Richard Parker

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President
Richard James Parker
President of the Federation of Asteria
President Parker in February, 1934
President of the Federation of Asteria
In office
January 20, 1928 – January 20, 1936
DeputyJonah Burke
Preceded byJackson West
Eaglen Senator
In office
May 1, 1920 – May 1, 1927
Preceded byLawrence Douglass
Succeeded byAlbert Fexon
Personal details
Born Richard James Parker
January 17th, 1890
Freeminster, Federation
Died May 18th, 1936
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Janice Parker
Children Randy
Paul
Residence 1600 Libermennia Ave NW, Columbia, 20500
Alma mater University of Freeminster
Religion Solarian Catholicism

Richard James Parker was the President of the Federation of Asteria from 1928 to 1936, leading the nation through the Kylaris, and securing its place as a global power. A Veteran of the Asterian Civil War, Parker would go on to serve in Eaglen Senate before ultimately running for President and winning in 1928. While he ran on a platform of neutrality, the pressure from the Democratic Alliance pushed Parker to begin selling arms and supplies to them, and in the summer of 1928, to send troops to Glytter to occupy the country on behalf of Estmere. Following the Battle of Glytter, the Federation declared war on Fascist Gaullica, and would go on to drive the "Fascist Entente" from Badawiya, then invading Caesene via Operation Citadel, and pushing Gaullican armies from Werania and Estmere during the Scarlet Offensive, which would lead to the surrender of Gaullica. Richard Parker was killed on May 18th, 1936, by a National Functionalist sympathizer named Randy Horton. Today, President Parker holds many nicknames, including "Liberty's Fist and the "Builder and Destroyer of Empires".

Early Life

Born on January 17th, 1890 to a poor family of farmers in central Freeman, Richard James Parker was the oldest of 7, which meant that he had to learn the value of hard work and responsibility from a very early age. His father, who was the son of a veteran of the Roessan-Asterian War (1840-1847), had been a farmer all his life, and expected his son to do the same. While young Richard worked tirelessly for his family on the farm, personal memoirs consistently state that he did not want to spent his entire life being a farmer. "There is so much more to this world than the confines of this wooden fence. I wish to see it!" Richard would, but not in the way that be had expected. In 1904, when Richard was just 14 years old, the Asterian Civil War erupted. His home state, Freeman, was torn apart as different provinces pledged allegiance to different sides-- his deciding to become a part of the infant "Confederation of Independent States." Richard's family hardly expected this "civil war" to reach their small farm, but it did, and it was devastating. Richard would write about the experience during his Presidency:

"I remember hearing the rumbling in the distance, echoing over the fields, and seeing smoke bellow up towards the sky. It was a thick, black smoke-- not a neighbor's bonfire, certainly. It must've been twenty minutes before we could hear gunfire, and watched hundreds of men crest a hill less than a mile from our homestead-- running towards us. My father ordered my mother, along with my younger brothers and sisters inside, while he grabbed two shotguns, and handed me one. 'Don't shoot this unless they intent to hurt our family, son' he said to me, kneeling down and putting his hand upon my shoulder. 'I love you Richard' he said.

While Richard and his family had been unaware of it at the time, the Federal Army had launched their Fall Offensive in an effort to capture Antona and legitimize the Separatist cause. Tens of thousands of Federal soldiers marched through Freeman, confronted by Separatist militia and regulars, and the Parker family farm in the countryside became a battleground between militia from the nearby town of Orvell, and Federalist troops. Separatist militiamen took refuge in his house and would engage the Federalists, leading to the home being hit with waves of bullets and numerous artillery shells that would kill his parents and three sisters. Separatist militiamen would retreat, taking the three boys with them to Fort Bradsworth.

Time in the Separatist Army

Richard Parker, pictured in 1905, wearing his CIS uniform

At just 14 years old, Richard and his brothers retreated to Fort Bradsworth, where the newly-formed "Grand Army of the Confederation" was preparing to withstand a Federal attack. When the Federation began their artillery bombardment of the fort, firing over 5,000 shells at the CIS forces inside, Richard in his brothers took refuge in the underground tunnels, where they would remain until the bombardment ended. When the Federalists began their attack, Richard was ordered to the surface to help the wounded. Despite having no medical experience other than cleaning up the occasional scrape from the farm, Richard was thrown into the fort's hospital to assist the doctors with the wounded, while the battle raged outside. "I came to the realization that this was a real war, and this was the result--horrific death and suffering." Richard wrote in a memoir. "I remember praying that night that the fighting ended quickly-- I prayed to God that the rest of Asteria wouldn't have to see what I saw that day."

The Federalist attack on Fort Bradsworth, and their Fall Offensive overall, was a failure. Richard and his brothers were conscripted into the Separatist Army due to their "orphan status", and as a result, would be sent to different places across the front. Richard would not see either of his brothers for two decades. Richard was sent to southern Freeman, where he would serve as a "runner" for the Separatists-- an extremely dangerous job that was ideal for younger and smaller soldiers. He would carry messages between units, often times over miles, and usually during battle. The average lifespan for runners in the Separatist Army was two weeks, so Richard rarely bothered learning the names of other runners, simply expecting them to be killed within a few days. Richard wrote in a memoir that he eventually became "numb" to the unending slaughter in the trenches, and hardly gave a second thought when he witnessed men fall in battle.

