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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 185

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November 3070
Interlude - Peace Treaty

Castle Sandoval
Le Blanc PDZ
Robinson, Draconis March
Federated Suns

"This isn't a peace treaty... It's a ceasefire." Chu-sa Takamori murmured quietly to Kanrei Kurita while they waited the arrival of the First Prince so that the Treaty of Robinson could be signed.

"Be quite." Minoru snapped just as quietly. "The Dragon needs this treaty if it is to survive. We cannot endanger it now."

The two DCMS officers stood in silence until finally they were joined by First Prince Davion, Duke Sandoval and over a dozen AFFS senior officers. A delegation that Minoru Kurita strongly suspected was to drive home the overwhelming strength of the AFFS compared to the DCMS right now. Victor had got far too good at these sorts of subtle symbolism. He was almost as good as a Kurita at it...

The First Prince and the Kanrei stepped up to and sat down at the table on which two paper copies of the treaty were laid out in embossed leather folders. Suitably ornate pens had been supplied for the signing and without a word both men began signing each page before exchanging their copies and signing again. It took nearly half an hour for them to complete the formal signing, but finally it was done and both sets of paperwork were closed and exchanged. Electronic copies were then "signed" with retinal and finger print security features. Finally however it was done.

"Minoru?" Victor spoke as Minoru stood, making the younger man pause and look back. "I know what you are thinking. You are planning to use this peace treaty as a ceasefire to get your own house in order, rebuild and come back for another round. Reclaim at least some of the worlds you just ceded away. Don't. I understand why you are thinking that... But do yourself and the Combine a favor. Learn to live with the Treaty of Robinson. Because if you don't all you are going to do is bring more hardship on your nation... I hope you can avoid that. I really do."

"You hope? After the treaty you just forced on my house you hope that we can learn to live with it? If you really hoped that First Prince Davion you wouldn't have forced this travesty of a treaty on us!" Minoru snarled back in fury despite himself.

In the face of the Kurita's anger Victor Davion stood with almost a sad resigned look on his face. "I do hope... But I've learned, learned from House Kurita in fact, that hoping for something doesn't make it so... Which is why I will be watching Kanrei Kurita. I and every intelligence agency at my command will be watching for any sign that my hopes are going to be disappointed. Because I have learned the hard lessons that your House cannot be trusted. I hope you learn to live with the Treaty of Robinson, but I expect you to break it as soon as you think you can... When you do I and the AFFS will be waiting. Remember that. The DCMS has faced me twice now and lost worlds and regiments both times. Third time will not be any different, whatever the old saying says. So learn to live with the ashes of defeat, because if you can't you'll face the fires of war again."

Both men stood staring at each other, the gulf of the recent war between them and neither looked away. Finally Minoru Kurita gave a chopped of nod, gripping his copy of the treaty in hands that were white with pressure before turning and storming out of the room.

"Do you think he'll listen?" Leftenant-General Caradoc Trevana asked his prince.

"No. He won't." Victor sighed. "He's got a hellish civil war ahead of him, every intelligence report I see says he's going to have the Bears jump the border within the next year or two and he's going to have internal revolts all over the place... But that's not what he's focused on. He'll deal with all of those threats, but for them they will be a sideshow. He's always going to have his eye on the real prize... Overturning this treaty. Repaying us for the humiliation of daring to defend ourselves and beating his father."

Victor leaned down and picked up the Treaty, leafing through it slowly as his officers watched. Minoru had just signed over sixty eight conquered or contested worlds to the Federated Suns and another four in re-compensation for the strike on Verde. Amongst those worlds were one District capital, six Prefecture capitals, the homeworld of two additional brigades of troops and some of his key industrial facilities. He had agreed to disband the Dieron Regulars, Proserpina Hussars, and An Ting Legions. As well as handing over a sizeable chunk of money to rebuild Verde's shattered infrastructure. In return he had obtained peace for his realm, repatriation of the huge number of DCMS troops sitting in FedSuns prisoner of war camps (and a secret provision that said POW would be returned to the Combine via Galedon where they could be sifted to ensure none of the returning warriors supported his brother Hohiro) and provisions for limited civilian population exchanges and the right to buy back captured DCMS war material and equipment - most of which was heavily damaged or of little use to the resurgent AFFS.  Closing the folder he handed it to Duke Sandoval and turned to his officers. "Right Ladies and Gentlemen, time to get back to work... We have the Word of Blake to deal with..."

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