Nation Bulletin

The tides of change.

let's just pretend I posted this a few days ago, I'm sorry for being late ;-;

By Luna
04/01/2024 02:56 am
Updated: 04/01/2024 02:56 am

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"Everything falls, everything changes, and every empire that rises shall one day crumble like a monumental being lost to the inevitable forces. One day you, too, will see hope of glory right within your grasp, but none of us are ready for the burden of true power."

- Unknown, 2066

July 26, 2098.

The sunset in Greenland is quite magnificent, I realize as I glance out the window, taking a moment to admire the summer landscape. The colors of the sky are vivid, a sharp contrast to the pale ice that covers my nation for most of the year; the frosted surface out front, barely thawing in the melt of July now, glimmers with a reflection of the painted clouds, and water drips from melting icicles hanging from every branch, every building, everything that stays still.

I suppose that I have witnessed great empires, great leaders and great realms spanning half the globe, and I have seen nations rise and fall, from glory into oblivion. It's true, I think, that everything must be ephemeral — nothing lasts forever, as every tragic tale, every shallow breath and every final heartbeat reveals to me. I, too, was a dreamer of better times years ago, willing in my mind to fight for the right thing, but in reality scared of what was to come.

I remember watching another ill-fated jellyfish wash up on the coast when I was young and visiting friends far south of my own homeland — now another part of the war-torn lands that make up the great United Imperium. I was only fifteen or so, but the memory remains clear as day. It was a little thing, blue and pink like the sunrise, translucent with once elegant tentacles that now lay tangled in the sand. It all seemed like quite a tragic story: bluebottles, as they were often called, didn't have true brains of their own, nor could they even swim for themselves; all they could do was rely on the earth to carry them along, doomed to an eternal life as puppets of the wind and waves, unable to live free. We tried to put the one we found back in the water, carefully carrying it back into the ocean in a plastic cup, but the waves only carried it back to shore, every time.

Sometimes it seems like we're all jellyfish. Servants of the ground and sky, thinking we're the ones who will stand when the others fall, the victors of the great game, but forever set adrift, only to be blown away by the endless winds of time. Every empire will fall. Every nation will collapse. Every good thing must come to an end. It seems rather hopeless, all of it, the simple idea of our mortality, but in this impermanence there is something far greater, I suppose. Perhaps some of the empires of our past have fallen, but they, too, have their glory days. Stars may one day collapse, but for centuries they burn with all the ferocity of their majestic lives. We rise before we fall and we live before we die. And maybe nothing lives forever but we'll live it all to the fullest extent we can in the decades we have.

The clock chimes, its desperate noise ignored by most others in the room as they stream in, taking their seats. Eight chimes, one after the other. I wonder if the others here, too, know that we cannot go on this way — if they, too, hear the lamentations of the fallen; if they, too, can understand that the end of all we’ve known may be soon to come, perhaps, or that all things must come to a close someday.

"Good morning, Madam President," I hear, the voice seeming rather faraway. I glance around to see the Lunar Secretary of Defence, Elias Anselm, sitting down carefully in the chair beside mine. The chatter of ten other voices blends together into a sort of tense hum, filling us all with an instant sense of discontent.

"Morning, sir. How are you?" I reply after a moment, still rather overwhelmed.

He stiffens at the question. “Alive, and I suppose that’s what matters,” he simply says, then turns to the others, who quiet down. "Good morning, everyone."

They murmur their greetings back, all subdued by the knowledge of this meeting's very purpose. Their desperate glances prove to me their disillusionment with our very future. How? How can we possibly survive this? Maybe we’re safe here for now, but there’s no such thing as true safety when it comes to the apocalypse.

I suddenly recall those old days, now long gone, before the era of peace, those terrible but perhaps free days. The simple fact was that we, too, were amongst the grains of sand as fellow inhabitants of this planet; perhaps we held a little more power than some others, and perhaps we did benevolent things and things we regretted in the end, but in the end of all things we would only be more human beings, lost to time just like the others. Common sense knew that all nations would one day crumble, and perhaps someday we, too, would be forgotten by history, cast into irrelevance and overshadowed as the ones we knew all fell away. But in those days it didn't matter. In those days, war was what we knew by heart and peace was a mere mirage, so close and yet so far away. To persist meant to fight, and the only thing that mattered was survival.

