Stories from Huenya

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Xiomera
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Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:17 am

(This thread is a continuation of the Xiomeran Chronicles thread, providing behind-the-scenes stories and one-off RP not part of an ongoing RP event. It will provide stories from both Xiomera and Huenya, along with Manauia Island and the Netlcoātl Islands. Although technically not part of Huenya, stories from Milintica may also be posted here as they are related.)

December 9th
Chuaztlapoc


The day after the final battle at Zapotlán, the feeling of most people in Chuaztlapoc was one of overwhelming relief. The Imperial counterattack had been stopped, and the talks to come at Jinyu promised a potential end to the civil war.

While most people were relieved, Cozamalotl was not one of them.

The Huenyan Assembly was having a session to discuss what their stance would be at the Jinyu talks when Cozamalotl walked into the room, Cuetzhual and Natcahuacu in tow. The opposition leader calmly waited as the Assembly members recognized him. "We weren't expecting you, Cozamalotl," Yauhmi said, seeming surprised. "Has something happened?"

"He's gone mad, is what has happened," Cuetzhual snapped. The younger opposition leader looked at Cozamalotl with something akin to exasperation. "He's come here to tell you something, and you need to talk some sense into him!"

Cozamalotl sighed, looking at Yauhmi. "He thinks I've gone mad, but I am quite sane, I assure you."

"That's good to hear, but could you please explain what this is about? We are in the middle of planning for the peace talks," Yauhmi said. Cozamalotl nodded, turning back to the Assembly. "I intend to return to Xiomera to participate in Calhualyana's elections."

Yauhmi looked at Cozamalotl as if he had sprouted a second head. "If you truly don't wish to live any longer, Cozamalotl, there are easier and far less painful ways to commit suicide," she said finally.

Cuetzhual shook his head. "Listen to Yauhmi, you will literally be committing suicide if you return to challenge Calhualyana. The 'elections' she is holding are a sham, just a way for her to cement her power. They will not be real elections; you won't be able to stop her being 'approved' by the referendum she is holding. She will be 'approved' as Empress, and then she will come after you. It is madness for you to return."

"I must agree, Cozamalotl. It is extremely naive for you to embark on this plan," Natcahuacu said. The opposition leader looked at Yauhmi and the other Assembly members. "You cannot let him return."

"We can't stop him from going if he wants to - we're not about to hold him prisoner even to save him," Yauhmi retorted. "I do appreciate that, given that wasn't always the case," Cozamalotl replied dryly. Yauhmi snorted slightly at the remark. "We don't do that.....well. not anymore," she said. "But why do you want to go back? It's surely a futile gesture."

"I do not believe it is. Of course the elections are a sham. Of course I will lose. But someone has to try. Everyone seems to think the fight is over now - even all of you," Cozamalotl said, looking at the Assembly. "It may be over here, but it is not over in Xiomera. People there still deserve freedom, and they need someone to fight for it for them. I will register an opposition political party in her elections, and will argue against her fake referendums on behalf of the Xiomeran people. I will be the opponent that the remaining opposition in Xiomera needs to rally around and fight what Calhualyana is trying to do. She wants to build a system that perpetuates the Xiomeran Empire forever. I can't stand by and watch that happen."

"But you're needed here, to help ensure that democracy becomes a reality in Huenya and that these people live up to their promises - no offense," Natcahuacu said, looking at the Assembly members. "None taken, we do need minding, especially some of us," Sirua, the Itotemoc leader, said with a grin. Yauhmi sighed at the remark, looking up at the ceiling.

"Am I really needed here? There are younger opposition leaders here, who can do what I do. In fact, I would argue that it is time for me to let them do that, and get out of the way," Cozamalotl told Natcahuacu. "You and Cuetzhual are both excellent examples of that, and I trust you to make sure that the promises being made by the leaders of Huenya will in fact be kept. But again, Xiomera deserves the same chance. And Calhualyana can't simply be allowed to push her plans through unopposed. If she accomplishes her vision, Huenya will remain forever divided, Xiomerans will remain oppressed, and the Xiomeran Empire will continue to exist like a dark cancer on the edge of Caxcana. I must do what I can to prevent that. As the most prominent member of the former opposition, before the coup, I am the only one that can rally what is left of the opposition in Xiomera. And if worst comes to worst....I am more expendable, frankly, than the rest of our leadership here. You all have many years ahead of you, Natcahuacu. Myself, not so much." Cozamalotl smiled. "It is really the only logical course of action, at least in this highly illogical situation."

Before Cuetzhual and Natcahuacu could object further, Cozamalotl turned back to the Assembly. "I am leaving today for the border, and hopefully they will actually let me in."

Yauhmi shook her head. "I suppose we cannot convince you otherwise. We will do what we can to help you in your efforts from here, but once you're back in Xiomera....if Calhualyana decides to punish you, we may not be able to save you." Cozamalotl simply nodded, already having accepted that fact. "Good luck, and keep us aware of events if you can," Yauhmi said.

As Cozamalotl turned to leave with the other opposition leaders, another voice spoke. "I thought you were a typical politician, all words and no actions. You're far braver than I realized," Huacue, the Necatli leader, said in what constituted high praise from a Necatli. "I wish you luck. Will you at least let us send some bodyguards with you?"

Cozamalotl thanked Huacue, but declined. "If things don't go well for me, a few bodyguards won't save me, and I don't intend to drag anyone else down with me. Whatever fate has in store for me, I will face it alone."

