Saturday, September 11, 2004

Terrorist Attacks

September 11th, 2004

Alternate Historian’s Note: It is not the intention of this treatise to offend or infuriate. The events of this timeline on this date in 2001 caused a great deal of trauma in the American psyche, which we are still recovering from. Please take no offense as we give you alternatives to what happened that day; our only purpose is to provide entertainment and food for thought. We ask that you accept this material with that in mind.

in 2001, several Saudi Arabians were taken into custody prior to boarding intracontinental flights in Boston, Newark and Washington, D.C. The F.B.I. had been tracking them since President Bush had received a briefing entitled Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S. on August 6th. Under questioning, they revealed that they had planned to crash the jets into several buildings in New York City and Washington. The nation never knew how close to tragedy we came.

in 2001, counter-revolutionaries attempt to hijack several jetliners and use them as missiles to attack Washington, D.C. Comrade President Bernard Sanders reluctantly orders them shot down; over 400 brave comrades die along with the handful of hijackers. Comrade President Sanders uses this tragedy to force Americans to see the lengths to which the counter-revolutionaries will go to keep the glories of communism from the world. He vows that “They will never succeed - not while a single American draws breath.” In the coming months, many right-leaning publications are shut down, and most capitalist-sympathizers feel it necessary to distance themselves from their friends on the right wing.

in 2001, President Gore introduces a counter-terrorism package to Congress that will link the intelligence agencies more closely together and allow the military to perform quick, surgical strikes against entrenched terrorist camps in foreign countries. Republicans in Congress defeat the measure easily, even after President Gore releases details of the arrest of terrorists in June that had planned to use jets to blow up several buildings on the east coast. Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer declared that “Gore has gone off his lithium again.”

in 1422, infidels from the north of Europe captured 3 jets bound from Istanbul to Mumbai and diverted them into Mecca. The jets smashed into the Ka’ba, destroying the holiest shrine in all of Islam. The outrage unleashed by this act brings a terrible jihad upon northern Europe, and many thousands of its people are killed, though they had no part in the actions of the infidels. Indeed, many European nations sent aid to Mecca and volunteered to rebuild the holy city, but this was all as nothing before the wrath of the faithful.

in 12-19-8-10-1, northern terrorists of the Algonquin fly stolen sky-boats into the great capital city of Oezteca, smashing the pyramid of Kukulkan. Many see this as a sign that the end of the age is coming; thousands begin to pray again at the temples, and sacrifices are made to all the gods. The empire quickly attacks and subdues the Algonquin nation and brings many of them back to Oezteca as sacrifices. The gods seem to be appeased.

in 4697, the Chinese empire receives the transmission from Captain Wu about the Y’T’T’li attack on Yang Gao and the vessels on their way to earth. All available war ships are placed in orbit around the homeworld, and earth’s defensive forces are put on alert. The entire system waits tensely.

in 2002, a small band of Protestant fundamentalists capture 4 jets and use them in the worst terrorist attack on Holy British soil. 2 of the jets are flown into Buckingham Cathedral, miraculously missing Pope Righteous; a 3rd plane flies into the Tower of London, killing hundreds of tourists. The last plane crashed mysteriously into the Thames. Pope Righteous immediately called for all Christians to join him in pursuing these fundamentalists to the four corners of the world.

in 2003, Sheridan’s requested ship arrives in Antarctica; it is armed to the teeth, and carries a working lab for him to create new weapons, if necessary. He sets on the Martian ship and, in short order, drives it off world. Pursuing it into outer space, he and his crew destroy it just outside the orbit of the moon. Relieved that the battle went so well, Sheridan returns to earth at a leisurely pace, to examine what the Martian ship was doing.


Ree said...

Poor taste, man. All but one event for this day is a spin on September 11, 2004, in the real world. I see what you're trying to say, but if you're trying to get this stuff published as a calendar, this day's entries are going to throw up BIG red flags for any publisher.

Robbie Taylor said...

Actually, there are 2 events that have nothing to do with the 9/11 attack - the Chinese empire event and the Martian timeline event.

And, alternate history has traditionally handled matters of a fairly controversial nature. Victorious Nazis, triumphant Confederacies, Soviet takeovers of the world - all of these are grist for the mill of alternate history. I have in my possession a collection that has 2 different stories on the Iranian hostage crisis, in addition to a story that details a world with a President Mondale that pretty much states he would have turned us into a 3rd world nation.

My question to you - why is it in poor taste to write about alternatives to the September 11th attacks, when all these other subjects, many involving much worse loss of life, are already out there and are eagerly read? Do a search for alternate history on Google and you will, in fact, see an article from a news magazine detailing an alternate war on terror.

And, to everyone else - I felt that I handled this fairly carefully. I am well aware of the emotions surrounding this day. I didn't try to make a joke of anything. Do you feel that this is in poor taste?

Please comment. I knew this post would be controversial, and I would like to hear from as many of my readers as possible on this. Jaina, thanks for the comments, and I'm not upset about them. I'd just like them to be a springboard for some more discussion, if at all possible.

Thanks to everyone for reading.

Robbie Taylor said...

Here's a link to the news article mentioned above -

Anonymous said...

Well, I thought it was handled quite well.

Mike said...

I do not believe that your entries above were in poor taste. Taste is a reflection of personal opinion, and people's opinions on September 11 being sancrosanct and untouchable will differ. I think it was one of the greatest national tragedies I have ever experienced, but I do not think that prevents us from wondering how else it might have gone. Indeed, given the theory of physics that embraces alternate timelines, it is perhaps comforting to think of a universe running along side ours where life went a little different.

Tegan said...

I agree, this wasn't offensive. While some folks might disagree with the alternates, it's something worth thinking about. And this site hasn't avoided giving alternates to other disasters as well. Keep it up, Robbie.

Jim said...

I think it you tastefully explored interesting possibilities and that it was far better than entirely ignoring the issue.

Anonymous said...

I also think the 9/11-related entries were tastefully done. Keep up the good work.

josh said...

i post on a communal blog called "such a chatty blog" and i was wondering if i could use this entry on our blog. Pleae let me know if this is ok. the url to the blog is
Thank You

Anonymous said...

Why does it matter that only 2 of the entries weren't 9/11/01 related? On the Moon Landing day, only a couple of those weren't moon-landing-related.

Robbie Taylor said...

Thanks for all the comments, everybody - and Josh, sure you can post this there. Just please give a link back to this website.

I appreciate everybody's opinion - and really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

Anonymous said...

Definitely tasteful. To be honest, I don't think it'd be possible to do an alt-history untastefully. There's nothing particularly sacred about 9/11. It's just a day when a lot of innocent people got killed, like many other days. It's ripe for exploration.

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, I think you are right to posit that 9/11 would not have happened in just about any other plausible circumstances. And, of course, had it never happened, who would have thought it possible? Certainly the American people (including, sadly, the then-new president) believed the threat of terror was something Clinton whipped up to scare the populous...

Andrew Cory

Anonymous said...

Comrade President Bernie Sanders! I love it! I remember when Red Bernie was the only Socialist mayor in the US, and I'd vote for him to be President any day (would I get to vote for Comrade President? I'd assume the Party would just appoint someone) I'm not sure any America, in any timeline, is ready for a President that doesn't know how to comb his hair, though.

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