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There is a chill in the air in the damp, grey dawn and I shiver despite my heavy coat. The bare sky promises a hot day; once the sun has risen above the hills it will bathe the day of victory in radiant glory. No longer will the lifeblood of this nation live in servitude, kept in their place by the well-polished boots of the bourgeoisie. The sinewed arm that toils at the foundry, the straining back that hews the coal, the calloused hands that harvest wheat and weave cloth, all will lend their strength to see the same sun that rose over a kingdom set upon a republic. As iron must be blasted by heat and beaten with hammers to make it into steel, so must this nation see such a day to forge a new society.

By the time we reach the centre of the city it is already warm, sunlight glinting off tiled rooves. The whole platoon shares in the thrill of anticipation, drunk on adrenalin as we march towards Parliament. We know that the grand square in front of the government building is already full of people: they started to arrive yesterday and they have been there all night, applauding the Party officials as they stand on upturned crates to address the crowd. The bayonets fixed to our rifles are purely for show: we know we'll meet no resistance. Those members of the government that would not welcome us will know better than to make any protest. Better that they should go quietly home and spend today with their wives and children.

The column swings around the final corner into the square just as five other companies converge from different directions. The roar of the crowd seems far away as the blood pounds in my brain. I am nineteen years old and no longer will I be a serf, bound by the shackles of the feudalism. This is revolution, comrade; down with the factory-owners, down with the priests, down with the King and why not off with his head while we're about it?

The doors of Parliament open and we hear our people cheer as we march in. Today everything changes. Today is the day that the People's Republic of Belsornia will be born.




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