Chancellor Katarina von Baden took the phone from her aide.
"This is Metzger," said the man on the other line.
"Metzger, this is Chancellor von Baden."
She waited for him to be duly impressed.
"Madame Chancellor," he said simply.
"Metzger," she said, "The German people simply will not stand for this. You have committed unspeakable crimes, escaped your punishment and now, now...!"
"You have kidnapped one of our generals. I'm telling you right now, Metzger, we will not stand for this. The people have taken it as a personal insult. If you don't release Otto Krauss this instant, we will send troops to Washington!"
"I don't particularly want to fight my own country," he said coldly, "But I am not going to release my protégé."
"You're only making matters worse, Metzger. I take it you're not afraid of our forces, from your insolence."
"Oh, yes, I am. What first began to make me anxious is the fact that you have been able to contact me. That is no small feat, Madame Chancellor. But I am not going to bend to your every whim. I am very well fortified here. My men have been able to fight off American forces. We're not particularly afraid of your forces. Troops, I might add, which I once commanded. I know your strategies."
"The Americans have only been putting up token resistance and you know it! Every standing man in the American army is in the streets of the cities, trying to stop looting and rioting and crime. The Americans probably haven't spared a full two companies since you've taken Washington, because once you took Washington the country fell apart."
"You're right," said Metzger finally, "There've been very few shots fired. But I'm also getting reinforcements every day. Every day my planes are airlifting new people who want to join The Claw into Washington. I've got a full-fledged, self-sustaining country here, Madame Chancellor. We may be a tiny city-state, but we're here to stay."
Von Baden pictured for a moment American Neo-Nazis plowing fields and harvesting crops and livestock. She almost laughed out loud. Then she grew very angry and her German began to slip into almost indecipherable Swabian dialect.
"The bottom line is, return Krauss. Ideally we'd want you deported back here and back in jail, but we both know that's not going to happen, and so do the German people. So return Krauss."
Metzger hung up the phone.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
Enter your e-mail address in the box below and click "Subscribe" to join Stephen Kozeniewski's Mailing List for Fun and Sexy People. (Why the hell would anyone ever want to join a mailing list?)