After Russia’s proposal was rejected and she was laughed off the stage by America, who for whatever reason kept shouting ‘how much does it hurt?’ at her, the model UN broke for intermission.
China and North Korea stood together at the coffee table set up outside the meeting room. For a while, the only noise was the sound of the hot drink pouring into a Styrofoam cup. Then North Korea spoke up.
“If this were real, I would have a lot of reasons to sign Russia’s deal over yours.”
“If this were real,” China replied without skipping a beat, “I wouldn’t have agreed to your deal in the first place.”
Not so nonchalant anymore, North Korea crossed his arms. The temptation to scoff was there, but he knew it would signal defeat. When China walked away with coffee, the Korean instead muttered to himself. “That was supposed to make you mad.”
China, who of course heard, just smiled behind his cup.
On his way back from the men’s room, America saw the most troubling thing. It was a sheet of paper, an advertisement of sorts, taped to a door leading into another conference room.
STOP RIGHT THERE!
And consider coming to Russia’s Happy Fun Party! All nuclear seeking states are welcome!
I have “cookies” 😉 😉 😉
Mildly infuriated and mostly curious, he barged through the door to find Russia sitting between India and Pakistan with an arm over each’s shoulder. At least, she was trying to get an arm over their shoulders, but India was slowly scooting further and further away from her in his seat.
When she spotted the intruder, she sneered. “Oh, look who it is.”
America stormed over to her. “What’s up with that sign, Russia? Why is cookies in quotation marks with three winky faces after it?”
She nodded to the two at her sides. “Give us one moment, please.”
They were more than relieved by the dismissal, as fewer things were as uncomfortable as being in a room together with Russia and America.
When America heard the door shut behind him, he unleashed his fury by slamming his hands down on the table and matching Russia’s look with a glare of his own.
“So you’re getting desperate, huh? Trying to find a way to turn this shitshow in your favor after your big plan failed?”
“I knew North Korea would reject my deal.”
Russia rolled her eyes. “I knew it would be a possibility. No matter how much he wanted to completely trust me, he never could. Spouting all of that nonsense about oppression despite the role I played in diving Korea… Of course there was a chance it wouldn’t go over well. Was fun to try, though.”
“Well, fantastic. Because now we’ve got China riding the North Korean nuclear hype train, and those two together is a nightmare. Like, literally, I’ve had actual nightmares about stuff like this.”
“So… why don’t we give them their own nightmare?”
“We. As in, the two of us. As in, you and I.” Her tone became increasingly less patient. “Was that not clear?”
“I don’t get it.”
“How much simpler do you want me to make this, America?”
“No, no, see, I’m just trying to grasp the concept of you wanting to cooperative with me on any level.”
Her head cocked to the side as she shot him the most deadpan of looks. “America, I’ve cooperated with you on many occasions. Do not start this with me.”
“Oh, I’ll start whatever I want. Second of all,” he said, despite there being no first of all, “why now? How do I know that you’re not going to screw me like North Korea screwed you?”
“I’ve already made it clear that I don’t like screwing you. Mainly because your foreign policy is unsatisfying and small… minded.”
“Russia, come on. Please try to be mature.” She just raised a brow cynically. “So, what are you saying? You want to make a deal or something?”
“More than that.”
“How much more we talkin’?”
“It’s a plan.”
“A plan.” His voice betrayed his skepticism. Whenever Russia had a “plan,” he found that it was almost never a good thing.
“What are we best at, America?”
“Destroying hopes and dreams, asserting dominance, uhhh… Wait, is this a trick question?”
“The current power balance is boring–”
“Um, being the best isn’t boring.”
“Yes, but think of how interesting this little hypothetical situation we’ve found ourselves in would be if nuclear weapons were more… accessible.”
Now it was his turn to cross his arms. “Russia, I think our definitions of ‘interesting’ are diametrically opposed.”
“What’s happening now is an invitation to share nuclear weapons with our friends.”
“Oh, god, okay. Did the voice inside your head tell you that?”
The formerly cool and composed Russia was caught off guard as her eyebrows shot up and two, as America would say, soulless pupils dilated. “How did you know about…”
She just smiled dismissively–a response that was probably more troubling than words would have been. “America, think about your friends in Asia. North Korea has a nuclear stockpile comparable to ours and you haven’t even thought to help them prepare for the unthinkable?”
“Who says I haven’t thought about it?”
She nodded with understanding. “Of course you have. But if you give them weapons, which they will certainly cry for, well… Jealousy and fear are chain reactions that often spark at the same time.”
“You would know.”
“And you as well. That’s why I think you’ll like my plan.”
Finally he caved, plopping down in a seat across from her. “Okay. I’m listening.”
She leaned in and suddenly the room felt much smaller. America could see a grin tugging at the corner of her mouth as she spoke in a low, dangerous voice that he knew all too well. “Why don’t we let the world fight a war for us? After all, we’re both so very good at it.”
Back in the conference room, The United States made an announcement.
