|Hilary Clinton||In 2009, fulfilling a key campaign promise, US President Hilary Rodham arrived in Richmond, Virginia for re-unification talks with Confederate President Al Gore. |
During the election, Rodham had seized upon the theme of unfinished business in former President Bush's last State of the Nation address. It was a bold step that had carried her to the White House, and the restless ghost of Abraham Lincoln.
|That Lincoln had a precognitive dream about the dissolution that is well documented. He related the dream to his close friend, Ward Hill Lamon:|
About ten days ago, I retired very late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room. No living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds met me as I passed alone. I was puzzled and alarmed.
Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room. Before me was a catafalque on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng or people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers. 'The country,' was his answer. ~ Paranormal Phenomena.
|In 1536, physician and alchemist Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim, known as Paracelsus, apparently ssucceeds in synthesizing gold from lead and other base elements.|
When word of his discovery leaks out and his efforts are duplicated, panic sweeps Europe at the prospect of a financial collapse. Particularly hard-hit is Spain, which had been levering its expropriating of Aztec and Inca precious metals to increase its political power. With alchemical gold far cheaper to produce than natural gold is to mine and refine and impossible to tell from the natural product by sixteenth-century methods, the bottom drops out of the gold market.
|Church condemnation of alchemy is greatly strengthened, leading to a wave of arrests and executions by the Inquisition, including the death of Paracelsus himself in 1539. The fledgling science of chemistry is placed under ecclesiastical supervision; thereafter, only priests will be permitted to carry out research in the field. The Church’s prohibition of alchemy, however, does not prohibit Spain from using alchemical gold--and later, alchemical silver--to undermine the economies of its political enemies. England’s Henry VIII, for example, is forced from his throne after defying Rome by divorcing his wife Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. In the 'starving time' which followed the Papacy's authorization of economic warfare, Henry sees his country's currency turn worthless. Finally, his brother-in-law King James IV of Scotland attacks and defeats Henry’s remaining supporters, and is crowned King of England in Henry's place. Henry is shut up in the Tower of London, where he will die in 1547.|
The economic chaos in Europe will slow exploitation of the New World; the first English settlement, at Roanoke Island, will not be established until 1651. Also delayed will be scientific progress, as direct Church control spreads from chemistry to all fields. The one exception is in chemistry, where the Vatican supports a research program aimed at developing alchemy and at eventually finding a way to distinguish alchemical products from their natural counterparts. The result is an 'arms race' between alchemical synthesis and chemical analysis which will not end until 1887, when Bishop Ernest Rutherford demonstrates the use of spectroscopy to distinguish infallibly between alchemical gold and natural gold. As Rutherford shows, and as had long been accepted by alchemists, alchemical gold has not really been transmuted; instead, it is a chemical amalgam whose properties mimic those of the natural metal almost exactly. The same is soon demonstrated for other products of alchemical 'transmutation.'
|In 2000, Indian Point II nuclear power plant in New York State vented a huge amount of radioactive steam when an ageing steam generator failed. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) initially reported that no radioactive material was released but were forced to retract this statement when ten of thousands of people died on the eastern seaboard. On February 16th the NRC stated The event...resulted in an initial primary-to-secondary leak of reactor coolant of approximately 50,000 gallons per minute and required an Alert declaration (the second level of emergency action in the NRC-required emergency response plan.|
In 1933, in Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara shot President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died of his wounds on March 6. John Nance Garner ascended to the Presidency, famously described by Alistair Cook as the last public man linking America of the Civil War and America of the nuclear age. Cooke was referring to the fact that Garner was born in 1868, the son of a former Confederate cavalry trooper. His unique understanding of American history enabled Cactus Jack to steer the isolationist nation clear of the tragedy of the Second Great War.
In 634, an Asian team of the Speaker's Line assembles their Dragon, a kite that is capable of carrying two full-grown men and is almost fully controllable from within. They manage to glide the Dragon to a height of several hundred feet and manage to return to the ground safely. There is rejoicing throughout the Speaker's Line as word of this success spreads through their ranks.
