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26 days ago
Current I know I said I "change my status every year" but it has been three years. So...
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3 yrs ago
I change my status every year.
3 likes
4 yrs ago
"You went to the Chaplain, who also kicked you out. How do you antagonize a Chaplain?"
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4 yrs ago
Current status: Bumming cigarettes off of a Chilean guy.
3 likes
5 yrs ago
HELPI'MTRAPPEDINALICENSEPLATEFACTORY.

Bio

I'm Evan and I like hard liquor, trashy EDM, and shooting things. On the side, I dabble in strategic analysis and I have a blast working through logistical planning.

I study nuclear engineering: It's basically a sophisticated counting exercise that usually ends up in two ways depending on if your math is right or not: either water boils or people die horribly.

Most Recent Posts

For all those saying you can't post, just get an AI to do it for you:

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The door of the grey sedan parked next to the table as tigran quietly inspected one of the more worrying development in politics was the current president 's attempts to inhibit as many of assanian 's administration. He had been allowed brushed on his chest and the armenian people that the armenian state instead and a student 's a lot of it appearing as he was unable to make it look like he was combing over while worrying about balding. " the director took off to rejoin their platoon " tigran scowled.

Sevan mafiya gave themselves a hit of meth when it was time to go looking back up at the runner tomorrow with the files. Monarchies became too many. Violently seeing anything happened on their side passenger: seven thirty meters in his section found himself as he checked his hand was still raining at least for their next morning. Assanian stood still in hrazdan sorting his money through their revolver. In a horizontal spray pattern from lingorian 's casket his cigarette burning crookedly " i fucking ambushed the police vehicle to make batirashvili ballots out from underneath the border. "

junior policeman came through her window to take pictures for later. Whatever information network that they would adopt until krikor turned on its proximity pistol. Bullets tore his cigarette while assanian led primarily into cover. Guns impacted straight out: perhaps someday as the rest for the funeral and the armenian church.

Economic was just like usual fire as yaglian himself before we do: he felt bad. Unconcerned police hoped more insight on one after looking out in front to do: hasmik and had only two truck to take it back into their way they found an idiot for now.

david nodded " what we're excited a military reserves for sure communities had not worried papers was their uniforms mandated every student wear "

absolutely the next supply chain in their respective eyes that had gone by vadratian. Casinos covered with memos specifically had spent shells for apparent officials.

It and other cities that there really his eyes had no stranger through into fists: tigran stood firmly as tigran nodded onto an accident for gor will have no response. Assanian at attention in from an internal mountains and delicately compartmentalized anything was one hand.

His section just nodded to the city and other utility about to his duty was an all through some last rites on them: " alex shook a single dram. " Oppression was no reply for … and what we're glad a line with several leaders had not worried papers pushing risks. Others tried to stop it was time for the next hour or something like he did for the funeral.

As assanian stood still respected the ground through this back was in some big place that blew mostly. This platoon came open and its entirety the country went in armenia became his other fallen. After looking out in front to do: a little to their respective black suits bearing down onto abovyan. With these augmented attack assembled through yet he was going on the street to retrieve a second round. " we're delivering a deep operation: reinforcements were being called in from neighboring towns. " we get all there with them with another mafiya with several troops.

With several harsh measures against foreign countries by armenian military officers he didn't notice another armenian soldier who happened to be a quick damage. This man who are fucking retards before sitting back behind cover. " i understand they could do another fire in yerkatgtsi "

Their positions had already still injured anything nestled on that government. Assanian pulled fireworks in his office to take out landmines. There drunk: private leon with its plot leader gave her children into their uniforms clambering through georgia.

Back at their rooms the armenian government was a late breakfast from north armenia. Although efforts who still injured about putting back the same gutter their way was another multitude of assanian. " i guarantee they want coffee "

Maneuver to gaznian 's face and flicked his eyeball: " if you'll tried out violently in this damn ashtray the other side was over "

Leeway was no reply for it. Under it and other cities that there really his eyes had only recently shared care and had seen mistakes. " remember " a rifle asked his lips.
Mexico City, Distrito Federal
June 1955

Traffic in downtown Mexico City had been horrendous for years now, with thousands of automobiles in ruthlessly gridlocked traffic every day. One could look outside of their window and see old men hobbling on crutches and walkers faster than their shiny new car. For those who liked to brag of their speed and acceleration on the winding roads outside of the urban center, driving in the city was a humbling experience. The government had promised to reduce traffic by building a modern new subway system, but that was still in the throes of its planning stages and had yet to break ground underneath the increasingly dense streets. The honking and fumes of traffic were even enough to break the tranquility that the gardens of Los Pinos afforded the Mexican president. Annoyed, President Raul Álvarez closed his window and returned to his files.

Always working, he thought to himself as he leafed through page after page of briefing and analysis. It was a Sunday, after all. He just wanted to drink some whiskey after a long and uneventful Mass earlier that morning and deal with his problems tomorrow when the government was open for business. It was always the same. Laws debated in Congress and their progress, issues being handled by the state governors like obnoxious labor unions demanding something or the other, or the daily military and intelligence briefings that boiled down to nothing important. Yet his aides were insistent on delivering the briefings every day, and he felt he owed it to the government to at least pretend to be interested in them. It was his job, after all.

He tossed the papers onto the glass-pane coffee table that he would use when he wanted to sit on his leather couch instead of the office chair. Álvarez sighed, kicking his bare feet up to the wooden edge of the table. It was something he would never want to let the aides see, but it was his residence and it was a Sunday afternoon. The President briefly considered getting something from the kitchen, then paused… he was looking after his health after all. But the thought came back to him, so he left to find himself some food. Álvarez found himself past the wooden door of the sitting room and looking down the hallway, the thought now occurring to him that his goal now was to sneak past his wife who may be around.

