NationStates Jolt Archive

Everything you need to know when fighting the Merkar Republic

07-11-2005, 23:00
An excerpt from the bestselling history book "The Merkar Republic, 1560-2030 AD":

The earliest known beginnings of the Athiesist race date back five hundred years. Since then, they have struggled, with their enemies, their neighbors, and even themselves. It was, of course, nothing more than happened elsewhere. Yes, a powerful state can only be forged through hard work and error. This history is, as of yet, incomplete. But it tells of the most defining moments, up to present day, of what was once a small backwater, growing to become prosperous and capable as any nation worthy of the name today.

Before, long before, recorded history began, the three East Pacific islands of Athiesism were greatly separate. On the northwest island lived the Marche Noirians, peaceful, generous, but some would say too kind for their own good when it came to dealing with liars and cutthroats common in the hostile tribes. Across the bay, on the next landmass (called the island of Bigtoa), lived the Bigtoans on the west part and the Tasmanians bordering them to the east. Tasmanians, full of pride but often outmoded, confidently struggled against all hope to preserve their nation against the powerful Bigtoans. Their tenacity remains to this day, no matter how unfashionable ethnic pride is in our modern age. And yet, more powerful than all where the Liliputians, so named by the English settlers due to their small size. Nonetheless, their hard work and fighting spirit had propelled them to the top. The Liliputians inhabited the third and southernmost island, Liliputia.

The first we have known of anything that happened before the arrival of the Europeans is a single incident that has been passed down in traditional stories. The event I refer to is the Battle of Gardant, Chief (today sometimes called "Admiral") Bogranin of the Liliputians's decisive battle that gained him dominance of Bigtoa. It is believed that it took place at perhaps 1550 AD, as the sons of some veterans greeted the Englishmen as they made landfall on the island group in 1605. Chief Bogranin, the story goes, displayed much battlefield cunning and rewarded his troops and himself afterward with a feast of peaches. In the rough English spoken by many islanders today, the very word "Peach" means victory among some tribes.

The most notable thing about all these tribes was their exceptional devotion to pragmatism and hard work. It had served Bogranin well, as had it served their descendents as they greeted a shipful of English atheists fleeing religious persecution that arrived in 1605. Written sources appear to indicate that the Europeans underwent a brief period of culture shock. Amazed at the islander's combination of pride and hospitality, hard work and devotion to independence, they are perhaps the only case of arrogant Europeans adopting a native culture that they thought themselves superior to at first. Peace descended over the nation, as a colony was established and the Englishmen, many of them philosophers, advocated an end to violence and a dedication to advancement.

This small colony soon became known worldwide. Atheists, freethinkers, and other peoples oppressed in those times set sail for this small success story. Officially a British colony, it actually enjoyed a great deal of independence. In a fusion of Western and Eastern culture, the people who lived there became known for hard work and compassion, patriotism but at the same time open-mindedness and honesty. This, at least, is what the records tell us, and it is hard to find other sources of information on these early times.

For a very long time, the situation remained relatively stagnant. This continued for years and years, the citizens of the islands maintaining a high standard of living, but at the same time, not everything was perfect. Christian missionaries eventually began converting a small portion of the native inhabitants to religion. This caused some friction, but it was apparently soon overcome.

In 1954, with the Cold War becoming more global in its reach, the Soviet Union, declaring Athiesism a fraternal socialist ally, was granted permission to send over many Soviet citizens who enjoyed the island's pleasant nature. The Soviet Union was officially Marxist-Leninist and therefore an atheist country, and thought it worthwhile to give support to this small nation. This was going over the heads, so to speak, of the British government that supposedly ruled the island. Realizing how impotent they were to control it, they granted Athiesism independence in 1956.

With independence came few changes, as it had always been the island group's de facto status anyway. Walking a tightrope between a reluctant alliance with the Soviet Union and active cooperation with the United States, it was officially a non-aligned nation but really sided with the West. Many Russians remain to this day on the island, forming a significant amount of the white population. From time to time, however, Russia used it as somewhat of a dumping ground for elements its rebellious Muslim population. Welcomed into the country in the hope that they would not act in a hostile way toward the atheistic government, they converted some islanders to their religion and Islam became part of the island's cultural mosaic.

