hero2a11

United States

I live smack in the center of Kansas. Son of a band teacher and a librarian.
-Sci-Fi/Fantasy lover
-Gamer
-Theater nerd
-Aspiring voice actor/writer

DON'T PANIC

Message to Readers

This prompt was too good to pass up. Made a couple adjustments and also added an alternate title because I couldn't decide on which one I liked better.

Valhalla (Alternate Title: The Day Switzerland Left the Planet)

September 2, 2020

FREE WRITING

1
Everyone knew it was coming. After years of fragile peace and rising tensions, war had finally regained its grasp on the world. The general consensus was that, if the war eventually broke out, human society as a whole would be annihilated. Unfortunately, at this juncture, there were no other alternatives. Too many innocent lives had been taken in the preceding years. Something had to be done, and if it meant the end of mankind, so be it.
The allied leaders of the world’s great powers came together one final time to make sure that they all agreed on what must be done: President David Eliot of the United States, Prime Minister Theodore Cooper of the United Kingdom, and President Aleksandr Kuznetsov of Russia.

“Well, gentlemen,” Eliot said, “we always knew this day might come, huh?”

“There was always a possibility, but I never imagined it would actually come to pass,” Cooper replied.

“Come, comrades,” Kuznetsov said solemnly. “It is time to end this.” The other two leaders nodded in agreement and approached the console they were standing in front of. There were a multitude of knobs, buttons, and switches pockmarking the worn metal surface, but the most prominent items were the three large red buttons secured under small glass cases, three buttons that would unleash a rain of nuclear fire upon the world.

“God help us all,” Eliot murmured. The three world leaders opened their glass cases in tandem and took one last look at the world map before them. Thousands of years of history and evolution, about to be wiped from existence in the blink of an eye. Before any of them could press their respective button, a sudden and powerful earthquake shook the ground beneath them.

“What’s going on out there?” Eliot asked.

“Sir, something big just left Europe and is headed into the upper atmosphere!” an American soldier shouted.

“What is it?” The soldier hesitated.

“Speak, soldier, what is it? What is it doing?” Cooper demanded.

“...It’s Switzerland, sir. The entire country, it’s just… leaving.”

“Impossible,” Kuznetsov scoffed.

“Take a look, sir.” The world map on the large screen at the front of the room zoomed in and displayed real-time satellite imagery of western Europe. Sure enough, an enormous land mass, most likely Switzerland, had ejected itself from the earth and was blasting towards the stars with the help of some immensely large rocket boosters. The exhaust from the afterburners was so intense, however, that it completely vaporized any standing city within a few thousand miles of Switzerland’s former borders.

“My god, they just eradicated half of France and Germany!” Cooper exclaimed.

“Can we establish contact with the Swiss President?” Kuznetsov asked.

“Working on it,” another soldier said, typing on a computer monitor next to them. The world map vanished and was replaced by a video call of Liam Hartmann, President of the Swiss Federation, who was sitting in a large ivory throne. His face deflated rapidly when he saw who had called him.

“Oh, it’s you three. Well, I suppose this warrants an explanation on my end,” Hartmann said.

“Yeah, you could say that. Hartmann, what the hell are you doing?!” Eliot demanded. Hartmann gestured around him.

“Is it not obvious? I’m taking my country and leaving this place. We’re done with you people and your wars, and we’re done trying to be neutral.”

“Oh, come now, President Hartmann, you’re being irrational,” Cooper said. “Come back down and we’ll-”

No!” Hartmann shouted. “I have had it up to here with you people. Always so finicky and quick to start wars, desperate to drag others into your inane conflict in the hope that you will have another few thousand soldiers to hide behind. Switzerland has remained neutral for over two hundred years, and we are not about to join another pointless war now.”

“Hartmann, Switzerland is easily one of the greatest military powers in Europe! If you were to act now, this war would be over before it even began!” the Russian President implored.

“Shut up, Kuznetsov. Switzerland is staying up here. Have fun with your war, dummkopfs.”

“Excuse me, sirs,” a communications officer interrupted tentatively, “but we’ve got another transmission coming through.”

“Who is it?” Eliot asked. Before he could get an answer, the Italian flag appeared on the screen in a separate box from Hartmann. Beneath the words “VOICE CALL”, the name of the caller was printed on the screen in block letters: Italian Prime Minister Benito Giovanna.

"Prime Minister Giovanna," Cooper said politely. "Is there something we can do for you?"

“You fools think that you can just launch a piece of Europe into space and burn half of central Europe without causing retaliation?!” Giovanna roared, voice trembling with indignation. “I will show you what happens to scum like you when you destroy my allies!”

“Whoa, easy, Giovanna! That wasn’t us,” Eliot said. There was a long pause on the other end.

“What?” the Italian Prime Minister inquired, confused.

“Go look outside. See for yourself,” Cooper added. There was another pause before the sound of a chair scraping across the floor screeched through the speakers, followed by soft footsteps walking away from the phone. A door opened somewhere far away, then shut, and the footsteps returned more rapidly.

Ay dios mio, Hartmann, what are you doing?!” Giovanna shouted through the phone.

“Is it really that hard to figure out?” Hartmann asked.

“Hartmann, I understand your frustration, but is launching your entire country into space really that rational of a solution?” Eliot queried.

“Everyone in my country thinks so, yes,” Hartmann answered matter-of-factly.

