Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten Kreis
(South Garten Circle)
By Scott Ash
My thanks to Randy McDonald for his views on Freihafen and Eastern Europe in 2300AD, which I hope this conforms to. Also, in a general sense, to the rest of the Tirane Group for their patience and support, both towards me personally and the success of the Tirane Sourcebook. Special mention should go to Alta Vista‘s Babel Fish translation site, as it helped English-German translation immensely, and to Ben Levy for the use of Tunghu's creatures in the Kreis. - Scott
“The maglev from northern Freihafen began slowing as the Parfümschluct (Ger: “Perfume Gorge”) came into view, heralding our impending arrival into Neu-Tsingtao. Vineyards and hop fields became visible, taking advantage of the more temperate climate of the Südgarten, and offered stark contrast to the more industrial, tropical cities to the north.
“Slowly we passed through the gorge, everyone aboard the train quiet in reverence for the natural beauty of Tirane’s deepest canyon as we followed the Parfümfluß (Ger: “Perfume River”) flowing into Tunghu’s harbor. Then, as we emerged from the gorge and the maglev began picking up speed, Neu-Tsingtao’s broadcast towers became visible atop the Glüchlicheügel, or ‘Lucky Hill’ overlooking the city. Beyond were the combined skylines of both Neu-Tsingtao and Tunghu, causing one fellow passenger to remark, ‘So, how much further to the border?’ as if the two cities were one.
“But I knew better. Neu-Tsingtao is far more than simply a gateway or a poor substitute to the Manchurian enclave, with an energy and vibration all its own. Fortunately that’s something more people are coming to realize as Freihafen attracts more immigrants and investment- and attention…”
Neu-Tsingtao, Freihafen’s southern hub, sits immediately north of Tunghu on the southern shore of Acadie, Tirane’s largest continent. While not quite as populous as the Manchurian enclave, Neu-Tsingtao’s incorporated area covers an area three times larger, having more room to grow into. As such, it is expected that Neu-Tsingtao will eventually overtake its neighbor in population, and thus economic activity, within a generation. Still, the relationship will continue to be mutually beneficial to both cities, as Tunghu continues to draw investment and visitors to it’s freewheeling business environment while Neu-Tsingtao offers lower cost land, labor, and housing to those businesses that relocate to the area.
Additionally, while Tunghu continues as a free port, shipping the goods of Freihafen’s Südgarten Kreis (Ger: “South Garden Circle,” or region, often simply der Südgarten) to the rest of Tirane, Neu-Tsingtao will serve to deliver those products the Manchurian city is unable to produce for itself. In fact, the Tunghu Business Daily (or, more colloquially, “TBD”), wrote the following of the relationship between the two cities, “Tunghu and Neu-Tsingtao in no way could live without the other. Without Tunghu’s interstellar reputation and name recognition nobody would bother with Neu-Tsingtao or the Südgarten, while without Neu-Tsingtao Tunghu wouldn’t have an interface with the rest of Tirane, much less anywhere else.”
This doesn’t stop snobbishness on the part of Tunghuans towards their northern neighbor, the thought being that those unable to “make it” in Tunghu relocate to Neu-Tsingtao and look longingly south. Another argument for Tunghu chauvinists stems from tourist receipts. After all, Freihafeners visiting from the northern, industrial areas bypass their own city in favor of the Manchurian enclave, stopping in Neu-Tsingtao only to save on transportation costs. This is due to Freihafen’s government approving an excise tax on international flights and rail/maglev transportation, in order to finance the establishment of a separate customs bureau (Zolldeinst).
But the city planners in Neu-Tsingtao’s Stadtsrat (Ger: City Council), in an effort to make their own city a special place in its own right, have over the decades built a city unique in Tirane, one highlighting not only their ties to Tunghu, but their multi-ethnic makeup as well. While Neu-Tsingtaoans live for the most part in mixed Nachbarschaften (Ger: Neighborhoods), the original “national” settlements of the area which they are based upon were encouraged to foster an atmosphere associated with their origins. Thus “Alamodorf” (Ger: “Alamo Village”) shows it’s Texan roots, Kleine Prag alludes to Czech origins, and Warschaudorf (Ger: “Warsaw Village”) has a distinct Polish atmosphere. Also within the municipal boundaries are distinct Greek and Turkish Nachbarschaften, curiously and surprisingly next to each other. In fact, the latter two cooperate in many matters, though despite Greek-Freihafeners and Turkish-Freihafeners being merely pluralities in each neighborhood the Gymnasia (Ger: loosely, secondary [“High”] schools) share a bitter rivalry, played out mainly in the annual football game between the two.
Continuing this trend, the residential Nachbarschaften along the Tunghu border have more in common with the southern city than the one they’re part of. Mandarin is the language of choice (though Freihafenian High German is a compulsory subject, even in the private schools used by Tunghuan expatriates), issues important to Tunghu have more importance to the average resident than those of Neu-Tsingtao and their adopted country, and one is likely to make purchases in Manchu Rubles (or, more colloquially, “Yuan”) as either Freihafen Marks or Livre. In fact, much of the southern part of Neu-Tsingtao is seen mostly as a cut-rate version of Tunghu, a place to stay for the atmosphere while avoiding the costs of the Manchu enclave.
In contrast, the city center, with Baumgartnerplatz (Ger: “Baumgartner Plaza”) as its hub, displays an architectural style unique on Tirane. The vision of Neu-Tsingtao’s first city manager, Texan-born H. Robinson “Bobby” Baumgartner, the dominant architecture has been compared to Victorian, old Prussian, and early Hollywood science-fiction visions of a Chinese city. Quoting Architecture Tirane, the style has been described as, “Equal parts Confucius, Jules Verne, and ‘Mad’ King Ludwig, with the Bauhaus school offering technical assistance.” There is a red-brick Rathaus (Ger: “Council House,” or City hall), an exact replica of that built by German concessionaires in the original Qingdao, facing the main plaza, but it too shows elements of the prevailing style, most notably the large, exposed rivets of the steel supports and the garish neon Chinese and German lettering on the front façade. The Hauptluftbahnhof, or main maglev station, even more closely upholds the look and atmosphere of science-fiction cinema of the early twentieth century. In fact, much of the area was used in a recent reinterpretation of Fritz Lang’s classic “Metropolis.” Purists, however, have derided the remake as nothing more than a long advertisement for Neu-Tsingtao’s tourist industry.
The architecture of the Glüchlicheügel's broadcast towers and scenic observation center, contrasting both the Nachbarschaften and the city center, uses contemporary Tiranean design techniques. Mostly steel and glass, with the antennae built of strong yet lightweight alloys, none of the buildings erected on the Glüchlicheügel would look out of place on hillsides in Amaterasu, Tirania, or Tundukubwa. The one difference that stands out from similar locales, however, is the size of the three major buildings, and the number of smaller ones alongside them. The three larger buildings, all owned by Freihafenian media outlets, range from eight to fifteen stories tall. As expected, the upper floors of these offer scenic outlooks, fancy restaurants, and other amenities popular with visitors. The smaller structures, mostly residences and small shops and restaurants, form terraces as one goes further uphill. Two long escalators allow pedestrian access uphill, while rooftops act as pedestrian lanes for the next higher level of homes and businesses. Since no resident would appreciate vehicles rolling across the roof, no vehicles are permitted on the pedestrian lanes. However, to accommodate necessary commerce, two “ring roads” were included in the development plan, though weight limits have been imposed and are strictly enforced.
The industrial areas and transshipment depots beyond the central core and residential neighborhoods, while carefully planned, for the most part show no specific architectural style. The only exceptions are the Statsflughafen (Ger: City Airport) and Raumhafen Südgarten (Ger: South Garten Spaceport). While the air hub was built using standard Tiranean design forms, the Raumhafen (perhaps appropriately) displays the styles used in the city center. Despite this, and the lower costs offered by Freihafen’s Transport-Ministerium (“Transportation Ministry”) for use of the larger facilities available, most of the Südgarten’s interface traffic takes place at Tunghu’s Combined Terminal. However, with the Manchu enclave’s facility currently running at well beyond peak capacity, Raumhafen Südgarten expects additional traffic to come its way.
Both Neu-Tsingtao and Tunghu have their origins in a simple agricultural settlement known as Südseedorf (Ger: “South Sea Village”), populated mainly by Eastern Europeans under Zapamoga auspices. While the village was under nominal Bavarian sovereignty upon foundation in 2176, the area was left to Zapamoga, and later the Texan-German “Adelsverein“ (so named for the private colonization agency that sent German settlers to Texas in the 19th Century), but otherwise left alone. The required documentation was duly and properly filled out and sent to the colonial capital at Hauptstadt (see “Bayern,” pg. 22), but for the most part the industrial centers to the north became the colony’s focus. As such, the Südgarten and its settlers were left mainly to their own devices, and created for themselves a unique subculture within the Bavarian colony.
