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|More from Sep0815||Adventure||PG-13||None yet|
|Times of Peace|
It is astonishing how much has happened since the War's start, and yet how little time has passed since. It's been a mere nine years, and the Earth - both of them - as well as the rest of the Galaxy have gone through a change that will not happen again, or - let's hope - at least not all too soon. Nine years ago, humanity was the Galaxy's third world. Now, mankind is equal to the 'Three Elder Hyperspace Civilisations', be it the Fyell' Shan Empire, a theocracy, whose ruling race is humanoid and apparently - genetically - almost the same humans, despite their reddish skin, red eyes, lacking hair and - when compared to humans - immense longevity, then comes the Córstán Republic, a parliamentary republic, inhabited by humanoid-formed squid-like creatures, who lose their humanoid form when outside their armour suits, and then, last but not least, there's the C'án Thur Order, which is under a militaristic and somewhat religious totalitarian rule, lead and inhabited by an insectoid race similar to grasshoppers walking on their hind legs. It indeed is interesting how close we've got with those former enemies of ours, especially with the Fyell' Shan whom I've battled once, and whose current Empress I've saved after her ship - the 'Destruction' - was blown up by me. But I'll get back to that later.
First of all is it amazing how Malu managed to bring back her people as state. She lead the Air Nomads, consisting of the airbenders of Aang's line and the Air Acolytes, back into the international family of nations, after they almost were exterminated again. She managed to establish a slightly theocratic direct democracy, one that compromises the five Air Temples. It indeed was a feat, one I naturally supported. Her accomplishment wasn't the only one on the Earth - the one of Avatara.
Earth Queen Shen-Lin and her - now, at least - husband, and head of the Dai Li, Seon Anjong, turned the Earth Kingdom into a (con)federal parliamentary monarchy modelled on the basis of the Westminster System, with an Upper House, the House of Nobles, and a Lower House, the House of - now that was creative of them - Commons, and an official as the head of government, named after a previous high office in the Earth Kingdom - the chancellor.
What Shen-Lin accomplished in the Earth Kingdom, that was what Arzowa previously showed her in her Fire Nation, with the difference that the Fire Nation became a unitary parliamentary monarchy, and that the Houses of Parliament were named National Council and Senate, and that the office of the head of government was named Minister President. One thing is for sure, those two girls - and Malu, too - surely have the will and power to set things right.
Back then, Luo - yes, Luo Beifong - began a serious relationship with Kiruya, which I to this day don't fully understand, and founded a party, as whose candidate he ran in the Federal Elections of the Earth Kingdom. And won a landslide victory, ending up as one of the most powerful men on Avatara. Kiruya decided to get active in Southern Water Tribe politics and held several offices, especially in the military, before she was chosen from a few candidates to become the new leader of the 'Four Nations' Legion', which had become an elite force by then.
Zolu, who later got engaged with Malu, was an important person in the Fire Nation's rebuilding and rise - and no, he didn't hold the office of the Minister President. He too held - and still holds - a high position in the military, to honour his father's legacy - well, he became the Fire Nation's first Grand Admiral (meaning he commanded (and still does) a Space Fleet). It seems I affect people to either go into politics or into the military.
Anyway, while those lads initiated great reforms and stuff on Avatara, Jan, just as well as Olaf and Anna remained relatively... dormant. They did nothing, except for Jan, who got into politics as well, and now appears to be Europe's foreign minister. No really, they did nothing, except assisting with rebuilding here, and getting supplies there, and also did they contribute a great part to the expansion of the human Space Force, and also with denazification, but that's really it.
I tend to believe I had the most turbulent way of all. Just after the war's end, I resigned my post as the Grand Admiral everyone has known me as, and passed it on to Anna. Then, the Prime Minister, who got involved into some scandals and affairs, looked for a successor from his own party, and noticed I was a member of the People's Party before he was forced to resign. I, well, became Prime Minister of Europe. And damn, I did a hell of a job. I reorganised the Confederation of Human Planets, into the Confoederacio Humanum, an organisation to unite mankind in one, so to say, Empire. Also did I seal deals with the other three Hyperspace Empires, and in the end, founded the United Nations as an institution to make galactic peace possible, to prevent wars stretching further than a planet. But then, I saw I was not a man of politics, but a man of the first hour, and after finding an appropriate successor myself, I resigned as a Prime Minister after four years, just before the next elections (after which the People's Party(moderate conservatism)-Labour Party(social democrats) coalition (the 'Eternal Coalition') continued). Ever since, I have been the European representative of the United Nations, and the Chairman. That much about me.