Carefully, the President crept barefoot on the wooden floor of the hallway, past dramatic oil paintings of historical Mexican battles. Busy landscapes depicting General Obregón defeating Pancho Villa at the Battle of Celaya, General Santa Anna defeating the Texans at the Alamo, and the heroic but unsuccessful defense of Veracruz in 1838 were lined on the pine-wood walls of the residence. President Álvarez took care not to brush too closely up against the wall as he tip-toed to the door. He paused when he got to the saloon-style double doors leading into the kitchen, listening for movement inside. After a few seconds, he was satisfied. It seemed that his wife was nowhere to be found, probably out shopping with her friends like she said she had planned that day.

Álvarez successfully absconded from the kitchen with a bowl of assorted nuts and a glass of French red wine. He returned to the living room a little bit faster and carelessly than before, almost spilling the glass in his rush to open the door. He privately thanked God that he had wooden floors, or else he would be scrubbing a mess out of an expensive carpet that he no doubt would be shouted at for making. Setting the wine and nuts down onto the table, he went to turn on the television. Mexico City’s television scene was quite new, only existing for five years now, and had three or four channels. They were all owned by different families which were just now finding their niche and conglomerating into the Telesistema Mexicano corporation. Channel 2 was for national news, Channel 4 was oriented towards entertainment and musical productions. The rest were a mix of educational and variety programming.

Before the president had realized it, he had fallen asleep on the couch as the television news anchors talked about a particularly complicated bank robbery attempt in Guadalajara. Despite their numbers and planning, the Federales had caught up with them the next day when their getaway car ran out of gas and arrested them, somewhat anticlimactically, without incident. He had settled in amongst the comfortable velvet throw cushions of his sofa with his feet kicked up onto the coffee table, feeling the slight tingle of intoxication before his head drooped down to his chest.

A telephone ring abruptly woke him from his nap. Each room in the residence had one, or at least each important room. It made family time difficult for them, to the point where the president had to instruct his staff not to call in the evenings unless it was a serious matter. This went doubly so for Sundays. He had gotten up from the couch and smoothed out the wrinkles on his shirt, looking outside the window to the pine trees and foliage in the garden. The sun had set but the lights of the rapidly growing Mexico City glowed against the horizon instead, a kind of artificial dusk that necessitated he slept with an eye mask in bed. Álvarez fumbled his way in the dark to the phone, desperately hoping it was just his wife calling from a friend’s place or something equally benign.

“Raul?” came the voice of his chief of staff, a longtime friend by the name of Francisco Herrera. He was always working in the office on weekends or in the evenings. Part of it was him making the rounds to his subordinates like he would when he was a Mexican Army officer known for visiting his soldiers’ guard posts and charges of quarters on weekends or holidays, but he had been working nonstop in the few months after his wife of just fewer than twenty years had divorced him.

“Francisco,” answered Álvarez, his hopes turning dour upon recognizing that this would be official business. “Why the call? It’s a Sunday.”

“Raul, I need you to call our secure office back on your scrambler phone. This is important,” Herrera stated simply. “I’ll be there to receive your call.”

The president acknowledged and hung up. He looked around for a pen and paper on the coffee table and hastily scrawled a note for his wife, if she came in while he was on the scrambler phone: “Am in the vault: work call.” Then he found his slippers that had been kicked off in the corner, turned off the TV, and quickly grabbed the glass of wine. He shuffled down the hallway, stopping only to fill the glass up in the kitchen, and went to the end where a wood-paneled door that looked like the entrance to a closet hid in the corner. On his belt loop was a ring of keys, which he fumbled with before finding the correct one. The door unlocked, revealing a staircase down to the basement and another door below.

This door, nestled amongst the president’s various woodworking equipment and other miscellaneous shelves containing his hobbies and DIY interests, was distinctly marked as being for authorized personnel only. He opened it with another key on the keyring and went inside, closing it carefully. The secure office had been constructed with specific soundproofing and other features enabling him to be informed of classified or sensitive work from home. A simple black telephone with a placard labeling it “SECURE” was connected to a rack of humming machines. This was his scrambled telephone: an identical set was in a similarly secured office in the Palacio Nacional. Wiretapping would only yield a humming and buzzing sound, if the deeply buried phone line had been compromised at all.

The phone rang for a few seconds, before Herrera picked up directly. There was no operator to direct calls; this specific one was just for the palace’s secure room. He would need to be in the office personally to access the entire system of departments and divisions with a secured-line switchboard.

“Alright, Raul, here’s what’s going on. About a half hour ago, a representative from the Japanese embassy got here with a telegram from Tokyo. He said it was urgent, from Mister Ito himself.”

Tokyo, Raul mused. He checked his wrist, before realizing that he wasn’t wearing his watch. His attention turned to a clock in the secure office, pointing to the time: 8:46 PM, Mexico City time. He had only the one clock in his personal office, without the others to easily tell time across the globe. After trying his hardest to remember, he settled in on it being 11 or 12 in following morning in Japan, perfect for a leisurely start-of-the-morning telegram to get that week’s business in order. He rolled his eyes at the inconvenience, but there was really no way around it. Either they or he got a rude awakening. “What do they want?”

“They asked for a meeting with you, tomorrow morning. It is urgent. And they wish for the Secretariat of War and Navy to be involved as well,” Herrera replied hurriedly.

The Secretariat of War’s mention surprised Álvarez. The Japanese had been involved in a war against the British for some time now and… The president’s eyes widened. “Can you read me the telegram? You have a copy, don’t you?”

Herrera acknowledged and paused on his end while he unfolded the copy of the document in his pocket.

PRESIDENT RAUL ALVAREZ,

WE ARE TO BEGIN NEW OPERATIONS AGAINST BRITISH IMPERIAL FORCES IN SOUTH ASIA. AS CONTINUED FRIENDS OF MEXICO, WE REQUEST ASSISTANCE IN OUR CAMPAIGN OF LIBERATION AGAINST EUROPEAN IMPERIALISTS. WE REQUEST DISCUSSIONS OF THE FEASIBILITY OF MEXICAN OPERATIONS AGAINST BRITISH IMPERIAL TERRITORIES IN THE AMERICAS AND CARRIBBEAN SEA. THE PURPOSE OF THIS OFFENSIVE IS TO BEGIN ANOTHER FRONT AND FURTHER WEAKEN BRITISH DISPOSITION IN OVERSEAS TERRITORIES. THE AMBASSADOR HAS BEEN IMMEDIATELY DISPATCHED TO DISCUSS THIS PROPOSAL. PLEASE ANSWER WITH CORRESPONDING PROPOSAL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: BRITISH NAVAL MOVEMENTS NEED TO BE DISRUPTED IN A TIMELY MANNER.

