Antarctica's Immortal Land

January 11, 2008
By Rebecca Taylor, Hendersonville, TN

The day when Commander Selik Farque came back to the capital, Tillia, will forever live in infamy in my people’s minds and hearts. He ruined everything Antarctica had stood for for the last two thousand plus years and he would dearly pay for it like he rightfully deserved.

In the BCE (before Common Era) times of our people we adapted to the more than freezing and frigid weather of our desperately lonely continent. During our people’s long trek we lost many people and almost became an extinct human race, but after countless years of searching for the famed Immortal Land, we found it in all of its majesty.
But you do not know of the Immortal Land, am I right? I must say if you had known of it before I just told you about it and you were not of our Antarctic race, you should not be reading this right now. Truthfully, I believe if you had taken in our futuristic sights (by the rest of the world’s standards) you would have never returned to your homeland either because of our fierce guardians killing you or by heart attack. To be blunt, even looking at our capital, Tillia, would hurt any native Tillian’s eyes after coming back from one of our outer provinces because of how magnificent it was. So I think I am right in believing that for an outsider from the rest of the earth that they would be stricken dead one way or another from even squinting at our capital.

In our legends from long ago, it was foretold that someday “after many struggles we would find our long-awaited prize—the Immortal Land.” Every bit of that came true, so after we had built our homes, businesses, schools, and many other things needed for a civilization to thrive, we set that saying from the legend in stone before our capitol establishment, along with a statue of the Great One who wrote the legend—otherwise known by his human name, Yaxley Sturdings.

Our perfectly utopian state lasted for a little over two thousand years, as I have stated before in this tale. We did not use much money at all because we had resources that would never become fiercely scarce, and when currency was first made the Great One proposed in his book that if we would wish to live in harmony, we needed to not have a defined class that was significantly wealthier than everyone else. This did not mean that we had separate classes, though. We just made sure to follow the Great One’s philosophy and make sure that we did not have a poverty-stricken class of people or a really wealthy class. The Great One said that that would be the downfall of our nation if we let it happen.

When we all finally settled down, we had time for the elderly to teach us what they knew, to each and every person so no one would be treated differently and to preserve our rich heritage. They wrote our history and culture down onto boards in our native tongue of Antarctican. (As you can clearly see, I have translated this into English, the rest of the world’s most widely used language.) Most everyone learned quickly save for a few people, and those got tutors to help them catch up so we could be equal, each and every person. This worked out perfectly. No wars or disputes were ever started because we shared the same background and way of life.

But in our own ways, we were different from each other. However, we did not broadcast our differences for sake of the well-being of our great country. The Great One said so, thus it was done because the Great One had been filled with more knowledge and understanding than anyone in our time could ever be. He had been the one who started it all, and in between the lines of his book had also been the one who foretold our tragically fateful downfall that was rushing in our direction faster than ever and we did not even know it. We were blinded by our seemingly perfect utopian existence that no one ever saw it coming when Commander Selik Farque told us that he was going with a crew of sailors to search out new lands for our slowly growing population…

The Speech That Changed Everything:

“Citizens of Tillia, Antarctica! I have arrived back from the distant lands!” Commander Selik Farque called out to us after months of being away to survey the other lands. We all shouted out, welcoming him back home before we instantly became quiet at a wave of his arms. We were anxious and excited to hear of what wonders he had seen while away.

He took in a panoramic view of us all before continuing. He then lowered his head for a moment and said, “My people of Antarctica,”—he quickly raised his face up to show us the wide smile that was displayed on it—“I have great news to inform you all about from afar!”

…If only someone had caught that minute twitch on his face from the gigantic telescreens and deciphered the hidden meaning behind it. We had all been betrayed by the Commander but we had just stood there ignorantly like pigs waiting for their impending doom by slaughter. But that time was full of “if onlys.” I have to say that I despise how foolish we were back then.

“Along with a crew of patriotic sailors, I traveled thousands of miles to reach a foreign continent named Africa—or, wait…” he paused and held up a finger as he consulted a sailor that had gone along with him on the trip. “Ah, well, it was either Africa or South America, my faithful citizens. It does not really matter at the moment the name of the place, but the ideas they have about government.” He watched us for a few moments, probably just secretly basking in how cleverly deceitful he was being (and succeeding in it, too!).

After deciding that we were ready to hear his great news, he went on an energetic spiel about everything that he had learned from the foreigners. As I look back on it, I cannot help but realize yet again how ignorant we had acted in the moment—it would have been much more believable if an ambassador from one of those continents had come to speak to us directly about their way of life, but no one saw this fatal flaw at that time. We were too naïve to understand what was really going on behind closed doors.

Commander Selik Farque told us about the one-party system that some of these countries had used (the key word is used here, but for the millionth time we did not pay attention to how he used the past tense) and how they had allowed people to vote between around two to ten different contenders for the title of leader in a single-party system comprised of different people with unlike viewpoints on how to run the country. He told us that this would mean we would have the choice to finally choose our leaders.

