Saviors from Above
|This tale has been told! It's done!|
|Saviors from Above|
|Start||February 10, 2015|
|End||May 25, 2015|
|Location||Throughout the Cosmos|
Saviors from Above is an epic tale of a trip across the galaxy; the tale of saving a world. When the Shopper economy dives into recession, president Lavender must take drastic action. He sends his nation on an amazing journey through the stars. But, what they find is far from marvelous, but rather downright horrifying. What is this anomaly? What will happen? Read to find out!
It was February 2015. It had been a year since Shops Island had been in a devastating war. Shops Island was at peace. Its citizens were happy. The country was becoming more unique and diverse by the day.
But, there was a serpent laying underneath this joy and happiness.
Unbeknownst to the Shopper people, or most people for that matter, the Shopper economy was in dire straits. A financial bubble was about to burst. The Shopper economy was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
"Sir, the Snoss have executed our diplomatic mission to Zurich."
"What?! Again!? That was the fifth one!"
Lavender: "What about our diplomats in East Pengolia?"
Lavender: "...And those in Dorkugal?"
Agent: "It's very... disturbing, to say the least."
There was a brief pause. Both Lavender and the agent just sat there.
Shops Island had recently sent diplomatic missions (multiple times, for that matter), to countries which Shops had poor relations with, in an attempt to make peace with every Antarctic country. The effort wasn't working.
Lavender sighed, and turned to the agent: "Any other news, private?"
Agent: "Well... I have spoken to General Broseph lately..."
Agent: "And, he suggests that we declare war on these nations."
Lavender: "Is he daft!? If we go to war with Snowzerland (or any other countries), we'll be dragged into another bloody war, and Zhou would break ties with us!"
Agent: "Sir, you've sent over 30 diplomats to their deaths. At least send in the SIA Special Forces to do justice."
Lavender: "No. It's too petty. We have no just reason to go to war right now. The difference between now and every other time is, every other time, we've had a justifiable reason to declare war."
Agent: "Even Nexon?"
Lavender: "I'd rather not talk about that. The point is, war is not the answer here! Send another round of diplomats!"
The next day, Lavender attended a meeting of the Common Legislature. The meeting was supposed to deal with funding for education and healthcare, but the topic soon turned to the question of the late diplomats. The conservatives and the hawks in the Common Legislature cried for war.
Conservative Politician: "Mister Speaker, mister President, how can you possibly justify the deaths of thirty diplomats, and the imprisonment of another forty!? If we had a strong leader, all of these nations would be off the map by now!"
Lavender: "I do hope you realize that's crazy talk. If we went to war with Snowzerland, we'd be in for something worse than we can possibly imagine. I know in my heart that peace and diplomacy will eventually win out in the end. That is why I'm preparing to send one more set of diplomats to Snowzerland, East Pengolia, and Dorkugal."
The legislature went into an absolute uproar over Lavender's proposition. Even the liberals, who were generally pacifists, openly showed their opposition to the president's choice.
Lavender: "As the president, I have the final say on this matter. I say that we will send more diplomats, regardless of what happens! I am not willing to send our country back down the war path. I'm not willing to send our sons marching to their deaths again. I've seen the destructiveness of war in front of me with my own eyes, I don't need to put my country on the line just because of a few diplomats. Our days as a trigger-happy, war-faring nation are over! That is my decision, and that is final!"
And with that, the session of the Common Legislature was over. Lavender was escorted out of the legislature. In the concourse, many of Lavender's friends gathered around him, including Vice-President Chill57181, Western Shops' governor Bro, Southern Shops' governor Penquino, Moon Island's governor Dps04, Eastern Shops and Freezestonia's governor Snowstormer, and Penstubal, the mayor of Wizzint.
Chill: "You made the right choice, buddy. I don't like war myself."
Penquino: "I agree. It's nice to see you've finally made the right choice!"
Dps04: "I'm neutral on the matter."
Lavender: "Thanks, I guess."
Bro: "No offense, but I think we should go to war. Almost 100 of our citizens interned and killed by enemy nations? That's unacceptable!"
Snowstormer: "I'd have to agree with Bro on this one."
Penstubal: "Me too."
Lavender: "I don't care. War is not the answer. We will come out proud and with a friendship agreement after this, I promise! Only better things are ahead for us, just look at what's happened in the past two years! Nothing can stop us!"
Chill: "He's right you know. Never never never give up!"
Dps04: "Hmmm... I don't know what to feel about this..."
Bro: "I suppose you're right. I'm more worried about the economy than anything."
Bro: "Oh, no reason. Here's not the place to discuss it."
Lavender: "Well, I hope you're all happy. You can keep with your conversation, but I must go now. I feel that if I stay any longer, the conservatives will start throwing tomatoes at me."
Chill: "Okay, bye Lavender!"
Lavender left the Common Legislature, and went back home. The other friends lingered behind to talk, although now in a much more jovial manner.
Just a few days later, the bubble burst. The Shopper Military Industrial Complex and many weapons manufacturers had declared bankruptcy and had defaulted on their debts. Within the coming days, there was a sharp decline in Shopper profit output, and with the fall of some weapons manufacturers, other industrial companies were put at risk. As stocks for these industries lost value, investors quickly sold their stock, only hurting these industries more, since they now had no backing. The effects of this were felt almost immediately, both in Shops Island, and in many Antarctic countries.
Shops Island was used to economic downturns and recessions; they had had three in 2012 alone. But this time it was different. Shops Island was the second largest economic power in Antarctica, so if Shops went down, it would take many nations with it.
The day after the bubble burst, president Lavender assembled a few of his best financial advisers and other Shopper financiers. One of the people in the meeting was Bro, a staunch proponent of the war industry and going to war against Snowzerland, due to the diplomat crisis.
Lavender: "Okay guys, what's going on? Why did the military industries go bust?"
Adviser 1: "Sir, I hope you do realize that the military industry has been making no profit lately."
Adviser 2: "Indeed. They've just been accumulating debt for a long time now."
Lavender: "But it doesn't make sense! We still make weapons and export to other countries; we're doing it more than ever. What went wrong this time? How did they accumulate so much debt when their output is so high?"
Adviser 1: "Foreign exports aren't all that make up their profits, you know."
Adviser 2: "Yes. Most of their profit comes from domestic manufacturing. These industries went broke because the SIA isn't buying anything from them."
Lavender: "What? That doesn't make sense."
Bro: "It's quite simple really. I don't know if you've checked the stats lately, but the military industry makes up a big percentage of the Shopper economy. About 35% of all of our GDP is related to the manufacturing and buying of military equipment."
Lavender: "I already knew that, but that doesn't explain why the Military Industrial Complex defaulted and bankrupted itself."
Bro: "The SIA would buy these weapons, and then go out and fight with them, and win territory and people. Territory is profit. People are profit. War is profit. That's how the system works: These weapons manufacturers make weapons, give them to (mostly) the SIA and some to other countries, the SIA uses these weapons in war, and their winnings make them a hefty profit, so they go back, buy more weapons, the weapons manufacturers make even more money, and so on. It's a ruthless cycle."
Lavender: "I think I understand that, but..."
Adviser 1: "He said war is profit. The Shopper economy has evolved to become highly dependent on the war industry, mister president. For the past two years, we had been fighting someone, somewhere, almost constantly. With this we saw exponential economic growth. Now that the military industry, this big part of our economy, is stagnant, it's only accumulating debts that they can't pay off. When these industries collapse, with it goes much of the economy."
Lavender: "Ahh yes, I understand now. But that still doesn't explain why other companies, which aren't in the military industry, are going bust."
Adviser 2: "It's a chain reaction. The military companies buy products from other industries, like the steel and textile industries. If the military companies stop buying, these steel and textile companies take a big hit, and consequently a loss of profit. This process rattles like a shock-wave through almost every industry we have to offer."
Adviser 1: "As more companies go bankrupt, our economy is flushed even deeper down the drain."
Lavender: "I see. If we don't do anything, we risk total economic collapse, I suppose."
Adviser 1: "Indeed."
Lavender: "Then, I'm not an economist myself, what do you guys suggest we do about this? How do we solve this economic downturn?"
Adviser 1: "War."
Adviser 2: "War."
Lavender: "NO! We're not going to war just to save our economy; it's cowardly, and it's morally wrong to start dropping bombs on a random country just to stimulate our business... wait a minute. That's the solution! An economic stimulus! Lavender, you're a genius!"
Bro: "I doubt that would work. The SIA makes a lot of the government's profit. You intend on using government profit to stimulate the economy. You're digging yourself deeper into a hole that you, eventually, won't be able to get us out of."
Lavender: "Well, do you guys have any better ideas?"
Adviser 1: "War."
Adviser 2: "War."
Lavender: "FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, NO! I'm not going to war unless we absolutely, positively, have to! I have a moral objection to going to war with such flimsy causes, I've seen the destructiveness of it with my own eyes. I've had to commit the deed of killing a tyrant, and I don't wish something like that on anybody. Besides, war is only a temporary solution. We'll be in the same situation next year if we take the war path."
Bro and the advisers fell silent. They sat there for a minute, pondering Lavender's remark.
After the pause, Bro spoke up: "Well then Mr. President, if you're so opposed to our propositions, we'll politely assume that you're an expert economist and can handle it yourself."
Adviser 2: "Yes, good luck, sir."
Bro and the two advisers got up out of their chairs and promptly left the room. This meant Lavender was alone on his mission to save the Shopper economy, without reverting to his old ways of battle.
Chapter One: "Hope will be found in the Stars"
The general public was shocked by the sudden hit to the Shopper economy. Nobody had seen it coming. Shops Island went into panic mode, expecting a worse recession than ever before. The word had also gotten out as to why the economic downturn happened - because of the lack of war to stimulate the military industry. Conservatives in the Common Legislature vilified Lavender for being soft on Snowzerland and not declaring war, and saying he was therefore responsible for the economic crisis.
Lavender had to act, and fast. If he didn't make the right choice, and soon enough, the entire Antarctic economy would go into a recession.
The president was now back in the Common Legislature, ready to face the wrath of politicians from both the left and right wing. Lavender was there to deliver his plans on how to revitalize the endangered economy.
Speaker Placid: "Order, order, everyone! This assembly of the Common Legislature is now in session. We will open this session with an announcement from the President of Shops Island."
Lavender: "Thank you Mr. Speaker. I'm here today to put forward a daunting proposal to solve this economic crisis before it can wreak havoc on our daily lives and on the rest of Antarctica."
