V: Islands

"The Society for the Preservation of Civilization issued a PROCON 1 alert today. What is known is that all personnel that have signed-up with the Society have a week to go to their respective offices for the purpose of moving into their assigned facilities. After that week has passed, the facilities will effectively be locked-down, with minimal interaction towards the outside.

"Other than people, important items from various places around the nation will be taken into said facilities. These contributors range from well-known names as the the Library of Congress, National Archives, Field Museum and Smithsonian Institution, to lesser known institutions as the Linda Hall Library and Mütter Museum. Almost every library, archive, and museum in every major city is contributing something to either their respective sectoral facilities or the main facility in Sector Zero.

"The Society isn't the only organization going into lockdown. After the formation of the American-Commonwealth Union, progenitor to the Trans-Oceanic Union, several decades ago, the Society helped create similar facilities throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as in the island states of the US. In the UK, the Royal Family has been one of the largest backers for the venture, with Princess Mary being head of the England branch. With the formation of the TOU, facilities have also been built in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and throughout Southeast Asia. Now, halls of knowledge across the Union, including venerable institutions as the British Museum, sit largely empty.

"Besides the facilities throughout the TOU, sister organizations around the world are also taking action. For example, the Vatican Apostolic Library is now currently closed to the public, and key pieces from Europeans museums, such as the Louvre and Museumsinsel, have been taken to the Alpine Confederation. Some of the nations, such as Israel and Cuba-Hispaniola, have gone so far as issuing no-fly-zone orders.

"It is not just art and history that is going into storage. Vast collections of seeds have been stored since the facilities were built, as well as a wide assortment of genetic samples from various animal species. As an anonymous scientist told FPB, 'We like to think of the facilities as arks, but it would be impractical to keep a large number of live animals. The technology we have ensures that only a genetic sample of the specimen and raw material is needed to create an animal from scratch. No need for a blastocyst or carrier. This is the same technology that allowed us to bring back creatures such as the thylacine, as well as create some of the some of the modified organisms you see today in agriculture.'

"While the facilities themselves will be closed, the offices representing them will still be operational to maintain a connection to the outside world. This includes information-gathering for the facilities' archives, as well as limited communication from the facilities.

"In any case, those who are who are still wishing to see the Declaration of Independence or Constitution need not worry. There will still be facsimiles on display.

"David Weitz, FPB News."

"That was broadcasted in July 1, 2114. So what happened to cause the Society and its sister organizations to go into lockdown? We are going to get into that today."

Suetonius told us today that this is going to be a very short class period. Yay…

Though there's going to be a quiz at the end. Boooo…

Ah well. Though, from the looks of things, the subject matter's finally starting to gear up to become exciting. Dio seems less excited about the prospects, but he never seems to have the stomach for such stuff.

I shake myself out of my thoughts to focus back on the professor.

"As explained in the last class period, areas around the world were hit very hard by the shifting climate. One especially hard-hit area was the Union of Greater America. The UGA had the drawback at this time of being a collection of nations that were still just at the cusp of reaching fully industrialized status. And unlike North America, South America did not have fertile soil towards the polar region which could be unlocked by the rising temperatures. Because of this, there were food shortages, environmental issues, and the threat of uprisings stoked by various paramilitary groups.

"For the leaders of a constituent nations, something had to be done to quell the restless masses, and simply improving the quality of living is a long process. So in general, the easiest solution to ward of national discontent is to give a distraction. It could be through a scapegoat to blame for all the ills, constant entertainment to encourage complacency, or it could be a prize to improve the morale of the populace."

"Like the Hunger Games," mutters Natt caustically. Of course, with him, everything has to go back to the Hunger Games or Snow. Seriously, that guy won't let anything about the old regime go.

Suetonius, though, seems pleased with the analogy. "Exactly. In any case, Ernesto Fernandez, Brigadier General of the Argentine Air Force and president of Argentina, chose to take the path of obtaining a prize. This would be done by recapturing the Falkland Islands.

"The Falkland Islands are a group of islands near the southern tip of South America. They have, however, been owned by the British since 1833 CE. In 1982, the nation of Argentina decided to invade and capture those islands, resulting in what was known as the Falkland War. It resulted in British victory and lingering resentment between the two nations.

"Well, on April 2, 2114, Argentinian forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia again. The British reaction was swift, with, of course, strong condemnation and an ultimatum to withdraw forces by 48 hours. Incidentally, no response came from Argentina. There was a response however from Marshal Lucas Azavado, leader of the UGA."

