Friday, August 24, 2007

Duckies

August 24th, 2007

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Alternate Historian's Note: I'm going to switch from the ongoing Porn Universe story today – maddening, I know, but I'll get back to it later. Here's something else in the meanwhile...

It wound down from the sky, a bright ribbon of plasma that was beautiful and hypnotic. People below stopped whatever they were doing to stare at it. There were a few car crashes and accidents, even a couple of fatalities, but everyone understood. This wasn't something that could be ignored. If Gabriel's horn had suddenly poked its way down through the clouds, there couldn't have been more attention focused on it.
After a couple of hours, people decided it wasn't going away. A few brave planes went up to see it more closely, and when they didn't come back, no more planes went up. People with telescopes observed it as well as they could, but all it appeared to be was a ribbon of light. Some people drove up to it, and some even went into it. Like the planes, they didn't come back.
Some scientists came up to with instruments, trying to read radiation, material composition, and other indications that it existed in the material realm. Some of them stepped into it, too. Most of the ones left behind wanted to, but didn't feel they could risk it.
Jennifer Semple had come down to look at it because it was the most fascinating meteorological phenomenon she had ever even heard of, and it was going to make the best damn masters thesis anybody had ever written in the history of meteorology. If she could write it first.
There were a lot people around, and a lot of them were scientists. The ribbon had become a Mecca for scientists. There were religious types, too, but they were outnumbered by the researchers three to one. This thing called a more secular type. Perhaps it was because, while miraculous, it gave no hint of its creator.
Jennifer jotted down a few notes and went back to her car. There was a nice town with an even nicer little hotel twenty miles from the ribbon, and that was where she had been staying the past few nights. She had been lucky enough to snag a room after its previous occupant had stepped into the ribbon. Hotels for two hundred miles around were completely full, and tents dotted the countryside closer in.
Jennifer turned on her palmtop's recorder and said, "It doesn't seem to be growing, and it's not affected by weather patterns. Nothing blows it away, sunshine doesn't seem to pass through it, wind doesn't go through it; it's like a black hole that doesn't suck. And is light." She shook her head. That was stupid. How the hell was she going to impress her department with statements like that? "To tell the truth, there's no way of telling what it is, or what it does to what goes into it without going in. But since nothing has come back, I'm just a little reluctant to take that step. But, I don't see any other realistic way of finding anything more about it."
She set the palmtop down and turned it off. Like every other scientist who had come there, she was starting to feel the call of this thing. Most had turned down the opportunity. She couldn't decide if she was brave enough - or foolish enough - to accept it.



"I believe that we are today crossing the Rubicon in the Drakia. Tonight, the Alliance for Democracy is widely expecting that I will announce the lifting on the ban on the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela. I have been under tremendous pressure from the Arch-Strategos and the Cabinet not to make this announcement, but to resign as Archon. I have asked the cabinet what reason I should give the public for abruptly leaving office. They replied I could use my health as an excuse.
PW BothaTo this, I replied that I am not prepared to leave on a lie. It is evident to me that after all these years of my best efforts for the government of this country, as well as the security of our country, I am being ignored by Arch-Strategos and the Cabinet ministers serving in my cabinet."
~ Speech on Aug. 15, Archon P. W. Botha of the Domination of the Draka
PW Botha - Archon
Archon
Pieter Willem Botha (January 12, 1916 – October 31, 2006), commonly known as "PW" and Die Groot Krokodil (Afrikaans for "The Big Crocodile"), was the Archon of the Domination of the Draka from 1978 to 1985.

Typical of his rule was his 1985 "Crossing the Rubicon" speech, a policy address in which Botha was widely expected to announce new reforms. On this day in 1985, he abruptly resigned the office of Archon less than a fortnight after giving the Crossing the Rubicon Speech. Ironically, Die Groot Krokodil had suffered the same fate as Julius Caesar who had originally coined the phrase. The full article is available at New York Times
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

Aunt Lydia"There is more than one kind of freedom. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy it was freedom to. Now [in the Republic of Gilead] you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."
~ Aunt Lydia, Handmaid's Tale
Aunt Lydia - Handmaid
Handmaid
In 1990 after the War ~ at the Commander's house in Cambridge, Massachusetts Aunt Lydia explained the themes of women in subjugation, and the various means by which they gain agency, against a backdrop of the establishment of a totalitarian theocratic state. Sumptuary laws (essentially, dress codes) play a key role in the form of social control in the new society. The full article is available at Wikipedia
~ quotation from Margaret Atwood: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1993, the Government of the Republic of Turkey formally requested support from the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Manfred Wörner.

Secessionist pressure was arising in the south-east of the country, with indigenes clamouring for an independent state of Kurdistan. In reality, the Kurdish nation was spread across Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey and had very little prospect of nationhood.