During this time, Manchu businessmen and engineers began taking an interest in Tirane. While the Südgarten was considered by Garten’s Bavarian administrators to be of secondary interest, the Manchus saw considerable potential in the region. After all, the nascent French colony was based in the southern part of their claim, within easy sea and air access to Garten’s southern regions, and Südseedorf sat near a natural harbor. With that in mind, and knowing of Bavaria’s increasing concern over the costs of developing their colony with a limited population and tax base back on Earth, the Manchus made an offer Munich couldn’t resist.
The Manchurian government approached the Bayerisch Kolonialentwicklung Ministerium (Ger: Bavarian Colonial Development Ministry), or KWM, and offered a considerable sum of money, as well as Manchurian transportation assistance, in exchange for Südseedorf and the surrounding three hundred square kilometers. The Bavarians jumped on this, eagerly taking the money and space aboard Manchu vessels as a boost to their efforts on Tirane. However, the two-thousand odd people of Südseedorf weren’t happy with this new deal, as it left them practically homeless. The Kolonialleitung (Ger: Colonial Administration), hoping to diffuse tensions, offered to relocate and rebuild Südseedorf to the north of the new Manchu enclave. After all, there would have to be some interface between the new neighbors and the rest of Garten, and who better to provide it than the original settlers.
Thus, flush with development and engineering assistance, the Kolonialleitung’s Südgarten office opened for business in what was renamed Neu-Tsingtao, or New Qingdao. The name wasn’t accidental, as Qingdao, China, was the last place the German and Chinese cultures interfaced directly, the city being a German "Concession" during the 19th Century. However, as it took time for the Manchus to get their own colony off the ground, Neu-Tsingtao began to take more development resources than it was offering back to the rest of Garten. With cost containment being a major issue with the Kolonialentwicklung Ministerium, the possibility of being cut off from further funding worried the new settlement greatly.
Enter H. Robinson Baumgartner. Originally from the Texas Hill Country, where German and other Central and Eastern Europeans settled during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Baumgartner found in the Südgarten the chance to rebuild himself and his reputation as an architect and engineer. With a padded, barely verifiable resume, Baumgartner convinced the Kolonialleitung to allow him to plan the new city and surrounding area.
Following the example of Stamford Raffles in Singapore over three hundred years earlier, Baumgartner sought to build a commercial entrepot while concurrently ensuring the natural environment would be preserved for future generations. Additionally, the rolling hills and wide plains beyond the city center, while eventually to house future residents, needed to be put to use feeding those living in the Südgarten at that moment. Thus, in presenting the vision to the Stadtsrat, Baumgartner became not only a master of self-promotion he became the Südgarten’s most vocal supporter as well. In halting, Texan-accented German, Baumgartner easily convinced the Stadtsrat and the KWM to hire him as the Südgarten‘s regional development engineer, allowing him to implement the new regional plan, and procure funding from the Kolonialleitung to do so.
As such, the fifteen years following the cession of Südseedorf were busy years for Neu-Tsingtao, as the central plaza and nearby residential neighborhoods were built. Concurrently, agriculture in the area grew at exponential rates during this time, and was more than able to feed both new cities. Finally self-supporting, Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten began attracting many new settlers, mainly from Central and Eastern Europe under Zapamoga auspices. Additionally, following Baumgartner‘s example, a fair number of Texan families took up residence in what would become Alamodorf, along with other Texans who founded a small agricultural community in the foothills to the north, Neue Luckenbach. Bavarian settlers from elsewhere in Garten were also attracted to the Südgarten, finding the cooler, wetter climate more comfortable than the tropical centers to the north.
In fact, this period saw the foundation of Stern-Brauereien, or “Star Breweries,” which took advantage of the easy availability of premium hops and fresh artesian water from the springs feeding the Parfümfluß. This met a demand that became apparent from the early days of settlement, as smaller, home- and tavern-based brewing was unable to meet the great thirst of Südgarteners. With great fanfare, Stern-Brauereien opened its original brewery near the main plaza ten years after the Baumgartner Plan came into being. Even today, the products of Stern-Brauereien are still Neu-Tsingtao’s most recognized exports, despite the greater value of agriculture and light and medium industry to the region, though the original brewery has been turned into the Stadt-Museum (Ger: “City Museum”) and production moved to the northern suburbs. Still, Stern-Brauereien still runs a popular Biergarten in the building, where both residents and visitors meet for various reasons.
Still, karma continues and one’s sins tend to catch up to them, and H. Robinson Baumgartner was no different. Finally tracked to Neu-Tsingtao by the Texas Rangers, Baumgartner was arrested and forced to face an extradition hearing back to Austin for professional fraud, embezzlement, and practicing architecture without a license back on Earth. The people of Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten were shocked. After all, what the area had become was a direct result of his vision and dogged promotion of the Bezirk. However, it did become apparent that the Rangers were able to find him due to his self-promotion, with his image constantly displayed in local and colonial media.
So it was no surprise when Garten’s Kolonialgericht von Anklänge (“Colonial Court of Appeals”) ordered Baumgartner’s extradition to Texas. However, the Stadtsrat chose to continue the vision, and wished Baumgartner all the best and thanked him for his service. With the foundation he set in place, Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten continued to grow and prosper, and with Baumgartner‘s death in Austin the main plaza was renamed in his honor. In fact, though he died penniless and ridiculed in Texas in 2243, Baumgartner’s remains were retrieved by the Stadtsrat and interred in a small yet lovingly cared-for garden in Baumgartnerplatz. Occasionally opened and near-full bottles of beer are left near the headstone, which reads, “Wenn Sie sein Denkmal suchen, schauen Sie über Sie.” (Ger: “If you seek his monument, look about you.”)
With the extradition of Baumgartner, Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten again dropped below popular consciousness in the rest of Garten, yet continued to grow and prosper. Stern-Brauereien continued to produce an abundance of beers for sale throughout Tirane, raw materials from Garten and beyond continued to move through Neu-Tsingtao to support the Manchu enclave, and, while immigration had slowed since the foundation of other Bavarian colonies in Human Space, the Südgarten continued to attract new talent. As time went on, the major industry of Neu-Tsingtao became, as foreseen, providing an interface between Tunghu and the rest of Tirane.
Such peace wasn’t to last very long. When the Central Asian War kicked off in 2282, both Garten’s Kolonialtag (Ger: Colonial Assembly, which succeeded the Kolonialleitung) and Tunghu were caught completely by surprise, especially since the colonial parents back on Earth were found to be on separate sides. France pressured its Bavarian ally to blockade Tunghu, in an attempt to starve the Manchurians off Tirane. Conversely, the Manchurian government saw Tunghu as a springboard to sabotage and disruption of the ESA colonies on Tirane. As both Garten and Tunghu realized such would become devastating to both economies, a subtle, unspoken agreement was made. While increased patrols were made along the perimeter fence, and tougher customs checks would become the norm, both sides agreed to remain as neutral as possible during the conflict. Thus the desired blockade, while officially in effect, was never allowed by either party to achieve the goals set by the parent governments.
In fact, quite the opposite occurred. Tunghu during the crisis managed to attract a fair number of new residents originally from the Bavarian colony to the north. Coffee houses (including the still-popular Kaffee-Hafen chain, now found throughout Centauri Space), small consultancies, and not a fair number of currency traders and free-lance journalists moved into Tunghu, while a new news bureau was opened in the Sun Yat Sen arcology by a major Gartener media outlet. Conversely, the Tunghu Business Daily moved its printing operation into a new industrial park built along the northern edge of the perimeter fence, and moved a fair number of young, eager reporters to cover events in the Bavarian colony.
It was discovered later that both sides, in an effort to verify compliance with the unspoken neutrality agreement, used the mutual investment and relocations in an effort to keep an eye on each other. Many of the Garteners involved in watching Tunghu were sent sub rosa under the auspices of the new Nachrictendienst, or “Intelligence Service.” In order to maintain covers, these field agents and troubleshooters were intended to be self-supporting once on the ground. Those who failed at doing so were helped out once, through three sets of dummy bank accounts, but reminded that failure would result in recall and dismissal. As such, many learned quickly about Tunghuan business practices, culture, and language. Additionally, several made considerable amounts of money, most of which they were allowed to keep.