Everyone in the Common Legislature held their breath, expecting Lavender to declare war on Snowzerland. Antarctica watched the Shopper president with great anxiety.
Lavender: "I propose we do not go down the war path, as my colleagues have ostensibly pushed down my throat. No, we shall find a more practical solution to our problems."
And with that, everyone in the Common Legislature let out a deep breath, of either frustration or relief.
Lavender: "I have drafted up an economic stimulus package, which will temporarily keep the Military Industrial Complex and military companies afloat. While these companies are temporarily satiated by the stimulus package, we will make deals with other countries, to sell more arms to keep our business booming. The SIA will look elsewhere for profit, namely science and technology. These efforts will help to keep Shops Island from entering a devastating economic depression, while maintaining peace throughout Antarctica. Thank you."
Instead of cheering and clapping, as Lavender was used to whenever he made a bold proposal like this, he received boos and hisses from the entire legislature. His choice was extremely unpopular. Almost everyone in government thought the stimulus package wouldn't work. Almost everyone in government wanted war. Lavender was booed straight out of the Legislature's hall, and fled to find solace in the concourse.
Lavender's poll numbers plummeted overnight. Lavender's attempts for a non-military solution to the economic crisis made him look weak; as if he had suddenly lost his nerve.
"Woe is the nation - Whatever had happened to the heroic Lavender, who charged into battle against any and every enemy at the drop of hat? Must we now deal with a president who has grown too weak in the knees to even solve a domestic issue?"
However, Lavender kept firm; he believed that the economic stimulus package would work. That night, he was sitting in his room, with his wife, Violet, there beside him.
Violet: "Now now honey, I know you're doing the right thing, we're very proud of you."
Lavender: "Thanks, I guess. I don't know what I should do. This is the best solution to our problem we have right now. It's either this or war with Snowzerland. And I'm not willing to go to war just for a temporary economic boost. It's not worth it."
Lavender: "But, I just don't know, sweetheart. What if my plan fails? I'll have failed Antarctica. Then they'll all want my head on a silver platter. Heck, they're considering holding an election right now. The far right wing is calling for my impeachment!"
Violet: "I know you'll pull through, Lavender. You always have before, right?"
Lavender: "Yes, but this time I just feel so hopeless. I don't know why. It just seems like whatever I do won't be enough."
Violet: "Sweetheart, do you remember a year ago when we were fighting in the Frosian War? Do you remember what you said?"
Lavender: "Not really."
Violet: "You always said that we were fighting the good fight. We were fighting for peace and justice and democracy. Now you're fighting the good fight, again. I know that you'll find a solution, Lavender. You always have, and you always will. Now, it's time to go to sleep. Good night, honey."
Lavender sighed, and said to his wife: "I know. Good night, my dear."
And with that, they both fell asleep. Lavender had a hard time sleeping though. The thoughts of potential failure, of unpopularity, and of not finding a solution kept him up through the night.
A few days later, Lavender traveled north to Bro Town, to escape the political pressure, and the hustle & bustle of Shops City.
Bro Town was quaint. It was one of Shops' smaller cities. It had a very rustic feeling to it. The city had a mix of Puffish and Alemanian culture. Lavender slowly walked down the streets of the Alemanian part of town, pondering to himself, and trying to get his mind off of the current economic situation. A while later, he stumbled across an old penguin with a giant telescope pointed at the sky. Beside him was a sign written in German:
Kommen Sie und Jupiter sehen. 5 WB$
Lavender had a limited understanding of German, so he could read the sign. He went over to the penguin, paid him 5 WB$, and looked in the telescope. He could vividly see the planet Jupiter. This sparked imagination in awe inside Lavender. After gazing at the planet for a few minutes, he thanked the old penguin and went on his way. The beauty of it all lingered in his mind for the rest of the day, nestled inside his brain with all the economic problems he was facing.
Seeing Jupiter had had an impact on Lavender. Over the next few days, these thoughts began to plague him. He saw something special in the cosmos, something different from his day-to-day life on Earth.
One night, he went for a walk with Warning von Brown, the head of the SIA's rocketry division, and Shops Island's head rocket scientist. The two walked through Shops City's largest park, talking and taking in the scenery.
Von Brown: "So, Lavender, thank you for the evening."
Lavender: "The pleasure is all mine."
Von Brown: "Indeed. I just have one question for you."
Von Brown: "We haven't talked to each other for almost two years. Why do you decide to associate with me now?"
Lavender: "To be honest, it's because of something I saw the other day."
Von Brown: "What is it?"
Lavender: "I was in Bro Town, and I saw an old penguin with a telescope. I had nothing better to do, so I looked through it. I saw Jupiter. It was beautiful. It's different from anything I've seen before. I know I've been to space before, but this was special."
Von Brown: "Yes. Space is special. That's why I devoted my life to being a rocket scientist. Say, why were you in Bro Town in the first place?"
Lavender: "I was trying to get my mind off of the economic crisis. Everyone is attacking and maligning me, and I have no better solutions to our problems as of right now. So I went to Bro Town to get away from Shops City and my problems."
Von Brown: "Ahh yes. The economic debacle..."
Von Brown: "I really don't know what to say, Lavender. But the way you talk about Jupiter shows you see something special in space just as I do."
Lavender: "Yes. It's so different and enlightening to me, in comparison to how bleak I feel about my worldly problems."
Von Brown: "Exactly. I'm no economist, and I don't proclaim to be, but I have something important that you should consider:"
Von Brown: "Our lives on Earth may seem bleak and pointless, that's how I sometimes feel. So, I look to the stars. I find solace in the cosmos.
That's what I live by, Lavender. It may not be much hope to you, but that saying keeps me motivated and optimistic whenever times get tough."
Lavender: "I like that. I'll think about it. Quite a beautiful evening tonight, don't you think?"
Von Brown: "Certainly."
The conversation then turned to other things. But Von Brown's quote had struck Lavender in a special way. He thought on it for a while, and he became inspired.
Broseph: "What's gotten to Lavender? Last time I remember, he'd be all too eager to start dropping bombs. Now he's sent a bunch of guys to their deaths to try and make peace with evil powers."
Lorn: "I do believe that last war struck the poor bloke a little too hard, innit?"
Broseph: "Yeah, but still. He's been told what the problem is; we need money! War is money. Therefore, we need war!"
Lorn: "When you put it that way, you sound quite... ehh... off, yourself."
General: "Yes, excellent reasoning there, buddy."
Broseph: "Shut up, both of you. Even if we can't go to war, it's still wrong to send more of our men to their deaths."
Lorn: "Coming from you, of course."
Broseph: "I mean, sending diplomats to their deaths."
General: "Well then Sherlock, what's your solution?"
Broseph: "I want to send the special forces in to make sure these diplomats don't get killed. It may get messy, but it's the right thing to do."
Lorn: "You can't do that!"
Broseph: "Just watch me."
Broseph promptly left the room, tired of bickering with his friend and the other general.
Lorn: "Part of me likes to think he should have been sacked long ago."
"Okay everyone, the launch is only two days away. We must hurry, if we plan to stay on schedule! This payload is very important!"
Warning von Brown was at the SIA Space Command Center in rural Southern Shops. He was briefing his crew on what had to be done in the next few days; a small spacecraft was going up with an important payload for one of the Prosperity Space Stations.
Engineer: "No offense sir, but why don't we just use one of the old SIA Space Command Fleet ships?"
Von Brown: "Well, where's the fun in that?"
In another room, a phone audibly rang, but was silenced almost immediately.
Von Brown: "As I was saying before you and the phone interrupted..."
Von Brown: "...We have to be-"
Assistant: "Doctor von Brown, there's someone on the phone for you."
Von Brown: "Always with the interruptions. Give me a minute, people."
He took the phone, albeit he was visibly annoyed.
Von Brown: "Yes? Who is this? I'm very busy."
"Hey, Warning! It's me, Lavender calling."
Von Brown: "Please don't address me by my first name. And what is it, Lavender?"
Lavender: "That thing you told me the other night about the stars and all really got to me, and-"
Von Brown: "And you'd like to know more?"
Lavender: "Yes! How'd you know?"
Von Brown: "I get the question a lot, I'm just that brilliant. I'd normally defer a question like this to someone else, but because it's you, I'll make a concession. Visit my the day after tomorrow, in the northern part of Bro Town. We can take it from there."
Lavender: "Okay then, thanks man."
Lavender hung up the phone, as did von Brown.
Von Brown: "The things I have to put up with..."
Two days later, von Brown and Lavender met up in the north side of Bro Town.
Lavender: "So, what did you want to show me?"
Von Brown: "I'll show you now. Get in the car."
Lavender: "You're not gonna do anything... weird? Right?"
Von Brown: "Of course not! I'm Alemanian, not Castillan or from some whacky place like that."
Lavender: "Well said."
Warning von Brown and Lavender then set off, quickly leaving Bro Town and driving deep into the Mario Mountains. After almost an hour of driving along the high and winding roads, the two arrived at the peak of a mountain. On top of the mountain was a giant SIA observatory.
Lavender: "Wow, it's beautiful up here!"
Von Brown: "Yes, but we're not here to admire the view beneath us. Come inside, please."
Von Brown escorted the president inside the observatory. It looked even bigger on the inside. A giant telescope took up over a third of the room, and the rest had scientists and astronomers bustling around.
Lavender: "Wow, so this is where the taxpayer money goes."
Von Brown: "You should know. The Common Legislature just submitted their annual budget last week, right?"
Lavender: "Ha! You think I actually read that?"
Von Brown gave Lavender a disconcerting look, but he quickly brushed the expression off his face.
Von Brown: "Come here, Lavender. This is something I think you'll find quite amazing."
He allowed Lavender to take a seat at the viewing end of the massive telescope. Despite it being almost noon, the telescope was powerful enough to see right past Earth's atmosphere and into the cosmos. It zoomed in to a quite high-quality image of a planet, that somewhat resembled Earth.
Von Brown: "This is Gilese X-1834Y5897572300568070290721B. It's an exoplanet, which orbits the Ira Y-754496895427429021094397749G star. Ed Island is currently paying close attention to it."
The telescope then zoomed out, and then zoomed into another planet. It looked much like Earth as well, but the land surface was much greyer, almost as if the entire planet's surface was blanketed with snow.