Now peace is the only thing we seek, as war consumes all else, as the world's fires rage on, their flames creeping closer to us by the day — what an ironic end, I suppose, to all we knew, if it goes down in flames and drags us all down with it.

“You all know why we're here,” Elias says. “The world's known order is at risk, and all we can do now is try to avoid falling with it.”

Emmeline Fischer, the Governor of Arcadia and a vice presidential candidate in the upcoming election, nods. “Yes, and the only way to do so is to prove that we pose no harm to anyone. If we remain peaceful and open for those seeking shelter, we’re not making ourselves targets.”

Her greatest opponent, congressman and presidential candidate Kiran Moore, shakes his head. “The only path to safety is proving our strength. Appearing pacifist invites danger.”

“With all due respect, sir, a show of our so-called strength would only make the world see us as a threat to their power.”

Moore shakes his head. “We’ve been expanding and growing — what better time is there to prove that we’re just as strong as them? That we’re not going to bend to their will so easily?”

“Think about it. The only reason we’re safe is because we’re friendly with the world,” Fischer continues. Moore glances back at Elias and myself with an exasperated glare.

“You ought to realize that politics isn’t a fairy tale, Ms. Fischer,” he replies. “We don’t need more of this naive foreign policy in this nation. We’re one of the few nations safe from radiation if nuclear weapons are launched, and not every empire will be as tolerant towards us as the ones we've lived around. Right now we look like a regional power at best, but if we fix our mistakes and grow into what we could be, we can be greater than this. But people like you seem to be determined to bring us straight to armageddon.”

“If anyone’s leading us into armageddon, Moore, it’s you,” she snaps. “Your own stupid greed will kill us all.”

“Enough,” Elias says swiftly, ending the argument. “This discussion is about saving our nation, not about who’s going to destroy it first.”

And I’ve heard plenty of those who say that if this world shall push itself to burn, then let them burn. Let them falter under the weight of their own errors, while we, the free ones, will triumph in the future where we survived. When the world is a radioactive wasteland, time will choose who will stand among the stars and who will be merely lost in the endless sands, they say. They all believe that in the end we will no longer seek to fit in the world order but instead to rise above it and stand firmly at the top, a gracious ruler, a benevolent champion, and perhaps, the final empire in this tale of power and blood.

— "...but none of us are ready for the burden of true power," I murmur, distracted suddenly from my thoughts and cast back into the realm of the living. It's part of a quote from an unknown general in the First Revolution, words spoken and passed on and on through time, embedded in a living vernacular far after the death of their creator. I wonder if they could have ever predicted where the world is now. Perhaps it was a warning.

“What?” Elias asks, turning to me.

“Nothing,” I reply, turning back to the group. “Our nation’s entire foreign policy is based around openness and pacifism. To change that now could be disastrous.”

“But-” Moore interrupts. Fischer gives him a glare like none I’ve seen before, while Elias narrows his eyes in suspicion. He sighs. “Offense is the best defense. I say we mobilize everything we can to defend our own territories, make it clear we have nukes ready if necessary — the idea of mutually assured destruction is enough to keep them away — and focus on expansion to grow our empire.”

I shake my head. “We've gone on in peace for this long and stayed safe — we can go on.”

The room goes silent for a moment, simply contemplating this idea. The world is ending — and here, in eastern Greenland, we might be some of the safest people on Orbis, only affected by minor levels of radiation on our coasts. But new threats may be soon to come, and here we are merely a few attacks away from destruction. We have to be prepared for the worst.

“But none of this is to say that we shouldn't defend ourselves and be ready,” I continue. “Elias, thoughts?”

“Emergency Protocol 1127,” he says, looking only at me. “With the approval of Congress, we're authorized to move forward with mobilization, wartime spending and maybe even as far as weapons development to put us up at the level of every other nation out here, without any expansionist policies. With our level of urgency, an executive order to go ahead with the plan may be our safest choice.”

Moore narrows his eyes. “In other words, a massive overstep of your power.”

“Do you care about our nation?” Elias counters. “Or should we let it all burn like all the rest?”

Seething, Moore looks away. “I’d rather die than see this country fall into autocracy. Aquila already made it happen once.”

I stand up from my seat, suddenly furious. “I did what?”

“If you never failed as a leader and broke every promise you made to this nation, the Lunar Order State would have been nothing but a mere delusion by the power-hungry. And now here you are caught up in naive and childish ideas of being friendly with everyone to our own detriment, and more so destroying our democracy?”