With the end of the Central Asian War in 2287, it was expected that things would settle down and the Südgarten and Tunghu could return to quiet mutual prosperity. However, that wasn’t to be. The entire experience of the Central Asian War, and the demands of the KWM and other ministries in München (Munich) to the region and Garten as a whole, soured many Garteners on continued ties to Bavaria. While most Garteners at the time favored an interstellar Bavarian federation, with their colony as the population and economic center thereof, many suggested that independence was Garten’s only way to gain it’s Platz in der Sonne (“place in the sun“), regardless of whether der Sonne was Sol or Alpha Centauri. While pro-independence sentiment was gaining ground throughout Garten, it was in Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten where it was strongest.
This sentiment was so strong throughout the Kreis that the Kolonialpolizei (Ger: “Colonial Police”) sent by München was given orders to arrest and detain the most strident of agitators. Neu-Tsingtao’s own Stadtspolizei were told to either assist or stand down, increasing local resentment towards Bayern, and not a few of the city police officers were later involved in helping the political detainees escape. In what would foreshadow similar events in Tirania’s Callenbach County over a decade later, the Kolonialpolizei eventually surrounded the Stadtsrat in the Rathaus, while Stadtspolizei officers held out against them, taking positions in windows, rooftops, and anywhere else they could. Baumgartnerplatz was filled with tension during the period, as many pro-independence Garteners from the Südgarten fled the area, either to nearby Tunghu, Nouvelle Provence, or to Tirania, the latter most morally supportive of their efforts.
While eventually the leaders of the pro-independence parties would meet in Free Haven, Tirania, to debate and propose drafts for both a declaration of independence and constitution for a free Garten, events in Neu-Tsingtao began to heat up. The Kolonialpolizei officers surrounding the Rathaus began putative assaults on the facility, watching casualties mount as the Stadtspolizei remnants continuously drove them back. Public sentiment in favor of their elected city council caused many Neu-Tsingtaoans to rally against Bavarian intervention in their national evolution in the Baumgartnerplatz, to the chagrin of Kolonialpolizei officers now surrounded themselves. The ethnic aspect became apparent as well. While most residents of the Südgarten were of non-Bavarian ancestry, and in fact never visited the nominal “home country,” a fair majority of Kolonialpolizei officers were Bavarians sent from Earth. Thus resentment against them built up each time an assault would be made upon the Rathaus.
The business interests of Tunghu, increasingly distressed at the events going on to their north (instability always being bad for trade), began secret talks with both the Kolonialtag in Hauptstadt and the pro-independence leaders in exile in Free Haven, Tirania. Concurrently the Tunghu Business Daily began interviewing Gartener business leaders, political luminaries, and regular citizens and found pro-independence sentiment to be growing throughout Garten, not simply in the Südgarten. As such, with a view to the future, Tunghu’s business interests began cultivating a healthy, positive relationship with those in support of an independent Garten. This included quiet, covert financial support of pro-independence parties, providing both safe haven and a transit point to the “constitutional convention” in Free Haven, Tirania, and continuing to allow regular commercial traffic between the two cities despite the instability.
This tension between München and the Südgarten was thrown into further turmoil in 2291 with the movement back on earth for a united Germany. Theodor Schumpeter, a Bavarian civil servant, became the leading light of German Reunification. It should be noted that he became so while neglecting affairs in Bavaria’s extrasolar colonies, including Garten. Whether this was due to his portfolio having negligible interests beyond Earth or his German chauvinism remains unclear; what was increasingly apparent not only in the Südgarten but throughout Bavaria’s Tiranean colony overall was the animosity most Garteners had towards the man. Again, the ethnic element came into play. While most Südgarteners were of Central and Eastern European descent, Schumpeter was the archetypical Aryan ideal of Germany’s dark past, particularly as his focus was on the other German states rather than Bavaria’s colonies.
Thus Garteners everywhere were shocked, but not surprised, when the Bavarian referendum on unification to Germany organized by Schumpeter was restricted to Bavaria proper. As such, September 1, 2292 saw a colony-wide general strike throughout Garten in protest against Schumpeter and the Bavarian government. KWM and other Bavarian government offices were vandalized, and in one case in Neu-Tsingtao destroyed outright, as popular anger against the parent government grew. Those who supported German reunification, finding themselves supporting an unpopular viewpoint, fled the Südgarten as their pro-independence neighbors had months ago.
During the 1 September Generalstreik Garten’s Kolonialtag approved a referendum on the colony’s independence, with 83 of the 100 members present having supported the resolution. While this has been used by Freihafenian historians as an illustration of the overwhelming support for independence, detractors remind them that the 100 members who showed up barely managed a quorum. The detractors, in turn, are reminded that those Kolonialtag members who weren’t present were unable to attend due to the strike. When the full Kolonialtag was assembled on 3 September, the resolution on Garten’s Independence was passed by a similar percentage in what has become known as the “Zweiter Messwert,” or “Second Reading.”
The second action by the full Kolonialtag on 3 September was the renaming of the colony to “Freihafen,” or “Free Haven,” a name which most clearly illustrated the nascent nation’s highest ideals. However, while the rubber-stamp Kolonialverwalterin (Ger: Colonial Administrator), Hans-Peter Mohlmann, did give executive assent to the independence referendum, though delaying it to late February of 2293, he refused to acknowledge the change in the colony‘s name. His refusal went unnoticed, as local media began using the new moniker from the moment of it’s passage in the Kolonialtag. “Wilkommen auf Friehafen!” was the lead story on one of the colony’s largest newspapers, while French media from Nouvelle Provence began using the new name as well. Over the next few days most now-Friehafeners started referring to their new de facto nation by that name, following the lead of their political leadership and media outlets.
Still, “KaVe” Mohlmann, the KWM, and the Kolonialpolizei supporting them were caught off-guard by the sheer numbers of participants and overall depth of opposition against Schumpeter’s plan for a unified Germany. Knowing that any action taken by any Bavarian government officials against popular sentiment could tip all of Freihafen into civil war, Neu-Tsingtao's KWM Bezirkverwalterin (Ger: [female] District Administrator), Hannelore Kaufmann, put all Bavarian government staff in the city on indefinite, paid furlough for their safety. When the strike lifted the following morning, Kaufmann then approached the Stadsrat to notify the members of her decision to keep her offices in Neu-Tsingtao closed until some permanent decision was reached. On 4 September she also notified “KaVe” Mohlmann of her actions, then moved with her family to a Tunghu beach resort where she was able to sit out events to the north, continuously attended to by fellow Freihafeners who seemed to anticipate her every need.
While “BeVe” Kaufmann never specifically resigned nor officially transferred her portfolio to the Stadsrat, her actions had the effect of just that. While the office of Bezirkverwalter having evolved from direct, veto-holding representative of the national government to simply an advisor and rubber-stamp executive for the locally elected councils, the abdication of the office meant that Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten was de facto independent of Bavaria. Neu-Tsingtao’s Stadsrat, having prepared for such an event, contacted the various Bezirkräte (Ger: “District Councils,” Bezirk ["District"] being the equivalent of a US "County") and their individual Bezirkverwalter to coordinate efforts on regional administration and solidify local control of the Südgarten. Also, both the Kolonialtag in Hauptstadt and the pro-independence leadership in Free Haven, Tirania, were notified of Kaufmann’s decision and informed both that the Südgarten would be administered in the name of independent Friehafen, though would defer to the Kolonialtag and the will of the Südgarten’s people on any decision related to the colony’s future.
Tunghu’s immediate reaction was to quietly support the provisional Südgarten Kreistag, made up of representatives from Neu-Tsingtao’s Stadtsrat and the Kreis' Bezirkräte. Such support came in the form of Tunghu banks offering favorable rates of interest, backing local bonds denominated in a stable currency (that being American dollars at the time, a result of the Central Asian War and French inflation), and passing on valuable intelligence from Manchurian sources on Earth as to their opinions and plans regarding Garten. The latter was accomplished through the newly-organized Nachrichtendienst, with its own agents on the ground in Bavaria and the rest of Germany. Other nations, most notably Wellon, quietly supported the Südgarten’s efforts at independence. Still, none had openly recognized the Südgarten‘s independence, nor had provided the levels of financial and intelligence assistance Tunghu had.
Average Garteners watched the Südgarten’s example with keen interest, with the Kolonialtag continually questioning Südgartener government officials quite closely. As the Südgarten’s provisional government remained officially loyal to the Kolonialtag, answers were cheerfully given and explained in great detail. In an effort to show transparency in their actions, the provisional regional government duly documented and posted their activities, decisions, and future plans for public viewing and debate. In clear, precise fashion these documents illustrated the activities of the Südgartener provisional government, whether they be minutes of the various Bezirkräte, any licenses issued, or any future plans the government may have.
