“In 1989, in one of the more unique business deals in the history of consumerism, Pepsi and the Soviet Union struck a deal for the communist country to provide the soft drink provider with $3 billion worth of warships: 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer.” – Mark Stenberg, Business Insider
The Aleutian Islands hang like soda bubbles on a meniscus, straddling the Bering Strait and North Pacific. Skylines burst from them like foam from overshaken bottles.
The PepsiCorporate Republic was sold to the world as a buffer between two superpowers: the United States and a Soviet Union which – in a turn of events as startling as that first taste of Pepsi’s fine, refreshing flavour – had overcome impending collapse to stretch languidly from Siberia to Normandy.
As candidates went, PepsiCo and its paramilitary division was more than okay. With a fleet sailing the E150d-dark seas, they could defend whatever shores were handed to them.
Contemporaries saw the Republic as an ostentatious vassal to the States’ suzerain, nothing more than Cocacolonization: flying the red, white, and blue. But it had a hand in its own creation.
With Cocacompetition at home and a lifeline of sales threatened by Soviet instability, PepsiCo put their fleet to use instead of selling it for scrap. To protect their bottom line, they kept the Cold War from going flat.
PepsiCo knew how to play the superpowers against one another, how to keep them in balance, their motives clear as Crystal Pepsi. An unclaimed offshore strike could ramp tensions, a well-placed rumour crumple them like empty cans.
Information poured out their spies like soda from a spigot, sold to whomever would profit. After all, if you’re between two superpowers, you’re at the centre of the world.
And so the Republic sits at the centre of a world they manufactured, global leader in soft drinks and soft power, Cola Wars won.
Revenge is like a tall glass of Pepsi: best served cold.