On August 31st, 2005, Mark Curtis Ingraham was elected President of the nation for a ten-year term. Athiesist presidents serve long terms to prevent them from bowing to the short-term complaints of the public and instead thinking in the best interest for the country in the long term. If they prove very incompetent or unlikable, a recall election can be held if a sufficient number of signatures are gathered. At first, he performed his job well. Taxes fluctuated but were generally kept low, at one point reaching 3%. However, President Ingraham was voted out of office in 2010 over popular distaste regarding his hike in military spending. The replacement, President Olongapen, ironically proved too pacifistic in dealing with new, emergent foreign military threats, and in 2012 Mark was found to be the only alternative. As part of an armament program, much military equipment was purchased from the Republic of SkyCapt, who later became a close ally. General Tyler Van Stone had seized power of a small island near Athiesism in a military coup and was embarking on a threatening military buildup. Appalled by the atrocities taking place in that country, Athiesism decided on military action. The newly established Air Force began a highly successful bombing campaign that, coupled with a naval blockade, cut off military supplies to the island and destroyed many of its air bases and much of its military command apparatus in just one month.

An extension of the campaign was planned, but it had to be cut short. September 8th, 2013, was to prove a fateful day.

-------- The Civil War --------

At no point in previous history had the newly independent nation fought a war on its own soil. It was still young at this point, but it was not spared. Thousands of its citizens, the few converted to religion of all kinds, had spoken out before. They condemned the government, but only with words. Not even a significant protest. They founded a new religious organization, the Saidaris, which, despite its bellicose rhetoric, seemed extremely peaceful. No one in the country expected anything to happen- Athiesism, at the time, was perhaps the society least likely to fight a war in the whole world.

No one, not even the Internal Security Service (an FBI-like organization that tracks organized crime), had even bothered to investigate the activities of the Army of God, or what it did with its money. In retrospect, it was ridiculous. Many Saidaris members were caught bearing weapons (firearms and unnecessary hunting are illegal in Athiesism). The group itself made some hostile statements. But no one had thought that anyone would ever take the unprecedented step of starting an insurrection, whatever the reason. Even if they condemned atheism, the Athiesist government, and all it stood for. Perhaps no one took action because they refused to bear the thought of something as terrible as what was to come.

There had for a long time been rumors of a terrorist wing of the Saidaris, calling themselves the Army of God. These rumors, too, were simply ignored. Until September 8th, 2013.

The first shots were the most spectacular. Early in the morning, an infantry company led by a SkyCaptian military adviser witnessed a spectacular explosion of their base's entrance. Lieutenant Hac, the SkyCapt adviser, recalls what happened that day.

"After I saw that explosion, I don't remember what I did for an instant after it. I just don't remember what happened. I hate to admit it, but I think I was paralyzed with fear. But there's no way to tell. I called my subordinates over and we set up a defense. I got Cherhaven (one of Hac's subordinate commanders) to get his platoon and look in the hills. But before he could even get them together, I saw a horde of them run from the hills."

By "them", Hac meant the Army of God, the organization that, supposedly, didn't exist. They were to be given many more names before the war was over.

Two hours later, at 2:01 PM, President Mark stood in the Capitol press room, a speech prepared by his press secretary in hand. It was soon discovered that the same kind of attack had taken place all across the nation.

At 12:00 AM this morning, several thousand members of the rebel group declaring themselves the "Army of God" launched a series of coordinated attacks on our military bases throughout the nation. Casualties were reportedly heavy, although most of the attacks were apparently beaten off.

Although most of our country is atheistic, one-sixth of them were converted by Christian missionaries to religion. They have been treated equally and with respect throughout our history, but they are apparently enraged in what they consider the "immoral, spiritually corrupt" actions of our government. The Parliament today voted unanimously to begin military operations against the rebels and mobilize the reserves. Almost a fifth of the country is in chaos, as these fanatics move into our cities and cause chaos.

I apologize that we have little information available for the moment as we sort these events out. However, we call on all nations to assist us in defense. They apparently number several thousand, and until we mobilize our reserves we may be at their mercy. We implore you to help. If they seize control of the nation, despotism will reign and an expansionist regime will be put in place.