The Südgarteners realized that, if their efforts were to gain any measure of acceptance and popularity, openness and transparency had to be of foremost importance. In fact, these efforts were positively reinforced by a public-relations campaign which compared the provisional government’s transparency with the seemingly secretive nature of Schumpeter’s own German provisional government back on Earth. The Kolonialtag took note of this, and began their own efforts at open documentation and display. This openness, precision, and attention to detail eventually permeated all aspects of Freihafen’s daily life, and to this day Freihafenians show a propensity toward detailed documentation, adherence to regulation, punctuality, and open display and discussion of the business of the day.
Südgarten Kreis’ provisional government also offered, and most importantly delivered, safe haven to the pro-independence exiles then based in Free Haven, Tirania. This was backed up by the Stadtspolizei and the hastily-organized Südgartener Freiemiliz (Ger: The South Garden Free Militia), the latter based around local military units which had thrown their support behind the provisional government. While similar events took place throughout Freihafen, it was in the Südgarten that the Bavarian government was most completely paralyzed, and thus the best place for returning exiles. In fact, Kolonialpolizei officers born in Freihafen and based in the Südgarten often changed sides in favor of the new nation. Former “BeVe” Kaufmann, while still in Tunghu, managed to offer technical assistance to Südgartener government officials, many of whom she maintained close personal ties with.
Throughout all this, traffic between Tunghu and Neu-Tsingtao continued apace, though stricter inspections and adherence to regulation on both sides became necessary. Both the Nachrichtendeinst and Tunghu’s own intelligence apparatus recognized the possibility of agents provacateurs using the interface to create further confusion in Garten. After all, Tunghu especially did not want to be seen as a base of pro-German covert operations, particularly in light of their years of cooperation with Garten‘s, and later Freihafen’s, independence movement.
This chaotic state of affairs lasted until the independence referendum of 28 February, 2293. While day to day life for Südgarteners continued during their de facto independence as it had previously, the day of the referendum was greeted with tense anticipation. The Stadtsrat, in keeping with the new ethos of openness, set up a large digital display where the vote tallies would be open to all watching the results in Baumgartnerplatz, while media outlets would be given up-to-the-minute tallies for broadcast from the steps of the Rathaus. However, in a seeming departure from its official openness, the Stadtsrat and the region’s provisional government refused to allow the media outlets to do any exit polling, as it could be used to influence the direction of later voters. Nonetheless, both pro-independence and the few pro-unification advocates were interviewed and allowed to debate during the election proceedings.
Also, in order to show official neutrality over the proceedings, the Kolonialtag and the remnants of the KWM allowed observers from the other Tiranean colonies, most notably from New Canberra, Tirania, and Wellon, into the regional centers were votes were collected and counted. Along with the Anglophone election observers, one official monitor each from the pro-independence parties and pro-unification groups were on hand in each polling place to ensure fair balloting. However, the latter groups were hard-pressed to find enough partisans to do so, particularly in the Südgarten. The Stadtsrat and the region’s provisional government eagerly allowed the representatives from the Kolonialtag and the KWM into their area of responsibility, notably to show their continued support for the colonial/national government despite their effective de facto sovereignty.
Turnout, as expected, was very high, given the original resolution’s not having allowed early or absentee voting, thus lines into the polling places reached up to two kilometers in many areas. Over “KaVe” Mohlmann’s objections, the Kolonialtag ordered the polls to remain open until midnight, which allowed any Freihafener who wished to participate to do so. When the polls closed, computer operators began the batch processes which counted and collated all the ballots throughout Freihafen. Five minutes later, after the official outcomes were verified, recounted, and certified by all the monitoring officials in the presence of the media the results were posted throughout the colony. In Freihafen as a whole independence was supported by 79% of the voters, while unification was favored by a mere 18%. The other three percent were deemed spoiled or invalid responses, as there was no option for “none of the above” on the ballot. Within the Südgarten support for independence polled 96%, with negligible support for unification.
As the results were posted on the large displays in Baumgartnerplatz, the massed citizens of the new nation erupted in an orgy of cheering and song, rejoicing as Freihafen’s flag took its place at the top of the Rathaus. While the Stadtspolizei understood the reaction of their fellow citizens, and indeed rejoiced themselves at the election results, there were numerous arrests for simple assault (perpetrated upon those few pro-unification partisans in attendance), lewd behavior, and destruction of government property, the latter involving groups of young people vandalizing the few remnant symbols of the KWM and the Bavarian government left in the city. There were also many, many citations for littering; it was still Freihafen, after all.
At 0100 the following morning in Hauptstadt, barely an hour after the polls closed, Kolonialverwalter Hans-Peter Mohlmann read the official results to the Kolonialtag, then announced his resignation from the KWM. After giving his surprisingly warm wishes for the new country and recounting of a few humorous anecdotes related to his friendships with many Kolonialtag members, Herr Mohlmann stepped off the speaker’s podium and strode through the center of the assembly, to the applause of the assembled members of the former Kolonialtag.
Following the reading of the referendum results and Herr Mohlmann‘s resignation, two motions were read to the assembly. The first was Freihafen’s Unabhängigkeitserklärung, or declaration of independence, a far-reaching document which focused on the hopes and ideals of the new nation rather than the grievances against the former colonial power. This passed by joyous voice vote without objection, as even the pro-union members of the assembly knew where sentiment lay. The next motion was the Grundlegendesgesetz auf Staatsbürgerschaft von Freihafen, or Basic Law on Citizenship of Freihafen. This law, still in effect, reflected Freihafen’s origins as a country of immigrants. As such, the wording of the law’s preamble celebrates the diversity of Freihafen’s people while simultaneously paying homage to the Bavarian founders of the original colony. Once both passed, the latter following some debate, a motion was made to adjourn. With that, the first session of Freihafen’s national parliament ended, just as the morning sun was rising over the new nation.
In the Südgarten the provisional regional government took the passage of the independence declaration as the end of their mandate. As such, the following morning all of its representatives resigned their posts and returned to the various local councils where they came from. Still celebrating their independence, the Südgarteners for the most part failed to notice.
Tunghu’s city government was the first to recognize the new nation, though as an enclave of a larger power had no real power to do so. Nevertheless, Tunghu’s representative in Hauptstadt ceremoniously presented his credentials to the new Externe Angelegenheit-Ministerin, or External Affairs Minister, Katrina Meyer-Ruzic. Not far behind him was Wellon’s representative, as His Majesty’s Wellonic Government not only recognized its new Tiranean sovereign neighbor, it passed a resolution offering friendship and assistance to Freihafen and its people. Concurrently, Wellonese military advisors visited their Freihavener counterparts to offer their knowledge and expertise to what would become the Freiwehr. This was followed by a cadre of Wellonese trainers from the Point Sterling Grenadiers, bolstered by seconded troopers of the British Army, to the Südgartener Freiemiliz based south of Neue Luckenbach.
It should be noted (at least by the author, a self-proclaimed “naturalized” Texan) that the first fully-sovereign Terran nation to recognize Freihafen was Texas (Estonia was actually the first, though as a part of Russia such recognition wasn't legally credible), while other, more powerful nations followed suit within hours. This was accomplished mainly due to the time differences between Austin and the other national capitols when news of the referendum results came in. Ottawa and Reston, on North America's Eastern Standard Time, had already closed for the day, while in Austin the Texas government was still operating, albeit waiting for the end of its day. As such, Texas’ president went to the national media within minutes of the news being released to officially recognize the new nation and offer Texas’s moral support, citing long ties between the Freihafenian and Texan peoples. This soured German-Texan relations for a time, but later these were smoothed over by Germany’s own recognition of Freihafen along with Texas' unique methods of diplomacy.
With Freihafen’s independence the tiranista movement gained an important moral boost to its cause. Tiranians especially took notice of events across the Rocard Straits, and many who could afford to do so flew south to take part in the celebrations, as well as take notes for the day their own colony would become independent as well. This included a young Tiranian high-school senior, Annette Li, who was already studying in Neu-Tsingtao as part of an educational exchange. While the American Consulate in Neu-Tsingtao had recommended Americans, and by extension Tiranians, to leave Freihafen few present during the crisis period did so. Cynics commented that Tiranians stayed because there were no jobs back in Tirania to go to, but for the most part those who stayed did so to be present during the birth of a new nation and offer it what support they could.
