Elysium, the largest city of Southern Bloc. In the year of our Lord: 2060.
“This is your last chance. Surrender or face the consequences. We have a copy of the treaty which has been approved by our council. Give up now and save what you love” thus repeated the loudspeaker from the battle tanks.
“This surrender is more of your need than hours. Kindly co-operate and stay alive with your loved ones” added the loudspeaker.
The buildings were collapsing, and chaos was everywhere. They had a last look at their child before they surrendered themselves to the invading Northern Bloc army. It was the only way to save the kid, as they had thought. But, how much that worked out is something that they would never know about. It will be another story, and whether it would have a good run is a question they would fail to answer. It would also save the city or whatever is left of it from further destruction. The whole Southern Bloc was nothing better than the wasteland that T.S. Eliot had talked about long ago. “APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain”. – explained the situation of the bloc perfectly.
Dion was the leader of the Southern Bloc when the Third World War started. The Southern Bloc had taken the wrong side in the war, with the smaller nations around the powerful Northern Bloc which cherished their independence. But the Northerns were not that kind of people who liked seeing little ants wandering around their legs and their obvious decision was the crush the little insects. The small city-states had asked help from Dion which he was ready to provide. He has always been the champion of the weak and the voiceless subaltern. It was clearly opposed by the ministers of his chamber, but he was not a man to back away. But at a time when there were only two power blocs, the Northern and the Southern, Dion was asking for a lot more than he could handle considering the collection of arms and manpower which the Notherns have been collecting for ages.
Elysium had fallen, and so had the last hope for freedom. Does the Third World War end there with the fall of the Southerns? No, it doesn’t, as the unholy alliances has kept forming even among the weakest nations, while the Northern Bloc has concentrating its full army, navy, airforce and the special forces on bringing destruction to the Southerns. What would become of Southern Bloc is a question that remains, as no building is left standing. As the Royal Palace has been taken over and Dion and his wife taken prisoners of war, the Northerns can now fix a puppet government there which they can control from a distance. The leader would be a Northern, who would marry from the Southern Bloc so as to maintain his neutrality on paper and so that the new appoinment would be justified in the pages of history. It is more of a temprary contract rather than anything else. To add to that, all the natural resources can be harvested from among the destruction. The rivers from the South shall now flow towards the North, and whatever flows towards the South shall have dams in their path. The annual tribute might be in millions and that amount will have to be paid by the last remaining citizens of the Southern Bloc who number in thousands.
The total loss of life of the Northerns is estimated to be twenty thousand five hundred troops and fifty five civilians while that of the Southerns is estimated to be ninety five thousand troops and ninety nine thousand civilians, with about hundred thousands of civilians captured alive as the prisoners of war, and Dion and his wife has become one of them. They were stripped off their richness and clothed in drags, and put in concentration camps – considering their high status and Dion’s role in the war, their chances of survival in such a hostile environment would be absolutely zero. The only best thing that they can wish for, is a comaratively painful death, as there would be agony and there should be suffering immersed in brutality. He had quoted Eliot before he surrendered: “I think we are in rats’ alley Where the dead men lost their bones”. He was not that much of an admirer of The Wasteland, but the situations create different likes and dislikes. What he would have asked in the face of the Northern brutality would have been a few other lines from the same poem: “That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?” He knew about the war crimes the Northerns had committed, and he knew he would become a victim, and the question about his survival was not a relevant one.
There would be the last question that can remain. It would be about their child. Barely an year old, the child has been identified and taken to the Northern Bloc’s capital city of Asgard. From what is known about the Northern brutality, all the Southerns who knew about the same could be sure about only two things. One is that the child will not die easily, and the second is that the child shall grow up and when it does, there is going to be the brutality of the highest order that awaits. Dion chose to make the sacrifice and not run away by making a deal that his child would survive. But what would this kind of survival mean for the child? Is it any better than the realms of Hades and the being caught by a hellhound at the gates of inferno?
To be continued…