Von Brown: "Just as Ed Island has been eying that other planet, we have been looking at this one. We call it Planet 1984. It's a closely guarded government secret, mister president. Do you see those orange things bursting around on the planet's surface?"
Lavender: "Yes. Are those volcanoes?"
Von Brown: "No. Those are explosions. Explosions which we can only assume are artificial. We know for sure that there is life on this planet, and we have a strong belief that there might be intelligent life there, too."
Lavender: "Interesting... Keep me informed about any updates on this planet, will you, doctor?"
Von Brown: "I'm sorry, but this is strictly the jurisdiction of the SIA Space-"
Lavender: "Mister von Brown, that was a presidential order, not a personal request."
Von Brown: "Fine. As you wish, sir."
Lavender had grown very interested with space, and Planet 1984 was no exception. It fascinated him to no end. He wanted to know everything there was to know about it. "Space is our future, especially this planet", he thought.
Despite Lavender's awe with what laid beyond Earth, there were still problems at home he had to address. His economic stimulus package did nothing to help the Shopper economy, which was falling even further down the tubes, with a more precarious situation than ever; Other Antarctic countries were starting to falter. Many Antarctic countries started to see their economies slowing. Some of the hardest hit were the Seal Islands and South Joseon, who were on the brink of recession because of decreased Shopper economic output, and Malesia, who was ready to declare bankruptcy.
The only glimmer of hope in this otherwise grim situation was that there had finally been a diplomatic breakthrough with Snowzerland and Dorkugal. The countries had agreed to re-establish embassies, increase trade, and cease any preexisting hostilities. However, this did nothing to stop the Common Legislature, who was more fed up than ever with Lavender's unwillingness to go to war.
Speaker Placid: "Alright everyone, order in the court! I get that you're all upset with the current situation, but please let the president tell his side of the story."
Lavender: "Thank you mister speaker. And to everyone else watching, I know our country is being put to the test right now, but we will prevail! As I've said too many times already, our country is bound for greater things than another bloody conflict. This economic stimulus will work, even if it doesn't look like it right now. Shops Island is destined for better things than bloodshed, we'll survive this recession - I know it! We've done it before and we'll do it again! Even if we don't have all the answers, and we can't find solace with our situation here on Earth, I know that hope can be found in the stars, instead. Thank you."
Politician: "WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!?!"
Lavender sulked back in his seat, as the barrage of insults and incessant yelling came toward him like a tsunami. He had grown used to it. Everyone else was still in awe because of Lavender's attitude. Everyone thought their president was asleep at the wheel. However, the president would prove them all wrong, in due time. Shops Island would find hope in the stars, eventually.
Chapter Two: Hostility
It was a cloudy day. It was always a cloudy day. It was in the midst of a large city, it was big enough to be South Pole City, but the place looked like a third world country. The city streets were paved with mud, there were old war and propaganda posters pasted against the walls, and all the buildings were either dilapidated concrete structures, or bombed out ruins.
In the midst of this scene, which would seem chaotic to any normal creature, a penguin... no wait, scratch that, some foreign thing that looked like a penguin walked through the streets of this weird and disturbing place.
He looked weird. He was much skinnier than a penguin, and he didn't have white feathers on his belly. He looked malnourished. His eyes were wide, cold, partly curious, and partly timid, as if he was in constant danger. His "beak" and "feet" were tiny and pale. He definitely resembled a penguin; he might be a one, he might not be.
As he walked down the street, there were sounds coming over loudspeakers posted all over the place, spitting messages, songs, propaganda, and other things.
"THIS YEAR WE HAVE INCREASED OUR MUNITIONS PRODUCTION FIVE-FOLD, EFFECTIVELY EXCEEDING THE ESTIMATES IN THE PREVIOUS FIVE-YEAR OUTLOOK. GLORY GOES TO THE CAPTAIN AND THE WORKERS OF ORWELLIA."
He walked into his tiny apartment complex, which was old and worn down, just like every other one. In his apartment, there were two rooms: one main room with a table, chair, and a giant tele-screen which scanned just about the whole room. The tele-screen heard all and saw just about everything else, 24 hours a day. In the other room there was a small bed, a tiny kitchen, and common toiletries. It too had a smaller tele-screen to look over that room. It was like an enlarged prison cell.
The creature tucked himself into a tiny corner of the main room, where there was a blind spot that the tele-screen couldn't see. He pulled a small book and pencil out of the wall, and wrote something in it:
"Do you ever feel like you're being watched?"
"Hey, Doctor von Brown! Come take a look at this! Quick! It's about Planet 1984!"
Warning von Brown was back at the SIA observatory in the Mario Mountains. He was recording some data when he was interrupted from his work by a scientist.
Von Brown: "Yes? What is it? I'm very busy."
Scientist: "We've found something pretty intriguing here. See for yourself."
Von Brown looked into the observatory's giant telescope, which was focused in on a certain area of Planet 1984. The image quality at this magnification was spotty at best, but Von Brown could still make it out.
Von Brown: "Those look like clusters of small explosions. It's almost as if it's from a bombing raid."
Scientist: "Precisely. At least, that's what the military is saying. We sent these images to the Military Industrial Complex, and they said that those explosions look just like those created when they go around bombing enemy cities."
Von Brown: "So that means..."
Scientist: "...That we have proof that there is intelligent life on this planet."
Von Brown: "Great! I know who will be overjoyed to hear this."
Lavender was sitting at his desk back in Shops City, looking over documents and vetoing economic legislation. Suddenly, the phone on his desk rang.
Von Brown: "Hallo Lavender, it's me, Dr. Von Brown. I have good news for you regarding Planet 1984."
Lavender: "Really? What is it?"
Von Brown: "We have a reasonable conviction that there is indeed intelligent life on this planet, so we're getting ready to take our next step."
Lavender: "What's that?"
Von Brown: "We're going to send a spacecraft to this planet, attached with a probe that will fly into the atmosphere and observe what's going on, and maybe collect some samples of life and other things while it's there."
Lavender: "That's awesome! I can't wait to see what comes of this, doctor."
Von Brown: "I'm excited too. We launch in ten days. You can come to our space facility if you want to see the launch for yourself."
Lavender: "I'd love to. I'll be there!"
And with that, Lavender hung up. He was intrigued by the fact that there was alien life out there. No longer was it just a possibility, or a dream, or a scientific calculation - now it was reality. It was time for Shops Island for take its first leaps in exploring the universe.
"THIRTY-TO-THIRTY–FIVE GROUP, TAKE YOUR PLACES."
A very loud message came out of the tele-screen in the creature (as mentioned before)'s apartment. A female figure that looked about his age came on the tele-screen, so he got up. It was his daily mandatory exercise ritual.
"UP... AND DOWN."
"UP... AND DOWN."
"UP... AND DOWN."
The task was to touch your feet. The creature was feeble and in constant pain, and he looked like he wasn't trying at all. He, unsurprisingly, got called out on it.
"#1949 SCHMIDT. YOU'RE NOT TRYING. ANY PERSON OF YOUR AGE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TOUCH HIS FEET."
So apparently his last name was Schmidt, and he had an identification number. Just like everyone else. He (let's call him 1949 Schmidt for the time being) tried harder to touch his feet, but with excruciating pain.
After that ordeal, he had to get ready and go to work. 1949 Schmidt worked in the Department of Reality as a "media editor". He was a member of the Party, which was the ruling organization which controlled everyone. In Orwellia, where 1949 Schmidt lived, there were four of these major departments which overlooked almost every aspect of life:
The Department of Reality handled media manipulation and anything to do with the written word.
The Department of Resourcefulness was responsible for providing the basics of life (which it did quite poorly).
The Department of Repose conducted any operations relating to war, the military, or law enforcement, with the exception of one faction of the law...
The Department of Righteousness was by far the most frightening. Nobody was allowed in or out of the Department of Righteousness. They were responsible for law and order in Orwellia, and most famously, the Mind Patrol. The Mind Patrol was responsible for arresting anyone who was considered an enemy of the state. They were known for being extremely brutal; a force that would make the SSS shiver.
So now, 1949 Schmidt was on his way to his job at the Department of Reality. He had to walk all the way, and it took about half an hour to get there. There was no such thing as public transportation in Orwellia, nor cars, nor bicycles, nor anything that could enable the movement of the average citizen. When he got to the main lobby of the Department of Reality, there was a giant poster sitting there. It was always there, along with many tele-screens, but this one was the biggest around.
The Captain was the absolute leader of Orwellia. He was a colossal figure; Orwellians viewed him as a god. His image almost constantly covered the tele-screens. There were propaganda posters of him absolutely everywhere. Total obedience, loyalty, and love toward him was demanded without question.
1949 Schmidt's job at the Department of Reality was to monitor media and edit out anything that didn't conform to the party's ideals (for the time being). It was a tedious job which took a toll on his health. He sat in a large room in a cubicle, with hundreds of other creatures sitting in hundreds of other cubicles, performing the same monotonous process over and over again. Such was life in Orwellia.
There was a large gathering occurring in the outskirts of Southern Shops. Warning von Brown, president Lavender, SIA director LMGT, Mito, John, Clank and many other scientists and engineers were gathered in a massive control room, with hundreds of other workers on computers.
"The launch will commence in T minus ten minutes. Fuel levels full. Prepare engines. Systems loading."
They were in the control room for the rocket launch. The SIA was ready to send a probe into the cosmos to explore the wonders of space.
Lavender: "This is exciting!"
LMGT: "We're all excited. We haven't accomplished anything big related to space in almost two years."
Clank: "It's the beginning of a new era, for sure!"
Lavender and the SIA personnel chatted amongst themselves for a few minutes, while the unmanned rocket was being prepared for launch. Eventually, everything was worked out, and so the infamous countdown began.
Begin launch sequence in
The rocket's engines roared to live, creating a massive blast that could be both heard and felt, even from the control center.
LIFT-OFF. All systems go. SIA Trailblazer craft #4854 "go" on all systems.
The control room erupted with cheers and claps. Lavender was especially joyous. He knew that this was the beginning of something great for Shops Island.
The rocket roared up into the air, leaving a trail of smoke and flames in its wake. Within one minute it was completely out of sight, even if you used binoculars. The rocket then ejected its first stage as it began to leave the atmosphere.
Once it entered space, it went into orbit. It orbited the Earth for about 15 minutes, before coming in contact with a Prosperity Space Station. There the rocket docked, and released its payload. The probe was taken out of the rocket (which was then ejected into space) and transferred to a specialized and unmanned Nebula craft. It took off from the space station.