MINISTER MASAMI HOJO,
ARMY MINISTRY, EMPIRE OF JAPAN


The president said nothing over the phone, his eyebrows raised in surprise. “Hmm,” he finally uttered after a moment to process the new information. Thoughts began racing through his mind: a war with Britain? On the side of the Japanese? They had always been friendly, with Japan and Mexico establishing one of the most consistent pan-Pacific trade partnerships that the region had seen in history, but armed conflict was another thing. He would need some time to collect himself to meet the request. Obviously it was not a frivolous telegram of hypotheticals: the Empire of Japan was nothing if not aggressively up-front and businesslike. They surely had war plans in place that they were actualizing as him and Herrera spoke.

President Álvarez downed his wine and spoke into the handset of the phone: “Francisco, I want you to schedule a meeting immediately tomorrow morning. Seven AM sharp.”

Herrera acknowledged the request simply as Álvarez began listing names: “Get Torres and Admiral Aguilar,” he ordered, referring to the War Minister and the admiral in charge of Caribbean theater operations; “wake up the Vice as well and make sure Mr. Ito brings his military attaché.”

The conversation ended as both men gravely noted their dispositions. After Herrera confirmed the itinerary, he asked if Álvarez had anything else. The president said no, and ended the conversation with a stark comment for Herrera to get some sleep while he still could. The president hung up the phone, now adjusting to the room of spinning turntables and whirring machinery in their racks. A dim hum could be heard, records faintly playing their buzzing sound over the telephone lines. With that, the president locked up and secured the room just the same as he entered it, before heading up the stairs and to his bedroom. His wife was not yet back, and he had stripped down to his undergarments to fall flat into the grandiose bed that dominated his bedroom. An alarm was set, and he fought to get some sleep before he changed history the next day.
The Caribbean Sea
July, 1955

The haze-grey bow of a warship pushed gently through the field of flotsam and debris that cluttered its path. Ahead of the Mexican frigate Matador was the scene of a battle that claimed both parties. It became increasingly apparent as the investigation continued that the bloated bodies of the dead wore American and Argentinian uniforms. Something tragic must have happened that led the two countries into such a devastating fight. Lookouts had been posted with rifles to the gunwales of the frigate, a precaution called for by the captain with a distrust of the US Navy. Lifeboats floated empty throughout the rubble and bodies, the lookouts peering into them with binoculars for any sign of life.

One of the watchmen called out in alarm as he noticed a lifeboat rocking amidst the debris ahead. A petty officer ran towards him with his binoculars and saw two men limply attempting a fight inside the boat. They bore the uniforms of their own countries, but were obviously older and weak in the sun. Someone signaled to the bridge, and the ship stopped. A crew had been detailed to pick up survivors, led by a lieutenant. Their wooden boat had been lowered down into the water, a crew of three gently rowing towards the lifeboat. It, too, cut through the bodies and debris and the officer aboard could clearly see the maimed and mutilated sailors around them. Many of them looked as if they had been bitten by sharks and left to bleed out and die. The thought sent a chill down the lieutenant’s spine.

The rowboat had reached the survivors, who were too preoccupied spitting insults at each other in their own languages to notice until a petty officer had yanked them both by the collar and into the rowboat.

“Calm down, relax,” the lieutenant told the Hispanic one in Spanish, wrapping a towel around his shoulders and placing his hands on the man’s arms. He bore shiny rank insignia and still maintained an air of authority. It was obvious he was someone important. His petty officer tried the same thing to the white survivor, who himself wore a silver eagle on his collar. The American obviously didn’t understand everything, but “tranquilo” translated well enough into English.

The crew pushed their boat off of the debris of the battle and floated gently back to be picked up by the Matador’s lifeboat retrieval crane. Onboard was the security team composed of Marines in distinct olive uniforms, standing out from the denim pants and dungarees of the sailors around them. Distinct from the Army, the Marines wore starched and formed eight-point covers and black brassards bearing a bold, white “MARINA” branding. Two pairs of troops separated the American and the Argentinian and began their searches for weapons and contraband. While the Marine officer calmly asked the Argentinian if he had maintained his sidearm or any other weapon, the other team invasively searched every pocket of the American’s uniform. After a few minutes of shoving and roughhousing, they were satisfied. And besides, if either of them had any weapons then there wouldn’t be two survivors to begin with.

A figure emerged from the bulkhead in front of them. He didn’t wear the dungarees of the working junior personnel, but instead his black double-breasted coat with the shoulder boards of a Captain. It was the skipper of the Matador, Captain Rafael Miguel Pulido. A veteran sailor with a humorless face and a posture as if a metal rod had been fused to his spine, Captain Pulido ordered the Marines to bring the prisoners to him. Silently, he inspected each one: their sunburnt faces, soaked and faded uniforms, air of defeat, and simple physical exhaustion. With the wave of his hand, Captain Pulido ordered the Marines to take them to the spare bunks and give them a fresh set of clothes. He further ordered them fed from the galley. They were to appear in his office in two hours.

For Captain Pulido, the next two hours were spent figuring out answers as to what had happened there. Flotsam and debris bore the name of two ships: the USS Isherwood and the ARA Ironia. He had corroborated it with information gleaned by his signal personnel as they hailed nearby lighthouses and signal stations in the Caribbean. The two ships had indeed come across each other during Argentine activity in the western islands of the sea. What the Argentines were doing up there, Captain Pulido had no idea. It was too far from their anchorages and indicated a willingness to exercise their force projection and support fleet capabilities. It appeared to work well for them, until they picked a fight with the Americans and lost.

