Friday, November 30, 2012

The Airship Legacy - Part 15

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Part XV: War Clouds Loom

            From 1998 thru early 2001, Czar Vladimir II was able to keep Andre Yulinkov and the RNC in check. However, in April of 2001, Yulinkov got the break he had been searching for. His security agents discovered that the Czar had been having an affair with a women in Moscow, and that he had fathered two children by this women. At this point, Yulinkov blackmailed the Czar into taking a hands-off approach to governing, and allow the RNC to turn the pressure back up on East Russia. In less than two years, thanks to this information, Russia would drag the world into war.
-Plaks, Dr. Jeffry, History of Modern Russia, Cambrigde, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.

PETROGRAD, MAY 3- Russian Prime Minister Andre Yulinkov announced today that the Imperial Russian Government was rejecting the plan outlined in the 1998 London Agreement, and that the Vladivostok Republic had 1 year to fulfill the other items of the “Petrograd Demands” that had originally been issued in 1997. The Russian Foreign Minister announced today that by May of 2002, East Russia must reduce it’s military to 1/3 of it’s current size, allow for the construction of two more military bases for Imperial use, and devalue the Republican Ruble to ¼ it’s current value.
            Outgoing Prime Minister Margret Roberts, who announced last month that she would retire at the end of the year, expressed shock and outrage at the announcement from Russia. “The United Kingdom, and the other members of the 1998 Five Party Talks put forth great effort to make a plan for peace in Russia, and today the fascist Yulinkov has cast aside these plans in what could only be called warmongering.” In the United States, President Boren, who was a leader in coming up with the London Agreement, expressed his severe disappointment at the news, and has called on Imperial Russia to change its course of action to prevent conflict from erupting.
            So far, the Vladivostok Democratic Republic has not responded to these renewed demands, and many experts think that President Yuri Medinov may choose to ignore what amounts to an ultimatum, and try and get the members of the ’98 Five Party Talks to get Imperial Russia back to the negotiating table.
-“Yulinkov Reissues Demands,” The Times (London), May 4, 2001.

BERLIN, JUNE 9-The Zentrum Party, headed by Heinrich Lehmann, has taken control of the Reichstag for the first time in nearly a generation, beating out the Monarchist Party. Having a clear majority at 59%, with the support of the Social Democrats and the Greens as well, Lehmann, the great-grandson of Hugo Eckener, will take office later this month as Chancellor of the German Empire. Kaiser Fredrick Wilhelm II offered congratulations to Lehmann and his fellow Zentrum Party Members.
        Some now wonder what this all means for German-Russian relations, since the Zentrum Party has been a vocal advocate of recognizing the independence of East Russia. This is all the more of a touchy situation now that the Imperial Russian government has reissued the “Petrograd Demands,” which has placed an ultimatum on the Eastern 8government to comply within one year or possibly face military action, which has been decried by the Zentrum Party, along with many leaders around the world.
-“Zentrum Takes Reichstag,” Berliner Morgenpost, June 10, 2001.

CAPE CANVERAL,  JULY 6- Today the American Space Exloration Agency announced that ASEA, the Imperal Rocket Force of Germany, and the British Space Agency plan to hold an international conference in Berlin in November to discuss the possibility of future joint ventures in the exploration of space, such as an international space station (or stations) in orbit around Earth, and possibly Mars as well, along with a more concerted effort at Lunar and Martian colonization.
            The idea for an international space conference, and possibly an international space organization, has been around since the 1970s, but, apart from the Frankfurt Treaty conference of 1990, there has been little in the way of joint efforts in space. President Boren stated on the campaign trail that he wanted to see a meeting between the major world space agencies to try and establish real cooperation between the space-faring nations on issues like colonization and space travel in and around Earth. Such efforts had been blocked during the Republican administration of George HW Bush, and President Clinton was focused on ending the war in Iran and issues at home.
-“International Space Conference Planned,” The New York Times, July 7, 2001.

PETROGRAD, SEP 3- The Imperial Russian Government has reluctantly agreed today to an offer made by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, and the United States to try and solve the issues between the two Russian states, which look more and more like they could be spriling towards war. The Imperial Foreign Ministry announced this afternoon that the Russian Empire will agree to meet in Warsaw for talks with East Russia and the 5 neutral nations in April of next year, just a month ahead of the May 2002 deadline.
            Despite attempts at being optomistic, there are many in His Majesty’s government that are very doubtful that this new conference will be able to solve the problems arrising in Russia. Thomas Rutherford, a professor of political science at Oxford and considered an expert on Russia and frequently used as a consultant by the government told the Times that “A lasting agreement at Warsaw seems highly unlikely. Prime Minister Yulinkov and the RNC are hell-bent on restoring the entirety of the Russian Empire as it was before 1917, and the mere existance of an independent East Russia flies in the face of their party agenda. For awhile Czar Vladimir II seemed to have reigned in Yulinkov and his cronies, but that has apparently ended.”
-“Russia Conference Set for Warsaw,” The Times (London), September 4, 2001.

