Alternative Background by DutchFox from the Team 13 Community
During the mid-eighties the Cold War, despite being ongoing for 40 years, was still putting the entire world on edge. Whilst the superpowers opted to fight their battles in remote corners of the world, people all across the globe feared total destruction. Nations that had remained peaceful throughout their history, were forced to pick sides as remaining on the sidelines was no longer possible. As was the case for a small group of islands in the North Sea, Nogova, Everon & Malden. The people of these islands had been living in relative peace for over three decades, enjoying prosperous lives, generated by the country’s rich natural resources. The people descended from Russian settlers, who built a small trading outpost on the island of Nogova, during the early 17th century. As time progressed and Europe became entangled in what seemed to be endless bloodshed, the small nation lived on in relative peace and isolation.
Following World War II, this all changed when the Soviet Union began to show an increasing interest in to the small nation after the discovery of offshore natural gas. It didn’t take long before news hit that the Soviets had brokered a deal, gaining drilling rights to over 90% of the nation’s natural gas fields. In return for this massive amount of wealth, the Soviets launched a massive armament program for the local Nogovan defense forces. Fearing a Soviet enclave in the middle of the North Sea, the United States in particular expressed their concern regarding the militarization of the islands. Whilst international tensions grew regarding the small islands, the local government kept stressing their strict desire for peace, and assured the country’s neutrality. Many did not believe this bold statement, and trade embargoes as a result of that pushed the small nation even further under the Soviet sphere of influence.
With the islands now reliant on support from the Soviet Union, the once wealthy economy took a serious hit. As the trade embargoes began to take effect, unemployment numbers rose sharply amongst the islanders. This caused a growing numbers of islanders to resent the Soviets, blaming them for the financial crisis they now found themselves in. Opposing this group was a significant portion of the islanders who still supported the Soviets, namely due to their Russian heritage. As time progressed and weeks turned in to months, the situation started getting worse. What had started off as minor clashes between the opposing sides had escalated in to violence, and bloodshed. Just when the world was slowly starting to forget about the crisis surrounding the islands, another crisis was unfolding within them. It became evident to the nation’s government that some form of action had to be undertaken to put an end to the turmoil.
Months turned in to years and the situation on the islands had only deteriorated. While the government at first tried to appease the population by the means of small reforms, it did not take long before they lost control. When the options started to run out, they felt it was necessary to end the increasing stream of violence by the use of force. The military started going door to door, taking anyone in to custody who they suspected was connected to the riots. This move made the government increasingly unpopular, leading to widespread riots and the looting of police stations and other government buildings around the islands. As the military was rapidly losing control of the situation, and the government saw no end to the bloodshed, many of the high ranking government officials fled the country. What elements remained of the military effectively seized power in the hope to create some form of order during the chaos. Yet with no end to the hostilities in sight, it was starting to become clear that this nightmare was not about to end soon.
Time went by and the Cold War slowly came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The struggle on the islands, however, remained fierce as ever. With the Union’s collapse, nations around the world once again began showing an interest in the small group of islands within the North Sea. The United Kingdom in particular, going through a financial crisis of their own, was desperate for any source of wealth. Now that the natural gas fields were ripe for the picking once more, contact between the two nations was quickly established. Both sides knew that an accord could be mutually beneficial, hence it did not take long before an accord was reached. In return for a large share of the nation’s natural gas deposits, the United Kingdom would deliver arms and ammunition to aid the military in their struggle against the rebels. The accord did not do much to cool the tempers, in fact, it worsened the situation once again as the population felt that their government had once again sold out to a foreign power. It became clear that the rebels would not lay down their arms willingly, and especially not without a fight.