The Imperial Connection

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Gunnland, Jul 21, 2019.

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  1. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Windhaven

    Two men, the last two men in the gaslit city (with the students away from the summer, Windhaven lacks the bar scene that Ayr or even Dalmyre have), shuffled up the empty High Street from Highlanders Stadium, up the Capitoline Hill, occasionally stepping over the goose shit that inspired some Gunnishman of yore to borrow the name of that more famous prominence in Tibur. They had spent an evening watching baseball, eavesdropping on the Engellachian dictator Karl Heydendahl, and talking about who would rule the new empire.

    "Julian will be empress, and you'll be her chief police-spy in Chagny."
    Padraig laughed. "Zero chance. The kaiser can pick four ministers in two ways."​
    "Jocks. Diplomats. Judges. Bobbies. Aye?"
    "We provide most of the jocks, so it's a given that MacGarry will be field marshal."​
    "Well they'll be tickled, he's so mild-mannered."
    "So either it's a Gunnish foreign minister, and the courts and police are Elbeners..."​
    "It's no secret Mellenthin can't stand the risks we take..."
    "...or Schlabrendorff gets the promotion, the Trousers the courts, Elbener bobbies."​
    "Depends on what they think of our backchannels to Ivar."

    The heavyset police chief halted at his graystone townhouse, not far from the philosophical faculty of Marian University known as the Capitollium. Their mood was glum. Their intra-Integrity Party rivals, the Trousers, appeared out of nowhere to control imperialization. Robert Gunn was dead. He and Walter were what was left of the old guard.

    Walter started on his long walk home, down the Alexander Rex north of the river, to his family's home in the opera district. Suddenly he turned on his heel, pulling the Zolotaya out of his mouth. His friend was fumbling with his keys, turning sideways to fit his huge body through his narrow doorway.

    "Make them take the courts."
    Padraig squinted in the dark, "What?"​
    "It solves everything."

    Wedged in his doorframe, Padraig considered the matter while he watched the cigarette-ember turn down the hill and walk towards the river.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
    Engellachia and Elben like this.
  2. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Eschenbach
    It was Walter's idea, but Padraig had to figure out how to convince the Elbeners that the Gunnish had plans to rig the court system. Obviously if he picked up the phone, it wouldn't take long for them to put two and two together and realize that Smith was making a play for the imperial gendarmerie. He needed to plant the rumor somehow.

    In the first place this requires someone a little naïve, so at his weekly dram with Will MacLeod, which was the only time the enquêteur drank, he struck. "Karl Maria will get his crown, but boy do the Trousers have a plan to make Elben pay when the imperial courts are set up..."

    MacLeod saw the chance to take advantage of the divided ruling Party, stymie their surging Trousers, and have something to brag about at the Liberal Club. So almost all by himself, with only the faintest clue from Padraig and a little prodding from Sherry, he rang Beata MacBenach.

    The new Gunnish ambassador to Elben was furious that the Trousers had replaced her with Quincannon on the Council of the North, where all the high-level diplomacy between the two allies happened. The ambassadorship was a sinecure. Beata didn't care to be put out to pasture. So she was all too willing to sit down with Schlabrendorff and accuse her countrymen of scheming to game the courts.

    Back in Windhaven, Padraig Smith was chuckling to himself and imagining the new gendarmes' uniforms, alone in the Inn of Advocates. He was thinking, Black peaked caps, white bands with the black imperial eagle...
     
  3. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Windhaven
    The big gurk of an attorney tapped an official envelope with a royal seal against the table emphatically.
    "I was dead wrong, Philippe. Dead wrong."
    "You thought General MacGarry was going to be the imperial marshal?"​
    "Jammy bastard, the only humble Gunnishman, Steve MacGarry."
    "Oui, turned it down did he?"
    An end-of-the-week bonailie, one dram of Ardmar 10, that was all the police chief-cum-public prosecutor drank on account of his high blood pressure. Other than that it was mineral water. Of course he too had heard that an Elbener or a Burgundian would receive overall command of the imperial armed forces; even if Gunnish troops were to be its backbone, they would be shifted to bases in Elben and Bourgogne, and the queen and the Army Council agreed it was better for the military doctrine to be written in the frontline nations.

    For this reason, the new foreign secretary, Anthony Gunn MacPherson, suddenly received the call that he would represent Gunnland in Kadikistan as the imperial minister. It was a victory for the Trousers that put Padraig in a sour mood, and he quaffed his dram a bit quicker than usual. On the bright side, MacBenach's machinations in Eschenbach had borne fruit. The letter in his hand was an invitation to be Reichsminister of the imperial gendarmerie. Only Padraig had decided to decline.

    "But you, Monsieur Demai, are not going to turn down this appointment to be captain-general of the imperial gendarmes."
    "Moi?"
    Of course the justiciar was the only candidate. Padraig wasn't going to go to Chagny, eat escargot, contract gout, and die an early death. Plus his French was terrible, and exposing himself to new enemies... No, instead he would run the gendarmerie indirectly, via Philippe Demai. Happily he knew some secrets about Demai père. Philippe's father had narrowly escaped prosecution in connection with a child pornography ring in the early 1990s, and while technically that fell beyond the statute of limitations in the Kingdom, some crimes tended to attract the attention of clan toughs when leaked. Philippe would do as told.
     

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