The Time of Struggle

If the 2010s were thought paranoid, then 2023-24 taught the world the true meaning of the word. Nobody was safe. Children left for school - when their mothers allowed them to leave - swathed in antibacterial wraps and wearing facemasks. Every headling brought news of some fresh biological scare, some terrifying claim from nation or government about the inevitability of mutual destruction or the terrible plans of the others.

Rumours abounded of Naki - and human sympathisers - being snatched from the streets by shadowy organisations for “experimentation” or “processing”. Despite formal protest lodged by several Naki embassies, these occurrences persisted. A series of medical scares featuring supposed plagues, viruses or chemical agents wracked the world. Cases of amnesia, mysterious post-viral fatigue conditions and brain damage skyrocketed. Among these, what became known as “sleeper syndrome” - a dementia-like condition affecting the young and healthy as well as the old and sick - became a perennial concern and news story, suddenly and randomly striking to turn the healthy and successful into mumbling, shuffling ghosts of their former selves.

Medical corporations, meanwhile - much of their core business rendered obsolete by the Naki's astounding medical technology and the yearly dropping rate of cancer, AIDS, malaria and the other legendary killers - silently raced to be the first to discover “assisted citizen interface” technologies which would allow governments to render their population more passive, more obedient, more productive. Some of the more unscrupulous used real populations as test-beds. The nightmarish October Riots in Rekjavik will not soon be forgotten, as the population literally tore itself apart across sectarian, political and cultural lines which had almost been too faint to spot the week before.

Conflicting publicity about the nature of “magic”, its risks, the truth behind it and its links to the anti-Naki movement, continued to muddy the waters. Some sources denied all knowledge of this superstitious nonsense while others conceded that unusual or even “paranormal” activities seemed to be manifesting in increasing numbers. The Jakarta embassy explosions, never traced to any mundane explosive or accelerant and with remarkably little loss of civilian life, were often held up as an example of “magical” involvement in the insurgency movement.

Publicity and propaganda from both sides of the issue saturated every media outlet, until it was nearly impossible to browse the web, turn on the television or even buy a coffee without being bombarded by opinion pieces and new “groundbreaking research” favouring the Naki or their opposition. The issue became highly politicised, with the 2024 UK general election effectively polarising parties as “pro” and “anti”.

After lengthy deliberations and much passionate rhetoric, the United States and Russia jointly declared that the Naki embassies were not welcome on their sovereign soil. Response from the international community ranged from admiration to outright hostility, with the UN hotly debating sanctions against both nations.

Tensions continue to rise throughout late 2024. Finally, a surprise attack was launched against Nibiru; using tactics that had previously proved effective during the La'Kao Atrocity, the nuclear arsenals of both nations were aimed and emptied at Nibiru. Rumours that the nuclear assault was being used as a cover for some more sinister or more effective attack were rife, with some even claiming that extraterrestrial technology of a non-Naki origin was used.

Tens of thousands of Naki civilians died in the chaos. Embassies were closed, medical stations went into lockdown and those nations who had liked to consider themselves “neutral” on the matter were rapidly forced to choose a side. The repair efforts were dogged by constant denials that there had been any attack or infiltration committed against any Naki “underground facilities”, or indeed that such facilities existed.

Shortly following the election of President Oladimeji Nwude to power in Nigeria, a number of West African countries united to create a firm bloc of support behind the Naki. With such a show of unity, and outraged international condemnation of Russia and America's unilateral action, it seemed that the great powers had a tough fight on their hands.

All that changed at the turn of the year. Senior Russian military officials occupied the Kremlin and overthrew the government in the name of “peace and unity”, vowing to bring the previous administration to justice for war crimes and atrocities committed against the Naki and sympathisers among their own population. Retaliation began in earnest.

eternity/part_3.txt · Last modified: 2010/03/09 13:48 by gareth
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