The remaining six weeks between the referendum and Germany’s final recognition of the new nation had little effect on Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten, though the Tirane Council’s Garten Decision gave more reason for celebration. In that the Tirane Council voted to deny an ersatz German ambassador to the body the seat vacated by Bavaria, giving Freihafen de facto recognition of sovereignty. As this was played out on Freihafenian media, the festivities in the Baumgartnerplatz were again raucous, though remembering the fines and short stays in the Stadtgefängnis, or “City Jail” from the independence celebration, participants behaved far better than previously. Thus there were a great deal fewer arrests and citations.
One issue that did affect the economic life of the Südgarten was Germany’s decision to withdraw support for both the old Gartener Kolonialmark and original Bavarian Mark. While Freihafen’s economy was strong enough to withstand such a change, panic ensued when the new Deutsche Zentralbank offered a short conversion period, to take place only on Earth. Freihafen’s response was the issuance of the new Freihafen Mark (FM) to replace the original colonial currency at one-to-one, or 1.04 Lv per FM, but the chaos of the times convinced many that the new currency would not hold its value ("das Freies-Fallen Mark," or "Free-Falling Mark" became the joke of the day). Tunghuan banks stepped in and offered conversion of the old colonial currency for livre, at a rate of one-to-one, a small discount against the actual value of the old currency. Some of this profit was used by the same banks to fund getting as much of the old currency to the exchange desk in Berlin before the cutoff date. In that way, Manchurian business interests were able to gain some profit at the new Germany’s expense, while allowing Tunghu to continue friendly commerce between itself and its northern neighbor. Germany’s later inflation has been blamed in large part on the actions of the Tunghu banking community as much as the effects of the Kafer War.
Today Neu-Tsingtao, while proud of its place in Freihafen’s history, quietly continues its business. Remaining the an interface between Tunghu and the Manchu empire and Tirane, Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten have found for themselves a unique niche in both Freihafen’s and Tirane’s economy, one that can only benefit both the region and the Manchu enclave.
Neu-Tsingtao is governed by the Stadtsrat, or city council, made up of twenty-one members elected on a proportional basis. Municipal responsibilities include local law enforcement, maintenance of infrastructure, collection of fees and local taxes, land use and zoning, and promotion of their city to potential tourists, businesses, and residents. Supporting the Stadtsrat is the city’s civil service, drawn from all communities of the Südgarten in order to better serve them. All of this takes place at the Rathaus in Baumgartnerplatz, though throughout the city are customer service offices where minor business can be conducted.
While the list of responsibilities seems large, it should be noted that much of the Stadtrat’s mandate is set by the national authorities in Hauptstadt. It is they that provide Neu-Tsingtao and the surrounding Bezirke of the Südgarten the necessary funding, and as such also the means and methods of providing essential services to their citizens. Thus the Stadtspolizei are trained to a common, national standard, while documentation used by city officials are filled out according to standards used in all Freihafenian cities.
As such, the national government appoints a Stadt-Hauptleiter, or “City Executive,” to represent its interests in local government. In order to make the national “rubber-stamp” more responsive to the people he or she serves, it’s been the policy of the Lokale Regierung Ministerium (“Local Government Ministry”), or LRM, to appoint their representatives from among local leadership. Thus, following years of service to Neu-Tsingtao’s Stadtsrat, including two terms as a member of it, the LRM appointed Anya Calimassa Stadt-Hauptleiterin of Neu-Tsingtao.
The Bezirke, covering a larger area yet smaller populations, nonetheless follow the same LRM-mandated governing standards Neu-Tsingtao does. Often run by a council of five to seven members, the various Bezirkräte are little different from the others. Towns of less than three thousand residents do not have separate town councils, being ruled directly from the local Bezirkrat, often to the ire of the local townspeople. Each has a Bezirk-Hauptleiter appointed by the LRM, often a local elder statesman in line with current policy.
In all cases, members to the various councils are elected at-large on a proportional basis. However, oddly enough municipal elections in Freihafen are considered non-partisan, thus those seeking seats on the local councils are elected as individuals without (official) national party support. Thus the Stadtsrat and the nearby Bezirkräte often must form ad-hoc coalitions in order to effectively govern. While this may seem accidental, it is in fact national policy. Since many politicians get their start in local government, current policy has the intended effect of determining who among the hopefuls can, without the support of political parties, create an effective government. True leaders are later tapped by the main parties for higher office, especially if they show particular skill in local government.
While during the period of the Südgarten’s de-facto independence a provisional government was set up, currently there is no level of elected government at the Kreis level. Freihafen’s national government, however, has set up a coordinating body made up of representatives from both Neu-Tsingtao’s Stadtsrat and the surrounding Bezirkräte. The purpose of this body is the coordination of infrastructure and services to the entire region, ensuring every resident of the Südgarten receives equal treatment and access to government services whether they live in Neu-Tsingtao or Neue Luckenbach. Since the members of the coordinating body have become adept at creating ad-hoc governments at the Stadt or Bezirk level, those selected to the regional body were recognized by the national government for their skills. As such, it is usually a sign of greater achievement to be selected to the regional body.
Most arrivals to Neu-Tsingtao come by way of maglev from Freihafen’s tropical cities further north, arriving at the Hauptluftbahnhof in the city center, or from Freihafen‘s orbital terminals to the Raumhafen. Additionally, the Stadtsflughafen receives up to forty flights a day as well, mostly from international destinations. Still other visitors visit Neu-Tsingtao by way of Tunghu, arriving at the Combined Terminal. No matter how they arrive, international visitors require normal travel documentation and proof of ability to support themselves.
Currently Freihafen requires visas from passport holders from Arabia, Argentina, Germany and its extrasolar colonies, the Inca Republic, and Mexico. The three member states of the Instituto Nacional del Astronomica Practical, Argentina, the Inca Republic, and Mexico, are proscribed due to INAP’s efforts against the former Bavarian colony in the early days of settlement. Similarly, due to the actions taken by the German government against Freihafen since Independence its citizens, and those of its extrasolar colonies, remain suspect in the eyes of the authorities. Arabians require visas due to comments made by the Wahhabist leadership in Medina, calling Freihafeners “adulterers and defilers of morality, living in a perverse, alien land” and issuing a fatwa against the current Kanzler (“Chancellor”). This followed the Freihafenian government’s refusal to subsidize funding for a series of Islamic schools in those cities with sizeable Muslim communities, in line with their policy of religious neutrality.
Aside from citizens of the above nations, anyone with a valid passport is allowed entry into Freihafen. In fact, those with a passing knowledge of German are often asked if they would like to take up permanent residence. Provided all the entry documentation is properly filled out and no contraband found, visitors are given hearty welcomes to the country by the Zolldeinst officers at the air- and spaceports, and most especially at the border gates with Tunghu. Proscribed items include the usual restrictions on weapons, illegal drugs, non-reconstructive cybernetic enhancements, and counterfeit currency of any nation. Those with any sort of cybernetic implants or replacement limbs must have prescriptions on file with the Zolldeinst and the Ministerium der Gezundheit (“Ministry of Health”), and undergo a physical examination taken by qualified physicians, before arriving in Freihafen to ensure they meet established norms.
Once past the Zolldeinst checkpoints, visitors can take advantage of mass transit options, notably bus and monorail lines, to the city center or anywhere else in the Südgarten Kreis they wish to go. As the monorail’s northern terminus is at Raumhafen Südgarten, use of the bus lines is required to visit the northern Bezirke, but to Neu-Tsingtao itself the monorail lines are the fastest and easiest way to both the city's business districts and the various Nachbarschaften.
Baumgartnerplatz and the city center are set on the eastern bank of the Parfümfluß, immediately facing the pedestrian frontier crossing into Tunghu. The northern edge of the square is dominated by the Hauptluftbahnhof and city monorail hub, though a series of shopping venues are also available. Along the eastern edge of Baumgartnerplatz are the Rathaus, Stern-Brauereie’s original brewery now used as the city’s museum and tourist information office, and the Konsulatgebäude, or “Consulate Building” hosting most of Neu-Tsingtao’s foreign consulates. The latter sits immediately next to the frontier crossing, thus the largest consulate within the Konsulatgebäude is that of Tunghu. Also within the Konsulatgebäude are the consulates of Canada, Canton, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Texas, Turkey, and Wellon. Also within the building resides the growing Tiranian Interests Office. Citizens of other nations requiring consular assistance are advised to contact their representatives either in nearby Tunghu or at Freihafen's capital of Hauptstadt, though the Tiranian and Wellonese offices offer assistance to American and British citizens respectively.
