Most of the world feared the robots that Björkman created. Iceland was different. A nation nearly entirely made up of robots who had defected from Björkman's Empire, Iceland was the symbol of peace in an otherwise violent world. Before the robots arrived in late 2012 there were only 100,000 people living in Iceland. Now there was close to 500,000. Björkman had made his robots obedient but he couldn't control them completely. There were those who, dismayed at Björkman's commands to kill other sentient life forms, deserted the Empire Army, and their new home was Iceland. The existence of Iceland as a home to many robots strengthened the other countries position against the Björkman Empire. Having friendly robots who could be their allies would help in the eventual battle against Björkman's robots. And, having no real army of their own, Iceland needed all the protection they could get. Björkman himself had tried to break up the small nation many times, but all attempts had failed. Until today. Hordes of Björkman's robots were flying towards the tiny island nation. Björkman had scheduled a nuclear attack to take place in Iceland. Robots covered the island, they were everywhere. When the bomb hit, no one knew what to do, but, for those who had survived, what can after was even worse. The occupation of Iceland was brutal.
Björkman pulled the Icelandic president out of his building and shot him in broad daylight, making sure it was broadcast on all the major Icelandic channels. He wanted to make it clear that he was the ruler of Iceland now.
--Two weeks later--
Iceland had been destroyed. After the invasion by Sweden, Icelandic people lived in a state of constant and total fear. The sheer terror that you would be murdered lead to many Icelandics attempting to flee the country, but the robots were waiting for them, waiting in their boats to shoot and destroy the ships. There was no way out. The planes weren't flying, and they couldn't swim away from Iceland, although some people tried. The Swedes were also letting no items on ships get to the Icelandics through their strict naval blockade. The blockade of Iceland was killing even more people than the random murder sprees conducted almost daily by Björkman's robots. At this time there were only 60 thousand Icelandics along with the 400,000 robots... but they feared there would soon be none left.
And still, the Icelandic national final was ongoing. People outside of Iceland could barely believe that it was still happening. To the rest of the world, it made no sense. To many Icelandics, it made no sense either. Iceland were choosing a song for the Eurovision Song Contest, even after everything that had happened. They sat there in the green room, those who had qualified to the Icelandic national final, Söngvakeppnin. They were the lucky ones, no one knew where the people who hadn't qualified where. A search party was sent out but to no avail. The Icelandic media reported that it was most likely that they had perished in their houses when a Swedish plane flew over and dropped a nuclear warhead onto the once peaceful city of Reykjavik. Dust and ash spread across the land. Eyþór looked out of the window. The country was in a dreadful state. Sweden had declared war on Iceland and no other country had intervened for fear of a nuclear attack from Sweden. The Icelandic people understood very quickly that other countries were willing to have Iceland be the sacrificial lamb, destroyed instead of them. Appeals to the international community for help had been completely ignored. The world was willing to appease Björkman by letting him bomb Iceland into oblivion. The Icelandic people soon realised that they had been abandoned.
It was the final of Söngvakeppnin, an event still being held in Iceland despite the slaughter going on around them. For many people it was an escape from the carnage of the war and for the first time in the history of the event, they had a full house. People from all over Iceland had come to the stadium to see who would be getting sent to Björkman's Empire for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
Eyþór looked out of the window.
"I can't believe what our country has become," Eyþór muttered to himself. Eyþór was a defected robot himself, having left Sweden after Björkman demanded the robots shoot the political dissidents he had locked in prison.
Jógvan shivered. He was from the Faroe Islands and the Swedes dealt with them the most brutally of all. Another resident of the Faroe Islands had recently captured and tortured a Swedish soldier to death, the Swedes then issued a decree stating that all residents of the Faroe Islands, if caught, must be dealt with in exactly the same way. In the weeks after the killings, the Swedish army went on mass killing sprees throughout the islands, killing many innocent civilians.