Distributed throughout the world, his speech had a powerful effect. A warship fleet, owned by Nebarri Prime, had been dispatched to the region earlier to monitor the hostilities between Tyler van Stone and Athiesism. The Nebarri government now pledged its aid, and along with it its battle fleet.

Much more help would be needed. Soon after Mark's speech, the Commander and Chief of the Athiesist Military, General Lensen, was ambushed by reporters on the way to his bunker. When asked whom exactly the nation was fighting, he replied simply "Fanatics."

This became their most common title in a nation not supportive of political correctness. Fanatics they appeared to be to many, their determination becoming apparent in the excellent coordination and boldness in their assaults. Carrying their weapons from their homes at the pre-arranged time, the members of the Army of God organization, most of them rural farmers, proceeded to an assembly area very early in the morning. Local authorities noted it as unusual, and informed the Athiesist military intelligence agency. Disbelieving the reports, the man receiving the information claimed he would inform his superiors but instead ignored what he heard. No one today knows his name, as employees of military intelligence tend to be a secretive group, although it is known that one individual could have made a major impact on the war.

Throughout the country, these "Fanatics" surrounded military bases and armories. Torturing and killing soldier and civilian alike, they threw into disarray the Athiesist military. Two of their attacks that day stand out. The first is the envelopment and destruction of one of the two main bases used by the Fourth Infantry Division. The eastern base, Camp Snake, was surrounded and bombarded with mortars. The camp's defenders, all logistics troops, did not have enough weapons to mount a serious defense, and when the rebels realized this they charged in and massacred all 5,000 of them.

The other notable attack occurred within the capitol city, Athasism. About a hundred men crammed into several jeeps and blasted through the streets of the city, reaching the airport where the entire long-range bomber fleet is stationed. Meeting no resistance, they placed explosives on the aircraft, destroying over a billion dollars worth of hardware. It was fortunate that they departed when they were done- had they continued to the capitol building, they would have found it undefended.

The majority of the nation's armories had been captured, leaving the large number of reservists without weapons when they were called up days later. Many other aircraft were destroyed on the ground at various airfields, even though many fortunately survived. Perhaps the only place not in chaos was the island of Marche Noir, inhabited by peaceful, unwarlike inhabitants, few of them willing to join the rebellion.

Thus ended the first day of fighting. Athiesist forces were totally unprepared, and could not cope with the great numbers of enemy advancing upon them. The only division on Liliputia, the 3rd Infantry, was based at Kentangi Point but could not be contacted. A brigade from that division had been sent to the capitol before hostilities, and there it remained, setting up defenses around the city. The SkyCapt navy pledged some assistance, but in all areas, the rebels outnumbered their opponents greatly.

The next morning brought no rest. Army of God units cut off almost all roads into Mosk, except a few near the coast, guarded by a bold handful of Athiesist troops. Attempting to make contact with the lost divisional headquarters at Kentangi Point, a SkyCaptian helicopter unit, codenamed "Pancor", went in to the city to attempt to make contact with it. Its leader, Captain Hillman, was fully aware of what was happening.

We were told to go find these people that their (the Athiesist) guys had lost contact with. (I) Had a little pep talk and then we went in.

We were just about to get there when I saw this missile commin' towards us. I was scared. I was scared shitless. Then some explosion came, and I thought I was dead. But there I was, still flying, still with my head on my shoulders. Then when we got to the city they opened up with everything they had. I saw these bullets fly up at us and hit the choppers. I was in the cockpit and... Hillman, for a moment, succumbed to tears. And then... the bullets came in and I felt my arm go numb. There were two guys in the cockpit with me and both of them died in front of me. It... I didn't feel anything at the time but... when you look back...

Ambushed at the landing zone, Hillman's troops had to withdraw, leaving some of their men behind. Landing fifty miles to the south, they decided to set up camp.

Meanwhile, an amphibious assault carrier belonging to All Military Hardware (AMH) was offered by the AMH government to assist Athiesism. However, it was rammed and destroyed by a speeding ship loaded with explosives believed to belong to the Army of God. Almost half of the crew died, the remainder drifting to shore on Liliputia. Fortunately, later in the day, a SkyCaptian helicopter arrived to rescue them, carrying them to an assembly area near Mosk to dig in.

