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Officializing the Commonwealth


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Although Portland was the capital of the Third Republic, President Straden chose Seattle for the seat of the Austrian royalty and whoever the Governor General might be. When his team had cleared Seattle of any remnants of the Randolph regime, the President sent invitations to the Austrian royalty, Grand Duchess Angelika and Empress Maria Magdalena.

Your Majesties,

You are invited to Seattle to meet with my administration to discuss the formal admission of Cascadia to the Austrian Commonwealth. We do not have a choice for Governor General, as we believe that is up to the crown, rather than the subject. I hope to see you here so we can get down to business.

Sincerely, and on behalf of the Third Republic,
President Frederick Straden[/quote]

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Maria wasted little time in making her way from Vienna to Seattle. The letters that Angelika had been sending her were beginning to pile up and the Empress felt utterly terrible that she had essentially abandoned her sister in perhaps one of the most darkest times of Austrian Colonial History. Angelika had nearly become Maximilian and the Northwest her Mexico, if such a disaster would have occurred, Maria would never have been able to live with herself and she was happy to hear that Austria's dignity and more importantly, her sister's life had been saved. Though when she arrived in Seattle, to be greeted by the Cascadian Honor Guard and Angelika was in tow, the battle scars that Angelika had bruised over her face and the limp she walked with, nearly made Maria cry. Running over to her sister, the eldest Hapsburg wrapped her arms around the Duchess tightly and pressed her head into the young girl's shoulder.

"Oh! Angelika! I'm sorry!" Maria said drying the tears beginning to sparkle in her eyes. "I should have came sooner, I should have ended this whole horror story in one sweep. I'm so sorry."

Angelika paused, perhaps to summon up an underlying anger, but it never surfaced and she wrapped her hands slowly around her older sister. "I'll be okay Maria, you were busy in Europe, I know. What did I tell you, I said I'd be able to handle my own in North America and you doubted me. Now look, a friendly regime and loyal members of your commonwealth. What could be better."

Maria looked up and grinned. "I should have had more faith in you, like I did in Theresia. I'm sorry."

"Ah, its okay, papa never had faith in me either. Always having something to prove helps a lot."

The two Austrian sisters hugged once more as the Honor Guard took them into a limousine to be escorted to the Conference in Seattle where President Straden was located. Along the ride the two sisters chatted as they had done long ago, no animosity, no immaturity, just two sisters who had seen too much of the world and who had remained too far apart. By the time the limousine had arrived and Maria and Angelika made their way up towards the Conference Hall, they had become the best of friends and both of them knew that by the time of the meetings end their sibling arguments and discussions would take over again. Such was sisterly love.

Finally entering the room, both sisters bowed their heads to the President and the entourage around him as Maria extended her hand.

"President Straden, it is a pleasure and you have my sincerest apologies for the destruction that he Randolph Regime caused your people. That you are still loyal to the Austrian crown and what it stands for, makes Cascadia truly the sons and daughters of a grateful mother. What is it that we've been called to discuss?"

Angelika chimed in afterward, "Because we are both under the impression that Cascadia would like to remain with the Commonwealth and that all that is needed is the selection of a Viceroy. If that is the case then a more physical and law-abiding form of the Austrian Commonwealth should be created for future reference."

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President Straden greeted the sisters as they entered the Seattle royal palace. The honor guard, made up of guerrillas and first-defectors alike, were glad to be escorting the sisters. The squad leader even made conversation with the Empress.

The sisters would enter a large room near the rear of the house, overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula in the distance. They would then be seated in a lowered area with modular couches and a round table in the middle. The President took a seat opposite the sisters, and laid out some traditional treaties and articles that he had researched in swearing national fealty.

"This decision to have my entire nation swear fealty to your crown is not one I've taken lightly. Everyone I have talked to views themselves as still supportive to the crown. However, they have agreed that a Viceroy should have no more political power than an advisor. Unfortunately, this will not be the case. So, I would like us to decide on someone we trust. My suggestion would be a former student of mine, Chris Bogart, whom I advised on his journey through grad school. He shows great charisma, and knows how to command a crowd, in a good way. He can be a bit...strange...at times, but I do believe him to be a great choice for the face of a nation. If it helps your decision, he also played a large role in the revolution, although he really doesn't know it. He worked with my father's company on distribution and social networking."

