Pictured (L-R): Cat Andrews (assistant to the President), Australian President Derek Andrews, Byzantine Empress Alexia Comnenus, North American President Kimberly Barhaven, Roman Emperor Erasmus. At the Queen City Waterfront Park, Buffalo, Roman New York
In a stunning development, Roman Emperor Erasmus, Australian President Derek Andrews, North American Union President Kimberly Barhaven and Byzantine Empress Alexia Comnenus- the de facto leader of the Virtue Federation- announced publicly here today that Rome and Virtue have essentially agreed to "trade" the NAU from Rome to Virtue in exchange for Australia.
The deal sees no actual transfer of territory between Rome and Virtue, as Rome gets to keep the North American territories it has directly annexed to its Empire (Roman Columbia, Roman New York, southern New England, Texas, the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and Alaska). Furthermore, the actual day-to-day administration of the NAU and Australia will be maintained, as the agreement pledges to maintain of the levels of autonomy the NAU and Australia currently enjoy.
The only difference will be that instead of a Top Protector and a Roman Prefect overlooking Australia and the NAU (respectively), the roles will be reversed, with a Top Protector overseeing the NAU and a Roman Prefect will oversee Australia. It is not known when both will be formally appointed, but it's expected that the transfer of military bases between the two continents will take months at the very least.
On the surface, the deal looks good for all sides. Though the Australians never clamoured for the Romans, Australia's acceptance of the Virtue Protectors was lukewarm at best. On the other hand, the people of the NAU had been very vocal about joining Virtue, and Virtue never shied away from reciprocating their interest.
Virtue, you may recall, was formed in response to Rome establishing the NAU in the first place following the collapse of the United States of America in 1994.
So, for Virtue, being able to formally accept the NAU into the Federation is a major political win.
For Rome, they never seemed comfortable with establishing themselves in North America. They only pursued the arrangement as they were longtime allies of the USA, but, as soon as they arrived, they found the institutionalized morass was far deeper rooted than they had anticipated. The Romans spent their 27 years in charge of the NAU trying to find the right balance of integration and autonomy and never quite got there.
In the meantime, Roman officials across the Atlantic continually questioned the wisdom of the operation, with the growing sentiment in Roman circles that the NAU was nothing but a "money pit".
This is the real reason why Erasmus so easily gave up on the NAU and instead went for the far more lucrative Australian lands. Don't be fooled by the rhetoric where Erasmus claimed this deal "corrects a historical wrong" (since Australia used to be a Roman possession before being booted out by England, now a Virtue member, and vice versa for North America)- the Romans saw dwindling value in the overpopulated mess that is North America, so they're more than happy to let Virtue, their archrivals, have a crack at it.
If anyone thinks Virtue is going to be any better handling North America, think again. Looking at their track record in Australia should be enough proof.
Throughout Virtue's 27-year tenure in Australia, the Virtue Protectors- who were supposed to be "peacekeepers"- established themselves as bullies over the entire Australian society, but especially so over Australia's marginalized groups, the Australian Irish and the Aborigines.
Just by its estimate alone, Global Citizens has counted 738 reprisals against Irish or Aborigine communities committed by the Protectors since they arrived in Australia, an average of 27 per year. Those are just the ones GC can verify- the total is much higher.
Furthermore, the Protectors used their legal right to remove the Australian President as leverage on numerous occasions, even though they never had to follow through. In 2002, President Scott Levine resigned rather than bow to pressure by the Protectors to allow British Leyland to build a factory on environmentally sensitive land near Brisbane. Levine's successor- Tom Mullock- immediately allowed the factory to go through.
Then there's the question of Derek Andrews' election to the Presidency in 2018. Virtue's Ensurers certified the results- a resounding 78% of the vote going to Andrews- and claimed there were "no reports of fraud or interference". However, Andrews' opponents documented thousands of cases of voter intimidation (no doubt committed by the Protectors) and faulty voting machines, including reports of pre-registered votes for Andrews.
For those who questioned Barhaven's election to the Presidency, Andrews' story will hit far too close to home- and there's a stronger case of a conspiracy there.
Lastly, the Byzantine flu. There's no way to talk about the Virtue Federation and not talk about the Byzantine flu.
By now, it's an open secret that Virtue uses the "Byzantine flu" strain of the norovirus as a means of keeping its populace in check. It's why the Federation does nothing substantial to get rid of it despite the fact there are now ample treatments that can deal with it.
Treatments they don't want to approve because it means losing control.
Australia is a textbook example of how Virtue uses the Byzantine flu for abusive purposes, usually in the form of "phantom" cases. The real pandemic hit Australia in February 2012, but cases didn't subside until May of 2014, with allegations made that Virtue extended Australia's misery through faulty reporting as a way of executing another round of electioneering. In March 2016, a reported outbreak in Perth just so happened to coincide with Aborigine protests against the construction of a highway through sensitive Aborigine lands. In August of 2017, similar protests by the Irish community were quelled when a reported outbreak just happened to occur the day after the murder of Tommy O'Vincent by Australian police officer Carla Murton. The subsequent lockdown allowed Murton to destroy evidence and eventually escape conviction.
Then there was the most famous "mockdown" of all, when on September 28, 2019, the city of Darwin was ordered shutdown after a reported case. The day before, a group of Torres Strait Islanders had blockaded Darwin's precious ports over fishing regulations, a blockade that might have continued for months had the city not shut down. Despite the fact the patient that produced the case was never identified and that- strangely- no other cases of the Byzantine flu arose out of this case, Darwin had to endure a draconian lockdown until the following February.
Let that sink in.
Let it all sink in.
Because the Virtue Federation are not the heroes you think they are. If you really think they're going to run North America better than the Romans did, think again.
...but, go ahead. Celebrate in the streets. Be happy that the "big bad Romans" are gone from the NAU.
Just be careful of what you wish for.