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“The United States of America has just been destroyed by an all-out nuclear attack.”
“What?” America screeched. He paused before screeching louder. “What?”
“Wait, wait. I’m sorry, everyone…” Germany adjusted the podium mic with an apologetic smile. “That was, ah, that was the wrong one. My mistake.”
“Who the hell even submitted that one?” America gawked with the sudden urge to shoot an incriminate glance toward the Middle East.
“The appropriate follow-up scenario will now be read now.” Carefully, Germany flipped through a few pages in the little notebook he was holding. Upon finding the right page, he began. “An ICBM was detected heading for California, but failed to reach its intended target and instead landed off the coast in territorial waters. The source of the attack is presently unknown.”
America laughed obnoxiously, earning him looks from around the room. “Oh, sure. It’s a real mystery!” He turned around to face his economic nemesis. “Really productive meeting you had with him there, China.” At this, North Korea scowled and China had to stop himself from rolling his eyes.
“America,” South Korea warned with a strained smile. “Maybe you should investigate a little bit before accusing my brother of plotting a nuclear attack against you.”
“Do you know that North Korea didn’t do it, or do want to believe he didn’t do it?” Japan asked, tone mild and eyes darting between the Koreans.
South Korea responded to Japan at first with only a slack jaw. “That’s not… you’re twisting my words.” She folded her arms defensively and looked down the stretch of desk. There were small hints of discomfort on everyone’s faces as they watched her expectantly. Finally, she sighed. “Look, is it so crazy for someone to want a little proof before a nuclear war gets started? I’d really like to think I’m not being too unreasonable, here.”
America groaned and slouched in his seat. “We should have shut down his program right away but you guys are totally incompetent, and then China had to go and mess things up even more.” Just then, six people wanted to slap the United States of America.
“No one is shutting my program down,” North Korea asserted. The firmness in his voice startled even America, who folded his arms as his lips curled into a grin that was in no way pleasant.
“If that missile had actually hit, you would have bigger things to worry about than your nuclear program being shut down.”
“See?” North Korea said to China. “That’s what I was talking about. He’s hostile.”
“Oh! Right! I’m the hostile one! Excuse me!”
North Korea leaned forward and asserted, “I need a nuclear program because I don’t know if you’re going to attack me.”
America matched the other’s posture and narrowed his eyes sternly. “I won’t attack you if you don’t attack me so you don’t need a nuclear program.”
“I don’t know if you won’t attack me if I won’t attack you so I do need a nuclear program.”
“No, you don’t, because I’m not going to attack you. And if you don’t have a nuclear program, I definitely won’t need to attack you.”
“How do I know you’re telling the truth? I can’t know and that’s why I need nuclear weapons… because I know that you don’t trust me which means I can’t trust you not to attack and since we can’t trust each other and I don’t know if you’ll attack me and you don’t know if I’ll attack you but we’re both assuming the other will–it proves my point!”
America’s eyes looked like they wanted to roll out of their sockets. “I don’t even know what the hell you just said.”
North Korea’s fist came down on the table with a reinforcing thud.“Why should I not be allowed to have nuclear weapons if you do? On what grounds do you justify that?”
America’s eyebrows shot up. “Are you crazy? You and me aren’t the same! You’re you and you can’t have nuclear weapons because you’re going to hurt someone!”
“Like you did?”
There it was–a crescendo to the symphony of spoken madness that was their argument. Had North Korea been holding a mic, he would have dropped it.
America was silent and silently seething. He would be loath to dignify that remark with any bit of retaliation, though the bubbling anger that was causing him to grit his teeth certainly wanted him to. Around him, the others watched in unspoken horror at what had unfolded and what was to come. Finally, America quenched their anxious curiosity.
“I should go to war with you right now,” he suggested in a voice that was alarming calm. “Get this over with.”
An echo chamber of disapproval was shouted at him from around the table.
Above the clattering, North Korea said simply, “Okay.”
Everyone stopped yelling at America only to start yelling at North Korea.
“If you want a war, I will give you a war.” North Korea paused, motivated first by hesitation and then by the terrible, awesome, frightening rush of having committed to a very dangerous (and probably bad) decision. “Let’s go.”