---

Several hours later
Saclamantón


The customs and border security checkpoint at the main ferry terminal in Saclamantón was busy, even with the civil war barely being on pause. In fact, it was even more busy than usual, between Xiomerans unhappy with the new "Huenyan" government heading east to return to Xiomera proper and Xiomerans unhappy with the old Xiomeran government fleeing west to leave Xiomera for Huenya. But even in the crush of traffic, the arrival of one of Xiomera's most prominent opposition figures back from exile was guaranteed to attract attention.

As a few reporters gathered at the checkpoint, Cozamalotl calmly presented his Xiomeran passport and identity documents to the guards. The guards, clearly not expecting him, hastily called their superiors. As the clock ticked, each person called kicked it further up the chain of command, not wanting to be the one responsible for approving Cozamalotl's return. Finally, the phone rang at the Office of the Golden Chamber. The Attendant transferred the call to the Empress. Calhualyana listened in silence as the situation was explained. After a moment, she chuckled softly. "Let him in. Yes, let him in. Don't arrest him. Let him travel freely and do whatever he likes. But have him watched, and document everything he does all the way down to whenever he takes a crap and for how long. ASI must not miss a single thing he does. And report his actions to me on a regular basis."

The Empress hung up the phone with another soft chuckle. Oh, Cozamalotl. If you really want to hang yourself, I'm more than happy to give you as much rope as you want. I will bury you in rope, if that's what you desire. And then.....I will yank the noose shut.

---

December 10th
Tlālacuetztla


The very next day after arriving back in Xiomera, Cozamalotl arrived at the offices of the Imperial Electoral Commission with a small army of opposition members in tow. Walking into the lobby, he walked up to one of the guards. "We are here to register on behalf of the Unification Party for the upcoming elections."

The guard seemed highly surprised that anyone had shown up to do so; the Xiomeran Citizens’ Party, the party widely seen as being a loyalist party for the Empress, had been the only one so far to actually do so. Another slew of phone calls commenced, before Cozamalotl was led to a nearby office to complete a set of registration documents and pay a sizeable registration fee.

With that, the Unification Party was born. Its platform was simple: end the Xiomeran Empire, unify with the rest of Huenya, and implement a democratic state. While the platform itself was simple, Cozamalotl was by no means blind as to how difficult achieving it would actually be. "This is the first step in a long journey. We don't know how long or hard it will be, or when we will get there. But for our people, we will take those steps," he told his followers outside the Electoral Commission.

As he spoke, there were already several ASI operatives scattered through the crowd, keeping track of things.
Last edited by Xiomera on Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Lauchenoiria » Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:02 pm

(Jointly written with Xiomera)

The Cauhloc, Xiomera
10th December 2020, 5:17am

Mariya Adema, personal torturer for the Xiomeran Empress, practically ran into the deserted office and scrambled to pick up a phone. She still had some blood on her top, not her own, and she'd left various instruments of torture strewn along the corridor in her haste to get to a phone. She picked up the handset and quickly dialled the Attendant of the Office of the Golden Chamber, heedless of the hour.

The Attendant had been sleeping, but woke when the phone rang stridently. Her apartment at the Palace of Flowers was directly connected to the Golden Chamber. She was expected to answer any calls or business for the Empress at any and every hour. She picked up the phone, doing her best to sound awake and coherent. “This is the Attendant to the Empress. Please state the reason for your call,” she said, wishing yet again that she got overtime pay.

"This is Mariya Adema," Mariya said slowly, in her imperfect Huenyan. "I must speak with the Empress. It is very important." She wished, not for the first time, that her command of the language was better so she needn't concentrate on every single word.

Even with the imperfect at best Huenyan, the Attendant knew who Mariya was. She also knew it would be unwise to delay her call, even at the equally unwise chance of angering Calhualyana. She quickly placed the call through, giving the Empress a brief explanation when she answered.

Calhualyana listened in silence, irritably gesturing to the man who had been sharing her bed to leave the room. Once he was gone, the Empress sighed. “Mariya, as much as I enjoy speaking with you, this had better be damned important.”

"It's Tlālzixiuhxa. The Aurora. She's finally talking. And you need to hear what she's got to say for herself. I'd think she was lying, if I didn't know when I'd broken a person. She's being truthful," Mariya spoke English, knowing the Empress would understand and losing the patience for working out how to pronounce the words in Huenyan.

”I will come and hear what she has to say,” Calhualyana finally said, already out of bed and walking to her bathing and dressing chambers. “I am guessing this will be worth my early morning effort.”

*

About forty-five minutes later, the Empress had arrived at the Cauhloc and descended to the interrogation levels. “Alright, Mariya, what is so important that I had to come here before the sun was even up?”

Mariya led the Empress to Tlālzixiuhxa's cell, and signalled for the man who stood there to unlock the door. Inside, the Aurora was chained to the wall, covered in bruises and sitting next to a pile of blood that hadn't quite finished drying in.

"Repeat to the Empress what you told me," Mariya commanded. "Or I will repeat what we did this morning."

"NO!" the Aurora half-yelled, half-croaked, shaking. She looked up, at Calhualyana, though her eyes were struggling to focus. "Yauhmi doesn't know! She doesn't know... but you'll know. You'll know and you'll be happy and you'll stop, yes? You'll stop her?" Tlālzixiuhxa glanced at Mariya then looked pleadingly back at the Empress.

Calhualyana decided that a routine of good-agent, bad-agent was in order. “If you are truthful with me and tell me everything you know, Tlalzixiūhxa, I will make sure your suffering ends. All you need to do is talk to me.”

"I work for Councillor Robinson," the Aurora blurted. "Well, I mean, we all work for the Council, right? But Robinson isn't part of the Council, not really. Wasn't, not isn't. Well she was but she wasn't, y'know? Not the current Robinson, Carmen, that one, she was a kid, teenager, involved kinda but not really. Sarah, Sarah Robinson, Councillor in the war. The civil war, the Kerlian civil war."

