Episode 4 – First Ten – 1

4

JULY 7, 2228
Skody Palace, New Warszawa
Slavic Empire – 4:45 AM

 Gaslight flickered behind rosy glass, giving life to the birds painted upon the coffered ceiling. Flames danced within the tiled hearth, illuminating the ornately carved mantle that cast shadows on fittings unseen since the time of the Tsars.

Duke Boris Kotko had been a boy when he learned that without a vagina, he would never rule. He regarded this reality without bitterness; unlike his mother and aunts, he understood a Slavic Empire ruled by Juliana Mikołaj had ensured Antarctica’s continued support.

“Boris?” Juliana whispered from her bed. “You must tell Kasimira—”

“-Sleep, my love, don’t leave this world distressed.” Boris sat beside her failing body, holding her cold hands and longing to take her place.

Harmful radiation haunted their bones, Elohim’s punishment for the ancestor’s cruelty when the world ended. Eastern Europe had drowned in the birth of a Baltic Ocean, leaving the descendants of Judean Kings isolated atop the Ural’s high peaks, safe behind a mighty concrete wall that barred all others.

Before this bout of cancer took hold, Juliana had been one of the few rotund women left in the world. Stocky arms and an ample bosom, she possessed a regal moon-shaped face with thick lips and bright gray eyes.

Juliana groaned in pain.

“No emotions,” Boris whispered, kissing her hand.

“You must tell Kasi,” she struggled to lift her head. “She must remain the way she was born,”

“You cannot get worked up over Kasimir.” Boris regretted his words as Juliana lapsed into a fit of coughing.

He pressed his palm to the translucent skin on her chest and eased her back onto the pillow. Sullen eyes came alive with the passionate spark that once aroused him when they coupled.

“You’ve entertained her nonsense long enough!” Juliana gasped.

The only nonsense in this world was their reliance on the farcs.

Boris and Juliana had grown up watching their parent’s dignity crushed by Ramaxia’s unsentimental Ninth Generation. Primary Kul and her poisonous Committee forgot that their species owed its very existence to the Slavs.

The Fifth Generation had appreciated this without question, their benevolence ensuring the survival of humanity. They’d had procured freshwater for roaming survivors, created arable soil where possible, and relocated entire populations closer to where wildlife had rebounded.

Emperor Mikel Kotko, his great-great-grandfather, had dispatched his only daughter, Sashonna, to seek the farcs out at their erected dam in Greenland. After many arduous weeks over shallow seas, Sashonna reached her destination. Speaking archaic Russian, she gave the farc guards a name: Ivan Balantin.

Balantin, set adrift by the original generation of farcs, had been the post-impact Moses, surviving the chaotic sea in a small metal boat until collected by the Russian Navy’s last commissioned ships. Exposure to the Southern Pole’s frosty extremes had taken his hands. However, he managed to dictate his memories of life among the femmar, observations handed down to those living atop the Urals.

Balantin spent his last days in comfort, fortunate enough to have died before the Kamen meltdown would poison everything within the wall, including the Slavs.

Sashonna had returned to the Empire, visibly free of her severest mutations, and accompanied by a Committee Member named Laxum Wram. While the laborer farcs removed contaminants from their water and introduced a means to grab moisture from the air and freeze it, the Slavs ensured the morbid curiosity of the thinker-farcs.

Decades passed before ice caps reformed in the highest mountains, improving the air quality throughout Uralskey Island. Infant mortality declined, and teratogenic mutations degenerated, with Boris and Juliana’s generation the first to be born unhindered by nausea, brittle bones, and failing organs.

Unfortunately, the Sixth Generation’s ascension had impeded the Slavs road to self-reliance.

Primary Ixo Kul expressed discomfort with assisting a human nation ruled by a man. Unwilling to lose Antarctica’s assistance, Emperor Mikel stepped down and gave his throne to Sashonna. Bedridden after years of troublesome pregnancies, Empress Sashonna Kotko finally died having borne three sons.

Unsatisfied with Maxim Kotko’s crowning, the farcs returned to Uralskey and attempted to remove the water filtration technology. Boris’s father, the new Emperor, sent soldiers to stop the laborer farcs, but his unfortunate guard met their end under the boots of some bald musclebound warrior farcs.

Anya Mikołaj, the betrothed of his uncle Oleg, had secretly made a deal with the warrior farcs leader and arranged the deaths of the Kotko Dukes and their Emperor, guaranteeing freshwater and food shipments for the Empire, along with its throne for her unborn daughter, Juliana.

Boris abandoned diplomacy after the Kotko’s denouement. Spared as a boy, he built up his body for a day when the farc warriors might return. Once a Duke, he vowed to protect his Empress, and yes, Juliana was his Empress.

Juliana had blossomed into a plump and stunning woman, and after capturing her heart, seventeen-year-old Boris became her most trusted advisor. He had enjoyed every moment of this elevated position until the Ninth’s ascendency to power in Antarctica.

A brutal regime, their future Primary destroyed the Australians before forcibly taking control of the Sixth. Her new administrator of foreign affairs, Lekada Wram, reassessed their relationship with the Slavic Empire. The wily thinker convened with Juliana and demanded a reason that her nation should care for a people that offered nothing in return.

CONTINUE