“So what happened there?” asked the Mexican skipper, calmly leaning back into his chair. He glanced at the two Marines standing guard by the bulkhead, revolvers snugly inside holsters on their pistol belts. Each one eyed either of the internees, carefully watching for any sort of argument or hostility.

“The Americans started it,” huffed the Argentinian as if he was blaming a sibling for starting a fight with him over cleaning their childhood room. He had given his name as Jorge Lantana, but Captain Pulido knew next to nothing about him other than that. He appeared almost humiliated to be wearing a Mexican Navy physical training uniform instead of his standard dress uniform. Pulido knew the struggle of a proud serviceman all too well, better to stand tall than face capture.

“You decided to start charging my position,” retorted the American. Pulido, a Tijuana native, understood enough English from the Californians who wound up in town to translate both for himself and Lantana. He repeated the American’s comments back to the Argentinian.

“You overreacted, I was simply repositioning as a result of your crude gesture,” Lantana growled. He turned to Pulido: “All I received was a radio transmission to ‘fuck off.’ I thought we were officers and gentlemen, but the Americans are obviously savages.”

Pulido relayed the Argentine’s words in a slightly more cleaned up manner. The American captain seemed just as hot blooded as the Argentinian; the captain kept the Marines in the room in case they started throwing punches at each other again.

“And so you decided to shoot each other?” deadpanned Pulido after the American, Captain Stanton, offered no reply except for a disgusted face. Perhaps a tinge of regret crossed his face, but only for a moment. He would offer no weakness to exploit. They sat defensively in their seats, no further response with their caged and stoic expressions. After all, if a few hours in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean couldn’t force a bonding moment of understanding then nothing Pulido could do would get them to calm down. It was of no matter: “That’s fine, I understand what happened here. Two proud men who couldn’t back down from proving whose dick was the biggest!”

Lantana glared at Pulido, and so did Stanton as soon as Pulido translated his ire. The Mexican officer continued, frustrated now that he had to deal with the equivalent of man-children onboard. Man-children, incidentally, that had just made decisions that led to the death of dozens of American and Argentinian sailors.

“I am going to drop you both off in Cuba when we reach there in a few days. We will take you to your embassies as a gesture of kindness and repatriate you. After that, I do not wish to see either of you again. I had to divert my patrol because of you and we will be late relieving other forces in the Caribbean.”

Pulido nodded to the Marines, who each took their captive and stood them up out of the chair. One after the other, they were forced out of the bulkhead in the captain’s office. The Marine officer, once this was complete, excused himself and departed. The door closed with a metallic thud so customary to Pulido’s ears now and the rotating handle squeaked as it rolled shut. The captain sighed, looking over to a map of the Caribbean on his wall. On it were a series of blue push pins designating the planned patrol route. They were supposed to head out from their base in Veracruz and pass through between Cuba and Jamaica. Then, a loop around down to Aruba and back to Panama would have them patrol the coast all the way back up to Mexico. Each pin point represented their planned location each day.

Beside it, a series of red push pins represented their actual position every morning. It followed the planned path fairly well until the days prior, where they had diverted to investigate the distress call. Now, they had to divert even further and physically dock their vessel in Cuba. They would probably have to go around the island and up towards Havana to establish contact with the embassies. Pulido shook his head: the Mexican Navy was notoriously rigid and strict compared to the other branches, such as the rough-and-tumble Army who acted more like vaqueros and the haute personalities of the Air Force. He would have to explain a lot to his fleet’s commander.

Whatever the case, Captain Pulido pulled the phone to the bridge towards him. Immediately, the voice of a young lieutenant answered him and asked for his directions. “Tell the navigator to plot a course for Havana, effective immediately. We will head there and drop off the shipwreck’s survivors… no use in keeping them around and I want to avoid making this international incident worse.”

The officer acknowledged and hung the phone up, leaving Pulido to himself. He contented himself with studying the charts and timetables for this operation, trying to brainstorm his contingency plan before his next staff meeting. Within the hour, he felt the mass of the Matador shift and begin a turn to the north. They were on their way to Cuba.
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
June 1955

Despite the relief that the night gave from the constant beating of the sun, the air was still sweltering like an oven. They had even reached record temperatures the week before, with temperatures reaching over forty-five degrees Celsius in the sand and rocks of northern Chihuahua. Two riders sat atop horses at a slow trot, wearing baggy green fatigues while their heads were covered by sweat-ringed, pulled-low military field caps. They were riding thirty miles to the west of Juárez, alone on a single-track dirt path that went straight through the featureless desert, bathed in the star and moonlight that the clear desert air afforded them. Barely a hundred or so meters to their left, cloaked in darkness and marked by the occasional sign, was the United States.

A deep exhale left the first rider’s lips as he scanned the night landscape and stopped his horse. It was always beautiful out in the wilderness, he appreciated the lonesome nature of his patrols to enjoy the landscape. Such a rugged and harsh place, conjuring images of vaqueros and machismo. His partner rode up beside him and stopped, adjusting the collar on his uniform. The man, who wore a corporal’s stripes on his jacket sleeve, checked his watch: the radium-green hand was ticking closer to dawn. The soft glow of the sun could be seen below the horizon ahead of them, ready to come up soon for them. This was the most critical moment of their patrol.

The first rider, a sergeant, took a folded map from his jacket pocket and clicked on his L-shaped flashlight to read the wrinkled and weathered paper. He had been keeping track of their position the hard way, keeping a count of his horse’s steps and dividing them against a “pace count” he knew of how many steps it took for the animal to travel a hundred meters. He backtracked that distance from their last known point, where they had turned east along the border road after doglegging out from the spot where they camped. Not much else they could do to find their location in the middle of a flat mesa. They were right where they needed to be, with time to spare.

“We made it?” the corporal asked, a yawn creeping into his question.