Lavender: "May I ask, how exactly do you intend on getting there?"
John: "Don't you remember? We have Hyperspace capabilities, you fool!"
Clank: "Yes, we can get there faster than the speed of light! But wait, this has never been done before, and we don't have most of the calculations. What if we don't make it?"
Lavender: "We'll make it."
The Nebula craft then jumped into hyperspace, and was gone. It was traveling across the galaxy faster incredibly quickly. Although, it would still take a few hours to get there.
It was lunchtime in the Department of Reality. All the workers went to the galley to get their food (a generous term for it) and a ration of some intoxicating drink that distantly mimicked Cream Soda. They sat at long benches, with a massive tele-screen at the front of the room. On the screen, there was footage of battle coming out of a far corner of the planet.
"ORWELLIAN FORCES HAVE CAPTURED 5000 SQUARE KILOMETERS ON THE LEOPOLD FRONT AGAINST THE VERPOMMISH EMPIRE. ALL GLORY GOES TO THE MILITARY GENIUS OF THE CAPTAIN AND GENERAL..."
Worker: "Very good food, don't you think, Schmidt?"
1949 Schmidt: "Oh, uh... yes. Of course. Say, do you know what happened to Stan?"
1949 Schmidt: "You know, the one who... oh, never mind."
This "Stan" person hadn't shown up to work that day. He couldn't be sick; there would have had to be notice. That left only one logical conclusion: he was an unbeing. Whenever the Mind Patrol took someone out, their name would be removed from all records, and simultaneously the collective memory of everyone. Well, mostly everyone.
Soon, the Shopper probe had exited hyperspace, and for all the cameras to see back home, a planet was in front of it. It was Planet 1984 alright. It was completely white and gray, and there were explosions everywhere, on cameras for all to bask in.
Clank: "Ha ha, we made it!"
LMGT: "There's your proof. Artificial explosions."
Von Brown: "Let's take a closer look, shall we?"
The probe was maneuvered into the atmosphere of the planet. It slowed down in atmospheric entry, with a ball of flame around the probe. Eventually it slowed down and seeped into the lower atmosphere of Planet 1984. As soon as it descended above the clouds, it could see explosions and little figures all over the place.
Lavender: "Look! I see-"
"MISSILE LOCK. WE HAVE MISSILE LOCK. PROBE IS UNDER ATTACK. PROBE IS UNDE-"
Suddenly, the live feed from the probe went to static. Alarm bells went off in the room, and so Clank and John scattered to see what was going on.
Clank: "We have no readings! The probe was knocked out of the sky!"
Von Brown: "How does that happen?"
LMGT: "Noted: Planet 1984 has intelligent life. The life is hostile and has weapons."
Lavender: "Send another armed probe. Keep it under the radar. It'll start a Scramble for Planet 1984 if this gets out."
Von Brown: "Will do. This time we'll bring back some samples to work with."
A few days later, the SIA had prepared another, larger, probe to be launched to Planet 1984. Lavender was brought in, just as it was ready to enter Planet 1984's atmosphere.
Lavender: "Are you guys just gonna keep throwing probes at this planet until one gets through?"
Von Brown: "Don't be daft."
Lavender: "You know, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, is the textbook definition of insanity."
John: "Do be quiet, will you? We have a probe on the other side of the galaxy to navigate."
Clank: "And, this one's much better! It's five times as big and has stealth technology, not to mention on-board missiles to repel attacks. We also installed a feature that will let us beam-up any samples, such as rocks or creatures."
Clank: "Yes, why not? There's obviously intelligent life there, why not look into it? Think about it, we could bring aliens here and investigate them! Biologists would go nuts! I mean, that's never been done before!"
1949 Schmidt was walking home from his job at the Department of Reality, which was the same monotonous process every day. But today, it was raining. Where he lived, rain was acidic, and could eat away at his skin if he was exposed to it too much. So, he tried to duck in and out from under awnings and buildings on his way home, down the dirt-paved and neolithic "metropolis" that he lived in.
Suddenly, a weird object came hovering above him. He was used to seeing flying things, the Mind Patrol often used primitive helicopters to peek into buildings. But this one was different, a blue light was emitted from the bottom of the flying object, and 1949 Schmidt started to levitate.
1949 Schmidt: "WHAT'S GOING ON!?! SOMEONE HELP ME!"
It was too late. The weird flying object sucked him up, just before members of the Mind Patrol ran out from behind various buildings, and opened fire on the flying object. It fired a missile, reducing the area to rubble. It then took off and sped off into the distance. 1949 Schmidt had been removed from his gloomy world, but this was only the beginning.
Chapter Three: Revelations
In the midst of Lavender's space adventures, the economic crisis was still brewing. The stimulus packages were finally having effect, and the economic downturn had plateaued, but people were not happy. There were protests throughout Antarctica, angry at Shops Island for causing the economic crisis and not doing anything about it. The left wing was dissatisfied with the president's inaction, and the right wing was dissatisfied with Lavender not supporting the Military Industrial Complex. Lavender's approval ratings dropped all the way to twenty percent. The situation was dire.
But, Lavender's attention wasn't on the economy. He believed space exploration would stimulate the economy. And so, the SIA was more than happy to make his dream come true. They had now collected a life sample and rock samples from Planet 1984, and it was on the return trip, under extreme secrecy.
When the probe finally came back to Earth, there was little fanfare and much security. Its contents, including the living being, were transferred into the SIA headquarters. The rock and plant samples were sent for analysis by geologists and biologists. The living subject was brought into an interrogation room.
He was a miserable looking figure. Held the general figure of a penguin, but not exactly the same. He was gray, looked malnourished, had a resting sad face, and had a smaller beak and feet. When LMGT, the interrogators and interviewers first saw him, they were scared.
LMGT: "Get this creature some food and drinks! We need to feed him, he's malnourished... On second thought, bring me some too."
In the interrogation room, the subject was timid. It was dark and bland. So, they turned the lights on and hung some art on the walls. LMGT was to be the main interviewer/interrogator, as he was the head of the SIA.
Interrogator 1: "How will we communicate with him?"
LMGT: "Trial and error."
He sat down across from the subject and took off his sunglasses and looked him in the eyes. The subject was terrified.
LMGT: "Do you speak English, by any chance?"
Everyone in the room face-palmed. But, the timid subject said in a very soft voice:
Subject: "Ehh... no. I speak Orwellian... but it sounds quite similar..."
Everyone was stunned. Even LMGT. The subject could speak English!
Interrogator 1: "I don't believe it, he speaks English!"
Interviewer 1: "They may not call it English, but it certainly is English!"
Interrogator 2: "What are the odds?"
Interviewer 1: "One in a million!"
LMGT: "Everyone, settle down! He speaks English, we get it."
He focused back on the subject who was still timid.
LMGT: "Do you want some food, sir?"
Subject: "How do I... how do I know it's not... poisoned, or something else?"
LMGT, instead of responding with words, picked up a piece of food (which was, coincidentally, a donut) and ate half of it. He then handed it to the subject, who, after seeing LMGT eat it, decided to give it a taste.
Subject: "It tastes... sweet."
LMGT: "We have much more where that came from, my friend. Eat up, you need nutrition!"
Meanwhile, Lavender was relaxing at his desk. He was thinking about how to solve the overlying economic issue. He knew that war was not an option, and that a stimulus was only a temporary solution. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a knock at the door.
Lavender: "Yes? Come in!"
One of Lavender's assistants waddled in, and she was obviously excited.
Assistant: "Mister President, the SIA probe has returned to Earth!"
Lavender: "It survived?"
Assistant: "Yes, and we have lots of treasures! We even got ourselves a living subject. He's being examined by professionals right now."
Lavender: "Absolutely outstanding! I want to see it immediately."
Assistant: "I'll see what I can do, but please be aware that the examination is under extreme lock-down for security reasons."
Lavender: "Whatever, just tell the SIA that they've done a great job."
After some well-needed refreshments, the subject looked a little better, and was a bit more pronounced in his speech, as well as becoming a little more open. After some small talk, LMGT began to ask the important questions.
LMGT: "So, would you mind telling us your name?"
Subject: "My name is 1949 Schmidt, first name Wilson."
LMGT: "Is the "1949" just an identification number?"
LMGT: "Can I address you as just "Wilson", then?"
Subject: "As you wish."
LMGT: "So then, Wilson, can you describe to us a day in your life where you live?"
Wilson: "Every day I must get up at 0600 hours. Then I perform my stretches with the rest of my age group."
LMGT: "How is that done?"
Wilson: "Our instructor appears on the tele-screen, and-"
Wilson: "Yes. It's used to relay important information to the people, and for the Organization to keep an eye on us."
LMGT: "And what's the Organization?"
Wilson: "It's the group that maintains my nation, Orwellia. I'm a member of the Lower Tier, which about 15% of the population is part of."
LMGT: "What about the rest of the population?"
Wilson: "There's the Upper Tier of the Organization, which about two percent of the population is part of. They're in charge of the Lower Tier, they live better lives than us. The rest of the population are the peasants, they're uneducated savages who the Organization doesn't bother with. Our leader is The Captain. He liberated us from the evil forces fascism, democracy and capitalism single-handedly, and established our great nation. He protects us from our enemy: Verpomia."
The room fell silent for a minute. They realized that this situation was serious.
Interrogator 1: "He's brainwashed!"
LMGT: "I know. I'll keep up the questions. Maybe we can soften him up."
LMGT turned back to Wilson.
LMGT: "Who's Verpomia? How many other nations are there, roughly?"
Wilson: "Verpomia is our enemy, who has the most manpower of any nation, even though our technology is superior. We're always at war with either them or Ouestland. They're a younger country in the far east. They're our allies."
LMGT: "Ok then. Can you tell us more about your daily life?"
Wilson: "After those stretches, I go to work at the Department of Reality. It's one of our four departments. I'll tell you more about that later. There, I'm an editor. I edit out mistruths in print and make them right. After that, I go home to relax. Sometimes I go out to watch executions of Verpommish criminals or a military parade. Other than that, my life is average."
Again, the room was speechless.
LMGT: "Thanks for you input. Now, can you tell us how satisfied you are with your country?"
Wilson: "There's nothing to complain about. The Captain guides us in the right direction and is leading us toward victory in the war of Justice against our enemy! He cares about us and would sacrifice his life for us!"
LMGT: "...Are you sure?"