“Don’t you think that staying and waiting until it all blows over is a more logical and overall cheaper solution than sending 15,000 square miles of land into orbit?” Cooper added.

“Oh, sure, like Switzerland is just supposed to sit here while you dumbasses throw around your nuclear weapons and raze the planet. Don't make me laugh.”

“What are you so worried about? I thought Switzerland had more than enough fallout shelters for its entire population,” Kuznetsov thought aloud.

“Man does not live by fallout shelter alone, Kuznetsov,” Hartmann retorted. “And don’t think you can swindle your way inside with your honeyed words.”

“Sirs, another incoming voice call-” a soldier began to say. Before he could, the Australian flag joined the conversation accompanied by a new name: Australian Prime Minister Samuel Glenn.

“Oi! What’s goin’ on up there?” Glenn shouted from the other end of the line. “Did ya start the war without me?”

“No, Prime Minister Glenn, that was Switzerland,” Eliot clarified, a bit exhausted by the whole ordeal. There was a brief silence before the Australian leader erupted into boisterous laughter.

“Crikey! Whaddya reckon he’s tryin’ ta do?”

“I’m not explaining this to every single person who joins this call,” Hartmann sighed.

“Is that you, Hartmann? That’s bloody impressive, mate! Didn’t think you had it in ya!”

“What’s that supposed to mean, Glenn?”

“If I may be so bold, gentlemen,” a new voice said, “I would like to propose an idea.” Spain’s flag appeared on the screen, cramming the monitor with even more color and names. The new name was that of Spain’s Prime Minister, Hugo Ramirez.

"Spain is here as well? Harasho, harasho, this day continues to get better," Kuznetsov said, his voice practically coated with sarcasm.

“What’s he doing here? He’s not even part of this war council,” Eliot asked.

“So that’s what we’re calling it now, huh?” Hartmann said under his breath.

“Perhaps not, mi amigo. However, if we all band together, I believe we can put Switzerland back where it belongs and engage in diplomatic-”

“Oh, shut up, Ramirez! Get out of the group chat!” Cooper shouted.

“...Well, ok, then, you don’t have to be so mean about it,” Ramirez said before logging off, opening a vacant space on the monitor.

“I thought this was a secure channel,” Eliot said to the room. “Anyone care to tell me why that greasy-haired moron was able to just pop in like that?” The soldiers and comms officers simply looked at one another awkwardly, as if they had no real explanation.

“Whatever, we’ll deal with it later,” Eliot said. “Donovan, keep an eye on Spain. Blast ‘em to hell if they try anything stupid.” Donovan, a comms specialist from the UK, gave a wry grin and a laid-back salute to the American president before pulling up a satellite feed of Spain and placing the stub of a lit cigar between his teeth.

“He does have a point, druz’ya,” Kuznetsov said. “Perhaps, if we enlist the aid of other countries, we can settle this peacefully.” Suddenly, another flag and name filled up the screen, the French flag and President Jean-Christophe Gaumont’s name, to be exact.

“Oh, no, France is not teaming up with you imbeciles. Switzerland launched their entire country into space, for God’s sake!” Gaumont shouted. “We are not equipped to deal with this kind of technological advancement."

“Oh, hey France! Surprised you haven’t preemptively surrendered yet!” Eliot joked.

Mon dieu, can we stop with that stupid joke already?!”

"I apologize if my friend brought you any offense, Gaumont," Cooper said. "He forgets that you're a bit of a sore loser." The prime minister coughed into his hand, suppressing a grin while sneaking the word "Waterloo" into the cough. Eliot let loose a loud guffaw of laughter while Kuznetsov quietly snickered to himself.

"Merde, you all act like children," the French president growled under his breath before disconnecting.

Eliot feigned disappointment. “Well, if you aren’t going to be cooperative, maybe we can find someone else.” Eliot gestured to Langstrom, the soldier in charge of communications.

“Langstrom, put out a line to Germany, see if they’re willing to help us."

“I’m afraid that Germany is on fire, Mr. President,” Langstrom said plainly. Eliot froze with the suddenness of the news, then paused to collect his thoughts.

“What do you mean ‘Germany is on fire?’”

“That’s it. It’s just on fire.”

“How bad?”

“Like, really bad. Makes Dresden look like a fireworks show.”

“Now is hardly the time for crass jokes, Langstrom,” Cooper scolded, to which Langstrom only replied with an indifferent sneer in the prime minister's direction.

“...I see. Can we at least reach the Chancellor?”

All of Germany is on fire, Mr. President.”

“And whose fault is that?” Giovanna asked.

“Will you all please just shut up?!” Hartmann shouted. “Do you even remember why you called me in the first place?” There was a very brief moment of silence.

“Wasn’t there a war or somethin’?” Glenn said loudly, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, but who even started it, anyways?” Cooper said.

"Can't say, but France sure as hell won't finish it," Eliot joked, earning him with a smart swat on the arm from Kuznetsov.

“I don’t have time for this.” Hartmann pressed a button on the arm of his throne. “Auf wiedersehen.” Suddenly, Hartmann’s video feed vanished from the screen and the map of the world returned to the monitor ahead of them.

“Sirs!” a soldier shouted. “Nuclear missiles inbound from Switzerland, and lots of them!” There was an awkward silence before Eliot eventually broke it.

“Well,” he said, the first explosions beginning to shake the ground beneath them, “it’s been nice knowing y’all.”

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