In Antarctica before anyone had traveled to other lands, we had had Presidents, Commanders, Chairs, Chiefs, Heads, Premiers, Kings, Queens, Nobles, and Supreme Leaders that were held in check by a State Court of Noble Individuals. The leader’s title had always depended on what they wanted to be addressed by—usually it was either President or Commander (or Queen for the lady rulers we had had in the past). These people came from within the Noble Family and its branches from Noble women marrying other men of other surnames. But we did not elect them to be leaders because of wealth, oh no! They had just been the leaders who had led us to Tillia, otherwise known as the center of the Immortal Land, and so we had let them rule us with their knowledge throughout the countless generations we had been settled. I guess you could call it a mix of a monarchy and a democracy (a monacracy, maybe?) in your terms. We never held real elections for leaders until we were brainwashed by Commander Selik Farque, the most direct descendant at that time from the original Noble family.

It is hard to comprehend that even he would like to give up his power to become a member of the State Court of Noble Individuals, but that is exactly what he did. But it was not like he gave up all of his power in one night—no, actually, he was behind-the-scenes, influencing the newly elected leader, President Gram Brayden. When we Mavericks (meaning rebels) found out about this treachery of our government, we were infuriated beyond reason but still, we kept quiet.

The Maverick Team was not officially formed until a few years after the new shift in government power. Before that, we had been spread out and were all basically alone in our nonconformist thoughts and small rebellious actions. We were the select few who fully noticed how things were changing for the worse. We were the ones who also saw the need to do something about it instead of just lying back to watch our once wonderful civilization fall to outside power’s foolish ideologies about governments.

But before long, we saw connections on the news that made us realize that we were not alone at all in our rebellious beliefs. I was the one who secretly sought out others like myself and soon enough I had a group that could quite possibly have the will power and strength to save our nation from destruction from within.

It turned out that through some of our sources from within the government that the former Commander had left out a vital part in his speech about the one party system of government—the country he had visited…their single-party state had actually failed and had caused an uprising among some of its people who knew what was going on and wanted to protect their country from collapsing because of corrupt leaders.

Now it was like déjà vu, but thank the Great One that the former Commander never told the outside lands where he had came from or else our land would have been under attack, I am sure of it. If he had told of our glorious miracle about finding our utopia or of our unlimited resources, only the Great One could have known what might have happened.

After we switched over to the single-party system, slowly things began to change as the former Commander told his familiars and superiors in the government about what he had learned from the lands from afar. For instance, while there, he and the sailors had been called albinos because of our drastically pale skin compared to the people from afar, although our hair was not always white or light blonde and our eyes were not red, purple, or pink unless, as you call it, someone of our race was really an albino. We just did not get much sun at all because of where we lived, honestly, so we did not get tanned.

But that was the least damaging thing he told them. The rest would change our society for the worse, leaving us as the Mavericks the only ones who could save it from total destruction.

For example, a severely wealthy class emerged in time as well as a desperately poor class. We Mavericks, from reading the book by the Great One, finally saw in person why he had told us to restrain the birth rate. With the new single-party rule, they wanted us all to work and they needed more people to work the different jobs. Schools were shut down because they were not needed anymore when you could learn only for your specific field of work while working, and the decision was made to reveal us and our “perfect society” to the rest of the world. As far as we could tell then, we were all doomed to fall and lose our once superior civilization. We had to do something about it very soon or everything would be torn down, ripped to pieces, and we Antarcticans would be lost forever.

Or, to put it more accurately, we will do something about it in the future tense. We have been planning for months on end even before it was said that we would reveal ourselves, collaborating together about what we could agree on—Antarctica’s surmounting problems and what we were going to do to stop the fall of our nation. A proposal to assassinate the former Commander has been agreed to. We have chosen who in the Mavericks will take over the government and start it over anew with the Great One’s philosophy—there will be no mistakes, we have promised ourselves that.

This is our plan after we take over the government:

Cause: Put a restraint on the births of new citizens, as the Great One says.

Effect: Watch the lower class diminish into nothingness.

Cause: Open up schools again for everyone. Give equal opportunities, as the Great One says.

Effect: See new things be invented for the better of Antarctica. Watch as our country flourishes and as the wealthy class disappears.

Cause: Reinstall the old ways of life and eradicate the new ways. Put up the invisible barrier around our civilization so no one from the other lands can ever see the Immortal Land of Antarctica, as the Great One says.

Effect: Watch as slowly, over years, we go back to living in harmony with our blessed land.

We know it seems so simplistic to do in words, but it will be harder to revert back to our old ways. But we will prevail, because Antarcticans have been strong and intelligent warriors for the past two thousand plus years. We may have never fought in a real war like the lands from afar have, but if we do get into one after the assassinations happen, we will fight to the end and to our deaths if we have to, as long as our Immortal Land does not fall. The Great One says so, thus it will be done.

You may be wondering who I am or what kinds of people are in the Maverick Team, but that does not matter in the least bit. We are merely the embodiment of the Great One’s philosophy. What is important is that in the dead of night, our plan will start to fall into place and the dominoes will begin to fall. The Immortal Land will be avenged.

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