Wilson: "Yes, of course! I love the captain! I love Orwellia! I'd do anything for our precious land! please don't kill me"
LMGT: "Wilson, we don't get the idea that you're being completely honest. You sound desperate. Are you afraid that we'll hurt you?"
Wilson: "Ehhh... yes."
LMGT: "Your fears are unjustified. We are not Orwellia. We are not Verpomia. We are not Bonaparte. We do not know these nations. We are your friend. Anything you say to us will have no bearing on how we treat you. We don't punish people for having different ideals here."
Wilson: "Oh, okay..."
LMGT: "So I'll ask again, are you satisfied with your country?"
Wilson sat there and thought for a minute. He contacted his deepest emotions. But alas, he couldn't express it.
Wilson: "I can't. I just can't."
LMGT: "Ok then. Do you know what we think?"
LMGT: "We think that you've been brainwashed. We think that the government has molded you to be a perfect citizen, and by our standards, they've repressed your feelings under threat of severe punishment. Say, how are dissenters or heretics dealt with in Orwellia?"
Wilson: "The Mind Patrol monitors everyone. If someone thinks or says the wrong thing about The Captain or The Organization, they cease to exist. This has happened to a few of my colleagues."
LMGT: "Do you know what happens to them?"
Wilson: "I heard that they either go to re-education or to a work camp."
LMGT: "I see. I won't ask any more questions for now, but we'd like you to be our correspondent. We're going to research Orwellia and your planet a little more. We've purchased a house for you to live in, in CK Town. It's not too far from here. You can live there at our expense, and explore our way of life, and establish your own identity. If anyone asks where you come from, say you come from a place called Snowzerland."
Wilson: "Ok. I like that."
LMGT: "Search your soul for your true feelings, my friend. You and us could be making history as we speak. Have fun."
After settling in to his new house in CK Town, Wilson originally just stayed in his house because he was too scared of the outside. After a while, though, he got bored, so he went into town.
CK Town is quite a small town with a very tight-knit community. Everyone knew each other. Wilson found his way into a diner, where he sat at a corner booth and quietly ordered a glass of water. Across the restaurant was none other than Penquino, who himself was a resident of CK Town. He had never seen this person before, so he went over to Wilson's table.
Penquino: "Hey there! Are you from around here?"
Wilson: "Ehh... I just moved here, yes."
Penquino: "Do you mind if I sit with you?"
Wilson: "No, not at all."
Penquino slid into the booth that was across from Wilson.
Penquino: "My name is Penquino. What's your name?"
Wilson: "Wilson Schmidt."
Penquino: "So, where do you come from?"
Penquino: "That's cool. You came here to start a better life, eh?"
Wilson: "Yes, indeed."
Wilson: "Why would you go there all the time?"
Penquino: "I'm the governor of this state. I have to represent my state on the national stage."
Wilson: "So you know the leader of this country?"
Penquino: "Yes, although I don't always agree with him. Sometimes his ideas can be stu-"
Wilson: "DON'T SAY THAT! The Mind Patrol will get you!"
Penquino: "What are you talking about? We're in Shops Island. We have freedom of speech here. People don't get punished for expressing their opinions. A bunch of people don't like our president, some even want to throw him out of office because of the current economic situation."
Wilson: "Oh... really?"
Penquino: "Yeah. I understand that it isn't like that in Snowzerland, but it's different here."
Wilson: "So... I can say what I think about my leader?"
Penquino: "Of course!"
Wilson: "Well, I think that he's a tyrant! He oppresses my people and puts them into hierarchy! He doesn't let us say or think what we want, and he makes us live terribly! I hate him! I hate my country! I love freedom!"
Penquino: "Sounds about right."
They continued their conversation for a little while longer, dwelling into some less serious topics.
Meanwhile, the SIA was busy probing, mapping, and spying on Planet 1984. They had taken more subjects from the planet for testing and examination.
The SIA office in CK Town was bustling. A very anxious Wilson burst into the office.
Secretary: "Hello sir. Can I help you?"
Wilson: "Can I talk to a Mr. Lm34gt45, please?"
The secretary laughed. She thought Wilson was crazy. Nobody could just simply ring up a government or military official like that.
Wilson: "Is there a problem, miss?"
Secretary: "You can't just call that person up! You need special permission to do that."
Wilson: "Oh, ok... I guess I'll-"
Suddenly, an official-looking penguin in a suit stepped out of his office and came to the front desk. He hushed the secretary.
Penguin: "I know who this man is. We'll have him with LMGT in no time."
Wilson was taken to the SIA headquarters, where LMGT was now waiting for him.
LMGT: "Hey, nice to see you again."
Wilson: "You too."
LMGT: "Come inside."
LMGT motioned Wilson into the facility, and took him down a bright white hallway.
LMGT: "So, why are you here?"
Wilson: "I've had an epiphany! You told me to search my soul, and I did! And I discovered the truth!"
Wilson: "Orwellia is an oppressive regime that starves us and violates our rights. Here, I can say, think and do what I want! In Orwellia, I'd be killed or tortured for even thinking the wrong thing. There, our lives are completely controlled by The Organization. There, they-"
LMGT: "Wilson, we've retrieved much more information on your home planet and countries ever since we last saw each other. We've gathered... disturbing... records and evidence of what Orwellia and other countries there do to their peoples. For me, it's quite unnerving. We don't need you to tell us any more information. We have enough intelligence to do what we must with it."
Wilson: "What do you mean?"
LMGT: "That's a secret."
As the SIA gathered more and more information about Planet 1984, it became obvious to many that something, from a moral perspective, had to be done. Crimes against creatures on a scale and severity that nobody had seen before were unveiled. Evidence and tales of millions living in deliberate poverty and oppression. States that made North Joseon look democratic. All of these issues built up until the SIA finally took action.
LMGT, as head of the SIA, personally took the files and documents to Lavender, who was in his office playing around (as always). Though LMGT himself had not seen what was in the documents, he knew the scale of what was contained. As he walked into the president's office, the look on his face told Lavender that this was serious.
Lavender: "Is there something you need?"
LMGT: "Yes. Lavender, these are documents we've recovered from Planet 1984. We were originally going to keep these completely secret, but these documents are evidence of a greater enemy to freedom and security than we have ever reckoned with before. We want these images to be kept secret from the public, because they're just that shocking."
Lavender: "And I assume you want me to look at them?"
LMGT laid down the package of documents on Lavender's desk. Lavender reluctantly picked up the first folder, and took the first image out of it. His face immediately dropped. His face soured even further as he swiped through more pictures, and eventually to sadness, and then to horror as the pictures got even worse.
Before he even got through one file folder, Lavender put the papers down and swooped them off his desk.
Lavender: "We have to do something about this, don't we?"
LMGT: "I believe so, my friend. I believe so."
Chapter Four: Old Habits Die Hard
The next day, Lavender hurried in a surprise meeting of the Common Legislature. Nobody was happy to be there, as Lavender was doing nothing to improve the economic situation. As everyone got settled in, Speaker Placid rushed through the formalities and to Lavender's address.
Speaker: "We have been called here today for a very important announcement. Ladies and Gentlemen, the president of Shops Island, Lavender!"
Lavender stepped up to the podium with a lackluster applause and much chatter among the politicians. Lavender's face wasn't excited nor happy. He stood there, and the room fell silent. He then began to speak:
- "Ladies, gentlemen, politicians, workers, citizens, young and old, I need the attention of our nation.
- We have stumbled across a harrowing and unfortunate truth. In a world far away, far beyond our tiny and comfortable home, there is uncontrolled and unmoderated chaos, corruption, mischief, and evil. There is a world with life out there - I know it to be true, I've seen satellite photographs. There is a world with life in misery out there. A world modeled in the face of corruption, evil, and cruelty. A world plagued with sadness, depression, and melancholy. A world filled with disease, war, and tyranny. This is a world where nobody can say, think, or do as they please. This is a world where government silences, tortures, and then eliminates those who do not fit in. This world is full of injustice and oppression. Poverty and sickness. Ruin and hopelessness. This world needs salvation.
- Our own little world has its own problems, but they pale in comparison to what happens regularly in this world. As a free and civilized country, it is our duty to make sure all creatures, no matter what differences they have, can live in a world of freedom and opportunity. It is our job to right the wrongs of those who seek to undermine the very principle of justice and morality. We must set forth a mighty endeavor.
- Grant us a common hope that they shall know bread and peace, that they shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, and an opportunity to do their best and improve their world. We must bear upon ourselves the struggle to rescue their republic, their consciousness, and their civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. This world shall be made safe for freedom, justice, and democracy. We shall bring peace, safety, and righteousness to all these nations, and we shall make this world itself, at last, free."
As Lavender said his speech, shocking footage from Planet 1984 rolled to the legislature. At the end of his speech, Lavender received a standing ovation. The entire legislature understood the urgency of this information. It was a call from a suffering world to be liberated. Shops Island was the one who would have to respond. The speech stopped Shops Island in its tracks as it was broadcast on television and radio. The country seemed to have collectively forgotten about all its problems, and understood that it was their duty to set free a planet united only in pain and suffering.
There was a long and bumpy road ahead.
Broseph: "I knew Lavender would break sooner than later!"
Meanwhile, the Shopper military began to prepare for an invasion of epic proportions. The old ships and fighters of the SIA Space Command Fleet were taken out of hibernation on the moon and were ready to go to battle in an alien world. The navy prepared warships, aircraft carriers, and dreadnoughts for travel to space. Shops rented out Culldrome's Exclamator-Class Space Cruisers to transport ships, tanks, artillery, and soldiers into space to be sent through hyperspace and into the far reaches of the galaxy.
Lavender agonized over making the decision to call an invasion of Planet 1984. It violated his principles of trying to maintain peace, but he was convinced that it would be swift and easy. He had finally given in to what he had tried to avoid for almost a year: war.
Lavender: "I failed, didn't I, Violet?"
Violet: "No you didn't, honey. We're still fighting the good fight, aren't we?"
Lavender: "I guess."
Violet: "You'll do fine."
A ship flying the flag of Orwellia suddenly shook violently as water gushed out from the starboard side of the ship. As it began to quickly sink, a Verpommian submarine sulked out of the water to take a look at the sight.
This was an attack which showed just how ingrained war was on Planet 1984. The ship soon went completely under, and the submarine was about to dive back into the abyss, but not before they would face retribution of their own.
