Sunday, July 02, 2006

Unforeseen Death; Amistad Mutiny

The state of TIAH

July 2nd, 2006

Alternate Historian's Note: We are doing a little IT work here at the Academy, taking advantage of the long weekend we are enjoying in this timeline to switch operating systems and trade up the Co-Historian's computer. As a result, there may be an unexpected delay or even interruption in posting – but our IT Department assures us that the worst-case scenario will not be more than a day's interruption. Wish us luck!

in 1566, Michel de Nostradame was quite surprised by his unforeseen death.

in 1839, the Amistad, a Cuban slave ship, was overcome by the Africans aboard, and the now-former slaves killed their Cuban captors. Unfortunately, none of the slaves aboard the board knew the way back to Africa, so they began to assail other vessels in the Caribbean in search of supplies and a pilot who could steer them home again. Sengbe Pieh, the Membe who had planned the revolt and who now acted as the unofficial captain of the Amistad, held the desperate men and women together by sheer force of will over long weeks of sailing through the stormy waters of the Caribbean. When they finally found not only a pilot who knew the way to Africa, but expressed a willingness to take them there, they spared the lives of all of his crewmates and promised him the Amistad itself once they reached Africa. Otto von Strang, the Dutch pilot, was a staunch abolitionist, and happy to help the Africans reach their home again. His book of the harrowing journey across the Atlantic and life with the freed Africans aboard the Amistad sold thousands of copies and became a major motivator in the anti-slavery movements in the Americas.

in 1947, something crashes on land owned by Mac Brazel, a rancher who lived outside of Roswell, New Mexico. It spread debris over hundreds of yards, and Brazel discovered little bits and pieces of it over the next few days as his sheep and other cattle tried to eat the trash. Several of them became very sick after eating this junk, and Brazel sought the help of a veterinarian from town to see what could be done for the sick animals, and ordered his sons to, “Go out and pick up all that &%!# off the property and throw it away!” They kept a few of the pieces that they thought looked cool, but buried the rest. Their sister Bessie thought one metallic stick they found was very pretty, so they let her keep that; she put it on the nightstand beside her bed because it glowed softly in the dark and provided her with a night light.

in 2017, the small band of Quarai and humans from the Pokor are led into what seems to be a meeting room. The furniture is very strange, but after a couple of tries, both the humans and the Quarai are able to use it to rest themselves after the long walk from the docking bay. Dr. Minh Vo Hanh finds something on the wall of the room fascinating, and examines it carefully. “I think this is a monitor of some kind,” he tells Commander Patterson. Before she can tell him to leave it alone, he touches something on a panel below the device, and the “monitor” he was examining flares into life. It shows a picture of the Dyson sphere that they are sitting in, and a voice begins droning out information in the strange language that the spacecraft had used to communicate with them. The Quarai translator recorded it in hopes of deciphering it later. Captain Mawrao asked Minh, “Can you turn it off?” The doctor tried, but couldn't find anything that fulfilled the function of an off switch. “I guess they don't let presentations get interrupted,” Dr. Hanh said, ruefully.

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