In Saint Regina Anastasia, the Transport Minister, Andrew Ostregado and chief designer of the project, and Prince Tommy awaited the arrival of the Red Croatian Queen and Henry von Cavill, Internal Affairs Commissioner. They would ride the train to the Tunnel Opening in Icholasen, where they would meet Marc de Gaul and HRH King Jacques Beauchamp, the Miraco Delegation. But firstly Anastasia would have to wait for the Red Croatian Queen and the Internal Affairs Commissioner. Anastasia loved this new tunnel and its connection to its neighbours it would bring, additionally the economic benefits would be great for her nation. Tommy would enjoy the free wine and the jaunt of the occasion.
Saint Regina, Icholasen
17th of June, 11:07 a.m.
Following their recievement of the Nicoletzian queen's invitation to the Eurotunnel's Grand Opening, Aleksandra and Henry have arranged a flight to Saint Regina and made it to the Nicoletzian capital around 11:00 AM, meeting up with Anastasia and congratulating her on acomplishing this project afterwards. Aleksandra in particular seemed to be proud that the tunnel was built, considering Anastasia a close friend and Icholasen a close ally. Henry on the other hand seemed to be quite nervous due to the intense situation he found himself in following his arrival to the Office of Internal Affairs. It was hard dealing with the bitterness of the Os Corelian population after his victory over Kairos Jelesniak, and the fact that the latest ideas he attempted contributing to the European Council alongside his close friend, Heather von Henderson, have failed, he knew that he was going to be subjected to a lot of criticism.
The moment Aleksandra saw Anastasia, she ran up to her and gave her a hug, something that was well recieved and followed by an avalanche of chatter about baby weight, the most recent Vogue issue and the responsibilities the two shared. The two women seemed to be having an amazing time next to one another, as it was great for both of them to have another person in the world that understands the stress of ruling a state, and the fact that Aleksandra has aided Anastasia with her birth several weeks back only made the two women closer. However, despite all that, the main topic was in fact the Eurotunnel, where Aleksandra didn't hesitate to bring up the idea of it expanding into a great trade route with Europolis, the United Kingdom, Davishire... well, perhaps not Davishire. In the meantime, Henry seemed to be stuck having to chat with Tommy, something that led to nothing other than Henry feeling uncomfortable.
17th of June, 12:00 PM
Today is a big day for Miraco, we are extending our high speed railway system to Icholasen. King Jacques Beauchamp and the Minister of Transportation Marc de Gaul convene to prepare for the arrival of the Nicoletzian and Rechroatian delegation. "With all the debate that occurred earlier in the EU over the railway, this is an opportunity to prove what we can accomplish when we work with our neighbours. May we set an example for the rest of the EU so that we may come together as a region and ease mobility. How's that?" King Beauchamp nods in approval, "C'est bon. It looks like you are prepared to give your speech at the opening". "Yes, your highness, I've been working on it all day. Everything should be perfect before the delegates arrive, this is an important day for us in Miraco. The Champagne is ready, we are still going to perform the ceremonial launch of the new TGV line".
"Bien s?r Marc. Everything should be ready for the launch, now we must simply wait".
Anastasia embraced the hug from Aleksandra. They'd been friends for a long time, since her coronation more than a year ago. She had missed Aleksandra She couldn't wait to get the train to the Tunnel opening and cut the Ribbon. Anastasia loved her so much. She saw her birth for crying out loud. The birth was only 18 days ago, and the babies were thriving and healthy. Which she made sure to let Aleksandra know. Furthermore the two loved the new Vogue issue. Anastasia thought it was a marvel of the presses and ordered a subscription for 8 lifetimes. Anastasia wanted there to be a lasting peace in the north. And this she thought would further that ideal of European Unity and Harmony. This project has connected to nations that formerly hated each other. Granted that was 300 years ago, but as the tensions between the Francophones and the Anglophones in Miraco and (although to a lesser extent) in Icholasen.
"I can't wait for this train to depart. I heard it's luxurious. Like the lifestyles we lead, hey?"
Andrew Ostregado remarked at his work and sighed a sigh a relieved person would sigh. It had taken him years to get this to work, all the plans and the like. He had been working on his plans for decades before the government wanted to make links to Europe. He also helped to design the new Bridge project to Havvenskar. He would be making the key note speech at the Icholasen tunnel opening.