To say that Azavodo's uniform was tricked-out would be a severe understatement. The guy probably issued himself medals. I remember some Head Peacekeepers doing the same thing; even a lot of the grunts thought it was ridiculous. However, those Head Peacekeepers got nothing on the flashiness of the guy currently on-screen and at the podium. He is waving around a baton as he speaks, which increases the theatrics of his speech, which are subtitled from the native language.

"The Anglos say that those islands belong to them. Except that this piece of land is over twelve thousand kilometers away from them, and still considered merely a territory. Over the almost three centuries that they have held it, the Anglos don't deem those in the islands worthy enough of being officially part of their own nation; just a little pawn to use for strategic purposes.

"Well, I say that they be returned to their rightful place within the embrace of beautiful Argentina. That is why we fully support President Fernandez in taking this action, and we dare any Anglo vessel to come and violate our sovereign sphere of influence. If they do so, they can be sure that we will take swift action!"

"It bears mentioning that this speech occurred after the 48 hours had expired.

"Since there was no response from Argentina, the British decided to make a response of their own. A task force, consisting of a convoy of ships, was sent to down to the islands as a way of intimidating the Argentinians. The result is seen in the next footage."

We are watching the Weekly Yellow Journal again. Considering that almost two decades have passed since the last segment we saw, it is clear that Jen Moore is starting to show some age. Her previously dark brown hair is significantly grey now and crow's feet adorn her eyes. There is still quite a bit of that fire in her, though she was uncharacteristically subdued. I doubt it was from the age.

"Good evening everybody. Well, excluding the whole 'sneak attack' thing. Might as well get down to the brass tacks and current issue at hand.

"A couple days ago, a British convoy traveling between Ascension Island and the Falklands was ambushed by another fleet. A good chunk of the convoy was battered pretty badly and had to sail instead to Nigeria for repairs. Three ships were lost however: the Windsor-class carrier Prince Harry and two Adamant-class destroyers, Defiant and Fidelity. So far, 476 survivors have been found, but the majority of people on the ships, including veteran reporter Ethan Douglas, who's also a friend of mine, are still among the missing."

She pauses for a moment before continuing in a slightly bitter tone. "In any case, we now know who initiated the attack from footage obtained before and during the attack. It wasn't the Argentine Navy. It was the Brazilians."

Cries of outrage emanate from the audience, and Jen waits a while until they cool down.

"Yep. Apparently, the UGA isn't too fond of people snooping around their waters, and have decided to enforce that little statement of theirs that they made. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention: the little speech where Azavado rattled his saber and gave his warning? It occurred within an. Hour. Of. The. Attack.

"Gives plenty of time for the convoy to turn around. NOT!"

She is fuming and takes a while to compose herself. The audience is no less hacked-off.

"Ahem. In any case, let's see what our friends in Honolulu and Istanbul have to say about this."

The first person introduced is labeled as Mahiro Inada, President of the Trans-Oceanic Council. He talks in a measured and articulate, albeit heavily accented, manner. However, there is an underlying frigidity in his tone and hardness in his eyes that state a distinct lack of patience towards the events that have occurred.

"An attack on a constituent part of one of our member nations constitutes an attack on all of us. It is bad enough that the UGA is complicit towards the aggressive seizure of long-held territory, against the wishes of both the UK and the territories' inhabitants. However, we cannot stand by and let this flagrant underhanded action, which was initiated without even a declaration of war and resulted in such a loss of young service men and women, go by unanswered. Whatever action the UK decides to take, we will back them unconditionally."

The next guy, introduced as Nazar Ateyew, Premier of the Eurasian Union, is a little less collected. Okay scratch that; he is just a couple notches down from ripping his hair out and having a blood vessel burst from the looks of it. Spittle is flying and his is constantly pounding his fist on the podium.

"The Eurasian Union stands by its allies. We wish for there to be a diplomatic solution to this. However, if Trans-Oceanic Union is willing to meddle militarily in the business of Greater America over a collection of islands far removed from its nearest actual constituent nation, we are willing to provide any and all material support, be it civil or militarily to counter this blatant disregard towards basic sovereignty."

He ends his diatribe by waving his shoe around, probably to intimidate the TOU. I guess.

Most of us crack-up as a result. I mean, how in the world is that supposed to be intimidating?

After those speeches end, Jen simply gets out a bottle of whisky, fills-up a tumbler sans the rocks, and downs the drink in one setting, before chortling towards the audience with a cheerful smile.

"Welp, we're boned."

A/N: Yes, they are.