Most troops were in combat all day. Although rather disorganized, Army of God attacks had the effect of wearing out many of the capital city's defenders. That night, a large enemy force infiltrated positions guarding the southern entrance to the capital. Athiesist troops, almost certainly exhausted from the constant fighting, were simply overwhelmed. A breakthrough was achieved in the defense line that night, an entire nation in peril.

By now, the war had become perhaps the most intense in history. Over ten thousand people died in a single day. This unprecedented level of human suffering, combined with the torture of prisoners by the rebels, was not immediately apparent in the chaotic situation. But it would later become so.

The fighting around the capitol city, Athasism, was the most crucial. Nebarri units had flown in to the capital airport, taking a few losses from mortar attacks but in much better shape than the Athiesists. Put in place near the breakthrough, they prepared to beef up defenses wherever the fanatics attacked. Gunfire could be heard from within the capitol building itself that day. Had it fallen, allied armies would have fallen into chaos and the war would have been lost.

The lofty task of defending an entire nation fell onto the unknowing shoulders of a single man, Commander Tonkin. Assigned to defend the central park, he set up his company of less than 225 men behind the park so that they would have long, wide fields of fire. The park itself, normally covered in trees, had burned down during an incendiary mortar attack upon it, starting a massive blaze that killed many. Now devoid of trees, it appeared gray, bruised, and foreboding.

Little is known of that great battle, the likes of which decided the fate of a war, a nation, and a race. All that we can tell is that Tonkin, his entire company destroyed other than a few stragglers, struggled away from the fighting for some reason. Wounded, he died soon after he was picked up by Nebarri reinforcements sent to help him. The details of the battle are almost a total mystery, as nearly the only survivors were the "cowards" who hid instead of fought. The remainder of the company was totally destroyed. Regardless, the allies had won. The charging hordes had been broken through the defense line, only to be destroyed by Nebarri troops. It must have taken a brave man that day to hold one's ground when impossibly outnumbered, and Tonkin was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor.

The glory of the first victory lasted only so long, though. On the third day, fanatic forces around Mosk began an unstoppable offensive after remaining dormant for a day. After the war, it was found that the two rebel commanders had not assaulted yet as they were on the brink of war after a dispute over their wives. One had accused the other of trying to seduce one of his four spouses, a claim that the defendant denied. It is impossible to know the truth of what happened, even in hindsight.

Near Kentangi Point, Hillman marshaled his troops for a series of forced marches to the north in an attempt to rescue the troops he had left behind. Also, the Athiesist Paratroop Corps's training academy and base was located at Kentangi, and they, too, required rescuing. The 3rd Infantry Division HQ, supposedly stationed in the city, could still not be contacted.

The war entered its fourth day, September 11th, a day treasured throughout the world by the minority of religious persons who hold violence as an answer to the failure of theocracy.

Again unprepared to defend itself, the Fourth Infantry Division withdrew deep into Mosk, having to surrender most of the city to rebel control. Civilians clustered to the west side of the city, surrounded, their backs to the sea, hoping without hope that soldiers would hold off the enemy and spare them a terrible death.

There was some positive reports, however. At the capital, Nebarri troops pushed west as the Athiesist 7th Infantry Division, a reserve unit, began an attack south. The Nebarris, flush with firepower, had no difficulty, but Athiesist troops were green and demoralized. The only thing that allowed them to succeed was their energetic and brilliant commander, General Cahman. The division marched along several separate routes, clearing Athasism's suburbs of snipers before running into forward elements of the enemy defense. Fanatic troops, their assault into the capital beaten back, had dug in during the night. Meanwhile, the division's flanking brigade came across a crude minefield consisting of several layers of grenade booby-traps arrayed in open ground, easy to spot but time-consuming to get rid of. Cahman ordered the troops not to waste ammunition and to instead clear the mines by simply throwing large rocks at the tripwires. His unorthodox strategy saved crucial time and bullets, but even then the battle was to prove to be close-run. The rest of the division encountered a long trench line. As all air support had foolishly been allocated to the Nebarris, the inexperienced soldiers were pinned down and the assault faltered. It was a disaster. Outnumbered and facing a dug-in enemy, many died. The flanking element was still clearing the rather extensive minefield guarding the narrow pass. Cahman had gambled that the pass was such an obvious attack route that the enemy would think it would be avoided and so put no defenses around it. Whether or not it was a reckless decision, he was right, and the only thing slowing him was the minefield. Had he tried to bypass them, the flanking brigade, too, would be pinned down. Just as the situation seemed hopeless for the other soldiers, the brigade charged in from the horizon, reaching the top of a hill, letting off a salvo, and then boldly charging into the fanatic defense line from the rear. Surrounded, the rebels were wiped out. The Battle of South Athasism, as it was called, proved decisive and went down in history as one of the greatest tactical masterpieces of all time.

