The Berlin Wall was crumbling. 27 years of strife brought on by two superpowers who would stop at nothing to dominate the world—even if that meant tearing another country apart. It was dissolving now.
No, recovery wouldn’t be easy. No, things weren’t suddenly okay. No, the war wasn’t over.
But this was a start.
America turned, absolutely beaming, to Germany.
“We did it!” he said breathlessly as they watched hammers and chisels chip away at the Iron Curtain. “We did it.”
Germany may not have spoken, but his pure smile and misty eyes said enough.
Far away, Russia sat in her office and stared into the small pool of red at the bottom of her glass. She twirled it around in her hand, over and over. With each turn, her lips twisted further into a grimace.
A shatter pierced the air as glass shards fell to the ground and wine trickled down the wall.
You know what they say? One country’s liberation is another country’s chaos.
Sweat formed on his brow as he stared into the faces of the most powerful countries on earth. To them, he was just spewing that tired, angry rhetoric. To him, he was challenging warlords.
“I want to believe that the United Nations stands for peace, but I cannot. Reflected on every page of its history is the story of national division stained with misfortunes and pains that our people suffered over the past seven decades.”
He found strength in his thundering heart and inspiration from the resentment in his enemies’ eyes.
“This organization is corrupt from within. If its leaders are not willing to fight this greed and corruption, I promise you that I will fight it. I will fight it with everything I am, and I will do what you have failed to, no matter the cost.”
It wasn’t rare that the United States and Russia had serious talks like this. It was rare, however, that they were both so quiet.
They sat in tufted, red armchairs across from each other in a dark room. Neither of them had bothered to cut on a lamp as the hours slipped by. Two glasses of wine stood together on the coffee table; his empty and hers holding a shallow pool of red.
America spoke in a low voice, tenderly breaking the silence. “Is it too late to ask?”
“To ask what?” Her voice mirrored his as she stared past his shoulder and at the wall.
“Why you do it. Your obsession with power, your need for control.” He wasn’t looking at her, either. “I figure your reasons are the same as mine, which are the same as anyone’s. But I wanted to hear you say it.”
The 2000 Joint Declaration was hailed as a breakthrough in peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and had been given a ringing endorsement by the United Nations. So why was South Korea unhappy?
It was during a heavy silence, the kind that always hung in an empty room after these meetings, that China caught sadness in her eyes. She noticed this and adverted her gaze sheepishly. But something must have told her that speaking would be easier than saying nothing.
“This isn’t easy for me to talk about,” she said, voice soft.
China stayed focused on settling papers into his briefcase, allowing her privacy. “Reunification?”