1. Grand Presidium
“The world is full of lies! All men are NOT equal! Some are faster than others! Some are smarter than others! Some are better-looking than others!! Long ago, a man named Charles Darwin set forth a grand idea that later became the immutable laws of evolution and natural selection, which stated that all organisms are locked in an eternal struggle for supremacy, so who are we to deny the laws of nature for Mankind and nations of the world! In the past 70 years, our nation has risen to untold heights! The vast Memelland Union of Voivodships’ 600 million citizens are now the most prosperous people in the world. Between our access to 90% of the world’s natural resources, our vast Army, Navy and Air Force, our elite education system and affluence and scientific might, we are the envy of the world. One day, we will tell our children of this day, the day that our vision became our reality!!”
“ALL HAIL LADY VENUS! ALL HAIL LADY VENUS!!!” the millions of soldiers roared, standing at attention in Seraphim Square, in front of the Palace of the Sun. Draped with the red and black Union flags, and the colossal, 50-ton bronze eagle statue atop the palace façade, Lady Venus, the first female leader of the Union gave her inauguration speech. She wasn’t just mesmerizing in appearance, her long, silky brown hair, blue eyes, huge, fluffy pink dress, lacy white gloves and crescent-moon headdress giving her a very warm, cozy aura of care; she could speak on a scale rarely seen in human history. The Union, in less than 70 years, had gone from one of the weakest economies in the world to the top of the pack, after the strict, state-controlled, centralized economy was liberalized and markets were established. For nearly 70 years, the Union’s economy roared ahead, becoming THE supreme superpower, making the other Great Powers, including Wolfe and Baronia-Felix, formerly the #1 and #2 powers, respectively, look like a sad joke. The Union had a massive military and was now a truly global powerhouse, but it refused to use its military for an offensive purpose; response in kind only. Being vastly outgunned and outmanned by its rival to the East, Baronia-Felix began building up its military in an effort to fortify itself against the Union; Baronia-Felix was a Fascist state, and the Union was a democracy, although it had “questionable” economic policies and freedom of commerce was limited. After the speech ended, the Patriot Day military parade began with an order from Supreme Commander Andrew Hardwicke. “STAND TO!!” he yelled, as the armored soldiers, dressed in their full battlesuits, perhaps the most intimidating in the world, raised their rifles, unfurled their flags and raised them high. At that moment, loud patriotic music blasted throughout Seraphim Square, and the ground shook as the soldiers marched forth; this was the biggest military parade in history, just like the previous year…and the one before that. The size of the Union’s military was expanding as rapidly as its military budget. Behind the marching soldiers, huge, hovering Ruslan-class tanks, these were the latest in armored vehicle technology, using anti-gravity repulsorlift generators to hover 3 feet above the ground; manned by a crew of 5, the tanks were utterly terrifying to face in combat, There was also a huge variety of tracked vehicles, some of them, such as the BFI-99 Self-Propelled Heavy Artillery unit, could lay waste to entire platoons of infantry and vehicles. Thousands of civilians cheered in applause as the marching troops and tanks rolled down the Canyon of Heroes, a stretch of road leading into and out of Seraphim Square decorated with the statues of the Union’s past leaders; banners with Lady Venus’ picture on them hung from every building, with thousands of cheering people waving Memelland flags, as the Air Force’s most prestigious squadrons, the 181st and 89th Airborne Knights made several passes, with a group of fighters forming the shape of a winged dagger, the symbol of the Memelland Union of Voivodships’ military, as it flew overhead. At first, the parade appeared to be nothing more than a patriotic show of strength, but there was another, more sinister purpose to this exhibition. Lady Venus was having difficulties convincing her sister, a woman named Noelle, to relinquish her claim on the province of Rusyn, and allow it to be absorbed into the Union as the 56th Voivod; currently, 55 of these Voivods made up the entire Union. Rusyn, a Grand Duchy where Noelle had declared herself Duchess and now ruled over 5,000 people in a prosperous, advanced and affluent micro-state, with the highest GDP per-capita in the world; there wasn’t a single resident that was not superrich living there. Venus’ reasoning was that Noelle’s stubbornness would only bring her Duchy to ruin, as it was in a very awkward position; it formed a buffer zone between the Fascist state of Baronia-Felix, led by a virulent atheist named Rudolph Eisenheim, and the partially-democratic Union. Baronia-Felix was not as rich as the Union, but its military was more than capable of going toe-to-toe with Lady Venus and the Union’s military. Only the threat of Union intervention prevented Eisenheim from rolling into Rusyn and destroying everything. The parade was supposed to send a message of intimidation to Baronia-Felix, whether it worked or not remained to be seen.