PEW PEW PEW BOOM
From the thick clouds, several Shopper Lancer aircraft swooped down and shot at the Verpommian submarine, destroying it. This was an act that was now being played out across the entire planet. Liberation had come.
For the "Liberation of Planet 1984", as it had been named, president Lavender ordered specific instructions to not harm civilians, and to only attack military targets and military infrastructure. The military and generals scoffed at this idea, but went through with it... for now.
After the aerial bombardment of strategic targets, Shopper, Ed and Culldrom spacecraft dropped hundreds of Shopper ships into the seas, and thousands of paratroopers descended onto the planet's surface, in a place that was quite temperate by penguin standards, about as cold as Shops Island normally was. It closely resembled the southern part of the human continent on Earth, North America. Among those in the landing group were General Broseph and his 9001st Legion.
Broseph: "Let's go boys, we got some fighting to do!"
Broseph jumped on a tank and his army took pursuit. His task was to meet up with the rival 48th Legion, which had landed almost 700 kilometers to the north. Broseph's tank column didn't advance far, though, before resistance was met.
Orwellian soldiers poured in by the thousands to face off the Shoppers, in one of their first encounters. Shopper tanks and tank destroyers made quick work of the Orwellians, which mainly operated on foot with the help of only a few tanks. As the frontier pushed forward, many troops stayed back to keep order in the now-Shopper territory. They faced constant opposition from Orwellian citizens, who fought to the death for their country. Shopper soldiers were shocked at the mass poverty and destruction that there was in these countries, but unbeknownst to them, the situation was much worse.
"ALIEN INVASION! TOTAL REPRISAL! ORWELLIAN FORCES, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CAPTAIN, AND GENERAL GRIMM, HAVE REPELLED THE ALIEN ADVANCE..."
News like this spread across Planet 1984. The governments of Planet 1984 were quick to convince those still under their rule that they were beating the Shoppers, but this was simply not true. The Shoppers were gaining vast swaths of territory every day. Military experts expected the invasion to be over within two weeks at the rate the Shopper military was going. Although Shopper soldiers were supremely outnumbered, Planet 1984's technology was no match for that of the Shoppers.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Somebody knocked on the door. The door of Wilson Schmidt's house. He was quick to come to the door and answer it. On his doorstep was Penquino, who he was now good friends with.
Wilson: "What are you doing here, Penquino?"
Penquino: "I have something to show you. Can I come in?"
Wilson: "I don't see why not."
Penquino came in, holding a newspaper in his flippers, but he kept the front page hidden. Wilson sat down on the couch, and Penquino laid the newspaper on the coffee table in front of him. In front of it was a bold headline:
Shopper forces begin invasion of Planet 1984
Wilson: "Planet 1984? That's what you guys call my home planet, right?"
Penquino: "Yes. We've already conquered almost a whole continent's worth of Orwellian territory, and we're penetrating Verpommian land deeply."
Wilson: "My comrades and friends will be set free! Hallelujah!"
Penquino: "Of course. That's the whole point of this operation."
Despite hopeful feelings on Shops Island, it quickly became clear that turning the citizens of Planet 1984 over to freedom. It was hard enough, considering the Shoppers were an alien race. That was only compounded by the situation of the citizens.
In Orwellia, its peoples were brainwashed completely by The Organization; it was almost impossible to crack the resolve of the Orwellians - Wilson was an exception.
In Verpomia, the government used gases to hard-wire its subjects into submission. The SIA would need to develop an antidote to this, and fast.
In Ouestland, brainwashing and genetic cleansing made capitulation to the Shoppers almost impossible as well.
The Shoppers quickly discovered this difficulty. Instead of making the conquered peoples submit by force, the SIA suggested an ingenious idea. They hacked all communications networks, namely those of the infamous tele-screens. These were reprogrammed not to Shopper propaganda, but to normal TV networks, which aired shows such as documentaries, cartoons, comedies, dramas, and much more. The SIA was to try and break the will of Planet 1984's peoples by submitting them to Shopper culture. As Shopper troops occupied Orwellian, Verpommian and Ouestian cities, any and all government propaganda was torn down.
Eventually, the technique began to work in Orwellia and Ouestland, and Shopper scientists were well underway to developing a cure for the Verpommish mind-control gas. Citizens began to want more of this technology, and so televisions, phones, and computers began to be shipped in, as well as commodities such as food and clothing. This supplementation by the Shoppers turned many to their side. Die-hard supporters of the Orwellian and Ouestian governments fled to seek refuge in what was still Orwellia and Ouestland. Many liberated citizens joined the Shopper military so they could help rise up against their oppressors.
Instead of bombs, Planet 1984 was bombarded with food, clothing, shelter, and technology. Shops Island used the pure power of want and lust to turn people over to their side.
Eventually, Orwellian, Verpommian, and Ouestian troops were retreating on all fronts as the Shoppers and their superior firepower pounded ahead. Tanks were going at full speed; one division could cover over 100 miles in a day. To keep up the advance, the SIA invented a new wonder weapon: The High-Speed Tank.
It was the fastest tank ever, with a top speed of 100 MPH. This new innovation allowed the militaries to cover even more territory in a day. Meanwhile, the enemy forces dug in to strategic places, turning them into impregnable fortresses.
With the help of the new High-Speed tanks, Broseph's rapidly-advancing army met up with Baron von Broseef's 48th Legion, not far from "Base Eight", the largest city on the continent of North Orwellia. Broseph and Broseef's columns had cut the Orwellian lines from the whole continent. Now it was time to advance.
Broseph: "Hey, cuz! How does it feel to lose the race again?"
Broseef: "What do you mean? I obviously got here first."
Broseph: "No you didn't. But anyway, now it's time to push in."
Broseef: "Don't you think one of our armies should go somewhere else now? They're struggling on the Verpommian front, and the Ouestians are also being a bother."
Broseph: "Do you think you can handle these guys' defeat?"
Broseef: "Of course!"
Broseph: "Well then, best of luck."
The two cousins shook on it. Broseph would send his 9001st Legion and other divisions off to fight the Verpommians, while Broseef's troops would handle the final advance. The Shopper blitzkrieg on North and South Orwellia was swift and crushing. Everyone believed the conflict would be over quickly.
Just days later, Broseph was ready to lead another invasion army. This time, they sailed to Malabar, where the Orwellians and Verpommians were actively fighting. Shopper warships began to bombard the shoreline with their massive guns. Captain Swaggins was at the helm of the head dreadnought.
BOOM BOOM BOOM
Cannons pounded the shoreline defenses, as Shopper landing craft were prepared and sent out. They put up smoke screens so as not to be detected.
Broseph: "Okay guys, who are the new outfits?"
Other Soldier: "It's hot here!"
Broseph: "We won't be here long, if this place is anything like North and South Orwellia."
The soldiers invading Malabar had been given new uniforms and equipment, which were designed for fighting on the deserts of the continent, which could reach temperatures of up to +20° Celsius.
Troops started landing on the beaches in no time. They had landed in Verpommian-held ground, and so the Verpommians started firing heavily. Shopper soldiers were slaughtered on the landings below as they ran up the beaches and up to capture the defensive positions. The Shoppers were helped by fighter aircraft, which targeted Verpommian gun and troop emplacements.
In no time, the beach was secured, and so it was time to set out. Fighters and bombers were sent ahead to soften up the enemy, as the Shoppers poised themselves for their next big attack.
Broseef's forces were also advancing on their final target: Base Eight. It was an Orwellian stronghold that was armed to the teeth. Baron von Broseef gathered up all the available forces in the area, to get ready for an invasion. The Shoppers secured their position, and began to fire heavy artillery upon the city.
BANG BANG BANG
Soldier: "General, I don't think we can pull this off!"
Broseef: "Don't be silly, of course we can! We've pulled off the more ridiculous before, haven't we?"
Soldier: "Yeah, but not at these odds!"
Broseef: "Stop complaining and get back to work."
The soldier was right, however. The Shoppers were outnumbered twenty-to-one. But, the Shoppers had a technological advantage. It was soon found out that most citizens were forced out of the city, Broseef allowed bombers to fly ahead and obliterate the city, to soften it up. It didn't work.
Broseef: "What do you mean the bombing raid didn't work?"
Pilot: "They're still dug in. We'll have to go in there and flush them out one by one, or we can do it the easy way."
Broseef: "What's the easy way?"
Pilot: "Drop a Squarium bomb on them. If there's no civilians, we wouldn't really be breaking Lavender's rules."
Broseef: "You're right. We'd have to fall back though, wouldn't we?"
Pilot: "Of course, but I think it's worth it."
As the Shopper front grew larger by the day, citizens in the occupied territories eventually started to open up the occupying Shopper military, discovering that they were normal beings who were capable of feeling. Many citizens tuned into their tele-screens regularly to watch programming broadcasted from Antarctica. Citizens were finally beginning to have their brainwashed craniums cleansed. Along the streets propaganda posters were torn down and posted with other messages:
QUESTION YOUR GOVERNMENT
YOU ARE IMPORTANT
MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES
YOU CAN DO IT
LET'S MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Many citizens turned themselves over to the occupying Shoppers, wanting to volunteer in the resistance movement. The Shoppers refused their requests for security reasons. Most civilians in all the occupied territories were being transformed by what the Shoppers called "Operation: Tele-screen" - except for those in Verpomia, who would have to be given a neural antidote.
On the Malabar front, General Broseph's army was advancing well into the desert. All was going well, until:
Soldier: "We're under attack!"
An artillery shell hit a group of infantry, killing them instantly. Shells were being fired over the Shopper troops' heads from both the north and south.
Soldier: "Well, at least they're terrible shots for the most part."
Broseph: "No they aren't, you idiot! Those are Orwellian and Verpommian forces fighting, and we're trapped in the middle!"
Soldier: "Then what do we have to do?"
Broseph: "We need to break out. Let's split our forces in two. I'll push to the North against the Verpommians, and the other half can go south against the Orwellians. We just need more tanks and artillery."
Support would come quickly. The Shoppers were already setting up armaments factories in the occupied territories, which paid and employed willing citizens. New tanks were being brought to the front in the hundreds. Broseph soon begun his double-pronged offensive to capture Malabar. He was going to move up into Großverpomia and capture the continent, as the rest of his army secured Malabar. It was a daunting task.
While the military campaign pushed forward on Planet 1984, there was trouble brewing back home. There had recently been a terrorist attack in Vonkouver, with over 500 dead and more than 1000 injured. This meant that Lavender had no choice but to put Shops into yet another conflict, one which he had actively been trying to avoid: the Antarctic War on Terrorism. Lavender thought to himself:
"I have failed peace."