She was speaking fast, too fast, tripping over her words in her hurry to get out what she needed to say. "But Robinson, she was recruiting Auroras, ever since she was young, her mother's death, her mother's murder, yes. She was recruiting Auroras right from under the nose of the Pierres! There's many of us, I know who they are, yes I know who they are. Not who they were, who they are. Where they are, their names. Their use-names. I can tell you them, I didn't tell Yauhmi them, I didn't tell her."

Tlālzixiuhxa started coughing, her throat dry, but continued, her volume lowered. "We weren't on the Council's side. In the war, no we weren't," she laughed. "We gave information to DKS. Robinson worked with them! If they knew, if they knew they'd kill them all. All the Robinsons, the children and the babies too. She told me, not Sarah, the new one, the kid, Carmen. She told me... they saved them. The DKS people. The ones supposedly executed in 2003. They're hiding... hiding. In Zongongia and Eiria. Waiting, waiting, waiting... never being called."

"She wants to start the civil war again, you know," the Aurora whispered, leaning forward as far as the restraints would allow. "Robinson. She wants to destroy the Council, not reform it, destroy it. Just to get revenge, yes, revenge, on Pierre for the death of her grandmother. And we Auroras, she used us, double agents, triple agents, I don't know. She used us..." Tlālzixiuhxa began to laugh and sob at the same time.

Calhualyana stood in silence, stunned. If this information became known to the Council, or became public.....

The Empress smiled slowly. “Provide us their names and where they are. And then I will keep my promise.”

"Veronica Penners, Lauchenoiria... not still there, went home she did. Made a deal with Alvarez, Alvarez doesn't know, Pierre doesn't know, Robinson does... divided loyalties, that one. Gemma... Whitney Seet... she died in Zamastan. Explosion, running away, killed herself to avoid capture. Smart one, smart Gemma. Bin Zhi, Fern... vanished. Nobody heard from her. Riley Nelson, Eiria, a prisoner there now. Xing Yawen, assigned to Laeral, went back to the Matriarchy when the evacuation order came. Alyssa Robinson, was in Lauchenoiria, now home. And Samantha Collinsgate, home too. So few... so few. Robinson didn't want people to get suspicious, no she didn't."

Tlālzixiuhxa closed her eyes and swayed from side to side as if drunk, humming a little to herself. "It corrupted us... many of us failed, they went to failure prison. Hmm yes, failure prison. Casey, Trina, Kristen, Georgina, Janey... May be free now, may not, Kerlile didn't tell me."

Mariya leaned closer to the Empress to fill in the gaps. "The concept of 'failure prison' has come up multiple times. It appears Auroras who fail certain examinations are imprisoned somewhere on their training complex, for life. Usually as children. Apologies for her behaviour, she is on several substances to aid in interrogation."

Calhualyana nodded distractedly, clearly not caring about the odd behavior Tlalzixiūhxa was exhibiting nor how it was caused. “You will attest to everything you know about this subterfuge and these Auroras that the Robinsons recruited, both in writing and on video. After, of course, you are fed and cleaned up. See to it at once,” Calhualyana said to one of the guards. “Truly, Mariya, I am displeased with how you have treated this prisoner. We will discuss this further once we are alone,” the Empress said in a severe tone as Tlalzixiūhxa was helped up by the guards. With her face turned away from the Aurora so she could not see, however, the Empress winked at Mariya.

"Failure prison," Tlalzixiūhxa muttered to herself as the guards unlocked the chains keeping her attached to the wall. "We all end up there in the end... failures."

Mariya leant back against the wall, looking pleased with herself as the guards led Tlalzixiūhxa away to mop up some of the blood stains and give her less tattered clothing. Mariya herself hadn't bothered to remove Tlalzixiūhxa's blood from her clothes, but she enjoyed the way it frightened people.

"She didn't tell Yauhmi," murmured Mariya to the Empress once the Aurora was out of earshot. "Not as loyal to her little saviour as she claimed to be. The Council, Robinson, Yauhmi... all that one can do is betray and betray. How do you plan to use this information?"

”I plan to hold onto it for now,” the Empress replied. “Kerlile is cooperating with me right now, but if the time should come when they stop being cooperative, or if a change in leadership is needed....this is very useful information indeed. I shall have to arrange for ASI to begin monitoring the location and whereabouts of the double agents that Tlalzixiūhxa revealed.” Calhualyana smirked. “Undoubtedly she will now see me as her savior, rescuing her from the torture. We do make an excellent team that way. I’ll have to keep that gambit in mind in the future. Your work, as always, was excellent. I didn’t think we could break an Aurora, to be honest.”

"Everyone breaks eventually," Mariya replied. "The question is whether or not they do so before their mind is so addled they no longer have the mental capacity to tell you anything. The only escapes are death or insanity. Auroras fear the latter, and I would not permit Tlalzixiūhxa the former. What do you plan to do with her now?"

”We shall keep her in custody for now, in case any other useful information can be obtained from her. Or, if nothing else, she is needed as living proof of her claims if I decide the Kerlian Council needs re-arranging,” Calhualyana laughed. “I hate to reward your fine work with more work, but you’ll soon be quite busy. I assume you saw the briefings about Cozamalotl returning to lead the ‘opposition’?”

Mariya barely flinched at the talk of rearranging the Council. It was not her country any more, it was nothing to do with her. "I did, and frankly I'm concerned that he already lacks the mental capacity to make sensible decisions," she snorted. "There are less painful ways to commit suicide; no Kerlian dissident ever returned voluntarily before the grubby reformists got their mitts on the Council. I would recommend you make an example of him, prove your strength, Empress."

