don't act fast some other bastard is gonna swoop in and take it from us".

    Within the next few days there were close to three thousand armed men in Pillau, and on the third day they headed westwards to Neustria. This would be one of the defining moments of the People's Republic, the march on Ouistreham had begun.
     
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