When considering my current situation, the term ‘fall from grace’ comes to mind. I once enjoyed popular support – as I mentioned, I was elected Prime Minister of Byakko not once, but twice. Nowadays, things are a little different. I write these memoirs secretly, into an old notebook hidden under my bed. The country is ruled by the communists, and, ever since they came to power, I have been kept under house arrest. Two men stand outside my house, sub-machine guns in their hands.

One more sits in my garden with a shotgun. I know not how – or even if – the BCP (that is, Byakkan Communist Party) would report my death if I tried to escape.

These men come not from the police force, but rather, from Min’s “People’s Police”. It makes my heart ache to see such a group as them here, but what truly pains me is that they rule with the same kind of tyranny as the Kempeitai did. I fought a war to save the country from one brand of brutality and oppression, only for it to be taken over by another.

I will not try and deceive anyone by saying I do not hold a significant portion of the blame for this state of affairs. All that will be revealed, I hope, in a later chapter.

Li Min is an interesting character, one who will pop up several times throughout these memoirs. He is young – only 23 – and has not had the benefit of experience and life to form his views. He was able to come to as high a position of power as such he has largely due to his father – and the respect he carried. His father, Li Jian, is another character whose name will appear frequently.

Jian was, after all, the first Prime Minister of our little republic. The period from 1964 until 1973 – the time for which Mr. Li was Prime Minister – is one I plan to go into much detail about. A lot happened in those early days.

But back to the present. Min’s cronies do what they can to stop news reaching me: they confiscated my television aerial and cancelled my newspaper subscription. It is not the case, however, that I do not hear of going-ons in the country. I have heard, for example, of the chaos in the North-West. I’ve heard how Banyak Ikan has descended into civil war. I’ve heard how the police have been massacred. These are dark times we live in. I do feel a crushing sense of responsibility for several of these events.

But, now, let us turn to the early days of independence. The times just before and just after Byakko was granted independence from Matilum. Let us talk of… 1962.

Next Chapter: Chapter 3: A Request