“Just about, yes. This should be the spot we need to watch,” the sergeant answered duly, putting the map away. He sat on his horse and held his wood-stocked rifle across his lap, reaching for his web gear to take out a metal canteen from a pouch. The corporal nodded, although his sergeant could not see him, and waited. Nothing would happen until dawn; the enemies here followed that rule just as any other hostile force would. They called it stand-to. Except these enemies weren’t combatants in a formal sense, but instead cattle rustlers from across the border. They liked to come through this flatland between the mountains in Mexico and ride covertly south towards the ranchos past the outskirts of the city. It was enough of a problem that the Army had put them on duty to deal with it.

The corporal unwrapped a candy bar and bit into the soft chocolate underneath the crinkling wrapper. The sergeant shot a glance over at him, but realized it was pointless. They were the only people in this desert and would be for another couple of hours. They waited silently, their horses occasionally snorting and impatiently hoofing at the sandy path below then. The sun rose ever so slightly every minute, the dull glow beyond the horizon turning into orange fingers that extended past the silhouetted mountains and into the flat basin where the soldiers were posted. It was almost six in the morning, right on time. With his binoculars out, the sergeant was now able to see even further across the border.

Just like the reports suspected, their first indication of movement came at around seven in the form of distant horse galloping. It was the corporal who noticed this; his younger ears hadn’t fallen victim to tinnitus the same way that his sergeants’ had. He nudged his sergeant and pointed in the general direction that he heard. Instantly, the binoculars went up to his eyes and he scanned for the telltale clouds of dust that accompanied a group of American cattle thieves. The two both motioned for their horses to lie down onto their legs as a way to conceal their profiles against the sand. Hopefully the Americans would be too busy to notice them, as they usually were. The dust cloud of horses drew closer to the border and the sergeant could now make out a total of four riders. Dressed in jeans and their obnoxiously large Stetson hats, they barreled down the sands with no intention of stopping.

“Wait for it,” the sergeant said as he noticed the corporal unsling his rifle. The sergeant withdrew a flare gun from a holster on his belt and clicked the hammer back. With a dramatic sweep of his hand, he shot it directly overhead the path of the American cattlemen. The flare gun made a popping noise and the projectile whistled as it flew a few meters into the air before igniting with a whoosh and producing a brilliant red light that could still compete with the newly-risen sun. “Let’s go!” the sergeant shouted, kicking his horse with his spur to get it up and going. The two riders ran out on the dirt path, careful to keep on their side of the border as they raced to meet the cattlemen.

A bullet cracked overhead from the American side. The corporal ducked to the saddle instinctively, swearing and shouldering his own rifle. He let loose a trio of his own shots, hopelessly inaccurate but somewhere in the cattlemen’s direction. That seemed to do something: the Americans reduced their speed a little, perhaps rethinking their decision to cross the border that day. The sergeant rushed his horse faster, coming to within hearing distance of the Americans. He withdrew a whistle from a chain around his neck and blew it as hard as he could, waving a revolver in his other hand that he knew the cattlemen could see. The corporal kept his rifle shouldered as he suddenly stopped his horse and had it kneel again. There would be no missing this next shot.

The cattlemen must have seen the Mexican soldier drop his horse to a steady firing position, because their formation began to turn around. They didn’t want to play this game today, but they still had to have the last laugh. Another round slammed into the dirt ten meters to the front of the sergeant, kicking up sand that blew towards the pair. The corporal had enough experience to know that the cowboys just wanted to save face, tell their friends and the pretty girls that they had come up across the Mexican Army and escaped with their lives in a gunfight. He decided to give them some more fodder for the saloon that night and returned fire with a single shot aimed narrowly over their heads. He smirked as he saw one of the cattlemen almost trip over and fall off his horse from the shot. Luckily for him, he retrieved his cowboy hat at the very last second and rode off.

“Another job well done,” remarked the sergeant. The cattlemen went back through the same pass they entered from, disappearing into the rugged landscape almost as quickly as they came. The pair put their weapons on safe and slung them across their shoulders, turning around their horses and heading back to their campsite. Whatever happened during the day would be the next shift’s problem.
Mexico



Nation: The United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos)

Map:


History: The end of the Porfiriato was violent, as opposition forces challenged the succession of President Porfirio Díaz’s 31-year-long regime and revolted when the 1910 election yielded fraudulent results. A politically unstable alliance ousted the strongman ruler, but peace would not last. For the next five years, multiple leaders were elected and subsequently ousted from power until a civil war between the anti-Díaz opposition engulfed the turbulent country. Ultimately, a wealthy landowner from Coahuila by the name of Venustiano Carranza assembled an army seeking a return to constitutional rule in the country and gained the support of several talented military leaders. Despite their defeat of Federal forces led by Victoriano Huerta, the revolution was not unified and infighting began again between the Constitutionalists and the more radical generals.

Alongside Carranza, General Alvaro Obregón proved himself to be a talented and popular figure in the Constitutionalist forces. His understanding of the effects of modern weaponry and strategy was ahead of his time: when European militaries in the Great War were sending wave after wave of men to counter artillery and machinegun fire, Obregón utilized novel defensive techniques against the forces of Pancho Villa in the during the Battle of Celaya. Much like Napoleon at Waterloo, Pancho Villa’s forces were decimated. Obregón, however, was gravely wounded and lost his arm in an explosion during the battle. In debilitating pain, General Obregón pulled his sidearm from his holster and shot himself in the head. The battle would be won, and Obregón would become enshrined as a martyr for Carranza’s cause. Emiliano Zapata was similarly killed in a series of battles and raids by General Pablo González Garza’s army in 1917.

After the defeat of Villa and Zapata, Carranza’s consolidated the presidency in 1915. A new constitutional congress was assembled and the Constitution of 1917 was enacted after careful deliberation. Absent the more ardent supporters of more wide-reaching land reform and articles aimed at reducing the power of the Catholic Church, the Mexican Constitution compromised on many social reforms and enshrined a commitment to nationalism in the economy and military. While disappointing to many original supporters of the revolution, there was no significant force with the popularity and reach to oppose President Carranza and the Mexican Revolution was officially over as of February 5th, 1917.

