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North and South

Karl Martin

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"Madame Zelle?" Therese looked up from her desk in her private office of the Chateau de Roquetaillade as her aide, Jean Minot, walked into the room and gave a slight bow. "I am sorry for bothering you at the moment Madame, but the Prime Minister of Burgundy has arrived for his audience with you. He is waiting in the main foyer of the Chateau.

"Oh, of course, very good. Thank you Jean." Therese smiled as she stood up from her desk and walked out of her office, down the stone stairs to the foyer where Prime Minister Degrelle had been brought. After entering the country and being taken to Therese's residence by personal escort of the Knights of Aquitaine, Degrelle along with his bodyguards, if he had any, were asked to remove their weapons and were checked, once this was done were allowed to enter the castle. The foyer was decorated in the design of old Renaissance courts and palaces, with long tapestries dating back to the pride of the Aquitainian regimes, that of Duchess Eleanor and her sons and daughters. The light shone in through stain glass windows, creating beautiful designs of red and blue on the floor as Therese's heels echoed down the staircase.

Finally arriving, she smiled and bowed her head at the Burgundian Prime Minister and with a wave of her hand, Therese dismissed the Knights who had escorted Degrelle to the Chateau. "Prime Minister." She began with a smile on her face, pushed her hair behind her shoulders, her green eyes shining brightly in the sunlight from the windows. "It is an honor that you were able to come on such short notice. Please." She said pointing to the parlor of the castle. "We can talk in here." She led Degrelle inside and two cups of tea were brought as she sat down along the couch and stared over at him. "Now, what is on our agenda for today Excellency?"

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Degrelle had come alone, since he was not one to like carrying about staff with him. He politely accepted the seat and began talking after a sip of tea.

"I have come to first wish Aquitaine well in her voyage in the world. For too long has France been under foreign influence, but now all of it is free. Next, Burgundy wishes to sign a treaty with Aquitaine for peace. Since Burgundy and Aquitaine are sisters, they should not shed blood between the two. Thus, we sincerely wish to be at peace with each other."

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Therese smiled and placed her cup on the saucer with a light tap. "Naturally, it would resemble a civil war of types and sister spilling sister blood would be something that neither of our peoples would want. So your ideas of peace would be documentation or word of mouth between leaders Minister Degrelle?" She leaned back and sighed at the next thought that crossed her mind. "Though a question, one cannot help when watching the news to see that your state is settled by a majority of German-ethnic population, whilst Aquitaine is settled by a larger French population. I would be curious to wonder if possible if the lands of your French-majority populations to be transferred to our state." Therese laid a hand on his shoulder and looked up. "I have no doubt that your citizens are being represented properly, but a German dominated government, can it properly represent Duché d'Orléans, Royaume de France, and Provence. Normandy is a much more complicated state, but the ones I mentioned seem to identify themselves closer to their French culture then the German-led government."

She sighed. "I assure you this will not effect our negotiations, but at the same time, I believe the benefits to our cultures would outweigh any loses."

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"We are not sure how the impression that Burgundy is a German-majority country spread. At most the Germanic population is around 9 million, which is 30% of the entire population of 30 million. The fact that our President happens to be a German, combined with history, has made other countries view Burgundy as being another Nordic country, when it is far from it. The entire gouvernement is composed of French, and I myself am a Walloon. I have never felt that there was too big a German influence upon the runnings of the state."

He took another sip of tea, already feeling that this new state was being overbearing with all the talks of it being [i]the[/i] French culture.

"If I say the opinion of Burgundy in a single sentence, it is that there is no reason for any of the states to wish to join Aquitaine. The land of langues d'oïl has a different culture from the land of langue d'oc, so this talk of identifying closer with Aquitaine is not at all appealing. Perhaps your Excellency should restudy French culture before attempting to say that Occitania represents all of France.

As for the ideas of peace, we want a solid and openly documented treaty. What we have in mind is a mutual defense treaty that is not cancelable and overrides all obligations that either side may have."

Edited by Karl Martin
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Well, it had been worth a shot, she thought to herself. He was a bit insulting at the end, but she did ask something outrageous after all it was expected. But if one didn't ask for everything she desired, there was no point to do anything at all. Though there was no point in arguing with the Burgundian's affinity to Germany, they had been that way since the middle ages, always on the cusp of France and Germany.

