Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Truce inspired story idea

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

You know the Christmas truce?

People on one side of the trenches heard people on the other side singing Christmas carols and since they were Christians too that eventually led to an unofficial cease fire, soccer* games, the givings of gifts, and general good times. In those areas, for a time, World War I stopped.

I want a story where something similar happens and when the orders come down, "You have to go back to killing them now, you've had your fun," the soldiers on both sides say, "No."

I want the story where the people fighting for the opposing powers say, "Ok, we've got a good thing going here, let's keep it up." Where the decide, "Ok, all groups will have equal numbers of side X and side Y. All artillery pointed at side X will be controlled by members of side X, all artillery pointed at side Y will be controlled by side Y, and whatever happens, do not start the shooting again." And the cease fire spreads, and spreads, and attempts to break it are fought off, yes with weapons where appropriate, but more importantly with unofficial diplomacy. Random off the top of my head example, in an attempt to restart the war a position is shelled and then immediately an unarmed group from the side that did the shelling comes to those closest to the shelling, "Our high command just killed 50 of your men, so the fifty of us have volunteered to be yours to do with as you please for revenge. Just, please, look us in the eye when you do it," and then no retribution is faced** and the high command has to deal with the fact that every time they actually manage to kill a member of the other side, a member of their own side defects.

And the truce spreads, and spreads, until there is no war, just countries trying desperately to get their soldiers to go out there and kill someone.

Until, finally, the countries involved are forced to resort to ... diplomacy, because their entire armies are effectively on strike.

And then everyone goes home to their families.


*I'm an American, most of those involved would call it "football". Which, unfortunately, fails to differentiate it from every other game in use since the middle ages that takes place on foot rather than horseback and involves a ball, but for some reason the preceding word that did differentiate it tends to get left out.

** Do as you please for revenge includes, "We're not angry with you, we're angry with the people hundreds of miles away responsible for this. Go sit over there and have a coffee, hostages."


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