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Chapter One- Guyana
March 31st 2010 (Present)
Hello. I am the anthropomorphic personification of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
And that is the strangest thing I have ever thought.
Anyway, I am a nation, or the personification of a country. Nations are born when our countries are created, as colonies, territories, etc. We live as long as our countries do, and are affected by things that happen to it, for example, when there is a natural disaster, or attack, we get hurt. We represent our countries at meetings, and help to run them, as a kind of second in command. We get to participate in events such as the Olympics, but only against other nations, as we have certain advantages, age being one. Another is that we are naturally fast. Some of us are super-humanly strong, but our strength is based on our military power, so that doesn’t apply to all of us.
Well, I am Guyana, and this is my story. It began the 31st of March, 2010.
I glanced at myself in the mirror of my DC hotel room, turning to the left and right. I looked up at my face and my reflection looked back at me, we gazed at each other for a second until I instinctively looked at my feet, feeling awkward under my own gaze. Then I realized what I did and blushed, looking up again. The dark flush stood out against my dark skin and long black hair, and my jungle green eyes stared back at me sheepishly as I tugged slightly on the jacket of my black suit. At physically fourteen I am one of the youngest of my family, even though I’m actually older than some of my siblings by over a hundred years. But, as I am a ‘developing’ country, I age slower than ‘developed’ countries. I’m relatively short for a nation, as our height corresponds with the size of our country. I slipped on high heels, hoping to make myself a bit taller, so I would stand out a little, or maybe blend in more. I wasn’t quite sure. Not that the other nations wouldn’t be doing the same. Today was the annual World Conference.
The World Conference takes place over two days, and is a meeting of nations only. It’s a big deal for our bosses, for diplomatic reasons, and for the media, for many reasons, especially the arguments that almost always occur. Each day begins with a two hour meeting of all the nations, and is followed by smaller, two or three party, meetings, and ends with thirty minutes of closing remarks. I pulled my schedule out of my bag. Each nation gets a specialized agenda for each day of the conference. I had a meeting with the other Caribbean nations around two, and a moderated meeting with Venezuela around four. That meeting had to be moderated because my relationship with Venezuela is... tense, as he wants a large portion of my land. The part with the oil.
I glanced over at the clock again and raced out of my room, scared that I would get caught in traffic.
With about fifteen minutes to spare I arrived at the conference center. It was a very large building, with an imposing gate blocking the entrance. I showed the guards my ID and they opened the gates to let me in. I walked quickly down the path and into the building, rushing down the hallway. It was always good to get to the meeting early, if only to be saved from the awkwardness of the crowded last minute rush. The hallway was extremely quiet, and slowed down, waiting for something to happen.
“Guyana!” a voice called, and I turned around quickly. My older brother Australia ran up to me, dark brown eyes sparkling mischievously. Australia is physically 15, only one year older than me. He’s very good looking with sandy brown hair, freckles, and a dark tan. He kind of reminds me of a surfer, and he usually wears an impish smile that didn’t go with his neatly pressed black suit. His hair was combed back neatly, but was starting to fall back into its usual messy style.
“Hi?” I replied nervously.
“Guyana, in your opinion, if someone won’t wake up, and they have to be somewhere, isn’t it being helpful if you pour water on their head?” he asked me, his voice full of false innocence.
“Uh...” I said, not too sure what he was talking about, and not sure that I wanted to know.
“No, it’s not helpful if the water in question is hot enough to cook pasta!” another voice called form behind me, and I spun around. America walked over, one hand typing on her phone, and the other holding a cup of coffee. America is physically 16, and she ties with Canada as my oldest sibling, as they’re twins. She put her phone back into the pocket of her expensive black suit, sky blue eyes glaring at Australia, but the effect of the glare was offset by the happy grin on her face. America is stunning, tall with sparkling blue eyes, a dark tan like Australia’s, freckles, a bright smile, and a confident attitude. Her curly jet black hair was pulled back in a braid that reminded me of her Native American heritage, before she became mom’s colony. Most North and South American nations were once the representatives of a native tribe, but then changed to represent colonies once the Europeans came. Well, some of us did... The others... died.
“Guys?” Canada called quietly, turning around the corner. She’s America’s twin, and she looks almost the same, except her eyes are a darker purplish blue, and she’s a bit taller. She reminds me a bit of snow, quiet and pretty. She can be scary though, especially when she was the representation of the Iroquois tribe.
“Hum?” America, Australia, and I asked.
“Mom is looking for you, America.” Canada said. Our mom is England, more commonly known as the official representative for the United Kingdom, and formerly the British Empire.
“I didn’t do it.” America responded automatically, and Canada sighed.
“Guilty conscience?” she asked, and then continued. “She just wants to talk to you about something.”
“Oh. Ok!” America replied, and then paused. “Wait, so whose side do you chose, Guyana?” I jumped slightly.
“Um, can you give me some background information?” I asked nervously, and Australia smiled.
“Well, Canada, mom, and I are staying at America’s house for the meeting.” he began “And America has stayed up late working on one of her crazy ideas.”
“They are not crazy!” America replied angrily. America has a bit of a reputation for being a mad scientist, as she loves inventing things, and she’s very good at it too. Some of them are good, like the airplane, or the spaceship that landed on the moon, or the IPod. Others are more terrifying, like the atomic bomb. Or her locket.
