Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Truth

The state of TIAH

March 11th, 2007

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Alternate Historian's Note: Our Guest Historian, Stephen Payne, suggested that it was time for a contest, so we're going to have an April Fool's Day Contest! Email us up to 3 entries for an alternate April 1st and we will post the best 10, with your own credit and link to your website (if you have one). My lovely Co-Historian says that if we can get 30 entrants, we can offer an ultimate winner a complimentary TIAH mug, but we only have 1 entrant so far! Get researching those alternate histories now, folks! The deadline is March 29th. And don't forget Daylight Savings Time today!

in 1953, Professor William Hughes speaks one more time with Dr. Rosalind Franklin about the night that James Watson and Francis Crick died. He has been through the notes that she took from Watson and Crick's lab, and wishes to hear, in his words, “The truth, please.” Dr. Franklin looks at the notes spread out on the table before her and says, “Do you know what it's like to be a woman scientist in our time, Professor Hughes? It's a bit like being the dog-faced boy – people look at you like you're a freak.” She picked up a picture, one she had taken. “And, they take advantage of you. Maurice, who was my academic equal, and my intellectual inferior, treated me like I was his secretary. To keep me from developing my research, he gave my results to those two fools, James and Francis.” She looks away from Hughes and continues her narrative. “I met them as they left the pub – I wasn't allowed in, being a girl and all – and I accompanied them back to their lab. You'd be surprised how easy it was to get two drunk men jealous of each other. James even had a revolver – Americans. He pulled it out of his desk and waved it around, telling Francis that he was going to get top credit for their work, since he was the boy genius. I convincingly screamed at Francis to get the gun away from him.” She smiled mirthlessly at Professor Hughes. “I play the poor, helpless little woman quite well, as you know.” Hughes nodded, his face red. “Well, they struggled for a few moments, and the gun went off. Blood sprayed out from James' back, but he still had enough fight in him to fire at Francis. They both fell, and I was quite shocked, to be frank, Professor. I thought about taking their notes right then, but I knew that Maurice would still stand in my way. Fortunately, the obliging fool chose my moments of indecision as the perfect time to visit his office.” She leaned over to Hughes and whispered conspiratorially, “It was as if God Himself was telling me my plan was perfect. I played the hurt little woman to Maurice, had our little row, then stomped off to James and Francis to tell them what I thought. All I had to do then was give a little scream of horror, and Maurice came running. I knew he couldn't resist taking full credit for their work, so I collected the notes – for him, of course – and he pocketed the gun. I figured that, in time, I would simply publish the research and cut Maurice out of the picture entirely, as he tried to do to me.” She smirked at Hughes. “But, you had to have a go at playing Sherlock Holmes. You presented an opportunity for me to cut Maurice completely out, by making it seem as if he was the killer. I played the frightened little girl for you, and then, to make you doubly sure about Maurice, I pilfered the murder weapon from his desk, where he had obligingly covered it with his fingerprints – I wore gloves – and took a few potshots at you.” At Hughes' scowl, she said, “I'm a very good shot; I wasn't going to hit you. That would have defeated the purpose. I left the gun there for you and the police to find, and I figured it was all over.” She sat back and frowned. “And then Maurice cocked it up for me. You were a bit too clever as well.” Hughes shrugged. “So sorry I had to stand in your way.” She sighed, thought a moment, then said, “Look, I didn't kill them. I'm quite happy they're dead, and only wish I could've figured a way to get Maurice into the mix, but they're the murderers.” Hughes looked over at the prosecutor, who was making a few notes. “You'll face jail time for tampering with the scene of a crime, Dr. Franklin,” the prosecutor told her. “As will Dr. Wilkins, even if he was your fool in all this. You will also face an additional charge of assault for shooting at Professor Hughes. You're not getting out of this scot-free.” He and Professor Hughes rose, and Dr. Franklin was escorted back to her jail cell. As they walked away from the interrogation room, the prosecutor said to Hughes, “I still can't quite bring myself to believe that two men are dead, and two other people's lives are ruined, over bits of protoplasm.” Hughes stopped him and looked him up and down. “You're just a collection of that 'protoplasm', as you call it, sir. What Wilkins said about it, he was right. This research is immortality, or as close as a scientist can ever get to it. You should never underestimate what people will do to ensure that their name lives forever.” The prosecutor held out a notebook to Hughes. “Are you going to do anything with it? I don't think those two will be publishing for some time.” Hughes shook his head. “No. When they get out, they deserve it, especially Dr. Franklin. She was the genius behind it all, even if it did drive her a bit insane.” The prosecutor shook his head, laughing. “Never will understand you scientific chaps. All right, then. Let the Nobel committee wrestle with it.” Professor Hughes laughed, too. “I'm sure they will, sir. I'm sure they will.”

Maude enters Baghdad
Maude enters Ba..
In 1917 Baghdad fell to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Maude who famously declared 'Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as liberators, but as conquerors.' Many insurgency attempts have been suppressed, most notably with the capture of the Shadow (Saddam Hussein ..
.. Abd al-Majidida al-Tikriti) on December 13, 2003 yet Mesopotamia remains annexed by the British Empire to this day.

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

In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became Russian Prime Minister launching Perestroika and its attendant radical reforms in a determined attempt to prevent the Tsarist State from melting down. Gorby's 'new thinking' was welcomed abroad, but the pace of reform at home was too slow. On Christmas Day .. Gorbachev
.. 1991 Boris Yeltsin declared himself the President of the new Russian Republic thereby ending the world's largest and most influential monarchy. Economic relations between the former Russian provinces were severely compromised. Millions of native Russians found themselves in the newly formed 'foreign' countries.

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

Janet Reno
Janet Reno
In 1993 Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States. She took personal charge of the Waco Incident, drawing the wrath of the necromancer David Koresh who trapped her spirit in a tree. She ..
.. escaped but suffered acute physiological damage. By way of subterfuge in 1995 Reno revealed that she had Parkinson's disease, an incurable degenerative illness that causes muscular stiffness and involuntary trembling.

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

In 1988 a ceasefire is declared in the Iran-Iraq War. Vice President George Bush had hoped to recover the Extraterrestrial Technology (ET) buried in Iraq under cover of warfare, but his Iranian proxies had failed him despite being beneficiaries of Colonel Oliver Norths Arms for Extraterrestrial .. George Bush
George Bush
.. Technology exchange. It was looking increasingly likely that the plan he had envisaged in 1975 whilst CIA Director would require an invasion, and for that he needed to win the presidency that very year. Bush was starting to realise he was in for the long-hall, not yet realising he was only thirteen years into a thirty-five year project that would extend to the final year of his son's Presidency.

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

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Anonymous said...

So right, yet so wrong on the DNA timeline. Very nice!

Assuming that in this timeline, Franklin dies of cancer before being eligible for the Nobel, I wonder who gets it? Does Wilkins get it alone, or does the committee find some way to avoid honoring him?


Reverend Robbie said...

Provided Wilkins actually does work on the project, he would be the only one of the 4 still alive for the Nobel committee to award. Looking at the "real world", it is a shame that the committee doesn't award posthumous Nobels, because Franklin deserved it at least as much as Watson & Crick, and far more than Wilkins.

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