this time, we travel to Corsica
|Before he leaves his post a few days later, Aposs must ensure the award of the National Order of Merit to Boutel: the ceremony is scheduled. These days, he was received by the mayors of several cities of any size in the circumscription. The farewell receptions were imbued with much sympathy, if not human warmth and Aposs cane back each time the arm charged of gifts and souvenirs.
In Basseville-on-Earth for a week or a little more, everybody knows that Boutel will receive the medal that the National Order of Merit did not want to grant before the end of criminal proceedings. And here we are convinced that if the Chancellor has changed his mind, that is under coercion and force.
As if it were afraid that the event has eluded them once more, the association of Boutel for Parawi organized the presentation of this medal in its premises!
Today June the twenty-fifth as the day of the inauguration of the hall, this day that remains the one of the accident for Basseville-on-Earth, Aposs wishes to publicly confirm his friendship with the former mayor. Michel Deval has announced round that Aposs was fired, the situation gets even more epic! And Aposs congratulates Boutel, saying that it is not clear why he decorates him, but that the principal is that he pins this medal on Boutel’s jacket. There are so many (undisclosable) reasons to promote him knight in the National Order of Merite.
Mr Grand Guignaux, whose office is located in yet another en of France, has once again made the trip. It is true that the case is exemplary and a strategic issue: if he reaches his goals, namely the release of Boutel, the practice of rotten elected of France and why not of Navarre is acquired to him! So he is struggling. He greets with a grace of sycophant anything that has at least a little in the administration and the local political world. He goes from one to another, the deputy to the prefect, the head of Mr. Doe's Cabinet to the president of the general council ...
The assistance is large, it must be said that a more than respectable cocktail is provided by the association oh! How much humanitarian of Boutel and an exhibition of statues of Parawi is held at Mr. Boutel’s himself, near here ... To compensate for the provision of the lounge, Mr. Boutel will keep all statuettes ...
During July, Michel Deval, who is decidedly always informed of everything, announces incidentally to Christophe the new assignment of Aposs: he is now responsible, in a service of the NOPF (National Observatory for the Propagation of Fire), supervising teams on the ground that ensure proper functioning of observation and high-tech top secret equipments. Michel Deval did not have all the details: Aposs is located south of Paris, in a castle that was built on the ruins of a pavilion in which Gilles de Rais, one evening in September 1429, reportedly decided to stop his military career, with Jeanne d'Arc, to withdraw on his land of Vendée to commit the crimes that are known. This historical accuracy did not shudder Aposs. Or rather, it did ... He thought he was well here. Did his sons join him? Michel does not know a single word of this.
A month ago Boutel east knight when the Potteur team meets one evening at Marion Dulac’s place. All are present.
Marion, who requested the meeting, takes the floor:
-- I propose that we withdraw from the council. We are not participating in anything more, we have nothing to do with meeting of council because now we are always a minority. A decision was taken for the work by the administrative court, criminal proceedings for Adrien Boutel continues without us then we must clarify things.
Denis Auvert goes:
-- Yeah, It bother me to say that I am still municipal councillor: I do not think even in the affairs of Basseville and I have the impression to be truant, I feel I'll have trouble, although I know that I do nothing illegal!
Clearly all are of one mind and want to end a situation that weighs them.
Marion has prepared a block of writing paper.
The resignation letter was written very quickly, dated July the 25th, 1998 and signed by all. The time is now to drinks and pickles.
Two weeks later, even here everybody knows that this year, Corsica has not yet experienced a fire of this magnitude. On the other hand, even Michel Deval does not know that Aposs, as part of his new functions, has been deployed by the National Observatory for the Propagation of the Fire. It is August the 6th, 1998, and since the beginning of this fire, several days ago, thousands of hectares have been devastated. Aposs is specifically responsible, actually, to oversee more directly than staying at the castle of Gilles de Rais teams on the ground who deal with the observation high-tech and top secret equipment. The chance made that Otto, seventy-eight years, is on a mission near here for the Republican Institute for Barbouzes Training. They needed him around here for his performance but the usual local prefecture has requisitioned him because the fire now threatens the house of a secretary of state. Otto who, as always, strives hard to complete the mission that he was entrusted with, is working tirelessly since dawn. He is exhausted and will take a break at Q.G. There is Aposs who takes fresh air, a little apart: he is neither an engineer or technician and Corsica and technology, he doesn't give a fuck. Then he watches from afar. For him, that's enough.