”I agree with you. But first, I will use him as a tool to show how much support we truly have. And then, once he has served his purpose, I shall let you and ASI deal with him and his followers. Interrogating them should help us track down even more malcontents. Cozamalotl will draw many of those who oppose me out into the open, which will make the task of cutting them out of the herd so much easier.” The Empress smiled. “I assume you’re up to the task.”

"Of course, Empress," Mariya replied, smiling sinisterly. She was going to enjoy this very much. Coming to Xiomera had been the best decision she ever made.

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:45 pm

Jinyu, Laeral

Back in her hotel room, Yauhmi turned the piece of paper that she had been given by Councillor Pierre over and over in her hand. She wasn't sure what the unexpected and secretive message would bring her. She wasn't sure, given everything that was already taking place, that she could handle a new development. Eventually, with a sigh, she opened the letter and read it.
Dear Yauhmi,

We are a collective of former Kerlian intelligence agents, part of the Aurora Programme. We desire to free one of our number, who is presently detained by Calhualyana. We write to request assistance, as we fear our mission will fail without outside help. The Aurora we wish to free is known to you, your former spokeswoman Tlalzixiūhxa. If you are willing to meet with us, contact the number on the enclosed business card.

Daisy, Eleanor, Fern, Lauren, Renee, Norma, Naomi, Nicole, Nora.
Tlalzixiūhxa. Yauhmi sighed again, but not in trepidation. She had greatly regretted the loss of her spokeswoman, and had tried to find out what had happened to her once she had been captured by Xiomeran authorities, but to no avail. But, apparently, this mysterious group of Auroras knew where their fellow Aurora was. After a moment, she went into the sitting room and told Texōccoatl to come into her room. After he had closed the door behind him, she wordlessly handed him the letter. He read it through as well, before letting out a slight sigh of his own and plopping down into an armchair. "Breaking someone out of ASI custody will be risky. They will either be holding her in the Cauhloc or at one of the ASI black sites somewhere. Hopefully these Auroras know where Tlalzixiūhxa is actually being held. If it's the Cauhloc...."

".....if it's the Cauhloc, and we don't help them, those Auroras will be walking into a suicide mission, no matter how good they are," Yauhmi finished the sentence in a flat tone.

"I already know you want to help them, and I agree, we should. Is this something we should run by the Assembly?" Texōccoatl asked.

"No," Yauhmi said after a moment. "To be blunt, they might well say no. That is not a risk I want to take."

"If the operation fails, the Assembly will be furious with us both. Even if it succeeds, they will not appreciate not being told," Texōccoatl retorted, but with a smile on his face.

"Then we had best make sure it succeeds, and then it will be much easier to seek forgiveness for not having asked permission," Yauhmi replied firmly. "So. Get in touch with Tlanexchel and have him begin putting a team together to help the Auroras, and as much current intelligence as we can get on the Cauhloc and security arrangements in Tlālacuetztla." Texōccoatl nodded, still smiling, already taking out his phone to make the call.

After he had departed, Yauhmi took out her own phone, and dialed the number on the enclosed card to make a phone call of her own.

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:25 am

On the campaign trail

Huitzitaca

Xayactochtli, the candidate for Prime Minister from the Imperial Glory Party, glared. At the crowd in front of him, at the cameras broadcasting his speech, at everything.

He was a very angry man. And he wasn't afraid to show it.

"We are led by fools and cowards!" he shouted, slamming his fist down on the podium. "First Yauhmi, a weak old woman with a bleeding heart who cared more about how much a bunch of foreigners and domestic traitors loved her than she did about the Empire! Then Xochiuhue, a lunatic murder machine with the competence of pond scum! Now Calhualyana, who cravenly seeks permission to give away half of our Empire and prostrates both herself and our Empire before the foreigners in Jinyu! Truly, she is the worst of all - she wants to just give away half of our Empire, which she did nothing to earn us, so she can have a shameful peace and plant her pretty behind on the Obsidian Throne without further work!"

Xayactochtli shook his head. "We will not have it! We didn't fight to build a great Empire over all of Huenya, Manauia Island and the Netlcoātl Islands, just so it can be given away for a coward's peace! What the hell did our ancestors fight and work for, if we're just going to lay on our backs and let the rabble of the west and the foreign devils take it from us without a fight?"

"I say this, and will say it again and again, as often and as loudly as I need to for the message to finally get through to the coward living in the Palace of Flowers, the moronic incompetents who call themselves the General Staff of our military and shame the uniform I once wore, and the other idiot leaders in Tlālacuetztla: we will not accept this! Xiomera must fight to regain our entire Empire! If Yauhmi and the rabble want Huenya 'unified' so badly, let us give them their wish - under the boots of Imperial soldiers! Let us 'unify' Huenya under the great banner of the Xiomeran Empire, as it should be and as it was for centuries before the idiocy that befell us after Topilpopoca died! And if any foreigners object, they can find themselves under our boots as well! We haven't expanded in a very long time, and perhaps it's overdue! But, if nothing else, I will say this: the IGP and those that follow us will never accept a shameful peace or a servile surrendering of our Imperial lands. Xiomera must fight on, and burn down the world if need be, until either we win or until no one is left standing! A century of war to defend what is ours is better by far than a millenia of a shameful peace with us under the boots of the western rabble or the foreign devils!"

The crowd attending his rally, mostly older Xiomerans, veterans and a scattering of far-right activists, shouted in agreement.