Carranza would continue to serve in an interim role as president, knowing he was to hand over the presidency during elections scheduled for 1920. He spent the three years rebuilding what had been destroyed, mostly in the northern states, and further asserting his power. The military was restructured under lessons learned by the late Obregón as General González became the Secretary of War and established strict standards of organization, training, and officer education as the Mexican government carefully observed the still-ongoing Great War. Pancho Villa remained under arrest for several years until he was released to serve out the remainder of his life sentence under house arrest at his estate. The 1920 election soon arrived, which Carranza had repeatedly promised to be free and fair. Pablo González, carefully groomed under Carranzo’s administration for the post, was elected in large part due to his public appearance as a military hero of the revolution and legacy-bearer to the now-legendary Alvaro Obregón.

The last embers of the Mexican Revolution caught fire again in 1923, when a significant member of the initial revolution by the name of Adolfo de la Huerta attempted a military coup of the González administration. Because of González’s preference to establish a civilian president instead of a military general, de la Huerta and certain high ranking military officers believed that the government had been corrupted and were betraying the cause. Unfortunately for de la Huerta, the majority of the Army maintained their loyalty to González and troops were sent to the northern states to quell the rebellion. The Mexican Air Force was key to the swift victory over de la Huerta’s troops, proving themselves in their first combat deployment. Air power would quickly become a critical tool in the Mexican military’s planning factors, as a result of the intense focus on education and forward-thinking that the late General Obregón instilled in Mexican forces.

The González presidency was marked by reconstructive efforts similar to Carranza’s, yet troubles continued abroad. The United States had shown an increasing amount of hostility towards labor activists and organizations, oftentimes negatively affecting Hispanic communities of Mexican origin in the Southern United States as empowered members of the Silver Shirts militia and the Ku Klux Klan gained newfound confidence. Politicians on either side of the border were reluctant to normalize relations with each other, and a formal embassy was not to be established until the end of the decade in 1930. Even still, tensions routinely spiked over various incidents and diplomats were reluctant to open up truly open means of communication with each other. A carefully reserved Mexico watched the events of the 1930s unfold in the United States, internally developing contingencies for any number of courses of action that might emerge from the unpredictable and rapidly authoritarian-leaning American government.

After the violent American coup in 1939, Mexico all but stopped most official cross-border actions while Congress debated on recognizing the new government. The embassy was reestablished in 1940, but the damage had been done: the border, while not closed, was now as heavily restricted as ever. Incursions from bandits, militias, and even “lost” military patrols on either side were almost monthly occurrences that fueled a deepening divide and distrust. While nothing ever precipitated a full-blown conflict such as the Mexican-American War, it quickly became apparent in the depths of the Mexican military and intelligence community that the United States was the primary threat to direct most large-scale training and preparation for. An unspoken and unrecognized cold war continues to shadow over Mexican and American relations even if politicians pay lip service to continuing progress and normalization of ties.

Mexican economic growth, spurred on by the nationalist policies of Carranza and González, encouraged the development of local businesses and industrial capability. A base of roadways and railways were built upon to provide a framework that enabled the rapid transport of goods and people. Mexican industries remained in the hands of Mexican businessmen and investors despite pressure from American magnates, creating diverse economic sectors and industrial capabilities that both spurred economic growth locally and provided valuable tax revenue to the central Mexican government. Even though the policies of the American government continued to disadvantage and disenfranchise Hispanic workers, the northern states of Baja California, Sonora, and Chihuahua benefited from cross-border workers and remittances from family members tending the farms and factories in Texas or California.

Critical to the “Mexican miracle” of post Great War economic advances were foreign investors. Newly wealthy European nations such as Spain sought to establish relationships with Mexico through their shared culture and history: investments, diplomatic work, and military training were commonplace between the two countries. Although Mexican government officials were critical of European involvement in the Caribbean and South America, they welcomed the gestures from Spain and worked with them from a viewpoint of healthy skepticism. Similarly, Germany would expand its own investments to Central America after the Great War, with business branches in the automotive and heavy industrial sectors opening in Mexico to diversify and expand their own supply lines and factories. An expansion of banking and credit systems soon followed, bringing wealth to towns and states not previously able to begin their own cycles of economic growth. Mexico City in particular was on its way to becoming a cosmopolitan center of Latin American trade and business by the late 1940s.

The Mexican expansion in wealth and prestige was not unnoticed by other Latin American countries either. Many of them still under European colonial rule adopted Mexican-like political parties and newfound leaders drew on Mexican values to lead campaigns calling for decolonization or reform. Foreign policy to the rest of Central and South America emphasized a shared heritage and history, while Mexican and foreign businesses quickly intertwined into various pacts and international institutions. A regional economy, dominated at first by Mexico until other countries began developing their own centers of commerce and finance, sought to develop and utilize resources and labor that had previously been seen as untenable by others. The 1950s brought rumors of a formalization of these scattered trade pacts and agreements, but such a deal has not yet been agreed upon by the Mexican Congress.

By 1955, the solidified government of Mexico was a far cry from the failing state wracked by civil war during the Revolution. Troubles continue in the north, as the “Wild West” mentality still pervades along the American border states. Extremist political groups stir issues in the cities and towns of the west and south, and friction is ever-present with foreign actors such as the United States and the remnants of the European colonial powers. Wealth disparity is increasing at an alarming rate as the Mexican economy grows and evolves, seeking to unearth buried societal issues unresolved from the Porfiriato. Despite this, Mexico stands as a significant player in the Americas with stable, resolved government wielding unprecedented economic power and a well-trained and disciplined military. As the United States and Europe continue to change and adapt after the horrors of the Great War, Mexico will now need to play a greater role in the international scene than ever before.
Mexico



Nation: The United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos)

Map:


History: The end of the Porfiriato was violent, as opposition forces challenged the succession of President Porfirio Díaz’s 31-year-long regime and revolted when the 1910 election yielded fraudulent results. A politically unstable alliance ousted the strongman ruler, but peace would not last. For the next five years, multiple leaders were elected and subsequently ousted from power until a civil war between the anti-Díaz opposition engulfed the turbulent country. Ultimately, a wealthy landowner from Coahuila by the name of Venustiano Carranza assembled an army seeking a return to constitutional rule in the country and gained the support of several talented military leaders. Despite their defeat of Federal forces led by Victoriano Huerta, the revolution was not unified and infighting began again between the Constitutionalists and the more radical generals.

