Friday, October 2, 2009

Sneak Peek of Chapter Two of Book Two

...and here is a preview of the second chapter from the sequel to Puss and Boots in the 23rd Century.

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Chapter 2, "The TREATY"
July, 2276 AD
Brussels, EU

*

"Excellency!"

"Yes Humbert," the small man sitting behind the large desk in the marbled hall of the Supreme Executive Office of the European Union answered in a bland tone.

"We have just received a communiqué on our ultra-net."

"And,"

"President Pitson of The United States has invoked the Treaty."

"His stated reason?" The small man asked with pursed mouth.

"His Position as a Head of State is Threatened by Internal Disorder, specifically the…"

"Enough! I do not need to know the petty details. He used the exact wording given in Our Treaty of Mutual Support Among Heads Of State, did he not?"

"Yes Excellency, that he did," Humbert replied with an unctuous smile…

"Since he did so," the Prime Secretary replied as he leaned back in his throne-like chair and steepeled his fingers, "We therefore are bound by this pact to offer him all necessary aid and support as I recall."

"Oh, most certainly, Excellency, the requirements of the treaty are quite detailed with respect to a request so worded."

"Very well then," the Prime Secretary said with a dry chuckle, "Please inform the Chief Field Marshal and The Chief Air Marshal that I require their presence, at their convenience of course."

"Yes, Excellency," Humbert murmured as he bowed to the small man sitting behind the ornately carved desk with gilt ormolu accents.

*

Humbert ushered Field Marshal Manfred Von Glück and Air Marshal Jean Marie Valois into the Prime Secretary’s office thirty minutes later. The small man stepped around his desk and greeted the two officers.

"Thank you for attending me on such short notice. I hope my request was not too disruptive of your no doubt busy and complex schedules," he said in a bland tone with a bland smile.

"Not at all, Excellency," Manfred replied with a stiff face as he clicked the heels of his gleaming jack boots.

"We of the military view disruption as normal, Excellency," Jean Marie said as he gave a sweeping salute with a white-gloved hand.

"Good," the Prime Secretary replied in the same bland tone. "Let us seat ourselves, and take a brandy as we begin our deliberations," he continued with a wave toward an exquisitely elaborate Third Empire table and chairs at the other end of his office. It stood under an enormous painting on the wall of Napoleon crowing himself Emperor.

"Humbert, if you would," he then murmured and his aide walked with stately haste to a buffet in the corner of the large room.

"Our own aides await in the anteroom, Excellency," Manfred said with a question in his tone.

"We will coordinate details with them after we three discuss policy," The Prime Secretary responded as he took a seat at the head of the small table. "You have briefing books," he continued as he indicated two beautifully tooled Morocco binders at their places.

The two officers seated themselves and Humbert served brandies from a heavy silver tray, the Air Marshal first as the junior service, the Field Marshal next as the senior service and then the Prime Secretary last as their host and commander.

The small man lifted his large snifter after he had allowed them five minutes to savor their briefing materials, and their brandy.

"Gentlemen, as you can see we have been presented a unique opportunity to extend our precious Order and Tranquility to a region where it has long been absent," he said as he took a sip of the very old brandy, and smiled.

"Very good Excellency, both your brandy, and our opportunity," Jean Marie said after taking a sip.

"Yes Excellency," Manfred added. "Your brandy and your insights are always of the best, but the reason for this opportunity?"

The Prime Secretary took a second, very small sip then set his snifter aside and leaned back in his chair. He steepeled his fingers again and announced in a dry tone, "The President of The United States has just invoked a very important provision of the Treaty of Mutual Support for Heads of State, and it is now our task to plan how we will carry out our binding obligation."

Manfred and Jean Marie smiled and their smiles were grim, but somewhat forced...

*

"Humbert, I believe our guests require the services of their aides now. Correct, Comrades?" The Prime Secretary asked when he had given the two officers the outline of what the EU response would be.

"Yes Excellency, but a moment," Manfred interrupted. "Most American citizens are not involved with this Restoration movement. We will apply the massive force as you direct, but what about those who are innocent and not involved?"

"Interesting that you should ask this question Chief Field Marshal," the small man said as he leaned back in his chair and steepeled his fingers yet again.

"Normand of Toulouse asked essentially the same question of Arnald, Bishop of Citeaux when he had breached the walls of Bieziers in 1207. Normand was the General of the Army led by Arnald who was the Pope’s Legate tasked to reform heretics in that town.

"Bieziers had 20,000 inhabitants and was the center of a small revolutionary movement calling themselves Albegensins. Those waywards actually believed that the Church elite should live simply, as the little people did. Obviously this was not acceptable to the Church.

"Tuez tous. Le DIEU reconnaîtra Leis seins," Arnald answered Normand.

"I believe Arnald’s solution applies here as well, consenter?" The Prime Secretary purred with another bland smile.

Manfred suppressed a shudder and was silent for a moment, then snapped, "Yes Excellency, it shall be as you wish. Our schedule, Excellency?"

"My dear Manfred, do not be so tiresome. As soon as your excellent forces are ready to deploy of course," The small man in the big chair purred, the ice in his eyes belying his gentle tone.

"This is a very sizable mobilization, Excellency. August at best," Manfred muttered. Air Marshal Jean Marie nodded in agreement.

"Very good gentlemen, I will await your reports of your successes after August – but do not make me wait too long after that..."

"Yes Excellency," Both men shouted as they leaped from their chairs and saluted the small man in the large chair, Jean Marie with an open-handed sweep of his right hand and Manfred with a forward extension of his right arm.


COPYRIGHT ©2009 NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION WITHOUT MY EXPRESS CONSENT.
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