Everything was blown apart in a split second. A Squarium bomb had been dropped. Instead of fighting the Orwellian forces in person, Baron von Broseef decided that no civilian lives were at risk if the city was nuked instead. As a giant mushroom cloud lingered above the decimated city, Shopper forces moved in to occupy the last Orwellian stronghold in North and South Orwellia.
Broseef: "Two continents down, four more to go!"
Soldier: "I can't wait!"
Broseef: "Men, I want you to spread out and secure the city. Half of you will stay back as an occupying force. The rest of us will go to Malabar and help with the advance there."
Meanwhile on the Malabar front, Broseph's troops were blitzing their way across the vast desert, driving over sand dunes and zooming off towards the horizon. Broseph and other troops rode on Troop Transport Units, as High-Speed Tanks pushed ahead, and other tanks and artillery followed behind. Everything was going to plan, until suddenly:
Soldier: "What's that?"
Over a giant sand dune in front of the Shopper column, three red biplanes flew over the hills, and dived down to strike the Shopper forces. They opened fire and strafed the Shoppers before flying out of sight. Reports such as this came from all across the front. The Shoppers were caught off-guard; they didn't expect the enemy to have airplanes.
They were Verpommian aircraft. The Verpommians were the first to develop aircraft; they called it the "Wunderwaffen", or "Wonder weapon". It had led to many Verpommian victories against the Orwellians and Ouestians, and so it was expected to do the same for the Shoppers. But, they had no idea of what would come next.
Broseph: "That's how they want to play, eh? We'll show them how to play the air-war game!"
Soldier: "What do you mean sir?"
Broseph: "I'll show you. Get me on the line with General Lorn."
In no time, Broseph had been connected to General Lorn, commander of the Shopper Air Force.
Broseph: "Hey Lorn, it's me, Broseph."
Lorn: "Yes, what is it?"
Broseph: "I'm just wondering how many bombers were have in the northern Malabar area."
Lorn: "Around five thousand. Why?"
Broseph: "No particular reason. I just thought they could come in handy later."
Lorn: "Ah, okay. All is well then, I assume?"
Broseph: "Yes, and it's going to get even better for us soon!"
Soon after, many of the 5000 bombers were moved to Broseph's area, where they were loaded with bombs. They took off from makeshift runways, and headed north across the Verpommian Sea to the continent of Großverpomia. General Lorn was personally commanding the bomber fleet.
Lorn: "Alrighty lads, let's make this swift, innit?"
Pilots: "Yes, sir!"
Many Heavy and Super Bombers took off from the desert in quick succession. They were being escorted by fighters, and had no trouble getting across the Verpommian Sea, which separated northern Malabar from Großverpomia. Along with bombs, there was something special aboard as well. The SIA had successfully developed an antidote to the Verpommian neuro-toxins; this antidote would hopefully reverse the minds of the brainwashed Verpommians, and cause them to revolt.
The target for this bombing raid was Köpenick, Verpomia's largest city, with a population of over fifteen million. The Super Bombers got there in no time. A few biplane fighters were sent up by the Verpommians to deal with the Shopper Air Force, but they were quickly swept aside. Anti-aircraft defenses in the city were also lacking, so the path remained open for the bombers.
Lorn: "Okay boys, let them have it!"
Under Lorn's command, millions of bombs dropped from the bellies of the Super Bombers. The city lit up in flames like a giant bonfire; Köpenick was set alight by the overwhelming force of the Shopper military.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, there was another epic battle underway. Captain Swaggins was in charge of the Shopper naval fleet in the Sea of Ouestland, where Ouestian resistance was fierce.
Swaggins: "Men, what's our status right now?!"
Captain: "We're outnumbered greatly, sir. What do you suggest?"
Swaggins: "Release the submarines. All of them. Let's sink them!"
Swaggins sent out the submarines to get the Ouestian warships. This was just another example of Shopper technology being used to overpower the enemy on Planet 1984. It would pave a precedent for the rest of the conflict.
Chapter Five: Change
Meanwhile, back in the Shopper homeland, the situation was improving vastly. Shops Island had officially pulled itself out of recession as the result of fighting two battles at once, although Lavender wasn't happy about it. The Shoppers were winning both conflicts, and as a result, the Military Industrial Complex was happy, and therefore propping up the economy. However, there was also trouble brewing on the war front.
Given the astronomical distance between Earth and Planet 1984, it took a long time for news and information to reach Shops Island from the front. Information normally came about two weeks after the event happened. One of these events was about to shock the very core of the Shopper War Machine.
Lavender was on the outskirts of Shops City, examining new technologies that were ready to go to the front. He was pulled aside by an assistant.
Assistant: "Mister President, we need to talk for a minute."
Lavender: "Why? Is something wrong?"
Assistant: "That depends entirely on your opinion."
Lavender: "Well, what is it?"
Assistant: "We've discovered some shocking information from the Planet 1984 front... it turns out that there are active bombing raids going on against Verpommian targets, sent from the Malabar front."
Lavender: "I thought I specifically forbade the bombing of civilian targets..."
Assistant: "What will you do, sir?"
Lavender: "I want to know, who did this?"
Assistant: "General Lorn, sir."
Lavender: "No, it couldn't have been Lorn; he's not like that. It would have to be someone else with that kind of mercilessness."
Lavender: "Yes. I'll have to deal with him, it's obvious he's taken this thing too far..."
Lavender had specifically stated that there would be no mass bombing of civilian and enemy targets. General Broseph had been tiptoeing on Lavender's bad side for quite a while, and this action sealed the great general's fate.
Lavender's decision was monumental. The media summed it up with emotion and shock:
Shops Island and much of Antarctica was in shock by this proclamation. Lavender justified his (very controversial) actions in a press conference speech later that day:
Lavender: "General Broseph was sacked due to criminal negligence and dereliction of duty and honor. His job was to command a land advance against the forces of Planet 1984, not to mercilessly bomb civilian targets. General Broseph has made many controversial decisions before, now, I and others have judged that Broseph serves more as a liability than as an asset. From hereon in, he is officially stripped of his role as Supreme Commander of the Shopper Armed Forces, and Baron von Broseef will assume that position effective at noon tomorrow. Shops Island has committed itself to Planet 1984 to set free a suffering humanity, not to prolong their suffering for our own personal gains. Thank you."
General Broseph was furious at the news of his removal from command. He took his anger out on subordinates, before he could be consoled. Baron von Broseef phoned his cousin to calm him.
Broseef: "Don't worry, cousin. You made some bad decisions - it's not the end of the world."
Broseph: "What do you mean? I'm a disgrace now! My reputation is ruined!"
Broseef: "Maybe you shouldn't have stepped outside your boundaries then."
Broseph: "But I was about to win the war! Doesn't Lavender understand our situation!? We can't possibly win without air power!"
Broseef: "You may not be able to win that way, but I certainly can."
Broseef: "Just watch me."
Soon after the phone call, Broseph was sent on his way back home on a returning Nebula spacecraft. He had been removed in disgrace from the Shopper military that he had so faithfully worked for and built up; he felt betrayed.
After his return home, he was met with little fanfare, although some people showed up to show their appreciation. After he returned to Earth, Broseph would move from Shops Island and settle in Sunset City, New Delphis, where he would live for the rest of his life.
Meanwhile, General Broseph's documents were being searched through. Broseph's actions and discharge came with a sweep through of all of Broseph's files, and those of his aides. Some shocking things were revealed about Broseph's chain of command and his plans for after the war.
While Broseph's removal from command was shocking and sobering, there was still a war going on, and there was still work to be done. Baron von Broseef was now the supreme commander of Shopper forces, and was sent to the northern Malabar front. Broseef ordered the end of bombing raids. It was now clear that something had to be done with Verpomia; its population was vulnerable, and the full force of the Verpommian military would bear down on Shopper forces if Broseef did not act.
General: "Sir, what do you suggest we do?"
Broseef: "I really don't know... I'm not used to making such consequential decisions."
General: "Well, what do you think is the right thing to do?"
Broseef: "I think we should invade Großverpomia while we have the chance. It will bring this war to an end much sooner."
General: "An invasion it is, then. Good luck, commander."
Broseef would have to come to terms with the great power he now wielded. He was about to begin the final push against the most powerful of the three superpowers on Planet 1984. Now that Broseph was out of command, the Liberation of Planet 1984 would fade out of popularity as attention was turned elsewhere.
At home, many people from Planet 1984 were going back to Earth on Shopper spacecraft returning home, and seeking refuge in Shops Island. Collectively, the people of Planet 1984 began to realize just how much they had been deprived of. One of these was Wilson Schmidt (remember him?), who was the first to be abducted from Planet 1984 by the SIA.
Schmidt was inspired by the action that the Shoppers were taking, and therefore decided to send a rallying cry to those who had escaped the iron grip of Planet 1984's dictatorships, as well as a cry for support of penguins and puffles everywhere:
|“||As of late, it has made the rounds of the media time and time again to those living throughout Antarctica, that Shops Island has been pushing its way into the frontier of my home, Notron. As you people may call it Planet 1984, we call it Notron, and would like it to be designated as such. Aside from that, all of us Notroneans are forever grateful to the Shoppers for their courage and charity in our time of need. They have picked millions of us up from the rut we know as poverty and oppression. But now, fellow Notronean refugees, and fellow Shopper compatriots, it is time for us to return the favor. We as the citizens of Notron must do our part to liberate our embattled planet. The Shoppers have laid the framework for change and reform, which many of us have now seen with our own eyes. We have been opened up to a life of peace, privacy, security, plenty, and love, among many other things. We must use these qualities to band together, and to focus on a common goal. That goal is to liberate our home from the governments that have so long deprived us of our basic rights and joys of life. Our ancestors died to make us slaves. We must live to set ourselves free! It is our job to fight for Notronean freedom, and to pave a brighter future for all. Let us therefore join together as a force for good, and let no power put asunder.||”|
— Wilson Schmidt
His message was incredibly popular, and was able to rally all free people of Planet 1984 under a common cause. From now on, they'd be known as the Notronean Liberation Movement.
Meanwhile, while Schmidt had captivated the attention of Shops Island, Baron von Broseef and his forces had invaded Großverpomia, and were pushing deep into the Verpommian homeland. They had captured the Romisch Peninsula. Broseef was ready to push through the mountain range that separated the Verpommian heartland from the Shopper armed forces. Broseef had stopped the bombing raids, but was still quickly driving through the heart of Verpomia.