Alongside Carranza, General Alvaro Obregón proved himself to be a talented and popular figure in the Constitutionalist forces. His understanding of the effects of modern weaponry and strategy was ahead of his time: when European militaries in the Great War were sending wave after wave of men to counter artillery and machinegun fire, Obregón utilized novel defensive techniques against the forces of Pancho Villa in the during the Battle of Celaya. Much like Napoleon at Waterloo, Pancho Villa’s forces were decimated. Obregón, however, was gravely wounded and lost his arm in an explosion during the battle. In debilitating pain, General Obregón pulled his sidearm from his holster and shot himself in the head. The battle would be won, and Obregón would become enshrined as a martyr for Carranza’s cause. Emiliano Zapata was similarly killed in a series of battles and raids by General Pablo González Garza’s army in 1917.

After the defeat of Villa and Zapata, Carranza’s consolidated the presidency in 1915. A new constitutional congress was assembled and the Constitution of 1917 was enacted after careful deliberation. Absent the more ardent supporters of more wide-reaching land reform and articles aimed at reducing the power of the Catholic Church, the Mexican Constitution compromised on many social reforms and enshrined a commitment to nationalism in the economy and military. While disappointing to many original supporters of the revolution, there was no significant force with the popularity and reach to oppose President Carranza and the Mexican Revolution was officially over as of February 5th, 1917.

Carranza would continue to serve in an interim role as president, knowing he was to hand over the presidency during elections scheduled for 1920. He spent the three years rebuilding what had been destroyed, mostly in the northern states, and further asserting his power. The military was restructured under lessons learned by the late Obregón as General González became the Secretary of War and established strict standards of organization, training, and officer education as the Mexican government carefully observed the still-ongoing Great War. Pancho Villa remained under arrest for several years until he was released to serve out the remainder of his life sentence under house arrest at his estate. The 1920 election soon arrived, which Carranza had repeatedly promised to be free and fair. Pablo González, carefully groomed under Carranzo’s administration for the post, was elected in large part due to his public appearance as a military hero of the revolution and legacy-bearer to the now-legendary Alvaro Obregón.

The last embers of the Mexican Revolution caught fire again in 1923, when a significant member of the initial revolution by the name of Adolfo de la Huerta attempted a military coup of the González administration. Because of González’s preference to establish a civilian president instead of a military general, de la Huerta and certain high ranking military officers believed that the government had been corrupted and were betraying the cause. Unfortunately for de la Huerta, the majority of the Army maintained their loyalty to González and troops were sent to the northern states to quell the rebellion. The Mexican Air Force was key to the swift victory over de la Huerta’s troops, proving themselves in their first combat deployment. Air power would quickly become a critical tool in the Mexican military’s planning factors, as a result of the intense focus on education and forward-thinking that the late General Obregón instilled in Mexican forces.

The González presidency was marked by reconstructive efforts similar to Carranza’s, yet troubles continued abroad. The United States had shown an increasing amount of hostility towards labor activists and organizations, oftentimes negatively affecting Hispanic communities of Mexican origin in the Southern United States as empowered members of the Silver Shirts militia and the Ku Klux Klan gained newfound confidence. Politicians on either side of the border were reluctant to normalize relations with each other, and a formal embassy was not to be established until the end of the decade in 1930. Even still, tensions routinely spiked over various incidents and diplomats were reluctant to open up truly open means of communication with each other. A carefully reserved Mexico watched the events of the 1930s unfold in the United States, internally developing contingencies for any number of courses of action that might emerge from the unpredictable and rapidly authoritarian-leaning American government.

After the violent American coup in 1939, Mexico all but stopped most official cross-border actions while Congress debated on recognizing the new government. The embassy was reestablished in 1940, but the damage had been done: the border, while not closed, was now as heavily restricted as ever. Incursions from bandits, militias, and even “lost” military patrols on either side were almost monthly occurrences that fueled a deepening divide and distrust. While nothing ever precipitated a full-blown conflict such as the Mexican-American War, it quickly became apparent in the depths of the Mexican military and intelligence community that the United States was the primary threat to direct most large-scale training and preparation for. An unspoken and unrecognized cold war continues to shadow over Mexican and American relations even if politicians pay lip service to continuing progress and normalization of ties.

Mexican economic growth, spurred on by the nationalist policies of Carranza and González, encouraged the development of local businesses and industrial capability. A base of roadways and railways were built upon to provide a framework that enabled the rapid transport of goods and people. Mexican industries remained in the hands of Mexican businessmen and investors despite pressure from American magnates, creating diverse economic sectors and industrial capabilities that both spurred economic growth locally and provided valuable tax revenue to the central Mexican government. Even though the policies of the American government continued to disadvantage and disenfranchise Hispanic workers, the northern states of Baja California, Sonora, and Chihuahua benefited from cross-border workers and remittances from family members tending the farms and factories in Texas or California.

Critical to the “Mexican miracle” of post Great War economic advances were foreign investors. Newly wealthy European nations such as Spain sought to establish relationships with Mexico through their shared culture and history: investments, diplomatic work, and military training were commonplace between the two countries. Although Mexican government officials were critical of European involvement in the Caribbean and South America, they welcomed the gestures from Spain and worked with them from a viewpoint of healthy skepticism. Similarly, Germany would expand its own investments to Central America after the Great War, with business branches in the automotive and heavy industrial sectors opening in Mexico to diversify and expand their own supply lines and factories. An expansion of banking and credit systems soon followed, bringing wealth to towns and states not previously able to begin their own cycles of economic growth. Mexico City in particular was on its way to becoming a cosmopolitan center of Latin American trade and business by the late 1940s.

