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Punta Del, Isla de San Jacinto

Wednesday, 12 September 1973

The cool evening breeze blankets the landscape. The island is a popular tourist destination for those who wish to avoid the densely packed Villasol. The sunset is contrasted by the silhouette of a plane. As it flies overhead, the Imperial Dynasty’s coat of arms can be seen on its fuselage: An emu on a red shield.  A car pulls up to Villa Pacífica, a sugar plantation just outside Venado Delgada. Out steps Santiago Guerrero, CEO of GRAZYM, the nation's largest sugar conglomerate. He is welcomed by guards at the entrance, and enters the villa. As he ascends the stairs, he can hear faint chatter. The chatter turns to arguing. He turns left and walks to the end of the dimly lit hallway. The doors are all mahogany. He reaches the end of the hall, and the words being thrown can be discerned.

“Damn it, Huerta! That bill was supposed to die before it was voted on!” one man shrieked.

“I am not at fault for the Emperor's unexpected surge in popularity within my party, Pacal,” responded the other, calmly. 

Concerned with what he hears, Guerrero opens the door. The air was filled with the strong stench of tobacco. There are several men and women in the room. Most are guards and servants, and are completely silent. Two of the men sitting at the well adorned table are engaged in a heated discussion. One is Ignacio Temoc Huerta-Alvarez, President of PARCON (Partido Conservador), a stout, overweight man wearing a dove gray suit and smoking a cigar. The other is K’inichi Pacal, clothed in robes crafted from various expensive textiles, who is a noble from the Province of Itlan Oxoktik, a large, mostly rural province in the northwestern portion of the Empire.

“One deputy! One simple deputy! Am I supposed to believe you can’t control a single contrarian representative?!”

He walks over to the third man sitting at the table, donning the Imperial Cults distinctive clothing, Quetzl Diaz Jaramillo, High Priest of the Imperial Cult, the state religion of Ymutz-Mizlan. “Hello, old friend,” whispered Guerrero. “I was wondering when you would get here,” responded Diaz. “These two have been bickering since I got here.” Guerrero’s eyes darted around the room. “Where is Tizoc?” “We don't know,” replied Diaz. “He has made a habit of not being punctual. We decided that it would be best if we began without him present.” Guerrero signalled to the guards and servants to leave, and  turned to the two men arguing.

“Gentlemen,” interjected Guerrero, “am I interrupting?”

“No,” replied Huerta. “Pacal is just relaying his disappointment on the Emperor’s newest policy proposal.” Huerta hands Guerrero a cigar. “The land redistribution bill?” asked Guerrero. “The Bill on Limiting, Penalizing, and Compensating of Peonage Abuse was supposed to have been killed when sent to the Commission on the Economy. Instead, by Imperial Decree it was sent to his little pet project, the Commission on Labor,” replied Huerta. “That less than legal stunt was only allowed because the Courts sided with his decision. We have a stranglehold in the Comd. Eco, but none of our party is in the Comd. Lab. It passed there, and was sent to be voted on by parliament. No issue, we can force a tie. But one delegate, one out of line delegate. Our fragile hold on the parliament was shattered and the bill passed. Pacal is upset about it.”

“Starting 1974, the Ministry of Justice can order the nobility and aristocracy to give up parcels of land to be set aside for peons who have been ‘victims of excessive debt’ since 1940,” exclaimed Pacal. “Not even a month into his reign, and he pushes through land redistribution by a fluke. And do you know who these supposed ‘victims’  that will receive this land are? Criminals!” “Who are these criminals, exactly?” asked Guerrero. “Trespassers! Peasants that quit working for me and refuse to leave my land.”

“You mean peons that don't leave your property quickly enough?” remarked Diaz. “Their contracts expire, and you give them unreasonable deadlines to leave. They either vacate without their belongings, or they are charged with trespassing, at which point they are fined, you swoop in and offer to pay their fines in exchange for renewing their contracts, and the cycle repeats.” “When you put it like that, you sound like our dear Emperor,”  sneered Pacal. Diaz glared at him. “Are you still fuming after he snubbed you from his advisory council?” 

“He’s just bitter about losing his cushy government salary,” joked Huerta. “He filled my role with someone much less experienced and indifferent to the decadence rampant in the cities.” “And fewer tithes”  “You’re only able to win elections because of your lip service to the Imperial Cult. If you weren't so vocally against secularization, then the agrarian population would all flock to PARLIB and PARSOC” responded Diaz. “He has also taken to calling my acquisitions of GROXAZ a move towards monopolization,” complained Guerrero. “I am starting to believe the emperor is in league with the socialists.”

“My brother is many things. A socialist is not one of them.”

The men all turned to the door. Tizoc, brother of Emperor Cuauhtémoc. He was flanked on both sides by Imperial Palace Guards, both clad in scarlet coats and tan pants.

“I see you’ve decided to join us, Tizoc,” said Guerrero. “There were matters in the capital that I had to attend to. The Ministry of War and Ministry of Security are fuming at Cuauhtémoc since he offered MOLIKI a ceasefire,” explained Tizoc. “I assume he disagreed with Terrazas’s plan to mine the Tlamanisemiak Reserve,” stated Guerrero. 

“That lot? They have a habit of crossing onto my estates, looting and then retreating into the Tlamanisemiak where my guards can't follow,” groaned Pacal. 

“His actions threaten to leave this empire in ruin, and since the parliamentary system is too weak to shut down his misguided policies,” he glances at Huerta, “drastic action is needed to prevent Ymutztlaclan-Mizlanuzco from crumbling from within.” “What are you suggesting, Tizoc?” asked Diaz.  Tizoc hesitates for a moment, responding,  “That remains to be seen. I have attempted to convince him to reverse his more precarious decisions, but he has been resolute in his refusal.” “After the blunder that was the opposition to the Peonage Bill, parliament has proven itself to be incapable of standing against your brother, I propose that he should step down,” suggested Pacal. “And if he does not?” asked Guerrero.

The room fell silent. While Diaz was the functional head of the Imperial Cult, the emperor was its symbolic head, and is considered to be a holy figure by many of the Ymutz. 

Tizoc sighed. “I have been in contact with Marshall Terrazas. There has reportedly been a sentiment floating around that the Imperial Army should force my brother to step down since he ascended to the throne. He would be apprehended, and either forced.to abdicate, or be killed.” “We cannot simply kill the emperor!” Diaz objected. “As much as his policy is harming the empire, he is still revered by many! If he were so much as threatened, it would lead to unrest not seen since 1733!” “Then we can’t let it be known what happened. We will also need a strong figure that can hold the state together. Tizoc, are you capable of keeping the empire together in the event that Cuauhtémoc were eliminated?” asked Guerrero. 

Tizoc paused for a moment, before replying, “Yes.” “Very well then,” responded Guerrero, “anything more is best left unsaid. We shall remain in contact and further discuss an appropriate course of action at a later date.”

Edited by Ymutz Mizlan
Altering some names to better fit in charecter. (see edit history)
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