June 6, 2006
in 666, a young woman, a member of the oldest profession, gave birth to a son in Babylon. A Christian midwife saw a strange birthmark on the child's forehead, and remembering her lessons, associated the child with The Beast of Revelation. She attempted to dash the baby boy against the floor, but the young mother wrestled the child from her grasp and fled into the wilderness. The midwife told this story to all of her Christian fellows, and soon there was a hunt for the baby that they considered a harbinger of the end of the world. The young mother made her way slowly to Rome, feeling that there might be more safety in the old, great city than among the provincial Christians of her homeland. The child she carries is surprisingly little trouble to her, and she delights in his company along the way.
in 1944, Operation Overlord, the long-awaited Allied invasion of mainland Europe, began at Normandy, France. Unfortunately, one of the ruses that the Allies had used to trick Germany, the rumor that General George Patton would be landing east of their position, had been seen through by German commanders who were able, with great difficulty, to convince Hitler to commit more forces to the Normandy beaches. The casualties of this battle were horrendous on the Allied side, although they still managed to take the coast by the end of the day. Over 26,000 men gave their lives in the invasion, and their sacrifice is honored today as having been integral to ending the war in 1947.
in 1949, Comrade Eric Blair's horrific vision of a dystopic future society, The Last Man In Europe, is published in the Soviet States of America, where he had settled after fighting in the Canadian Civil War on the Socialist side. Although it was hailed as a masterpiece by American literary critics, the reactionaries of the European monarchies made arguments that the novel's dictatorship could as easily be based on certain aspects of life in Soviet America. Since Comrade Blair himself dismissed these speculations as “wishful thinking,” it is still read widely in the SSA, and serves a vital social purpose: when a society begins to enact measures that might make it resemble the fictional Oceania, it quickly comes under attack as Last Man-like, and most such measures have failed because of the novel's impact.
in 2006, a group of Dominionists attack the hospital room where British Ambassador Nigel Hawkins' wife Sarah is giving birth. In spite of the trauma of a group of armed men shouting and brandishing weapons at her, Mrs. Hawkins is able to give birth to a healthy baby boy, and police arrest the Dominionists. As they are being led away, one of them thrusts a Bible into Ambassador Hawkins' hands and implores him to read it, “For you must be born again in the blood of the lamb!” Shaken by the encounter, the Ambassador and Mrs. Hawkins change rooms as a security measure; fortunately for them, since more Dominionists sneak into the hospital that night and kill the baby of the couple that had been moved into their room. Mrs. Hawkins, still a little weak from her ordeal, tells the Ambassador, “I don't care if I bloody collapse on the way out, we're going home.” They check out and head to their home at the British Embassy in Washington.
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