MISC: The Girl Who Saved The World Part 12
phillies at 4liberty.net
Mon Nov 30 20:42:55 PST 2015
The astute reader will note that while this is the way certain sorts of
diplomatic meetings are opened, I had the assistance of Infodump Lord
himself in the writing, there being a *lot* of background here.
“For the Celestial Republic of the Han, Prince Wang Dongfeng.” Dongfeng
looked politely around the room, the blank look on his face masking his
“Speaking for the Emperor of All France, Napoleon the Sixth, I am
Imperial Marshall Bernard-Christian Davout.” Davout wore the polychrome
uniform of a modern French Field Marshal. It was possible that some
color had been omitted from his ensemble, but if so it was by oversight.
For all his military decorations, Davout’s country including its
not-protectorates from the Caribbean to the Eastern Mediterranean was an
eminently civilized place in which an American could consider living.
Napoleon might style himself Emperor, but local governments across the
Empire, such as the Greek and Spanish Kingdoms and the Venetian
Republic, had an independence that only Frenchmen and Americans found
“For His Great and Terrible Majesty, the Supreme Warlord of All the
Germans, Kaiser Friedrich the Fourth and Greatest, I am Markgraf
Heinrich Moeller.” All the Germans, Buncombe noted to himself, if you
ignored the Austro-Hungarians, the Swiss, the Bavarians, and the
residents of the French Rhineland. The Germans were forever scheming to
recover the mythical past glories to which they thought they were
entitled, their schemes having as their primary effect solidifying the
anti-German alliance that included all of their neighbors.
“The Speaker for the First Speaker of the Mexica and the Inca.” Lord
Smoking Frog, Buncombe considered, never actually spoke his own name. In
his home country, for him to speak his own name might have been an
impolite way of reminding people that the Empire of the Mexica and the
Inca was in fair part run by the Maya.
“For the Osmanli padisahlari, the Emperor, may his wisdom increase
forever, has sent me, his Grand Vizier, Suleiman Pasha.” A fellow I
have never met, Buncombe thought. If the Ottomans sent their Prime
Minister, they are taking matters much more seriously than I might have
“Ambassador Fateh Singh of the Sikh Empire, Speaker for all South Asian
states.” Singh’s cloth-of-gold coat appeared to Buncombe to be wasteful,
not to mention cold. Similar criticisms might be made of most of the
other foreigners, none of whom had adopted the simple, frugal, not to
mention comfortable style affected by American diplomats.
“I am Saigo Shigetoshi, Legate of the Satsuma Daimyo.” Buncombe nodded
politely at Saigo. Relations between America and their Pacific neighbor
had always been friendly, each side recognizing that any other attitude
was pointless. The legal fiction that Saigo only represented the Satsuma
Daimyo rather than speaking for the Emperor and the Shogun was one of
the quaint aspects of doing business with the Japanese. Saigo’s seven
layers of polychrome kimono, besides being gorgeously colorful, managed
to be both warm and comfortable.
“Legate Hong Sangui of Manjukuo.” Hong carefully look away from
Buncombe. Relations across the Bering Straits had been frigid since the
Manjukuoans discovered that their failure to contest the ownership of
Alaska had given away huge gold and mineral deposits. Of course,
Buncombe considered, the Empire had been so little interested in Alaska
and places beyond that they had retained a Russian to explore them. Hong
wore pale yellow court robes, embroidered left and right with a pair of
five toed dragons, showing a close tie to the Imperial family. A large
scarlet fire sigil sewn on each forearm of the robes indicated his
performance on the Imperial Examinations, showing that he had finished
in the highest rank. The lower ranks test memorization, Buncombe
reminded himself, but the highest ranks were based on puzzle solving.
Hong hid a top-notch mind behind his refused shoulder.
“For Peter, Emperor of all the Russias, Princess Elizaveta Romanoff.”
The oldest daughter of Tsar Peter VI wore classical Russian court dress,
complete with a tiara. Romanoff ‘s coat and blouse and trousers were
brilliant scarlet spackled with silvery lace and trim. The platinum
alloy highlighted her long hair, faded by the decades from raven-black
to pure white. At 60, she preserved the figure she had had at 20, a
figure that hid her sharp wit and sharper memory. The figure, Buncombe
thought, was undoubtedly in fair part a consequence of her wearing at
all times a substantial tonnage of silk and precious metals.
“Colonel-General Wilhelm Christian aus und zu Dreikirch, League Secret
Political Police.” Dreikirch snapped to attention and clicked his heels.
Buncombe recognized his dress uniform; the New Hampshire State Guard
used the same color scheme, minus all the gold braid and jingling
medals, for its winter camouflage uniforms.
“League Elite Persona Brigade, Brigade Leader Valkyria.” The tall,
blue-eyed woman now wore an ankle-length flame-orange dress rather than
her more familiar battle armor. The loose sleeves of the blouse failed
to hide her substantial muscles. Unlike many folks in plate mail,
Buncombe reminded himself, Valkyria was not stupid, just vigorously
rules-oriented. In some ways rules-oriented could be worse.
“League Chancellor Lars Holmgren.”
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