It was Christmas Eve, the year of Our Lord 2021 and every home was preparing for the annual festival of peace, harmony and presents for the kids. Snow fell here and there bringing an extra special level of Christmas cheer to those households fortunate enough to be within those particular weather zones.

In a world of troubles the perennial feelings of festive happiness arose in most hearts still.

2021 had been a hard year to get through with a heart imbued with the desired lightness that most sought. 2020 before it had been the same. An almost alien presence had burdened those hearts. Further consumption had failed to totally overcome the threat that seemed to linger in the very air and particularly in the coughs and sneezes of fellow humans.

The threat of climate change had become more real for many on top of the risks felt from the viral pandemic. Then there was the awareness that the world was splitting into two halves with the fracture point threatening endless war. Wasn’t this meant to be a world free from worry? Wasn’t this what consumers were told, if by subtle means of inference celebrating all the new seductive products they had to sell?

Malls were still full of course. Myriad confections and gadgets were on display. The usual array of happy-go-lucky and sentimental Christmas movies were doing good business. The children, oblivious to anything other than the delights of Christmas and the presents to come played and laughed as usual. All seemed relatively normal within the emotion-enclosed vacuum chamber of Christmas joy.

Walking through snowy or rainy streets after the ritual of considering and buying presents for everyone within the family circle, having delivered the e-cards and bought the turkey and tree, all most likely felt well. There would be lots of special entertainments on TV and classic movies to watch. The general urge was to put all heavier subjects out of sight and out of mind for now. Sadly, this state of self-imposed reverie was not to last.

It was a few seconds after midnight on Christmas Day when the first missile reached its target. Central Moscow had lost its most renowned location, the Kremlin. Only seconds later the square mile around Beijing’s administrative quarter was also no more. Two, just-in-case targets in both cities were also hit as a rain of missiles hit a range of other targets across both Russia and China. Unknown to those who had been charged with creating a wall of defence around these nations the USA had checkmated all their efforts.

It was simply impossible for the USA and its allies to contemplate the loss of their abilities to steer the course of humanity’s long road on Planet Earth. The inevitable consequence of China and Russia rising in economic terms meant that the influence of the elites of the western world would wane in direct proportion. This was entirely unacceptable to them and certain recent world events had brought them to this final act.

The situations in both Ukraine and Taiwan had come to a head, mostly through the pressure exerted by the western powers seeking to take both Russia and China to their limits of toleration. Time was running out for the western powers. They had seen the trend of a rising east and a declining west becoming ever more pronounced for several decades and the critical phase had been reached. Beyond this point, they saw the window of their opportunity closing. Now was the time to act.

The decision had not been taken lightly, though harder heads had prevailed throughout the decades-long decision-making process. It was agreed it was now or never. The circumstances provided an existential threat and they could no longer delay their inevitable last option. They had long decided on this final act. It had only been a matter of time while other options, seen as largely unlikely to make any serious difference, were given time to run their course.

Everything had been calculated to the minutest degree. The whereabouts of both Putin and Xi had been precisely known for many years due to satellite contingencies that remained unrevealed to world media. The defence matrix of both nations too had been mapped in precise form and contingencies developed to monitor them too in precise detail. The final nail in the coffin of weakening the adversary powers had been their development of hypersonic weaponry and their cooperation in sharing these technologies.

So it was that Christmas Day 2021 would go down in the emotional memory of those across Eurasia as one of the most evil forms of geopolitical infamy ever known, while in the West every mainstream media news source called it a “tragic necessity” brought about by Russian and Chinese aggression and the threat to western liberal values that they had posed.

Half the world burned while the other half put into action their contingency plans to contain the consequent anger and neutralise its effects. The western world had long been a virtually closed system for decades and now it was only necessary to close down the remaining independent voices who might communicate their “disinformation” and “fake news” taking a hostile view to these “sad but necessary” actions by the western powers.

All were urged to look forward to a new world and era in the year ahead. 2022 was to herald a new dawn for humanity where democracy, freedom and universal human rights were to be afforded to all the Earth’s populations. The danger from opposition forces to this noble goal was ended. Now the world could unite and the Space Force above would ensure that every citizen would now be free from fear, continually protected from false opinions and all this in perpetuity to the very end of days.

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