The old soldier and the state hired hand quickly get to know each other better and start talking. For more comfort, Aposs invites Otto to take a drink in a paillotte, a few kilometres from here. They go there by car. Aposs, amused by the course of Otto, asks him to tell a few memories.
He would prefer to sleep without doubt, but always obedient, especially with a prefect, Otto speaks of the months his friends and him have spent in Basseville-on-Earth, when they were waiting for the signal to the invasion of England.
-- Basseville-on-Earth? repeats Aposs surprised.
Immediately recent memories of him come back. And what comes back in memory, this is first the accident with the "work of solidarity with the suffering populations of Africa", a great thing, and then Basseville-on-Earth, most recently, there were smoky blows with his friend Boutel. Ah! Life was more entertaining than now!
"Boutel," the name vaguely says something to Otto and somewhat blurred images hardly appear to him. He then tells what happened, in Basseville, with the population at the time. For those who had a correct behaviour, as for those black market smugglers, he was well placed to know… And gradually, he quotes more names. Aposs appreciates the delicacy of Otto, who is careful to refer to the collaboration of the republic, especially when the Popular Front deputies gave full powers to Marshal Pétain and were well heard by the prefectural, who collaborated to eighty percent, establishing an absolute record. Among the traffickers names cited by Otto, Aposs recognizes people of Basseville and around here to which he gave medals for acts of resistance, but this is nothing new for him:
-- Those who have their conscience for them, what would it bring them to be given a medal? Oh! We must, from time to time, decorate a nice guy, to remain credible. Otto feels personally involved in what Aposs tells him. It is not clear why this population to which he had been convinced that his country would dictate its law, it would be accountable to it. He must know how things have evolved, over there. He could not say why, but this is an urgent necessity.
Aposs appreciates decidedly that Otto, which saw many things, does not make out that, even if it doesn't deprive itself of it, the Republican state is misplaced to speak today about the collaboration of small people, which was much better than it before and after the victory of Nazi Germany. Recognizing, Aposs tells his best story about Basseville-on-Earth:
-- It was a few years ago. We had really excellent relations with Boutel, the mayor of Basseville-on-Earth. In the elections of 1989, a man named Andre Anquetot joined the city council. You understand, elected officials may represent a genuine counter-power: it requires that we have some of them in our bag to manage shitty projects whose clean elected, like the population, do not want. When we knew how Anquetot had mounted his company of building shell construction, Pikbrik, we immediately thought we needed to have him with us. It was not difficult, he was already with Boutel. But if he had been with Dutoit, another of the same style, a little close, it would have been hardly more complicated. After two years of mandate, the municipality is embarking on an unrealistic project of multipurpose hall. The temptation for Anquetot was all the stronger as we had made him clear he could go. The fact is that we receive a record of public contract where a sow would not have found her litter. Boutel wanted to make the councillors believe they were going to transact-contract while still in the process of tendering.
In a tender, no information on the price proposal of a competitor must be communicated to others: each candidate must meet to scrupulously following the description of the work that has been provided. In the transact-contract, on the contrary, we shall systematically provide each candidate with its competitors complete proposal to enable them to negotiate both the work and the price.
Boutel did not hide that he communicated Anquetot the price of his competitor, the advisers were convinced they were under the transact-contract procedure. Nobody, even in opposition, not cared whether competitors were treated the same way. And Anquetot received still ten times the amount allowed in small municipalities when a contract is awarded to a councillor! There was an interference as big as a house or rather as a multipurpose hall!
When the prosecutor has dropped over this, a little more than three years after the deliberation which assigned markets to Anquetot, initially, we were hot. But we have always refused to forward the file of the markets to the judicial police. We have enough negotiated with them! We sent them through Boutel, information they needed to put under investigation for abuse of company assets that Dutoit after which they ran for several years. This interested them much more! Boutel was delighted: there is a very long time, one of its most dirty tricks he’s ever played on somebody had cost a bunch of money to Dutoit who has never forgiven him and has never considered his revenge against Boutel satiated, although he made Boutel terrible tricks. When the police realized that they could have this fish is in their nets, they let us in peace with the markets.
