America: Choice

I sit in the midst of an argument between the head general of my military and newly enstated President Truman. It has been several months since Germany and Italy surrendered, but Japan kept hitting hard in the Pacific. Nearly an unstoppable force some may say. Even the civilians were willing to defend against my soldiers.

"We have to, Mr. President!" The general shouts, "It will bring them to their knees. It'll force them to surrender if they have any self-preservation for their nation."

"What if it doesn't?" Truman states, "Is it worth the risk?"

"Mr. President, we have three of these bombs. We'll use all of them if need be, sir. If we don't do this, imagine all the men we would lose in conventional battle; millions!"

Mr. Truman sat back in his chair. I could see the gears in his head turning. We were the only ones in serious combat with the Japanese; no real help could from the other Allies since they are preoccupied with Germany and Italy. These nuclear bombs could be our only option.

The President turns to me, "Mr. Jones, what do you have to say to this?"

I look at the notes that I had taken on the effects of the nuclear blast test. It made my stomach turn every time I imagined what that could do a human being. But…it was the only choice I had. The War had already strained my people to their limit. Then the memory of what happened to Hawaii, a familiar sense anger fills my chest.

I adjust my glasses and look at the other two men, "I say we do it. We have to."

With that we all agreed to drop the first bomb. It was a few day later when Hiroshima was struck. I watched the mushroom bloom and fall, and the feeling of power shook the nation of Japan. All my men expected to hear from Japan's military generals about surrendering within hours…but nothing.

"Those damn chinks are insane!" I overheard a soldier had said to another the day after the bombing, "Are they that serious about this fucking war?!"

Another meeting was held quickly. Hours spent debating on dropping the next one. I gritted my teeth during the whole conversation. It angered me so much. The hell Japan had dragged me through was nothing compared to what that bomb did. If he was willing to stand against it, then I'm willing to do so much worst to him.

Three days after Hiroshima, my men hit Nagasaki. Once again the whole land shook with its might, and once again no immediate response. Days have passed and my military was discussing our next move. Tokyo would be the killing blow but it would be worth it.

My anger rose with the tension that was between our counties. I had enough. Marching over to the nearest radio, I make a call to someone I once called friend.

"Attention!" I nearly shout in to the receiver, "I know I'm the channel for the Japanese military headquarters. My name is Alfred Jones, otherwise known as The United States of America, and I demand to speak to Honda Kiku, the nation of Japan."

The officers on the other end didn't have a clue on what to do but after a couple of minutes, Mr. Honda picked up the radio.

"You of all people." Japan growls, "You have some nerve, Mr. Jones."

"Surrender, or would you like Tokyo to end up in ash as well." I tell him.

"It's already in ashes, Mr. Jones! Unless you mean…you're bluffing."

"Am I?! Would you like to test it that?" I could feel the anger, yet concern Japan was feeling through the air waves. I took a few deep breathes and spoke with kinder words, "Japan, your people have suffered enough…an unconditional surrender is the only way you could all have peace."

"America…" Japan sounded as if he was about to sob, "A meeting; our people could negotiate."

"No negotiation." I tell him, "On my terms."

"Alright fine. But please…grant me one thing. Show some mercy."

A hand fell on my shoulder and I know it's my foreign adviser. I would have to give them something, "What is it?"

"The Emperor." Japan says, "Leave the Emperor as a figure head. My people would never surrender if you dethrone our Emperor."

I personal dislike the idea of kings but if it means Japan would stop then it's alright. With that I tell him, "Alright, I agree to that term. As soon as you declare surrender, my people will meet with yours to further discuss other terms."

"If you must." Japan says and the airwave goes dead. The sound of his voice was almost sickening due to the sudden raspy tone in it. Was he ill? Of course, he had to be with all that's happened to him.

It was a day or two later when I got word of the Emperor calling for his people to surrender. My people were relieved to hear the end of World War Two for the Americans. Relief came across me and every muscle in my body was relaxed at last.

