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An Empire Divided: Chapter 2


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An Empire Divided
Chapter 2, Part 1

"The Hot Road Ahead"

The dust was a serpent. It's body slithered across the rural savannah roads, its form created out of the red and yellow dust tossed out from the hundreds of wheels from the numerous military vehicles part of the mechanised infantry. The convoy was almost entirely land rovers, ranging from lightly armoured rovers to larger armoured beasts imported from Fulgistan, to the behemoths near the back of the line stuffed with infantry. Atop almost all of the vehicles were small flags of Metztlitlaca, waving to anyone who may see them. It was a bright blistering afternoon, the start of the monsoon still weeks away, and Metztlitlaca and Sitallo were at war. The war began only 9 days ago, It took three days for the first village within Sitallo to fall. Six days later the 30th village had been put under Metztlican occupation. The Wītzilōtxtli Battalion for the past seven days had been travelling across the northern territories of Maliano, largely opposed and only ever stopped at nearby villages for water or to meet the local rulers to discuss the terms for their village to surrender. Metztlican officers were hesitant to send out a mechanised battalion by itself, but when the environment is more hostile, more willing to kill, then its inhabitants, the choice to use a smaller but faster army proved far more useful.

Tewila sat in the back of one of the many personnel carrier trucks, the only noise came from the ground below crunching against the wheels and the occasional cough from one of the fifteen other men and women in the back with her. The heat from outside leaked into the back, combined with the breaths and body heat of her comrades left the whole experience uncomfortably hot for even the most durable soldiers. She had seen the truck from the outside and without any previous knowledge, one could easily mistake the carrier as a rich farmer's vehicle. In truth it probably was to some extent, cheaper to use the same frames and designs for other vehicles designed to go off-road in the scalding savannah.

"Water?" Another soldier offered Tewila. She turned her head and immediately recognised the other as Dureau, although most just called him Dūl, holding out a flask and a friendly smile.

"Thanks.." Tewila turned her attention to the flask, it was rectangular – common for the army – but its design was peculiar. It was almost entirely baby blue with a white diagonal line and a black horizontal line wrapping around. It took her a couple seconds to realise it was the flag of Galahinda. ".. Real patriotic, huh?" Tewila smirked raising an eye brow as she shook the half-full flash in her hand, the water sloshing back and forth inside garnering the attention of several other soldiers. "It's chill, far from home. I gotcha"
Dūl's face flushed pink turning away from Tewila as she took a sip from the flask. It was lukewarm and slightly salty but even that was gloriously refreshing compared to the alternative of sitting tight.

Her eyes trained themselves on Dūl; half Galahindan half Tapelt, She never understood why he'd ever give up the life of endless partying and debauchery to come to shit hole one, especially if it meant he would've chanced being drafted into the military. His face was angular with a long head, unlike her squished and rounded face, though both had similar dark brown hair. His complexion was arguably indistinguishable from most of the interracial people in the country, though he did retain the green eyes common with so-called "pure" Azlo people.
His accent was light, which was shocking. Almost every Galahindan tourist she Tewila had ever dealt with.. well most never spoke her native tongue outside of a heavily accented “Moīxpantzinco” or “Nipohpolwiā“. But those that did always spoke with a heavy accent.
..Still, it was better than being stuffed in the back of a truck going from village to village packed with firearms and artillery like a Rhodellian road trip.
"Tewila!. Did you.. finish the.. water?" Dūl asked, his tone flustered and hesitant. Tewila looked down to see she had completely emptied out the flask down her throat. Now it was her turn to go red.
"Oh. We'll get more at the next village.". She tried to be blasé about the situation, pushing the flask onto Dūl's chest, but she quickly looked away from the Galahindan, betraying her attempts to act cool, towards one of the transparent plastic 'windows' between two half-awake men. The landscape beyond the plastic sheet was homogenous; the same red cracked dirt, the same succulent planets, the same dust tossed up by vehicles in the front making it hard to see beyond a couple tens of metres out.