Tommy shouted across the room. "Are you pregnant again, Anya? That baby weight is sticking to you like a honey soaked pancake!" Tommy laughed.
Aleksandra chuckled as she saw the train, feeling the scent of luxury from a mile away. "We don't make trains like this in Red Croatia." she said with a smile as she made her way inside. Henry too semed to be quite pleased to have made it here, having done extensive research on this brand of vehicle due to the latest reform he had Heather von Henderson bring to the council floor. "It's good that we're not going to go cheap on important details. This is the first train that will travel from Saint Regina to Miraco, after all, and it's more than ready to be a part of history." Upon entering the train, Henry immediately ordered a servant to bring him a glass of scotch prior to talking to Mr. Andrew about his work on the project. Henry seemed to be quite interested in what the man had to go through to acomplish this, glad that he had the opportunity to meet him.
"Am I the only one a bit nervous here? I usually travel by plane so I haven't been on many trains throughout my life." said Aleksandra.
Mertz was particularly festive that day, it was adorned with both the Miraco and Icholasen flags in anticipation for the opening of the Euro Tunnel. "The Tunnel's opening will surely bring lots of tourists in so they can experience Miracan culture. Ever since tensions started in the North business hasn't been what it used to be so hopefully this will bring us back to the way were" said Jacqueline Grenaud, a hotel concierge at the Grand Mertz Hotel. "They will be projecting a light show on the tour Eiffel tonight, you should really go see it. I hear it's going to be extraordinary", the guest thanked her and went off to his room. "Tensions have been high recently with fears about our French heritage being diminished by English influence, hopefully this tunnel will show people that we can co-exist together", she sighs and continues her work.
The First Class Train Cabin was beautifully lined with beautiful oak and with leather seats. The Cabin was luxurious. There were rows of chairs with tables in the middle, the electrical sockets, excited Anastasia, as that's what she normally lacked when she traveled. Tommy, Henry, Aleksandra and her sat together on a tabled seat. Mr Andrew was sitting with some other people whom had helped plan the project. The group shivered with anticipation as they awaited the train's departure. When they were off they waved goodbye to the onlookers at the station. Then they were off. Leaving through the City of Saint Regina. The skyscrapers reflected into Saint Regina Harbour as they crossed the Nicolaevich Bridge out of the City. They traipsed southwards through the countryside. Stopping at the odd town. Anastasia asked Aleksandra: "Do you think the ribbon cutting at the tunnel hole will be okay? I hope we don't crash into the train coming the opposite way!"
The people of Mertz line up to see the grand opening of the new Euro tunnel line, the train arrives to the station. "Bonjour mesdames et messieurs. Aujourd'hui, nous allons ouvrir la nouvelle ligne du TGV" announces the Minister of Transportation Marc de Gaul. "We are honoured to be joined by his royal highness King Beauchamp who will be performing the ceremonial launch of the new train to Icholasen" he added. "Today we will bring together two nations with a long standing history of war, peace and now co-operation, and launch direct service between our two nations through the newly erected Euro tunnel. I now ask his royal highness to proceed with the ceremonial opening". The King grabs a bottle of champagne and smashes it against the train, the crowd erupts into applause and cheer. "Vive Miraco!", the minister laughs and proclaims "Vive Miraco, bien s?r". The train then sounds the horn indicating departure; the king, minister and their team make their way onto the train and then it begins to move towards Icholasen.
The train went through the tunnel, Anastasia was nervous about it as they were the first actual line to go through it, but it was fine, luckily. The two trains slowly drove up to the platform nose to nose. The station was in a valley in the Miracan Alps, bordering the United Kingdom. It was very scenic with a rising mountain just next to them, and an Alpine village just nearby. At the station was a large group of onlookers come to see the leaders. Red carpet lined the floor on which the Royals and Leaders would walk upon. The station had a roof of cables, all going different places and powering different things. The tunnel was to the left of them, and a Miracan flag waved over the tunnel. Tommy, Queen Aleksandra, Henry, Mr Andrew and Queen Anastasia alighted the train. Just after that the Miracan party did also. Queen Anastasia, Henry von Cavill and King Beauchamp walked up to the ceremonial ribbon. They were handed large scissors to cut the ribbon with. Then, the crowd counted down from 5. 5...4...3...2...1... And the ribbon was cut. The National Anthem of Miraco played as people stood up. It was time for the attendees to make their speeches. Henry von Cavill was invited to the podium with the two flags of Icholasen and Miraco flying behind him. It appeared Henry von Cavill hadn't anticipated this, but the round of applause for him in the crowd... of 15 year old girls... was so large he just had to say something.
