Wednesday, January 31, 2007

After - conclusion

The state of TIAH

January 31st, 2007

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Alternate Historian's Note: Today we're going to conclude the presentation of After, our NaNoWriMo novel. We will then begin work on a side-project – a collection of several timelines with more-or-less complete stories inside them – The Fall, the Tolman timeline, the Mormon War, the Lascaux Cave story, and more – that will have After included with it. Once they're edited together, we'll put the lot up for sale on Lulu. If you would be interested in this, or would like to suggest something for inclusion in the collection, please email me and let me know. And, speaking of side projects, Guest Historian Stephen Payne has one, Crimson Kiss, available for free on Lulu. Check it out.

Harry S Truman
Harry S Truman
In 1950 President Harry S. Truman announced a program to develop the hydrogen bomb. Agonisingly, the perverse result of the 1952 presidential race resulted in his passage of the technology to President-elect Douglas MacArthur, a megalomaniac who he had dismissed for requesting thirty to ..
.. fifty nuclear strikes in Manchuria to reach a decision in the Korean War.

~ entry by Steve Payne from counter history in context - you're the judge!

In 1995 Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León authorizes a $20 billion loan to enable the United States to stabilize its economy as President Bill Clinton makes fresh attempts to lift the broken nation from the ashes of defeat in the Cold War. Ernesto Zedillo
Ernesto Zedillo

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Charles the Bold
Charles the Bol..
In 1951 the Duchy of Burgundy joins neighbour state France in the European Economic Community. The two French nations had previously remained independent ever since Charles the Bold's victory at the Battle of Nancy in 1477.

~ entry by Steve Payne from counter history in context - you're the judge!

In 1876 The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations. These would finally empty in 2059 as the indigenes quit the Turtle Island known to the European Tourist as America.Native American Chief
Native American..

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

in 2007, as Heavenly forces break down the walls of New Babylon, now-former European Union President and current Anti-Christ Morris Appleby kneels before the last Christian priest in his domain and confesses his sins. Just after he asks for forgiveness and takes Jesus into his heart, the Host bursts in on him. “My brethren,” he announces to them, “I am now one of you.”

It took a few days, but Senator Kerry and President Bush unraveled the coup as they advanced across the country and entered Washington, D.C. The generals and CIA men who were at the top of the conspiracy were thrown into jail, and Senator Kerry promised that when he took office as president the next month, they would be stuck in a jail cell for the rest of their lives. The nation's pundits found the coup the perfect example of the perfidy of the other side, no matter which side of the political spectrum they fell on.
Ordinary people tried to pull their lives back together. Jake and Mike moved into the Johnson's house across the street from Steph. Mike found the presence of a former sergeant oddly comforting, and Jake – well, Jake spent a lot of time with Janice. Janice published a book about the coup which became a major bestseller, and made her small group of friends heroes. She spent a lot of time traveling around the country, with Jake by her side, giving lectures on how the paranoid atmosphere of 2004 contributed to the near-success of the governmental overthrow.
Steph became the most popular real estate agent at her office; everyone wanted to be sold their new home or office by the agent who had saved the president. Even when she self-deprecatingly told them that she had only been part of the group, they still asked to hear about it. She didn't like to talk about it too much, because it made her think of Kevin; but she usually indulged them a bit. It really helped her sales figures.
Joan and George became the most popular kids at their schools, regaling the student body with their tales of life on the run, agents busting into their house, and dead bodies everywhere. George, in particular, embellished a few of the stories to make himself more central, but no one really took him to task about it.
Kevin's sister Rene sold his house, but took his dog. She used the money that she inherited from him to fund a scholarship for promising students of computer science. She felt that he would have wanted something for people to remember him by, if he couldn't enjoy the money himself.

On the anniversary of the coup, the 6 Austinites got together at Steph's place for dinner. After the fine meal, Janice raised a glass of wine. “To Kevin and Eli,” she said. The others toasted, the adults with wine and the kids with soda. After a moment of silence for their departed friends, the kids cleared off the table and went to bed while the adults gathered in the living room.
“There are days when it almost seems like it didn't happen,” Mike said, looking out Steph's window. “Everything's just the same as it always was.”
“No, it's different.” Janice plopped herself down on the couch by Jake. “A lot more people are reading conspiracy web sites.”
Steph smiled as she took a seat in her big recliner. “Who could blame them?”
“I'm getting, like, half a million hits a day,” Mike said, proudly. “You wouldn't believe the ad revenues.”
Jake shook his head. He was not entirely comfortable with how they made their money these days. “It's a little hard for me to accept that we're all making a nice livin' off of something that almost destroyed our country.”
“Almost,” Janice reminded him. “But, it didn't. We're stronger than that. That's what all these little petty wannabe dictators forget about us. We're way too attached to freedom to just let it go cuz of a fake nuke.”
“Let's not talk about it anymore,” Steph said. “I have to talk about it with clients all the time.”
“OK,” Janice said, “but you're really cutting down on my conversational repertoire.”
“Hey,” Mike said, turning back to the group, “what do you think they would've done if Kerry hadn't won the election?” He wilted a bit as Steph glared at him. “What? That's an entirely different subject.”
“I don't want to talk about alternate reality again,” Steph said. She looked over at Janice and Jake. “He talks about that all the time when y'all are off on your book tours. He comes over here for dinner, and talks to kids about this new site he found about alternate history. Now, it's finally gotten Joanie interested in history, so it's not all bad, but you should hear some of the crazy things they talk about.”
“Well, there are changes I'd make in this one,” Jake said, putting his arm around Janice's shoulders, “but this reality seems to have worked out all right.”
“There's a change I'd make,” Steph said, looking with just a slight twinge of envy at the happy couple.
“Me, too,” Mike said, looking back outside. “Of course, we wouldn't have met each other without the coup. Except for Janice and me; and you two, I guess, because of the whole married to each other thing.” He shut his mouth to contain the tumble of words.
“Life is strange,” Janice said. “You never know where it's going to take you.”
“Good places, sometimes,” Jake said, holding her hand.
“And bad,” Mike said, looking out the window again.
“Like you said last year,” Steph told them. “Interesting times.”

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