Then, judges have agreed to say that there were transact-contracts, there was no crime (and these fools couldn’t help adding that there were prescription ... it's not easy to be prescribed for an offence which does not exist. Ah, ah!) Boutel was acquitted, like Anquetot and his mates, but the prosecution has appealed, even if it was only after nine days, on a maximum of ten: the least we can say is that they were not all of the same opinion. Finally, we, with Boutel and Anquetot, there we went again, it was rather complicated: Boutel's lawyer, Mr Grand Guignol or something very close, helped us. He actually knows the music in traded trials. It was tied a record as we had still never seen so and we arranged it a little and sent it to the Chancellery of the National Order of Merit. A date was set, much before the hearing of appeal, for the award.
More than three hundred invitations were sent, you see the communicator, this Boutel! It is an association him in the wooden statues Parawi which has printed and mailed invitations. And the big day approached, it was almost reached when, a few days before, the Order signalled its refusal to the schedule ceremony. They had been informed of the pending criminal proceedings and did not want to risk, if Boutel was convicted, of being bombarded with letters of protest on the part of knights and officers who do not like an offender to be handled the same medal at them. We could not cancel the reception, and we got by prettily, given the limited time we had: he was provided with a small bluff medal, quickly. His lawyer of Lyon, still Grand Guignol, has travelled eight hundred kilometres to be here in Basseville!
He broke his back: all this has certainly been very good for its reputation among elected officials and offenders, and by the way, the columns of newspapers were wide open early in the trial but especially for this discount medal in two stages ... It was real argument in the newspaper! And the representatives of the town, ie the victim, never took the floor! The dream! But after this adjournment, Boutel had still not "his" medal and we, we were held in check by a handful of nuisances. So we made it clear to the Order of National Merit that it was funded by the state, to serve the state and that the best interests of the state required that Boutel be decorated without delay.
It is as if we had asked the guys who work in NOPF if they had wanted to greet me when I was kicked out of the prefecture! I have got a hold on the state, even if the state got a hold on me! In any case, a few months later, Boutel received his medal, the one of the National Order of Merit. The court of appeal sentenced him, very slightly it must be said, but he immediately appealed for cassation to fight on the prescription, what Anquetot could not do so because he was prosecuted as receiver and this was not the same scenario! And then, the situation was not dramatic, judges have continued to say or imply in that there were tansact-contracts: they knew they were dealing with a knight and it's sobering.
Otto is stunned. He asked many questions about Basseville-on-Earth and its inhabitants: whenever he had a very detailed reply. He records. Even if he admires the memory of Aposs and its ability to assimilate cases, he can not really make an opinion. His past in Basseville-on-Earth has gone far and has only begun to emerge. If his brain works like a computer, with a good treatment capacity, he nonetheless needs time to reach out to a conclusion. Especially after several days spent in the fight against the flames in the heart of hell. Both get up and leave the paillotte which, unfortunately for Aposs gives to the outside by a somewhat high stair. At the precise moment when the prefect approaches, in a reflex movement Otto forgets himself in a crooked-foot…
Since its lengthy discussion with Otto, Aposs, the head hurt and wrapped in a bandage from his fall, notes and says that, definitely, despite the ordeal that represented for him his transfer, he maintained his suggestion power on others. He always feels when his speech captivates the audience, it is clear for him when he subjugates. Despite the fatigue of Otto, the latter was unable to detach Aposs speech, describing the behaviour of elected Basseville-on-Earth, the lack of courage of a portion of its population, but also the bad moves of the prefect. It was moving for Otto, to find himself plunged into the life of this village where he had lived for a fairly long period, when still very young, he believed that the future and the world were at his feet.
That makes three days that Otto can not put aside the images Aposs made rise in his memory. He knows perfectly what ideology and what actions the international community accuses his people of and, if he presently does nothing, he does not forget that once he and his arm-brothers defeated, the republic was not too on his service record!