VLADIVOSTOK, OCT 12- What began as a peaceful protest to the Imperial Russian demands on the East Russian state turned violent when two pro-Imperial gunmen opened fire on the unarmed crowd that had gathered outside the Presidential Palace, killing 5 protestors before police standing nearby apprehended the shooters. This attack enraged the populace of Vladivostok, and large scale riots ensued across the city. Within hours,  thousands upon thousands of people marched loudly throught the streets and converged on the consulate of Imperial Russia, overwhelming police guards that had been set up outside. The protestors ended up storming the gates of the compound, at which point Imperial guards opened fire on the rioters, further enraging the crowd.
            Eventually, Imperial secuirty and Vladivostok police were able to push the rioters out of the consulate compound and initially disperse the crowd, but not before protestors were able to set fire to part of the consulate compound. And although the crowds have dispersed, the city is still simmering, and government has put into effect a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and have put up road blocks around the district where the Imperial Russian consulate is located to prevent rioters from attacking this part of the city.
-“Protestor Shooting Flairs Violence in East Russia,” L.A. Times, October 13, 2001.

            The Berlin International Space Conference in November of 2001 was the start of a new era of mankind’s exploration of space. The governments of Germany, America, and Britain had decided that continued competition between their space programs was doing more harm than good. What was needed was cooperation. With this attitude in mind, the delegates from the American Space Exploration Agency, Germany’s Imperial Rocket Force, and the British Space Agency gathered in the capital of the German Empire on November 4, 2001 and would be in session for nearly two weeks.
            Many decisions were made during the deliberations between policy makers and scientists. The meeting was dubbed in the press as the “Congress of the Minds”. In the end, the Conference drafted the “Berlin Space Treaty”, which was submitted to the representative governments for approval. Germany signed first in December 2001, with America in January of 2002, and Britain in February of the same year. The BST created the International Space Council, which would consist of three members from each member agency, and would help direct all joint operations. The BST also created the International Colonial Authority, which was placed in charge of all human colonies on the Moon and Mars. The ICA would be made up of two delegates from each member agency.
            The ISC met for the first time at it’s temporary headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 3, 2002. A basic ten-year plan was established as a framework for the ISC, with various joint missions being discussed. However, the events of the following month in Russia would overshadow the ISC and it’s mission for several years, with the outbreak of war putting space exploration on the back burner for a good portion of that decade.
-Hanes, Dr. Samuel. The Birth of International Space Exploration. New York City: Atlantic Press House, 2014.

WARSAW, APR 20- The Warsaw Conference, now it it’s fifth day, has come to an abrupt end. During today’s deliberations between Germany, Britain, France, Poland, the United States, Imperial Russia, and East Russia, news reached the Vladivostok delegation, made up of the East Russian President, Foreign Secretary, and several other members of the East Russian government, that Imperial troops had crossed the boarder in the Baikal region, bombing military outposts and rail lines. Imperial Russian Chancellor Yulinkov left the city shortly after the news was announced, and the East Russian president announced an hour later that “a state of War now exists between the two Russias.”
            Chancellor Lehmann gave the Foreign Ministry orders to dispel the Imperial Russian ambassador and embassy staff in Berlin, and that the military should begin to make preparations for war. It is widely expected that a formal declaration of war by the German Empire against Imperial Russia will be made by the Reichstag once the Chancellor and the rest of the German delegation return home.
            As the sun set, the American Vice President departed aboard the U.S.S. Eagle II, and will also have the East Russian President and delegation with him as well, since the faster route home is now a war zone. A military escort is being given to the American airship that generally carries the U.S. President.
            At the time of print, it is still unclear whether or not the United States or Great Britain will declare war on Imperial Russia, though it seems likely. France has stated that for now, they will remain neutral. Poland has closed their boarders with Imperial Russia and dispelled the Imperial Russian ambassador.
-“War! Yulinkov Uses Conference as Decoy!” Frankfurter Zeitung April 21, 2002.  

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