The state of TIAH
November 9th, 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 for free – just go through the Add to Cart system to get it) 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 1872, Captain's wife Sarah Elizabeth Briggs awakens with a terrifying shriek on board the Mary Celeste. In a frightful dream, the forehatch and the lazarette had flown open, and a deathly pale and soulless Gotlieb Gondeschall had beckoned her wordlessly below deck. Shared parental concern for the safety of 2 year old child Sophia Matilda Briggs forces Captain Benjamin Briggs to acknowledge his 30-year old wife's fears that they are all in dreadful danger for their very souls. In the privacy of their chambers, he can soften his command voice and speak as a New England Puritan rather than a naval officer. To a degree, he is also able to conceal from his wife the mortal fear which has gripped him since he reported for his mission briefing at Meissner Ackermann & Coin in New York City. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-
in 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II (born Frederick William Albert Victor) abdicates after the German Revolution, and a Republic is proclaimed. British Prime Minister Lloyd George had just won an election with the slogan 'Hang the Kaiser!' and less than a year later, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands ejects the former German Emperor from his exiled home in Amerongen. The image of the aged Kaiser mounting the gallows in Berlin, using his right hand to conceal the ungloved withered left is too much for the German public to stomach. Matters come to a head when orders are given in March 1920 by the Social Democrat Government of President Friedrich Ebert for the dissolution of the irregular German Army known as the Freikorps. The attempt to suppress counter-revolutionary forces and secure the Weimar Republic backfires disastrously. The Kapp Putsch brought to power Wolfgang Kapp, a 62-year-old East Prussian civil servant and fervent nationalist determined to reverse the hated Treaty of Versailles. The struggle for mastery in Europe is settled in the 1920s with the shattered continent too weak to resist the rebuilding of a glorious Third Reich. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-
The sudden change from the muzak to the man's voice startled Kevin. He recovered himself and said, “Yeah?”
“Mr. Bradley, KBE has been employed by the state of Texas to coordinate the reentry of vital personnel into the armed forces in this time of crisis.” The spiel tripped off the guy's tongue so quickly that Kevin almost missed the gist of what he was saying.
“Hey, I was discharged in '93. I'm not even in inactive reserves anymore.”
“Be that as it may, Mr. Bradley, in this time of national emergency, the military has certain powers to call up former servicemen who have certain vital skills.” Kevin heard the clicking of more keys. “According to our records, you were a computer specialist, a position which we are in great need of. You will need to report to your local National Guard unit in Bryan by oh-seven-hundred tomorrow morning.”
“You don't understand,” Kevin said, very calmly, he thought. “I'm not in Bryan. I'm stuck on the highway in Austin. See, I won the lottery, and - “
“I'm afraid that doesn't alleviate your responsibilities to your country, Mr. Bradley,” the man said. Kevin was really developing a strong dislike for this man. “We can give you a twenty-four hour grace period, but after that, the military will consider you absent without leave.”
“You've got to be kidding me.”
“You might be able to work out something with your superior officer in Bryan if you report to a Guard unit in Austin while you are there.”
“I'm stuck on the highway and traffic hasn't moved in an hour. How am I supposed to report to a Guard unit?”
“Not really KBE's problem, Mr. Bradley,” the annoying man said. “I am marking your case with the notation that you have been notified of your obligations. Congratulations on the lottery.”
And with that, he hung up.
Kevin pounded his steering wheel and fumed. His ship finally comes in, and some jerkwad decides that he has to go back into the service. Well, he wasn't going to do it. He was going to collect his money, then use his sweet 3 million to skip the country. That kind of cash could buy a nice, quiet disappearance, and the Army could bite his butt. Yeah.
He looked around at the hundreds, possibly thousands of cars trapped together on the highway with him. The car next to him was filled with a small family; a young father and mother trying to entertain two kids, keeping happy, smiling faces pointed at the children while exchanging terrified looks with each other as they looked at the city around them.
He hated the fact that his mother raised him right. If she had just gone wrong a few times, he wouldn't feel guilty about thinking about himself for once.
He looked around at the huge line of cars again and wished that he had better wheels; he'd try a little off-road action if he wasn't afraid his tires would pop on him. Just then, though, the line started moving. It was slow, but it was forward motion. Maybe he'd make it to the lottery office in time to collect. Then he could ask them where the local Guard headquarters was.
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