North of Baumgartnerplatz, above the underground maglev tunnels and below the monorail lines, sits Neu-Tsingtao’s main business center. The majority of the city’s business is done there, away from the crowds of tourists in the city plaza, though the place deserves mention as well. It was along Baumgartnerstraße leading into the main square that the recent remake of “Metropolis” took place, as the prevailing architecture best illustrates the vision of the original. As such, in addition to the banks, consultancies, investment firms, and other commercial ventures of the Nachbarschaft one will find the local bureaus of various foreign media outlets. Also, America maintains a consulate in one of the most striking bank buildings of the area, having moved there when it turned its Konsulatgebäude space over to the Tiranians.
East of the plaza are the older residential Nachbarschaften: Alamodorf, Kleine Prag, Greichischesdorf (“Greek Village”), Wenig Ankara (“Little Ankara,” a Turkish-settled neighborhood), and Warschaudorf. While they’ve all over time become mere shadows of the ethnic enclaves they once were, city planners and local residents maintain unique atmospheres illustrating the origins of the Nachbarschaften. However, time and the city’s growth have given many of these places new uses. Alamodorf especially has undergone many changes since the first Texan settlers arrived in the late 22nd Century, as it is now the nexus of the city’s gay and lesbian community, a development its Texan founders would have never expected.
To the east of the original Nachbarschaften along the perimeter fence are the newer suburbs favored by Tunghuans to take advantage of the lower cost of living. The idea that Neu-Tsingtao was nothing more than a low-budget version of its southern neighbor came from images of these neighborhoods posted on the various networks. Signage uses both German and Chinese, the predominant language is Mandarin (though German is a common second language), and most residents do most of their work and have most of their contacts in the Manchurian enclave across the fence. Given their similarities, Freiwehr-backed Zolldeinst patrols along the perimeter fence have uncovered numerous attempts at smuggling between Tunghu and the Manchu Nachbarschaften to the north. For the most part these are small-time affairs, as Tunghu’s government and business community wish not to upset normal commercial relations with Neu-Tsingtao and the rest of Freihafen.
Eight kilometers northeast of Baumgartnerplatz is Glüchlicheügel, or “Lucky Hill,” the center of the Kreis’ local media. Residents of the hillside Nachbarschaft are for the most part educated, of the city’s middle- and upper-middle classes, and tend to vote at the left end of the political spectrum. Mostly they work for the various media outlets broadcasting from the hill, or businesses that support them, and thus find commuting easy aside from walking or taking the escalators uphill. Glüchlicheügel also contains many of the city’s most popular restaurants and watering holes, and has an active singles scene. As most residents don’t require personal vehicles, particularly as the housing on the hill has no provision for parking in any event, personal fitness takes on new importance. Thus one of Neu-Tsingtao’s most popular physical fitness centers is found just below the largest of the broadcast towers. Since many couples in the neighborhood have found their significant other at that gym, the attached juice bar is often crowded with many of the Glüchlicheügel’s young single people hoping to do the same.
Across the Perfume River are newer Nachbarschaften, and reflect the mixed ethnicities of their residents. While there’s nothing particularly interesting for a visitor within them, it is in those neighborhoods across the Parfümfluß that average Neu-Tsingtaoan daily life takes place. While the older ethnic Nachbarschaften might claim to have the best ethnic restaurants, often it is the bars and restaurants across the river that attract the most locals.
45km north of the city center are the air- and spaceports, themselves separated by 20km of new industrial parks, warehouses, and smaller residential areas. A few new residential and commercial developments have filled in the gap between the city’s northern edge and the transportation hubs, but for the most part this area remains small farms, parkland, and outdoor entertainment facilities. In particular, the riverbanks of the Parfümfluß, from Baumgartnerplatz north have been set aside in perpetuity as city parkland, with popular biking and walking trails.
Within the newer developments between Raumhafen Südgarten and the Stadtsflughafen is the Raumwaffe’s Technische Schule, where the enlisted crews of Freihafen’s growing space fleet are trained. While Raumwaffe officers receive their education at the Stern Akademie in Hauptstadt, the various Raum-gefreitere and Unteroffiziere undergo basic military and specialist training at the new facility. With Freihafen’s official openness much of the facility is open to the public, thus not a few visitors can be found in organized tours of the campus in what has become a popular recruitment tool. These tours include limited simulator time, overseen by off-duty instructors and the recruiters bringing the visitors. However, in order to avoid disruption of training, visitors are not allowed into the classrooms or basic training barracks, while simulator demonstrations occur only when they‘re not in use by trainees.
Continuing north, beyond the range of the light- and heavy-rail lines linking the northern Nachbarschaften and the city center, are the rural Bezirke which supply Neu-Tsingtao and Tunghu with much of the food and raw materials consumed. Growing a wide range of Terran and Tiranean produce, these Bezirke have attracted the attention of numerous agribusiness interests eager to enter the market. However, due to the efforts of the Mitwirkendes des Südgarten-Landwirts (Ger: “South Garten Farmer’s Cooperative”), or MSL, the corporate interests have been held at bay. Whether the agricorps will be successful or not remains an open question. While the investors have a great deal more resources available to them, the MSL has been using the court of public opinion to their benefit, as the defenders of “traditional family farms.” However, the costs to both the farmers and the MSL to maintain their independence has caused the price of foodstuffs to rise beyond that of normal inflation. It is expected that public support for the MSL will drop off should the price of food continue to go up.
150km north of Neu-Tsingtao, at the northern edge of the Südgarten where the Parfümfluß comes out of the Parfümschluct, lies the small agricultural and resort community of Neue Luckenbach. Settled by Texans in the early years of development, the town recreates as best as possible the atmosphere of a small, Texas Hill Country town. While the majority of residents aren’t of Texan ancestry, they’re keen to maintain the original ambience and look of Neue Luckenbach, as it has attracted both visitors and new residents. Another economic boost to the surrounding Bezirk is the small yet growing Freiwehr post, where local militia units and regular forces assigned to the Südgarten’s defense have their garrison and training facilities. A fair number of Freiwehr and foreign-cadre troops maintain their homes in Neue Luckenbach, to the delight of the local residents. Thus it’s not unusual to see off-duty French or Wellonese officers and NCO’s enjoying the simple pleasures of the town with their families.
Like the rest of Freihafen’s people, the residents of the Südgarten reflect a wide range of origins. Additionally, years of integration, tolerance, and cooperation have brought many individuals within these groups together. As such, there are few Südgarteners that claim to be of a single ethnic origin, though they often declare themselves ethnically from the place their surname originated. Thus it shouldn’t surprise visitors when they meet a self-declared Pole with Asian features, nor a blonde woman claiming Turkish ancestry. Still others, those who pay attention to such matters, can list the various countries their entire range of ancestors emigrated from. However, especially in the younger generation, most Südgarteners claim simply “Ich bin ein Freihafener,” while qualifying that statement by stating where their ancestors came from only when pressed. (Oddly enough, the most strident of those claiming “Freihafener” ethnicity are those descended from Texan settlers.) With that in mind, this section will focus only on those peoples whose emigrants had the greatest impact on the Südgarten’s ethnic and cultural makeup.
The original settlers of Südseedorf were predominantly of Eastern European origin, and most of them Polish. Today, those claiming Polish descent, or at the least those with Polish surnames, make up nearly thirty percent of the Südgarten’s residents. This includes a small number of “Canto-Poles,” those descended from Cantonese immigrants to Poland’s “Kresy” region in the late 21st Century. The Poles brought to the Kreis a strong Catholic faith, a history of invasion and rebuilding, and a hard-working, pragmatic conservatism that continues to influence local thought.
Czech settlers joined the original Zapamoga program, and thus those with Czech surnames make up nearly ten percent of Südgarteners. Similarly Catholic as their Polish neighbors, the Czechs nonetheless brought a lighter, more tolerant lightheartedness to the culture of the area. It should be noted that Stern-Brauereie was actually started by a Czech family, and today continues to use Czech rather than Bavarian brewing methods for the majority of their products.
Those of Croat, Magyar ("Hungarian"), Romanian, Russian, Serb, and Slovak origin combined make up another fifteen percent of the region’s residents. As none were large or wealthy (in the case of Texan settlers) to have formed their own distinct Nachbarschaften, often these peoples intermixed and eventually interbred. As such, these peoples were the first to forgo their native languages for German, and subsequently integrated into the Gartener mainstream. However, the Nachbarschaften they settled are still either predominantly Catholic in the case of the Croat-Magyar-Slovak settlement, or Eastern Orthodox, where the Romanians, Russians, and Serbs settled. The main Orthodox cathedral on Teslastraße (“Tesla Street”) serves the needs of the entire Orthodox community in Neu-Tsingtao. As such, the languages of the liturgy is either demotic Greek or German, with most preferring services in the latter.
