draft working title: Transfomed

Currently this is only a draft of the story I have buzzing around inside my head. I've written the early chapters simply to help get my thoughts in order and story started. I don't write that frequently, so I can't guarantee if and when new chapters will appear.

However, I really would appreciate constructive criticism because I'm trying to learn how to write in a way people want to read, so thanks in advance for your comments!!

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2. A Potted History

 

The Greater Lithuanian Federation of States; prior to our victory over the Russian army in the 20 day war, it was known simply as Lithuania. Smaller, less powerful than today’s federation, Lithuania was a peaceful country, co-existing in harmony with its Baltic neighbours. A fertile country, divided into 5 semi autonomous regions, criss-crossed by numerous rivers and lakes. It’s a country rich in resources, coal, natural gas and a quarter of the world’s known oil reserves. Lithuanian Light Crude, requiring considerably less refining than heavier oils, is highly prized, and commands a premium on the international oil markets. Currently, the premium is approximately US$5 per barrel above the price of Saudi Heavy Crude.

Lithuania, an ancient society, has been dominated by woman since the 2nd century when pagan Baltic tribes established themselves, although, the name Lithuania first appears in AD1009, in the Annals of Quedinberg. The country is governed by a Monarch; succession of the Monarchy passes down the female line, mother to daughter. An unbroken female lineage existed for 400 years from Mindauga Grand Duchesses of Lithuania crowned in 1038 until 1412. Only once has the thrown been occupied by a male and then only briefly. Grand Duke Vytautas ascended to the thrown upon the death of his mother Queen Patricija IV. Her only daughter, Crown Princess Adalberta, had been killed two years earlier in 1410, while leading Lithuania to victory over the Teutonic knights at the Battle of Grünwald.

The Grand Duke Vytautas rein was short lived; he was assassinated by his wife the following year. Whilst afforded a state funeral befitting the passing of a Monarch, with all the sombre pageantry associated with such occasions, he was not however interned in the Royal Tomb alongside the dead Lithuanian Queens, whose remains it holds in perpetuity. Instead, he was laid to rest in the catacomb beneath Vilnius cathedral, surrounded by nobility of the past. The nation’s grieving for his passing was muted; some historical documents even record celebrations of the restoration of the female lineage being held during the Grand Duke’s official mourning period. The Grand Duke was never considered by many to be more than a stop gap, an interim monarch, until his daughter Princess Adrijona came of age. After a short trial, his wife, Her Royal Highness Queen Julijona, was acquitted of his murder. The Court reasoned that her actions, solely motivated for the good of the Lithuanian state, were “Ulta Vires”, outside the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice, therefore they had no option but to acquit. Many believed that Queen Julijona was forced to act. Her daughter had “come of age” but the Grand Duke refused, despite the overwhelming weight of public opinion, to abdicate in her favour and being in rudely good health, he could have ruled for many years. After her coronation, Queen Adrijona’s first speech publicly exonerated her mother. She spoke eloquently before the hastily assembled parliament, the Seimas, of split morality. She quoted extracts from ancient Lithuanian philosophers, the gist of which was, a privately immoral act, committed solely for the greater good of the state can, under certain circumstances, be deemed publicly moral and therefore no punishment need be attached.

The reign of Queen Adrijona heralded the start of 600 years of unprecedented economic growth, and territorial expansion. She annexed many Belorussian, Russian and Ukrainian territories. By her death in 1448, Lithuania had extended its border all the way to the shores of the Black Sea.

Important legislation was enacted. The 1414 Act of Succession formally established the line of succession of the Lithuanian Crown. The Crown would pass from Queen to her eldest daughter; in the absence of a daughter, next in line would be the oldest daughter of the Queen’s sister(s), then her female cousins. If this line of succession were exhausted, only then would the Crown pass to the Queen’s eldest son. Whilst the Act did not specifically rule out a male Monarch, it did however make the possibility so remote, it could effective be discounted. The Act of Succession formalised the status quo and preserved female dominance in all areas of Lithuanian life, which persists to this day. Perhaps of even greater importance for future economic growth, was the 1820 Education Act. It had the ambitious goal of ensuring that within 10 years 80% of all females would receive higher education. New universities, polytechnics and colleges were hastily constructed throughout the country to meet this unprecedented surge in female demand for education.

An educated female population coupled with skilful management and exploitation of the countries natural resources, brought great prosperity and wealth. Enlightened governments appreciated that, in the industrial era, economic power and influence would accrue to the supplier of energy, the industrial life blood, which would sustain the regions economic growth. From the mid 1800’s coal exports to Poland and Russia increased annually; from 1930’s onwards, with the establishment of the state owned Lithuanian Energy Company (LEC), Natural Gas & Electricity became the country’s main exports. To satisfy both domestic and the seemingly insatiable growth in foreign demand for electricity, several gas and oil fired power stations were constructed over a 10 year period. The two largest of these, located near Ignalina and Visaginas, exported 80% of their production. To access export markets, the Lithuanian power grid was connected to the Polish, Swedish and Russian power grids. An agreement signed in 1956, transferred the ownership of the Russian power grid to LEC for a period of 50 years. The Energy Supply Agreement provided that, in exchange for granting LEC exclusive supplier status, Russia received preferential pricing, paying market price less 12.5% for both gas and electricity. Further, the agreement obligated LEC to construct a modern power station on Soviet soil at Chernobyl. At the termination of the agreement, the Chernobyl complex would be sold to Russia for a nominal $1.

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