The state of TIAH
November 5th, 2006
Alternate Historian's Note: November is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. In 2004, we produced our novel Warp, and last year we got a start on The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion during this annual event. Both of these novels were based on timelines from TIAH – Warp was based on the Mlosh timeline, and Protocols on the Greater Zionist Resistance timeline. Although we posted numerous links to these novels on Lulu, TIAH didn't post any excerpts from them. We're going to do it a little differently this year. This year, the November posts on TIAH will be excerpts from the novel that is being written by us for NaNoWriMo. We will still have Guest Historian entries – Stephen Payne (who has compiled several and made them available on Lulu) has some already written and waiting – so, if you want to make a Guest Post this month, go ahead and send it to us, and it will appear along with our novel post.
Kevin was amazed at how much traffic was headed out of Austin today. He hadn't seen anything like that since Hurricane Rita had gotten half of Houston to drive up to Bryan. He turned on the radio to see if there was something he needed to know about this, but only got static. He flipped through a few channels, but was only met with the same static. “Weird.” He left it on, just in case one of the stations came back.
He was about to pass Pflugerville when he heard the whine of the Emergency Broadcast System, and turned up the sound on his radio. The voice that usually announced this as a test was saying that it was an actual emergency, this time. “Please stay tuned for details,” the emotionless voice said. It was followed by a breathless woman speaking rapidly. “We have confirmation of the earlier reports of the nuclear explosion at Crawford, today,” she said, and Kevin felt a little light-headed.
Janice was pissed when the show's climax was interrupted by the EBS' annoying emergency tone. She flipped the channel, but the EBS was on everywhere. She flipped back to SciFi in time to catch a disheveled woman on screen saying something about Crawford. “The White House can't be reached for comment; phone lines to the east coast seem to be down. For now, all citizens are asked to stay in their homes and stay tuned to this channel for further information from the Emergency Broadcast System.”
Janice went over to her computer and turned it on. There had to be something on the Internet about this. Once her computer was booted up, she was able to get online, but CNN and all the other news sites were down. “Crap, it's like 9/11,” she muttered. She thought for a minute, then went into the bathroom and started the tub filling with water.
Joan looked over at the car in the lane next to them and said to her mother, “Mom, I think I heard that Emergency Broadcast thingie from that guy's car.”
Steph turned her radio on, and caught the woman saying that the east coast couldn't be reached by phone. “Man, there must be a hurricane. I need to check the TV when I wake up.” She thought about it for a minute, then pulled off the same awkward turn-around that other car had done.
“We're not going to school?” George's voice was very hopeful.
“No, we're goin' back to the house,” Steph said, speeding down the clear lane heading away from Austin. The line to the highway was unbelievable. “When we get home, Joanie, you start water running in the sink and start filling up all the jars we have, all right? I think we got about a week's worth of food in the cupboard, and – when did we get the propane filled?”
“Last month,” Joan answered her. “He was cute.”
“Yeah, he was,” Steph smiled. “Georgie, you get together some blankets and we're going to start stapling 'em up in front of the windows, in case they break.” George nodded, his eyes ablaze with excitement. “I can't believe this wasn't all over the news last couple o' days. They talked about Rita forever 'fore it hit.”
The EBS lady started talking again, and they all got quiet to listen. “Although the president's schedule clearly placed him at Crawford last night, it cannot be confirmed that he was actually there.”
Steph was confused. “What does that...”
“The governor has declared martial law across central Texas, and National Guard troops will be moving into place to assist all Texans in this crisis. All reservists have been ordered to report to their local units.”
“That's why your father didn't call us,” Steph said. She didn't talk to Jake that often, but she would have expected him to contact them if there was some kind of emergency going on. His unit usually handled this kind of work, though, so he had probably been busy all night.
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