In 1965, the far-left government of Canadian Prime Minister Dominic 'Moonchild' Montclair adopts the leaf of the cannibis sativa as the national symbol for the nation's flag. An obviously oblivious Queen Elizabeth attends the flag-raising to hoots and hollers from hippies gathered for the occasion. Canada becomes known as the front line of the drug war as Montclair's government and a sympathetic parliament enact the most liberal drug laws in the western world. Although denounced by Great Britain and the United States, drug abuse actually declines in Canada during this period, even though casual drug use increases slightly.
In 1950, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China signed a mutual defense treaty as World Communism continued to gain an unstoppable momentum. By the time that Douglas MacArthur was inaugurated in 1953, the Cold War was effectively lost. The reversal of these facts on the ground required Brass Hat to reconquer the world all over again, a feat of arms he attempted in the Dropshot War of 1957.
In Hellenic Year 3362, Socrates flees Athens, confirming his guilt to all citizens. He lives the remainder of his life in shameful exile in Thrace, and his work and students no longer commanded respect among the elite in Athenian society. Even today, he is an obscure philosopher of that great era in Hellenic history.
In 1564, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy. An astronomer of great note in his youth, he gave up the profession after accusations of heresy were leveled against him because of certain findings he had made. He was arrested in 1616 for speaking to some students about the possibility of the earth moving around the sun rather than vice versa. When he refused to recant this belief, he was burned at the stake as a witch.
In 1898, Spanish troops catch a small band of men about to sneak aboard the U.S.S. Maine in Puerto de Habana, Cuba. They are carrying enough explosives to sink the battleship, which might have provoked America into war with Spain. The nationality of the men is never determined, although they speak with heavy German accents.
|Bombing||In 1945, rescue workers looked for survivors in the rubble of Dresden which closely resembled the surface of the moon. A forty-five year old man Edgar Derby was found holding a teapot. German solders concluded this had been stolen as a momento of his incarceration at nearby Slaughterhouse-Five. The previous night, 800 RAF Bomber Command planes let loose 650,000 incendiaries and 8,000lb of high explosives and hundreds of 4,000lb bombs in two waves of attack. They faced very little anti-aircraft fire, even though the city was reported to be a vital command centre for the German defence against Soviet forces approaching from the east. As soon as one part of the city was alight, the bombers went for another until the whole of Dresden was ablaze.|
In 1933, a constitutional crisis ensues when President-elect Franklin Roosevelt is shot to death by an Italian-American bricklayer who objected to another plutocrat gaining control of America's government. Although it seemed obvious to most that Vice-President-elect John Garner was next in line to take over the White House in May, Republican President Herbert Hoover maintained that the constitution was unclear on this point, and asked the Supreme Court to decide who should follow. Although most on the court believed privately that the constitution was, in fact, quite clear on this point, they punted the question to Congress. The House of Representatives, given the duty of electing the president if the general election was unclear, took up the question of whether to elevate their former Speaker, Garner, or to continue Hoover's presidency. Although Garner felt confident that he would win among his old colleagues, it turned out that 'Cactus Jack' had rubbed more than a few of them the wrong way; they voted Hoover back into office. An enraged electorate was made even more radical by this action, and the elections of 1934 saw a huge turnover in Congress - virtually everyone who had voted against Garner and was up for reelection was defeated and replaced by a Garner supporter. Hoover was rendered impotent by the loss of Congress, and was very nearly impeached. He managed to negotiate his way to 1936 still in the office, and John Garner was swept into office in 1936 by a near-unanimous landslide, winning every single state in the general presidential election.
In 1904, the invasion fleet of Q'B'Ton'ra, at least the remains of it, take up position just outside the earth system's Oort cloud. The conquerors of the Mlosh homeworld offer a trade of their prisoners held back on the Mlosh homeworld for the Q'Bar, as he calls his people, held on earth. Delighted that their people are still alive, the Congress of Nations agrees to the prisoner transfer.