---

Xochiatipan

The Plaza Henalca, in front of the Municipal Palace, was traditionally where large gatherings were held in Xochiatipan. It was also typically where the infrequent uprisings by the Xiomeran people began, as the scars the plaza bore from both 1977 and 2020 demonstrated. The largest single uprising in Xiomera proper against Yauhmi's overthrow had happened here, just six months prior. Cozamalotl and the Unification Party were hoping that they could resurrect their waning campaign in this city, the historic home of Xiomeran democracy movements.

Since the campaign had begun, the Unification Party had struggled to recapture the energy of the initial rebellion against Xochiuhue. Convincing people to rebel against a mad Emperor who was murdering people left and right, and driving the country to ruin, was one thing. Convincing them to continue rebelling, after eight grinding months of war, sanctions and economic collapse, was proving to be much harder after the mad Emperor was no longer around as a lightning rod for the people's anger.

The Xiomeran people, more than anything, wanted things to just go back to normal. They wanted the war to stop, and for the sanctions to end. They wanted to go back to work. They wanted money in their pockets, and food on their tables. The heady promises of reform and democracy from just eight months ago were wearing thin, in the face of the very real struggle Xiomera was facing. Calhualyana was promising a return to normalcy, and to prosperity. For a people unused to hardship, her appeal was proving to be very alluring.

It was facing this spirit that Cozamalotl and the Unification Party members running for Parliament seats arrived at the plaza. The first person to speak was Mixochitli, the UP-X candidate for the Imperial Parliament for the newly created Xochiatipan Province, District 1. When she began her speech, the relatively small group of UP-X activists and party members in attendance cheered for her. The great majority of the crowd, however, remained silent, occasionally giving her tepid applause. When she was done, it was time for Cozamalotl to give his own speech. He quickly walked up the steps to the podium, doing his best not to be disheartened by the disinterested, even sullen response the majority of the crowd had given Mixochitli.

"Citizens of Xochiatipan, you know who I am, so I won't waste your time with longwinded introductions," Cozamalotl began. "I am proud to be here, today, in Xochiatipan, the city that has always fought the hardest for democracy and freedom in Xiomera. The Unification Party is here, to continue that fight at your side..."

A voice echoed out from the crowd. "Where were you when your 'fight for democracy' brought soldiers down on our streets and our people? You were off hiding in Chuaztlapoc!"

Cozamalotl was slightly shaken, not expecting such outright hostility before he had even started his speech. Nevertheless, he continued. "To escape the coup, and Xochiuhue's thugs, such a step was necessary. But we are here now, and we will not abandon you..."

Another voice, angrier, shouted over Cozamalotl. "Yeah, like Yauhmi didn't abandon us, right? You're all full of crap! You start fights, and then run away and leave the people facing the anger of the government when things get too hot for you! And you want to run our country?"

Now thoroughly thrown off track, Cozamalotl tried to regroup. "We never abandoned the people or the fight for democracy here. Our presence here, now, is proof of that. We are the alternative to the tyranny disguised as democracy that Calhualyana is trying to impose on us all....under the Unification Party all of our people will have a voice, and we will begin laying the foundation for true freedom in Xiomera...."

"Bullshit!" another person shouted, her voice strident. "You're just another separatist like the bastards in the west! You don't want to save Xiomera, you want to destroy it!"

"That's not true!" Cozamalotl shouted, beginning to lose control of the situation. Before he could continue, some of the Unification Party members began arguing with others in the crowd. In the next instant, fistfights began to break out between the Unification Party members and others in the crowd. Cozamalotl desperately shouted for calm, and for the Unification Party members who were fighting to stop. But it was entirely too late.

Within seconds, Imperial Police began marching into the Plaza Henalca, slamming their batons against their shields. They moved to separate the Unification Party members from the crowd, forming a line between the two groups and not hesitating to use force on anyone refusing to break up their fighting. The rally degenerated into complete chaos, with angry people on one side threatening the Unification Party members if they didn't leave, and the UP-X members shouting their own threats and angry responses. Accusations of treason and corruption filled the air, mingling with the smoke from the tear gas canisters the Imperial Police were now discharging. Several Unification Party members quickly began escorting Cozamalotl and Mixochitli out of the Plaza for their own safety, as Cozamalotl turned back to look in complete disbelief.

The Plaza Henalca, the cradle of Xiomerans' fight for democracy, was filled with shouting people denouncing the very idea of democracy and threatening the people trying to bring it to them. "I don't understand," was all Cozamalotl could say as he was hustled to a waiting van for a harrowing ride out of the plaza.

---

Stadium of September 1850
Tlālacuetztla


In a backstage area of the stadium, Empress Calhualyana and Toquihu, the Xiomeran Citizens' Party candidate for Prime Minister, spoke via video call as the Empress was still in Jinyu for talks. "You certainly did a good job planting GCL, PYC and XSPA members in the crowd to rile up the people at the Unification Party rally," Calhualyana said approvingly.

Toquihu nodded respectfully to the Empress. "Thank you, your Majesty, but it was nothing. We've had a lot of experience in running these radical scum off our streets before. We'll do it again if we have to. But I think we've gotten things where they need to be. After that debacle in Xochiatipan, Cozamalotl is finished. Not that he ever had a chance, really."

Calhualyana simply smiled at that statement. "Let's finish him and his 'democrats' off, then, shall we?" she said. "It's time."

The massive national stadium of the Xiomeran Empire was filled to capacity - over 100,000 people had packed into the iconic structure to attend the XCP campaign rally. The stage, and the entire stadium, were decorated with massive Xiomeran flags, flags with the XCP party symbol and golden bunting. Images of Xiomera's most famous rulers lined the stadium walls - Quiauhticue, Patonal, Achcauhyotl, Camaxtica and Lōpoch. In a deliberately snide affront to Yauhmi, if she were somewhere watching, Topilpopoca's image was also mounted to the walls.