Reflecting their “new world” origins, Texan-Freihafeners are themselves representative of an ethnically diverse nation. While most of the Texans who emigrated to the German colony were of German or Central and Eastern European origin themselves, a fair number of peoples not of the above ethnicities also joined the Adelsverein in settling the Kreis during the early days of settlement. Making up nearly five percent of the population, Texan-Freihafeners include Hispanics and those of Vietnamese descent, each of whom brought their own contributions to the Südgarten. It’s easy and quite popular to purchase a meal from a taqueria and wash it down with a Vietnamese iced coffee.
In fact, for those Südgarteners of any origin not in a hurry, often a Vietnamese coffee can be found nearby. With the traditional single-cup slow drip “tin can” atop their mug and a centimeter of condensed milk resting on the bottom, drinkers often discuss the events in their lives as the infusion slowly fills the container nearly two-thirds full. When finished, patrons finish the process by blending the condensed milk and strong coffee together and adding ice to the mix. Freihafener spacers, unable to make their own Vietnamese coffee while either in zero-gee or in spin habitats (the latter due to coriolis effect), look forward to “real” iced coffee as much as the company of friends, family, and/or lovers upon arrival home. In preparation for what they’ll face aboard ship, basic trainees at the Raumwaffe school near the Raumhafen are denied access to Vietnamese coffee, a situation many have called cruel.
Thirty percent of the Südgarten’s residents are of Bavarian or mixed-German descent, and are most likely found working in government service or middle management of the larger corporations of Neu-Tsingtao. Like Americans of British descent in their own country, their cultural influence comes mainly in upholding modified traditions of the original colonial power, especially the quality of the German language of Freihafen. While a majority have roots in Freihafen going back to the original settlement of Tirane, a fair number are “unreconstructed” Bavarians who had no desire to become part of a unified Germany. Many of the latter have found new employment in Freihafen’s growing military establishment as a hardened cadre of mid-grade officers and senior NCOs, eager to not only defend their new nation’s independence but train the younger generation to do the same.
Greek-Freihafeners make up another three percent of residents, and their Turkish counterparts another two. Fortunately for Neu-Tsingtao and the rest of the Südgarten, neither party brought their rivalry to Tirane. In fact, both cooperate on many levels, though the insistence of most Muslim Turks to marry into their faith have kept their community from growing further. Greek-Freihafeners, however, are showing signs of greater integration and assimilation into the Freihafener norm, and thus to a degree find their distinct community shrinking itself. Both communities still manage to survive, with Turkish-Freihafeners now seeking Muslim mates from outside Freihafen, notably Nouvelle Provence and the Indonesian NovoCano community of New Canberra’s Duffer’s Strip, and Greek-Freihafeners looking to Brazil’s Tiranean estado of Nova Ostia to connect to their cultural roots. Still, both communities remain committed to their new nation, and instill in their “foreign” mates or teachers the same patriotism and optimism for the future. One notable “contribution” of the Greek community in particular, is the current Stadt-Hauptleiterin (“City Executive,” as “Bürgermeister/in” was believed to be patronizing) Anya Calimassia.
A small yet growing community of Manchu-Freihafeners has been slowly growing, notably along the southern edge of Neu-Tsingtao. Mainly expatriates from Tunghu, for the most part their attentions are focused south. In fact, most of these are people who work and attend school in Tunghu, having little interaction with the surrounding Freihafenian city. Keeping to themselves, they cooperate with local authorities insofar as it helps maintain order in their Nachbarschaften.
Still, the Manchu community of Neu-Tsingtao are of late becoming a force to be reckoned with in local politics. The younger generation, at least raised in Neu-Tsingtao (Manchu expatriates preferring their children be born on Manchu soil) and mostly bilingual have of late turned their attentions northward. This has come as a result of their “foreign” upbringing raising barriers to success in Tunghu proper. The new generation of Manchu-Freihafeners, many having adopted Freihafenian citizenship, see themselves mostly as a living interface between the two cities of the Südgarten. As such, over time they should see their influence become more noticeable among their neighbors.
The culture of Neu-Tsingtao and the Südgarten reflects the diversity of its residents, along with the pride in their unique origins, place in Freihafen and Tirane, and common outlook. Dress is often modified styles of the 19th and 20th Centuries, adapted to the local climate; long jackets and wide-brimmed hats to keep off the rain, high boots to keep legs and trousers dry, and considerable attention to flair and detail in that which is covered by outerwear. Indoors men and women both occasionally wear frills on their shirtfronts (most likely ascots or neckties), women wear skirts which seldom go below the knee, and men’s trousers are cut more tightly than elsewhere on Tirane. This style of dress matches the faux-”Metropolis” look of Baumgartnerplatz and the city core, yet wouldn’t be out of place in India during the time of the British Raj, or the West in general during the 1930’s (especially for men). Women’s clothing is reminiscent of the 1980’s and 1990’s, with short skirts, tight denim trousers, or tailored slacks with colorful blouses. Often the latter bare midriffs, this style being popular with the young.
As attention to style is important, often the citizens of Neu-Tsingtao pay particular attention to physical fitness. There are those who are visibly overweight or otherwise not in line with the norm, but often Neu-Tsingtaoans are found engaging in physical exercise of some sort at some point in their day. Long lunches often include “pick-up” volleyball games on rooftops (topped with inconspicuous yet high fences), sessions in the office exercise rooms, or jogging along established tracks alongside the avenues. Cosmetic surgery has, as a result of the cultural bias towards physical beauty, become a major industry in Neu-Tsingtao. It should be noted, though, that often Neu-Tsingtaoans find what is inside the person more attractive than outside. As such, obvious artificial alteration and enhancement can be a detriment to acceptance, due to the underlying personal insecurity behind such an act.
Neither fashion nor fitness are as large an issue outside of town as in. Everyday wear in the rural Bezirke beyond Neu-Tsingtao reflect the pragmatic needs of the rural residents, while physical fitness is ensured by hard work. Still, even rural Südgarteners pay attention to their appearance, especially when going into town. The younger generation for the most part follows trends in the city, often to the derision of their parents.
Musically the situation is much more diverse. While traditional electronica remains popular, modified styles of reggae, rock, and jazz have found their niche markets among Südgarteners. However, access to networks throughout Tirane via the toile tout-Tirane, or “TTT” allow interested people a chance to hear music from all over Human Space. In fact, despite their use of English in broadcasting, Radio Free Tyraine (ttt.radiofreetyraine.net.st) has a small yet fervent niche of supporters in Neu-Tsingtao and throughout the Südgarten. Neu-Tsingtao’s own eclectic music scene has its own information access portal, at ttt.musiknt.co.fh.
In fact, access portals for the “Zwei-Te” (known in New Canberra as “triple-tee,” in Tirania as "tee-cube," while Wellonese refer to the toile tout-Tirane as “the Relay”) are a growing industry throughout the Südgarten. Graphic artists, network technicians, and research assistants support portals ranging from information on arts and information to business promotion; just about anything one can seek out. While occasionally some portals go beyond the pale, particularly one using a hidden camera in the women’s locker room at a local fitness center (since shut down), there is little that is proscribed from view. It should be noted, however, that Nachrictendeinst network monitors are constantly on patrol in Tirane’s cyberspace. While merely accessing a questionable site from won’t get one arrested, in Freihafen or elsewhere, Freihafenian authorities are on the alert should someone choose to act on bad advice from an information portal.
The influence of nearby Tunghu shouldn’t be misunderstood. Northern Chinese cuisine remains popular throughout the Südgarten, Mandarin has become an important second language in local business, and Neu-Tsingtao’s fortunes have become closely tied with their southern neighbor. Signage within the city core, the southern suburbs, and most heavily-trafficked areas of the Südgarten are dually in German and Mandarin. Additionally, Südgarteners often seek entertainment and occasionally employment in the Manchurian enclave. It is said that when Tunghu sneezes, the Südgarten catches pneumonia. However, while to a degree the success of Neu-Tsingtao is dependent on their ties to Tunghu, growing ties to the rest of Freihafen, neighboring Nouvelle Provence, and Freihafen’s new friends in New Canberra, Tirania, and Wellon ensure that the Südgarten will remain prosperous and confident in its future.