Galahindans, Seylosians, Rhodellians, Hinterlanders, being a tour guide in the next city over to Kaseka she had seen her fair share of people. Which probably made her more tolerant than the average Metztlican – much more than your average Tapelt or Popolocon at least. Probably why Dūl was only ever talking to her.
"We're twenty miles from the next village – look alive people!" a man shouted from the vehicle in front, barely audible to them over the tens of engines roaring and shaking. The two men in front of her suddenly snapped upright, all the soldiers began to murmur and hastily gripped their rifles to their chest, eyes staring forward. Tewila did the same, her face tensing into a poker face. She glimpsed a sign past the window – Zacanopicpac
They sat in silence, awaiting orders. Suddenly the vehicle jolted to a stop, their driver trudging on the harsh ground around to the back of the truck to speak to the sixteen soldiers.
"Village has sent their surrender over radio – we're free to buy water."
The soldiers stared blankly at the man.
We’ll stop for an hour, stretch our legs, and continue to the next village.
Half the soldiers in the truck groaned, the other half relieved. The driver left, going back to the front and the convoy continued down the road.

This is bullsh*t.” One of the Atencan men mumbled, crossing his arms and allowing his rifle to slip to the floor. “A week. A f*cking WEEK.” He yelled out in exasperation just as the truck jolted upwards, passing over a pot hole. “And NOTHING.
Tewila opened her mouth but no words came out, the heat was clawing its way into her brain, tiring her down. So instead she shut her mouth again with a sigh. Her eyes scanned over everyone else, who seemingly had given up in trying to talk. The man’s outrage was just met with more sighs and muttering, his friend beside him elbowing him.
This isn’t even a f*ckin’ war. It’s a camping trip. And none of us can afford a sh*tty phone to take pictures with!

C’mon man.” Dūl began, taking the attention of the ranting Atencan, “We’re too tired for this sh*t.”. The soldier’s eyes squinted.
“Tired? TIRED? What have we even been doing that makes you TIRED?
Tewila watched the confrontation, the man’s exasperated yelling and Dūls attempts to stay cool, making sure to avoid contact with either parties involved.
You’re the Galahindan right?” The man began, causing Dūl to swish his eyes from one side to another – Tewila making sure to look away as he looked towards her.
Half- Yeah?
Dont’cha call people ‘dolls’?. Well listen here ‘doll’, you’re no longer in some penthouse suite in Cascadia who gets tired after eating their twelfth f*ckin’..-I don’t know!. This is the real wurld, where real men and women fight! So stand down ‘doll’ and shut the f*ck up.!” The soldier hissed back, Dūl sinking down in his seat in response.

The carrier went silent. Tewila shifted, her brain wanted to speak, to say something, but her throat betrayed her and sealed shut. Her tongue and mouth remaining still. Eventually she gave up and settled her head on the back of her chair, attempting to sleep through the awkwardness. She didn’t see Dūl’s face or reaction. And to be frank she didn’t want to, the heat made things bad enough.
So much for being honourable to friends rang in her mind. She scrunched her face in response and pushed the voice in her head aside.
Eventually her tiredness overtook the gross heat of the truck and the prickling pain from the sun baring down through a nearby plastic window, succumbing to her sleep - even if it was just for half an hour.

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"Let us through!" A man shouted. The crowd surged forward against the line of Kasekan Militia at the border crossing. Their bare fists slammed against the riot shields the troops carried. The line of militia went back for a moment, then surged forward pushing the crowd back.

"Please do not attempt to cross the border. The border is closed to further crossings without a valid visa. Those whom have immediate familial relation to those who have already crossed can be processed and rejoined with their families, any others will not be admitted." A blaring intercom rang out over the chaotic scene. It continued to play out over and over again even though the crowds continued to ignore it.

Brigadier Tecuetlaza was near the chaos, directing his small contingent of militia across the hot spots that appeared across the border. What he had predicted had come true, riots had broken out all across the border as desperate individuals trying to make their way to the vastly more prosperous Kaseka we finally denied their entrance. Sadly though it needed to be done. No matter how much leeway Seylos gave when it came to humanitarian matters, they couldn't willfully reduce the quality of life or even endanger the people who were already inside the border, citizen or not. They had taken more refugees than customary, but even with the brilliant use of paid refugee labor to build a sustainable settlement, the thousands flowing in were simply too much. The war in Ceris had drained much of the humanitarian funding, and the simple reality was that Kaseka just was not big enough in land area to accept more people.

