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In Ehestadt...


Sarah Tintagyl
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When Dimitry Garin would arrive in Ehestadt, which had become by now, the combined cities of Vladivostok and Ehestadt Proper, he would find himself in a bustling and growing city on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The Austrian colony had become a symbol of multiculturalism in East Asia and the streets leading up from the harbor displayed that to an extreme. Catholic churches stood along side Taoist Pagodas, Chinese Tea Parlors co-existed with European style salons and music conservatories. Rococo architecture blended in with wooden and paper walls of Japanese art and design, it was truly a mixture of East meets West. Upon his arrival, the High Chancellor would be met by a contingent of Austrian Imperial Guards, multi-ethnic themselves. The commander actually greeted him in a thick Russian accent and bowed.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Comrade Ambassador. The Viceroy is expecting you, she will be receiving your audience as Her Majesty, Maria Thersia cannot make it to Ehestadt from Vienna today. But Her Majesty sends her deepest regrets."

Helping the Chancellor into a limousine, they drove away from the train station towards the Viceroy's Palace. The city had been largely reconstructed from it's drab Twenty-First Century existence into a miniature Vienna or Beijing. Where once had stood a skyscraper, designating the city hall, the Viceroy's Palace now sprawled over the ground, it's yellow plastered walls and Viennese windows offering the splash of culture the Austrians desired living in the winter wonderland. Inside, the spectacle was just as beautiful, with marble staircases leading up from the entrance lobby, to offices and conference halls. The walls held portraits of Europeans and statues of famous Chinese and Russians and while the guards stood at attention, a small Chinese woman with jet black hair and a soft porcelain face walked down the stairs.

"Greetings, Chancellor Garin," she said with a bow. "I am Zhu Tao, Her Majesty's Viceroy of Ehestadt. If you would follow me, we can discuss our business in my office."

She led him to a small study, decorated modestly with Chinese art and figurines. A tapestry of the yin-yang hung behind her desk, along with a plethora of small vases holding precious lotus blossoms. The entire office smelled like a fresh bubbling creek. She gestured to two chairs where a table with tea had been set up. "Her Majesty has told me that Austria desires a friendship with your nation and I am here to answer any questions you may have to the following proposal. The creation of a non-aggression pact and a possible economic clause, to lax tariffs between our peoples. After that is decided, we can continue on with other business."

Tao then shifted her head and smiled. "You also mentioned the possibility of war in your letter, Excellency, I was curious what events are taking place in Siberia. Anything that Austria would be interested in?"

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Normally Garin would have felt tired after the plane trip. For all his travels among the Siberian region, he still was worn out from an airplane. Such was not the case, for his plane ride just from southern Cyrantia to Ehestadt had taken barely any time at all. When he stepped off the plane he was energetic and excited. New places had always been an interest of his.

"[i]It's a shame I won't have the honor of meeting her Majesty this day, but I understand. The life of a head of state is never relaxed. Send my regards to her, she needn't trouble herself for attending to more important matters.[/i]"

Dmitry was amazed at how mixed the region truly was in seemingly every part of it. The people were of mixed race, the city was of mixed origin, and everything seemed to be of different eras. He observed bright new glass office buildings sitting right next to aged wooden tea houses. Arriving at his destination, he smiled warmly at the Viceroy greeting him. He followed her to the attractive study that was evidently their meeting room.

Garin sat down in one of the two chairs, but did not immediately pour himself a cup of tea. He intended to first ask a question. "[i]Firstly, could you please explain the prior history of Austria's troubles and its coming into stability and calm? We would like to know the circumstances of your recent fortunes.[/i]"

He thought a quick moment and addressed her question. "[i]I do believe the Grand Chancellor mentioned war in his letter. He was addressing the ongoing hostilities between our neighbors, the United Socialist Republic of Siberia, and the Magadan Oblast. It is not yet open war, but they have not been very friendly.[/i]" He took a deep breath. Discussing war was not his favorite thing to do, as it made him very uncomfortable. "[i]Recently Siberia has been relatively quiet except for our land expansion and the hostilities to the north.[/i]"

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"Austria, before the Hapsburg Monarchy that is currently in power was ruled by various different regimes, communist, authoritarian, and finally the young granddaughter of Emperor Alexander the First, assumed power over a Free Austria. Things were prosperous for a time, but about eight years ago, a woman named Bridgette Saenger, then Chancellor of Austria began a revolution to install a fascist government, under the guise of Republicanism. Since that civil war, between the Royalists and Republicans, the Empire has been in a state of constant disorder. After the civil war ended, Empress Theresia ascended the throne, but we were attacked by the German's only a few months after her crowning. That war took hundreds of thousands of Austrian lives and Austria is still recovering from the loss." Tao sighed and took a breath to continue. "The Austrian Republic formed after that, Theresia was ousted because of birth complications and health reasons, but the people still had feelings for her leadership. However, the Republican Government, the Directorate had a different agenda and forced the Empress from the throne."