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"Bogart?" Maria tapped the side of her cheek as she looked over at Straden, "I've never heard of him, I'll have to meet him first. Angelika, have you met him?"

The Duchess nodded, "He was the first person who greeted me after I killed General Longstreet, the leader of the Kaskadenlander Forces. He had a nice touch really, sweet, though with a hit of quirkiness that I think a person needs to have in politics. Not enough people have that quirk, it makes them hard to deal with."

"Well would you approve of him? As Viceroy?" Maria said, looking over some of the historical fealty treaties laid out.

"I think at least we should bring Chris up here then, if he's going to be given such a primacy position in the Commonwealth. The Viceroy after all is Cascadia's representative to the Empress and the Hapsburgs." Angelika said sweetly, "He should at least know what he's getting into."

The Empress nodded, "Perfect and then after we meet him President Straden and I approve then we can begin the formalization of the Commonwealth in treaty form." She looked out the window at the horizon beyond them. "I have a lot of plans for North America, I feel as though we should hit the ground running as fast as we can."

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[b]Portland, OR :: 9:01 AM[/b]

*ring ring*

*ring ring*<

"Goddamnit," Chris said as he rolled out of bed. He picked up his phone and answered it. "Hello?"

"Hello, is this Chris Bogart?"


"You are needed at a meeting in Seattle. Go to the Portland Amtrak station. You have a first class ticket waiting for you at the front desk."

"Can't I drive?" The man on the other end had already hung up. Chris made a grumbling sound as he made his way to the shower.


Chris arrived in Seattle and made his way to the palace by way of a Cascadian government car. He still looked a little tired when he arrived, and was escorted by the honor guard into the complex. One of the men handed him a cup of coffee. He was then escorted into the room, where President Straden, the Empress, and Grand Duchess Angelika were waiting for them.

"Your Majesties, Mr. President, Good Morning," he said with a bow.

"Chris, wonderful of you to join us, please have a seat," the President said, motioning to a seat between him and Maria.

Chris nodded and made his way to the couch and sat down, trying to keep his posture as upright as possible.

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"Mr. Bogart," Maria began as she crossed her legs. "What we have summoned you here for is that both President Straden and my sister, Angelika, have told me that in the quest to find a viable candidate to appoint as Viceroy of the new Cascadian Republic, you are one of the top nominations. Now, what bothers me about this is that I have been in contact with my Inspector General of the former United Kingdom and your record of being, well, hyper-critical of Austria is rather alarming. It is not that I don't commend criticism when such talk is due, but I want to know that after such a disastrous spectacle with Herr Randolph, why you and the rest of your country still have the desire to pledge loyalty to Austria and her Commonwealth."

Angelika turned towards her sister, "He fought against Kaskadenland and even saluted and attempted to save me after I was attacked by the enemy general."

"And that's all well and good Angelika, but that is proper behavior of any gentleman. That does not mean that Herr Bogart is qualified for the position. I would like to hear it from him personally, why appointing him as Viceroy, as representative to the Austrian Crown and for all of our Imperial Ambitions in North America, is a good idea. Why should I trust him?" The Empress looked back at Chris and smiled. "I mean no ill-will I assure you, if your family overseas meant the world to you, this would be proper behavior. I have no intentions of letting a problem like Randolph happening again."

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"I was quite critical of Austria, I don't deny that," Chris began, leaning back in his seat. "I haven't been fond of any government to rise up in America for a long time. I'll tell you why. Tahoe was an overtly-catholic fascist state, the United Kingdom of Idaho and Montana was short lived and quite a weak government if you ask me, and now with the Austrian rule, it looked like my motherland was being colonized by some Austrian invaders. It wasn't anger, M'lady, it was ignorance. I expected the colonial rule to be another short-lived era in Northwest history. You see, our Independence, as I learned in history classes, was brought about because we did not want to be ruled by a city as far as Washington, D.C. So, we fought for self-determination when the rest of America was breaking up. We won our independence from a far-away ruler, and now, we are accepting a rule from a land even farther away than D.C." Chris sighed, and looked out the window to the forests. Logging companies had all but ceased operation on the newly protected Olympic peninsula. It made him proud in a way.

"One thing we're very protective of here, you'll find, is our natural landscape. We don't let cities encroach on forests, and when we have the ability, we will build our infrastructure around the natural environment. This is indicative of what we as a people do with anything. We will adapt, we will work with what we have to sustain equilibrium.

