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Unexpected Friendships

Sarah Tintagyl

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Therese couldn't help but chuckle at the letter laid written on her desk. "We really are bridging the gaps of the past." In the past it was not hard to tell that relations between the Germans and the French were not pristine then then Nordic controlled Wästerdyskreich, which had been one of the more brutal regimes Europe had seen laid claim to most of France, Aquitaine had escaped the brutality by still being under a Welsh banner, but even that was dismal to their minds. Now in the present time, France remained divided, but it was something that had to be coped with and the Aquitainians would not keep a divided homeland from progressing onto the world stage. Therese believed that the only way to survive in a world where the Hobbesian idea of the War of All against All, was a natural occurrence, allies had to be made, friends had to be found and whether it might have been expected or not, her eyes were set on the German States. The first of which being the traditionally oriented North Germans.


[b]To: Kanzler Dierik Martens
From: The Desk of Prime Minister Therese Zelle, Prime Minister of Aquitaine[/b]

[i]Your Excellency,

I hope this letter finds you and your nation in good health and prosperous, I would also like to thank your country's warm welcome of Aquitaine to the European Stage of politics. It is in that notion that I would like to return the greeting, in a Europe that I have watched, as Mayor of Bordeaux, change from the volatile Europe of the past to a continent that prides itself on cooperation, community, and peace. As such, the need to render our voice to our neighbors, diplomatic contact, friendship, and understanding are paramount and to further this I would like to invite Your Excellency to my personal residence at the Chateau de Roquetaillade to talk about the future of German-Aquitainian Relations. There is a great deal that I would like to discuss, that being getting to know the inner workings of the German states as well as what can be done in the future to make sure that the relations between our states have a greater solidification, that our citizens, both Aquitinian and German, desire. Please come with an empty stomach and a taste for wine, my Chateau is on the edge of some of Aquitaine's prized vineyards and my family has been in the wine business for well over two hundred years. It will be a most memorable night and I look for your reply in haste.[/i]


[i]Therese Zelle[/i]
[b]Prime Minister of Aquitaine[/b]

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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OOC: My bad, the delay...

IC: Dierik grins. "So the French want to Blitzkrieg me with an assault of Wine and Food in order to have their way in diplomacy? Predictable, yes, but it will surely work. In fact it is working already. Please set up my plane."

As of lately, the German FA seemed to have suddenly become busy, active, which was good - Martens could now afford to leave his Country without things exploding all around. Before he left, he reviewed some charts showing the increase in Technology for this year. More than satisfactory. The Plan was working. With a smile on his face, he boards his modified Raptor for long-range travelling, lets them know that he's on his way and travels to The West. As he flew, he wondered what would happen to Eastern France, as it was called in his mind. The area had been Germanized to a higher degree than most anticipated, yes, but the latest decisions there had been simply overdoing this. But he would not get involved. He already obtained what he needed. He would not destabilize Europe over that...

He enters the Aquitanian Radars. By then, they have been made aware that the Kanzler is honored with the invitation, and that he is willing to discuss [i]each and every subject[/i] no matter what the issues may be. As of lately, with everything working out, he was in a good mood and this fueled him to pursue his goals with even more determination, and, Odin Willing, wisdom.

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With the German plane landing at the international airport in Bordeaux, the Kanzler would be greeted upon his disembarkation by a line of the Knights of Aquitaine on either side, their swords held above his head and the last two Knights holding the German flag on par with the flag of Aquitaine. While at the end of the line of soldiers stood Therese Zelle along side her Paladin, Adelaide Josselyne, the Prime Minister and her Knight immediately bowed their heads to the approaching German. "Kanzler Martens, it is a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance, a man of your heritage draws a crowd where ever his feet seem to go and in Aquitaine it is no exception. Though, perhaps..." Therese said smiling, "...we will create from this meeting much more favorable relations than history says exist between the German and French states, though considering the progress you have made with Burgundy, I would expect no less. Also, if I may be so kind as to introduce my Commander of Military Forces, Adelaide Josselyne."

Adelaide bowed, her blonde braid falling to the side of her back. "A pleasure to meet you Your Excellency, welcome to Aquitaine."

"Now then, Kanzler, if you be so kind as to follow me, we have quite the feast prepared back at the Chateau." Therese beckoned him towards the limousine and after thee three had gotten inside and the Knights had dispersed, they took off through central Bordeaux, traveling across the booming cultural district of the city. Theaters, conservatories, cafes, and salons lined the city streets and as dusk began to settle, the lights of the city brightened illuminating the sky with a yellow and orange glow. Soon they pushed through the city limits and out into the rolling hills of the Aquitainian countryside, the vineyards that stretched as far as the eye could see, along with green forests and an indigo sky. About an hour after leaving the airport the limousine arrived at the Chateau de Roquetaillade where another squadron of Knights, along with Therese's aide, greeted the Prime Minister, Kanzler, and Paladin.

