Monday, August 31, 2009

DBTL 30: Ruling Coalition

This is the latest installment in the Drowned Baby Timeline, an alternate history where Adolf Hitler drowned at birth and where World War II never took place. The largest state in Central Europe is the Polish Commonwealth, which includes the historical Second Polish Republic, eastern Germany, and the former Soviet republics of Byelorussia and Ukraine. Passage of the Law of Devolution in 1939 led to the creation of half a dozen autonomous areas, or devos, among the regions of the country with non-Polish majorities. In an unexpected devolopment, in 1946 the Polish heartland of the Polish Commonwealth becomes a devo as well . . .

Warsaw, Polish Devo, Polish Commonwealth
5 May 1946

There is a room somewhere in the city of Warsaw. The room's location is unimportant; what is important is the identities of the two men meeting there. One is Władysław Sikorski, leader of the National Democratic Party and newly-elected Marshal of the newly-formed Sejm of the newly-established Polish Devo. The other is Bolesław Piasecki, Duce of the National Socialist Polish Workers Party.

"This is very dangerous," Sikorski stated. "It was not necessary for the two of us to meet."

"Oh, I happen to think that it was extremely necessary for the two of us to meet," said Piasecki gleefully. "I wouldn't want you to go and forget just whose votes were responsible for your current exalted position."

"Let's get one thing straight," said Sikorski. "Your party's assistance is a convenience, not a necessity. I could have formed a coalition with the Peasants Party. If I decide that you're becoming a liability, I can still do so."

"You think so?" said Piasecki. "All those wealthy landowners who pay your bills would not take kindly to having their estates appropriated and parcelled out, and that's the price you'd have to pay if you wanted the Peasants Party on board. Maybe you could manage it, and maybe you couldn't. And don't forget, Mikołajczyk would demand plenty of seats on the Governing Council. Me, I understand the need for discretion. Wouldn't do to have a bunch of jackbooted blackshorts marching up and down the Council chamber, so I'll be happy to remain the silent partner and let all you respectable National Democrats appear in the group photographs. But . . . "

Long seconds passed as Piasecki allowed his sentence to hang. His eyes gleamed with amused malice. Sikorski remained impassive.

"But," Piasecki finally continued, "I'll only stay silent as long as I see that my concerns, and those of my constituents, are being taken care of. Skwarczyński's traitors have practically handed over the keys to the country to a bunch of filthy yids. You can't swing a dead cat in Warsaw without hitting kike police and teachers and bureaucrats. They even let Jews on television, for Christ's sake! Polluting the minds of good, decent Poles with their vile, lecherous depravity! I'm going to want to see results, Sikorski, and I'm going to want to see them fast! In six months, I want to see the Devo's municipal police departments Jew free! In a year, I want nothing but good, decent Poles teaching our children! Let me down, and you can kiss your government goodbye!"

Having spoken his piece, Piasecki seemd ready to leave, but Sikorski raised his hand, and the Duce remained in place. Now it was Sikorski's turn to sit in silence, and Piasecki's to wait for him to speak.

"Piasecki," Sikorski said finally, "I meant what I said. You're a convenience, not a necessity. I don't care about your twisted demands. My government's policies will be what I think best, not what you think best. If you're not happy with them, then by all means, try and bring me down. You'll find my successor a lot harder to deal with than me."

Giving the Marshal one last malicious grin as he left, Piasecki said to the empty room, "Not if your successor is me."

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