The Eagle and the Rattlesnake: Death of a Nation (Prologue)

America was home to the Eagle and the Rattlesnake, but the Rattlesnake reigned after the Eagle’s mistake.

The Eagle said, “America is the land of the free,” while the Rattlesnake warned, “Don’t tread on me.”

The Eagle said no one would tread on the Rattlesnake, and that was a freedom no one can take.

And so they agreed but never saw eye to eye, and in keeping the peace they’d say lie after lie.

 

One day the Eagle saw how the Rattlesnake behaved. Some animals he tortured, others he enslaved.

The Eagle told the Rattlesnake, “It’s the land of the free,” but then he snapped back with, “Don’t tread on me.”

The bird of the sky challenged the serpent of the land, but the Rattlesnake maintained his strong upper hand.

The Rattlesnake grew bold and thought the Eagle was weak. If he snapped off her wing, she would fall on her beak.

So the Rattlesnake lunged up into the air, aiming to land on a wing that laid bare.

But the Rattlesnake learned how much he was wrong. He forgot the sky was where the Eagle was strong.

The Eagle snatched the Rattlesnake with her sharp claws. She dropped him demanding, “Agree to my laws.”

 

The Rattlesnake surrendered to the Eagle’s terms, but he never forgot the lessons he learned.

He trusted the Eagle since she soared with wings, but that was before her claws left him stings.

His big takeaway: “She treaded on me.” She remained a threat as far as he could see.

He’d have to kill the Eagle at some point some year. Being treaded on remained his big fear.

He can’t kill the Eagle from up in the sky. It was a mistake to attack her so high.

He needed the Eagle to dive and swoop low, and that’s when the Rattlesnake would strangle his foe.

 

But the Eagle just soared and expanded her reach, from every stream and mountain to every swamp and beach.

She saw much of the world, but it wasn’t all free, so she set out to change that everywhere she’d see.

The Rattlesnake noticed he could tire his foe, so where she soared high he burrowed low.

Thus soaring above was freedom’s standard-bearer, but crawling below was a campaign of terror.

Everywhere he went he said, “Don’t tread on me,” even to creatures that just let him be.

No land was ever free where the Rattlesnake slithered, and so the Eagle’s mission eventually withered.

The Eagle retreated and flew back to her nest. From there she watched the world, enjoying her rest.

 

The Rattlesnake saw she was finally tired, and he could strike her down as he desired.

The only thing he needed to seize total power was his foe at his level instead of her tower.

The Rattlesnake knew exactly what to do: get her attention by inciting a coup.

The Rattlesnake bragged and boasted his terror, and baited the Eagle with every way to scare her.

He poisoned the Eagle’s land of the free, but all she could hear was, “Don’t tread on me.”

She heeded his warning, so he tried to test her. He continued his terror so the poison would fester.

 

The Eagle lost hope and with it her way. She let her anger drift her values astray.

The Eagle felt hate: she despised the Rattlesnake, and that’s when she made her fatal mistake.

She swooped down with a wrath and came low to the ground, where the Rattlesnake wrapped her around and around.

The Rattlesnake jeered as he strangled the Eagle, and mocked her as she cried, “This is illegal!”

“The home of the brave, the land of the free! I thought those terms were what we agreed!”

“How could I be brave in the land of the free when you were free to tread on me?”

His poisonous fangs sunk into the Eagle, and ended her reign, so majestic and regal.

Then the serpent slithered onto the flag. Now America flies that Star Rattled Rag.

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But one day the poison brought the Eagle back to life: the Blue Phoenix is born out of tyranny and strife.

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She can only restore the home of the brave if she breaks the shackles of every last slave.

One of those slaves that needs to be free is the Rattlesnake crying, “Don’t tread on me.”

He’s imprisoned by fear and his words are a plea, and that’s why it was never the land of the free.

Ignoring his fear was the Eagle’s mistake. Now it’s up to the Blue Phoenix to save the Rattlesnake.

 

To be continued…

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The Siberian Tiger: Bagha

Before Mila Zharkova rose to power in Volgograd, her father, Nikolai Zharkov, led the Narodists, a terrorist network that operated in the former Russian Federation, and parts of the former Soviet Union that still had a large disenfranchised Russian populations in search for any cause that would recognize their plight. The Narodists promised a return to prosperity for millions of Russians who believed they lost their country, especially in Siberia, where millions of refugees resettled to escape terror and disaster that engulfed their homes. Both of my parents were among these refugees, and neither of them had the option to return home.

