by Max Barry

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by The People's Federation of South Reinkalistan. . 333 reads.

Chapter 2

The armies of the old world.

When Kayastadt fell, the world rejoiced. The differences of the COALITION were put to rest and the Iron Republic was divided into two halves. Never again would we suffer its aggression, kept in check by two great powers; the Dhoerish Union and the People's Federation of Reinkalistan. For a good few years, the world just kind of relaxed. Good times were had. Kaszar Turaniski even visited us, the once-reviled socialist leader now respected worldwide as a peacemaker. He shook hands with the President, and it looked like Vanguardism could exist on the same terms as the rest of us. And so the D'AILLOUSTRE LINE, as the division between our different blocs had been called, remained open. Even the Renyashika government entertained the idea of reunifying North and South Reinkalistan, after decades of separation.

At the end of the day, I guess it just wasn't to be. I'll remember that day vividly. November 3rd, 1992. I was waking up for just a normal day. It was snowing lightly outside, frost on my windows. I turned on the TV to watch the news. It was with shock that I saw Turaniski, his rat of a son standing behind him, proclaiming that his "New World" would be "resuming the revolution" after a "brief recess to consolidate the newly socialist societies of the Fifth International". We all felt betrayed. Reinkalistan had, over seven years, come to be seen as a sort of unruly cousin to the rest of the world, so to speak. Theirs was a benign mischief; one the rest of us had actually come to enjoy. I'd seen Turaniski on the streets of SATYCHI as I cheered his arrival. How had everything changed so quickly? We could only ask ourselves that question in disbelief as the D'ailloustre Line closed its borders and soldiers of the various Fifth International nations rolled up to the frontier. Tourists and foreign residents were expelled as the line was clamped down on overnight.

It was at that point that the so-called "Old World" - free world, I'd say - came to a collective realisation. Trusting the Reds was a mistake. Always had been. You cannot reconcile peace and love with the all-consuming beast of communism. Soon, we took our own action. Practically every Communist Party was banned across North Askander and Dhoeria. Their occupants were dismissed from their jobs, kicked out from universities, disqualified from social welfare. You'd see them on the streets. Miserable things, Vanguardist traitors though they were, sunken eyes as they slowly withered away. I felt sorry for them, but I knew it had to be done. It's either that or succumb to Communist tyranny. They suffer so we can be free. Just like those living near the Line, practically under martial law. For the greater good, that's all. One day their sacrifices will be worth it, and all men will live in freedom.

It's been many years since the COLD WAR began. The Line has only grown more militarised since. Across the world - outside of Askander - conflicts are fought as Vanguardists overturn governments and purge all influences they deem reactionary. And, to be fair, we do the same. But personally, I'd rather we had a few tin-pot despots over there than bona fide commie tyrants over here. It's all temporary, after all. This world can't go on forever. It's unsustainable. One day, either there'll be a Dhoerish flag over TURANISKIDAK, or a Reinkalistani one over Satychi. Them or us. They say that their victory is inevitable, and I'm sure that's not true. Their government should have collapsed long ago, or so we're told; but it just... won't. I think I've had to come to terms with the fact that the Reinkalistani state structure isn't as fragile as we're told.

Honestly, I don't know what's more terrifying. The fact that the Vanguardists stand a chance of winning, or the fact that someone, somewhere, is lying to me. Lying to all Dhoeria, even. But at the end of the day, it's all the same. For every lie PRESIDENT ELIAS tells his people, I'm sure the Communists tell theirs fifty. It's the lesser evil. Heck, not even that. It's good. That's what it is. It's good. We're a liberating force, god damn it! Always have been. As long as I don't have to wake up one day to see the Red Army marching outside my house, I'll do anything. Endure every injustice. Watch the starving poor on the streets on my way to work. Anything's better than being a slave to the Star and the Sword.

Who am I? Well; who I am isn't of much concern. It's where I am that represents the values I believe in. The Dhoerish Union has stood for a good three centuries as, well, a land of liberty. And I know it sounds like a cliche to say it. But when the first colonists from Kayastadt reached this savage land during the GOLDEN YEARS OF ASKANDER, it was tamed and established as a state built by men of Kayan stock. Rejecting the barbarous EMPEROR back on Askander, we won our independence in the 18th Century through ingenuity and a certain fire to our being. That fire which proclaimed death upon tyrants, upon oppressors of man. And since that day, since Dhoeria's light spread to cross the entire continent, we have looked down south at the envious land we left behind, eager to put out our liberty and press us into chains once more. And in the year of 1981 we were finally given the chance to make things right.

The dual alliance of our friends in Provoka and Suthambram struck Kayastadt, and struck them hard. The ebbing hegemony of the Iron Republic, a new government born in chaos not long prior, found itself hit with the force of nations determined not to be slaves. We practically sent troops over immediately, and soon the Kayans found themselves in a bitter fight for the fate of their nation. We lost many, many boys out there. It wasn't pretty, that's for sure. And that's where the Reinkalistanis actually shone, you know. Alone, they landed in Stayaczia, and began to march north. They really distinguished themselves, in fact. With precision and ruthlessness they cut down division after division in a show that awed the northern powers. The People's Air Force ruled the skies; the Red Army dominated the ground; the Red Fleet practically blockaded all of Kayastadt. Where they had once existed in militaristic isolation, the Reinkalistani Communist Party won our hearts by waging all-out war against the now outnumbered foe. Together, we pushed them back out of the lands they had occupied for centuries, and freed the continent by 1985.

Now, Askander is a very different place. The North Askander Defence League is tasked with the protection of our freedom by all means necessary against the reds. Ironically, there's not much to speak of on the Reinkalistani border, where the line is drawn between "North" and "South" Reinkalistan. Well, relatively. By any regular standard, I suppose, it's armed to the teeth. But there's a reason both sides stopped fighting at the Kaskian Mountains. Treacherous cliffs and steep climbs stopped the Reds in their tracks back in '65. It'd be hell to fight a war there. Probably why they haven't tried since. If we want to take out Reinkalistan, we need to secure all of Askander first. That much, we know. And that's why the Line is currently the most dangerous place on Earth to be. If another war broke out, it'd be catastrophic. People have stopped fearing the nuclear fire as they realise that another war in Askander would be much, much worse. The atom cowers in the face of the eternal meat-grinder of the front. Weapons of war are being produced on an unprecedented scale.

This is why we fight. This is why the NADL exists. We think back to our homes, our loved ones, and we know in our souls that our cause is just. We proclaim with an iron will that the nations of the North will stand evermore in the stalwart defense of the liberties we love and desire. We will not cow to the tyrant nor their armies, and shall die with honour than live under the jackboot. We have our freedom, and we dare Turaniski to come and take it.