Asura had the hardest job of all. I, Luo, Kiruya, Olaf, Anna, Jan could resign, Shen-Lin and Arzowa could abdicate, if they couldn't carry on for whatever reason - she couldn't. She was born the Avatar, and that she couldn't change. But she carried on. Wherever she travelled, her presence spread hope and courage, to carry on, despite whatever evil had befallen them. She was just one, but became a symbol, and idol for billions. She helped rebuilding at every corner of the Galaxy the War had reached, and worked hard to reconcile with the American people, with the former Reich. Her task was the most difficult, no matter what people would say, but still she mastered it. She was right there wherever and whenever someone was oppressed, and fought for them - though mostly only verbally - and she sprung into action at any catastrophe. It also is hers to thank for that since the War's end, there has been not a single armed conflict, not a single violent protest, or violence against a protest, and little to no oppression in the Human Confederation. Her feat is the greatest of all. For once, peace seems possible, not just punctual and brief, but universal and eternal. But we all know that something like this will never be possible. But the sole thought is what counts.
But even more astonishing is the personal life since the War's conclusion. Marriages, childbirths, and all that stuff have made me really wonder how human emotions work - no, really, people got married who I've never seen together before, or at least, not together in 'that' sort of way. You know what I mean.
So, let's start with the least understandable. Those two have come together through their admiration of their respective drinks, tea and beer. Fire Lord Arzowa and Foreign Minister Jan Svoboda. I still don't understand it, but on the other hand they don't seem to be fighting or anything, so it can't be too bad. Well, long stuff short, they got married just three years after the War's end and had a son a year later, whom they named, in homage to the Nation's regained honour, Honorius, which was a break with the dynasty's traditions, which instructed them to include an 'o' and an 'z' in his name. Well, anyway... I still don't understand it.
That Kiruya and Luo married, of course. Well, Asura told me that they had some sort of relationship before my arrival, due to their jobs which made them work together often, but anyway... They married in the same year as Arzowa and Jan did, and had children two years later. Triplets. Binovular triplet. That means that two of 'em are identical and the third is not. Those two identical ones are girls and benders of their parents' respective elements, the waterbender, Sedna, seeing and the earthbender, Ria, being blind (which seems to run in the family), and well, the third, a boy, Nanook, well, a nonbender.
A little more predictable event was the marriage of Malu and Zolu. The two often collided with each other, so to say, and after the War it kinda evolved... Anyway, those two got married just two years after the war, which actually was quite... sudden. But, not utterly unexpected. The two had son, Taruk, and two daughters, Pemba and Ning, all of them airbenders and, thanks to Zolu, masters of the way of the sword just as well. Just not yet, they're in training. And will be for some time...
Then, there's also Olaf and Anna who got married. I'd say those two just wanted the bureaucratic proof of their relationship, not much more to say. No, really, that's it, they didn't even have children (yet). Hm, well, not much to say.
Shen-Lin and this Agent Seon Anjong. Well, I imagined those two married from the very moment I saw them together for the first time, though I didn't trust Seon back then. Well, those two again only had one child, and that was, now comes the surprise, son! Oh, no, wait, they had three children, too, but two sons, Wei and Zeng, and a daughter, Miyu, only Wei, the eldest being an earthbender. Frankly, I don't remember who was born when or when they married exactly. I only remember the hangover I had afterwards. I'm not exactly a good example for Europeans...
And then there's me and... well, guess who! Asura of course. We got married a year and a half after the War's end, our daughter, Nora, being born half a year later. Two years later, our son, Karel, was born. I'd call their births a fairly nice event, although Asura might differ, but there is something that keeps bugging me... Nora's birth. Her first cry... when she opened her mouth to cry for the first time, she breathed blue fire...