She laughed, "We here in Ehestadt though have always been Royalist supporters. The Empress will always be our true ruler. She's given us this city, we repay her with our loyalty. Anyways," Tao continued, "The Directorate was corrupt and after fascist tendencies began to arise, the Empress along with a group of rebellious Directors, overthrew the government in Vienna and proclaimed the Second Empire. Which is where we find ourselves today. The Empress has promised a great deal in terms of nationalism and prosperity to the Empire and she has changed a great deal from her previous rule. She is obviously stronger, more aware, more intelligent and we feel this will be a golden age for Austria. I hope that can answer your question, Chancellor."

Reaching down, Tao sipped the tea for a moment before aligning her dark eyes with Garin. "So what is your opinion then on your neighbors. We know you have treaties with both, but I'm curious of your own, personal, private opinion, Excellency."

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Garin listened intently to the story, nodding and acknowledging the words occasionally. He shook his head more than once. He had seen firsthand the vicious results of an unstable government and fascism, and never enjoyed their presence in a nation. He poured himself of cup of tea and took a small sip, then placed it down.

"[i]That very much answers my question, thank you. When it comes to our neighbors, we obviously take sides based on our relations. In a situation as unfortunate as this where we are tied to both combatants, we look to seniority and importance of treaty to decide, if we are unable to maintain complete neutrality. If we were somehow drawn into this conflict, we would support the United Socialist Republic of Siberia. Our Mutual Defense Pact is older and carries more weight than our economic treaty with the Magadan Oblast.[/i]"

He picked up the small cup and took yet another sip of his tea. He took a deep breath and eyed the Viceroy. She wasn't nearly as imposing or intimidating as previous government members he had met. Her calm and polite disposition relaxed Garin.

"[i]As for my opinion, I wish conflict would never reach us. War never gives, it only steals and mutilates. Also, if you will, please call me Dmitry. We don't take ourselves nearly as seriously as our titles imply.[/i]"

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"I see, well hopefully Siberia will stay at peace. Given that we have just looked into expanding our markets northward, it would be a true pity to see economic growth stunted because of senseless war. That said Dimitry, now that you are familiar with the history of the Empire, what are your opinions of my first proposal; the Non-Aggression Pact, the Economic Pact, and possibilities of a political or military alliance in the future." Tao smiled. "Given that Her Majesty is married to the Imperator of the United Federation of the East, Asia has always had a special place in her heart and a strong friendship based on mutual protection and prosperity will only end helping both of us."

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"[i]Given our first impressions and previous knowledge of Austria, we would gladly enter into such an agreement with you. I believe it could do with a clause that eases the addition of further military or political agreements in the future so the entire document wouldn't have to be painstakingly rewritten. Of course that is just for convenience, if you desire it can me left out. We don't doubt your sincerity in caring about the welfare of the Asian continent, you've well proven that. It's now simply a matter of drafting the treaty, and I believe we're good to go.[/i]"

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"Perhaps then you would find this draft to your liking Dimitry." Said Tao after faxing a draft of a NAP-FTA to the offices downstairs and a servant had arrived to present it to her. "If you can agree, I believe we have had a very successful business venture."

[quote]
[center][b]Mutual Non-Aggression and Free Trade Agreement between Austria and Cyrantia[/b][/center]

[center][b]Preface[/b][/center]

In the interests of closer diplomatic relations and stronger regional commerce, the Austrian Empire and the Chancery of Cyrantia hereby agree to the following treaty.

[center][b]Article I: Nonaggression[/b][/center]

Austria and Cyrantia agree to follow a policy of mutual nonaggression, to make no acts of war against one another, whether overt or covert as long as this treaty is in effect.

