MAD 6: A little situation

The mock United Nations conference room, which was really just a college lecture hall, felt a lot like a congested highway. You could see the traffic backed up from across the divide and you’d be struck with both sympathy and relief–but mostly relief. Here, Asia would be the long line of backed-up traffic. South America, Africa, and good chunk of the rest of the world looked on with apologetic smiles while thinking to themselves, ‘Wow, I’m glad I don’t live near North Korea.’ Western Europe, at least the German speaking parts of it, wouldn’t be the sympathetic driver or the unfortunate bastard stuck behind fifty cars. They would be the weird car pulled over to the shoulder because they couldn’t stop arguing over which gas station to stop at and needed to take a breather. (Besides, Germany had been threatening to turn the car around since they pulled out of the driveway.)

“I say it’s about time we got ours. You in?”

Austria crossed her arms and cocked her head ever so slightly to the side. “What is it that you want us to join, exactly?”

South Africa announced proudly, “The Coalition of Underappreciated States Who are Just as Important as the World Powers.” 

Australia kindly added, “We’re calling it the Coalition, for short!”

South Africa elaborated. “We’re not going to sit back and let the United States, China, and other big powers engineer the future of our world for us. We already have a robust team of promising countries on our side! Brazil, Romania, Egypt, Hong Kong, Australia, and me.”

Austria raised a brow. “Promising, you said?”

“Sorry,” Switzerland replied. “My stance of political neutrality in times of war says I shouldn’t, and my lack of caring agrees.”

“I’ll do it,” Liechtenstein said after a beat of silence. “I’m small, and not very popular–I don’t even think most people know I exist or how to spell my name… But, if I can make a difference and stop a terrible nuclear war, I want in!”

And so, a stupidly optimistic Liechtenstein joined the Coalition. But not before saying goodbye.

He looked between Switzerland and Austria almostly sheepishly now that he’d left their little group. “Good luck figuring this whole thing out. I know the European Union is kind of screwy, but… if anyone can solve a world-wide disaster, it’ll be Switzerland. And Austria too, I guess.” Then he looked to Germany, stared at him for several seconds like he felt obligated to say something but didn’t want to, ended up saying nothing at all, then turned away awkwardly.

“Hey,” Switzerland said. “It’s a mean world out there. Remember what I taught you. And always use protection. By that, I mean you have to keep your borders secure. But also, use a condom because–”

At that, an embarrassed Liechtenstein promptly spun around and took off after Australia and South Africa.

***

“Give it to me straight, doc,” America said. “How many nukes does North Korea have?”

China’s brow furrowed as a look that was almost apologetic took his features. He leaned in and said quietly, “Nearly 7,000.”

America was instantly hit by an invisible but very intense wave of oh shit and flew back in his seat. “Oh my god,” he gasped loudly. “Oh my goooooooooooooooooood–”

What followed was about thirty seconds of him groaning the phrase over and over again with varying intensity. Russia found it very amusing but also highly pathetic. China just found it pathetic.

North Korea, on the other hand, was quite smug. “Not so eager to fight me now, warmonger?”

America brought up a hand in frustration. “Can you chill with the pet names for once?” Then he sighed. “As much as I’d love to put your cocky ass back in its place, I realize that 7,000 nukes is a lot. And I do have self-respect, which means I’m not going to stupidly run into a war.” At that, the others gave him cynical looks. “We’re going to do this the right way.”

And so it was decided that they were finally going to have a proper model UN. The room split into groups and Germany announced that they would have 20 minutes to come up with a solution, be it in the form of an amendment, treaty, or whatever worked.

The first solution involved a huge nuclear scale-back that would cut everyone’s arsenals by 75%. That was promptly (and not surprisingly) rejected by the US, Russia, and North Korea.

The second solution was offered by the Coalition, who suggested a compromise; all on-going nuclear programs would be frozen, but people were allowed to keep what they already had. Most people thought this was fair, except those with a developing nuclear program.

A third solution was basically Iran complaining that if he could make a nuke deal with the United States, why couldn’t North korea? It wasn’t that hard. He was quickly booed off stage.

During intermission, Russia whispered to North Korea, “I have an idea.”

“Yes?”

“We make a deal. With each other. A nuclear friendship deal.” When she winked, he felt very uncomfortable.

“Alright, I’m listening.”

“We share nuclear weapons and technology. I say that America can’t touch you without going through me, and vice versa. He would be crazy to mess with two nuclear powerhouses.”

“I don’t know, Russia.”

“No, no. It’s perfect. You will have all the security you could possibly want. Who else is going to offer you this many weapons and this kind of technology?” Her voice lowered very passive-aggressively. “Nobody here can compare to the United States’ global influence and nuclear arsenal. Nobody except for me. It would be very smart to take this deal.”

Of all the things she’d told him that morning, he knew that was one of the more truthful.

Five feet away from the scheming comrades, China felt a buzz from his phone. America.

Hey dude. Look I’m caught up over here in Europe but I got an idea
Yes?
Russia is totally gonna betray us u know that right? So we gotta betray her first
Oh, you’re sure of this?
Yeah man I’m srs. She’s been buddy buddy with NK all day. It’s sus.
And how do we ‘betray’ her?
We reject every amendment she tries to throw at us. We got veto power, bby.
1. Don’t call me ‘bby.’ 2. Okay.

And that was that.

After the quick intermission, diplomacy resumed. More ideas were thrown out and rejected and even Liechtenstein was becoming a bit of a pessimist. Then Russia took the stage. She announced her deal with North Korea in a dignified tone, though everything inside her wanted to flaunt it at the slack-jawed American like an excited child. Then she turned her attention to North Korea for his official confirmation of the deal. “This deal is a guard against unchecked American ambition, and therefore a step toward progress. Isn’t that right, friend?”

North Korea cleared his throat before leaning into the mic on the desk. “While Russia’s deal is very appealing on a number of levels, I will be declining.” Russia felt her soul leave her body. “Interestingly enough,” North Korea continued, “I will be signing a very similar deal with China.”

There was some eruption of noise from wherever America was sitting, but Russia couldn’t be bothered to care.

“Oh… that’s… very unfortunate,” she ended in a dignified tone, though everything inside her wanted to melt away into the floor.

And that was that.

Read Part 7

Check out Behind the Scenes for a fun explanation of this story’s political and historical references.

Author: sarahbruso

International relations major, certified nerd, and suffering writer. I dig humor, video games, and global politics.

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