Grand Admiral Michael Přemysl, European Representative and Chairman/United Nations, Prague 5th September 2172
The United Nations
Lightning pierced the sky, and the thunders shook the earth, heavy rainfall made it hard to see far - it was most certainly not the right weather to fly an outdated fighter-bomber to and through a metropolis, but neither Mike nor Asura cared much about that. Having piloted it from Shu Jing over the Mo Ce Sea, Mike decided to fly lower to not get hit by lightning, and thus, had to manoeuvre through the jungle the skyscrapers formed. He turned right, but then realised this was a bad decision, noticing a massive building right in front of his spacecraft, but Asura managed to avoid a collision, before Mike turned - again - right after having passed the massive structure, and entered a part of Republic City where none of the tower-buildings had been rebuilt, instead, one truly massive structure dominated this quarter of the city - the United Nations headquarters. Mike hurried up, for they would be late for the United Nations plenary session, and they soon passed the four onion-dome towers that surrounded the structure like minarets, and landed just before the main building's right wing. Mike, wearing his suit instead of the uniform, grabbed his suitcase and his cane, which he carried in case his injuries in his right leg should become problematic again, and walked outside, passing Asura her own suitcase. Once outside, the two got stopped by three black-uniformed soldiers.
"Identifications, please.", a familiar voice spoke. The three soldiers, all seemingly unarmed, inched away as they ultimate superior walked up to the two. "Sorry to hold you up, but during the session, the building is under lockdown. And, well, the Four Nations' Legion took the job, so... "
Mike and Asura, both chuckling, showed their respective passports to the woman who had approached them. "Nice to see you faring well, Kiruya.", Asura stated as they were returned the passports. Kiruya only smiled and turned around again, returning to the tank she used as a mobile command centre. Mike then too turned around and decided to follow his wife inside the massive building. The rain flowed down from the swung roofs and made the stairs and the floor between the Corinthian columns slippery, or rather, flooded it. As he climbed the stairs, he took a look at the relief that decorated the gable. It depicted the signing of the United Nations declaration, which was the foundation of it, dozens of diplomats being shown, and in their middle, also Mike. He chuckled and shook his head, before he hurried. Through the neo-classical gate and up into the neo-gothic assembly hall, he hurried, and, upon entering the massive hall, immediately ran to his seat right beneath the one of the new chairman, or rather, chairwoman of the United Nations. He looked up at the - from the inside lucent – neo-gothic cupola, and saw, up high, on the flagpole atop the cupola, which formed the highest point of Republic City, the flag of the United Nations, which had a white background with four vertical red stripes, and a golden United Nations emblem - a map of the Galaxy surrounded by olive branches - in its midst. For a second, he completely forgot that he was in the middle of a session of the United Nations assembly as he simply stared at the scenery outside. Then, the strike of gavel called him back to reality.
"We have gathered here today for only one purpose, I intend to make clear right from the beginning. This session today will only deal with the important question of how we will deal with another civilisation that discovers hyperspeed travel, and therefore will come in contact with the United Nations. Therefore, I declare the XIV. plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly opened!" A second time, the gavel struck. Malu, United Nations councilwoman of the Air Nomads, took the seat of the chairman. Or, in this case, chairwoman. As no one dared to speak up, she said quietly, almost whispering, "You can suggest whatever you want, you know... "
Upon her voice piercing the relative silence, one representative rose. He was the permanent representative of what the Reich and Canada were transformed into, the Federated States of Anglo-America. He cleared his throat, before speaking. "I believe that we shall deal with them the same way we - the humans - dealt with the Three Elder Hyperspace Civilisations - we show them their place in the Galaxy - as our- "
"Shut your mouth. This aggression would only lead to unnecessary losses. I suggest we welcome them peacefully, with unarmed ships, and offer them cooperation and whatnot, it would- ", a female Fyell' Shan cut the American off, before she herself was cut off by someone speaking from below the chairwoman's seat. Mike didn't even care to rise. "But what if the civilisation we encounter is warlike, and attacks the ship we send to welcome them? What if the civilisation we encounter is utterly peaceful, but we reveal their dark side by attacking them? Both options are, in fact, the worst. But, much like casting bronze, two weak ones combined give a strong one. If we welcome them with a small amount of warships, but show hospitality, but also have fleets of ours ready nearby to strike if necessary, we are ready for whether way they response to our welcoming."