But imagining the human rights country's administration buy rotten elected to impose its decisions locally to people who do not accept them, imagine the traffic of decorations, compromised judges and anything Aposs described him, all this makes him literally crazy! In all the scenes he sees mentally, only the character of Aposs has very specific traits. Boutel, yes, definitely, the name is not unknown but that’s all he can say. He must be borne in mind that this is more than fifty-five years! Even if his comrades and he did not live quite at the heart of the population, he remembers their conviction:
-- While it has a great need to be purified and we will deal with them.
Little by little, he found the spirit that was his own, and he eventually find his convictions as of the time. And his hatred, his certainty of having to work now for what he had been prepared, too. Boutel, a type barely older than him, ready for any compromise…
The fight against the fire had exhausted him, he has recovered now, but he remains quite alien to the immense beauty of landscapes and, unlike the prefect Aposs who watches him pacing up and down around the head quarters, what shows him that he now just have to wait a little to get the result of his secret conversation with Otto, the latter is not returned appreciate the local cuisine in a paillotte.
The companions of Otto are quite unaware of what is brewing just near them. Since the last operations are completed, some are joined by members of their families, by friends. One of them even receives his wife and their baby, who begins to walk with confidence. Someone shouts:
-- Look out!
He saw Otto when he began running, and then he understood that this was not a normal race but that this one was charging! He sees Otto throw himself on a young colleague: all three, they have fought together against the flames! A kick to the head, the body collapses, Otto puts himself together and charges again. This time, he runs towards a rather old woman to whom he throws a whim on the forehead, she falls, he tramples furiously her body and leaves. A few metres further, he sees the baby walking, sometimes trying to run and laugh as hard as he can. he arrives on him: a kick, he sends him to several metres. The small body bounces but Otto already concentrates on his next victim: he leaves the mother of the baby to lets her screaming.
-- Catch him, stop him! the same voice howls.
Visitors who are not paralyzed with terror and who have not fled join fire-fighters, who rather quickly organise themselves: this is also the kind of intervention they are prepared to face, but they normally are warned before being confronted to a fanatical! They control Otto with much difficulty, and despite the quality of their reaction, ultimately they count seven victims.
Since he understood that the crisis would erupt, when he saw Otto, Aposs decided to wait and see and remained seated. He has enjoyed his show and its outcome. For more than three years, he has been unable to obtain the tapes of which he is not yet weaned. Today, he has had his dose for a few weeks unless “the more he has, the more he wants”… Seeing Otto prisoner, he gets up, goes to him and his victors. And he says simply:
-- Do not talk about all this.
He will not be heard today, but witnesses and families of victims will never hear of anything and will never be convened for any legal statement.
On the other end of the metropolitan territory of the republic, even after the accident in 1993, there will be five years tomorrow, September the 16th, the resignation of all opposition advisers led to by-elections that were held in the first days of this month.
No candidate has presented for the trend of Dutoit, and as everybody expected, there was a single list: only people for Clementine, and among them the municipal employee who had written the tract invitation to contest the claim of expertise-cons! And Clementine unveils her ambition: to be mayor of Basseville. And she will succeed safely and quickly. Even if Pifon is still be the head of the city, she no longer needs him : having been elected on the opponent list in 1995, he can't shake the Sabéna debacle!
Finally, it's no longer important to Christophe : him and his team made everything in their abilities to convince the population to reject the situation of non-right where it was. Others might have done better, it is a pity that they have not been there! As he passed by the hall this morning, Christophe saw a small group who was walking on the path. It is true, as all facilities that may endanger public safety, and God knows if it is the case, "the work of solidarity with the people suffering in Africa" must undergo its annual technical inspection. The contract that binds the city to the cabinet "Mathurin Security Consultants" was tacitly renewed for the fourth time, thus it is the fifth control.
