Thursday, July 08, 2010

Reception Committee

Monte-Cristo, 19th July 1713

Not less happy in his brand new Royal Catalan Guards uniform than a dwarf in a diamonds mine, Friedrich Leibnitz was relaxedly observing the overall docking operation, performed with amazing, professional precision by a so disparate improvised team as the Monte Cristan pilot and the Catalan sailors. From his position at the xebec's bow, the young military then noticed the presence on pier of a reduced albeit distinguished delegation, evidently waiting for them.

-It's the entourage of His Excellence Louis-Ferdinand Celine de Saint-Gobain -said Lord Vilana at Friedrich's rear, as responding in advance to an eventual question-. Formally, he's coming to welcome us as this country's Counselor of Relations with Foreign residents, but also to discretely inspect us... -he ironically added-. Besides of the already mentioned employment, he's also empowered as some kind of Ministry of Interior, my young friend; a most influent man in Court, and no doubt a potentially powerful ally, if conveniently reassured about our friendly intentions. -The Marquis of Vilana then advanced a couple of steps to become clearly visible from pier, and discretely smiled to Lord Counselor while slightly bowing his head with elegance, as a salutation to their distinguished hosts.

It was then when Leibnitz noticed, among the Monte Cristan delegation members, the presence of a woman he judged to be beautiful. She was clad in a courtly version of a hunting dress, noticeably completed with sword in scabbard. Uncapable to discern whom was she looking at, he incounsciously straightened up and adopted a gentlemanly posture. Such a gesture wasn't unnoticed to Vilana, who smiled with indulgence and exclaimed: -Blessed you young people, who happen to attract at each other as opposite poles of a magnet! ...A certainly extraordinary woman, I'd say, worth of the most gentle courtoisies ...Are you good at French language, Friedrich? -then he humourously asked.

-Bien sûr, Monsieur l'Ambassadeur -Leibnitz answered, with a wide, somewhat innocent smile in face.

-Keep then your ears and instincts aware if you happen to meet her -Vilana answered, suddenly serious-. If this woman's qualities do really match with her superb appearance, she's most probably an officer of Monte-Cristan famous Gardes de l'Etrier...

-A woman, officer? -asked Leibnitz with surprise.

-From the strict point of view of Reason, my dear friend -Vilana responded, adopting a somewhat teaching tone-, there are no consistent arguments to keep Woman at a lower stage than Man's own; no other than dogmatic misogyny or superstition. Would you say otherwise, my friend, having such an amazing woman in sight? -he cunningly concluded. Leibnitz couldn't avoid a seduced smile at the Monte-Cristan she-knight, who was now obviously observing him.

-Aprioristically, we shouldn't take her as any enemy to us, Friedrich. However, please have always in mind -Vilana concluded, quickly serious again- that such kind of agents are committed to their duty above any other consideration; be explicitly respectful to it, and strictly faithful to your own mission, and you'll be gaining her respect and favour. Few best allies you can achieve in this country as a Gardes de l'Etrier officer.

-Ship is conveniently moored, Sire -the boatswain interrupted them-, you can disembark at will.

-Excellent! Let's meet our distinguished hosts, then -Vilana replied.

1 comment:

abdul666 said...

The Marquis de Vilana is remarkably knowledgeable -a fact that makes him the perfect man for his delicate mission and forebodes extremely well for his success. While not really a State secret, the presence of a few women among the Gardes de l'Etrier is known by very, very few persons even in the Presipality.
Formally the lady cannot be more than a 'lieutenant en second', since the Gardes have the Prince-President as their captain, with a single premier lieutenant as active commander. But in tiny Monte-Cristo a 2nd lieutenant of the Gardes ranks -relatively- above a colonel in most armies; not to mention that she certainly moonlights as an Operative of the Bureau de la Surete Nationale....