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In a small town on the border


Centurius
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[center][img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/SMM32-300dpi.jpg[/img][/center]

Santa Maria Maggiore was a nice, mostly isolated village at the border with the Germanic Union. Historically the people had never picked sides, most were fluent in German and Latin, especially with the influx of German immigrants only years earlier it was one of the many villages at the border that truly were neutral. One day the villagers would notice a building named Casa Farina was closed off. Local police held the line, many expected a gas leak or something like that so they would just move on.

A single limousine moved through the lines the police, which in reality were undercover Razors, had set up. Stopping in front of the house Valerio stepped outside of the car and walked into the building. Preparations had already been made. The building was empty except for a single servant. Something which would not be lacking however was the amount of wine and beer in the building. Valerio simply walked to the table with a bottle of beer in his hand and sat down awaiting the other side.

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Originally, van den Meer was supposed to be present too, but, not being a drinker, she decided to excuse herself and keep working on day-to-day businesses. Besides, being a raging Nord, everybody knew that she'd make the meeting fail one way or the other. So, instead, Arild Lange and Dierik Martens show up. They are not dressed nowhere as impressively as they had been before, in the Stahl ball - Arild simply had a pair of jeans on and a shirt, people often mentioned that it was odd for him to dress in such an "old western" manner. Dierik in the other hand had clothing that seemed to had come out of some Russian village, although of course avoiding at this time of the year he only had the basics on - they weren't after all neither in siberia nor in december. Still, each of the men had a little detail - Lange a Mjöllnir and Dierik a small bindrune of Life and Death. Such things were as common as once a random Rosary had been - even common among those which didn't go out of their way to practice any rituals.

The first Next Generation Einherjar Class Armors had been released. This implied that around the area - not in the house - using their active chamo and cloaking, a few Einherjar and Valkyries were hidden. At times, civilians seemed to walk impossibly close to them yet wouldn't notice. It would be like an endurance test, and hopefully no fire would be exchanged.

Martens had to hand it to the Athenians, they knew how to make things work: Alcohol.

A vehicle appearing to be a common civilian car drops them there, in reality it is about as armored as a small tank however. The precautions were not so much about the Athenians, but rather about third parties wishing to spark a conflict.

[i]"Bongiorno!"[/i]

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"Guten Tag" Valerio replied as he immediately walked to the two and shaked their hands. "I have taken the liberty of bringing a very special bottle of port. The very first of the first vintage after the nuclear attacks on Porto. Do not fear my scientists have declared it safe and the experts call it the best vintage in decades." He said as the servant poured three glasses.

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"Hm. I suppose I should have brought my geiger counter along if I would have known that Nuclear Wine would be involved." Martens, always so damn tactful. Just like the rest of his family. At least he pulls out a bottle which looks to be a small Tank Shell made out of glass. Then he took out a can, which seemed like a small Jerry Can. It read "Warcohol"...and it was guaranteed to fuel your night and fill your tank, claimed the motto.

"Our Brännvin and Strong Beer should do the trick too."

Both sat down and got comfortable, removing their shoes. In northern culture, it had become the norm to remove one's shoes upon arrival for several years now. Good thing that they didn't smell bad.

Lange jokes, "OUR scientists, however, have [i]not[/i] been allowed to analyze our Warcohol."

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"Yeah. Being surrounded by them guards is sometimes more annoying that being surrounded by goddamn enemies instead."

The Warcohol Beer is opened by the waiter, it seems to be a high quality white beer, and the scent seems exquisite. It looked so odd serving something drinkable from that kind of can...

"Doing well enough. We're almost recovered from the damage. At least as far as the realm of the material is concerned. The dead will be dead, after all. At least we could afford to give some sort of compensation to the families." He tries to shift to a nicer topic instead, "And what's new in that Roman Empire of yours?"

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Valerio chuckled. "If only my friend, if only." He said taking a glass from the special beer the Germans had brought with them. "Well we're mostly doing alright, you have undoubtedly heard about the assassination attempt in the East and the terrorist attacks but it seems the worst of that is over." Before he could even finish the line the waiter had already put anoither glass on the table for Valerio to drink. "Now this is a great way of talking diplomacy"

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"Yeah, we heard of that. Given the circumstances we didn't know if we should celebrate that or not. You know. With all those troops of yours by our borders. For all we knew, such a setback could be the only thing postponing an invasion 'gainst us. That'd have kinda sucked." He shrugs, as if he were talking about the most commonplace thing in the world, instead of about the death of millions. It was easy to see that Dierik had had enough contact with the Grim Reaper to feel familiar and comfortable with it all. He drinks his glass in one go, and then refills it. Lange nearby adds with a modicum of tact,

"Either way it'd have bred unstability and that is a losing situation for all."

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"Well I can give you this guarantee, and let the beer be a witness that I'm saying the truth. We have no plans and had no plans to invade Germanic land. Sure we didn't like what we saw in the Union but we did not want to go any further than cutting formal relations." He said before taking another glass. By now Valerio was trying to drink so much he could beat the two Germanics combined.

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Lange seemed to be about as drunk as Valerio if not a bit more, he must be one of the odd, endangered "non-alcoholic germanian" species. But Dierik on the other hand seemed to have taken after his Grandfather and drunk on without seeming to be affected in any other way but a general improvement of his mood.

Lange goes, "I should say, that is good so. We would have been in a world of !@#$, I tell you! Here's to not being in a world of !@#$!" - And he toasts, before drinking again. Dierik's loud laughter fills the room.

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"Well... to be quite fair...or something...we basically didn't want anything at all to do with the south. People are unsure whether if to consider 'em - you - to be a friend or a foe, as on the one hand you helped us get rid of Haas but on the other hand all of this mess happened. We should recall Mannelig's Mirror Doctrine, what you want for us, we'll want for you." - Spoke Lange, drinking on.

Dierik drank on as well, but said nothing, watching and listening carefully.

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"Well I imagine considering we managed to be allies regardless of contrary policies a couple of years ago we could repeat this process. Probably not in the mutual defense and aggression form however mutual defense and optional aggression." He said before drinking another glass of beer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After some subtle pressure and a life threat to not reveal anything about what was happening in the house a musician would come in with songs popular in the border region.

"We aim to deliver" Valerio said with a laugh. "This is a lot more fun than those lame cold wars"

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