Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Bomb

The state of TIAH

August 6th, 2006

in 1945, after watching a film that had been made of the atomic tests going on in New Mexico, and agonizing the entire night over his decision, President Thomas Dewey calls off the proposed use of a nuclear weapon against the Japanese city of Hiroshima. His order barely reaches the Enola Gay in time to stop it from its destined flight over the small Japanese city. To show the Japanese leadership exactly what they have been spared, President Dewey arranges through neutral intermediaries for the Emperor and the top Japanese generals to observe the dropping of an atomic bomb off of the Japanese coast; the incredible explosion horrifies the Emperor, who says that they must surrender to the Americans immediately; but the generals harden his heart, telling him that this must be a bluff, a trick that the Allies are using because they are too afraid of assaulting the main Japanese islands. They refuse the offer of surrender and shore up their defenses, preparing for a conventional invasion. President Dewey reluctantly gives in to his generals, and allows them to use their remaining nuclear bomb against Tokyo, itself. The destruction of their capitol and most of their leadership on August 10th, 1945 results in chaos throughout the Japanese islands, and the Allied forces are able to invade without much resistance, finally ending the war on November 12th. Dewey is so shaken at the images of destruction in Tokyo that he becomes disenchanted with his office, and does not run for reelection in 1948. “I only wished to serve one term because I had presided over the most horrific single war crime in human history,” Dewey wrote in his memoirs. “I should never have allowed them to talk me into using nuclear weapons against Japan, and will carry the guilt of all those deaths to the end of my days.” President Dewey retired to his home state of New York in 1949 and became the world's most vocal opponent of atomic power until his death in 1961.

in 2017, the Pokor, now packed with Amandarans who had been able to talk their way into a berth on the ship, awaits the activation of the golden Jump device by Najib Kasem and the Quarai translator Monkar. They put in earth's coordinates and activate the device nervously. After the flash of brilliant light that the crew of the Eagle has become so used to, they find themselves floating in space around a familiar yellow sun. The humans let out a cheer as the Pokor's sensors detect a blue planet floating about 10 light-minutes in the distance. As soon as the Amandaran crew is told where they are, they join in the cheering. Captain Mawrao of the Pokor, who is now easily the most traveled captain the Quarai have ever produced, orders the ship into orbit around earth, while the Eagle sends a message ahead informing earth of the quite unexpected side-results of their mission to Pindar-Asaki. Commander Patterson tells the European Space Agency that the Amandarans are the best friends that humans could ever hope for in space, and says, “These aliens may look strange, but they are kindred souls, and we should embrace them as they have embraced my small crew for these last two months.” The European Space Agency signals back to the Eagle with permission to land, and to bring Amandaran ambassadors with them.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was the Dewey bomb scenario inspired by a short story called "No Other Choice" from the old anthology "Alternate Presidents"?

Robbie Taylor said...

I did read that story - I made the Dewey in this post more pacifist in nature than I remember that Dewey being, in order to make them different.

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.