The locket in question was currently around America’s neck, sitting there innocently. All of the members of the UN Security Council have them, as they allow them to talk to each other in case of an emergency. America’s had a small map of the world in the center, made of blue and purple gemstones, and encircled with shining diamonds. Around that was a ring of silver with her name written on it in gold. That was ok, the problem was what it could do. Her locket, along with all the permanent Security Council member’s lockets, were capable of launching their nuclear weapons.
All America’s idea.
She’s a scary child.
“...Guyana?” America asked, jolting me out of my thoughts. “So, whose side do you pick?”
“Um, I missed the last part...” I replied hesitantly.
“I fell asleep at my computer, and Australia poured hot water on me to wake me up.” she said.
“I thought cold water woke people up.” Canada muttered.
“It’s the shock, and hot water will shock you, especially if you have a habit of burning yourself.” America replied.
“But you woke up.” Australia said, still smiling.
“...Fine.” America conceded. “But I’ll get you back...” she muttered menacingly.
“America!!” A voice yelled from down the hallway, and America jumped. She glanced back nervously and then turned to us.
“I was never here!” she said, and then ran away. Not a minute later my mom walked over.
“Have you seen your sister?” she asked tensely, sea green eyes glaring at us. She had her dark brown hair pulled up in a bun, and wore a suit similar to America’s. She had a locket on as well. It was a simple, but elegant gold one, with her name written on it in silver script. She’s taller than me, but a little but shorter than the rest of my siblings.
“Nope!” Australia lied easily.
“I don’t believe you.” mom said, and then turned to Canada. “Canada?”
“N... No...” Canada said, twirling a stand of her hair. Mom’s eyes narrowed.
“Ca-” she began, but was cut off.
“Mom!” America said, running over. “I was just looking for you!” she smiled, and mom raised an eyebrow.
“Of course.” she said sarcastically. crossing her arms. America put her hands in her pockets nervously, and mom grabbed her arm. “We’re going to be late, and you have to give the opening speech.” she said angrily, pulling America along.
“But I’m always late!” America said, stumbling after her. Mom just rolled her eyes.
“Uh...” I said.
“Let’s go to the meeting room.” Australia said, and we walked down the hallway and into the room.
Our meeting room is set up similarly to the UN General Assembly room, with all the nations sitting at connected desks in alphabetical order. Each desk had a microphone with two buttons, one to turn on the microphone, and one that lights up the name tag on the front of the desk, so the chair’s attention is called to you when you want permission to speak. Along with that is a small tablet computer, used for viewing the agenda, speaker’s lists, and sending messages to other nations. The other nations slowly filed in, chatting quietly to each other. All were dressed neatly in western business attire. Each went to their seats and at down, ready to begin the meeting. America went down to the podium to give her welcome speech as the host nation.
“Bonvena” she began in Esperanto. Esperanto is the first language of all nations, and is the language we are the most comfortable with. “al la ĉiujara mondo konferenco! Ludoni funkcii kune al senpaneigi la mondo problemos!”* America continued her speech, welcoming all the nations and explaining what we were supposed to accomplish during the meeting, smiling the whole time. “Um...” she continued in Esperanto. “The chair today is...” she checked a slip of paper quickly “Japan!” she said, and he went down to the podium, and America went back to her seat. Japan brushed his black hair back quietly
“Austria?” he called, starting the roll. All the nations were present, so the meeting began.
“Any motions?” Japan asked quietly, the microphone barely catching his voice. Germany raised his placard.
“Motion for moderated caucus on the topic of tomorrow, specifically the decorum expected as tomorrow is April Fool’s day.” he states stiffly, blue eyes looking around the meeting room.
“I second the motion.” UK called, raising her placard, dark green eyes staring at Australia who smiled at her.
“Please vote.” Japan requested, and three options popped up on our computers, yes, no, or abstain. I clicked abstain; I try not to get involved in these kinds of things. The votes appeared on the screen behind Japan, and the majority said yes. “Motions for speaking time?” Japan asked. A moderated caucus is where the chair calls on nations who wish to speak one at a time, and they address the assembly from their seat for a set amount of time. If you finish before your time is up you can yield your time back to the chair, give your time up for questions, or yield your time to another nation. We use parliamentary procedure mainly for these meetings, meaning they go on for a very long time. It was decided that we would have a speaking time of one minute.
“Germany, would you like to begin?” Japan asked, and Germany nodded.
“I believe that with the... shenanigans... that happen around April first that we need to set some rules so that we can conduct these meetings with civility!” Germany stated, and then nodded. Japan nodded in recognition of Germany’s words. UK raised her placard to speak.
“I agree with Germany.” she began. “This has happened before, and nothing ever gets done because everyone is too busy watching their backs or planning pranks to actually focus on the tasks at hand! If we are to get anything done we have to be able to keep order." Japan nodded, and Australia began to speak.
“What’s the harm in a little fun?” he asked and everyone groaned.
“You all do realize anything agreed on here is non-binding, right?” America asked. “So even if we say no pranks, no one will care."
“Even if you have a disregard for rules, America, it doesn’t mean everyone else does.” Russia added, smiling innocently.
“You’re one to talk.” America muttered. Germany groaned and rested his head in his hands.
“Then I will bring it up at the Security Council meeting later.” Germany announced. The meeting settled into the normal pattern of discussion and I settled back in my chair to wait it out.