“Okay, so, the deal is, any attempt to trade or distribute nuclear weapons or technology between North Korea and China will be considered an act of war to which I, and Russia, will be forced to retaliate along with our allies. And whoever else wants to join the fight. I guess.”
Russia whispered, “America, you are butchering it.”
“The point is, you guys are screwed. China, we all know that your nuclear stockpile is really small.” At this, he saw North Korea nod sadly. “So if you authoritarian assholes decide, ‘Oh, hey, what if we share weapons that way we can overpower America with our communist forces’–too bad!”
Just then Russia stood up and shouted to North Korea. “How much does it hurt?!”
America, stricken by horror and betrayal, hissed, “Russia, what the hell? That’s my thing.” Then he turned to the very unimpressed Korean across the room and had his own turn at the shouting his thing.
At which Russia groaned. “Now we just look stupid.”
A frivolous quibble was about to ensure when an urgent voice rang out above the chatter.
All eyes turned to Japan, who found the sudden attention very jarring and uncomfortable.
“I’ve always wanted to say that,” she said quietly, staring nervously back at everyone staring at her.
South Korea went in for the save. “Right, so, we have an announcement of our own. We, the three of us here,” she said, finger waving between herself, Canada, and Japan, “have decided to take a stance of neutrality and refrain from engaging in a war between the United States and North Korea… and whoever else they want to drag into this.”
America cried, “Brotrayal!”
“Sorry,” South Korea said in a ‘shit happens’ tone. “But I have too much to live for and my hair looks way too good for me to die in this hypothetical World War 3.”
From the center podium, Germany shook his head. “She’s right. Her hair does look way too good.”
South Africa popped up in her seat. “And the Coalition,” at this five pairs of hands waved proudly, “has decided to refrain from fighting too! Boo to nuclear war!”
A few rows over, Switzerland reminded himself that he was all about the neutrality thing before it was cool.
Canada shrugged her shoulders and gave America a wry, apologetic look. “Good luck fighting a war with North Korea without backup from Asia, bro.”
“Hey, hey,” said a slightly flustered America. “I don’t need you guys, okay? Russia and I could literally destroy the world without any one’s help.”
Canada’s brow furrowed. “Uh, try not to sound so proud of that, okay?”
“Well, look at this,” a very smug North Korea said. “This situation feels familiar, doesn’t it? But this time, I’m not a pawn. I’m a… knight.”
America scoffed. “Yeah, okay. Nerd.”
Then China joined the fray. “It seems that war is not an option anyone here wants to take. Maybe it would be best if your party and our party come to some sort of agreement?”
“No. Hell no. Not until that little socialist weasel admits he tried to nuke me but failed. If history is any indicator, I really, really don’t react well to surprise attacks.”
“This is a useless conversation,” North Korea grumbled. “I don’t care who is or isn’t getting involved–if you continue to threaten me, I will retaliate.”
America blew out air, which was like a sigh but way more condescending. “Like all the other times you said you’d blow me up? Turn Washington into a ‘sea of fire’ or some whatever?”
North Korea was so pissed that he just smiled. “Unbelievable. I have over seven-thousand nukes and you still cannot get your head out of your own ass for long enough to take me seriously.”
“Oh, but I do take you seriously. That is why I’m going to seriously kill you if I’m not 100% sure you can control your trigger finger.”
Germany quickly reached for his mic and leaned into it. “I think maybe now is a good time to say this. Uhh, that missile that was launched at California… uhh, yes, that was not North Korea’s.”
Cue bitter laughing coming from Asia. “You were going to kill me because of your own ignorance! Classic US foreign policy!”
“It doesn’t even matter,” America said. “The next missile, or even the next ten missiles, could be yours. And that’s what I need to prevent.”
“Prevent it, then.” North Korea challenged. “You have Russia on your side–poor decision on her part–but who says China is my only ally? You don’t become a nuclear powerhouse without making a few new friends after the fact. You have no idea how many states I’ve armed, who they are, and how much they hate you.”
“Is that supposed to scare me?” Asked a scared America. “You’re not the only one sharing nukes.”
“Umm…” Canada started nervously. “Are you guys implying that everyone’s just sort of broken the Non-Proliferation Treaty like it’s no big deal…?”
“That is exactly what we’re saying!” chimed Russia.
“Uh, I know it’s unusual for me to get involved,” Switzerland said, taking everyone by surprise. “But for the sake of preventing, or starting, this war, I think we should… take inventory.” His eyes darted around the room. “Whoever possesses nuclear weapons, please stand.”
With nothing to hide, France and the UK were the first to stand. India and Pakistan followed without a problem. Then there was a lull of silence and everyone held their breath expectantly. Eyes glanced around the silent room nervously. After a long enough pause, Switzerland was about to open his mouth, when suddenly there was movement in Asia. Cautiously, South Korea stood up. Japan, tight-lipped and even more hesitant than her neighbor, followed.
As more and more reluctant countries stood, it was abundantly clear that the world had just become a very dangerous place.
Check out Behind the Scenes for a fun explanation of this story’s political and historical references.