It was the morning of my flight to Japan, so I wake up at like five o'clock in the morning and hop in the shower. I caught myself staring in the mirror while getting dressed. Not because I'm vain, but because of the long scar that runs across my waist line and its brother scar runs across my back. Running my fingers along it reminded me about that early morning in 1941; when Japan stabbed me in the back.

I honestly didn't wish to get wrapped back in another European conflict, it wasn't truly any of my business. Sure I aided England when he asked for supplies, but that was as far as I wish to go. Being aware of Japan and Germany's relations, gave a slight edge of worry to me especially since me and Japan weren't the best of friends at the time. However, I never imagined being attacked so suddenly and then being dragged into conflict in Europe thanks to it.

Grabbing my shirt, I quickly button it up to hide the memory. I open a small drawer on the top of my dresser, it's filled with ties and socks. England had fixed it up for me the last time he was here, and now his dressing advice comes to mind. The suit I picked out for the meeting was a pale blue with a black belt and shoes. So that mean's my socks should match my tie…or was it that they go with shoes and belt? To me it would look better if shoes and socks matched. Black socks it is then, and I pull out a pair and put them on. Ties have always befuddled me.

"Why do I have so many in the first place?" I ask myself and grab my favorite out of the bunch; a nice bright red tie.

A few hours later, I'm dressed and on a flight to Tokyo. Even though there was a surrender meeting between our people on the U.S.S Missouri, between General MacArthur and the heads of Japan's military, we wanted to discuss other matters of rebuilding the island nation. I wanted to try and build a good relationship with Japan. Also, there was a something cold in the air between me and Russia with his union. The Marshall plan was in full swing heading into Western Europe, and if capitalism builds up those nations then they will not turn communist.

I had forgotten how long the flight would be. My boss had made sure I packed several books and the morning's paper to read on the flight. Keeping my brain busy surprisingly kept me still. No wonder England read to me for hours and gave me books when I was small, or I would have ran him up the Appellations and back. Though, honestly, I probably did anyway.

I must have fallen asleep at some point. My adviser, a man by the name of Morgan, was shaking my shoulder, "Mr. Jones? Mr. Jones!"

I jolt, "Wha…? Oh."

Morgan chuckled, "We've arrived."

I look out the window and noticed how early it seemed. My watch read 6:30 pm, but Morgan reached over and adjusted it to read 7:30 am. That's right, time zones are a thing.

"Come on, before we lose our hotel rooms." Morgan says.

"I'm going, I'm going." I mumble and drag myself out of my seat.

It was nice to be on my feet again, however, walking through the airport and down the streets of Japan wasn't as nice. The feeling of hundreds of eyes watching me as I passed by was unnerving. I wouldn't be surprised that if I went to a restaurant or café everyone in the staff would spit in my food and drink. Now thinking on that, I deserve it after what I did to them. We reach our hotel and get settled in the best we could.

"Mr. Jones…" Morgan started.

"Please, just Alfred." I tell him.

"Ahem, yes, Alfred. Are you hungry? The meeting doesn't start for another few hours and the Japanese leaders have invited us for a friendly meal."

I shake my head, "No…I'm not all that hungry."

Morgan blinks, "Are you feeling alright? You usually devour everything in sight."

"I'm…just not up for a meal at the moment."

"Perhaps just tag along then?"

I let out a sigh and decided to go along. We walked a block or two towards a nearby restaurant without much word. Entering the establishment, we're greeted by a lovely Japanese woman very politely. She guides us to the table where all the Japanese leaders where and we all exchange greetings. However, one was missing.

"Where's Mr. Honda?" I ask.

Japan's adviser bows, "Mr. Honda sends his apologies. He is not well this evening, but he sends his best wishes on our meeting and in hopes of repairing our nations' friendship."

I frown, "Is he at his home?"

"Yes, Mr. Jones. However, Mr. Honda has requested to be left alone…"

I ignore the man's words and left the restaurant. I desire to speak with Japan face to face. It didn't feel right going to have a meeting without him there, so I'll have to make a house call.

