January 24, 1936
"It's the death of the League of Nations. It's treason and appeasement." Professor Jean Gaspard shifted the weight of his obsidian black coffee mug. "Partitioning Ethiopia! What was Laval thinking?"
Luc Godenot shrugged, crumpling an empty pack of Gauloises. "Perhaps he was hoping to avoid a war?"
"You don't avoid a fight with a dog by giving him a bone. You just delay it to a time of the dog's choosing." He pointed at Godenot. "Speaking of time- your thesis?"
Godenot winced. "Professor, we spoke of this last week. I'll have a draft to you before the end of next month."
Gaspard snorted dismissively. "I allow you to fool me again. Go fetch me fresh coffee. This has gone cold."
"Why do you lug that thing around? There's an espresso-"
"Ech!" Gaspard waved his hand dismissively. "Thick and burnt and it's undrinkable after two damn minutes." He held up his mug, a half-liter of black coffee sloshing inside it. "This? This fuels my imagination and my mind for as long as I wish, as long as my idiot students don't distract me from drinking it with vapid excuses."
Godenot took the mug. "If you're so desperate for stimulation, you should join the Army. I hear this new Prime Minister of ours is calling up reinforcements."
Gaspard scowled. "If you don't get me more coffee and then go work on your thesis, the Army will be the only career option you've got left."