Stadt-Hauptleiterin Anya Calimassa: Despite her claim of roots in Greichischesdorf, Calimassa in fact spent much of her life in the terraced homes of Glüchlicheügel, the daughter of media celebrity parents. Her rebellious nature, however, led her during her university years to the early independence movement of the late 2280’s. When the KWM and the old Kolonialpolizei sought out anti-Bavarian elements in 2288, the then twenty-one year old Calimassa was among those assisted by French sympathizers to Free Haven, Tirania, and allowed to finish her education at Free Haven University. A student of Jason Legaspi, Calimassa learned of the examples of America and the Philippines in their struggles for independence, and believed Garten (later Freihafen) should follow suit, though perhaps less violently. As such, when sentiment towards independence grew in the hearts of Freihafeners, she returned to Neu-Tsingtao to provide what help she could. Given the youth portfolio in the Stadtsrat, the charismatic Calimassa used her parent’s contacts in the local media, as well as the favors of friends in the local music scene, to encourage young Südgarteners to support Freihafen’s independence. When independence came, Calimassa earned for herself a seat on the Stadtsrat. Once there, she quickly charmed her way to a majority, and led Neu-Tsingtao for two four-year terms. As a result of her abilities, the LRM selected her to be Stadt-Hauptleiterin of Neu-Tsingtao, and expects her to rise higher in Freihafenian politics.
Meeting Anya Calimassa: As a representative not only of the national government but the people of Neu-Tsingtao as well, Calimassa can often be found among the people in the various Nachbarschaften. In accordance with local and national policy, her schedule is posted on the city’s information portal (ttt.neutsingtao.ci.fh). Calimassa, an attractive, blonde, and single woman in her mid-thirties, spends her free time either exercising at the fitness center near her Glüchlicheügel home or in the various nightclubs of either the Glüchlicheügel or Alamodorf. Always, however, she is watched by Stadtpolizei officers entrusted to protect her. Often, however, the most attention she attracts is from other singles hoping to get closer to her personally.
Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander) Vo Tao Nguyen, Raumwaffe: In a strange twist, the Raumwaffe currently has more personnel than vessels to man. As such, officers and Bootsmane (or Petty Officers) often find themselves performing tasks otherwise left to members of the Freiwehr, Freimarine, or Luftwehr. As Commander Nguyen’s space rotation ended, he was sent to Neu-Tsingtao to act as Freihafen’s military representative to Tunghu. However, given the closeness of Neu-Tsingtao to the Manchu enclave, the attache chose to live in his home town rather than the small apartment in Freihafen’s consular building further south. Despite his lack of knowledge regarding “dirtside” military operations, Nguyen has still managed to become an effective representative of Freihafen’s military establishment, allowing his country’s relationship with its southern neighbor to remain friendly.
Meeting Commander Nguyen: While he operates from an office in Friehafen’s Tunghu consulate, he maintains a home with his wife and children in the southern Nachbarschaften along the fence. A quiet man of Vietnamese-Texan origin, he’s unrecognizable in either Neu-Tsingtao or Tunghu unless in uniform.
Nguyen’s assistant, Oberbootsman (Petty Officer First Class) Karl Lijewski, is somewhat more outgoing, often setting up meetings between the commander and those interested in speaking to him. Lijewski, recently reassigned due to an indiscretion with a junior Raumgefrieterin at the Technisches Schule, works hard to regain the trust of the Raumwaffe. He also works hard to provide a stable home for his new fiancée, the same young lady that sidelined his career, herself recently promoted to Obermaat (Petty Officer Third Class) and deployed to Heidelshiemat. (The relationship didn’t seem to hurt her any…)
Willem Nagy, owner of Baumgarnter Biergarten, Neu-Tsingtao: On the wall of his tavern, in large, neon letters, is the phrase “Wenn Sie trinken, um zu vergessen, Bezahlung im voraus gefallen” (“If you’re drinking to forget, please pay in advance”). This reflects his pragmatism, sense of humor, and greater interest in money. Not that Nagy’s a greedy man, mind you, but he gets what’s due him, and even quicker to pay debts. In the twenty years he’s owned the largest Biergarten in Baumgartnerplatz Nagy has witnessed first hand the historic events taking place there, and has chronicled his experiences in a new book. However, as many others have seen and participated in the same events, sales of the book haven’t been to his expectations, and he’s often pressing customers to buy a copy once they start drinking.
What can be found in Tunghu's small wilderness areas also inhabit the undeveloped areas of the Südgarten. Only more so. While development have pushed many creatures away from Neu-Tsingtao, it shouldn't surprise visitors to find the following in the rural Bezirke, often at an inopportune moment.
Slow moving spiny herbivore with the size and approximate disposition of a warthog, and the natural defense of a porcupine. If bothered, the Porcupig may waddle away, or stand and fight; its notoriously difficult to predict their reactions. If it fights, it will wait until its attacker draws near, then
Intermittent. No. Appearing: Usually 1, sometimes 1-6. Initiative: 5 Melee Hit Chance: Easy or Routine, Size: 40 Kg Speed 50 Armor 0.1 Consciousness: 3 Life: 7 WPM -1 DPV .1 Signature -1
Special: The Porcupig can make one attack per action with a Routine chance, and one attack with an Easy chance against any opponent trying to make physical contact with it.
A tall, long legged, long necked, fast running lizard like creature with a bipedal gait, known for its elaborate crests and neck frills. The strutter has a passing resemblance to a naked emu wearing a strange hat. It is primarily an insectivore and will run if threatened, but will kick if it has to.
Gatherer. No. Appearing: 3D6 Initiative: 3 Melee Hit Chance: Routine, Size: 60 Kg Speed 100 Armor 0, Consciousness: 2 Life: 6 WPM -2 DPV .1 Signature -1
Much like the Terran Meerkat, a group of strutters will post several sentries. If the sentries detect a predator or predator like creature within 25 meters, (Easy, modified by signature of creature) they will make clicking sounds, alarming the whole group, which will have an initiative bonus of 4 that round only. The Strutters will use this round to escape.
A graceful long legged herbivore of the Dranta species, Tarnders have elaborate bony crests that are used in mating rituals. In defense, they are much better protected by kicks from their strong legs. Most of the time, they will flee an encounter, and very swiftly.
Grazer. No. Appearing: 1D6x1D6 Initiative: 2 Melee Hit Chance: Difficult, Size: 200 Kg Speed 90 Armor .1, Consciousness: 6 Life: 14 WPM 0 DPV .5 Signature 0
During the mating season, Tarnders of both sexes are unusually aggressive. They have an effective ROF of 2, with a bonus of 1 to hit, during this time.
The weasent is a long, sinewy, furry predator that seemingly combines the characteristics of a ferret and a boa constrictor. Weasents consume small prey and will never attack an adult human or even a child, although they have injured toddlers and infants.
Killer. No. Appearing: 1 Initiative: 10 Melee Hit Chance: Easy, Size: 10 Kg Speed 90 Armor 0, Consciousness: 1 Life: 3 WPM -4 DPV .1 Signature None
The weasent attacks by looping its long body around its prey. This attack is in addition to its biting attack, and if it succeeds, allows the creature to bite twice per round each round thereafter. This looping attack can also damage small creatures, but never anything larger than 10 kg.
The presence of the Nachrictendeinst throughout Freihafen, and the Südgarten in particular, shouldn never be underestimated. Tasked with watching for threats "internal and external," Nachrichtendeinst agents are often in the most obscure of places, either trying to gather information through seemingly innocent conversation or just discreetly watching events around them. Coffee-shop owners, the woman reading a fax-report on the monorail, the young lady doing a survey for a local media outlet all could be observing life for the Nachrictendeinst. For the Südgarten, specific ideas include.....
Oberbootsman Lijewski, assigned to assist Korvettenkaptain Nguyen, met his current love while both were students at the Nachrictendeinst academy placed within the Technisches Schule. The fact that the young lady was fifteen years and (then) three grades his junior gave their handlers a perfect reason for reassignment. As Lijewski was a native of Neu-Tsingtao and fairly proficient in Mandarin, he was assigned to the attache's office in Tunghu. To his credit, and that of the Nachrictendeinst, Nguyen has no idea of his assistant's "additional duties." Nor do those Manchurian diplomats, government officials, and military personnel Lijewski's kept up dossiers on. Like Nguyen, he lives in a fairly spacious Neu-Tsingtao apartment where he's able to upload his findings to the Nachrictendeinst's Kreis office at the Technisches Schule.
Freihafenian law has yet to determine the acceptability of Nachrichtendeinst evidence in open court, should it have been presented in the first place. On the latter issue law enforcement and the intelligence service disagree, as the Nachrichtendeinst policy of non-interference in the private affairs of citizens, monitored or otherwise, conflicts with the police's need to uphold the law. Defense lawyers, on the other hand, has so far been able to keep the police from using any Nachrichtendeinst-obtained audio or video information as evidence, citing lack of national security interest in, say, a simple breaking-and-entering.