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Meeting at Reval

Kaiser Martens

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Chancellor Martens sits at a desk at Reval, one of the most important German cities. The desk is the one which normally was ment to be used by the city Governor, but for this special occation, he would sit there himself for some time. He was expecting an important guest, the Tsar of Russia, or at least, in his mind, the one who SHOULD be Tsar of not only the "Slavo" part of Russia. Like most Government things German, they do not manifest the usual luxury that one may expect from most countries, but is functional and simple: Desks, laptop computer, chairs, a map, a telephone, and a small portrait of Bismarck with a German flag blended into it. The Chairs and heating were comfortable, and he just read the news while expecting Justinian's arrival, which should not take much longer.

The war was over at last. German property had been damaged, but to the Chancellor's optimism, this was just another chance to raise the Employment rate by rebuilding what was broken, and a logical step in the making of the New German Reichswehr. The new body armors and MBTs proved to be excellent...if they had been able to equip them from the word go, the Paulists would have fared even worse. From their factories near Martensheim all the way to Petersburg, with very few casualties compared to the ancient Leopard 2s.

Now he needed to discuss long-term FA with his Slavorussian peer as well as reconstruction plans for Petersburg and the returning of several thousands POWs...among a few other things.

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The Tsar’s trip to Germany was highly publicized back home, that coupled with that fact that there had just been a coup staged against him he was advised to take every possible precaution available to him. He traveled via his customized plane, escorted by Slavorussian jet fighters until entering German airspace. The trip went smoothly all the way to Reval.

Once there they visited some of the historic sites especially the Old Town, before driving to the meeting with the Chancellor. It was an new experience for him. Government offices in Russia were often used in a way as to display the great wealth of the Tsar’s government and as such were designed to showcase extreme opulence and lavishness both inside and out. Even his attire, a general’s uniform fully decorated with his orders and honors, was meant to show prestige and power.

Imperial guards stand outside while Justinian and General Menshikov enter to see the Chancellor. They stand just inside the door. Justinian crosses toward the Chancellor with his hand extended, smiles and says, “Hello, Your Excellency. How are you today?”

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"Just glad to see you and your Country in one piece again. What can I say?" He stands up and shakes his hand briefly, and afterwards extends his hand to General Menshikov to greet him as well. "General."

Then, he sits back down. "We have drinks of all kinds available. Have you had the chance of trying some of our Mjod? Publicity says Vikings used to drink it." He states slightly ironically in spite of the high quality of said drink. He leans back on his chair a bit. The place almost felt like an army HQ, rather than a Government office. But then, most things in Northern Germany looked like something out of an Army anyway.

"Anyway, we have some twenty thousand prisoners which used to belong to the Army Group which attacked Königsberg over in a POW camp close to that city. We were wondering if you would like to have them back right away, or if you'd rather have other plans. We have no further need to them, in a week they will finish what they're doing: Helping rebuild the stuff they broke. Then, for those who fell in battle, we have arranged a graveyard east of that same city. If some families may want their corpses, they can too have 'em. We haven't found every single one, though. Probably never will, even for our own."

He changes the subject to something nicer,

"Them prisoners plus our workforce would love to have a nice trip to Petersburg to help its large scale reconstruction. After all, we sent plenty of shells and bombs there, and would like to be allowed to help rebuild everything we destroyed. And then, once that this is done, let's make twin monuments at Petersburg and Königsberg, one for the farthest reach of the attack and another one to show the place where it ended. But that will be the last thing, what matters is helping those who ended up with no home and with a maimed family. If there is anything at all we can do for these people, please do let us know and we'll mobilize our resources."

He nods.

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Justinian speaks first. The cold exterior he’d gained after the past year of trials and hardships appears to melt before the Chancellor‘s eyes. “Thank you for the selfless offer, but sir, Germany has done so much for me and mine. I couldn‘t impose upon you further. I feel that all this was my fault. I should have realized the amount of danger I was putting Germany under when I asked to send my family here.”

General Menshikov hands the Tsar an envelope with the Imperial double-headed eagle seal printed on it. “In fact,” Justinian continues, “Part of my trip here was so that I could offer reparations to the German people for the damage and emotional stress caused by my cousin‘s unprovoked war.”

