HOW

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The events of the 2007 General Election spawned an alternate reality in which a drastic change to the history of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago occurred, leading to the formation of the United States of Trinidad. The following is an account of those events, and a look at the state of the UST in its current day, in the year 2069.

Chapter One

Soon after being re-elected as Prime Minister in the 2007 elections, the PM renamed himself Augustus Caesar and put into law an amended constitution which provided for an executive presidency.

 In the next election he retired from the party and was appointed President of the Republic.

But then the cataclysm happened.

The world was thrown into chaos and fell into another dark age.

Augustus was believed to have been killed in an attempt to escape the country for one less scathed.

Chapter Two

30 years later, he returned.

This new Caesar declared himself God Emperor and set about restoring Trinidad, utilising a new biotechnology based on a nano-tech infused petroleum derivative.

He sent out a call for all those willing to help the country rise from the ashes, to join him.

Chapter Three

So it was that the country’s surviving artisans and inventors and entrepreneurs, etc., flocked to him and formed a new government with Augustus at its head.

A new constitution was written and Port of Spain was renamed Port of Spain Prime in Caesar’s honour.

Caesar’s desire was to spread this new period of order and revival throughout the region.

Thus began the expansion and colonization of the Caribbean islands, and thus was born the United States of Trinidad.

Its creation ushered in a wonderful, if brief, golden age for the region.

Chapter Four

The decline of that golden age started when the people of the U.S.T. began to cry out for a return to democracy; these cries were taken up by a mysterious figure known as the Orange Beret, bearing the standard of a Silver Fox.

It was the beginning of a rebellion against Caesar.

Chapter Five

The followers of the Orange Beret began launching orchestrated attacks against government officials and buildings. Many peaceful civilians were caught in the crossfire.

In an attempt to control the population and subdue his enemies, Caesar issued Executive Commandment 243. The EC banned Carnival, Mas’ and all other associated media and paraphernalia, declaring an indefinite period of Lent. The public goal was to lift the moral core of the people of the UST out of the Gutter of Depravity in which it had lain during the Dark Days of his absence. He also branded His Day of Return as a national day of reflection.

The motion was unanimously passed by the both houses of Parliament, with the exception of one senator who abstained. The EC was made law on Carnival Friday 2047. Civil unrest loomed over the next 2 days with only minor outbreaks of violence at fêtes that still attempted to go on despite the edict.

Chapter Six

Then came Carnival Monday morning. Red J'ouvert.

Thousands of costumed revellers in various states of armed frenzy flooded the streets of PoSP before dawn, as too did hundreds of Riot Guards and Red Guards.

As dawn broke, the two forces engaged each other in a vicious and bloody battle which would last straight into Carnival Tuesday.

Chapter Seven

On that day Caesar removed all restrictions on the use of lethal force and sanctioned the use of an untested nano-oil bio weapon being designed for quick crowd suppression.

Black Tuesday was how historians would refer to it ever after.

Chapter Eight

At the end, PoSP lay in near ruin and the streets were filled with the corpses of thousands. It would have taken a Herculean effort to rebuild it, and the nation. However, Caesar’s desire was not to rebuild.

He wanted only to move forward. He ordered that the city be razed.

But he did not foresee that a city could so burn, for the fires lit atop bodies covered in petrochemical horror and created a monster that was part black flame, part nightmare and breathed a luminous black smoke into the air. It burned through the night.

UST had never awakened to an Ash Wednesday more true to its name. The Caesar administration used the revolt to declare a State of Emergency in which civil liberties could be suspended as Caesar saw necessary to combat the insurgency; broken and burnt, the people complied.

Chapter Nine

The area to the east of PoSP was rebuilt as the new capital and christened Beetham City. The Orange Beret’s forces and any bearing the banner of the Silver Fox were hunted down by the Red Guard and driven out of U.S.T. territory. Caesar launched the URP (the Union of the Republic of the People), a state enterprise to develop the UST’s communities and guide their denizens away from crime by empowering (funding) the community leaders.

But despite this, crime continued to escalate, fuelled by an emerging drug trade in nano oil derivatives.

These derivatives were unstable and sometimes caused mutations in the user.

Even if the drugs did not cause mutations, they increased aggression and strength, and were even thought to cause psychosis.

Chapter Ten

The State, believing that these knock off drugs were being manufactured and imported from Venezuela, launched an invasion of that country and eventually annexed it to the UST.

Years later, with the emperor’s failing health and rumours of the inefficacy of the nano-oil in sustaining him, there began talk of finding a successor.

One name rose most prominent, The Mother.

Chapter Eleven

Publicly, she was a woman of the people. She had rallied the remains of the Orange Beret’s forces and allies and promised a return to democracy and, most importantly, to Carnival. Privately, she curried favour with the senators and garnered their support for her plans to overthrow the God Emperor, not content to wait until he passed.

Her coup was achieved with relative ease and after her rise to power, the people looked forward to another golden age.

Chapter Twelve

But the people were disappointed. The Mother held to none of her promises, instead focusing on returning favours to those who had assisted her rise to Mother of the Nation. The people felt betrayed and unhappy. To appease them, she returned Carnival - but only as shadow, a farce of its true spirit. Throwing salt in the wound, Carnival became an elitist affair, with displays of pretty mas' open only to the rich, powerful or beautiful. Bands were stratified by colour and class. Mas' was now a state enterprise. All bands required the approval of the state, and the blessing of The Mother.

It became little more than an indicator of social standing,  where only the rich and powerful were allowed to palance in the streets. The vapid spectacle, celebritism, and glamour of those two days were a distraction for the people, and a show to the rest of the world. The nation wore the mask of the status quo; everyone was beautiful, and everything was perfect.

Not long after this, masked vigilantes began to appear...

Epilogue

Some say that the Carnival Spirit, being strangled and subdued over the years, began to find its way out through these vigilantes,

neo-rebels,

and even some “progressive” community leaders,

who began to take on names from folklore and beloved characters of Carnival.

These epic struggles play themselves out in the streets of the cities…

Soucouyant by Ayodhya Ouditt

Soucouyant

Lagahoo by Shawn Alleyne

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Bookman by Shawn Alleyne

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