"Are you insane? You want to sacrifice those ships or what?", the American representative spoke, receiving an answer almost immediately. "Not everyone is as warlike and as interventionist as you are."
The representative attempted to raise his voice, but another already had. "I believe that Mr Přemysl's suggestion is the most reasonable of all, and that we should- " It was to no avail. The Chancellor of the Earth Kingdom, Luo Beifong, had failed in preventing the begin of a loud verbal duel. The Fyell' Shan representative, who, in fact, was the Empress, narrowed her red eyes and shouted, "Aggression leads nowhere, I believe that the past three Hyperspace Wars have shown us that. Mankind was assaulted, and struck back severely. The same could happen to us if we offend whether civilisation we encounter, and that we will be equally defeated as each of the Three Elder was afterwards. Is that really what you want?"
"Better safe than sorry. View it as a preventive strike then.", was the American's answer, who then was punched in the face by some other Fyell' Shan representative, who demanded, "Respect our Empress, dammit!"
From that point onwards, there was no holding back. Soon, the whole assembly hall had become a Boxing arena. Malu facepalmed herself, and shot Mike a requesting look. Mike then asked whether she was sure of what she suggested him to do, but then, he was slapped, which he casually answered with a punch into the direction the strike had come from. Malu confirmed, and Mike then decided to ask everyone he knew personally in this hall for permission to do it. Everyone confirmed, and thus, he opened his suitcase, took out his revolver, which he loaded with a single blank cartridge, before handing it over to Malu, who then fired it into the air. Everyone stopped in their tracks, and looked at Malu, who narrowed her eyes as she began to speak, or rather, shout, even amplifying it with her airbending, "YOU MORONS! I BELIEVED YOU WERE ABLE DIPLOMATS AND POLITICIANS AND GRAND ADMIRALS, BUT NO! YOU HAVE TO OVERREACT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! WHILE WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN, ALL YOU DO IS... LASHING AT EACH OTHER!"
Malu paused for a second to catch her breath and to calm herself.
"I believe that we shall all clear our minds of all this quarrel, and that we shall continue this session tomorrow. This session is - for today - closed."
Many of the representatives hurried to gather their respective belongings and ran outside, all embarrassed of the happenings, while only a few remained. As Mike intended to leave, a female voice called him. "Grand Admi- er, Mr Přemysl! Can we have a talk?"
Mike turned around to see the Fyell' Shan Empress, whom he personally once had captured and who was approximately as old as he himself, the Córstán Supreme Chancellor and the C'án Thur Supreme Grand Master, approaching. "As you might have noticed, we all attempt to change major parts of our respective nations. I for my part, well, try to undermine the power of the priests and to transform my Empire into a parliamentary monarchy... and well, we need assistance.", the Empress explained.
"We came to request you to keep us grounded, for we have little to no support in our own nations, or at least not powerful support. So, can we rely on your support?", the octopus-like and yet humanoid form of the Chancellor clarified.
Mike thought for a minute, and then decided, "Certainly. I know, it's not exactly logical that the man who defeated the Fyell' Shan would become their greatest foreign supporter, but I certainly will aid you. Now, may I return home?"
The Empress smiled slightly and nodded, after which Mike too exited the assembly hall and hurried to the Valkyrie. The Team, alongside Shen-Lin and Seon, Jan and Arzowa, and Olaf and Anna as well, who many called the Old Guard, would meet in Shu Jing that day, and Mike wasn't eager to be late or unprepared.
The girl, sixteen of age, couldn't take the eyes off the screen in front of her. Too intense was what she watched, too intriguing for her to pay any attention to anything else.
"Nora, our game, or rather our games are waiting. I mean, we still can record that match." Her brother, two years younger and sitting by the near table, two boards, one of Pai Sho and another of chess before him, had spoken, but soon realised it had been a mistake. The girl, Nora Přemysl, shot him an angry glance, and, while returning her attention to the screen, spoke, "Karel, of course you fail to understand the importance of this match. It's the finale of the Galactic championship of Ice Hockey, Europe versus the Southern Water Tribe! But someone like you cannot comprehend what an even like this means... "
The boy sighed and intended to walk out of the room, but another one, two years younger than Karel, entered. The older one bowed, greeting the other. "Honour Lord, it would be an honour to match- oh, nevermind, could ya take over for Nora, please? She's... busy, as you can see."
