"I watched my best friend get killed by a whipped cream grenade." Those were the tragic first words of my interview with Jerrard Pendlebottom, one of the survivors of the Battle of Orange Hall. "I rushed over to try and help him, but... It was too late. He looked like a damn snowman."
For those that live off-campus or don't really care for coffee, the nations of Artesano's, Java Wally's and Midnight Oil have declared war on one another in what historians will be sure to call the largest coffee-based crusade in the history of the United States. The previously peaceful nations are said to have been driven to war by hostility that has been building in the background for years. Tensions reached an all-time high when Artesano's employee Kimberly Libro posted a Yelp review on Midnight Oil's and Java's pages. She slandered both shops, stating "[Java's] coffee tastes like someone mixed sewer water with The Situation's hair gel" and "[Midnight Oil] doesn't know the difference between a macaron and a macaroon." Midnight Oil initially tried to ally with Java's, but Java's refused on the grounds that their Italian sodas "taste like Super Mario's sweaty pits."
Shortly after the declaration of war, Artesano's, being the closest, swept down the Quarter Mile – claiming all the territory between the SAU and the Residence Halls. Java's immediately reserved all Wallace Center books pertaining to wartime strategies, while Midnight Oil began ritualistically forcing former cappuccino foam-artist Maggie Malady to drink excessive amounts of coffee.
"With two Green Eyes, our Oracle sees the future," claims Midnight Oil general Davy Matterhorn. "She sees our enemies' movements before they make them and interprets her visions as intricate foam illustrations."
"Th-th-they're making me d-drink triple es-s-spresso shots. Two, ev-vry day. I-I'm not a psychic, I-I just haven't s-slept in six d-d-days," stated Oracle Malady. At the time of my visit, her eyes were bloodshot and she had clearly not showered for several days. She seemed jittery, like a heroin addict stranded on a deserted island. "I-I've just been d-doodling randomly, hoping that th-they'll let me go h-home."
When confronted with this information, Matterhorn dismissed it. "She is blessed by the Great Coffee Bean in the Sky and will surely lead us to victory. Quia capulus, quia gloria!" The Great Coffee Bean in the Sky, of course, refers to Midnight Oil's patron deity: the sentient, mythical coffee bean said to bless those that talk about coffee in grammatically incorrect Latin phrases taken from Google Translate. Midnight Oil has always worshiped The Great Bean, leading to a society based around a religious hierarchy. The country is led by High Priest Lupus Nebulouso, who could not be reached for comment for "super serious religious reasons. I'm, uh, fasting. Yeah, that's it."
Artesano's is known for two things: its incredible selection of sweets and pastries and its extraordinarily powerful weapons. After war was declared, the powerhouse went on to forcefully annex the isolated provinces of Beanz and The College Grind. They were converted into heavily industrialized colonies and now serve as the source of Artesano's weapons research and manufacturing. According to Artesano's prime minister, Jillian Lancero, their expansive armory is going to be the key to their victory. "We've engineered espresso machines into steam engines for our tanks. We've perfected the high-caliber coffee bean sniper rifle and we will be the first to create long-range, surface-to-surface chai latte missiles. We will wipe those miserable cretins off the face of the campus. They are ants, ants that must be exterminated! They will kneel before our decaf mocha might!" She ended her statement by laughing maniacally for 30 seconds.
Java Wally's, being sandwiched between the two other countries, owes its continued survival to its cunning and brutal military strategies. Fighting on two fronts with limited forces requires tactics and intuition that may only come along once in a generation. Java's owes its success to strategic genius General xXPu$$yDetr0ya69Xx. No one has ever met the General in person, but he is online friends with Supreme Overlord Java Wally and provides strategic insight through Battle.net's private messaging system. I was allowed a brief online audience with the military mastermind, during which the general admitted that his strategic prowess was born from "over 5,000 hours playing Starcraft II."
Supreme Overlord Java Wally also granted me a brief interview. While he remained fairly tight-lipped about his plans for the future and how he plans to win the war, he admitted to his ruthless tactics and even seemed somewhat proud of them. Java's armies are known to employ the use of guerrilla warfare, including using milk-foam mines and sabotaging enemy vehicles. They are also widely feared for their lack of mercy. In the Supreme Overlord's words, "We don't take food debit, and we don't take prisoners."
"We don't take food debit, and we don't take prisoners."
Looking for an outside opinion, I spoke to the leader of the neutral Empire of Freshens, Emperor Alvin Kolvin. "They are fueled by hatred that spawns from their dependence on caffeine and their addiction to unhealthy confectionaries," he told me. "Look to my empire and the difference is astounding. We have done away with coffee and sweets, relying instead on a diet of smoothies and rice bowls. This has allowed us to stay neutral and level-headed for generations." His lecture continued for three more hours, only becoming more and more preachy as time went on. It reached a point where I had to cut the interview short by shouting a string of incomprehensible obscenities at him.
Perhaps the most tragically impacted by the war are the nomadic tribes of Imp Rohv, as they were regular visitors to the warring cafes. They would delight the locals with their fantastical stories that almost seemed to be made up on the spot. One tribe in particular, Breyn-Ryek, was a frequent guest to the religious state of Midnight Oil. Now, with the countries in turmoil, the tribes have been forced to find different gathering areas.
With tensions at an all-time high across campus, it remains unclear as to who will emerge victorious in this hectic frappuccino-fueled feud, if anyone does at all. It is still a very real possibility that all on-campus coffee suppliers will be wiped out as a result of this war. Should this happen, we may find the ashes of their empires soon taken over by the quiet giant that lies waiting in Barnes and Noble: Starbucks.