"As for the people accepting your rule, there is a very simple answer. The people fell in love with you and Angelika. They never lost hope in you. They were a little sore when Randolph started getting on his high horse, but when you publicly denounced Randolph, they were back to loving you again."

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"I consider it part of my duty, Chris to try and do what I can for this land." Angelika smiled, "I've bleed for Cascadia and Austria at the same time in Boise and I hope that if the time comes, I can do it again. Needless to say, I believe both Maria and I think that Cascadia should be viewed as an independent country in its entirety not touched by Austrian politics aside from the greater goals of the Austrian Commonwealth which we will all remain a part of."

Maria nodded, "In truth, Vienna is leaning against involving ourselves in European affairs and will allow much more time to help Cascadia in her affairs across North America. Together I see only great things between our two countries and if we work together, the Hapsburg Dominion and the Commonwealth can soar across the continent and perhaps even the world. Though I don't want to get ahead of myself. For now, Mr. Bogart, you have my approval as Viceroy of Cascadia to the Commonwealth and the Crown. If you accept the offer then we can begin forming the Commonwealth itself and from there, well, the sky is the limit."

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"I as well, M'lady. The people who joined this crusade felt the same. We felt that we need to support the people's wishes. They wished for self-determination."

In response to the statement about independence, Frederick answered, "Our ties would remain diplomatic at least, although I have heard things about the Austrian army, and how you are having trouble getting it started. We would be willing to station troops in Austria to help remedy that problem."

And as Maria made the final offer of making Chris viceroy, he tried to hold back an excited grin. "I would love to represent this nation in the Commonwealth. I would be an honor and a privilege."

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"While I do appreciate the concern Herr Straden," Maria began, "We already have Athenian and German engineers and overseers in the homeland and I feel allowing more people would only begin to push the population to reason that Austria cannot take care of herself. The recent elections were vastly conservative and I feel that many Austrians feel this Commonwealth, along with our older allies are the only people we can trust. Bringing Cascadians along with African Legionnaires and other advisers just wouldn't be in our best interest as of now. But I do appreciate your concern. In addition, however to the discussions we are having, I would also like to bring up a small detail to the finalization of the Cascadian region."

Taking out a map, the Empress laid it down to Chris and Straden marking a small area in red near the Seattle and Olympia region. "A small population which has lived in Boise since Angelika's coming to power after King Franklyn's passing is still staunchly loyal to the Austrian Crown. Most of these men and women are the aristocracy of the old Idahoan regime, but their population is enough to constitute an offer from my government of asking and if need be, purchasing Seattle and the sparse surrounding area for a sovereign Austrian territory. Then if perhaps Cascadia would choose to withdraw from the Commonwealth in the future, though I would hope it wouldn't come to that, Austria can still maintain a North American presence."

"After that though," Angelika nodded, "I believe we would be able to draft the treaty of the Commonwealth itself and begin our new age of friendship."

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The President rubbed his chin and looked at the map, "Well, I do know that Seattle is a major economic hub for us, so would it be possible to maintain a very open border policy? Maybe a transit policy between our nations, so that we don't need a passport to go from Cascadia to Austria. That would make it easier on those who commute to the area from what would be our region. But, let us begin drafting this treaty, and we can put that down in the treaty somewhere. This should make it easier for our citizens to travel abroad much easier, as well." President Straden looked at Chris, as he remembered the many gap years Chris took in grad school.

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"Naturally it would an open border and with what I have in mind for the Commonwealth itself, Herr Straden," said Maria, "The difference in economics will be minimal. Cascadia and Austria will be as close as you can to becoming one nation, but with total respect to sovereignty and the like. I would hope that one would not even need a passport to go from Portland to Vienna. That is what I hope to accomplish above all else."

Angelika leaned over towards a small manila folder on the table and pulled out a fine white sheet of paper with writing scribbled over it. "This is what our foreign ministry has come up with thus far as to the treaty binding all members of the Austrian Commonwealth. I think you'll find it acceptable and quite fair to both parties. Take a look."

[b][center]THE AUSTRIAN COMMONWEALTH[/center][/b]
It is by the signing of this pact that the undersigned announce the formation of Austrian Commonwealth as an international entity.
Article I - Sovereignty[/center][/i]
A. Members of the Commonwealth shall be considered independent states. The Commonwealth is not a sovereign nation.
B. Members of the Commonwealth are not to undertake any form of aggression against another nor are members allowed to support a third party in such aggression.