The younger one, Honorius, heir to the Fire Nation, plainly nodded and seated himself across Karel, and started taking the girl's turns instead of her, as she, enthralled by the match, leaned closer to the screen, expectant, and then, all of sudden, jumped up, shouting, "YES!", shooting up her right fist into the air, almost scorching the ceiling with a blue fireball. The action earned her the two boys' weird looks, before she rearranged her raven hair and, suddenly being in an utterly good mood, turned off the screen as another group of three adolescent children, one boy and two almost identical girls walked in, two of whom were slightly infuriated - the Beifong triplets. Nanook and Sedna were those infuriated, of whom Nora now demanded, "Lads, you know our bet. I win, I believe."
Both, the nonbender and the waterbender, looked into the azure eyes of the firebender, and narrowed theirs - if stares could kill, Nora would've been a dead girl by then. But stares apparently cannot kill, and therefore, the two who attempted to stare Nora down handed her banknotes. Satisfied, Nora escaped the room, only to return in company of the three airbender children of Malu and Zolu, who previously had practicsed their bending, with whom she shared a talk, and later, a number of drinks, some of which appeared to be, according to the consequences of their consumption, alcoholic. However, Nora decided to escort the last of her guests into the room, the offspring of the Earth Kingdom royalty. Just as they entered the room - a living room, it appeared to once have been - the sound of turbines on the outside caught everyone's attention. In the courtyard, three spacecraft landed, all of them fighter-bombers. Just as the spacecraft touched ground, Nora rushed to the table she had served the drinks at, cursing under her breath. As she took the first bottle to put it back wherever she had taken it from, the gate could be heard opening, and Nora decided to screw clearing the table and went to greet her and her guests' parents, but they seemed in kind of a hurry, and almost immediately vanished in a chamber Nora had rarely seen anyone enter into, before even greeting anyone.
"Well... well... that was... weird."
"Why the fuck did you feel the need of getting all your children here as well? Do you fear they might burn down your house or something?" Olaf clearly failed to understand the others' reasons to bring their offspring together, which Anna only commented, sighing afterwards, "And exactly that's why we don't have children... "
As they walked through the massive door, or rather, gate, Mike explained, "It's good for lads that age to meet others of their age outside of school and that stuff... at least I think."
"But now, we certainly have more important matters to address. Or else you, Mike, or rather, Grand Lotus, wouldn't have called for that meeting.", Arzowa plainly stated. Asura pushed the old door leading into the more or less secret meeting chamber open, and then, since there were no electrical lights in there, lit the torches mounted on the circular room's walls with precise fire-jabs. The light they then emitted revealed an equally circular table surrounded by chairs, the table forming a ring around the white lotus tile carved into the rock in the room's centre. All of them entered and took seats, and, after all had ceased their conversations, Mike cleared his throat.
"Today, after the session, the three Elder Hyperspace Civilisations' respective leaders approached me, and, well, asked for support for their massive reforms, since their nations' elite opposes them. As we all know, the Empress of the Fyell' Shan intends to abandon the clergy's power and to adopt a parliamentary system inspired by the Westminster System, while the Supreme Chancellor of the Córstán has started reforms to democratise his nation and, at the same time, began hunts for supporters of the regime of old, the one which started the war against the CHP about sixty years ago, just as the Supreme Grand Master of the C'án Thur, too, attempts to destroy the nobility's and the military's political power, and to establish a democratic system instead of the current totalitarian one. I believe that we all shall support them, but what would you think?"
For about a minute, the room was silent. Then, Zolu spoke up. "I don't have much experience with those civilisations, but most certainly think well of their leaders' plans. They seem reasonable to me, and, well... I'd support them. What about the others?"
"What kind of support, though?" Kiruya's question was short and important, and almost immediately answered.
"Whatever kind of support is required. In the worst scenario, military support. In the best, none is needed at all. But mostly, it'll be diplomatic, I hope, like putting, for example, a Fyell' Shan priest into his place - his new one, not the previous one." Mike's explanation was enough for everyone to support his proposal, and therefore, they went on to the next topic. Asura rose, and spoke. "I believe that further investigations on the topic of my daughter, Nora, are necessary. Her - or, well, your - majesty, Fire Lord Arzowa, has already done me a favour by searching Fire Nation chronicles for similar occurrences like Nora's birth, but failed to find anything alike, the same on the United Republic's records. This is, to me, reason enough to believe that there have to be reasons for her immense talent and early discovery of her bending, reasons beyond the fact that I, her mother, am the Avatar and that her father, Mike, has shown immense strength and endurance, though only in extreme situations. Those cannot be the only reasons."