"Madame Zelle, the chefs wanted to tell you that dinner will be served as soon as you wish. Will you be treating the Kanzler in the courtyard or inside the Chateau?"

"Oh, turn on the outside lights and bring up a bottle of Chardonnay, we'll take our dinner outside."

"Tres bon Madame."

Therese led the two through the medieval chateau and out to a large courtyard, tables decorated as the white metal tables found in Versailles, whilst Chinese lanterns hung from cables coming down from the castle. Sitting down, a series of servants immediately brought out various courses of dishes. There was deer meat, boar, lamb, fish freshly caught from the Bay of Biscay, warm bread with melted butter, potatoes, vegetables, and just for the talking point, escargot as well. Finally the meal was topped off with three sparkling glasses of Chardonnay, aged prior to the fall of the Welsh Empire. As Therese and Adelaide began to eat, the Prime Minister turned to the Kanzler and raised her glass. "To the long lasting friendship of Aquitaine and North Germany Monsieur Martens." Therese said with a smile. "Now before we really begin politics, from Germany's end, how can the friendship of Aquitaine and your state blossom into the friendship that so many of us wish it to grow into."

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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He respectfully salutes the soldiers holding both flags and then goes on to meet the two Ladies. They reminded him of the Valkyries in his own Fatherland. He bows his head in the same fashion and adjusts his suit, smiling warmly afterwards. "Thank you. Indeed. Now that our internal issues have all been solved, our new priority is to be at peace with our neighbors. For a long time we have not had any trouble with the Francophone Nations even though that long ago they used to be enemies AND friends at different times. Perhaps now we can work to make sure that things continue to be good."

He looks towards Adelaide carefully and nods approvingly. "Did you know that you have a Germanic name, Lady? Adelheid. Noble and Hailed. Very suitable for your position if I must so say. You remind me of a certain group of Ladies back home."

Then, he goes on to the chateau. He had read about this place, but never actually been there. It was beautiful. He took his time to admire the country that he was now in, and was surprised by its beauty. He had thought that everything French would come to seem as some sort of cliche, but in the end, being in front of the real thing, it was quite beautiful. And he was so hungry...he had indeed come with an empty stomach after his diplomatic touring.

"To the friendship indeed." He raises his glass and then sips.

"Hmm. First I must say that it is nice to be here, in fact, nicer than I expected. This truly feels like French Culture. Burgundy has mixed German-Nordlandic and French heritage. It doesn't feel quite as authentic French at this, but rather as its own culture different from here and from my peoples' yet resembling both. This is just like the books. I love it. What can be said? Friendship must be based on sincerity and in Comradery in many senses. We need to understand each other, each other peoples' and each other goals. What are the short and long term goals of your Administration, then? And what do the people want? We must never forget about them."

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[i]"Did you know that you have a Germanic name, Lady? Adelheid. Noble and Hailed. Very suitable for your position if I must so say. You remind me of a certain group of Ladies back home."[/i]

The Paladin blushed. "Yes, my mother is actually from Saxony, my father of course is a native of Aquitaine, but I figure that I can represent both cultures quite well if possible. Before Aquitaine achieved its independence I had been able to revisit Dresden and my mother's family there, so I must say, for as much as you compliment Aquitaine, your nation is just as beautiful. Both the North and South, believe me when I say anything to see German brothers not fighting is a step in the right direction."

As the three concluded the toast, Therese listened to his appreciation for what had been done in Aquitaine, a large grin across her face. "Well, long term goals for the country would be of course to see the prosperity of Aquitaine continue to rise. I will not lie to you Dierik, if I may call you such, cooperation between the French states would be ideal as well. Aquitaine and Burgundy have bumped heads nearly since our creation and I believe Burgundy would like to see unification of the states as much as we would. Though for all our distrust and I assume that the distrust will not go away in the near future, that I would rather not see blood spilled, but that will be conducted through diplomacy and I cannot be sure how the eventual talks will end up. I will say this though, we have already signed a non-aggression pact, so something is being done to keep brothers and sisters from destroying each other."