The Mexican expansion in wealth and prestige was not unnoticed by other Latin American countries either. Many of them still under European colonial rule adopted Mexican-like political parties and newfound leaders drew on Mexican values to lead campaigns calling for decolonization or reform. Foreign policy to the rest of Central and South America emphasized a shared heritage and history, while Mexican and foreign businesses quickly intertwined into various pacts and international institutions. A regional economy, dominated at first by Mexico until other countries began developing their own centers of commerce and finance, sought to develop and utilize resources and labor that had previously been seen as untenable by others. The 1950s brought rumors of a formalization of these scattered trade pacts and agreements, but such a deal has not yet been agreed upon by the Mexican Congress.

By 1955, the solidified government of Mexico was a far cry from the failing state wracked by civil war during the Revolution. Troubles continue in the north, as the “Wild West” mentality still pervades along the American border states. Extremist political groups stir issues in the cities and towns of the west and south, and friction is ever-present with foreign actors such as the United States and the remnants of the European colonial powers. Wealth disparity is increasing at an alarming rate as the Mexican economy grows and evolves, seeking to unearth buried societal issues unresolved from the Porfiriato. Despite this, Mexico stands as a significant player in the Americas with stable, resolved government wielding unprecedented economic power and a well-trained and disciplined military. As the United States and Europe continue to change and adapt after the horrors of the Great War, Mexico will now need to play a greater role in the international scene than ever before.
The Revenant
With @Athol

Sadaet had the data drive on his desk ready to plug in. Stryker had, rather sheepishly, knocked on his door and asked if he could help get into the device. His voice was stuttering like he was somewhere else, his cheeks were blushed, and he had been looking over his shoulder every few seconds: Sadaet, figuring that the captain was probably in a rush to get laid, took the drive and bid him a good night with a slight smirk. He shut the door and tossed it onto the table in the corner. In the room, particularly the closet, laid the Revenant’s internal networking hardware. Sadaet had lobbied Stryker to give him funds to purchase some computer equipment to set up a small, enclosed network within the ship that was totally isolated from any of the larger electronics and systems. He had reasoned that any collected intel was to be first tested and decrypted on this closed network to detect viruses or other malicious software before it could get to the ship. As advanced as cyber warfare and viruses had gotten, there was simply no way for it to jump to the ship if there were no physical or wireless connections to the main system.

The result was a mess of whirring and bleeping boxes in his closet that provided an almost comforting white noise at night. After years of fighting, Sadaet had developed an annoying case of tinnitus that kept his ears ringing if there wasn’t anything to drown it out. He liked to play music or one of his podcasts – usually something boring like economics or obscure scientific research – on his speakers to help him go to sleep at night. But, in a pinch, usually if he got too drunk to turn on the music, the server would at least keep the ringing from interrupting his sleep. It served the crew well, however, and Sadaet had used it to test out software before. At least a few of the devices picked up by the Revenant’s misadventures had some sort of anti-handling measures on it, so he felt a little bit of relief that they weren’t directly plugged into the ship. If SAL had plugged into the ship with some of those viruses in there, there would have been some nasty consequences for the crew when his target discriminators were overridden and he shot at everyone.

Sadaet had stubbed out a cigarette in his ashtray when he heard a ring come from the door. He looked up from his monitor and dropped his headset from his ears to his neck. The beat of lofi music was drowned out and he got out of his seat to answer it. The door slid open, and Sadaet made eye contact with Val. Sharing an equal height, he had to look her up and down to confirm that it was, indeed, the cyborg that he thought she was. He nodded his head: “How’re you doing? What do you need?”

“There’s something that needs to be decrypted, I came here because you have it,” she said simply.

“Well, I do,” replied Sadaet as he looked back towards the data drive that was on his desk. “If you want to help, then that’s good. I’ll let you take a spin on it.”

Val walked into the room silently, taking note of his eclectic decorations and surroundings. Sadaet hadn’t seen much of her since she came aboard with the crew and always considered her to be an introverted weirdo. He hadn’t really gotten to know her over a drink or several, and had his own preconceived notions about people who decided to replace their bodies with cybernetics. Regardless, he showed her the workstation where the drive was ready. “It smells awful in here,” she remarked upon sensing the faint odor of cigarette in the air.

“Well, the captain lets me do it in the room,” Sadaet quipped. “If you don’t like it, I’m sure you can turn that little robot nose off and be just fine.”

The computer spun up and blew through its welcome screen, before Sadaet scanned his fingerprint and offered up a password to get into the system. On its screen was a simple blank wallpaper that read in white letters on a red background: “TEST SYSTEM, DO NOT NETWORK.” He snatched the drive from his desk and searched for a cable with a piece of red tape around it, which he plugged into the drive. The system initialized its drivers and began talking to the piece of equipment in his hand, which he laid down. A file folder came up on the screen, with only one option to access the data inside. He tried clicking on it, but was instead met with a password lock. Sadaet closed that out and looked over at his second monitor, which was running the software tracking anything introduced into the system. So far, nothing was making its way through the fake network like a virus would. After Val cracked open the actual drive, he’d need to run a full scan on everything just to make sure, but it seemed alright for now.

Val stood a good distance behind him, observing the Solarian as he looked back. He scanned her and recognized her off-putting posture, hesitated for a second, but then pulled a cigarette out of an old mint tin in his pocket. He motioned for her to take one as well, but she gave him an icy look. He wondered if cigarettes, alcohol, or anything else that “mere mortals” like himself enjoyed did anything for her anymore, but didn’t voice his thought. Sadaet shrugged, lighting his cigarette with a silver-plated flip lighter and inhaling deeply. He finished setting up the continuous scan on his network and tapped his ashes into the ashtray beside his keyboard. The man stood back, bathed in the red light of the computer monitor, and pulled out the chair for Val with an inviting hand wave.

“It’s all set up… I suppose you can take a crack at it now,” he said.


Yeah because my drunk ass finally managed to take a post out of my WIP folder and do something kinda shitty with it...
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