With the Army of God withdrawing from the capitol, the issue there was decided. However, all was not well. On day five, more of Mosk continued to fall, despite reports of enemy soldiers firing on one another. Hillman's troops entered Kentangi Point after two brutal forced marches, but remained determined as they engaged in hellish street fighting. The Athiesist paratroopers cut off at Kentangi launched a probing attack to try to link up when they were informed that help was on the way, but it was unsuccessful. The Athiesist Air Force, running out of spare parts and with all of its fighters stationed at Mosk airfield in danger of capture, cannibalized some of its aircraft to provide parts for others. Taking off, all were able to land on the SkyCaptian carriers. As they had been bought from SkyCapt before the war, the necessary spares and ammunition were readily available when they arrived. The landings were without incident, as all of the pilots had been training to join Athiesist Naval Aviation before the war when a recently-purchased aircraft carrier was ready for delivery.

Regardless, the worst horrors were to come the next night.

SkyCaptian helicopters flew in reinforcements to Mosk, even though the small amount of troops shipped in as such were mere pinpricks to an invincible fanatic steamroller. The most dramatic pictures of the war were taken as hopeless civilians clung to the sides of the choppers, none of them being able to hold on for long enough to escape. We now know nothing of who took those pictures, as they, along with nearly everyone else, was to be tortured and killed when the Army of God finally broke through the city defenses. In what is perhaps the most brutal night in history, over half a million people still trapped in the city were shot. According to a handful of survivor reports, the soldiers exhausted their ammunition and began to burn them instead. The level of carnage was unimaginable. Eyeballs, limbs, and bodies littered the streets for months after. Such an event defies human understanding. This, perhaps, was compensation for the peace and prosperity of the nation in previous times. This was an entire nation's first look at war, and when they saw it, they finally realized its scope.

But it was truly a last-ditch effort. The next morning, an allied force landed on the beaches south of Mosk. Entering the city, they found dead and mangled people, and a disorganized band of looters, formerly the so-called Army of God. With Athiesist reserves arriving from the east, and the situation near the capital looking no better for the rebels, something happened. It is not known how, but somehow the word got out to them to disperse into the jungles. On this, the seventh day, fighting simply stopped for the most part as enemy troops scattered.

Greater tragedies have occurred, but not in such a short spasm. This was a total war. Over 45,000 men died in just seven days, not even counting the overwhelming amounts of civilian dead. 6,500 people a day, compared to a mere few thousand in the bloodiest days of World War I or II. Truly, it shook the foundations of a society. But the rest of the world was not ignorant.

Several nations joined in a relief effort. Their donations ranged from $30 billion from the communist republic of Krendakov to $1 billion from Cypress Point, a Christian nation that put forward a considerable donation considering its small size. But by far the most moved was the population of a nation called Space Union. Their citizens, moved by the plight, donated an unprecedented two trillion dollars in assistance. This is what allowed for a surprisingly rapid recovery. In only a year, Mosk's streets were once again paved black, not red, and trees once more grew in Athasism's Central Park. Physical damage repairs easily, but psychological scars remain forever. A nation was introduced to sacrifice, and it had proven its mettle but wished for no more.

It was to remain stagnant for a while. The pre-war economic boom tapered off, medals were handed out, books such as this were written, moments were remembered, but, most importantly, progress was made. Poverty, prevalent immediately after the war, gradually went away. All through it, Athiesists retained their hard-nosed, hard-working, disciplined reputation.