"However, moving onto lighter things. Aquitaine has been given its independence during one of the brightest ages Europe has ever seen. We have not seen a large-scale war in years and nations are beginning to rise from the dust of history again. This is the time for cooperation of the greater European family and one thing I would like to see happen is Aquitaine's foreign policy expand throughout Europe. Trade brings wealth that we need to continue to thrive and prosperity brings friendship, a friendship we hope to share with all. The people of Aquitaine however, at the moment are content. They are well provided for and at the moment we are working on various projects for the greater defense of the people. I have always been a firm believer that the government is the first and greatest servant of the people. Along with that, beyond Burgundy, there are traces of French history within Germany, likewise Germany in France and one thing I do believe both of our countries would benefit from would be much more relaxed borders and possible cultural exchange. As you said Dierik, the French and German people have been both friends and enemies in the past and our cultures can be beautifully entwined. I say let us focus on the similarities and as for the differences build a respect and appreciation that the world can admire."

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A thought crossed his mind for a moment. So far, the other diplomats that he had met had all been males. And they had all spoken less. Maybe the stereotype was real. But in the end, he found himself paying much closer attention to what these ones had to say than the previous diplomatic missions.

"That is very accurate. West and East should mimic North and South...in the good aspects. Regretfully we were not able to unify with Southern Germany. I am starting to think that only in the very, very long term that will happen. But we have too taken steps to ensure that we do not end up in each other's path. But in The Frances, things could be different. If both Governments remain reasonable and play their cards right, maybe unity could be achieveable. Even if I am not able to get my Fatherland in one piece, it would please me to see that Neighbors and Friends are able to achieve this objective, and, in fact, I offer my help if you ever would need an intermediary. Eventually, when their other needs are completely fulfilled, the people will start to ask for this."

He sighs and takes a few more minutes to enjoy some of the food before continuing,

"Forgive me for being Skeptical. I keep hearing that Europe is in one of its greatest times. I cannot really agree...do not get me wrong, it sure is a good thing not to have nuclear ICBMs flying in each and every direction...but this peace feels artificial, even hypocritical. That is why I like being here. This Government is new, is widely respected and thusly has no enemies nor special interests: It can afford to be true to its people, and it can hear all voices. This is an outstanding situation."

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"Ah! Yes!" Therese's face immediately brightened. "A peace only held because it is held by two large behemoths, one in Austria, the other in Arabia." The Prime Minister chuckled. "No, I understand what you mean entirely Dierik, what good is peace if the people and especially the governments do not put the time in too actually enjoy it and when I mean enjoy, I do not mean the thanks that missiles and nuclear weapons aren't flying around like cakes in a bakery. However, my hopes are that the friendship that has been created right here, between you and I can be replicated across Europe. Too often do leaders not care about the people on across the continent or across the sea, we need to remind them that everyone on this Earth is just as capable of reason as they are. Recently there has been a great deal of talk between the 'hegemony' of the Western European Union, I want to work to dispel that. To dispel the chance of war engulfing France, to dispel the talk that Europe is the cesspool of the world." Therese laughed. "The birth of Western Civilization and Enlightenment thought, I think we are much more than some mere continent to be forgotten. Can't let a few wars ruin that for us after all."

"Yes." Adelaide finally spoke up. "War would be the last thing any of us need right now. I'm perfectly capable of defending Aquitaine and likewise is the army, but if death and destruction is avoidable. I would much rather fight with word of mouth and save those dear to me. I think any soldier would agree."

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"I normally prefer to use soldiers in construction projects, be it houses, buldings or infrastructure. Soldiers are an underrated good, they're useful for things other than blowing foreigners up...you understand precisely what I ment regarding this peace."

He shakes his head, smiling.

"I do not agree with this notion of Hegemony that has been proposed by some. Firstly, Europe is not one thing that can be categorized as an unified Entity. Europe only exists in geography, those who seek to display Europe as the Cesspool of the World only do so in order to further their own aims, not limited to feeling better about themselves. The only hegemony in Europe is that of the Status Quo. They should probably worry more about nations in other continents. Germany is not the only nation which is not comfortable with its current state, whether be it politically or geographically, but the way things are set up, things are a Deadlock of Peace, as if a diplomatic traffic jam in which noone can go anywhere. Until someday somewhere, something will change...and then everyone will show their true faces. We do not consider ourselves to be at peace...but we prepare for war because we want it."

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"Prepare for war because war is desired." Adelaide smiled. "I can't argue there, change is a beautiful thing. But Aquitaine prepares for war so that peace can be held."

"Indeed." Therese added. "Though what should be pointed out is that Aquitaine had no real political problems with either the GDR or the RA. They are insanely powerful countries and keep Europe in a proverbial stalemate, mainly because they also in ways oppose each other. But I would never think of warring either one of them unless Aquitaine's freedom depended on it or the freedom of another people that we are closely tied too. I would be interested to hear how precisely this stalemate might be ended without bringing war to Europe again and causing a massive power struggle as it has occurred in regions in the past." Therese took a sip from her wine. "Your thoughts Dierik?"

