A New Marshal is Named

The situation in Europe had gotten heated quick. In less than twenty-four hours it seemed as though a war was inevitable, and some rumblings showed that it might have already begun. In times like these it was imperative that Finland remained strong and ready. So on a train travelling the countryside the war council met, with her majesty Kustaava at the helm.

“Gentleman, we are facing something we haven’t even had to consider for a century and a half. Germany is once again a threat to peace in Europe.”

The Lieutenant General in charge of the Army slammed his fist on the table. “We cannot stand for this. We might have remained neutral for the last century, but they have gone too far.”

There were murmurs of agreement from the rest of the General Staff. There was not a single person who believed that standing by was the right thing to do. There was a knock on the door to the cabin and in walked a man in a suit, holding a briefcase. “Your Majesty. In an emergency session of Parliament the Marshal Clause of the Constitution has been enacted. Command of all affairs of state for the duration of the crisis have been passed to you. You have nuclear command.” The Queen would nod before turning back to the General Staff.

“I’m sure you just heard, but let me repeat it. Parliament has enacted the Marshal Clause. Until this crisis has resolved I am in command. Gentlemen, I don’t want a war, but we are staring down the barrel of the gun. Order the Defence Force to mobilize. All launch locations are to go to ready to fire. Inform the Prime Minister Candidates of the situation, they are to cancel all public events for the time being for their own safety. Gentlemen, prepare for war.”

Kustaava laid still in the bath, gazing out over the countryside as the train speed through. She could feel the power of the engine as she sat, engrossed in her own thoughts. It had only been a few days since she had been named Marshal, and the weight of that weighed on her. She was the first Marshal of Finland since the Winter War. She sank a little in the tub, letting the water flow over her. There was so much expectation placed on her right now. Like all previous monarchs she had been raised to lead Finland in a war, but she had expected, like the rest of them, that that would be ceremony only. There had been no need for Finland to even consider engaging in war until now.

She sighed and stepped out of the tub, where one of her maids approached her and began helping to dry her hair. She smiled slightly to herself. Even while on a train in the middle of nowhere she lived a life of luxury. After she was dry she began dressing herself, putting on the uniform of the Marshal. While under normal circumstances the maids would have dressed her, as of right now she was not the Queen she was the Marshal.

She walked into the cabin in which she currently called home, picking up her son as he jumped at her. “Ah you rascal you.” She pinched his nose as she carried him to his father. “So how have they been behaving?”

“Same old same old,” he said smiling at her. “She’s finally fallen asleep. Your Dad called, said he’s with the Helsinki Garrison.”

She rolled her eyes. “That old man would be better off if he just stayed in the Palace.” She couldn’t blame him though, the first Marshal had led Finland through his 70s. “I don’t even know if we are going to commit any ground forces yet.” She handed over her son to his father. “I don’t want to risk our citizens in a war we don’t have to fight. At the same time we can’t sit on the sideline. It is a tough decision.”

“Well it is your job to make those decisions,” he replied petting their son’s head. “Well it is time for you to go back to work. I’ll watch after the rascals.”

She smiled and nodded, heading towards the War Room on the train, followed closely behind by a maid carrying a briefcase.

“It is a pleasure to meet with you Prime Minister Selänne,” Kustaava said as she shook the hand of the young man standing in from of her. Konsta Selänne was the youngest elected Prime Minister in Finnish history, and the first elected in a time of crisis. While there had been some debate about postponing the election, Parliament had decided to push ahead, since early voting had already started. Konsta had been in third place with the first count, however with the instant runoff ranked voting he catapulted into first place quickly, winning the election. Now with the nation still on war footing he was meeting with the Marshal to coordinate the government with the military.

“The pleasure is all mine Marshal,” he replied with a smile. “I have always wanted to meet you and now I have the opportunity.” The two of them would have a small chat, discussing what needed to be done. It was agreed upon that military action was likely going to be necessary. The biggest question was how much. That was not something could easily be answered. In the end it was determined that a meeting should be held with those currently engaging the Germans. While the former Prime Minister was dealing with Athens, it was determined that Konsta should try his luck with the Poles.

After the work was done Kustaava saw the Prime Minister off, as he left the train to head back to Helsinki, where he would maneuver the government towards a war footing. While she may have been given control of all affairs of state, it didn’t matter if the state didn’t support her. It was not expected to be too hard however, as popular opinion called for action against the Germans. That being said, governmental opinion didn’t want too many people to die in a war it might not be necessary to commit more than the bare minimum. A balance had to be struck.