Eisgarten, West Engell Republic Female Voice Recording: “Ever so sorry, but the Republic Wireless line you are ringing has been disconnected due to lack of funding. Remember, Freedom is a Responsibility. Bye-bye now!” Bruce Steinvasser sighed and holstered the landline phone he was calling from. So many Ostmarkians in Eisgarten, WER had lost their shirts following Ostmark’s seizure of “foreign assets” that most had slumped into malaise, bankruptcy, or moved on to other fields and industries with what money they had remaining. A television at the edge of the office was sliding through propaganda posters from Ostmark proper on Eisgarten Public Access, one of many German speaking channels on the West Engell island. Since the days and battles of the Sylvanian Revolution, Ostmarkians had been attached with Engellachians but never truly integrated or assimilated. Settling on Horst Grasser’s smiling visage, Bruce crunched a dying cigarette into ashtray and hit a remote to pause the screen. “Smug schmuck!” Steinvasser whispered to the frozen face, alone in his office before shaking himself out of the sort of despair everyone with money in Ostmark was suffering from on a daily basis. Just then the phone rang, it was another first generation Engellachian from the old country Ostmark named Kisselback. He like so many others that Steinvasser could actually get ahold of was enthusiastic to sign his petition towards the old country to release their funds frozen or seized. “I’ll do what I can, Kisselback, don’t think I’m a Horst whisperer!” Bruce joked, but neither laughed. With this man’s signature to the petition he now had nearly one thousand business men and women, as well as private citizens who had for one reason or another kept assets in Ostmark; a good economist never judges on these sorts of things. Several thousand more had signed a separate petition simply requesting the ability to visit relatives in the old country or visit as a tourist in the land of their ancestors. Would it be enough? Certainly not Bruce knew, but he had been commissioned by the West Engell Prime Minister to pursue these sorts of unorthodox deals after a half year of unprecedented economic events. Steinvasser wracked his brain for a bit before resuming the public access program which soon transitioned to a local hockey game. “That’s it!?” Bruce shouted, again alone in the office before pressing a pager for his secretary. “Yes Mister Steinvasser?” she answered. “Mrs. Beck, get me a meeting with the Sports Minister - I want to take his hockey team to Wien!” Bruce declared confidently, but Mrs. Beck was not convinced: “Sir, do you even think they have a functioning ice rink in Wien?” she questioned through a thick Ostmarkian accent, “When my sister could still get letters out she said they can hardly keep the lights on!”. “Hmm, maybe so ma’am, it’s worth a try though . . What else do we got?” Bruce asked. “Nothing sir, same as them . .” Mrs. Beck grimly replied.