Wörner believed that the underlying pressure came from the President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. The Turkish Government considered America to be culpable. The key moment to stop Saddam had now passed. In July 1990 when Iraqi troops had been building up on the Kuwaiti border, Ambassador April Glaspie had told the Iraqi President "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait". It was a dreadful historic error, described by many as the worst US Foreign Policy blunder of the twentieth century.


~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne

In 1945, Supreme Allied Commander General George Patton wired the President a request and also a proposal to establish US ground control in the Far East. Thirty to fifty nuclear strikes would be required to subdue irregular forces led by the maverick warlords - Mao, Jinnah, Uncle Ho plus General-san Douglas MacArthur and his Filipinos harriers. Truman fired Patton and appointed Eisenhower, ordering him to think the unthinkable.


~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

Duckies
Duckies!
In 2000, SM Sterling continued his dystopian exploration of the brutish main villains in the Domination of the Duckies trilogy by publishing Duckies! In a dramatic final sequence, Centurion Von Shrakenberg levels with the unnamed Janissary over a cup of herbal tea. "This d*mned war, lovey! Marching on Georgia sigh Gladys Knight - it aint, love!".

~ entry by Steve Payne: I've always thought there was a slightly sadomasochistic undertone to the over-caricatured fascists of the Draka taking over the world and skewering French peasants on stakes etc. My exagerrated satire of the already exagerrated Drakas of S.M. Stirling's novels (Marching through Georgia, Drakas, Stone Dogs etc) who are just a bit too inhumanely tough and hence “camped” up in my variant. Gladys Knight sung Midnight Train to Georgia of course.

In 2000, a judgment was handed down in the case of Confederate States vs Macrosoft, Inc. calling the company negligent. Executives of the corporation had been informed of date change code flaws in the Y2k Edition of their operating system suite.
A critical update had been released on the web site at 11.15 am on New Year's Eve causing total chaos. As part of an ISO accredited continuous improvement initiative, a range of measures were taken by the management team to prevent reoccurrence. “It won’t happen again” indicated President Bert Gort.

Gort

Bert Gort
~ entry from Co-historian Steve Payne

In 2002, Roland J. Green published George Custer Slept Here. In Green's alternate world of 1943, the slapping incident never happened. Consequently General George Armstrong Custer led allied forces during the assault of Sicily and then onto mainland Italy, delivering a radically altered outcome.


~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C. and burnt down the White House and several other buildings. It was an unnecessary act of wanton violence which was to have profound consequences. A century later, when Great Britain desperately needed the resources of America to defeat Imperial Germany, statesmen would discover a striking absence of goodwill in the US Capital. Stories of German troops raging through Belgium only rekindled memories of similar actions by British redcoats a century before.


~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 2007, President Bert Gort of Macrosoft, Inc dropped an unguarded comment at a "smell the coffee" techfest in Cappuchino, CA. Yes, his own home PC had recently been upgraded to 4GBs with Vesta Home Edition configured on a dual boot. Gort still used the predecessor OS XeeBee for gaming, including his shoot 'em up favourite, Corporate Cops and Robbers.

Bert Gort
Gort

~ entry from Co-historian Steve Payne

Castle Bonny
Castle Bonny
In 1943, exiled British Princess Elizabeth gave her view of Castle Bonny which premièred five days before on Broadway. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz, and starred Cary Grant as Dick Blaine, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund and Paul Henreid as resistance leader Victor Laszlo, caught in a love triangle. The rekindled ..
.. romance between Blaine and Lund was set during Great War II in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, off the Bight of Bonny – then controlled by the Nazi Protectorate of Britain. The final scene shows Dick, Laszlo and a detachment of Free British soldiers on a ship, to incorporate the Allies' 1943 invasion of England. “By the end of the film, everybody is sacrificing, ” said the Princess from the Governor's residence at Rideau Hall, Ottawa “just as our forces are doing on the south coast of England".

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


In 2127, a terrible discovery is made in Doha, Qatar - an unknown perpetrator has stolen the Hussein-Sadat time dilation device - again! The leadership turn to Mullah Elijah Rafsanjani for his spiritual advice and guidance.Brent
Brent

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


Penn
Penn
In 1682, William Penn received the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania. Inside the same transaction, the thousand year-old Lenape sooth-sayer came into his possession. Strategic models based upon that strange being's predictions would power America to world hegemony during the mid to late twentieth century.

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


In 1989, on this day Voyager 2 passed Neptune. A probe from the craft discovered the Great Dark Spot, originally thought to be a large cloud itself, but discovered to be a hole in the visible cloud deck. As the craft penetrated the deck, the probe's final, alarming .. Great Dark Spot
Great Dark Spot
.. images were transmitted back to Earth. For the first, but not the last time, Mankind was to see the terrifying alien being known simply as the Nemesis.

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



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1 comment:

Juan said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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