Co-authored with VengefulCat
Chapter 1 – The meeting
"So, delegates," the president of the USA began his announcement when all were seated. "I'm sure you all know why we are here. We are, of course, here to discuss the problem of the Nations."
Various murmurs were heard from the crowds of people. All were of high positions in various governments across the world, though only a few were heads of state, prime ministers, or presidents. Most were deputy prime ministers, secretaries of state, chancellors or diplomats, so as not to arise too much attention from the media. Most, if not all major TV stations and newspapers across the world were completely unaware that this meeting was occurring.
This was all necessary, for the various delegates were about to discuss a great international secret that had been kept hidden for many, many years. This secret was one that, prior to this meeting, every person in this room would have defended with their life – or else. If it got out that every nation had a human personification – well, nearly human, anyway – who knew what could happen? Mass hysteria, assassination, riots, chaos, danger and the end of the world were certainly on the list. The paparazzi would never leave the Nations alone, and while some of these Nations would simply adore the attention, others certainly wouldn't.
Through the years, it had gotten increasingly difficult not to allow the secret to be divulged to the general public. The Nations themselves didn't aid their governments in protecting the secret. Some, particularly a certain ex-Nation, actively wanted people to know that they were a Nation so that all would know how strong they were. Others were just plain idiotic, and couldn't help but refer to others by their country names rather than the aliases they were currently using.
It was after certain events on a Saturday night that had got various governments wondering if their Nations were becoming more trouble than they were worth.
It is unclear exactly what happened, but we can be sure, certainly, that most of the major economic powers were present. Given the history, rivalries and other assorted problems present between the Nations, they weren't normally allowed in a confined space together without diplomats present to makes sure nothing went wrong. However, somehow, prior to a world meeting the Nations had met up in Helsinki and a disagreement had occured and World War Three had been started – and then promptly been stopped again, since the diplomat chose that moment to get back with his cup of tea and had somehow managed to call for reinforcements before having been promptly obliterated by a large Russian man.
"First of all, I would like to offer my condolences to Mr. Pushamoff's family. He was a great man and will be forever regarded as a hero for his efforts to subdue a Mr. Ivan Braginski, single-handedly I might add, and he will be missed."
Murmurs of agreement resounded through the crowd as the delegates pictured the man the president was referring to – Ivan Braginski, that is. The personification of the Russian Federation, Ivan was a large man and trying to restrain him could be likened to attempting to lift a truck; the force necessary was of a similar size.
"This great tragedy, along with the destruction of much of Helsinki's city centre, is only the most recent in a long list of government problems caused by our personified Nations. I urge all of you to support my plan to solve this problem. Ask yourselves – how long can we continue to cover up these problems? Something will eventually happen that will surely cause our Nations to be exposed to the world-" here, the French minister could be heard sniggering, "-and when that occurs we – not them – we will have to deal with the consequences. Think of the amount of times your own Nation has, if you'll pardon my language, screwed up and you've had to deal with it."
Many of the delegates now nodded and smiled ruefully, thinking of times that their Nation had almost dropped them in it, so to speak. None were sure just what 'it' was, but all knew that they had almost landed in it at least once, and none wanted to do so.
"What if I told you all that we could get rid of the Nations and the problems they cause, and without killing them, either?" Gasps arose from the crowd. "So, here's what we'll do. With your consent and co-operation, we plan to use this new machine that some of my country's scientists have been working to perfect..." The president stood aside. The curtain behind him opened, and two middle-aged men pushed a large machine onto the stage behind him.
The machine looked much like a chair of the type you'd find in a hairdressing salon; the half-sphere suspended from the ceiling that dropped when the president pressed a button on his podium looked rather like a hairdrying implement. It looked far more sinister than anything you'd find in an average hair salon, though; there were wires attached to the top of the machine, and a keyboard and screen on the side of the machine.
"This machine has been in development since the late 1960s. We believe that we have finally perfected it. It has been proven to re-program the human brain." There were gasps at this, and many delegates looked disgusted at the very idea. "It has been proven to be able to wipe people's memories, get rid of mental illnesses, and even change a person's personality. Now, think of the Nations. Think of how, using this machine, we could make them forget who they really are – painlessly I might add – and give them new, artificial lives. It's technically legal, and wouldn't harm them at all. They won't even know it's happened..."