Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
November 3, 2019
Two Years, Eleven Months, Twenty-six Days
After the Bombs Fell
“Would you repeat yourself, Loxley?” the Prime Minister said firmly, her black hair held up in a tight bun.
“D-d-denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland wish to r-remove themselves from the war,” the foreign secretary repeated more slowly, calming down his stutter. If he could have been any paler, he would have. It was the worst news they’d had since the defeat at Minsk.
“They’ve b-basically said eff Article Five, they want out,” he said.
Birkwood groaned and looked at the ceiling. “What’s next?” she scoffed. “Is Father Christmas going to come early this year?”
“M-madam Prime Minister--”
“Quiet, Loxley,” she snapped. “Let me think!”
The foreign secretary watched as the Labour Party leader began to pace back and forth. Loxley was glad that he had planned this meeting to be private-- if any of the other ministers saw how Ellen Birkwood was reacting, they’d call her weak and ask for her removal.
“Get PM Villumsen, PM Englund, PM Korhonen, and President Koskinen on the phone-- all at once. I worked too hard to get Sweden and Finland to join NATO, I’m not going to let them leave.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Loxley answered. “Shall I stay for the c-c-call?”
“No,” she said firmly. "I'm going to give them a piece of my mind."
That afternoon, the Prime Minister had Loxley return to her office-- this time, with the entire Cabinet. There, the officials awaited the news from Europe and abroad.
“The four nations have agreed to stay in the war,” she said proudly. “In the end, all it took was someone reminding them what Russia did to America, and what it could do if left alone. Korhonen took some extra convincing, but he’s on board.” Birkwood took in a deep breath. “Now, onto other business. Loxley, what news from America?”
The minister answered her with a soft voice. “Two states, Michigan and Winsconsin, have made contact with Canada, requesting electricity and supplies while awaiting word from the nation at large. It seems most everything west of the Mississippi river with parts of Illinois have reformed into a fascist, anti-democracy nation. New England, meanwhile, has begun to reform itself and established tires with Florida…”
He carried on, describing the new nations that seemed to have sprung up and their known leaders:
Nolan Ray Peters, former Mayor of Muscle Shoals, headed the Redneck Republic;
Former Florida governor Geraldine Wilson was now over the Coastal States;
General Arthur Terrence was now acting governor of an independent Virginia;
Louisiana Attorney General Amy Vance had been elected first president of Texas by the remnants of the Texan, Louisianan, and part of the Mississippi legislatures;
Tennessee was under control of what appeared to be the legitimate US government-- Godfrey Smith was the only known survivor in the presidential line of succession. The new governor of Tennessee, Percy Evans, had reappointed a number of officials and all but rebuilt his state’s legislature and established the new state and federal government in Memphis and Jackson respectively.
“The fascist regime, however… We don’t know.”
“What do you mean?” the Prime Minister asked.
“No one knows who the hell is in ch-charge,” Loxley said. “Whoever it is has k-kept their identity secret. The b-b-borders are locked. No one gets in, but a few have gotten out. Thus far, all we know is that a second Hitler has arisen.”
“Then we have another purity-obsessed person or persons seeking to cleanse the world of impurities?”
“In a word, yes. C-canada and M-mexico are doing what they can to stop fascists from entering their nations while h-h-helping refugees. The Great Lakes T-t-territories-- that is, Winsconsin and Michigan-- are w-working with PM Wollenscroft to the b-best of their ability. The Texans are afraid of a two front war-- Mexican dr-drugs and fascists. Presidente Juares has done little to appease these fears.”
The Indian Briton sighed. “So much for starting a new decade on a high note.”
“It can always change,” Loxley replied with a bit of optimism.
“That doesn’t mean it will. You are dismissed, all of you. Except Loxley.”
The others filed out. Nervously, Loxley started tapping his fingers on the table. “Is there something wrong, ma’am?’ he asked, following a few silent moments.
The PM sighed and then nodded. “I’m sending you to America. I’d go myself, but given the political climate of Europe…” She shook her head. “I promised that I would resign by the last day of March next year. I need to make these final months count, Loxley. You do, too.”
“I… d-don’t understand.”
“I want you to be my successor as head of the Labour Party. But first… we have a war to end, and a fascist to stop.” The Indian Briton walked over to his side and placed a hand on the foreign secretary’s shoulder. “Make me proud, Loxley.”
"But-- ma'am, you can't-- the Americans--"
"I know, Loxley. They do value their privacy."
Before the bombs fell, it seemed that America was yet again going to abandon the world. All three mainstream candidates-- a Democrat, a Republican, and a Socialist-- were America-Firsters. As such, the EU, followed by the UN-- against Birkwood's wishes-- decided that America could rebuild itself without the rest of the world's interference. In the mean time, Russia would be dealt with by NATO and many UN nations. It had started out well enough, but recently, things had turned sour, as if the Russians knew exactly what was happening, Thus far, no spies had surfaced.
"Like I said... make me proud, Loxley."
Hopefully (assuming I've written this as well as I hope I have) some things are starting to come together. I know it might be a little weird, seeing a nuked America through the eyes of another country, but I believed this was the best way to give out some bits of information that you wouldn't otherwise have.
I hope you enjoyed this change in scenery and characters. Birkwood and Loxley may or may not pop up again from time to time. Let me know if you liked them or not.
For European readers, please let me know if there's something I could do to improve! I did do some research, and I've done my best with what I could find. If there's something that's just outright wrong that I've overlook, please tell me.