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Wizards’ World War (s.3) Dispatch 12: Hat in Hand


Tweet of the Day: Strings of Retaliation – 16a – Lamb

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Season 1 & 2Season 3 PremiereDispatch 11 –  Dispatch 13

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Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Arbatskaya Square, Moscow, 8 May, 9:01hrs +4 GMT

The former Director of the DSGE, now Director of Military Affairs entered the office of his old time friend Andrei Asarov, once of the KGB now a Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation and a man who had the ear of the Russian President.

“Come on in, Joseph,” said Andrie in a slightly accented Parisian French.  He was a portly man who wielded far more influence than his title suggested. He combed his thin blonde hair with a free hand,  “I read your message and I have been lobbying my President to support the war in France.”

“But?” asked the Director drained from days of shuttle diplomacy.

“But the question of NATO involvement remains,” said Andrei.

“We have been over this Andrei. The Americans have their own problems in Mexico.”

“Indeed, our latest reports show they are moving another four divisions into place. They should have twelve divisions in country by the end of July, at the latest. Not to mention problems in Colombia and the Philippines,” said Andrei.

“Which is one of the reasons why I came to you Andrei. If France falls…”

“Yes, I’ve seen the studies and believe me when I say we are ready to help in any way we can, which honestly, is not much. The great Russian armed forces are not so great these days. Still, like I said, we are willing to help, but we can not work with NATO,” said Andrei. Joseph knew that NATO was one of many poison pills of Russian politics. It represented the greedy foreign invader that clawed after Russian riches. “However I see no problems cooperating with Eurocorp.”

“I see. I think that can be arranged. Most of Eastern Europe will have a fit, but they have bigger problems to worry about,” said Joseph.

“With armies pouring into the Balkans it is only time before those forces turn north.”

“Indeed.”

“Which brings me to my second problem, Joseph.”

“Which is?” asked Joseph wearily.

“We can provide material support for the war effort. We have large stockpiles of tanks, ammunition, artillery pieces and the like.. Not all of it is up to modern standards but better a slightly used tank today, than a brand new one the day after your capital falls.”

“Andrei, at the risk of sounding extremely rude, is there a point to all of this?”

“The point, my friend, is that my country, this new Russia of ours is going through a post-Imperial identity crisis.  It needs to find its place in the world. Not as superpower, of course. That would ruin us. But it needs to feel important again, to be more than a bystander in global affairs. In order to that we have do a bit of catching up with the West, especially in the area of aerospace technology. We don’t need a lot of help, but some would be appreciated.”

Joseph recalled how the combination of German secrets and British know how propelled the Red Air Force into the jet age.

“You want our technology, don’t you?”

“More like a technological exchange. Think of it as collaboration between war time allies. Plus a seat at the table of the New Europe,” said Andrei.

“The New Europe?”

“Of course! I have doubt that when the full measure of European military might, including a modest but crucial Russian contribution, were to be applied to the current situation then victory would soon follow. We dealt with witches before, Joseph. They are dangerous but not invincible. After that there will be extensive re-organization and rebuilding. Hence, a New Europe just like at happened after the two world wars. But this time, this time we will do it right. A balanced approach to security and commerce for the benefit of all,” said Andrei.

A balance in favor of Mother Russia thought Joseph. But with over a million internally displaced citizens moving north, an army stretched to its limits and the possibility of choosing between losing the nation or a nuclear counterstrike, Joseph knew he he had little choice but agree to Andrei’s demands.

He stood up and offered his hand to his Russian counterpart, “I’ll have to take this to my President, but considering the circumstances I don’t believe he will object.”

Andrei shook it, “Glad to hear it, Joseph. Well, I’m sure you anxious to return home. Good luck and godspeed.”

Joseph mulled over the bargain he struck with Andrei. Then he remembered what his grandmother used to say about such things.

The Devil offers the best bargains, but accepts no refunds.

Joseph felt like he bargained away not only the future of his nation, but that of a continent. Only time would tell if there was enough left for the Russians to claim afterwards.

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