Vignette:Into the Limelight

From Anterra
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Into the Limelight
Constantinallis 85, Protopoli, Thalassian Republic of Propyrgia
January 19th, 1990

t’s going to be a long while.

The newsreels pass by Vaso’s eyes in a blur. He can barely parse what the narrators are saying. The coffee mug by his side is empty; it’s been empty for quite some time now, but he can still smell the coffee beans. Michail’s long since passed out, his arms crossed as he snores his worries away. The pen wriggling around in his hand has been idling on blank paper; he can’t think of anything to summarize ten years’ worth of world events. He lifts himself up to correct his posture one more time before he refocuses on the television.

He starts recounting everything he’s managed to remember. The biggest news of 1980 was tied between East Ramay erupting into civil war and Alva having its first elections. East Ramay’s dictator-president had died the year prior and his people were scavenging whatever crumbs of power they could get their hands on; the 1980 election was doomed to kill the country.

Alva on the other hand was quite the spectacle. He can faintly remember the news broadcasts of protesters stretching as far as his eyes could see, and the smell of his father’s cigarette smoke as he watched unblinkingly. Nobody expected the military government to just… hand over power to the people like that. Not after half a century of their rule. Their first elections proved to be less spectacular, however. Their conservative bloc had snatched the vote, and their new leader had plenty of ties with the old regime. He sighed as he filed the memory back into his mind: nothing’s perfect.

The year after, it was East Ramay– or rather, Democratic Ramay. Red flags over Sragen populated the front pages of newspapers. If only they knew what kind of red flags they were now, though. Socialists around the world cheered the East Ramayan people for breaking their chains while everyone else kept their mouths shut and their wallets closed. The first big speech by their supreme leader was a bit idealistic; oh, if only he knew what was in store for him in the next 9 years.

Jungastia stole the spotlight in 1982 with its own democratic coup. Tanks down the streets of Santo Andre on an early Wednesday morning turned into chaos by midday. He could remember the red armbands of soldiers pacing up and down the streets of every major city, and the pro-democracy slogans hastily painted onto their vehicles and chanted by ordinary civilians and soldiers alike. Red was everywhere; he could remember when his boss mistook it for a communist insurrection. The evening broadcast was the crown jewel of that year; their dictator had stepped down after what seemed like a hastily made speech. Fireworks of all colours exploding against the evening Santo Andre sky provided a fairytale ending.

Arbenz took the top spot in 1983 as their civil war became a sparring ground for old enemies. The sight of Goetic ships hot on the tail of a Tiperyn cruiser through a dinky little television on an autumn afternoon is still surprisingly fresh on his mind. War crime accusations became the go-to for any state with their hands in Arbenz; Alva accused Goetia of using human shields, Goetia accused Alva of executing prisoners of war, Red Arbenz accused Federal Arbenz of conscripting children, and Federal Arbenz accused Red Arbenz of pillaging towns. There was a mess in the jungle, and it was big.

Alva made another appearance in 1984, albeit under less fortunate circumstances. Goetia’s jab at the eagle had not gone unnoticed; in fact, the siege of their embassy in Samotkhe caught the attention of the world’s eyes. For six days, he alongside millions of others bit at their nails as they watched the situation unfold live on television. The last day could not have ended so well; the sight of men clad in black kicking in the windows of the embassy and tossing grenades inside, followed shortly after by muffled gunfighting, and capped off by the sight of the hostages fleeing out the front door proved cathartic.

His mind’s getting groggy as he sorts through his memories. It’s one in the morning now, and his kids are probably fast asleep. He’ll get back to it when he’s in better shape; for now, he’s dead tired and he just wants to see Lena’s face again. With a press of a button, the television turns off with a satisfying click. As he picks his coat up and turns to close the door, he doesn’t bother to wake Michail up. He looks just fine where he is, anyways.

As the door clicks shut, there's a thought that passes his mind.

Why can't the world be a bit more boring? Help me out here.

Return to Top