Dislcaimer: I do not own Hetalia
This was a school assignment. All I've done is tweak the names and descriptions into Hetalia characters from my original story, for all of you out there who're going to hate me because this isn't an update for any of my stories.
It was 2176, and after the Big Disaster in 2125, there had been a conference with all of the surviving countries Leaders. It had been said that animals would finally be respected, and that they're home wouldn't be uprooted anymore. In fact, they would actually help the animals to thrive and grow.
Natalya Arlovskaya stared out the window of her small, brick home. The sunset was red and beautiful, pink clouds across the lavender skies that the sunset had made, orange wisps in the sky as well.
Natalya was thinking quite hard about the upcoming Appeasement and the Choosing that was today.
The windows were open; the birds had decreed it, wings outspread and beaks open in a caw, landing on windowsills and doors. The doors were open as well, never mind the fact that it might rain, and it might get into the house.
"Natalya," her brother called. "The Choosing is beginning, and we need to be there soon."
Ivan Braginsky was two years older than Natalya, with platinum gray hair identical to Natalya's and violet eyes that contrasted with her pale blue. Yekaterina Katyusha Braginskaya, their elder sister, was nineteen, and therefore an adult, so she didn't need to go to the Choosing anymore and she'd moved out and into her own home.
Natalya rose to her feet, and bid her mother a kiss good-bye, and her father a hug. Ivan hugged their mother and shook hands with their father.
"Remember," their mother said, tears filling her eyes with a smile, as it was every year. "If one of you is the Chosen One, it's an honor. A dear honor. Your Aunt was Chosen when she was fifteen, and it made her so proud." The words that were spoken hung in the air, like every year.
Natalya nodded, despite the fact that cold fear had sunk into her bones. She glanced at the television in the living room, powered purely by solar and stellar energy.
Everything was powered by solar and stellar nowadays, after the Big Disaster.
The walk to the Ritual was solemn, and Natalya found herself squeezing Ivan's hand, who smiled at her weakly.
The town's local animals were roaming free, with eyes that were saying that they were so much better than the humans, and they wouldn't kill the humans. Honey bears loped among the people. Grizzlies lived in the forest freely. Wolves were walking on the sidewalk, owls and bats on trees, asleep.
With one hand, Ivan pressed the Voice Command button of the Teleportation Booth and said, "Washington D.C." There was a blinding light, and the two opened the door of the Booth to a whole new city.
There were animals everywhere, much like Natalya's hometown, and Natalya bowed down to one of the squirrels when it came up to her, eyes bright and voice squeaking. Ivan bowed down as well; it was one of the things the Leaders of 2137 had said should happen, that all should bow down to any animals that may cross their path.
After the squirrel scampered away, Ivan and Natalya continued on to where the Choosing was held every year; Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens...or at least what was left of it after the Big Disaster.
They got to the large ring of children; all under eighteen, and became a part of the circle. There were approximately 73,941,848 children there, all of the children in the USA, ranging from tiny one month olds to large, hulking seventeen-year-olds. Natalya had gone through this thirteen times, and this was about to be her fourteenth. Ivan had gone through it fifteen times.
The drum started banging, and all chattering stopped. The President of the United States came into the middle, and every single one of the children made a circle around her, which wasn't an easy feat as there were 73,942,848 children there. Natalya squeezed Ivan's hand even tighter.
The President smiled at the children, though her green eyes were cold. Her dark brown hair was held up in a messy ponytail, and she wore tons of heavy gold jewelry that probably costed millions.
The President brought a megaphone to her red tinted lips, and spoke through it loudly. "The Big Disaster was something that affected the whole world. Small countries like Luxembourg and Monaco were obliterated. Small-ish countries like Austria and Switzerland were badly hurt. Countries like China and India were crumbling. Even large countries like the USA, Canada, and Russia were affected, small parts of them being obliterated into dust.
"Some of you here have never learned about the Big Disaster, just heard about it"-here Natalya winced, as she'd listened to this tale thirteen times now-"will learn about the Big Disaster now.
"The Big Disaster was when animals revolted, evolved enough to think like humans. They destroyed facilities, factories, and killed many a workman of lumberjack profession and more ecosystem destroying things. In short, they waged war on humans and they won. They won badly, with numbers of us humans dwindling. Over twenty-one countries were obliterated, and thirty so badly hurt they had to merge with others. Cue the Austro-German Alliance, the Swiss-Belgian Agreement, the Romanian-Bulgarian Empire, and the French-English Kingdom. Other countries could survive, but it was years before they managed to be a functioning system again, all while people starved and died and were in horrid places of living.