At the moment, there had been no response from Metzlitlacan border units in a request for assistance. In fact the Seylosians and Kasekans had been shocked at the complete lack of response from Metzlitlaca over the sheer quantity of people crossing their territory to try and make their fortunes in Kaseka. For many in the Kasekan political establishment it had felt like nor more than some political ploy to cast Seylos in a bad light. Help the refugees and incorporate them into Kaseka, it could be spun as stealing the people of Mesothallasa. Turn them away and it could be spun as a new heartless Seylos allowing the suffering of displaced people. Of course for most countries this really wouldn't mean much, but for the Seylosians, of which their reputation relied upon their humanitarian goodwill to set them apart from the other nations of Eurth, it could prove problematic. Still however, they held the moral high ground when no other country was willing to happily accept so many displaced.

The situation at the border though was deteriorating, with more and more conflicts with the Kasekan Militia happening daily.


FROM: Mahuizoh Maclver, Governor of Kaseka

TO: The Government of @Metztlitlaca

The Government of Kaseka, and the Foreign Ministry of Seylos come to you in hopes of some sort of agreement that can help assuage the suffering the of people of the Kesekan/Metzlitlacan border. Kaseka can no longer support the sheer quantity of refugees coming through from Sitallo to Kaseka through Metlzitlacan borders. Kaseka has already taken fifty thousand refugees into the territory, which is more than ten percent of the population of the city already present. Still however tens of thousands are trying to cross the borders in hopes of trying to make their way to Kaseka, something we can no longer afford to do. We have seen little action from your military forces to help control this and ask directly for their assistance to control the numbers trying to make their way into the city.

Kaseka and Seylos wish only to cooperate in peace with Metzlitlaca and hope your government can come to use with a solution soon before the situation spirals out of control.


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  • 2 weeks later...

An Empire Divided
Chapter 2, Part 2


This document has been authorised by the Standing Committee and the Temple of the Warriors to be sent privately to the Kasekan Government and the Foreign Ministry of @Seylos.

Dear Maclver,
We apologise for the slowing of responses to the current refugee crisis, and that our slowness has resulted in unnecessary strain on resources for the Government of Kaseka and the Foreign Ministry of Seylos.

We would like to begin by acknowledging and thank your people and your city for opening your borders to the supposed fifty thousand refugees at the border. However we cannot currently afford to position our military near the Kasekan border to prevent further stress due to the current conflict between ourselves the Sitallan regime. Our resources are being allocated to the western front to ensure a swift and decisive victory over General Maliano and President General Tario over eastern Sitallo.

You must understand that we are doing what we believe is right to end this refugee crisis, by eradicating the issue from the roots we hope to show the Generals of Sitallo that what they are doing is barbaric and foolish, to reopen negotiations for both Kasekan and Metztlican benefit and end the refugee crisis from where it begins.

We suspect this war will only continue for another two weeks before the Generals of Tonato, Palisi, and Len agree to an unconditional surrender following the fall of President General Tario and General Maliano. If your city can maintain it’s current situation for that long, we promise to aid in the extraction of refugees back to their homes where we will have begun reconstruction if necessary. Until then, we will provide a small Border Force on the Kasekan border to aid Kasekan border officials in crowd management and the providing of temporary shelter.

Kwājauh Kh.

. . .


From: Mictlan_Tonato@SitalloGov.co.sl
To: Fayo_Maliano@SitalloGov.co.sl

Dear General Maliano,
It is clear that the situation between yourself and the government of Metztlitlaca has deteriorated significantly in the past weeks. Our own intelligence agency has estimated you only have 2 weeks until catastrophe.

However, the end of your Governorate does not mean you must be captured by the barbaric Metztlicans to be put on a kangaroo court. We are offering you safe passage from Wastepan to the city of Saqalli to aid in our growing defences along the Grosse River.

My extraction team will arrive on East-Central Street at 23:00 tomorrow night.

Good luck,
Mictlan Tario

. . .

Wītzilōtxtli Battalion Weekly Report #3

Report Issued: 7th of October
Reporter: Zan Elimiqīni, 1st Coordinator of the Wītzilōtxtli Battalion
Location: Camotlanacaztlan, North-East Sitallo
Note: The Wītzilōtxtli Battalion has proven itself to be of significant value to the current war effort, albeit its achievements cannot be said to have been ‘difficult’. All requests for promotions by/for Zan Elimiqīni are to not be sent to higher-ups.


