NEW 📗Story: Radio

Ten corpses in the snow, and a change of government in the American South

Saturday, Nov 16, 2019
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“We’ve just pulled a body from an air force jet here that looks like General MacMillan, and we really need to know right now if it’s him.”

The partially buried remains of a U.S. Air Force passenger aircraft are the only blemish on the horizon of central Greenland’s frigid snowscape. It is the site of one of the greatest political scandals in American history. The ancient landscape was violently disturbed in late December of 2068, when a Grumman Atomcat slammed into the ground, killing all 10 people on board.

The Common Interest Watchhawk programme allowed a Soviet naval patrol to report the disappearance of a low-flying aircraft without a transponder. The bodies pulled from the wreckage some hours later would set in motion a panic among Vekllei’s intelligence agencies and a bloody purge in America’s south.

Vekllei military intelligence units, who arrived at the site not long after the search began, battled irradiation from the aircraft’s reactor and freezing temperatures to confirm the origins of the mystery aircraft.

“That’s him, all right. This is bad news.”

An intelligence servant of the Vekllei Intelligence Americas Bureau (AB/NI) examined the brutalised face of the general. After a moment of consideration, perhaps to reassure himself of the identity of the cadaver, he ordered a suppression order over the site, which would enforce radio silence and conceal the disaster from the political organs of the Vekllei state for up to six hours.

MacMillan had been distinguished in the U.S.A.F., but would have been an unremarkable soldier in history if it were not for the separatist movements of the Southern states in the late 21st century. The Marshal became Commander-in-Chief overnight, and quickly positioned himself as a lynchpin of negotiation between the separatist and federal governments. As a reasonable military man, he was trusted by the Federal committee, and was at the time of his demise negotiating the lend-lease of strategic nuclear sites that had been seized under the de facto splintering of the United States.

Under the lease, the United States Armed Forces would retain control of sites essential for ‘American continental security,’ but would withdraw sanctions against the separatist states first imposed under the Dallas Accords. So what the fuck was MacMillan doing mangled on a Greenland ice slope?

Among the dead was his mistress Olivia Scott-Madison and his two children, Daniel and Sofia MacMillan. His children were in nightclothes. Fighter jets were buzzing the Atlantic. It was clear something had gone terribly wrong in the hours prior.

The outside world would never learn the details of the MacMillan Incident, or its causes. What would follow, however, was the purge of many longtime associates of MacMillan from the military hierarchy of the Dallas Coalition states, and the immediate denunciation of the General and his political associates. AB/NI had long chased whispers of a coup against Dallas leadership in the months prior, and it appeared the perpetrator had arrived spectacularly closer to Vekllei’s gaze than anticipated. The bodies of the General, his family and his aides were flown to Vekllei, where they were identified and placed into archives. Both prime ministers of the country were informed, but were told that Vekllei would not need to worry about attempted American reclamation of the crash site or its occupants. Sure enough, neither the aircraft nor the bodies of its passengers were formally requested by the U.S. or the Dallas states.

The findings of an investigation into the crash were inconclusive and quickly shelved. The aircraft was flying low, perhaps to avoid radar detection, so it was possible the pilots misjudged their altitude in the poor weather. Perhaps there had been an incident on board. There were no technical faults determined in the remains of the aircraft, which remains on that slope to this day.

What was known to the wider world was that the proceeding months would spark the bloodiest period of the ongoing American crisis, and the collapse of diplomatic relations between the separatist and federal governments. MacMillan and his family were the first of the vanguard separatists to die, but they were far from the last.