"I can't believe they almost blew up the planet because of a f**cking sky rock!!"
- Anonymous Internet Commentator, 2014
- Anonymous Internet Commentator, 2014
THE IRON CURTAIN METEOR
AND THE SIX-DAY WAR
AND THE SIX-DAY WAR
Despite the collapse of the National Socialist Regime and the 'democratic turn' after 1990, Germany has retained over the past 30 years an ambivalent relationship towards the concepts of truth and peaceful diplomacy. Belligerently holding onto its violent heritage and state ideology of 'racial warfare' to the very end of the Cold War (1945 - 1990), the shift in Germania's foreign policy to dialogue and compromise (especially after the Leuchtturm Jahre of the early-2000s) reflected the schizophrenic approach this premier European state had toward itself and the outside world after the 1980s. Turning away from its racial isolationism, Germany's two primary exports (its private industries and its massive youth population) led the charge in reaching out to the 'non-Aryan world' and established significant ties which have remained in place to this day. From the Americas to Asia to Africa, the German people and its businesses, unfettered from the chains of fascism, have become enamoured with equal exchanges of culture and trade. However, despite this national opening, the foreign policy of the modern Reich still stands in direct opposition to the existence of one particular state and its peoples; the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics.
Notwithstanding the brief interregnums of 1939-41 and 2000-04, the relationship between the Soviet Union and Germany (during and after its fascist era) has been the most hostile and destructive of the modern world. In spite of Germania's noncommittal recognition of the Soyuzgrad Supreme Soviet in 1990, and the occasionally-sincere attempts to repair relations since then, the events of the 20th century still cast a dark shadow over both nations. Throughout Germany, many still have negative thoughts regarding their easterly neighbour (mostly as holdover propaganda from the Cold War), whilst the Soviet Union and its citizens more often-than-not refuse to maintain relations due to the Soviet Genocide (which is denied by Germany), the 'Aryanisation process' which has seen millions of Slavs forcibly integrated into German society (from 1960 to the present), and the several direct conflicts fought since 1943 (especially the wars of 1948, 1959, and 1971). In addition, the Soviet Union is the one remaining state in the world that the Reich refuses to establish economic ties to on the basis of its status as the last Judenherrschaft - a Cold War Era designation for countries which are claimed by Germania to be 'dominated by Jews'. As a result of this 'hate diplomacy' (which is engaged far more rigorously in Germania than in Soyuzgrad), the refusal of one party to believe in the peaceful action of the other has come as a natural outcropping of these glacial relations.
And it was amidst the deterioration of these already-malignant conditions that the world has come the closest to nuclear apocalypse since end of the Cold War.
On 15th February 2013, a meteor estimated to be 20m in diameter which was travelling in a westerly direction entered into the Earth's atmosphere over Eurasia. Having been undetected by astronomers prior to its immediate appearance, it came as a shock to soldiers garrisoned along the 'Ural Anti-Bolshevik Defensive Wall' (as Germany's military frontier is officially named) to see the sky brighten significantly before the missile-like object flying overhead 'detonate' with significant force. Due to the location over which the meteor broke apart (it being one of the most densely-staffed bases of the Soviet-German 'Iron Curtain' border), the resulting shock wave caused significant damage to the German facilities, which led to thousands of injuries (and millions of Marks worth of damage), and in one case led to the first mass-death impact event when a building (housing six soldiers) exploded after a piece of debris struck its gas-heating system. Due to its size and its luminescence, thousands soldiers on both sides of the Iron Curtain were witness to the brilliant astronomic event, with citizens as far away as the Kazakh SSR and Wolgaland managing to hear the air burst. In the case of the older citizens who could remember the Cold War years, the sound of the explosion was reminiscent of missiles dropped over the region; a memory that would prove highly prescient.
With news being sent by military authorities at the Ural Wall to the High Command in Germania, the largest nation in Europe entered a state of 'highest alert' in the minutes after the perceived Soviet attack. Despite concerns raised over the nature of the morning's events (mostly by ground-level troops who felt the singular air burst was unlike any theorised Soviet attack), the backdrop of an explosion, emanating from the east, over one of the largest bases of the most militarised borders on Earth led to a violent confrontation. Germany had already kept its armed forces in a state of readiness after the recent 2012 skirmishes (which followed the shooting of sixteen Soviet youths who had entered into the Iron Curtain's 'kill zone'), with President Adolf Brunner issuing a call-to-arms against 'Soviet aggression'. The outgoing head-of-state - who was judged as an aspiring dictator since coming to office in 2004 - had recently lost the February 12th presidential election, and many who doubted the government line on the 'missile attack' believed that Brunner's rush to war was fuelled by his desire to remain in office. Their calls for peace fell on deaf ears however, as firefights along the Iron Curtain broke out less than an hour after the meteor impacted.