This was both Henry's and Aleksandra's first visit to Miraco since the state joined the European Union, with Aleksandra having visited it as a child, and both of them were excited. It was an unique experience to be among the first people to travel through the Eurotunnel, and it had both of them looking through the train's windows, with how well the tunnel was built being fascinating to both of them. However, even that became old soon enough, which is why they resorted to drinking Miracan wine and, upon passing the border of Icholasen, Miracan cheese. Aleksandra then giggled at Anastasia'a last comment about ribbon cutting and train crashing. "That's what makes me nervous too. I'm too young and beautiful to die." Henry on the other hand seemed to constantly be thinking about the impact the Eurotunnel will have on the Anglo-Saxon influence in Miraco, and will it be positive or negative.
However, his thought process was soon disturbed as they made it and the crowds started cheering upon seeing him, something that made one of Miraco's officials bring him on stage and hand him a microphone. Having not expected to be brought on stage, Henry looked around at the citizens that were waiting for him to say something, becoming more and more anxious with each passing second. However, after awkward silence that followed him for a few moments, he cleared his throat and begun to speak.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be able to speak to all of you on this day, where Miraco and Icholasen through conjoined effort established a connection between the two states that shall be remember in history as the first project that the two states excuted together, and one of the greatest projects in entire Europe." The crowds then begun to cheer again, with there being numerous flags of Miraco and Icholasen up in the air. Henry in the meantime seemed to be thinking about what he should say next, waiting for the crowd to calm down before continuing.
"Now, without further ado, let us welcome to the stage Queen Anastasia!"
Henry then walked off stage, clapping alongside the attending citizens.
Queen Anastasia walked up to the podium and got out her prepared script.
"The mixture of Miracan elan and Nicoleizian pragmatism, when united in a common cause, has proved to be a highly successful combination. The tunnel embodies that simple truth. The Miracan and Nicoleizian peoples, for all their individual diversity and ages-long rivalry, complement each other well ? better perhaps than we realise. It is the royal track and from now on we have a land frontier. This is the first time that the heads of state of Miraco and Icholasen have been able to meet each other without either of them having to travel by sea or by air. Despite the way in which Icholasen-Miraco relations have fluctuated violently through the ages, the tunnel will represent an enduring bond. Every generation has to do something exciting that will affect the future. It had been a Miracan who first flew across the Channel and a Nicoleizian who first swam it. What could be more appropriate, therefore, than a Miracan and a Nicoleizian shaking hands under the middle of the Channel. This tunnel is the first land link between Icholasen and Europe since the last Ice Age."
"I now invite His Royal Highness King Beauchamp!"
Anastasia then stood down from the podium and joined the rest of the opening Party.
"Thank you everyone for joining us in this historic moment. Today we are joining together our two nations through the railway. Miraco is a nation that helps it's neighbours and is willing to build bridges between people. This railroad is symbolic of Miraco's own history of the struggle between our anglophone and francophone community, of how we built that bridge and became one people." King Beauchamp pauses for a moment, "Before I proceed, I wish to congratulate the people of Icholasen who can now enjoy more freedom of mobility to come to the European mainland. I also wish to say that this project does not end here, it is our vision to create an interconnected European Union through the railway system and we will continue to work with the Internal Affairs commissioner Mr. Von Cavill to realise this vision. Thank you all for being here, and let us enjoy the new railway!"
After the ceremony, the train left the Station with all the dignitaries on board. It was heading to Mertz for the celebrations in the Miracan Capital. Anastasia awaited the journey to Mertz like an excited child. Our sister-nation was beautiful, and the countryside was amazing. Anastasia thought about how these two nations had been long term rivals and had been bitterly contesting for land resources and wealth, but now that they had worked together the beauty truly stood out and showed its true colours. The Eiffel Tower soon became visible if she positioned herself at the window well enough. She pointed towards it like it was something truly new. She had been before but the sight of the great City was exciting, especially for the excitable Anastasia. The Train pulled into the Miracan Station, as their car drove them to the Palace for the festivities to come.