Epilogue: 2100, The End of the Liechtensteinian Century

Tired of their leaders’ inability to create any sort of harmony on Earth, the world’s nations got together one day to try to work out their problems themselves. This is an account of what transpired at that meeting.

“BOW BEFORE ME AND KNOW THE MEANING OF FEAR!” roared Liechtenstein.

The surviving nations timidly made their way up to Liechtenstein’s massive throne, crafted from the skulls of its defeated enemies, to pay their homage to the world’s Supreme Overlord. As the gaunt, emaciated countries shuffled into place, they passed the exposed remains of the states foolish enough to challenge Liechtenstein’s supremacy, or unlucky enough to fall foul of their despot’s graces. The only illumination came from the torches placed on either side of Liechtenstein’s ghastly seat of power. The flickering light cast deep shadows on the sunken features of those performing obeisance before their conqueror. Their clothes were but torn rags, barely covering their shivering bodies. The desks, chairs, paintings, carpet, chandelier, everything, was gone—blasted out of existence. There was only Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein and the ill-fated few that were made to drag out an existence under the weight of their master’s absolute domination.

Unable and unwilling to continue anymore, Albania collapsed before it had finished its veneration. Lithuania, Mongolia, and Uruguay rushed to its assistance, hoping that they could raise it to its feet before Liechtenstein noticed their fallen comrade.

“Get up, Albania!” whispered Mongolia, frantically tugging on its arm but too weak to lift Albania’s withered frame. “The Destroyer of Worlds will end you if you don’t!”

“Just let me die here,” responded Albania feebly. “The Emperor of Shadows may do what it wishes with me. I don’t care. I just want to die.”

“Get up dammit!” cried Uruguay. “The Dark Master will see us, and kill us all!”

“Leave me,” insisted Albania. “Let me die!”

“Get up! Get Up!” said Lithuania hysterically. “We’re all going to die here!”

It was too late.

“INSOLENT THRALLS!” bellowed Liechtenstein. “HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT YOUR SOULS’ KEEPER!?”

The flames on both sides of Liechtenstein’s throne turned bright blue as they shot fifteen feet into the air. All four countries were thrown flat on the ground from the force of the Breaker of Bodies’ irresistible gaze.

“We’re sorry, My Unholy Lord. Please do not kill us,” begged Uruguay.

“We were only trying to help Albania get up,” said Mongolia. “It tripped and…”

“IMPUDENT SLAVES! DID I GRANT YOU THE LICENSE TO SPEAK DIRECTLY TO THE POSSESSOR OF YOUR SOULS?!”

“No, My Lord,” began Mongolia. “We only wanted to…”

“DIE FOR YOUR TRANSGRESSION!!”

Lightening bolts flew from Liechtenstein’s eyes, instantly vaporizing Mongolia.

“Oh God!” cried Uruguay.

“I AM YOUR GOD! NOW COWER AND BEG FOR YOUR LIVES!”

Lithuania and Uruguay threw themselves on the ground. Albania, however, struggled onto its knees and raised its eyes, defiantly meeting Liechtenstein’s stare with its own.

“WHAT’S THIS?” asked Liechtenstein with a lurid snicker. “THE FIELD MOUSE WISHES TO LOOK INTO THE EYES OF THE VIPER?”

“I am done groveling,” responded Albania. “I am done cringing, and I am done prostrating. If I am to meet Death, I will look it in the eye as I face my fate.”

“THEN LOOK UPON ME AND MEET YOUR FATE!”

Liechtenstein unfurled its massive bat-like wings. With three powerful flaps, it soared to the top of the meeting hall’s high ceiling and hovered over Albania, casting its massive shadow over its victim.

“LOOK UPON ME AND KNOW DEATH!”

Albania was frozen in dread as Liechtenstein descended slowly upon its prey.

“I AM ABSOLUTE POWER. THE BEGINNING AND THE END. AND I WILL NOW EXTINGUISH YOUR PITIFUL EXISTENCE.”

Liechtenstein raised its hand, ready to tear off terrified Albania’s head, when a loud crash reverberated around the room. Liechtenstein was suddenly and violently hurled back through the air, smashing into and demolishing its Throne of Skulls, a golden arrow lodged in its shoulder. 