Broseef: "I'll be in Köpenick in a week! Haha!"
Soldier: "Provided there's anything left, sir."
It was a dim day in the deep corners of Verpomia, where two seemingly inconspicuous Notroneans met just shy of the town square, near a giant Telenacle-like structure.
Notronean 1: "Hallo, Komarade." (Hello, comrade.)
Notronean 2: "Hallo."
Notronean 1: "Du weißt warum wir hier sind, richtig?" (You know why we're here, right?)
Notronean 2: "Ja, natürich." (Yes, of course.)
Notronean 1: "Dann beweist es. Was ist das Passwort?" (Then prove it. What's the password?)
Notronean 2: "Fahrrad." (Bicycle.)
Notronean 1: "Okay, I guess we can speak English now."
Notronean 2: "Yes, I suppose."
Notronean 1: "I'm an agent from the SIA Special Forces, here to help you guys with your sabotage operations. Say, how is your English so good?"
Notronean 2: "I'm from Verpomia, but I spied on the Orwellians for many years."
Agent: "Okay then. Let's get down to business, shall we? I've brought technology for your movement."
Verpommian: "Thank you!"
The agent pulled a large backpack out of his inventory. He opened it up, and inside were many walkie-talkies.
Agent: "These can be used for communications. Now, I have to go undercover before our meeting gets suspicious. Bye!"
Verpommian: "Tschüss!" (Bye!)
Many meetings like this happened throughout Orwellia, Verpomia and Ouestland, as the Notronean Liberation Movement armed itself to combat Planet 1984's governments domestically. However, there was staunch reprisal. Anyone convicted of being part of the movement was executed on the spot. The fight of the local populace was to be hard, but fruitful.
Elsewhere in Verpomia, there was trouble and panic brewing. In the capital of the Großer Königburg, at the largest castle in Verpomia, built over 1000 years ago, many of Verpomia's most prominent noblemen and generals were meeting to discuss the Shopper invasion.
General: "Wir mussen kämpfen! Wir können noch gewinnen!" (We must fight! We can still win!)
Nobleman: "Aber wie? Jetzt wir kämpfen einen krieg auf zwei Fronten!" (But how? Now we're fighting a war on two fronts!)
General: "Ähh... Ich weiß nicht..." (Umm... I don't know...)
Nobleman: "Ich dachte so." (I thought so.)
As the room was in a frenzy, over what should be done, someone solemnly walked through the giant doors of the room everyone was in. It was Svend, king of Verpomia. Throughout the years of his reign, he had lost almost all his power through delegating it to the noblemen and generals. They called the shots, but Svend still had the power to persuade. As he entered the room, everyone stopped what they were doing, and fanatically saluted their weakened king.
Svend: "Ich habe genug hatten. Wir mussen den Krieg gegen den Shoppern beenden. Meine Volk haben genug litt. Wir können nicht gewinnen. Wir mussen kapitulieren." (I've had enough. We have to end the war against the Shoppers. My people have suffered enough. We can't win; we have to surrender.)
Nobody could believe what they were hearing. But, before anyone could respond, yet another disturbance rang in from out of nowhere.
Out of nowhere, a massive shell blasted through the roof of the castle, killing many noblemen and generals. All of the survivors looked out of the castle's panoramic and stained-glass windows, to see artillery and tanks firing off in the distance.
Svend: "Sieht ihr? Der Feind kommt schnell, und sie wahrscheinlich böse sind. Wir könnten leiden und sterben, oder wir könnten kapitulieren, welche gibt die beste Chance zu unserer Volke." (See? The enemy is coming quickly, and they're probably angry, We could suffer and die, or we could surrender, which gives the best chance to our people.)
The giant room fell silent, in pondering, with only gun and artillery fire in the distance to break the peace. Eventually, everyone came to a solemn agreement that the war was lost. The Shoppers were on their doorstep, and there were no illusions that they had more might, as well as more goodwill for the Verpommian people.
Baron von Broseef drove his troops into the city, meeting only patchy resistance. All of the soldiers wondered what was amiss. Suddenly, as the Shopper troops pushed into the historic city center, which had already been damaged by Shopper cannon-fire, the white flags of surrender started to fly.
Broseef: "Halt, everyone! They're surrendering! Don't hurt innocent civilians!"
Dust from explosions and cannon fire settled, and from the haze, out came three figures. As it came closer, it was obvious that it was an official surrender delegation. There was a general holding a white flag, a soldier flying the Verpommian flag, and another elegantly dressed person to the right of them. They all looked angry and depressed.
Broseef: "Lay down your arms, men."
The Shopper troops dropped their guns, and the Verpommian flag was lowered. Broseef walked towards the surrender party, and extended his flipper. The elegant person on the right shook it first.
Elegant Person: "Ich weiß nicht ob Sie die Höhesprach verstehen, aber ich bin König Svend von Vorpommern. Wir sind hier zu kapitulieren zu Ihnen." (I don't know if you understand German, but I am king Svend of Verpomia. We're here to surrender to you.)
Broseef: "Nein, Ich verstehe." (No, I understand)
Verpommian General: "Er versteht uns!" (He understands us!)
At this point, most of the Shopper troops were confused and were getting impatient. One of the officers handed Broseef the instrument of surrender, and a translator stepped forward to control the proceedings.
Broseef: "We need you to sign here, Mr. General and Mr. Svend. It's a document of your surrender to the Shopper Armed Forces."
Svend: "We will surrender, but only if-"
Broseef didn't let Svend respond fully, before he retorted: "We can only accept an unconditional surrender of all Verpommian forces, everywhere. Otherwise, the fighting will continue."
Svend and the general looked at each other grimly. Then King Svend pulled out a pen and signed the document, instituting the surrender of all Verpommian forces fighting everywhere. Their humiliation was complete. Broseef took back the document, and shook Svend's flipper.
Broseef: "Alright boys, round them up. Put the king on house arrest in the castle, send the troops and generals to the prisons. We'll deal with them later."
Verpomia's surrender was met with joy and happiness in Shops Island, but the conflict on Planet 1984 seemed so far away and inconsequential. Shoppers were more focused on domestic and Antarctic issues. The Antarctic War on Terrorism had come to an end, which generated much more publicity and celebration than Verpomia's surrender to Shops Island. Most Shoppers found the Planet 1984 conflict to be very distant, and saw it as an inevitable victory for Shops Island. The Shopper government was ready to start mopping up the mess they had created, and Lavender wanted to make sure such a chain of events like this would never happen again.
President Lavender realized the problems that had led to the invasion of Planet 1984. He realized that the problem of Shops' economic crisis had still not been solved. He decided to address the Common Legislature during a session to share his proposals.
Lavender: "Thank you all for being here today. I've come forward with a new proposal to ensure a safe and secure domestic future for Shops Island. The first half of 2015 has been hectic. We have survived a terrible economic recession, and we are bringing liberty to a far-away planet that so sorely needs it. I know we are all sick of hearing about the conflict so far away. The tales of General Broseph, the tales of horrendous attacks on civilians, and the tales of general treachery are bemoaned by our people. I have come to the Common Legislature to make sure we can never have such events happen again. The reason our economic crisis started in the first place was due to a failure of the Military Industrial Complex. They have such a stranglehold over the economy, that any time they sneeze, Shops Island gets the flu. Part of the reason Planet 1984 was invaded, truthfully, was to solve our economic woes. We must make sure that something like this can never happen again. The Military Industrial Complex's influence on the economy will be shrunk so that any faltering on their behalf will not harm our nation as a whole. We will invest Planet 1984's resources into other non-military-related industries. As for the issue of Planet 1984, they shall become a free and democratic society. I wish not for us to exclusively govern them, as these people have been oppressed and subjugated for a long time already. Our goal is to bring peace, justice and prosperity to this planet, not to colonize it. We as a nation are committed to these goals, and we as a nation are committed to making our future much brighter and more optimistic. We as a Shopper society shall prevail, we as Shoppers shall never give up!"
Lavender's speech was met with thunderous applause, although there were skeptics, especially within the military. However, the Shoppers frankly didn't care anymore. The rest of the war would go on rather uneventfully, with Planet 1984 being liberated for good.
Eventually, the news did come. Planet 1984 had fallen! Orwellia and Ouestland had fallen, it had only been two weeks since Verpomia fell! But, there was no celebration. The Shoppers in general were sick of war. They thought the war on this far away planet was useless. The announcement of the final surrender was lackluster at best. Everything continued as normal, even though some people were certainly happy.
On the now-liberated Planet 1984, there was a frenzy of celebration. Hundreds of millions threw themselves into a massive frenzy of celebration. Parties were held for days on end, as the peoples of Planet 1984 welcomed their liberators in open arms. Wilson Schmidt, leader of the Notronean Liberation Movement, made a statement regarding the liberation.
Wilson: "Today, at long last, the peoples of Notron celebrate! We celebrate the liberation of our home, thanks to the charity and help of a power from a far away planet, as well as the will and bravery of our own people. Our long-desired goal has been finally reached. We as a world are now free. We can speak and think as we like! There will be no more living in fear of government oppression! There will be no more prejudice and hate! There will be no more sadness! All will be right - our heroism and determination has led to the greatest revolution of all time. Our peoples have escaped the iron grip of tyranny to live as a free society. Our job as a world should be to make love and peace, not hatred and war. Through all we as Notroneans have endured, we now taste the fruits of our labor. So GO, my people! Be happy! Live a life of enjoyment! Live a life of prosperity! Live a life of freedom! Hallelujah!"
Epilogue: What Lies Ahead
Planet 1984 had now been ripped from the jaws of evil and tyranny. The planet was free, and would be free to make its own decisions. Those who had committed atrocities in the name of the planet's governments would be put on trial in the city of Vonkouver for crimes against humanity and crimes against peace. Planet 1984 would become a dominion. The Shopper financial crisis had finally come to an end. Lavender's plans to keep the peace and to recover from the recession without war had failed. However, the framework had been laid for an economic future without military conflict.
The legacy of this story is uncertain. In the general mindset of Shops Island, the chain of events was insignificant, even though it was far from in terms of effort and reward. To Notroneans, the events of this story constituted the greatest cultural, social and political revolution in their history. As for the overall significance of what has happened here, that's for you to decide!