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Once Vittmark is done with Gadalhem...
09-10-2017, 09:59 PM
Post: #1
Once Vittmark is done with Gadalhem...
April 11th 7579

There was a crisis meeting of the cabinet after the new treaty of Gadalhem had been signed and communicated with the rest of the world.
"Our diplomatic efforts have not resulted in the outcome we wanted," foreign chancellor Persson Ödebo stated.
"I would not say that," Av Lårsten countered. "There are at least two less signatory nations, and I have to see if all the nations ratify the treaty."

Queen Anna entered. A bit unusual for the monarch to attend cabinet meetings, but in this case everyone expected her to show up.
"Why a crisis meeting?" she uttered even before everybody sat down again. "We have a clear roadmap for this event. We have communicated it through unofficial channels. If I look at the roadmap, then the next step is to call in all the ambassadors and make it official. Parliament can get started as well."

Later that day, the federal parliament seemingly surprisingly supported a motion as put forward by the oppositional De Lidh faction. Even 5 years ago it had put forward this motion, then it was rejected. The contents of this motion: to federalize all the port concession agreements between lower governments and concession grantees, as long as they were signatory nations of Gadalhem.

Since the foreign minister was present, he could confirm that the executive cabinet would follow up on this motion as soon as possible, meaning that it would get carried out as soon as possible. He also stated that the queen herself would address the assembly tomorrow morning, after consultation with the ambassadors of the signatory nations.

April 12th, Förbundsdag

It had only been 2 weeks since the queen had given her new year's speech. But it was time for her to make a new appearance.

"Gentlemen, ladies of this assembly, members of the cabinet, attendees from the senate..."
She paused a while for the dramatic effect. The MP's knew Anna long enough now to know that there won't be any introduction to the topic at hand.
"Vittmark feels betrayed by the signatory nations of Gadalhem. All those nations were present when 15 years ago a treaty was signed in Nisipari. The aim was to create peace and prosperity in this region. Now those same nations are trying to strangle our free access to the world's seas. They are forming an offensive military alliance to enforce a treaty upon us, a treaty of which we have been no part. There is nothing in this treaty that is beneficial for non-signatory nations. It is a clear attempt by the aggressive and expansionist nations in this regions to enslave Anaria and Stoldavia."

"A few years ago those same nations were on a path towards war. Then they were saved by a practical solution as developed by Vittmark and Anisora. While Aedeland condemned the open shipping registry at first, it is now taking over that exact instrument it was opposing. It shows the true nature of our neighbors to the west, they are only interested in profit and enslavement."

"If there is one thing that the Treaty of Aerilar has brought us, it is a common goal. The nations of Aerilar have been successfull in uniting the divided factions of Vittmark. Today I stand before you as the proud, first representative of this united people. And that is why we, that is the executive cabinet, is now proposing to withdraw from the Treaty of Nisipari."

A thundering applause rolled down from the stands. This was the first time that the queen had been able to convince all the MP's. After several minutes she was able to continue.

"If Aerilar and Gadalhem are allowed to change the playing field, then so are we. Yesterday we have informed the ambassadors of the treaty nations about our follow-up steps regarding this betrayal. If their legislative bodies ratify the treaty, we will declare all the military staff present in Vittmark as hostile forces on our territories, and we will treat them accordingly. The executive will propose to declare all military staff of the signatory nations outlawed."

A lot of chaotic talks started around the benches. This was a much more powerful statement than most had expected. It meant that every citizen of Vittmark was allowed to kill foreign military, without any repercussions. That is, if the nations ratified and had not withdrawn all their troops or training staff before that.

"This also applies to employees of the Sørtarnland Company, which we will consider as illegal combatants if they show up on Vittmarker soil, airspace and terrotorial waters."

She took a sip of water, to mark she would be going to a different topic.

