Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Microstory 1837: Foreign Fighter

In 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics broke apart into fifteen distinct nations, which thrived independently of each other to varying degrees of success for three decades. Russia was the largest of these by far, and maintained strong political power over the rest of the world. The rest developed their own governmental bodies, and systems of law. In 1994, inspired by these developments, a district of Russia called Sakhaido declared its own independence. Sitting about 400 kilometers from the island of Sakhalin, as a sort of second peninsula branching from the Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhaido always needed to maintain some level of autonomy in order to function. It once belonged to the Empire of Japan, and still consists of a significant population of Japanese people. The Japanese language is spoken by 24% of the population. Much of the leadership of Russia at the time did not want to let Sakhaido go, since they felt it shouldn’t be necessary, but the president himself did not want to cause any civil unrest, and had to admit that it wasn’t worth using up resources, and damaging their reputation. Sakhaido prospered after that, forming its own democracy, and becoming a hub of international trade amongst the other nations in and around the region. In 2016, a new president of Russia took office, having built his political platform upon strength against both enemies and allies. Russia was meant to be the dominant force in Europe, and he wasn’t happy with the direction his neighbors were going. A few months ago, he decided to attack Sakhaido, but had no intention of stopping there. The rest of the world was going to learn who called the shots, whether he was their official leader, or not. He didn’t need to take Sakhaido over, or any other country. He just needed to make sure that someone was in charge who would do what he wanted. The invasion began.

Nations of the free world condemned the Russian president for his cruel and unwarranted attack on Sakhaido. They made political and economical maneuvers against him, thinking that he would back down when it started causing his people harm. But he didn’t care about his people. They had suffered so much up until now, and they could continue to suffer, as long as he got what he wanted, which was pretty much everything under the sun. The Sakhaidoans held their ground, maintaining a nigh unassailable border between them and the Kamchatka Peninsula, but they could only do so much. They were not prepared for war, they did not have the resources, and they did not have the help. Refugees fled to other countries, nearly all welcomed by Japan, Alaska, and even Usonia, but that didn’t solve the problem of how to save their homeland. Their military force was only so great. They needed additional support. They needed—I believed—people like me. According to my country’s laws, it was not illegal for me to temporarily join the army of another country, as long as the actions I took there weren’t treasonous, and I wasn’t planning on defecting. So that’s what I did. I went across the sea, accepted the gun they put in my hands, and fought for a bunch of innocent people who had never done anything for me. Because I wasn’t just fighting for them. I was fighting for democracy all over the globe, and for justice as a whole. I was fighting for peace. Not everyone was happy with my choice, and I returned home to find no parade, no thanks, no welcome mat. But that was okay, because I know I did the right thing, and this assassin they sent to kill me knows it too, whether he can admit it or not.

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