The state of TIAH
November 2nd, 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 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.
in 1950, biochemist Duncan Taylor was born in Centerville, Texas. Dr. Taylor was part of the team that mapped the human genome, and discoverer of the Taylor Gene, which governs the human ability to use logic. When his team produced the drug that enhanced this gene, he was denounced from several quarters – casinos, religion, politics – but with the widespread use of his drug, such concerns are behind us all, now.
in 1963, Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his younger brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu are assassinated by plotters led by General Duong Van "Big" Minh, overthrowing the Government of the Republic of Vietnam. The United States publicly expresses shock and disappointment that Diem had been killed. This qualified statement leads many independents to question the involvement of the United Statements government in the coup, if not the assassination. When Jack Kennedy and his brother Bobby are assassinated only twenty days later, President Johnson is forced to commission a presidential inquiry, chaired by Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren. -entry by guest Historian, Stephen Payne-
in 1969, Father Edward Moore Kennedy carefully drives his 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 across the bridge on Dike Road at a leisurely 15mph en route to the Lawrence Cottage prayer meeting in Chappaquiddick. Suddenly an oncoming car mounts the narrow bridge at speed, they collide and the other vehicle flips upside down into Poucha Pond. A moment later, two burly men drag a gasping third onto the river bank and he is amazed to see the rescued man is his older brother Jack, who was reported missing in action twenty-six years before. The first man climbs the bank and says, "Teddy, its me Sam Kinney, there's been a terrible accident." Indignant to be spoken to so informally, and yet surprised to be recognized by a man he does not know, Father Kennedy crosses himself in an effort to collect his scrambled thoughts. -entry by guest Historian, Stephen Payne-
As he was approaching Rockdale, Kevin looked for the convenience store on the highway. He had stopped there a lot when he was going back and forth between Austin and Bryan during college. It was a ritual to him – stopping at the little store made the trip safe and happy.
It had been a while since his last stop at the store; probably a good ten years, when he had last been to Austin. That was when he was trying to get his taxes in order and needed to talk to the IRS there. While that trip had been safe, it wasn't very happy...
He saw the store and pulled into its parking lot. It didn't have the same name, but it was exactly the same inside. Small barbecue kitchen next to the register, dust on quite a bit of the merchandise, thick papers from Houston and Austin next to a paper that was little more than a pamphlet from Rockdale. He got a plastic bottle of milk and a cinnamon bun, just as he always had before, and went up to the counter. The young woman who took his money was probably in elementary school the last time he passed through, and she was very pert and perky. “Thanks for stoppin' in,” she said, smiling and handing him change from the 20 he had given her for the food.
“What's your name?”
She pointed at her name tag. “Cindy.”
He smiled at her and shook her hand. “Thanks, Cindy. It's a beautiful day, isn't it?”
She kept smiling, which he liked. “Sure is. Too bad I got to spend it inside.”
He looked at his truck through the window, then back to her. “Want to go to Austin?”
She laughed and shook her head. “Sorry, my shift don't end till 3.”
He shrugged and laughed. “Too bad. You have a nice day, Cindy.”
“You, too, sir.”
He left the little store and hopped into his truck. While it was warming up again, he popped open the milk and unwrapped his cinnamon bun. He wasn't really hungry, but he didn't want to mess with tradition. After a few bites and a couple of gulps of milk, he set the bun down on the seat beside him and covered the milk again, then pulled out of the parking lot and got back on the highway.
Not too much longer, he was driving around Taylor, which was the last turn he'd make before getting into Austin's suburbs. His truck was pointed at the capitol city and in half an hour he'd be at his destination.
Janice's alarm went off, and she banged at the snooze button futilely for a couple of seconds before giving up and raising her head. She hit the off button, sat up, then stood up. Her nightgown bunched up at the butt, and she gave it a tug to free herself. Yawning, she walked over to the window and looked outside. The day was clear, birds were singing, and she smacked her lips at it all. “Bleh.”
The shower water was cold for way too long – she hadn't had time to get a plumber to look at it – but got nice and warm right before she had to get out and dry off. She luxuriated in it for a few seconds longer than she needed to, just for a moment's indulgence. Reality beckoned, though, and she stepped out and grabbed the towel on the rack.
Walking through her kitchen, she thought briefly about breakfast, but a glance at her watch showed that she had just enough time to get to work 5 minutes late if she left immediately. She walked into the garage and hopped in her car. It was still new enough that she still got a little thrill when she felt the leather rub against her legs. It was almost enough to make going to work worth it.
She stuck her key in the ignition, turned, and – nothing happened.
“No, don't do this to me,” she muttered at the car. She turned the key again, but got the same nothing she had before. “Crap.” She popped the hood and looked at the engine for several minutes before surrendering to the fact that she wouldn't know what to do even if she found the problem.
She went back inside and called her auto club service, which promised someone would be out there within the hour. She hung up, cursed at the fates for several seconds, then called her office and told them that car trouble would make her at least a couple of hours late. Her boss sounded just slightly threatening as she said, “Don't worry, Janice, I'm sure that we'll manage without you.” Janice hung up and cursed her boss until she felt better.
She wrapped a sweater around herself and went outside to wait for the truck to arrive from the service. A neighbor's cat walked up to her, sniffed, then rubbed against her leg, purring contentedly. She sneezed and shoved the cat away. “Not my day.”
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