A New Sun

A monumental event was to occur years later, in 2021. Out of the dark of night, a massive, miles-long spaceship appeared over Athasism, the capital. Around the world, it was not treated with alarm. Such things had happened before. Yet, these beings, the Eternals, were incomparably generous. Giving out gifts of gems and jewels, they greeted the nation with goodwill. The first reaction, as was expected, was shock. President Mark, pacing in his office as he received the reports, assembled his bodyguards. Not even bothering to try to make it through the traffic on car, he pushed through the assembling crowd and walked to the point just under the spacecraft's center.

Surprisingly, a human descended, dressed in elegant clothing but speaking in perfect English. Claiming to represent the Eternal race, he offered great things if the nation was to join in his religion. Of course, it was simply impossible for an atheist nation to do so. Trying to explain it, Mark took the representative with him to the capitol building after much trouble getting through the assembled crowd. As news of the event reached television screens worldwide, the president almost immediately received phone calls from leaders around the globe. They cautioned him on the Eternal's apparent resemblance to the Ori, an alien culture that promised to reward its followers but instead sapped their life-energy. Overawed by the Eternal's gifts, and given access to their spacecraft technology, it seemed hard to believe the warnings. Still, it was incomprehensible how a mortal race, however powerful, could claim to be God. In an attempt at proof, the Eternals briefly demonstrated the afterlife given to their followers. Realizing that following the Eternal religion entailed nothing more than believing in their creator, the President, with approval of most of Parliament and the population, agreed to accept them as their savior. In return, as if not already given enough gifts, Mark decided to take his people from polluted and overcrowded Earth to a new planet.

It was to be called Merkar, the native word for "Prosperity". All but a dozen million of the over fifty million citizens of Athiesism were willing to be teleported there. Eternal robots, acting under the instruction of Athiesism's massive thinking computer, Aurora, replicated an earthen city, to be called simply Republic City, and assigned jobs to its inhabitants as they arrived. By 2022, all had been set up, and a space station was quickly assembled from a program set in motion before the encounter.

Here, now, lies the newborn Merkar Republic, rising from insignificance, then to power, then up from the ashes, and finally ready to accept all challenges. Peace, once more, is breaking out. This, however, is certainly not a guarantee for the future. The sounds of war may wring in a nation's ears once more. Perhaps it is only a matter of time.

History since 2030:

Space colonies were set up beyond Merkar itself on the planets Ashasi and Marketi in the Alpha Centauri system, although neither world is habitable. In 2039, Merkar entered the war with Joint Conglomerates on the side of the Southeastasia alliance. Later that year, a major economic recession shook the nation. The cause was believed to be rising labor costs that made Merkari products uncompetitive, hurting the manufacturing industry and destroying many jobs, plus the heavy financial cost of the war. However, the government lowered its regulation of business and decreased taxes, causing the economy to rebound in 2040-2042, although still below prewar levels. In 2049, the government was dismembered by popular referendum and its place taken by artificially intelligent computers.


The Europeans arriving at the shores of Athiesism (the future Merkar Republic) found their culture succumbing to the customs of the natives. Founded out of practicality, the culture of the local islanders was based on hard work for the sake of personal gain. Religion, even animism, was virtually nonexistent even before the colonists arrived. This has both made them skillful businessmen and prominent criminals, as crime is a serious problem in the nation. Religion, even animism, was virtually nonexistent even before the colonists arrived. A notable point is the Caractesh, or manhood ritual, still practiced in the form of universal male military conscription. Previously carried out by tribes on its emerging adult males, the Caractesh is intended to be a rite to manhood by challenging those taking it by testing their courage and determination. Today, the 3-month boot camp that conscripts must go through is exceptionally demanding and difficult, but many cultural anthropologists note that it develops a willingness to do hard work that is prevalent later than life. Merkaris are noted for their determination. Another unique point is their love for animals. Hunting and the controlled growth of animals, such as found in beef factories, is illegal, although fishing is allowed (but is not a popular sport).

About 25% of the population is white or other non-natives, coming mostly from several European nations (especially Russia). The official language is English, although native tongues are widely known and used occasionally. Another 45% is Liliputian (named so by the first English settlers), short but ferocious natives inhabiting the southern island, Liliputia. 10% is made up of the peaceful and naïve Marche Norians, inhabiting the northwest island, Marche Noir. Another 15% is Bigtoan, tall and hard-working individuals from the west half of the northeast island of Bigtoa. Most of the remaining 5% are Tasmanians, independent-minded islanders who share the island of Bigtoa and live across the Berkar River on its east bank. It must be remembered that, where a certain tribe is said to reside on an island, it is only the traditional homeland of that group- all of these ethnic groups have long since intermixed and moved to space. All share much of the same culture as discussed in the last paragraph.