“Those soldiers that you mentioned are of great interest to us.” The general interjects, “An example must be set to deter future plots. My office was thinking 20,000 laborers working night and day to rebuild the country would be a fine warning and it would save us a lot of money in the long run.”

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"In that case, they will be shipped by train as soon as we are done with 'em, General."

Martens listens carefully to Justinian, and then watches the envelope. He does not interrupt further, and then, he takes the envelope, examining it and opening it. He takes his time with this, treating it carefully, and nods a few times. Unexpectedly then, he closes the envelope once more, and places it back at the desk for Justinian to take again.

"We cannot accept this. In the end, it was our decision to accept the family, as well. But I will tell you one thing. We do not want...money, nor goods. There is just only [i]one[/i] thing which we really want. What we want to know is that, if someday we would be attacked by a foreign power, to know that [i]no matter what[/i] the Rus will be there to defend us...no matter whom it may be that may rush forth to try to take our land. We do not want to pick any fights. But we want to know that fights won't be picked with us."

What he ment was by then obvious. Of all of the Neighbors, there was really only one which would one day try and take away their land, a neighbor which Slavorussia was allied to, a neighbor which had tried to seize Northern Germany in the past too. But perhaps that would cost more than the Envelope's contents, or, perhaps, just this fact, would prevent any war from happening to begin with and secure prosperity for both countries.

Edited by Kaiser Martens
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Justinian gestures to General Menshikov to take back the envelope. He does, slipping it back into his coat pocket. The young Tsar scratches his chin somewhat intrigued by the chancellor’s refusal. Germany sacrificed a great deal for Slavorussia, and for him personally, yet all they asked for in return was security and peace of mind.

“You have so much for me, but you ask for little. Sometimes I think indecision should be a crime in my country. It has led to more mistakes and blunders than you could imagine. We were reluctant to act last time, but I assure you it won‘t happen again. Germany has stood by us many times and if we were to turn our backs you now I would consider it the greatest of crimes. You have my word that if North Germany should ever find itself in need of assistance the full might of Slavorussia‘s armed forces will be there to help. Nothing less will suffice.”

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"That is what matters the most. Money comes and goes. We Northerners are not your typical society...we would rather have this certainty than all the gold in your vaults. Maybe some Economy minister will find me silly...but at the end of the day, I know that our bonds are not based on money. And that's what counts, because we know that even if money runs out sometime, we can still count on each other. That cannot be bought."

"Hm...I know well about indecision myself. Ask my father anytime about his bad decisions...you will find a blunder for every brilliant move...rooted in concealed indecision. In the end, what matters the most, is not the decision in itself, but that all should follow the chosen direction once that it has been established. What would one be like in a fight if constantly changing his mind after every punch, after all? Better not to hold the punch back and instead think of the next move."

He smiles.

"Thank you."

Peace of mind. Security. They were underrated goods worldwide, but so valuable to the Northerners.

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“Oh, I nearly forgot,” Justinian walks back to the door and comes back with a small box made from high quality imported wood. It has the gold two-headed eagle of the Empire on the lid and is decorated with jewels from Russian mines. Justinian uses the key to open the box to display the Order of St. Andrew, the highest order of the Slavorussian Empire.


“I hope you‘ll accept this, if not for yourself then for Germany as a whole. It‘s the least we can do to show our gratitude.”

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He opened his mouth and raised his eyebrows in surprise. He knew exactly what that insignia was about, and due to its rarity he had never considered seeing one, much less being given one. Its relevance and blue background somehow reminded him of the German Blue Max, although in reality the item at hand was very different.

"I am deeply honored...! Never before had a German been given anything like this..." So it would seem...his grandfather fought to invade Russia...now, he was receiving this for having defended it. Truly, things had changed...for the better and for good.

"This will [i]always[/i] be on my uniform."

And it would be so. He would always wear it...in fact, the one and only medal he would wear. Normally he just had his uniform entirely plain. He takes the box carefully and then smiles, before nodding firmly. Someday, he knew he'd give Justinian a different medal of his own making. Someday.

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