"Vittmark can not undo the port concessions. But by federalizing the agreements, the federal government now has the opportunity to add a 15% import and export tax on all the goods leaving or entering the port concession of the aforementioned nations. This to compensate for the loss of trade by Vittmarker merchant vessels who are no longer allowed to sail the seas. According to most of the agreements we can not do this as an import / export tax, but we will implement this as added service charges on usage of roads outside the concession, railway lines, locks, etc."

"Unlike Aerilar, the cabinet is proposing to forbid the registration of vessels owned by Vittmarker companies to register abroad. That is with the existing exception of the Anisoran open registry of course.

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank the continued support Anisora, and the renewed support of Auresia in upholding a level playing field and equal opportunities for all nations striving towards peace and prosperity for all citizens and residents. We are pleased to see that Auresia has finally seen the errors of joining an aggressive, expansionist pact and now decided not to end up on the wrong side of history. That takes courage, and for that we salute you."

Totally against protocol, Anna repeated those last two sentences in perfect Auresian. Nobody objected the use of a foreign language this time. She concluded as quickly as she began.

"I hope this assembly will be able to agree on the proposed actions."

The applause that followed was a clear sign that the parliament would support the cabinet, probably even unanimous. Which would be a first in parliamentary history.

"Finally... on a more personal note. A few years ago, some family members chose to betray me. My great uncle Ragnar Eriksson was outlawed and killed. My cousin Erik Thomasson imprisoned for life. I'd like to remind my more distant cousin, the Queen-Elect Margarete of Amberia, what will happen if one betrays the most direct successor in line of the last emperor of the Greater Stoldavic Empire. Wether or not Amberia ratifies the agreement or not, the fact that they signed this deal in Gadalhem is enough reason for me to make sure that she and all of her relatives and successors are struck indefinitely from the line of succession of Vittmark."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-11-2017, 10:00 PM
Post: #2
RE: Once Vittmark is done with Gadalhem...
(A bit later that same day, in the corridors of the foreign ministry. Since this is corridor stuff, this is not known to anyone except the Auresian ambassador)

Security Chancellor Av Hagen entered Foreign Chancellor Ödebo's office with two assisting clerks. The company already present there was laughing out loud.
"It seems that I arrived just a bit too late," Av Hagen tried to get the attention.
"Sit down, Gumpert," Ödebo replied jovially, "I was just telling about my meeting with the Auresian ambassador. He had an interesting anecdote from his colleague, who was summoned to a meeting with Aedeland's Förer. The bloke suggested that we had bribed the Auresians to back out of the treaty."

"Seriously?" Av Hagen wondered. Ödebo nodded in confirmation.
"Unbelievable... these Aldsay have no idea about how governments work. But then again, their own government is only the thinnest of scales around imperialist corporate interests. You can't really blame them... what a blunder... Vald on a stick, and then there are other countries entering a pact with these nitwits? Why are we worried about these people at all?"

(around the same time, outside parliament. also corridor type stuff that never made it outside the almost private sphere...)

"Yoshi-san," Yuma greeted the familiar face outside parliament.
"I heard Queen Anna gave them hell in there?"

The duo were an odd combination. He was around 50 years old, seemingly jobbless, while she was the youngest member of the federal parliament, about 5 ft tall, the only one of Kakuri descent. The only thing that connected this duo was that they both served in a team of underground agents of Fjällsta Stift, falling on the internal security forces of the Affirmation.

"Hell and a half... that's how you say it, right?" Yuma tried.
Iosse laughed. "Exactly..."
"We have a job, I guess?"
He showed two train tickets. "We are sent to the western border. There are some people that need to be convinced to go back to their side of the border. We have gotten free hands."

"How far is that?"
"Right... I forgot, you only left Östvallen one time so far."
"How is your wife doing? And the kids?"
"They are all fine, thanks for asking. Although they are still wondering how I got to know an MP. I am not sure they fell for the courier job thing."
"Your wife... she is nice," Yuma tried to change the subject. "You miss her?"
"Always. She told me to say hi to you."
"Only hi?"

The two looked at each other and started laughing aloud.

