The following story tells a story which has - or could have? - happend on 5 April 301, in the fourth week of the Fenizic invasion into Hochlandia, when Feniz - unfortunately though - launched an ultimatum against Phenixia to cede the province of Champoise to Feniz, based on cartographic reasoning.

Champoise - what happened really?

My version of "behind the scene" - I rather think it is on scene...

It was a nice warm and dry spring morning. The Phenixian officer in charge of the frontier crossing point near Aise-en-Chapelle stood in the shadow under the porch of his hut, in an impeccable uniform, buttons shining, cap square as it should be. As every day, he wondered what his Hochlandian comrades were doing. Nothing, of course, for they were lying, as always, in their own hut, sleeping from the Kirschwasser they drank regularly to forget their hunger. For months they had got no pay and were living on the customs duties they collected, or better pressed, from the people crossing the border.

A sound of heavy cars or light lorries drew the attention of the Phenixian to the bend of the road leading up to the border from the inner Hochlandia. Moments later the small convoy of three or four camouflaged vehicles came into sight and rapidly drew nearer. For ages, nobody had seen such neat vehicles on that side of the border. This must be - the Fenizic! There they finally came, the famous Royal Constabulary, taking possession of Hochlandia. The officer shouted a command and inside the hut, his deputy took up the phone to report to the headquarters.

In the same moment, the convoy came to an abrupt stop in a cloud of dust as the leader suddenly discerned the group of buildings as a frontier post. Swiftly, a platoon of soldiers jumped from the lorries and moved into position to routinely secure the convoy while a bewildered young lieutenant climbed out of his jeep, a map in his hands which he tried to decipher time and again. Finally he shook his head, looked around him, and entered the nearest hut where he thought to find the Hochlandian border guards. The hut indeed carried the remainders of a Hochlandian emblem of sorts. Bellowing shouts inside the hut seemed to have woken up the poor devils who emerged from the dark, wiping their eyes. To questions of the lieutenant, like "Is this really the border to Phenixia?" they replied with shrugs, eyes wide open, and the counter-question for cigarettes. Both sides seemed little impressed of each other. Now it was the lieutenant's turn to shrug and shake his head again. A command to his platoon made the men draw near the borderline, looking for shade rather than cover, while the officer adjusted his tunic and strode towards the Phenixian. At the line where the toll-bar had been he stopped, snapped to attention, saluted snazzy, and asked permission to cross the border and discuss a problem. The Phenixian officer returned the salute in an inimitable slack but perfect way, smiled and stepped out of the shadow to meet his comrade half-way. They introduced themselves, and as the Fenizic helplessly started waving his map, the Phenixian showed him into his guard's hut.

Their discussion, accompanied by a glass of wine and a cigarette, quickly revealed that the topography of their maps was rather equivalent while the border was missing on the Fenizic map sheet (which was an older Hochlandian one). The lieutenant was still quite at a loss. A rapid assessment of the situation told him that (a) there was no threat from the Phenixian side, so he ordered his men to relax, and that (b) he could not solve the case, so a messenger was sent back to the company headquarters which as relatively far back.

In the meantime, they setteled down in the shade of the Phenixian hut (i.e. near the bottle of wine) and made friends. After exchanging some "You will see!" they cursed the cartographers, the history, the bad world as such, especially the sun which was getting hotter, the dust, and the thirst, thus stepping back to the wine, the best thing on earth they had at the moment.

The radio brought news of the Fenizic ultimatum. The Fenizic said: "I told you!" The Phenixian simply replied: "Wait!"

The radio brought news of the replies from both Phenixia and Altland. The Phenixian grinned: "Je te l'ai dit!" The Fenizic replied: "Attends!" A Phenixian private brought a new bottle of wine. The radio was playing merrily. The sun was shining warm. The Phenixian bread was softer than the Fenizic. The private brought a new bottle of wine. Nicely cooled, the Fenizic lieutenant thought. The Hochlandian sergeant stumbled over with a bottle of Kirschwasser asking for cigarettes, settling in the shade, sighing, and pulled out a worn pack of cards. The officers looked at each other, smiled and shook their heads. A big lorry drove past at high speed. The sergeant cursed but even did not get to his feet. A day's pay gone by...

The messenger came back from the company post. The lieutenant read the newest orders, murmuring at a rising volume: "... no advancements towards the Phenixin territory. Keep clear of the actual border. No contact with Phenixian military or police forces." They grinned at each other. The messenger got a cigarette. The sergeant too. The officers got another bottle of wine.

Life could be so easy...

Other Behind-the-scene's: Four Men In A Tent - how Feniz's policy was realigned


© by Winfried Schroedter - last update of this page on 23. April 2004 18:13 Westeuropäische Normalzeit
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