And today, September the 15th, 1998, Mr. Mathurin in person overlooks the operations. The municipality seems determined to buy a second mower or replace it by a bigger. If the purchase is made, we must ensure that the new equipment is fitted as the present, but with the latest version. It also concerns the transponder. In the meantime, he noted that the mechanism of the work of solidarity works remarkably, without any noise. Mr Mathurin delivers a progress report without any particular request because, whether mechanical or electronic, everything works, including the old lawnmower on-board electronics. If the road-mender fell into the work, but there is still no precedent for this type of accident in France, Lucien should have no trouble. This would be a shame, at the end of his career!
This September the twenty-first, 1998 is a terrible day, the worst that Basseville has seen for a very long time: Philippe Lepape died, he committed suicide. His parents, Luc and Sophie, are travelling and his wife was alone when she found him. She ran to their neighbours’ shouting and all came immediately. They called the gendarmes, who also arrived quickly, but there was no judicial police officer among them and they telephoned to the city hall. That day Pifon, the mayor, was hospitalized since last week for hallux valgus surgery and Clementine, the first pro-mayor, went and visit him. It is undoubtedly a professional quirk, she appreciates always see people trapped in a confined space, more or less at her mercy! Finally, the police have managed to reach the second pro-mayor, Julien Lardoise: they ask him to come with the stamp of the town hall. They also called the doctor, who has not been slow to come.
Julien arrives at his turn: it is very shocked. The gendarmes led him to the corpse, which nobody has touched. Once the formalities with the gendarmes completed, Julien joins Philippe and his wife's neighbours. Nobody speaks, they remain together.
And then we talk about children, who will come back from school for lunch.
Michel Deval and Christophe Potteur have heard the new and immediately rushed. Emilie, Philippe's wife is relieved to see them, she breaks into tears. No, not the municipal stories that led Philippe to do that, even if it has prepared the ground. Aunt Martine is responsible, she has killed Philippe. Emilie would like to tell Michael and Christophe:
-- On the evening when you talked about her with Philippe, it made him much good. For several weeks, he seemed not to worry about what her aunt could simmer. And then she cane back to the charge.
Michel would like to understand:
-- But you know which arguments she had? She seems a crazy claim!
-- Not just the claim is crazy, the aunt is still crazier. She has no argument and has never given any. When she started to say that she would contest the will of her mother, she was hate, she threatened. We did not know her like this, she always laughed at anything, saying that nothing was of importance! The truth is that she agrees with a will when she conceived it and when she has managed to get things done for her benefit or that of her children. More particularly to the advantage of her eldest daughter, as it seems to have been the case with the will of Paul, the husband of Myriam, the eldest sister of my stepfather.
Paul was very bright and, at the age of eighty four years, in early 2002, just before the illness and death of his wife, he worked in research on the "ground effect" and was preparing a second collective book on planes he loved: after the death of Myriam, his health quickly deteriorated and he found himself bedridden in June 2003. In July 2004, Martine managed to accept his son as a witness and a notary (she had found to write the will she wished) preferred to ignore the situation! Martine looked after stripping his Jewish brother-in-law and at the same time, she was received with other members of the Judeo-Christian Friendship in the Knesset. This is insane. And now, my aunt Elise announces that she would do her daughter Myriam, my cousin, as many wrong as she could and, to begin with, that Myriam would not have any right on their family home. And his son, Otto-Alphonse, incorporates, and further exacerbates these mores of the previous generation Lepape to oust his sister of the succession of their mother. And nobody in the family turns a hair! But what is there among those people who go for legal references and play with life, conscience, the rights of their brothers, their sisters, their nephews? Myriam, who has the same age as Philippe, is treated as her father, my uncle Raymond was. It seems that there is a very serious mental illness in the family since the grandmother Louise developed an unhealthy attachment to his brother, also named Raymond, who died in 1911 at Polytechnique.
The doctor asks two or three men to follow her: the body of Philippe can not stay where it is, we must carry it. Three neighbours go by Christophe and Michel leaving to follow the doctor.
-- But why did he do that? It was not unhappy, he had money on his bank account.
Clearly, Emilie did not hear:
-- I assure you that I will do my investigation on how the uncle Paul was prompted to make a new will when he was already at the end of his life and if I can have Martine and others pay, I will not give up!
The children arrive, Christophe and Michel kiss them and let them with their mother and family who have arrived. They will come back later in the day.