In May of 1905, when Richard was just 15 years old, the Federalists would launch the First Freeman Campaign, driving the Separatist forces back from the front. Richard was sent with Separatist troops to assault Federal positions north of the city of Tenner, an attack that failed miserably. He was one of the few men that made it back to Separatist lines, only to come under attack by the Federalists and yet again be driven back. The exhausted, war-torn Separatists were in full retreat, finally stopping at the city of Brentsworth, where they planned to make a stand against the Federal Army. It was another slaughter, and the CIS forces retreat yet again, only this time, Richard was not with them. He wrote about his experience: "Men were dropping to my left and right, and as I looked up - letting my head crest above the edge of the trench - all I could see were hordes of Federalists advancing. A tremendous sting struck the side of my head, and I fell back holding the spot in which I was struck-- certain I'd be dead in moments. Blood poured down the side of my face, and I scrambled backward through the trenches. I remember tripping and falling sideways into a foxhole, looking up to see soldiers running past me in terror. They paid no mind to me, they left me to die. I closed my eyes and covered my face, and when I opened them, a Federalist soldier was looking down at me with his rifle aimed towards my chest. When he realized that I was just a child, the look in his eyes changed from battle-induced rage to... humanity, I suppose. He lowered his rifle. 'You're... just a kid' he said, kneeling down. 'The hell are you doing here?' I didn't respond-- I didn't have the courage to."

The Federalists sent the 15-year-old to Marais, where he would be placed in an orphanage in the capital of Dixon, effectively ending his forced service in the Separatist army. In a personal memoir, where he described many of his experiences with the Separatists, he stated that Those times were, by far, the worst of my life. I cannot possibly fathom what sort of justification could warrant forcing a child to fight that kind of a war. Desperation, perhaps, but what man could send a mere boy off to almost certain death? I swore to myself that I would return to the battlefield and do my part to ensure that I could be to other children what that Federal soldier outside of Brentsworth was to me: a liberator.

Life in the Orphanage

A 15-year-old orphan who'd seen the horrors of the war firsthand, young Parker quickly came to hate the orphanage that he was placed in. He recalled that the staff was nice, but the home was overcrowded with children who were displaced and lost their parents to the war, and when other children learned of how he'd been forced to serve with the Separatists, they branded him a traitor and tormented him. He often had food stolen, his bedsheets soaked in urine, and there were a number of occasions where he was beaten by other children at the home. The day he turned 17, Parker packed up his belongings and walked down to a recruitment station in Dixon, and enlisted in the Federal Army.

Military Service

Richard Parker officially enlisted in the Federal Army on January 17th, 1907. He was sent to Fort Kelter, located in southern Marais, for basic training, which lasted a mere four weeks. In mid-February, he was sent to northern Freeman. The Federalists and Separatists had maintained a cease-fire since October of 1905, but both sides had rapidly been reinforcing the Front in recent months, and it quickly became apparent that the war would soon kick off again. It did, in early May, when the CIS launched their May Offensive. The three-front offensive, consisting of an approximate total of 315,000 Separatist soldiers, targeted Federal lines in northern Freeman, southern Freeman, and southern Yankton. Their goal was to assault Federal positions around Lake Juniper from the north and south - while attacking in southern Freeman to divert the Federalists' resources - in order to drive the Federalists back, secure Lake Juniper, and drive their lines back far enough to force Jackson to seek a diplomatic solution. In northern Freeman, where Parker was deployed to, almost two million artillery shells were dropped on him and his men for roughly six days continuously. Parker recalled that he could tell almost exactly where artillery would land based on the pitch of its screech.

After laying in a mud ditch for six days, only surviving by taking canteens from nearby corpses, the bombardment ended. Shortly after, some 125,000 Separatist soldiers would leave their trenches and attack in northern Freeman. Parker, in a memoir, described the scene: "We heard the whistles blow, no more than five minutes after the shelling stopped. Hungry, sore, parched, and tired, I stumbled out of the dirt hole which had been my home for the last six days, and all I saw was devastation. Our trenches were torn apart, and offered very little defense. The few men that stumbled out of the dirt and mud were pale and visibly far skinnier-- like walking corpses. Many of the soldiers took one look at the marching rebels and ran - more than I'd care to admit - but there were many of us who grabbed our weapons and prepared to meet the charge. Machine guns, rifles, they fired walls of bullets against the rebels, but for every line that fell, it seemed that two more came to replace them. It was hardly any time at all before we had to retreat. There was no choice."

Political Career

Opinions Both Home and Abroad

Personal Life

Quotes

  • "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

- February 6th, 1928 on Economic Reform

  • "We choose to do these things not because they're easy but because they're hard"

- June 1932 on Operation Citadel

  • "We're gonna smack the stink right off of those Gauls!"

- June 6th, 1934 as the Scarlet Offensive began in Euclea

  • '"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of Liberty"

- January 29th, 1929 during Federation's Declaration of War on the Fascist Entente

  • '"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of Liberty"

- January 29th, 1929 during Federation's Declaration of War on the Fascist Entente

  • "Give everything you can to those who gave everything they could for us"

- September 10th, 1936 on veterans of the Great War