A significant force in the Merkari psyche is the Civil War of 2013. Initiated by a band of religious militants angered over the atheistic policies of the central government, it lasted only seven days but was remarkably intense, with over half a million civilian deaths, not even counting the thousands who died in battle on both sides. Most of the civilian deaths are attributed to the night of September 13th, when religious rebels, nicknamed “fanatics”, seized control of the city of Mosk and began an orgy of destruction and looting known as the Mosk Massacre. Running out of bullets shooting everyone they came across, the rebels resorted to burning, stabbing, drowning, or whatever other means of killing they could think of. Ironically, members of the anti-rebel coalition entered the city the next day, only to find no resistance from their enemy, who had exhausted and dispersed himself during the looting and killing. Being the first major war fought by the nation, the Civil War of 2013 made its mark in Merkari books, movies, and memories.

Merkaris are often considered socially awkward by other cultures because of the fact that they are so open. Social taboos simply do not exist, and Merkaris freely dicuss several matters, such as sex, that are usually repressed in other nations. Personal initiative is encouraged, although emotionalism is frowned upon when used in place of logic.


At present, the bulk of the population has left the three East Pacific islands it inhabited on Earth and traveled to the planet Merkar in the Alpha Centauri system. The three islands (Bigtoa, Liliuptia and Marche Noir), each of about a hundred square miles, are now heavily polluted, with the inhabitants residing in miles-high arcologies (think of them as very tall apartment buildings that replicate an earthlike environment for their inhabitants). Formerly, significant points on the island of Liliputia included the Athasism River, a fast-moving waterway that bisected the capital, Athasism, Kentangi Point, a large port city known for shipbuilding, and the Sold Hills, an area of steep high ground between Kentangi Point and Athasism. On Marche Noir, the significant points include the largest city, Akrana, and the Nerjan volcanoes, surrounded by hilly areas. Bigtoa, an L-shaped island, included the Berkar River running through the lower part of the “L”, the former Tasmanian capital of Berkar (“Freedom”), the Jurmaya Hills, formerly populated by the few Athiesist citizens believing in religion, and Mosk, a large port city known for the Mosk Massacre of the 2013 Civil War. However, all of these geographic and demographic points have since been buried under by pollution and massive arcologies.

As for the planet Merkar, it orbits the star Alpha Centauri C in the Alpha Centauri system and is the location of the new capital of the empire, called simply Republic City. When the Merkaris were first transported here after contact with the alien race of the Eternals, Republic City was where they settled, and the population is only beginning to spread out over the rest of the planet. Merkar is a temperate, earth-sized world covered in lush forests but has relatively few bodies of water when compared to, for example, Earth. Large amounts of water are stored near the large, cold polar areas that change in size dramatically from season to season. Ashasi, another planet orbiting Alpha Centauri C, is nearer the sun but too warm to be habitable by unprotected humans. Marketi, farther from the sun than Merkar, is too cold to be habitable. Both planets, however, are the site of large robotic mining outposts. No other planets exist in the system, although two stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, do. Both are fairly large, and any planet that came into existence anywhere near it would be sucked in by gravity. Alpha Centauri C is the only medium-sized star in the system, and the habitability of the planet Merkar itself is believed to be the result of terraforming and orbital adjustment performed by an ancient race.


The Merkar Republic is notable for its consistently low tax rate, rarely going above 7%. Government-regulated corporations provide most services, and almost all Merkari children are home schooled. In 2042, control of the nation was handed off to a group of artificially intelligent computers that make rational policy decisions based on the goal of providing the greatest possible happiness to as many people, animals, or whatever as possible.

Merkaris are hard-working, not for their nation, but for themselves. This results in high crime rates, and, with taxes low, the police force receives little funding. Crime has always been a chronic problem. “Soft” drugs, such as marijuana, are legal, but “hard” ones, such as LSD, are not (the police will often ignore the infraction if such drug are taken in moderation, however). The legal drinking age is 16, but the legal driving age is 20.