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"The stalemate cannot reasonable end peacefully unless like, in the ancient Cold War, either innerly collapses. That is unlikely to happen. So then while most people will be worried about Europe, my personal bet is that a conflict outside of Europe will end up spreading to this continent. While everybody keeps their eyes here...something else...elsewhere. Tensions will continue to exist here, but Europe does not seem will have any spark. And that is probably for the best."

"It is impossible to predict what will really happen. But we just do our best to watch our own backs. However, the best way of watching our backs is to watch our friends' back too. So we are and are not at the same time selfish. Because when the chips are down, Friendship, not nominal, hollow pacts, will be what will matter. In this age of extreme Rationalism, I appeal to the human factor to be the deciding key in upcoming chaos. The merge between Nordheim and Prussia was a blessing and a curse. A blessing because our strength, and thusly our capacity to protect ourselves increased vastly because of this, but then a curse because our closest friend has ceased to exist and has become one with ourselves."

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"Well if that is the case then Dierik, I believe that Aquitaine and North Germany should continue to work on their friendship. Cultural exchange, open borders, a greater linked economy, all things will help build our friendship and our trust. So perhaps where Prussia has faded, the most unexpected of allies will arise. So here's to many long years of friendship between Aquitaine and North Germany." She raised her glass again. "But this has led to quite the interesting conversation, is there anything else that you would like to talk about Dierik? For the life of me I can't think of anything." She chuckled. "Adelaide, you?"

"Not sure Therese." Entirely up to the guest. "But actually I'm quite full if we could bring on desert. Maybe a stroll through the vineyards?"

"If our guest would like that. Monsieur Martens?"

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"I agree on most things, although keep in mind that some protectionism exists in Germany. Though we're not completely closed like in the past anyway. Both countries will benefit from this. In the short and long run. It will be arranged." The glass raises again.

"I actually was not planning on leaving the place without taking a good look at them vineyards." He grins and finishes his glass, although he leaves the wine in his mouth without swallowing it for several seconds. He stands up slowly, calmly, relaxed.

"I'm sure that more things to speak about will show up soon enough."

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The vineyards of Roquetaillade were Therese's most prized possession and though late in the evening, she had installed lanterns throughout the paths to ensure that they were never out of rage to be used as a garden or park to entertain guests. Before the three had began on their stroll, the maids had brought out small plates of cake and ice cream for the three to take as they walked. As they did, Therese explained how wine had always been a prized possession of her family and while they were definitely not of royal stock, it was the wine industry that gave them the wealth that they had been able to possess in the modern age, all the while Adelaide scarfed down the cake and ice cream as they strolled.

"For goodness sakes Adele." Therese using the Paladin's nickname in a sarcastic tone. "For someone that talks about military discipline, you certainly don't show it."

Adelaide blushed. "Well I haven't been able to relax with a good meal, let alone desert in sometime. You're only acting that you have a problem with it because we have a guest otherwise you would be worse than I. If Monsieur Martens has a problem with the way I eat then I will stop, but otherwise, give me the time to to enjoy myself." She joked.

"Nevertheless Dierik, I'm afraid that there really isn't that much left to show you at the Chateau. You're welcome to spend the night and return home in the morning or of course you are welcomed to leave now and return to Germany." She extended her hand first. "Either way, it was a pleasure to make your acquittance."

Adelaide did so in return. "Much so as well Dierik, perhaps in the future when I visit my parents in Saxony you will be able to give me the tour of your country. Perhaps Therese and I both. It was an absolute pleasure."

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He walks along, eating the rest of the meal in no time, although making sure that he sticks to appropiate manners.

"You do need to take it easy, [i]Adelheid[/i]. That is, not with the food, but with the discipline." He grins for a moment. Then he takes the hand that has been extended towards him and shakes it kindly yet firmly, speaking to Therese. "I'll probably be back. I enjoyed myself too much here, and I am close if I move by air. I would love to stay...but no rest for the wicked...not yet."

He looks back to Adeleide and nods firmly. "I will make sure that my friends over at the Gestapo notify me of your arrival. I'll be looking forwards to seeing you again, sometime."

After he said that, a futuristic looking helicopter with an iron cross on its sides seemed to approach them rather noisily.

"My bad. My ride seems to have arrived. I am needed back home already...such a shame...I did want to stay..."

When it moves closer, one of the doors on its side opens. Old Martens is standing there, and looks towards the Chancellor. He speaks from afar in a loud voice "We've got some good news from the South...and other news from the East. Sorry to interrupt ya!"

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