Since the start of the war 24 days ago, we have taken 8 villages, all of which surrendered peacefully to allow our great men and women to rest and restock supplies. The only known incident was a group of annoying children throwing rocks at one of the Battalion’s coordinators and calling him a barbarian, typical Sitallan behaviour. Their mothers pulled them away one we told the village’s authorities. No wonder their children are so rebellious and uneducated they only have one mother and one father, not enough eyes to keep an eye on them and to whip them into shape. I pity them.

The most recent village, Camotlanacaztlan, warned us that the next village over to the south-west, Qalānqiapan, are more hostile towards Metztlicans, that visitors from the village have called our invasion of liberation a ‘barbaric horde’. Whether or not the Camotlanacaztlanians are just using us in hopes of gunning down a rival village or they actually are aggressive, I am making sure my men and women are prepared and armed for potential conflict as all good Coordinators do. Not that I haven’t been doing that already, but ensuring all Lieutenant Coordinators are doing so as well.

I hope this report finds you well,
Zan Elimiqīni, 1st Coordinator of the Wītzilōtxtli Battalion

Edited by Metztlitlaca (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

An Empire Divided
Chapter 2, Part 3

                    The Capital Paper (13th October 2021)
"War Against Sitallo 'Continues Ahead'."
"Refugees Continue Protests."


War Against Sitallo 'Continues Ahead'.
For the last 29 days, Metztlitlaca and Sitallo have been at official war over severe Human Rights violations with the discovery of Religious Prison Camps operated by Sitallo in attempts to forcefully convert Wecatoc families to Christianity in a cruel twist of irony for the faith that spouses to loving your neighbour. So far the Eastern Front has been dominated by Metztlican Battalions with minimal rural opposition.

The territories controlled by General Palisi and Lieutenant General Tonato have in an official statement from San Patrizia been declared separate from and unwilling to give aid to the territories of General President Tario and General Maliano. This has been celebrated by the government in Altepetl Tekaken with channels for negotiation between the two parties already being established and the Archpriestess supposedly remarking that the war is to "continue ahead" until peace arrangements are agreed upon by both sides. News has also come from Sitallo that General Tonato has occupied the capital of Sita ti Fitoria.

Figure 1. Publicised Widescale View of Mesothalassa in relation to the ongoing Sitallo-Metztlican war.
Division placement is approximate and non-precise. Figure provided by the Teopan of Warriors.

General Maliano has not been seen since the start of the war, his lack of presence at the capital reported by Tonato's army nor in the city of Osiy Wits suggests he may have fled his territory south or west. Until Maliano's whereabouts are known, the war is likely to continue uninterrupted.

The growth of protestors and militia groups in the coastal provinces of General President Tario has resulted in new efforts to combat Tario's influence in the region and around the city of Wastepan. The Teopan of Warriors hopes to establish new forms of communication with the militia groups to begin coordinate offensives further into eastern Sitallo.

Refugees Continue Protests in Cities
Despite joint-condemnation by the cities of Sacalli, Citxepan, and Itzapan, refugees from Sitallo have continued to stage unlicensed protests within the cities without setting up a date before hand with the local city councils. Leaders of the protests, largely manned by the Free Sitallo Group, demands Metztlitlaca cease war in eastern Sitallo and enter negotiations with Maliano and Tario for more peaceful resolutions to the conflict. Many refugees part of the Free Sitallo Group perceive Metztlican involvement in eastern Sitallo as overly aggressive and doing more damage than good.

Archpriestess Xōtxiyōtletzintli released a statement earlier this morning on her thoughts on the protests.
'This [the protests] has simply been a wave. And like all waves this will crash and dissolve into foam once the displaced Sitallans realise what we are doing for them. We are liberated their home from tyrants and oppressors, to give them safe passage back to their lives before the coup in 2015. I understand their pain and anguish, to see your homeland in flames and ruled by those who wish to see you dead, but now is not the time for division, but for unity. If we work together, Sitallo can be made safe for religious tolerance."

Due to privacy laws, photos of the protests cannot be shown.

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