Japan's house was not far from his capital, so I chose to walk there. His house was surrounded by beautiful flora and a small koi pond in the front. Nothing stopped me from walking in and taking a look around. It was dark and I didn't bother opening the windows. After walking about, I come across the smaller nation knelt at an altar; his back to me. Incenses are burning and Japan looked to be in mid prayer. I stand silently in the doorway. I take notice that Japan's usual white uniform was now an ashy gray, with splashes of dried blood and burn holes. The smell of burned flesh was distinct even with the scent of the incense filling the room.

Japan raises his head, "America-Kun, I will ask of you kindly to leave my home."

"I'm only here to talk." I tell him

"Another time." Japan's shoulders grew tense, "I'm not ready to speak with you."

"Japan, please." I start to step forward but I freeze once the flicker of Japan's Katana blade was visible. Yet, Japan had not raised the blade to me but to himself. My eyes widen, "What are you doing!?"

"I must do this…for my honor…" His word were choked and broken, "I had failed my people…"

With that Japan proceeded to impale himself with his own blade. My heart nearly stopped as I watched him pull it down, slicing his gut open. Japan lurches forward and starts coughing violently. I rush over and kneel next to him. I hold his shoulders trying to keep him up, and I see why the room smelled of burned flesh. Japan's face and neck had patches of cooked skin that looked like it was about to fall off. The only thing that could explain why was…the radiation. Was his whole body like that?

"Japan, hang in there buddy." I tell him, tears forming at the corner of my eyes.

"Let me go, America." Japan gasps, "You know this won't kill me…not permanently but long enough…"

"No, no, no!" I cry as I feel his body starting to go limp. The blade was still lodged in his stomach. Removing it would most likely cause all of Japan's guts to fall out on to the floor. He coughed several more times, causing blood to splatter on to my clothes.

"You did this." My mind said coldly, "This is your fault, bastard."

I have to do something, I have to help. Hands shaking, I pull the katana out of Japan's gut. Japan weakly tried stopping me, but to no success. His head fell to my shoulder and a weak cry came from his lips. Luckily, the cut was clean enough to where his inners didn't immediately cover the floor. I toss the weapon aside and gently lift the smaller nation up; holding him bridle style in away. A gruesome union…

I carry him quickly, but gently to somewhere or someone that could help. All the while, Japan mutters in his native language. I know very little Japanese but I could pick out some words: Failure, Leave, Shame. My heart was racing as my feet fall in search of…something.

Somehow, someway, I was able to find a group of my own soldiers gathered outside a nearby military base. Why they were here, I don't know but it was just my luck. They didn't need an explanation when I came running up shouting and carrying a nearly dead person. They usurer me in and took me to the medic area. The doctor there was shocked by the sight but went to work as soon as I laid the smaller nation on a cot. I managed to contact my adviser and told him about what happened.

"Mr. Jones, I don't think helping him will do any good." Morgan tells me.

"Well I can't just do nothing!" I exclaim, "It's my fault this all happened. I have to be the one to make it right."

"Alfred…"

"I'm taking Kiku on the first flight to D.C. He'll be staying under my care, till further notice." With that I hung up the phone and return to the medical hold. Japan was lying in a clean cot with stitches running up is abdomen, and a mask over his face to help him breath. I could now see that in fact, his body was covered in patches of radiation burns; some so bad that you could probably easily pull the flesh right off the bone. The doctor stood next to him taking notes.

"Fascinating…" Says the doctor looking up at me, "Mr. Jones your friend here is very lucky to be living at this moment."

"I know. I was lucky to have found him when I did." I let a sharp sigh.

"Are you sure you want him to travel in this state?"

"Yes…I need to care for him. The US has some of the best medical care that I know of right now, he'll be better off there."

"If you insist, sir. But I'm not sure Mr. Honda here will fair for much longer."

"He's stronger then he seems."

An hour or two later I'm back on a plane on my way home, Japan in tow.