Commerce (paying off debt, subsidies, etc.): 50%
Military: 20%
Education (mostly scholarships and counseling programs): 15%
Law and Order: 5%
Other: 10%


The year 2042 marked a radical shift in the Republic’s economic policy. Previously, business were poorly regulated, Merkari firms being highly competitive on the intergalactic stage due to the trait of hard work for personal gain instilled by the national culture on corporate leaders. The gap between rich and poor was huge, although relatively few lived in poverty. However, the coming of artificially-intelligent leadership focused on providing maximum happiness for all citizens caused Merkari intellectuals to realize that money did not buy happiness. The national economy became much more socialistic, with robotic labor taking the place of humans in many areas. Taxes remained low, but social welfare programs were vastly improved, with a focus on education. This has resulted in practically zero unemployment, but at the cost of continued economic growth. Still, with robotics becoming the leading source of labor, an economic collapse does not appear to be in sight.


As part of the Caractesh (see “Culture”), all Merkari males who are not physically disabled or who can prove legitimate religious exemption undergo a one-year period of military conscription, beginning on their 18th birthday. The first training a conscript receives is an intensive and notoriously rigorous three-month boot camp. After a recruit has survived this, however, he is a hardened warrior and rank is not considered an issue. Instead, even low-level leaders are taught to show initiative and are not punished for risk-taking (other than reckless gambles, of course). In fact, pulling rank too frequently can lessen your chances of promotion. Once his two-year conscription is over, the recruit enters the reserves until 10 years after his conscription and undergoes refresher training one month every two years. Women are allowed to join the army, but few are allowed into combat positions. Homosexuals are allowed to join the army freely and assume combat positions.

The combat arms are kept separate from the support arms, ensuring that the bureaucratic complacency of peacetime does not seep into them. Logistics and combat service support in general (this does not include artillery) is held in low regard. Like the Merkari government itself, the defense bureaucracy itself is understaffed and overwhelmed with work but at the same time is efficient considering its size. Work expands to fill the time available, and this is why adding more employees would merely cause inefficiency. The media, for the most part, is not as critical of the military as it is in other nations, allowing the government more leeway.

Despite the fact that individual infantrymen are relatively poorly trained, this is intended to be offset by better officers. Enlisted soldiers, freeing up the officers for combat duty, hold many minor leadership positions in combat service support. The Merkari military has 1 officer per 40 enlisted men, or about half as many as most armies. Still, the few it has are exceptionally well-trained, going through a four-year officer training course at one of the seven “war colleges” across the nation. The United States army, by comparison, trains its officers for 90 days.

Four arms exist in the Merkari military:

Space Force

The Space Force owns two of the seven “war colleges” and is tasked with managing all types of spacecraft. Its large freighter force is notable for flying commercial cargo missions for a small profit. This both provides training for the pilots and puts them to use- they might as well do something productive while they practice flying.


The Army is usually the business end of the entire military. Suffering under budget cuts in recent years, it still has potentially 9 million reservists to call upon, although has only enough weapons for 1.5 million. Experience in the Civil War of 2013 and the Joint Conglomerates War has sharpened it into an efficient fighting machine.

Space Marines

This elite arm of the Merkari military is intended for storming orbital facilities and establishing toeholds in enemy territory in order to shuttle in supplies. The best of the elite, the Blue Force Commandoes, is under Space Marine management.

Support Service

The support troops for the Army and Space Marines are kept administratively distinct in order to prevent the bureaucratic style of peacetime from reducing the efficiency of the fighting arms. The separation was put in place after the Civil War of 2013, although Support Service and Army or Space Marine units always operate in the field together under a single commander.
09-11-2005, 15:59
bump for comments
09-11-2005, 16:04
About the JC conflict....I'm negotiating with him to make a new thread continuing where we left off. It'll be another sign-up thread, and it'll include more parties.
09-11-2005, 16:08
If you get it going and I'm fighting another war at the same time, I want you to know that my army back then is "frozen in time" and what happens to it dosen't effect my modern army. I've been doing a lot of upgrading to my military so it just wouldn't match up.
09-11-2005, 16:09
Fluiding time anyone? That's what you can do in NS.
12-11-2005, 10:51
bump for Athiesism