Over the next six days, German forces led a strategic offensive over the demilitarised zone of the border, with Soviet (and Mongolian) border garrisons exchanging military barrages, air strikes, and territorial occupation. In Soyuzgrad, the recently-inaugurated President Mahomedev Omarov (who initially sought détente with his country's western neighbour) was forced into a conflict which he and his government found both sudden and confusing; the Supreme Soviet maintaining that it was a meteor air burst which caused the damage to German installations. Despite the truth of the matter, President Brunner seemed insistent on escalating the conflict further with strategic airstrikes carried out following a day of skirmishes; the minor border incursions which had been military policy since the 1960s being exchanged for the violent occupation of the Soviet lands of the DMZ. The United Nations (an organisation opposed rigidly by the Reich) and the United States (a stalwart Soviet ally) called for an immediate end to the growing violence along the Ural Wall; the German leader claiming that 'punitive measures' must be undertaken before any just peace could be declared. On February 18th, Brunner called for the Reichstag and Reichsrat to grant him extraordinary powers to deal with the ostensible 'Jewish-Soviet menace'; however, the German legislature demurred due to the Supreme Soviet's call for peace (and its insistence that the initial strike was indeed a meteor). Over February 18th to 19th, the German offensive grew in ferocity as Soviet counter-incursions in the north of Iron Curtain saw the first massive territorial gains by either side since the Ural War over 50 years prior.
Amidst the chaos at the front, mobilisation of Soviet and German nuclear forces were placed on 'first-strike alert' for the first time since the Cold War. Following this revelation and the growing knowledge that the 'Soviet strike' was anything but, German citizens streamed-out onto the streets to join protesters worldwide in opposing the mounting violence, as well as calling for the immediate resignation of President Brunner. These marchers were joined on February 18th by the Weraab (the Reich civilian space agency) and the German Astronomical Union, both of which issued emergency reports which verified the international declarations that a meteor caused the explosions on February 15th; the growing distrust the German legislature (and Länder governments) had toward their head-of-state culminating in February 19th joint-declaration which claimed the executive power to remove Brunner from office. That same day, the US Congress and President Jim Bryant indicated that unless a ceasefire was declared as soon as possible, all German assets held by UN member states would be frozen and Europe's largest economy was be economically strangled by unified sanctions. Whilst the Reich President was dismissive of the mounting (and massive) protests against him and his 'false war', the threat of economic boycott and the moral bankruptcy of the government's casus belli led to both German legislature's voting unanimously to remove the president and end the violence.
With his position unsustainable (his constitutional term ending on February 25th) and the Supreme Soviet indicating that it would be issuing an 'armed ceasefire', Adolf Brunner resigned the presidency early in the morning of February 20th. Only hours thereafter, as violence died across the Iron Curtain, an armistice brokered by neutral Turkey was signed by representatives of the German and Soviet Armed Forces in Ankara, thus ending one of the most inexplicable wars in modern history.
It wasn't until the end of hostilities that the true extent of the war was felt; the nature of violence along the Iron Curtain obfuscating the full picture due to journalistic restrictions placed on the region. The military frontier was partially ruined; the full-scale fighting had wrecked many facilities, bunkers, and installations found both inside and outside the DMZ. In accordance with the Armistice of Ankara, the Soviet and German armies were given only a few months to collect their dead, discover their missing, and restore any equipment before they were to return to either side of their border. Nuclear forces would additionally be demobilised, and interstate communication between Germania and Soyuzgrad would be increased to eliminate the possibility of atomic warfare. The International Astronomical Council has since the conflict increased the parameters of its near-Earth object search to include objects smaller than 50m in diameter, all to eliminate the possibility to any further 'meteor-induced destruction' (as astronomically low as those chances may still be).
Despite maintaining the truth that a meteor caused an outbreak of violence, the incoming Reich President Martin Heisig would later support the construction of a myth which claimed the USSR was planning to attack Germany before the impact catalysed the conflict. The conclusion of much of the world (the US, UN, and USSR included) however is that the Reich's attack on the Soviet state was malicious, destructive, and unprovoked; President Omarov stating after the conflict that it is Germany's "grotesque national chauvinism and the innate viciousness of its people" which led it to conflict once again, "like a fly to rotting food".
As of 2020, relations between Germany and the Soviet Union remain glacial, and the distrust has only grown since the events of the Six-Day War. In both countries, and across the world, the end of the Cold War has not brought about the end to mass interstate violence as once hoped; the German 'blood spirit' (Blutgeist) once against arising to reap a familiar bounty. All potential catastrophes of global significance remain a worldwide fear, and to this day billions remain waiting for when the next bout of violence brings about a final cataclysm.