Obtuse_Mongoose t1_itk1yvc wrote

Thank you.

Part of this was inspired by South Sudan as the most recent country to gain international recognition but with a twist about who is backing who in a conflict escalation and the consequences of a belligerent country doubling down on their threat for actual use of nuclear weapons.

I tried to think what would be the best way to do it, originally thinking to put a Harry Turtledove spin on it.

But given the original premise of the WP, I compressing the time span, aborting any future development of human technology (via immediate mutually assured destruction), and cocooning the story into a neater, more shorter tale would make it more tragic, for the protagonist only has what a third world nation could produce to do anything realistically, even if the protagonist himself is nigh unstoppable. That gave it the oomph I wanted to see where even if you had every power you could conceive, there would still be no "winner" in this tale.


Obtuse_Mongoose t1_itjzd5g wrote

I blinked, looking around.

It was my village, but here was joy once more, people hugging each other and tears streaming down their eyes.

It was a joyous day, I remembered. In the dust choked plains, we were free on this day.

Flags of green and red and black streamed after kids who ran to their parents and elders, hugging each other as we had liberated ourselves from the brutal uplanders who had repressed all the other ethnic groups who couldn't muster the strength to stand up to them.

We now controlled our own destiny. We had the arms to fight them. We had our oil fields to bankroll the fight, if need be.

We were a nation.

I picked myself up off the ground and looked around. Some people looked back at me, curious as to my familiarity.

I couldn't blame them. To them, I looked...

Aarya burst from the crowd, pushing her way to me. I remember her brown shawl hiding her beautiful braided hair.

"Faiz? What are you still doing here? I thought you had enlisted with the army?" she huffed at me as she held her hands on her hips, etching an eyebrow at my presence.

I had to lie.

"I was granted leave, to see my mom," I said, looking sheepish.

She rolled her eyes and took me by the hand. "Whatever. I hope that you didn't desert. You better have a good explanation for her."

We threaded our way through the crowds, some of my friends also confusedly waving or shouting my name. I waved back, again trying not to be too obtrusive. Most went back to watching their TVs or phones of the news. They pointed and conversed about what the upcoming months would hold. How a strong nation backed us, giving us the weapons and protection we needed for the future.

Yes...the future...

After moving through the last dense cluster of people, we made it to a small communal gathering of building on the edge of the village.

Aarya dragged me into my home, my family gathered about.

"Hasifa!" she shouted.

I almost shrank away at that moment, for who other than my mother turned to me, her eyes lighting up first in delight, then confusion.

All my cousins and aunts and uncles varied their reaction the same, but it was my mother who came forward first, away from the radio that was blaring some urgent news at that point.

Aarya stepped away, smiling as my mother came in for a hug only she could provide.

I melted in her grasp.

"My son...my stupid, stupid son," she muttered as she put her head into my chest.

I closed my eyes and put my head upon hers and grabbed on tight.

We held each other for as long as her patience allowed.

I could have done it forever, if I could.

She pulled out and put me at arms length to size me up.

She smiled, but it was a sad smile.

"You changed your mind?" she asked, thinking I had indeed deserted.

I just stared at her, and smiled back.

"I wish I did," was all I could say.

She took my words and processed them, a bit confused.

"So why are you here then?" she asked. "If not for the army, why are you back?"

I couldn't explain why, for there was little that I could say, other than...

"I want to be with you, and the family, for this," I said as I gestured outside, the din of the excitement echoing through the house.

She smiled again, and took me by the hand and patted it.

"Of course...of course," she said comforting. "Aarya, could you help me? I'm going to prepare dinner..."

Aarya nodded and followed her to the kitchen, leaving me to answer my family's repeat questions of my return.

I humored them, same as everyone, for who else could I tell of where I came from, three days from now?

Three days of independence, followed by nothingness?

I died under a nuclear explosion, far from home, in a desert with my comrades.

I awoke here, back in my village, the knowledge of everything that transpired over the course of three days.

Of powers beyond my control that had decided that a cold war should grow hot.

And nothing would change that as I awoke time and time again, forever experiencing the same flaming holocaust no matter where I went or what I did.

I lived through every single death, only to arrive back here, at the moment a gavel hit a desk a thousand miles away in our new capital, where the crowds cheered and the banners fluttered with urgency as a new nation coalesced from a paper that said we were free.

But we were not free, for my people died three days later.

And I would die with them too.

But then I would be born again.

And every time, knowing what I knew, I would come back home and pretend everything was alright, and give my mother peace, and my next door neighbor the attention I never gave her when I trained for the army to defend our independence, would be a first for them each time and another repetition of a cycle I couldn't control.

And every third day, I'd take them all to the kitchen, where piles of steaming food would be there, made with love, and my next door neighbor would blush as I made everyone laugh, and then we hugged as the force of an angry sun would catapult me back again, where I would have to live through the birth of my nation as it died three days later...


Obtuse_Mongoose t1_isvcq6s wrote

Thanks! This was what I was looking for in formatting. Newreddit makes it hard to find these tips.

If I had more time, I was going to do another hour of nonsensical additions, but then realized I had a Yankees game to watch. :)


Obtuse_Mongoose t1_istmoy6 wrote

⬆️ 843 kittensundaes_111

⬇️ Honestly, I think that's adorable she wants you to better yourself. I don't think your the asshole in this situation, but you do need to set boundaries as to what you feel comfortable doing wit her and the expectations of both families.

  ⬆️ 442 PM_me_muscles342
  ⬇️       DUDE, CAN I GET PICS OF HER SWOLE!?!?!?

        ⬆️ 332 l33tsapientsandwich
        ⬇️       Seconded...for research purposes of course.

        ⬆️ 221 latinnumeralsVVVV
        ⬇️       VCIXXICICIC?

              ⬆️ 123 confusedhemorrhoid 
              ⬇️       WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???

                    ⬆️ 85  astute_professor69
                    ⬇️       Nothing.  It's gibberish latin numerals.  They make an attempt to be funny, but failed.

                          ⬆️ 12 latinnumeralsVVVV
                          ⬇️       >:C
  ⬆️ 272 ancientchinesesecret5
  ⬇️       he who goes to bed with squirrel wake up with no nuts! put a pair on and tell her whoos bose!

        ⬆️ 155 correctionerection
        ⬇️       *boss

              ⬆️ -88 ancientchinesesecret5
              ⬇️       fortune cookie says fuk u

                    ⬆️ 46 correctionerection
                    ⬇️       *fuck you too :)

  ⬆️ 181 sizzansizzles
  ⬇️       i think the best answer is to meet in the middle, like u/kittensundaes_111 said.  I think it would be best to hash this out over a nice dinner and wine.

        ⬆️ 155 cheese_marathon
        ⬇️       Don't forget me!

              ⬆️ 76 sizzansizzles
              ⬇️       Ddude.  I get the joke. like stop commenting on every post of mine

                    ⬆️ 24 cheese_marathon
                    ⬇️       make me!