“As if it wasn't your party that started it all!” I retort.

“Both of you be quiet!” Emmeline declares. “Moore, calm down or leave. This isn't any time or place for us to insult each other.”

For a second he doesn't move, merely staring first at me and then her in outrage. Then he shifts in his seat, rearranges his papers and looks straight out in front of him without a word. For a moment I sit there, merely contemplating the things he said. My grip on my glass of water is tight enough that I can imagine it shattering, spraying shards like raindrops all across the table.

“It's not true,” Elias says kindly, and Emmeline nods from the other side. The three others in the room nod in a blend of agreement and confusion over the interactions that just took place. I take a deep breath and a sip of water, look up at the group sitting there and then glance back at the papers on the table.

“The best thing we can do is defend ourselves while helping those who have defended us,” I continue as if none of it happened. The importance of this decision is unparalleled by almost any in my presidency: this could determine our entire future — we could someday become another massive empire destined to one day fall to war, or we could go on as we are, or we could die out slowly. “Continuing to maintain friendly relations throughout the world is incredibly important. And a show of military strength and presence is as unnecessary as it is dangerous, but if we throw caution to the wind on the mere idea that we're friendly with everyone right now, we'll be the next to fall.”

“Agreed,” Elias picks up, after a quick glance at me. “We can afford some military growth and modernization without sacrificing our neutrality or chasing fruitless imperialist ideals.”

All of a sudden the keening wail of alarms interrupts our conversation. No. This emergency alert — one that hasn’t been used in years now — rings to warn people to seek shelter from radiation. Something must be wrong. We’re barely involved in the war. For a second I stare outside, willing it all not to be real — hoping, somehow, that we can survive.

“President Aquila, we have to get to the safe room, now,” Emmeline shouts over the noise of the alarm. “If the strike was near the city, radiation could spread to our current location before we know it.”

I grab the files from the table and run down the stairs after her, finding the way to our safe room in the basement of the building. It’s not the best we can get, not the safest — not nearly enough to protect us if the enemy directly hits our part of the city, but it’s enough to keep out the radiation and enough to keep us alive for now. The true bomb shelters — and even the one nearest to us — are too far for us to make it safely if the strike was direct. It must have just hit, perhaps in a city nearby, perhaps further, but close enough that we’d be affected by radiation and recent enough that the alarms went off before even we knew. 

In the nearly empty room, dim lights flicker on, their hum barely audible over the now-faded noise of the siren. Elias walks to the computer at the back of the room — allowing us control over emergency actions in case of a disaster — and enters his credentials, then scans his fingerprint to unlock it.

“No,” he whispers in shock as he scans through the information we’ve been sent from other cities and reports of the events that have just taken place. “They actually did it.”

“What?” I ask, whirling around and joining him by the computer. 

“The Soviets really did it. 360 nuclear launches at the United Imperium,” he says, horrified at the sight. “We won’t likely experience major levels of radiation — no direct strikes in Greenland or Canada, thankfully — but we’ll have to shelter for at least a week or so just to make sure that-”

“360?” I repeat in disbelief. 

“Yes, all over the nation. The JGP has fallen apart, whether that’s through destruction or betrayal. The Imperium and the Soviet Federation are gone.”

All six of us — congressmen, candidates, cabinet members — crowd around the computer, just watching, taking in the events of the world, perhaps all wishing it was merely a nightmare. I suppose we all thought of it as a hypothetical; the idea that the two largest superpowers would truly fall to this war seemed quite unbelievable. Mutually assured destruction seemed like a faultless doctrine — nukes have been launched before, but never to this extent.

It is, I suppose, true that all empires will someday fall, and perhaps someday others will rise in their wake. And I often wonder, to those who are out there dreaming of an empire, dreaming of a future for our nation where we’re the ones at the head of the world, the ones everyone both admires and fears — do you see the way the world crumbles in mere days? The way everything could fall when it was at least hanging on the moment before? And I wonder if someday they, too, will understand that power is an evil thing at heart, something that corrupts and changes those who hold it against perhaps even their will. We’re not ready. Regardless of what we do, we’re not ready for the future, not ready for change, in strength or weakness. The end, I know, approaches fast, and to face it head on or to try and hide away, either way, could mean our downfall.