“You will do nothing of the sort!” exclaimed Luxembourg, lowering its bow and flanked by Barbados, Malta, Togo, and Nauru. The chamber’s broken doors lay before them. The first fresh air in years blew into the meeting hall.

The surviving countries squinted hard as their eyes grew accustomed to the light that they had been deprived of for so long.

“Who are they?” gaped Bhutan.

“They are the Chosen Five,” replied Jamaica in a hushed, almost reverential tone. “Luxembourg, their leader, draws the Bow of Righteousness. It absolutely never misses its mark.”

“Oh, wow,” said Bhutan.

“Barbados cuts down all enemies of good with the Sword of Truth,” continued Jamaica. “Wielding the Spear of Justice, proud Malta is unstoppable in battle.”

“Impressive,” gaped Bhutan.

“Togo smashes through all those that dare oppose it with the Axe of Rectitude.”

“You don’t say…”

“And Nauru uses its Hammer of Destiny to destroy all its opponents.”

“SILENCE, CHATTEL!” demanded Liechtenstein as it launched a lighting bolt at Jamaica, barely missing the chastised country.

“These countries are your slaves no more!” exclaimed Barbados. “Prepare for battle!”

Barbados, Nauru, Togo, and Malta launched themselves at their enemy, soaring across the entirety of the chamber in a single bound as Luxembourg fired another arrow. Liechtenstein quickly uprooted a paving stone from the ground, deflecting Luxembourg’s arrow, and threw it at the four airborne countries, hitting Nauru in the chest.

Togo aimed a blow at Liechtenstein’s head with its axe, but the Great Malefactor sidestepped the attack and savagely kicked Togo in the stomach, sending it spinning across the room.

Barbados and Malta descended on either side of Liechtenstein and rushed at their enemy simultaneously. Barbados swung its blade at Liechtenstein’s neck while Malta stabbed at its back. Bending backwards beneath the swing, Liechtenstein grabbed the shaft of Malta’s spear with one hand, spun around its left side, and hit it violently on the head with one of its wings, throwing it down.

Nauru then reentered the fight, and together with Barbados, fell upon The Champion of Evil.  Liechtenstein backed up slowly as it dexterously weaved between the flurry of swings, slashes, and stabs until it had been pressed into a corner.

“Give up!” demanded Nauru. “There’s nowhere you can go.”

“ISN’T THERE?” replied Liechtenstein with a ghoulish laugh. It kicked off the wall, spun underneath Barbados’ sword, wrapped itself around Nauru, extended its wings, and flew into the air. Nauru struggled desperately to free itself from Liechtenstein’s iron grasp, but was unable to do so before it was thrown hard onto the floor from thirty feet up.

“Fight me on the ground you coward!” yelled Barbados.

“DIE LIKE THE WORM THAT YOU ARE!” replied Liechtenstein as it blew a giant jet of swirling fire out of its mouth.

Barbados dove behind a column, escaping most of the flames, but badly burning its right arm.

Liechtenstein swung itself around the column, aiming to finish off its wounded adversary, when Togo’s axe came spinning from across the chamber, and sliced clean through Liechtenstein’s left wing.

Liechtenstein shrieked in agony. It tumbled out of the air and crashed onto the ground. Black blood spouted out of the stump as it writhed in pain. The dark, thick liquid pooled around Liechtenstein, smoking and hissing, eating away into the stone floor.

Malta jumped on top of the prostrate Liechtenstein, and placed its knee squarely on the Prince of Darkness’ chest. It raised the Spear of Truth high above its head and slammed it back down with its full force and weight, stabbing straight through Liechtenstein’s remaining wing, impaling it to the floor, and driving its weapon three feet straight into the ground.

The chamber shook as the Maleficent Imperator unleashed a high-pitched, unearthly howl. Malta was thrown off Liechtenstein. The world’s countries frantically covered their ears, futilely trying to block a scream that seemed to penetrate their very souls.

Liechtenstein wretched itself loose and stood up, leaving its wing pinned to the floor. Blood now poured out of both stumps, creating a ghastly, sputtering fountain that burned and melted everything it touched.

