A German Surprise: Or, A 1983 Doomsday Tale Through a Nation's Eyes
Somewhere above the Alpine Confederation. 2009.
"Herr Beilschmidt?" Prussia heard one of the Royal Guardsmen bellow, turning around to find the man in an crisp dark blue ceremonial uniform standing in attention. "We should be arriving at Linz within the hour. And with respect, please try to keep this matter discreet."
"I'll keep that in mind, Falkner," he smirked casually. "Thanks for the tip though! And if that's all, o take a breather!"
Keeping an inconspicuous envelope tucked under his arm, the albino couldn't help but grin approvingly as the officer left his spacious though simple quarters. The small collection of maps, replica paintings and photographs showcased the past and present glories of his people, all centered around the crest of the Black Eagle. Though inconspicuously, those either dating back to his East German days or the fights with Poland were blotted out. Sure His Majesty wouldn't mind, he thought sarcastically as he sat down on a seat by the windows. Too busy taking his pills anyway.
But as much as he found King Christian's mental health morbidly fascinating, he also found it awesome that Crown Prince Georg actually let him use the Friedrich der Große, one of the smaller NZ-1s given to them by the New Zeppelin Company, for an unofficial "royal trip." And unlike their predecessors, whose days of glory burned with the Hindenburg, they were here to stay. Granted, he missed the thrill that came with taking MiG jets for an unsanctioned "test run." Even if it meant crashing a few times. Yet the sweeping view of the snow-covered Austrian countryside below brought back memories of the last time airships ruled the skies.
While he couldn't have prevented the descendants of Old Fritz from losing the Great War nor stop a certain madman from seizing control and dragging everyone into another humiliating defeat, Prussia could still recall it though it were yesterday. It was another time. All Germany was united. Strong. Proud. Alive. Against his better judgement, he couldn't shake off the feeling that he wasn't alone.
"What are you up to now, bruder?" he asked aloud to noone in particular, before brushing the thought aside. Instead, vaguely hearing the captain on the radio announcing landing procedures above the strong December winds outside, the Nation opted to open the package once more. Looking at the small bundle of paper he couldn't wait to reveal what he has in store for Europe, or at least what's left of the old neighborhood. Especially to a certain aristocrat.
Outskirts of Linz. Not long after.
"I suppose you're not here just to annoy me?" Austria sighed as he rose from his piano, his face stern as ever. "Pleasing as it is to see you, time is of the essence at the moment. So if this is just another
"Nein, specs," Prussia shrugged nonchalantly as he propped himself on an antique reading chair, though keeping up his usual smirk. For a moment he glanced at the upbeat girl standing nearby, wearing an old yet vibrant spring dress. "I was gonna invite you over for a ride on my awesome airship, though that might be another time I guess. Hell, maybe
"Mr. Auztria?" a young girl by the doorway asked nervously as she slipped into the hall, wearing what looked like old wooly coveralls. "Bocsánat
um, traurig for barging in like this. But I couldn't help but hear what's happening
"It's alright, Fraulein," the aristocrat replied in an assuring, though somewhat awkward smile, before glancing back to the baffled Nation. "How uncharacteristic of me. Allow me to introduce you Julia, though you may refer to her as Sopron. And my dear, this is, well, your Uncle Gilbert. The personification of Prussia."
The red-eyed albino tried his best not to gape his mouth open as she gingerly curtsied and smiled at him. Even with the bulky clothes, the girl, who looked like a pre-teen at best, had the same frail, slim build as Roderich. And yet she also seemed to act like and resemble a younger Elizaveta far too much for comfort, right down to the color of her eyes. "T-The pleasure's all mine," he managed to blurt out. The more he put two and two together, the more incredible he found it. To think you had a daughter with Hungary
and she's actually right here. You can't be serious, right?!
"Well, either way, I've got a surprise for all of us! Take a look that this Roddi!"
Briskly brushing aside his other thoughts, though with a somewhat forced smirk, Gilbert passed to the bespectacled Nation the bundle of paper he had been carrying. The front cover bore the familiar crest of the Black Eagle holding the old Olympic Rings, surrounded by colorful curves and the words "BERLIN 2010" bombastically displayed in bold font. The Nation knew the contents by heart: the finalized press statement for the first showcase of Continental sportsmanship since Doomsday. It was the pride and joy of the Prussian people, a sign they had arrived on the world stage and
"So you're seriously going through with these Europa Games," Austria deadpanned, though with a sympathetic smirk. "I can see why you'd go to me..well, us first. But why hold it at your abode, of all places? Surely Romano and the Nordics would protest."
"Screw them," he cringed, before managing another grin. "Look at it this way: this isn't just about the awesome me." Though at least His Majesty's sane enough to give me that much. "The Games are meant to bring our blasted corner of the planet together for a good time, where no one's running around and shooting each other. Hell, even if it's for the sake of the newcomers, these would be a gift from and to all of us. Besides, wouldn't you like to show little Julia something less pansy than pianos and baking?"
The aristocrat blushed before clearing his throat. "I'll give you that much, dummkopf. But rest assured, the entirety of the Alpine Confederation will hear about this. And for the record, I still have my medals."
Prussia had long recognized, despite the stoic tone, that it meant an approval. But as he took a sip from the mug of beer sitting idly on the table, the albino couldn't help but notice a look of excitement on Sopron's face. Just as he was about to finish up the beverage in one satisfied gulp, he suddenly heard her mutter "Danke Schon, Uncle Gilbert!"
If anything, especially after all those years of hardship, the Games would indeed be refreshing. And for the Survivor Nations, he and no doubt Roderich knew, they'd have something from the old world worth being grateful for. Ja, it's the least us old timers could do. West, Liz
I hope you're all happy up there.
"Anytime," he smirked. "I bet your mother would be proud."