My father was born in Dhaka, a city that no longer exists. He arrived as a child with his parents after they fled the Flooding of Bangladesh, and settled in Novosibirsk. My mother was also a refugee, but she was from Russia. Her family lived in Kazan, the former capital of Tatarstan, the non-Russian state on the Volga that died when the Narodists burned the city to the ground. My mother, half-Tatar and half-Russian, fled the Narodist terror when she was already a teenager. She eventually arrived in Novosibirsk where she met my father, and for a few years they lived together in the city where I was born. From what I remembered it was a happy childhood, while my childhood lasted.

Everything changed the night my parents decided to take me to visit Vostokia. We took the the Trans-Siberian Railroad to see the rest of the Siberian countryside. That night the Narodists targeted that train. They stopped us on the track, and shot both of my parents. I was only five years old, and I only survived because my parents told me to hide under the tracks. Later that night I was found by a Siberian paramilitary team that returned me to Novosibirsk, where I stayed at a boarding school funded by the state.

When I grew older I joined the military to defend Siberia against the growing Narodist threat, now led by Mila Zharkova, who pledged to lead her army across the Urals to retake the land they recognized as rightfully Russia’s. We trained everyday at a base in a classified location, prepared to defend our country from the threat of invasion. We were far from any city, and we kept the base’s location a secret in order to protect us from any Narodist attacks. But one day the Narodists found us, and destroyed the base in a series of demolitions.

I was assigned to patrol at the time of the first demolition, and so I survived that attack. When I rushed to check if there were any other survivors, I was caught in the second demolition, which cost me my legs and my left arm.

I was barely able to pilot a hovercar until it crashed a few miles east of the base. That’s where I was discovered by Alpha Volikov, the leader of the Pack of Wolves, a secretive military team that was operating inside Siberian territory.

I had only heard of the Pack of Wolves through stories that I considered legends before I accidentally discovered their base of operations. The Pack’s mission was to defend civilian lives against actors that threatened their rights and their safety. It also turned out that I was the first outsider to discover the Pack.

When I shared my story with Alpha Volikov, he grew sympathetic, especially granted our common enemy. He shared my disgust for the Narodists, but for other reasons. His main concern about the insurgency were its American allies who were now aiding them and providing them with the resources necessary to launch an invasion into Siberia. While we didn’t share the same perspective on the matter, we both recognized that the Narodist mission to restore Russia to its former glory meant the suffering of millions of Siberians whose families have made this land their home; and without Siberia, there was no refuge state to welcome other refugees fleeing terror and disaster at home.

And so Alpha Volikov offered me the opportunity to work with the Pack of Wolves on behalf of Siberia. Using the Pack’s advanced technology, he rehabilitated me and provided me with cybernetic arms and legs that would allow to be an even more effective soldier for my country. I wasn’t a wolf, so I took the symbol of the tiger, not only to acknowledge my home in Siberia but also to acknowledge my Bangladeshi roots. Eventually I became a symbol of the Siberian resistance against Zharkova, and a scourge for the Narodists. They call me the Siberian Tiger, but I prefer Bagha, a name chosen from my father’s tongue.

The Pack of Wolves remained a reliable ally until Alpha Volikov’s murder. Ever since they have taken a neutral stance in the face of invasion. With or without their support, I will continue defend my people for as long as I can. 

 

 

Bagha will return as one of the four perspectives in the Coyote File. Stay tuned for more.

The Man in the Kremlin: Andrei Volodin

My grandfather, Mikhail, was a cunning fellow. He worked for the FSB — Putin’s agency… before of course the Americans killed him. And don’t try to correct me and tell me it was those Islamist terrorists. Please, do you really trust what the Americans say?

 

I can tell you their propaganda is bullshit, because my grandfather found out through a friend in Trump’s CIA who admitted they did it. He said it had something to do with hacking this program or device called Twitter… I don’t know much about these sort of things, but I understand that it was a stupid reason to kill the President of Russia. Then again stupid is the American way and Trump mastered that more than anyone else. So you see? My grandfather was cunning. He found out what nobody else could from the people who did it.

 

He also knew where all of Russia’s nuclear stockpiles were. After the old Kremlin fell he collected every single warhead, and sold them on the black market. He might have been responsible for Istanbul, Tehran, Karachi, Cairo, and Jerusalem, but he was not a total idiot. No nuclear weapons were ever used against Russia, and he kept a few for himself. 