The Great Archfiend lunged at Malta as it lay on the ground, dazed by its piercing screech, grabbed it by its neck, and held it high in the air.

“I WILL CRUSH THE LIFE OUT OF YOU!” screamed Liechtenstein as Malta gasped for air.

Nauru, however, leapt to its comrade’s rescue, and slammed its mighty war hammer down onto Liechtenstein’s elbow, shattering its extended arm.

Liechtenstein immediately dropped Malta, but mad with rage and pain, struck a ferocious blow to Nauru’s chest with its one remaining arm. Nauru was sent flying forty feet across the room, hitting the back wall, and falling unconscious to the floor.

“I WILL RIP THE SINEWS FROM YOUR BODIES AND EAT THEM BEFORE YOU! I WILL POUND YOUR BONES INTO DUST! I WILL…”

A golden arrow zipped through the air, lodging itself in Liechtenstein’s throat.

“You will die an inglorious death at the hands of your enemies!” cried Luxembourg.

Liechtenstein collapsed onto its knees, gargling, choking, and sputtering in its own blood.

“You will kneel before your adversaries as you forced so many to kneel before you.”

Luxembourg kicked Liechtenstein hard in the chest, throwing it to the ground.

“Your reign of terror and death is over!” declared Luxembourg as it placed its foot on the side of Liechtenstein’s head and drew its bow. “This is for all of those proud, mighty countries that you wantonly destroyed: Malawi-Canadia, the Neo-Mayan Empire, the Principality of Miami, Greater Andorra, and that great, free, democratic beacon of hope for the world, the Ukraine!”

The arrow pierced through Liechtenstein’s armored, scaly skin and into its heart. It let out one more ghastly scream, and lay still, dead.

An eerie silence descended onto the chamber as Liechtenstein’s cry slowly died out.

“It’s over,” sighed Luxembourg.

“They did it!” yelled Vanuatu.

“It’s really over!” cried Tanzania.

The world’s countries burst into ecstatic cheering; crying, laughing, jumping around, and embracing each other in the first signs of joy the meeting chamber had seen in ages.

“Alright, alright everybody,” said Luxembourg after some time. “We need to get down to business. We have a lot of work to do putting the international system back in order.”

The countries sat on the floor, cross-legged, carefully avoiding Liechtenstein’s blood. Georgia was the first to speak.

“My God, who would’ve known one hundred years ago that we’d be sitting here, clothed in rags, after enduring decades of fear and torture?”

“Who would’ve know one hundred years ago that Liechtenstein would morph into the most diabolically powerful country on the planet?” asked Belarus.

“Or that it would sprout wings, breathe fire, and shoot lightening bolts out its eyes,” added Brunei.

“Well, then again,” said Togo. “Look at how things turned out in the Twentieth Century.”

“What do you mean?” asked Chile.

“At the beginning of the that century, the Great European Powers controlled the vast majority of the world’s territory. They held sway over massive empires, and were indisputably the most powerful countries of their time.”

“True…” said Chile.

“What historian, political scientist, or economist living in 1900 could possibly have dreamt up what happened over the succeeding hundred years? The worst financial crisis in history devastated the economic system. Untold millions of people died in two World Wars. The European Powers lost their empires. The world was brought to the brink of annihilation in a dogmatic contest of wills that never erupted into all-out warfare between the two major adversaries. Communism rose violently only to wither away without a fight seventy years later. Countries perpetrated genocide, mass murder, and terrible atrocities on each other and upon themselves. Tell me, who living at the Turn of the Twentieth Century could possibly have predicated the state of affairs at the Turn of the Twenty First?”

“Remember all those predictions the economists and political scientists made at the beginning of the Twenty First Century?” asked Nauru. “They were just as accurate as the predications made at the beginning of the Twentieth.”

“That’s right!” said Barbados. “They had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.”

“None at all,” replied Nauru.

“Looking back on it now,” continued Barbados. “They were absolute fools: concerned only with their inflated senses of self, blindly following imposed, artificial schools of thought that pretended to predict the future.”

“They were all just a bunch of assholes, weren’t they?” said Fiji.