Therese feigned a smiled and nodded her head as she finished her tea and put the cup on the side table and pushed her hair back behind her shoulders again. "Yes well perhaps your Burgundische Fortschrittspartei sends off a bit of the wrong message from the world, but this kind of division is not how I would to have started our negotiations. However, please do know insult my knowledge of my own country's history, I would rather not argue the fact that a Hohenzollern sits governing half of France." She put up her hand and closed her eyes. "As to your treaty, that is something we cannot agree to." Now who was being overbearing, Therese thought. "Aquitaine will not be slaves to Burgundy. Open borders, a non-aggression pact, and possibly economic progression with lowering tariffs. That is as far as I am willing to go, as I said, we are not going to enslave ourselves to a government right after gaining our independence."

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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It was everything as he had expected. Both sides will be going hard with the terms at first, and it was his job to make sure Burgundy survives.

"What the world seems to have forgotten that Volksreich Burgund is a one party state. Since Burgund has 15 million, half of the entire population of Burgundy, it is only logically that Burgundische Fortschrittspartei would have half of the seats of the National Assembly. Also, does it matter who is governing France, when the people accepts him and Charlemagne himself was originally German?

Now, with the treaty: We are willing to accept your version, if one term is added: The treaty is not cancelable. We do not want Aquitaine to cancel the treaty at its own convenience."

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"No, that makes no sense, as I said, I will not bind Aquitaine to another state for no apparent reason. Forgive me for saying this Mr. Degrelle, but your paranoia is almost unnatural, Aquitaine has done nothing to feed Burgundy's fear and to be honest I am becoming quite perturbed by this. I am willing to offer this treaty, able to be canceled, like all treaties that are signed and the options that I gave to you at the beginning of the meeting. Non-Aggression and so forth. That is my final offer, or we can end this meeting and retire to dinner. Entirely up to you." Therese feigned another smile, but deep down inside she was nearly shaking with annoyance, she would not enslave her nation to Hohenzollern. "Every nation has a right to its own destiny Mr. Degrelle, Burgundy and Aquitaine both. But there is my offer, otherwise, we are done talking politics."

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"Aquitaine was were the original French Republic came into being, with Alain Mamère at the head. We have a right to be afraid. However, out of good faith, we shall sign your version of the treaty."

Yes, this little girl was being just like a backstabber. There was no reason for not having a non-cancelable term, unless Aquitaine was preparing for something that would require the treaty being cancelled. But for the time being, he was willing to go with this.

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"Yes and I am not Alain Mamère Mr. Degrelle, you are horribly afraid of the ghosts of the past it is quite a shame really, there is no reason to live in paranoia your entire life. Nevertheless, give me a moment so that I can write up the treaty for us to sign." She got up from her seat and walked back up to her office, shuffled through her desk to find a piece of stationary and began to write.

"Madame?" Therese looked up at Jean walking in. "Negotiations going okay with the Prime Minister of Burgundy?" She looked up and glared at the aide as he sighed and stepped back. "Of course, my apologies Madame, I'm guessing a warm bath after this is done then?"

"Extra warm, please, almost scolding."

"Of course Madame."

A few minutes later, Therese appeared in the parlor again, with the treaty in her hands as she laid it down on the table for Degrelle to look at. "I believe this should be for your liking."

[i][u]The Treaty of Roquetaillade [/u][/i]

In the interest of furthering peace in and around Europe, and to prevent unnecessary warfare, Aquitaine and Burgundy, sign this pact.

[u]Article I. Non-Aggression[/u]
Aquitaine and Burgundy hereby agree to non-aggression. Neither signatory shall engage in hostile operations against the other, be they military, covert, or in the form of propaganda. Both signatories also agree not to support enemies of the other state, be they foreign or domestic.

[u]Article II. Trade[/u]
Both signatories hereby agree to lower or abolish all tariffs on trade between them, and remove all other trade barriers.

[u]Article III. Cancellation[/u]
Should either Aquitaine or Burgundy wish to cancel this treaty, they may do so at any time, provided they give 48 hours advance notice to the other signatory, during which time the treaty remains in effect.

[u]Signed for Aquitaine,[/u]
[i]Therese Zelle[/i]
[b]Prime Minister[/b]

[u]Signed for Burgundy,[/u]
[i]Léon Joseph Marie Ignace Degrelle [/i]

"I only await your signature Mr. Degrelle." Therese smiled.

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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"Lovely, thank you Mr. Degrelle." Therese smiled and handed the treaty off to a passing aide and the treaty was taken back up to her office, while a copy was made and would be in Degrelle's hands before he left the Chateau. "So, now that the ugly business of diplomacy is over. Shall we proceed to dinner, or will you be heading back to Burgundy?"

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