"That was when the Leaders came together again, and created a World Rulebook, which was how to show the proper respect to animals. Zoos were banned. Animal abuse was punishable by death. Animals were better than us. We were their servants. And then they created the Choosing and the Appeasement. After those two were created, meant to be held on every July 2nd in every remaining country of the world, life started to get better again. The merged countries stayed merged, but all in all, it was getting to where it had been before the Big Disaster.
"This is the 39th annual Choosing. The Appeasement will be held tomorrow, broadcasted live on television like every year. Thank you." The President took the megaphone away and handed it to one of her bodyguards that surrounded her. She then proceeded to lift up the bird that had been sitting on her shoulder, a beautiful Blue Jay that she spoke to, saying, "Choose of these children who will be our sacrifice," and the Jay flew.
Natalya held her breath as the Jay flew over, feeling those beady black eyes rake over her. She squeezed Ivan's hand tighter than ever. The Jay came towards her...she held her breath...and the Jay flew over her head, landing on someone behind her.
The crowd parted to reveal a timid girl, the Jay on her head, her green eyes wide with fear, tears sparkling on the edges as she realized what this meant. The Jay sat perched on her head, a purple ribbon hanging from the side. Her golden hair reached to her shoulders, swept behind her as she hugged herself in fear, pink dress creased as she started to tear up.
Natalya felt sick. This was a seven-year-old, for Animals' Sake! She shook the treacherous thoughts out of her mind by remembering the Big Disaster, but couldn't help the stone in her belly.
Natalya heard the whisper and turned around to see a boy about sixteen reaching out to the little girl, his blonde hair cascading to his shoulders, green eyes filled with despair.
Tears slipped down his cheeks, and he made no move to wipe them away as he moved to the girl and enveloped her in a hug, the last hug she'd ever experience. She hugged him back and finally sobbed into his shoulder.
Natalya had to look away.
After what felt like hours, the little girl moved to the President, who had a pitying look on her face. She held the little girl's hand, and moved to the limousine, putting the girl in it and getting in herself, and the limousine drove away.
The children started to go home, going towards the nearest Teleportation Booths and feeling much more subdued than before.
The boy, who Natalya had identified as the little girl's brother, was crumpled on the ground crying, his head in his hands.
Natalya blinked away tears, and moved as to go to the boy, but Ivan pulled her back. When she looked at him, she saw him shake his head with a frown on his face, but not an unkind one. It was simply the frown of someone who knew nothing could be done to help.
Natalya nodded, words not needed to be spoken between them. Ivan pulled her into a Teleportation Booth, and took them home, both too exhausted from the event to speak.
Their mother burst into joy-filled tears that slid down her cheeks in torrents, like every year they had come home. Natalya smiled wearily at her, and sat down at the dinner table in the dining room, a little ways away from the living room.
Ivan joined her, and the steaming plates of food that was brought before them by their father had never tasted so good. Their mother couldn't cook, no matter how hard she tried.
At last Natalya spoke, speaking to her parents. "We saw a little girl get Chosen this year. She was just seven. She had a brother. Her brother was so sad...he was crying when we left. It was heartbreaking."
Their mother sighed, finally showing her true feelings. "It always is. Especially when it's your younger sibling that gets chosen. It always is."
Natalya had trouble sleeping that night.
It was night when the Appeasement began. She gripped her mother's hand, and sat on the couch in front of the television, the whole family on that couch, all in their pajamas. She dared a glance at her family's faces.
Her mother looked queasy.
Her father's face was unreadable.
Ivan was biting his lip, blinking back tears.
The television turned on, and it showed the President in a shrine.
The shrine was for the animals, to pray to the animals and pay your respect to the animals. There were shrines in every town, and every city, and every country. This, however, was the US Appeasement Shrine, where they would appease the animals with a human offering.
The President spoke into a microphone, and stepped back. "Greetings to everyone! You should all be watching this, from the tiniest babies to the eldest veterans! Welcome to the 39th Appeasement, where we will offer a sacrifice to the animals as a peace offering, like we do every year!
"This is something we do to avoid another Big Disaster. So far, it has worked. We aren't going to do anything different for a very long time." The President waved her hand to a stone slab in the middle of the glamorous open temple that was built around the shrine. The little girl from the day before was restrained on the slab, tears rolling down her cheeks and mouth moving in silent prayer. The President continued talking, a giant fake smile on her face. "This is Lili Zwingli, the one who has the honor of being our Appeasement."