As the rally began, the XCP leaders, with Toquihu at their head, marched down the long aisle to the stage, escorted by Imperial soldiers in dress uniform, representing all of Xiomera's armed forces branches. Following them were members of the various Xiomeran "citizens' groups" - the Patriotic Youth Corps, the Xiomeran Students' Association, the Xiomeran Servicepersons and Protectors Association and the Good Citizens' League. They carried more Xiomeran flags and XCP banners with them as they made their way to the stage, to raucous cheering and applause, as the Imperial anthem played.

With the images of previous Xiomeran rulers, in noble poses, looming over the crowds, Toquihu waited patiently for the XCP candidates for parliamentary offices from Tlālacuetztla gave their speeches. It was his turn soon enough, and Toquihu strode confidently to the podium to more applause. "People of Xiomera! People of Tlālacuetztla! Thank you for your welcome! As the XCP candidate for Prime Minister, nothing warms my heart more than to see so many of our people here today cheering us on. Xiomera, today, faces threats and opposition from both foreign powers and domestic turncoats who want to shatter the Empire, and to destroy the hard work of our people for six centuries. They have already stolen half of our Empire from us," Toquihu said darkly, to angry shouting and booing from the crowd. "But we will not let them take any more from us! We are Xiomerans! We will uphold our way of life, and defend our Empire! Your strength and your pride, which you demonstrate so clearly here today, will see us through this chaos into a stronger and better future!"

As the crowd cheered, Toquihu continued. "We will defend our homeland. We will protect our borders and maintain our sovereignty. We will renew and re-invigorate our economy, and become even more prosperous than before. We will defend our culture, our heritage, and our way of life against domestic traitors and foreign manipulators alike, who think there is something wrong with being Xiomeran. They say that the Xiomeran Empire is wrong, and must come to an end, whether you want it to or not! Will you let them take our country away from us?"

The crowd began roaring angrily in denial. "Of course you won't! And neither will I, and neither will the XCP! Like you, we love Xiomera, and we will fight for it and see that the sacrifices of our ancestors over so many centuries are not in vain. Together with you, we will ensure Xiomera prevails, and not only that, but that our Empire is stronger and greater than ever!" Toquihu shouted, as the crowd roared even louder. "I am not the only one who will fight for you, either. Even as we speak, there is someone else who is ready to fight with you!"

Toquihu turned dramatically to the giant viewscreen behind him. In Jinyu, an XIN crew was ready to broadcast the Empress live. As the screen lit up, Toquihu shouted, "Ladies and gentlemen.....her Imperial Majesty Calhualyana, by the Mandate of Huītzilōpōchtli, Empress of Xiomera, Protector of the People of the Sun, Sovereign of the East!"

Normally, in public appearances, Calhualyana stuck to the smartly tailored professional-looking outfits of a head of state. That was not the case for this broadcast. The image filling the screen showed the Empress in full royal regalia, featherwork crown and all, with golden robes draped around her. A golden dagger and mācuahuitl were strapped to her waist. If a movie studio had tried to capture a perfect representative image of what a Xiomeran ruler looked like, they couldn't have surpassed the image of Calhualyana, staring confidently into the camera.

"Thank you for the introduction, Toquihu," Calhualyana said as the crowd cheered, surprised by her appearance. "While I wish I could be with all of you today, I am here in Laeral fighting for the future of our nation. Just as I work here to defend the Empire, Toquihu and the XCP are working at home to do the same. Together, we are fighting for all of you. For your children, and for our future. Xiomera has withstood everything the world can throw at it for over six hundred years. We will withstand this too, but only if we stick together and stick to what made us a great people and a great nation. If we do that, nothing can stop us. We will throw off the damage of a war and an insurrection we did not seek nor deserve. We will not only rebuild our economy, but we will build it even stronger. We will protect and defend the things that make us unique in all the world, we will defeat the plots of those who seek to undermine us both from within and from without, and we will show the world the true strength of the Xiomeran Empire! If we stand true to our values, and the things that made us who we are today, there is nothing Xiomera cannot accomplish, and nothing we cannot get past. But we need your help! I need your help and your support to save Xiomera and make it better than ever. Vote for the XCP candidates in your districts, and vote for Toquihu as Prime Minister! Together, we will save Xiomera, and we will show the world that this great nation we have built will stand for another six hundred years!"

Raising her hands in a triumphant pose, Calhualyana stared directly into the camera. "Long live the Empire!" she shouted.

The crowd began echoing the Empress, their anger and frustration at the last eight months finally pouring out in a roar that shook the stadium. As the chant "long live the Empire" echoed thunderously, Calhualyana and Toquihu both smiled.

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:13 am

Election Day, pt. 1

After the polls closed at 5:00pm Xiomeran time on January 1st, 2021, the Xiomeran Imperial Electoral Commission began counting the results. The first results were announced at 8:10pm. The following are screenshots from the IEC's official feed on Happytime Online, the Xiomeran microblogging and social networking platform.

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:52 am

Election Day, pt. 2

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:02 am

Election Day, pt. 3

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:18 am

Election Day, pt. 4

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:32 am

Election Day, pt. 5

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:43 am

Election Day, the wrap-up

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:47 am

Election Day - the aftermath

Xiomera

In Xiomera, most people were celebrating the results of the elections. Empress Calhualyana was one of them.

Having found herself too excited about the results to sit around in Jinyu twiddling her thumbs, she had summoned the Imperial jet to take her back to Tlālacuetztla to join in the fun. She could easily return to Jinyu in time for the talks once the party was done; having the Imperial Air Force as available to her as a ridesharing car or a taxi was to a normal citizen was just one of the perks of being an Empress.