 

After selling those warheads, literally thousands, my grandfather amassed money you can’t even count. He could do anything in the world, anything. So he decided that he was going to build a new Kremlin for himself. Why not? If you can do it, you become the most powerful man in Russia. So he bought the land, ordered its reconstruction, and boom! The new Kremlin was finished.

 

He thought that was it so he started living like a tsar, but he ran into two problems. First problem: that construction costed him more rubles than the annexation of Crimea. Second problem: he now had a wife – my grandmother, and they had my father. As you can imagine they were additional expenses. Meanwhile, he was trying to singlehandedly rebuild Moscow without a salary.

 

When my grandfather realized he needed a stable income, he returned to the business that gave him success in the first place – selling weapons. A few years later Kremlin Corp. became the most lucrative business in Russia and the arms industry, and has remained so ever since. After my grandfather passed away, my father continued his work until he was murdered.

 

Now I’m the man in the Kremlin. While I don’t have an empire, I have a network of clientele and the perks of supplying most of the world’s weapons. I will find out who killed my father, and I will make sure they regret the day they were born.

 

 

Andrei Volodin will return as one of the four perspectives in the Coyote File. Stay tuned for more.

They Brought Russia Back From the Dead – Prologue

By 2065 the world somehow avoided a global conflict for more than an entire century, but in turn it faced a series of disasters. One of these disasters was the Russian Crisis, which began in 2020 when President Donald Trump ordered the CIA to assassinate President Vladimir Putin over a perceived personal slight.

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Putin left Moscow with a government that was centered on himself. It could not last without him, and as a result Russia fell apart. Nationalists and a liberal-elite alliance fought over the future of the country, and in the process Moscow was burned to the ground.

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Most of Russia’s oligarchs moved to the far east to escape the chaos that engulfed the Kremlin, and they redirected their attention to other markets in East Asia. A few years later in Vladivostok, a political party funded by these oligarchs declared independence for Vostokia, their newly established state.

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Meanwhile global events, including the Flooding of Bangladesh, the Arab Wars, and the Collapse of Pakistan, prompted the largest refugee crisis in human history. Hundreds of millions of refugees, rejected by the rest of the world, settled in Siberia due to Russia’s lack of border control and its availability of land and resources. They formed communities, rebuilt and improved the infrastructure and prosperity of the Russian cities they settled, and integrated with the Russian communities that welcomed their support. As a result Siberia became the Refuge State.

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The rest of Russia remained divided. Some regions were controlled by strong-men, warlords, organized crime syndicates, and oligarchs that never left. Others acted in accordance with each other under the Russian Orthodox Church. With Moscow no longer in control over Russia, Tatarstan declared independence and a few neighboring republics joined it as an independent Tatar state. While it experienced a few years of prosperity, Tatarstan’s independence was short-lived and its capital Kazan suffered the same fate as Moscow.

After Kazan’s destruction Moscow was eventually rebuilt, but not as the capital.

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It became a global zone along with St. Petersburg, and the two cities remained Russia’s only access to what was left of global trade, limited to other global zones in a worldwide effort to restrict and minimize globalization.

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The rest of the world forgot about Russia by 2065. Every country focused on themselves, the global zones focused on each other, and President Benny Bright in Baltimore decided that America needed to trade with Siberia so that his business, Bright Enterprises, could make a profit.

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Siberia had a great wealth of resources, most importantly freshwater.

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Bright’s presidency allowed his corporation to secure control over America’s freshwater deposits and become one of the biggest names in the water business, but Siberian competitors in the water market forced Bright Enterprises to lower its prices.

That was when Bright realized he needed access to Siberia’s freshwater deposits in order to secure a larger profit margin for his corporation, and to drive its Siberian competitors out of business. But when Bright called Novosibirsk, President Nikolai Choudhry rejected Bright’s request due to America’s permanent ban on accepting refugees since 2018, and for America’s ongoing human rights violations.

As far as Bright was concerned his business still needed access to Siberia’s water, so he consulted his Vice-President, Vincent Biggs, about the matter. When Bright sat down with Biggs to discuss his dilemma, Biggs gave him an idea that could solve the problem.

“We should support an insurgency to take down Siberia.”

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They brought Russia back from the dead.
To be continued…

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