The President stepped out of sight, and four people came out, each wearing long white robes and an animal mask; a bear, a wolf, a cat, and a giraffe.
Giraffe produced a pair of scissors, and began snipping away at Lili's beautiful golden hair. The hair fell into a clay jar he held, some snips of it falling to the ground by his feet.
Lili started crying even more, whimpering and hiccuping as she felt the hair she'd grown and cultivated over the course of five years being hacked to pieces. She shook in tremors as her grief overflowed, knowing that this would be the last image her parents and brother would see of her. Her white skirt covered her feet, and it was shaking. Her feet were shaking in the restraints.
Wolf tilted Lili's head up, forcing her mouth open and reaching in with a pair of powerful-looking pliers and starting to pull her teeth out, one by one.
Blood filled her mouth and spilled out the sides, covering Wolf's gloved hands as Lili's tearing eyes widened in crazed pain and she screamed, blood-curdling screams that sent chills down Natalya's spine. There was noise as the pliers scraped on Lili's teeth, dropping each one into a clay jar. Lili kept screaming, blood running down the sides of her face and over her chin, spilling onto the stone and her shirt, all over Wolf's robes.
Cat lifted up a delicate scalpel, and lifted up her shirt (a white one that represented peace) to her stomach. He cut open her belly, and Lili's screams grew louder, her eyes rolling to the back of her head as the pain overwhelmed her and threatened to make her pass out.
Bear wasn't going to have that, and gave her an injection of something that would make her stay awake.
Natalya's mouth tasted sour as she watched, knowing that it would be a death penalty if she looked away (they had cameras in all the living rooms), and she swallowed the bile rising in her throat. To her right, she heard Ivan gagging. No matter how many times she watched, it would never get easier.
Cat pulled open Lili's belly, not caring as her blood stained his robes and as her screams grew rough, hoarse and cracking from screaming for so long. Cat reached into her belly, pulling out her spleen and placing it into a large clay pot. He took out her liver and kidney as well, placing it into the pot.
Bear approached her, her screams ringing in the air as they were louder still, blood running over her empty belly and staining her pure white clothes. Bear had a small sharp knife in his hand, and he took over from Wolf, lifting the screaming child's head up towards him and slitting her jugular, immediately holding a clay jar to her blood-spraying throat, filling it with her blood.
The girl's eyes rolled to the back of her head and she tried to say something, but only gurgling came out as more blood sprayed everywhere, her ripped throat and belly convulsing. She seized once again, more blood going everywhere as gurgling rumbled in her torn throat, before finally falling still for the last time.
Cat took her heart out, and showed them all how it wasn't beating, then put it in the pot. The other masked men put their jars down next to the pot, and Cat joined them in undoing the restraints on Lili's body. They lifted her body onto the stretcher that two women clothed in black carried away, leaving nothing but a bloody slab of stone and the men with the jars.
Giraffe took the hair and started to throw it in the air around him, chanting, "Oh spirits of the great animals, accept this offering and take it for another year of peace." He kept moving around, throwing her hair in the air.
Wolf started to scatter her teeth onto the ground, joining in Giraffe's chant, muttering it over and over again, just like Giraffe.
Cat started to chant, moving all around the temple's earthen floors and burying the organs he'd harvested from the child. He bowed to each mound after he buried it, muttering a quick prayer in between each chant.
Bear spilled her blood on the earth, proclaiming the chant as loud as he could, screaming it out, as if it would make it right that he'd just murdered a child. He moved around, splashing the crimson drops on every patch of soil he could find.
The President stepped into the camera again, eyes red-rimmed. It was obvious that she'd been crying. She held the microphone in her hand, and spoke with as much energy as she could muster. "That was it for the 39th Appeasement. I hope for another peaceful year that the Appeasement has brought and to all a good night."
Natalya stood up as the TV went black, moving away from her shell-shocked and heartbroken family with wobbly legs. Climbing into her bed, she started to cry. It was no use to cry, she reasoned with herself. It wouldn't help anything.
After all, it would happen all over again next year.
What did you think? In case you'd want a character chart, here it is;
The President - Ancient Greece
Natalya Arlovskaya - Belarus
Ivan Braginsky - Russia
Yekaterina Katyusha Braginskaya - Ukraine
Giraffe - Ulus of Jochi
Wolf - Golden Horde
Cat - Magyar
Bear - Carthage
Lili Zwingli - Liechtenstein
Lili's Brother - Switzerland
Mother - Ancient Russia
Father - General Winter
Aunt - Nyo! General Winter