[center][b]Article II: Free Trade[/b][/center]

Austria and Cyrantia agree to a policy of free trade toward one another, and towards that end agree to refrain from implementing restrictive tariffs, economic sanctions, or embargoes against one another as long as this treaty is in effect.

[center][b]Article III: Potentiality for Military Upgrade[/b][/center]

Austria and Cyrantia agree to upgrade this treaty to a Pact of Mutual Defense after an undistinguished amount of time when said nations believe a firm friendship has been established.

[center][b]Article IV: Termination[/b][/center]

A. The cancellation of this treaty will take effect 96 hours after a legitimate governing body of either signatory informs the other signatory of its intent to cancel. All articles of the treaty will thenceforth be null and void.

B. The immediate cancellation of this treaty will take effect in the event that Article I is violated. All articles of the treaty will thenceforth be null and void.

[b]Signed for the Austrian Empire[/b]
[i]
HIM Maria Theresia II

Zhu Tao,
Viceroy of Ehestadt[/i]

[/quote]

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Garin looked over the document. The attractive calligraphy and official feel of the document made it quite the sight. He reached for the pen in his jacket's inside pocket. He drew it and signed the paper.

[quote][b]Signed for the Chancery of Cyrantia[/b]

Dmitry Garin
High Chancellor of Foreign Affairs[/quote]

"[i]As a member of the Cyrantian cabinet, I am permitted to sign any official documents or treaties so long as I have the approval of the Grand Chancellor of the State. Typically before we embark on diplomatic trips, he approves signing documents at the discretion of whichever representative is going. Such is the case here, and so only my signature is needed to ratify this treaty. We've accomplished something very great here in a remarkably short time. With the circumstances involved, it will not surprise me to be seeing you or another Austrian representative at the diplomatic table again soon.[/i]"

Garin took the last few drops of tea into his mouth. He swallowed and then chuckled a little bit, and was silent for a moment. He realized that he ought to explain himself to the Viceroy and spoke.

"[i]Few realize that the terms Chancery and Chancellery are completely interchangeable. Because we've previously always used Chancellery, it has become apparent the world considers it our official title. No such official title exists, and either word can be used at any time. I found it funny that in all the time of our existence, nobody but your nation has used the second term.[/i]"

Edited by Domingo the Honored
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"Well I'm glad we could come to an agreement, Dimitry. To be honest, I would like your opinion on a matter that the Empress brought up prior to the scheduling of your audience. Since these negotiations went so well, I am thinking of opening up contact with your northern neighbors in the attempt to create an economic union for Eastern Siberia. Vaule, Cyrantia, the USRS, the Oblast, and of course Marscurian Siberia and the Chinese government all combined together for greater economic growth. This area is rich in mineral resources and the port cities could easily become the wealthiest in the world. I would be interested, before we call this meeting over, to hear your opinions on the idea and if you think your other neighbors would be interested."

Tao smiled, "The East Siberian Co-Prosperity Union, it has a pleasant ring to it. Don't you agree?"

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Dmitry looked with her with intrigue. The plan sounded like an even grander scale version of the pact he himself and the Grand Chancellor had tried but failed to bring about a long time ago, when the nation was young. After all this time and with the wife of the August Imperator's support, perhaps it could be accomplished. Garin himself was very interested and knew that the Grand Chancellor would be also.

[i]Yes, I would be interested and I believe they would hold interest as well. Some time ago, we attempted to negotiate something similar, but failed because we were very young. The interest was there, however, and now I believe it can happen. And yes, your proposed name does have quite the catchy tone to it.[/i]"

Garin smiled a sincere, warm grin. He couldn't wait for the Grand Chancellor to hear the outcome of this conference.

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"Then my government will send word when the conference is going to begin." Tao stood up and offered her hand. "That said, Dimitry, I have nothing else to discuss on Austria's end. Unless you have any questions or concerns, I believe this meeting is over. It was a pleasure making your acquaintance and hopefully we will meet each other again very soon."

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"[i]We shall await your call for a meeting. Yes, I believe we are finished here. This has been an enlightening and productive meeting. Likewise, it's been a pleasure to meet you. I hope we may soon find ourselves at this same table to discuss the upgrade of our treaty.[/i]"

Garin reached across the table and shook the Viceroy's hand. He smiled, and turned to follow an aide out of the building. He'd soon be back in Cyrantia with bright news for the Grand Chancellor of the State.

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