Again, the room remained silent following the spoken words, this time for almost five minutes straight. Then, Malu spoke. "I understand your concern, but, can we not delay the discussion of this matter? Right now, we have an unsolved problem in the United Nations General Assembly, and, well... "
Asura understood Malu's logic, but still was upset about being simply turned down. "Very well then... ", she sighed.
Following the chairwoman's answer and the Avatar's reaction, chancellor Luo found it was his moment to speak. "We all have experienced the fight in the General Assembly, I believe? And maybe, even the reason? Well, I took the trouble of elaborating a 'middle way' on that topic like Mike suggested it during the assembly, and called the whole thing 'Beifong Protocol'. I would not exclude the possibility of the American Permanent Representative, as well as the Fyell' Shan Empress turning in their respective proposals, which lead to the fight today. I too will turn in the protocol, and, well, we should see to it that it will be discussed before the other two, for this could lead to a fight again, of verbal kind if not physical. But when it is discussed, it must be presented in a way it pleases as many as possible, as we know that if we present it in its pure form, only the few centre-aligned representatives like us will vote in its favour. What do you- "
"Shut up, just do whatever the fuck you want. You're the only democratically elected leader here, if anyone knows how to please people, it's you." Jan's statement only served to end the meeting so everyone still could get enough sleep before the session's continuation.
Once again, the General Assembly had gathered. Or rather, they never had left. Discussions were going on all around, and Mike, Malu, Asura, Anna, Jan, Shen-Lin, Arzowa, Zolu and Luo, as well as the from afar spectating Kiruya, Seon and Olaf shot one another glances, before Malu struck her gavel repeatedly. "SILENCE!", she shouted, continuing a little more quiet, "We now will vote about the adoption of the Beifong Protocol of dealing with previously to the United Nations unknown hyperspace-able civilisations!"
"Who are in favour of the Protocol?"
Malu waited half a minute, and then, she received a number. Just one more, and the Protocol would've been passed.
"Who oppose the Protocol?"
Again, half a minute passed, in which the Air Nomad took a look around, before she then again received a number of votes. Just one less than those in favour of the Protocol. She grinned slightly, before resuming her stern look and announcing, "Therefore, the Beifong Protocol will be applied!"
THE END... ?
Notes and Trivia
- The Eternal Coalition is a homage to the Austrian Grand Coalition between the People's Party (centre-right, ÖVP) and the Social Democrats (centre-left, SPÖ), which has ruled Austria from 1949 to 1966, then from 1986 to 1999, and since 2006.
- Sedna is the Inuit goddess of the sea or something (and a dwarf planet), while Nanook is the Master of Bears (and sounds a bit like "Na no na ned", a local dialectal Austrian German equivalent of "You don't say")
- Taruk means "six" in a language called Meitei, Pemba means "Saturday" in Sherpa (the language, not the people) and also is an island off the coast of mainland Tanzania, and Ning is a personal pronoun meaning "you" in the Dimasa language.
- Some of the Old Guard's members' children will play main roles in the two currently nameless sequels.
- The United Nations Headquarters can be imagined as a combination of St. Basil's Cathedral (only the separate domes/towers, as the four towers surrounding it), Austrian Parliament Building (as for the main building) and Hungarian Parliament Building (for the cupola), all - except the cupola - bearing East Asian hip-and-gable roofs. Only that it's a bit... huge.
- The United Nations flag is, basically, the United Nations Honour Flag with a golden (instead of blue) emblem, which shows a map of the Milky Way Galaxy instead of Earth, just to make it clear.
- The United Nations General Assembly consists - at least in this fanon - of all members' Head of State, Head of Government, Foreign Minister, Permanent UN representative, and the Grand Admiral/Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
- Just so you know, the Beifong Protocol will, too, initially play a role in this planned, ominous nameless sequel.
For the collective works of the author, go here.