 

OOC notes:

First of all, I am so sorry for posting this several days late. I originally started writing this two weeks ago, and that was pretty much just a few things I wrote on a long road trip out of boredom and I didn’t know what to do with them, so I’ve done a lot of editing and all with this one. This was originally going to be my final RP bulletin, at least as this nation, and I was going to make it much longer and explain the collapse of my nation, but I decided against that eventually.

On that note, I know I’ve mentioned leaving RP a lot lately, and I’m still considering that. I’m running short on ideas, and even when I have them I’m not easily able to post any of the decent stuff I write because I’m constantly scared that it’s not good enough. And when it comes to the community, I really, really love being a part of it most of the time, and I’m so happy that I know everybody, but at times it can also be rather overwhelming. I have a lot I could say on this, but I’ve found that I tend to neglect things I want or need to try and please others, and that’s made being here feel more like it’s hurting me than being fun for me, which is definitely not what I want any of this to be. And when it comes to arguments I feel wrong about even taking a side because I feel bad about it, which means that even the slightest thing is enough to make me feel like a bad person, as I’ve noticed myself doing many times but never really done much to stop. Maybe it’s just a problem with me, but I’m burning myself out and always struggling to think of where to go next with my own RP story, while also second-guessing myself and worrying that anything I write isn’t good enough.

But I’m not leaving yet — at least before I do, I’d like to do one big storyline, hopefully tying up loose ends and having an epilogue of sorts to my nation’s stories. And maybe it’ll be soon or maybe I’ll wait, but either way, if I go out I’m going out with something good, not just disappearing from RP without any real explanation of what happened or many bulletins I’m actually proud of. Or maybe I won’t even leave but just switch nations at some point so I can be at less of a dead end when it comes to my RP, and just try to stop overthinking everything around here. But for now, I’ll be around here and hopefully somewhat active and writing a few things.

On another note I really want to thank everyone for being awesome to RP with, fun to talk to and just being amazing people and great friends. I like the game, I like writing and storytelling, but I probably wouldn’t be in this game if not for the community. To TUI, Dauchh, Zukesa, Nukey, Nova Mundus and everyone else who was around here before me: you guys all inspire me so much in RP and it was seeing your bulletins and the things you’ve said about my own that really helped me go from being a bad unrealistic RPer to someone who can actually write some slightly decent stuff. And to all my amazing friends and everyone who’s been kind and supportive and just really great to me all this time, thank you, you guys are the reason I’m still playing this game and so many of you have just helped me with both RP and even more personal things, so I’m really thankful for all of you. You guys are awesome <3

 

 

also side note, there was supposed to be some art for this, but I'm too tired to finish it and would like this bulletin to be slightly less late so I'll just maybe get it done later and share it in a different bulletin

Replies

Posted April 01, 2024 at 2:57 am

WAIT IT ACTUALLY LET ME POST THIS AS ONE BULLETIN DESPITE BEING WELL OVER 10K CHARACTERS

THANK YOU SO MUCH ALEX

  14
Posted April 01, 2024 at 3:00 am

I will await for further bulletins :1

  2
Posted April 01, 2024 at 3:01 am

This is great and I understand what you are saying as well I kinda went through they same thing as well when I came to RP but if you do leave you will definitely be missed by everyone 

  3
Posted April 01, 2024 at 3:30 am

WAIT IT ACTUALLY LET ME POST THIS AS ONE BULLETIN DESPITE BEING WELL OVER 10K CHARACTERS

THANK YOU SO MUCH ALEX

Meanwhile me trying to post a bulletin with about 4k characters and it saying I need at least 300 characters 

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  8
Posted April 01, 2024 at 3:36 am

This... actually made me think

Dang

  3
Posted April 01, 2024 at 3:37 am

Really great story luna, can't wait for more! :)

  4
Posted April 01, 2024 at 4:24 am

Extremely cool first person pov story, also looking forward very much to this big storyline!

  2
Posted April 01, 2024 at 8:12 am

Wow! Luna, incredible. Can’t wait for next quality bulletin

  2
Posted April 01, 2024 at 5:04 pm

W update 

  2
Posted April 01, 2024 at 10:10 pm

WAIT IT ACTUALLY LET ME POST THIS AS ONE BULLETIN DESPITE BEING WELL OVER 10K CHARACTERS

THANK YOU SO MUCH ALEX

I petitioned him to scrap the limit and the bulletin got 52 likes. He agreed to raise it to 25,000 characters so maybe that’s why

  3