"If I ever get children, I would like them to be like yours," Yuma said.
"If my son comes home with a girlfriend anytime soon, I surely hope she is like you."
"A trained Kakuri deep claw posing as a singer and dancer at a bar in the rough parts of the capital?"
Iosse chuckled. "I was more referring to your swift career in the ranks of government. Ambitious, self-assured, lots of humor and beautiful."
"Nobody thinks I am beautiful. I am an exotic surprise, but I look too different from the rest of you."

"I did say self assured, don't spoil that now. But trust me, you are beautiful. You have met my wife, so you know I'm an expert on this."
Now it was Yuma's time to chuckle. "True... your wife... beautiful..."

By now they had made it to the Nersta station, right across the square outside the government complex of Östervallen. Instead of entering the station, they took a right turn and started the steep climb towards the southside of the Old Town. This is where the much smaller Byrum station was located. In two months time, it was no longer a terminus anymore. But today, this still was the place where the trains from the west had their final destination.

"You never said... how far?"
"Pretty far. This is the evening train to Äs, continuing as night train to Vinborg. Then it's still a couple of hours. The last part is a really slow train. You voted against renovating the tracks there, remember?"

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-12-2017, 08:56 PM
Post: #3
RE: Once Vittmark is done with Gadalhem...
Vinborg, April 13th

Iosse and Yuma disembarked the overnight train from Äs. While Iosse was trying to find out where the regional train would depart from, a police officer addressed Yuma.

"Lady Fukai, I presume? We have got information from the Fjällsta Affirmation that you would arrive in the companion of..."
"What is going on, officer," Iosse interrupted.
"You must be Yuma's travelling companion. Fjällsta Stift has asked me to welcome you. They want to update you on your travelling arrangements."

Yuma and Iosse looked at each other.
"Update?"
"They asked us if you could telephone them. If you could follow me to the precint, we can arrange this for you."
Fjällsta took an awful risk having the duo being intercepted by Hagenite police forces. They were undercover agents for the Affirmation. But their cover as travelling MP with security escort seemed to hold.

"It is not really a good day to travel further west," the police officer explained while the three of them were walking through Vinborg. This was a very traditional Stoldavian city, closed building blocks with workshops, stores and shops right up to the paved streets and residential quarters grouped in more private inner courts behind it. It had suffered little during the Pan Anarian War and Three Ways Conflict, except from local militias clearing some slums in order to make way for the new industrial era that came with the war.

Iosse and Yuma were trying to avoid the cow dung covering the streets.
"Sorry about that," the officer said. "We're used to it. Cows are being caravaned through the city to the ferry landing all the time. The leather is used in the mining industry, our famous smoked sausages are just a side product."

At the police station, Iosse was directed towards a telephone. The officer requested the connection towards an extension in Östvallen. He then handed over the receiver to Iosse.
"Hello..." he tried carefully.
"Good to hear from you," he got as reply without further introduction. But he recognized that it was Bart, the team leader.
"Your travel arrangements have been changed," the voice continued.
"You will have to be more specific than that. We can not turn around simply because..."
"I know the routines, I made them. How secure is the line?"
"No one is listening in on this side, but there are many switchboards in between."

"Still a smaller risk than ending a telegram. It is information from the foreign department. Embassy staff in Aschgaet have opened other communication channels. There are... developments. The objectives of your journey might interfere with those developments."
"Should we return, or can the people's representative get a different program?"
"There is no need to return yet. You are free to do what you want. Call me tomorrow."

Iosse put back the receiver.
"Change of plans. Let's see if the mayor wants to receive an MP."
"Ehm, what?"
"We need to do something until I can call back tomorrow. It is either this, or finding a bar where you can perform. But that would be difficult to explain."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-12-2017, 11:37 PM
Post: #4
RE: Once Vittmark is done with Gadalhem...
Östvallen, April 16th

"So, where are we regarding the responds of our friends and foes..."
Queen Anna came right to the point when she entered the cabinet meeting. Ödebo started summarizing.