As she sipped champagne with Toquihu and the other revelers, and looked out from the Palace over the Tlālacuetztla skyline, Calhualyana found herself reinvigorated. I gave the people a chance to make their voices heard, and they have spoken. I am truly Empress now, and Xiomera follows my vision. With the XCP behind me, and with the mandate of the people, nothing will stop me now. Yauhmi's spell over us is broken. And with her final fall, the Empire will rise. Xiomera is mine, and the future is ours.

As Calhualyana partied and took selfies with her fans, the majority of Xiomerans shared her sentiment. But not all did.

In the Tlālacuetztla neighborhoods of Zipacpepe and Italman, in the city of Xochiatipan, and on Cenotillo Island, many of the people were not pleased with the election results. And they made their displeasure known. These were the closest things to strongholds the Unification Party, and the diminished Xiomeran opposition, had left. What started as peaceful protests ended in fire and smoke, as those Xiomerans who weren't content with their country choosing to slide into tyranny made their last outcry on election night. The Imperial Police and the local police, as they always did in Xiomera, quickly and effectively suppressed the protests. Nothing could be allowed to spoil the party, after all.

In another part of Tlālacuetztla, Xayactochtli and the IGP, along with their followers, bitterly ruminated about the severe loss they had been handed. The defeat had simply proven to them that elections were a waste of time, and that the people needed to be led rather than allowed to lead themselves. Watching Calhualyana celebrate her victory online and on television, they nursed their wounds. Calhualyana may have thought the election meant everything was over. They did not agree.

Huenya

In Huenya, the election results were greeted with a mixture of surprise and disgust. For Huenyans who weren't Xiomeran, it served as validation of all their beliefs about Xiomerans "from east" - namely, Xiomera proper. Some Huenyans (the overly optimistic ones) had actually hoped that the Xiomerans would vote against Calhualyana's plans. The more realistic Huenyans, who had hoped that the vote would at least be close, and thus an affirmation of their belief that Xiomerans would embrace Huenya if given the chance, found those hopes crushed.

For Huenyans who were Xiomeran, it was as if their own family had betrayed them. In some cases, it was literally families staring at each other across a growing divide. Many western Xiomerans, having long shared lives and land with the other people of Huenya, didn't share the beliefs of their eastern counterparts. The western Xiomerans (with the exception of those who had, or were, moving "back east") had also genuinely believed that somehow, Xiomera would redeem itself.

Now, after the election, the growing anger and disdain in Xiomera for the rest of Huenya was beginning to be matched by an equally growing disgust and anger among Huenyans of all ethnicities for Xiomera. Xiomeran Huenyans, in particular, were looking at their kin and seeing people who had just voted away their first real chance at freedom after six centuries - out of spite and fear of change. Disgust was, perhaps, a mild word to describe their opinion on that matter.

Three of these new Xiomeran Huenyans, in particular, found themselves at a loss.

In Zapotlán, as he presided over the ruins of a once thriving city and watched to make sure no further attacks on Huenya occurred, General Tlanexchel found himself incandescent with rage. We sacrificed lives, blood, treasure....an entire damned city. And for what? Calhualyana is what they want? Tyranny is what they love? If that's what it means to be Xiomeran, I am ashamed to be Xiomeran for the first time in my life.

As their General brooded, the Xiomerans who had sided with Huenya, lined up on the front lines, shared his sentiment. Any lingering ties they might have had to the Xiomeran Empire were severed, once and for all, on Election Day.

In Jinyu, Yauhmi and Texōccoatl watched the results with dismay. Texōccoatl found himself disgusted and angry, much like Tlanexchel, and much for the same reasons. What the hell is wrong with them? Texōccoatl thought, not understanding his own people for the first time in his life.

After a moment, Yauhmi asked to be left alone in a drained voice. Out of respect, everyone left the room, even Texōccoatl.

Once she was alone, Yauhmi closed her eyes. Tears began to run down her face. She finally faced what she had tried to ignore. She would probably die in Chuaztlapoc, never getting the chance to return to Xiomera or see her home once more. She would never get to see her husband's grave, or visit the places she loved, again. Her own people had rejected her. No matter what happened in Jinyu, she had lost Xiomera - possibly forever. And Xiomera would be locked away behind a golden curtain, held in place by an iron fist, with no freedom for its people.

I'm sorry, Topilpopoca. I failed.

She was thousands of miles away from home, in Laeral. But even when she returned to Huenya, she wouldn't be any closer to home.

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Re: Stories from Huenya

Post by Xiomera » Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:11 am

January 9th
IGP Party Headquarters, Tlālacuetztla


After their massive defeat in the Xiomeran elections, the members of the Imperial Glory Party were convinced once more of what they had, in fact, believed all along. Elections, at least ones that they could lose, were for fools.

Xayactochtli and the other IGP leaders had certain contacts in the Imperial military. They decided to utilize them.

January 10th
Tlehuaxpantl Imperial Army Base
10 miles outside Tlālacuetztla
3:15 am


The 4th Brigade, of the 1st Capital Division of the Imperial Army, was under the command of Brigadier General Chelapan. When Chelapan received the call from Xayactochtli, he had already been prepared. Within the hour, his brigade was on the move, headed to the capital. Their orders were simple: take the Prime Minister and his cabinet prisoner, secure control of the important buildings in the capital, and declare that Calhualyana was deposed and that Xayactochtli was now Emperor. Once they were fully in control of the capital and the government, they thought, their own coup would have no one in a position to challenge it. The IGP leaders fully expected that the other Imperial military forces would flock to their side, if they could move quickly enough and secure the city.