[center][i]Article II - Empress of the Austrian Commonwealth[/i][/center]
A. The Empress of Austria shall be considered the Empress of the Austrian Commonwealth.
B. The Empress of the Austrian Commonwealth is the official Head of State of all members of the Commonwealth.
C. In all member states an Imperial appointed Viceroy will govern as the representative of the Austrian Empress

[i][center]Article III - Economy[/center][/i]
A. Members of the Commonwealth will maintain fixed exchange rates for the currencies of other members.
B. Members of the Commonwealth maintain open borders and a free market towards other members of the Commonwealth.

[center][i]Article IV - Military[/i][/center]
A. An attack against a member of the Commonwealth shall be considered an attack against all members of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth shall act as one against foreign aggression.
B. If a member starts an armed conflict itself without being attacked first assistance may be requested, such assistance shall under no case be mandatory.
C. For the purpose of this agreement attacks against members in response to previous attacks by said members shall not be considered defensive and fall under part B of this article.

[i][center]Article V - Cancellation[/center][/i]
A. Any member of the Austrian Commonwealth can leave the Commonwealth.
B. For a member to be allowed to leave free and open elections must be held in the state seeking to leave. If no majority is achieved the member will not be allowed to leave.


[b]For Austria,[/b]
[i]Maria Magdalena von Hapsburg
Empress of the Austrian Dominion, Archduchess of Austria, Princess of Slovenia, Margravine of Istria, Queen of Idaho-Montana, and Protector of the Faith
For the Republic of Cascadia,[/b]
[i]Christopher Bogart

Frederick Straden

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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Frederick and Chris looked over the treaty. A few looks were exchanged, but neither of them had any problems with it, and agreed with it, so they put their signatures down.

Signed for the Republic of Cascadia,
[i]Christopher Bogart[/i]
Viceroy Christopher Bogart

[i]Frederick Straden[/i]
President Frederick Straden

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"Then I believe we have an accord gentlemen." Maria said standing up along with her sister and both Austrian extended their hands to the Cascadians. "With the signing of this treaty, North America and the World will be at the beginning of an age of stability and peace and Austria and Cascadia will be the vanguard of this movement." Turning to Chris, she laid her hands on his shoulders and smiled. "In a few days, I would like for you to report to Vienna as our council will begin, I have a a few things that I'd like to cover with you, our plans for this continent. I think you'll enjoy what I have to say."

Angelika was more calm as she said her farewells and kissed Chris' cheek once more. "I appreciate what you did for me back in Boise too. You really are a gentleman Mr. Bogart. Hopefully we'll see much more of each other in Austria and in Seattle. As Grand Duchess of the Idaho-Montana remnant, I have to make myself visible."

"Are there any other questions Herr President, Herr Viceroy? Or should we depart?"

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Chris and Frederick shook the hands of their Empress, bowing slightly as they did so.

"I'll fly to Vienna as soon as I can. Portland International and Seatac are still pretty busy, but I should be able to get on a smaller plane from Hillsboro or Woodburn." Chris fought the urge to blush as Angelika kissed his cheek for the third time.

"I do have some input on your plans for Sovereign land in the West. Instead of Seattle, which is a core region of Cascadia, I have heard through the political grapevine that the government of Vancouver Island is collapsing. That area would be a much suitable area to build your presence. It would also allow us to utilize the Seattle naval base more, so we won't have to build our Astoria naval base so large." Frederick Straden pointed to the various areas he was talking about on the map.

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Chris and Frederick shook the hands of their Empress, bowing slightly as they did so.

"I'll fly to Vienna as soon as I can. Portland International and Seatac are still pretty busy, but I should be able to get on a smaller plane from Hillsboro or Woodburn." Chris fought the urge to blush as Angelika kissed his cheek for the third time.

"I do have some input on your plans for Sovereign land in the West. Instead of Seattle, which is a core region of Cascadia, I have heard through the political grapevine that the government of Vancouver Island is collapsing. That area would be a much suitable area to build your presence. It would also allow us to utilize the Seattle naval base more, so we won't have to build our Astoria naval base so large." Frederick Straden pointed to the various areas he was talking about on the map.

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