"In general... they thought her majesty overdid it in Förbudstinget."
"I was adressing the legislative," Anna reflected, "if I happened to have rattled the cage here and there, than that's a bonus."

"Both Amberia and Aedeland seems to have forgotten we have a constitution. The Amberians were inquiring if it was possible to strike out Margarete completely from the line of succession at all. We do not have a primogeniture..."
"I struck my own nephew 7 years ago, so striking some more distant relatives, not a problem."
"The general response is that fellow royalty was not amused, while more liberal politicians were having a field day."

"Even in Amberia?"
Ödebo nodded. "We have some low level contacts, we intensified them with the oppositional politicians."

"Anisora and Auresia both have expressed concerns about the tone of your address."
"You made sure they understood that this tone was aimed at domestic politicians? They surely would understand that..."
"Well, yes and no... If this ends up in an armed conflict, we are taking the first blow. We are surrounded on three side by Gadalhem garbage. That is not a position in which one is supposed to blow steam. Also, they both stated that there won't be any military support if we decide to kick out other foreign military."

"That's it?"
"Ah no, I want her majesty to take a look at this..." The foreign chancellor handed over some paperwork from the Covenant. Anna read it carefully.

"Could you tell the baron that we are willing to discuss marking the border once our troops can see the cliffs of Halland?" Anna joked. Gumpert av Hagen, security chancellor, was laughing the loudest of them all. Ödebo had to wipe some tears from his face.
"I am sorry, your grace," he replied, "but we can not."
"I was afraid so," she countered. "Well... whatever... that's your job. Thanks for sharing. What about the Aldsay?"

"A lot of spying activities."
"Can't we just kill the lot?"
"That would not look too good. We don't want to be seen as the aggressors here. We're deep into a grey area already."

---

In the mean time, during a discussion in a local bar.
"Aw, that's harsh, not all the Aldsay are the same. Everybody knows that there are two types of good Aldsay. Those that stayed in Jörveh and the dead."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-20-2017, 09:32 PM
Post: #5
RE: Once Vittmark is done with Gadalhem...
Gumpert av Hagen, Chancellor of Security, stumbled into the office of Palne Kristersson at the Royal Palace.
"Is this your work?" he asked without further introduction. Palne looked up. Gumpert was the archetypical military leader: muscular, especially the neck which is so visible, and with a dark look from underneath his eyebrows that could split a brick into two. The two had a weird form of appreciation of each other, even though they would never use the other one's way of working. They respected their differences.

"What is," Palne had to reply with a question of his own.
"My staff... not only at the chancellery but also at home... they keep telling me about this song being sung in bars. Any work of yours?"

Palne grinned.
"We learned a thing or two of the Kakuri. In the end, it does not matter what ends up in the paper or history books, it's about your legacy in the common mindset of people. And how to influence people's mind more than with a catchy song. Or two."

"So this is a freethinker thing... You might be right that your method is more effective than diplomacy or military pressure."
"We'll have to see. But the fact that his lordship has heard about it..."
"How do you do that?"
"Do what..."
"Get musicians to play a particular song in all the bars in town."

"Not all the bars... but a lot... Well, in this case, it was quite easy. People want to let go of the stress and pressure of this Gadalhem thing. It's a dead horse, but especially the Aldsay keep poking it and still are convinced it is alive because it bounces back. It's time to bury it, but that's up to them."

"A clever thing... a song... I'm glad we're on the same side, I'd hate to be your opponent. According to my rule book, you play dirty."
"In my world, there are no rule books."

Both men laughed at Palne's last remark.
"So what's the title of this song mocking Georg av Horda?" Gumpert asked.
"Butcher - Faker - Policy Maker..."
"That's him allright. Would I like it? Musically speaking..."
"I don't know his lordship's preferences, but it's a modern, southern song. There's this place in Anders' Socken of the New Town where they serve a simple meal and have music each evening. If his lordship has the time, I would be happy to share a meal."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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