Things began to go wrong almost immediately. Calhualyana had not known about Xayactochtli's specific plan. But she had fully expected a backlash and prepared for it.

When the 4th Brigade began their advance on the capital, the 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Imperial Army moved to intercept them. Unlike the 4th Brigade, the 1st Brigade was not prepared to betray the Empress. And unfortunately for the 4th Brigade, the 1st Brigade was the best in the entire Army. Stationed at the Palace of Flowers, the "First of the First" served, in effect, as a praetorian guard for Xiomeran rulers. Before the coup, they had served as backup for the Jaguar and Eagle Warriors, as well as the Shorn Ones. In this new era, the Warriors of Huītzilōpōchtli and the Warriors of Tezcatlipōca filled the role of elite protection for the Empress. The 1st Brigade, however, was still an important piece of the capital defenses.

With the advantages of surprise and rapid movement taken away from them by the alertness of the capital's defenders, the 4th Brigade was unable to achieve the swift seizure of the government that Xayactochtli and Chelapan had envisioned. Instead, they found themselves sucked into a street fight they didn't want.

As fighting raged in Tlālacuetztla, Brigadier General Chelapan sent a message to Prime Minister Toquihu demanding he surrender the government. The Prime Minister responded with a set of Xiomeran obscenities vile enough to blister paint. He then contacted the Empress, who was back in Jinyu.

Jinyu
3:37 am


Empress Calhualyana, woken up from a sound sleep, was already out of bed almost as soon as Toquihu finished speaking. She tersely ordered her Prime Minister to secure the capital by any means necessary. She then ordered her servant to summon her plane, throwing on a set of clothes as she did so.

"Um....what do I tell the Laeralites, your Majesty?" her servant said. "Just tell them I had a bit of business to attend to, but that I will return to Jinyu very shortly, before the ink even dries on their draft. This won't take long," Calhualyana replied in a grim voice as she left the room.

Huaxtumba
4:45 am


The 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, Imperial Army, was under the command of Brigadier General Acahuetl. They moved to secure the center of Huaxtumba, where Xayactochtli and the IGP leadership had gathered to lead their coup. Taking control of the local television and radio stations, the IGP began broadcasting a call for Xiomerans to join their revolt against the Empress. Their call to action cited Calhualyana's plans to cede the Empire's claims to western Huenya and end the war as justification, and tried to get the Xiomeran people behind them.

That call was picked up, and amplified, around the country. However, the rest of Xiomera wasn't as eager to topple Calhualyana and resume the war as the IGP was. Much to the consternation of the IGP leadership, their call for Xiomerans to rise up in revolt with them went nowhere. A few Imperial military units did rise up in response to the IGP call, only to be swamped by the much larger number of Imperial forces who remained loyal to the Empress.

7:45 am

With the backup they had expected not materializing, the 4th Brigade found themselves pinned down and rapidly demoralized. They could see the center of the capital, but had made no progress in their advance, and were now taking fire from all sides by the capital's defenders. In Huaxtumba, the 3rd Brigade was also slowly being surrounded by units loyal to the Empress, and finding their own goals of expanding control throughout the city quite well thwarted.

No massive uprising was occurring in the rest of Xiomera as the IGP had hoped; the small pockets that had risen up were slowly but surely being reduced by the Imperial response.

Tlālacuetztla
11:45 am


With much of the fighting coming to an end, the Imperial Air Force command at Chueypotzotl Air Base received the Imperial jet. Stepping into the terminal, the Empress was greeted by Prime Minister Toquihu. "Your Majesty, you really didn't need to bother yourself to come back. We have everything in hand," Toquihu said.

"I know, but I don't hide in Laeral when someone is trying to take my crown from me. Who am I, Texōccoatl?" the Empress joked, to laughter from Toquihu. The Prime Minister presented the Empress with the latest report as they walked out of the terminal.

The relatively small movements of revolt throughout most of Xiomera had already been crushed. There was still some fighting in Tlālacuetztla, but when word got out that the Empress had returned to the capital and was taking over leadership of the counterattack, the already dwindling morale of the 4th Brigade collapsed completely. Within the hour, the capital fully belonged to Calhualyana once more.

That left only Huaxtumba.

Huaxtumba
1:45 pm


Within an hour of the attack on Tlālacuetztla failing, the revolt in Huaxtumba failed as well. As loyal Imperial troops rounded up their treasonous brethren, Calhualyana and Toquihu walked into the municipal palace, which the IGP had used as the base for their attempted coup.

Standing in the lobby, restrained and surrounded by loyal Imperial troops, Xayactochtli glared as Calhualyana walked forward. "You," he said bitterly. "You weak, soft usurper....you have no right to rule this country!"

"Weak? Soft? I defeated your would-be coup within a few hours, I think you have our positions reversed," the Empress purred in a low voice as she walked up to him. Before Xayactochtli could say anything else, Calhualyana knocked him out with the butt of her pistol in a single smooth motion. "When he wakes up, interrogate him," the Empress said coldly, as Toquihu nodded. "All of these traitors are to be interrogated. I want to know how far this plot goes, and if any further purge is required. As for the IGP....I hope they enjoyed their seats in the Imperial Parliament, they won't be sitting in them long enough for them to get warm. Also....set the 16th as the date for Xochiuhue's execution. This was the last gasp of his supporters, and I am not going to leave their idol around to serve them as a rallying point anymore."

Despite the annoyance of having to deal with yet another attempted coup in Xiomera, Calhualyana was actually pleased. All my enemies keep insisting on making themselves so readily known to me. If this keeps up, soon I'm going to be quite bored.

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