Sunday, August 13, 2006

Yellow Fever Epidemic

The state of TIAH

August 13th, 2006

in [time unknown], Najib Kasem recommends moving the Pokor away from the brown planet they are currently orbiting. “We haven't finished translating their language, but it seems remarkably similar to the language of the Starwalkers, and I can tell that there is some hostility occurring on the planet's surface. They're in the middle of a war.” Commander Patterson has to explain the concept to the Quarai crew, but the P'tar ambassador understands immediately. She tells Captain Mawrao that the ship needs to be evacuate immediately. As the Pokor thrusts away from the brown planet, its sensors detect several ships breaking orbit and heading towards them. “I don't think I've ever asked you this before, Captain,” Commander Patterson said to Mawrao, “but what defenses does the Pokor have?” Mawrao tells her, “We have force shield, we have pulse weapon that disable electrical equipment; that's about it.” Commander Patterson says, “The Eagle has a nuclear drive that can be turned on our opponents if need be.” The Quarai captain is reluctant to initiate hostilities, though. “Maybe we should see if they can be negotiated with.” The ships from the brown planet surround the Pokor within minutes, and Kasem and the Quarai translator Monkar attempt to radio them a message of peace and friendship. Their signal is returned by a brief speech in what Kasem confirms is the Starwalker language, and he replies remarkably well in the same language. Their ship is seized by some unknown force, and they are redirected back to the brown planet. “I don't think they mean us harm,” Kasem says, somewhat unconvincingly. Mawrao and Patterson consider activating the Jump device, but think that they might bring these ships with them in the jump field. The crew brace themselves for whatever awaits.

in 1878, Memphis restaurateur Kate Bionda dies of yellow fever, the first of millions as the disease decimated the American south and midwest. Panic gripped the young American nation as quarantines initiated to stop the spread proved too porous to be effective. Both mosquitoes and people break through the quarantine lines, and even the military is unable to contain people who are too scared to realize that they are dooming anyone they run towards. Tennessee becomes a charnel house, with virtually the entire population dead within weeks of Ms Bionda. The states surrounding Tennessee suffered 90% casualty rates, and the disease caused deaths as far away as Greenland and Panama before finally subsiding. With this epidemic hitting just as they were nearly finished rebuilding from their Civil War, the American nation, and most of the North American continent, lost their place in world affairs, and the English-speaking nations of the new world never became major players on the world stage, unlike Brazil in South America.

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