"It's alright, Jógvan," Stefanía whispered, "We won't let them get you. We're going to be alright."
But she herself didn't even believe it.
"You know that's not true," Jógvan said sadly, "We are all doomed here this night."
"Don't you say things like that," Eyþór said, "I'll get us all out of Iceland somehow, I promise."
"You would say that," Haraldur muttered, "You're one of them, aren't you?"
Eyþór stopped. He didn't know how to respond to that. There were so many things he wanted to say, about how he was one of the good ones, about how he was against Christer Björkman and his dictatorship. How all robots weren't the same. But in the end, he just said nothing.
Eyþór couldn't believe it. He had won. Iceland had voted for him to represent them in the Eurovision Song Contest. And that also meant he might have a chance to take down the Swedish empire once and for all. He sat with the other entrants in the green room for a while. The show was over now, but he could still hear the audience cheering outside. Despite everything, they had come tonight. But suddenly, the cheering turned into screaming.
"No," Jógvan said, "No no no..."
Suddenly, they heard a banging on the door. They had already locked the door so that no one could get in. But now, the robots were here. They could hear the whirring of the motors, the unmistakable footsteps. It was them. Even know, they weren't prepared for what happened next. They heard the robots shooting indiscriminately into the audience, and then screaming from behind the door.
"They're killing them!" Eyþór yelled, "They're shooting the audience!"
The National Final had gone ahead because the Icelandic people wanted to get away from the war, but of course, Björkman had brought the war to them.
"Open this door now!" a robotic voice yelled, bashing on the door.
"Don't open it!" Jógvan screamed.
"Go away!" Eyþór yelled to the robot.
But the robot kept banging, and soon, the door came off the frame. Now, it was there in the room with them. Swedish soldiers surrounded the robot. This was an invasion. And it wasn't over. It had only just begun.
"I've got to teach you not to be so defiant," the robot laughed, "You shouldn't keep us out, you'll only be making it worse for yourself."
The soldier grabbed Birgitta, pulling her close to him, and laughed, showing her his gun.
"Wha-what do you want with me?" Birgitta whimpered.
"You're going to be an example to everyone else here," the robot sneered, grabbing her by the hair.
And with that he aimed the gun at the back of her head. Birgitta pleaded with him not to fire. The Icelandics were terribly frightened. The soldiers seemed to be finding this very funny indeed.
"Now listen here Icelandic scum," the soldier laughed, "You're all going to come and kiss the Swedish flag and you're going to like it!"
"Ok," said Haraldur Reynisson, "Just please don't hurt us."
The robot merely laughed at that and pulled out a Swedish flag.
"Now kiss it, you filthy animals."
Eyþór stood up, and walked over to the robot, now face to face with him. He stomped upon the Swedish flag that lay on the floor.
"I don't take orders from Björkman anyore and I won't let you destroy my country like this," Eyþór yelled, "I am a robot too and I say no! Someone needs to stand up to you!"
The robot responded by punching Eyþór, knocking him to the floor, and then taking aim.
"Eyþór!" Magni yelled, "No no no Swedish robot, please don't shoot him, he's very sorry."
"You wanna disrespect Sweden as well, eh? Do ya? Do ya?" the Swedish robot screamed as he kicked Magni as well.
Many of them were crying now, this was a disaster.
Unnur yelled at Eyþór.
"Why couldn't you just kiss the flag?!" yelled Unnur Eggertsdóttir, "Why couldn't you!"
"I know why," said Svavar, "Because he never would have let us go either way. The robots don't let Icelandics go, they just shoot us on sight."
"What?!" Hreindís cried, "Please no Svavar, we have to try! Please have mercy Swedish robot!"
The robot just laughed. A cold, metallic, steely laugh that Icelandics had grew to fear.
"Stop this," Magni said, "Please stop it."
"Just shut up already," the robot said as he aimed and fired at Magni, who screamed and fell backwards.