“A complete bag of assholes!” agreed Uzbekistan. “They were such huge dicks that whenever the actual state of affairs would debunk their predictions and demonstrate their theories to be patently false, they would simply drop that theory for some other, equally false, equally stupid hypothesis.”

“And the political scientists were worse!” declared Madagascar.

“I think the economists and political scientists were all assholes of the same diameter,” said the Maldives. “Both pawned off their areas of study as sciences like physics or chemistry. They set about fabricating theories as predictable as the law of conservation of energy or Newton’s laws of motion. Well, the world isn’t a laboratory. One part social discontent and two parts economic hardship do not a revolution make. A country’s birth rate is not its atomic weight and Dutch Disease isn’t Avogadro’s number. The world is far too complicated to be able to predict what the future holds. One might as well attempt to predict the path of an oak leaf caught in a tornado. No, the economists and political theorists at the turn of the Twenty First century did as much to envision the Arab Spring, the Great Recession, or the rise of the Rise of Liechtenstein as their compatriots at the turn of the Twentieth century did to predict the Holocaust or the fall of the Soviet Union.”

“What it all boils down to is that anyone that pretends to be able to predict the future is a douche bag,” said Mauritania.

“A massive douche bag,” added San Marino.

“All in favor of naming economists and political scientists douche bags?” asked Luxembourg.

Every country on the planet simultaneously declared its assent.

“Motion passed,” said Luxembourg.

“Well now that that’s done, what are we going to do to fix this chamber, to get our lives back in order, and get on with the business of international relations?” asked Tanzania. “Liechtenstein destroyed everything. It’s all a shambles.”

“Well the one thing we can’t do is go back to the petty bickering and mindless fighting of the past,” said Luxembourg. “That was what led to Liechtenstein’s rise in the first place.”

The countries mumbled and nodded their assent.

“Catastrophe is the natural outcome of petty power plays between countries,” continued Luxembourg, “Because of the fragmentation such a system engenders, countries are not able to coordinate their efforts and resources to avert disaster or forward the common good. That was why the First World War broke out, why Germany was not stopped before the Second World War, why unthinkable atrocities were perpetrated in Bosnia and Rwanda.”

“Right,” agreed Barbados. “I therefore motion that the first thing we need to do is burn Liechtenstein’s body.”

A murmur of discontent spread through the room.

“Screw Liechtenstein’s body!” declared Oman. “What we need to do is get the lights turned back on in this chamber.”

“No,” said Cyprus. “We need to get new desks.”

“Bullshit!” cried Chad. “We should re-carpet the floor!”

“We need clothes!” yelled Ethiopia.

“No! Food!” said Equatorial Guinea.

“Everyone! Everyone!” shouted Luxembourg. “Don’t you see what's happening?”

The room quieted down.

“We’re going down the same path that brought us to this awful condition. We cannot allow our egos to once again lead us to pointless arguments and squabbles. We need to band together, to work in harmony to get on the road to prosperity and out of our present distress.”

“Luxembourg is right,” said Barbados after a long silence. “And that’s why we all need to come together to burn Liechtenstein’s body.”

The room exploded into a flurry of insults, recriminations, proposals, counter proposals, and inarticulate yelling. Luxembourg did its best to bring the situation back under control, but could not raise its voice over the cacophonous din. Finally, in exasperation, it grabbed Nauru’s hammer and slammed it three times on the stone floor. The banging resounded throughout the chamber, succeeding in distracting everyone from their disputes and shutting them up.

“We will never solve anything like this!” declared Luxembourg in frustration. “We need to…”

“We need to call a recess,” interrupted Papua New Guinea.

“What?” asked Luxembourg, thoroughly surprised.

“Yeah, you said it yourself,” replied Papua New Guinea. “We’re not going to get anything accomplished like this. So why don’t we all just take a break and get back to it tomorrow?”

“I second that motion!” said Singapore.

“I don’t know if that such a good…” started Luxembourg.

“All those in favor say “Aye,”” said Papua New Guinea.

A resounding “Aye” passed through the chamber.

“Motion passed!” declared Papua New Guinea. “See you all tomorrow!”