President Shona Han, of the North American Coalition. And the Pan American League, Bringer of freedom, Emerald Queen to the people of Mexico... took a deep breath. She'd prepared for this, in many ways, for a long long time. And now... it was time to speak to the world. To give the speech of a lifetime, even by her high standards.
It was slightly ironic, really. The NAC was under battle conditions, so she was delivering it to a camera, not a large press conference. This slightly discomforted Shona... she was more used to large crowds
“People of the world, listen to my plea. Our planet has become a dangerous place these last few years Millions of dead, endless bloodshed and misery...”
She pauses then. Whatever else she might have been, Shona Han was a consummate politician. She knew how to put on a show. Her voice grows more emotional, more passionate, as she continues, rising to a fire, as it had done so many times before...
“Why? Because the other person disagreed with you? Because the other man has different priorities? Because he believes in different principles to you? In the end, it's all the same. Madmen run rampant and millions have already died. I no longer speak for myself, or the NAC, I speak for mankind.”
Satellite upon satellite, intricate, and engraved with the sign of the Cross, orbiting the Earth, tied together by chains of signals and programming.. The world is in flames. The Great Wall of China is now nothing more then a footnote in history. A few spots on the world might just be fires, so large, they can be seen even from orbit. A testament to man's ability to destroy.
“Look around us, just for a few moments. See all the things that have been lost forever more. See the things that could have been avoided if the human race simply acted as one group, instead of a fractured braying collection of mobs. “
Han pauses, looking at the small group of cameras. There was actually a tear in her eye, as she continued... but her voice was firm with the steel that had made her the driving force of the world stage. And she needed it now, as she made the greatest announcement in her political history. And, as it turned out, the most destructive...
“We can stand for this no longer. America's armies are marching, yes. They will bring control by force, yes. No other option could work. But make no mistake. They do not conquer in my name, or in America's name. Whenever you fight us you do not fight Americans, you fight humans.”
Armed soldiers march across America. In the shining green power armor of the Emerald Queen, they appear as a mighty gleaming men of metal that scatter any opposition. Two massive constructs, of iron and earth, swarming with these soldiers, stand as witnesses to the conflict. Creatures that con only be described as Dragons circle overhead. A sole woman, clad in dark red armor that makes her guise that of a lion, raises metal claws to the sunset, saluting a group of this massive legion as they pass her by...
“To all the nations of the world, I say this. We offer a solution to bloodshed. To all bloodshed. Simply agree to become a member of a new order. A better order Not one led by me, or Premier Ramirez, but by a council of us all”.
The New United Nations Inner council chamber. A battered collection of diplomats sit their, watching the broadcast. They represent the TRUE free states, from the UNE, the Papal States, Solaris, the USA, and the few other remaining states outside Han's domination... All united now, against the American menace, .... an alarm is sounding, as the Solarian military mobilizes, and the base goes into lockdown . Africa was no stranger to war, but it would be prepared this time...
“It will not be a surrender, it will be a release from the bonds of hardship. Look at our accomplishments. The Pandorans have cybernetics and brilliant minds, the UNE has the Mechs and have striven much for their people,, The NAC has the leading biological science in the field, as our foes will now discover.”
In silence, a group of black armored warriors with gliders on their backs, fall silently into the interior of a large instillation. Guards pursue them, but it matters not. They open fire on the technicians, even as some of them scrabble into a series of gigantic mechanical men. Slowly, one or two of them being to move....
“If we simply banded together and stood as one, then we would not only prosper as a nation, but as a world.”
Ruins. Devastation. Groaning, shambling hordes of what was once men and women stalk the land. Bodies without number are placed upon a pyre, and observers wear heavy gas masks. A mutilated corpse here, a pile of blood there... A red-clad man standing, his back to the Alps, as he extorts the people to rise and reforge a lost empire... Only to fall to a shot from the head, as soldiers with a half cog embalm on their helmets, and the people start to disperse
“If we had been less focused on being at each others throats, Plagues and famines may not be spreading throughout our ranks, and this tragic war would be unnecessary.”
Will Rowe, leader of Pandora looked down from the spires of Pandora's capitol, frowning at the black metal of a massive fortress floating a few feet of the ground. He turns away, slowly, ignoring the image of the pontificating Shona Han to a man in a labcoat. Pandora might not have been the most moral nation, or the most ethical, but freedom was important... and Shona was misguided. She needed to be stopped.
“I realize that I will be called tyrant, and dictator for this. I am no stranger to such cries. I promise you, if you desire it, that once this final act is done, I will step down from office, leave power behind me, and submit myself to any court, to pay for my crimes. I don't care about myself any longer. This is beyond individuals, beyond you or me, this is about the world.
The Orbital Vatican; A bright cross, orbiting the Earth, and visible below, as a second sun. Aboard, in a hidden room, A floating, disembodied presence, once known as Cardinal Williams, gazes out of compute equipment at a group of unconcious men and women in vats, wires tying them to a singular machine in the center.
“The NAC troops have been instructed to keep civilian deaths to a minimum and try their best to keep homes and cities in tact. I at least urge my opponents to do the same. I am not in this for power, or glory, I fight for that thing we all profess to desire; everlasting peace. “
African in ruins. South Africa in flames, dead men and women prowling the deasert. Cities burning, people fighting. Death stalking the entire planet. War, the Horseman of the Apocalypse, smiled, as he looked down from the helecopter. His Doom Riders had much work to do.
“I know many of you will scoff, and resist my efforts, no matter what I say, but I do not view any of you as my enemy. You simply are misguided. Your Holiness, this is what you strive for, isn't it? Everlasting peace, the promise of Heaven. This could happen.”
Disheveled people, clad in rags, throw rocks and bricks at images of the American president. They want her OUT of Mexico. They hold their crosses, and pray, asking for the “Anti-Christ” to be thrown out of Mexico. But armored soldiers arrive in their churchs, and cut them down. The holy ground burns, as soldiers shake their heads at the dead and the dying.
“If you agree to sign, your country will not be attacked, and only a small garrison to protect you will be sent. Even if you resist our forces, only your soldiers shall die... but that is still too high a cost for my tastes.”
Asia, once so prosperous, is burning. Delphi is ashes. Bejing, ruins. The proud cities of the Orient? Dust. Amidst the flames, smoke and ash, a half man, half machine fires at the armored lion woman of the NAC. She ducks, with more speed then a human should have. She sprints towards the cyborg, slashing with brutal claws, but the metal man deflects the blows with sharp mechanical weapons folding out from his arms. His other arm shifts into a large gun... but then a voice echoes in his ear. “Commander Steel, Commander Steel, we need your help”. He fires a burst of shots at the woman, then flees, to aid his comrades.
Shona turns her head half away from the camera for a few seconds...
“This offer will remain open, no matter what else happens but until all world leaders agree, I must continue the war, no matter what. And rest assured, brave people of the world, I shall do so, no matter how much it hurts us all,”
before leaning forward, and looking deep into the camera lens. Her voice run with passion, and sincerity, even as the footage started to fade away from her...
“Because one way or another, we must all be free. And we shall."
Prime Minister Cornerstone's cane splintered the glass of his television set. General Amleth, the old wolf of Denmark, and leader of the UDF was behind him The Prime Minister slowly turned back towards his old friend, his face downcast.
“I trusted her, you know”
“I know, sir”