"No!" Eyþór yelled, before glowing a bright light. He shot a laser beam at the robot that illuminated the whole room. At that, the robot flew off, and the Swedish soldiers ran away too, leaving the Söngvakeppnin finalists alone in the room. The others were lucky that Eyþór was a robot too. He was the only one who had at least a small chance of fighting back against this.
Magni sat up.
"Did the robot... did the blast... hit you?" Eyþór said but he already knew the answer.
Magni shook his head.
"No, I don't think so," he replied. Of course not. If that beam had hit him then he wouldn't be awake to be talking about it.
They stood there in silence for a while, listening to the sounds outside. Gunshots, yelling. After a few minutes, it went quiet. Now they had a decision to make. After some debate, the finalists decided to leave the arena and go outside. Some thought it would be safer to stay in the building, but others knew better. That robot had probably flew back to report them and come back with even more robots. They didn't want to be alone, so they all left together.
Even now, the state of Iceland shocked them. Destroyed buildings were everywhere, brick and glass scattered across the land. Piles of rubble were on the floor, tangled with destroyed robots who had been killed for 'betraying Björkmans' Empire', laying among others who were dying, crying out for someone to help them. Robots stood around them, stopping anyone from helping. Eyþór wanted to run out to them, to help them, but he would only end up joining them if he did that.
The entrants continued walking through the streets. For now, the robots seemed to be leaving them alone. It seemed that most of them were too preoccupied with looting now to attack them.
They all walked to the dock, and couldn't believe what was waiting for them. It was the semi-finalists of Söngvakeppnin, they hadn't been seen since the attack on Iceland, but here they were. They explained that they had been taken hostage by the Swedish government, and had now been released for some mysterious reason. Eyþór figured it was because Björkman enjoyed the Eurovision Song Contest, although that hadn't stopped him from threatening people before.
Yohanna grinned as the finalists walked over to them.
"Wow, I thought you guys were," Eyþór struggled to finish that sentence, "Well, you know... we're glad to have you back."
"Exactly. Nobody dies today," Magni smiled, "Not today. We've won."
Eyþór appreciated the sentiment, but Magni needed a reality check.
"Lots of people died today, Magni," Eyþór said, "Nobody who entered Söngvakeppnin did, that's all."
Svavar wanted to change the subject.
"But why did he let you guys go?" Svavar said, "He's not exactly known for his mercy."
"It's because Björkman wants to keep Iceland in the contest," Yohanna explained, "Even though he owns us now."
Owns. That was a hell of a word. They were property of Sweden now.
"Ok, his robots also shot at the audience of Söngvakeppnin though?" Eyþór said.
"Supposedly he didn't mean to," Yohanna said, "But the robots just did it anyway."
"Obviously that's a lie," Eyþór said, "Of course he wanted this. He wanted to smash Iceland, he's always wanted it."
That was true. No country annoyed Björkman like Iceland did. Iceland had accepted the robots who had defected, and for that, he would make them pay. With other countries, he would play with them a little, but with Iceland, it was entirely serious. With Iceland, Björkman didn't hold back at all. With Iceland, Christer Björkman showed what he could really do. How he could really destroy a country. What could happen to you if you stood in his way.
Some of them thought about leaving Iceland, but there was truly no way out. And so the Söngvakeppnin entrants went home, but there was nothing to celebrate apart from the fact they had somehow gotten out of that situation safely. They all knew this situation would get worse. Björkman's Empire were much harder on Iceland than they were on any other country.
Björkman's Empire put out a statement to the EBU saying that although he hadn't meant for his robots to shoot the audience at Söngvakeppnin, he would not take any blame and in fact blamed Iceland for 'standing against Sweden' in the first place. Sweden had been spreading propaganda against Iceland for months. Even if he hadn't ordered it, even if he hadn't told them to do it, he was still responsible. And Eyþór would be sure that when he met the dictator in May, that he would hold him to account.