A 21st Century Future:a space,technology,political,and cultural TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by LordandsaviorKloka, Jun 8, 2018.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Introduction and prologue

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    What happened to Bold They Rise?
    My ideas for that ran out for now. But it isn’t dead.

    What’s this one about?
    OBL gets killed in ‘85. A host of changes follows,because butterflies.

    Buran,eh?
    This TL is inspired by The Snow Flies, and I had a PM conversation with Nixonshead about this-https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/conversations/concerning-space-tls.887085/

    What’s the scope of this project?
    1985 to—-I don’t know when. It’s going to be ambitious.


    How much cool tech do we get here?
    Initially? Not much:all the butterflies do at first is defer Bush 41’s “let’s go back to the Moon,and then beyond” speech to after his re-election,when the economy’s more able to support that kind of thing.

    And what’s with the New Union Treaty? Does that butterfly away ISS? What about Mir 2? International space? Unmanned missions? Commercial space?
    So many questions! The NUT and associated reforms butterfly away the oligarchy that has dominated Russia since the mid ‘90s. This frees up budget for both ISS and Mir 2. International space we’ll see plenty of. Unmanned probes will fly a-plenty,and there will be commercial space.

    What’s with the cultural in the TL name?
    The butterflies will be flapping their wings in the cultural department. That’s all I can say without spoilers.

    What style are you using?
    It’s mixed. Novel style chapters,some reportage (especially when we get to the Internet era),and some ‘history book’ style chapters. Also,just so you know,some chapters will be POVs.

    Let’s get the show on the road.
    Alright.

    ————

    This first chapter contains language of a religious nationalistic nature. I mean no offense to anyone,regardless of nationality,religion,race,gender,or political creed.

    14 June 1985, 10:56 GMT
    34.96 North, 69.19 East, near Charikar, Afghanistan


    “Qayid (1)!The 21st Corps is on the road.”
    “I’ll be there in a few minutes”
    Usama cursed lightly as he rolled off the log and switched off his radio. What is this life,but mistakes and malfunctions engineered by God for His amusement? The war was not going in their favor. The dreaded Soviets were pushing deeper into Afghanistan. The capital of Kabul itself was now threatened,essentially besieged since last winter.

    At first,Usama had seen the war as offering a new hope for the mujahideen. A new chance to establish a government untainted by the legacy of greed and appeasement the dead monarchy had reveled in. God punished them because they did not follow His plan for the world. They were weak and greedy,no better than Russia under the Czars. As revolution swept them away in 1917,so it happened here in 1973. I remember those days. How we danced in the streets,drank the drinks our faith usually forbids,sang songs that would otherwise get our tongues cut out.


    And then the Russians swept out of the north like a nest of Yemeni vipers. They trapped our people in the hill fastnesses,bombed us by night and by day. Three years we endured,praying to God for relief. Relief came,in the form of American and British aid. Daily paratroop drops,as though manna was being delivered from Heaven like in the old stories. For a while it seemed that we might win. By November 1983,our patrols could even see the Tajiki border.

    But then,the winds of war shifted. That man Reagan became a friend of the cursed Soviets,and they had a leadership change as well:Brezhnev gave way to Andropov,and now Gorbachev (2). Aid ceased,and by night or day none of our forces are safe. With new-type MiGs the DOSAAF now has air superiority that they never enjoyed before. Even our capital of Kabul is under siege. What hope is there if the flag of Moscow flies over Kabul? The cradle of civilization will lie open to Red influence. Arabian oil,Omani textiles and air bases,the holy places in Israel,all will be threatened (3). The road to India,the breadbasket of the world,will lie open.

    But as long as I live,and honor the memory of fallen Hamid (4),there will be hope.

    Sighing,Usama shouldered the old German gun and climbed out of the foxhole.

    ———-

    Private Eduard Chuikov (5) was not a man of the world. A native of Orenburg,recruited at his 19th birthday last year,he was a tankman of the 21st Corps (Orenburg),reporting to Major Strogolshikov in Herat. He was engaged to Serena Kovalyonok back home,and couldn’t wait to return to her. If Kabul was in the Motherland’s hands soon,he might.

    The road was quiet down towards Parwan,and had been since Sunday. The mujahideen were not out in force lately,having retreated behind the defenses surrounding Kabul. They had to know that their cause was lost,didn’t they?

    All of a sudden,Chuikov saw a tall man with a beard like iron wire straggling down the road,shouldering an old rusty rifle of German make. He was plainly sweating. He is in obvious misery,Chuikov thought. I must relieve him.


    He fired his own rifle. The man sagged,then fell. Another shot,a coup de grace,and the man lay dead.

    “Private? What’s going on?”, yelled Sergeant-Engineer Prokopyev behind him. He and a man from Division had seemingly materialized out of nowhere.

    “Some young mujahideen,doubtlessly out to earn glory in bin Laden’s name.”

    He turned the body over.

    Bozhe moi!”


    ———-

    1-according to Google Translate, the Arabic word for ‘Brigadier’

    2-For the purposes of this TL,Chernenko doesn’t exist

    3-bin Laden does not know of glasnost and perestroika

    4-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamid_Gul

    5-all of the named Russians here are OCs

    ———-

    So yeah,Bin Laden is dead. This will lead to many changes:for starters,the Near East will be a little less of a powder keg. His death scene was based on TL-191,specifically how US forces find out about Jake Featherston’s death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    C. McKay likes this.
  2. Bahamut-255 Space Lover

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Bin Laden just bought it?

    This is gonna cause a lot of butterflies, I'll be keeping an eye on this.
     
  3. LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    To begin with,a certain young tanker is gonna get a ton of medals....
     
  4. Threadmarks: Reactions

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    14 June 1985, 18:00 EDT
    New York

    “Good evening,and welcome to NBC Nightly News. I’m Tom Brokaw. Our top story tonight,by way of Le Journal,is the apparent death of Afghan rebel leader Osama bin Laden in the Afghan town of Parwan. According to sources high up in Soviet intelligence,bin Laden died while defending the Kabul road. His killer was 20 year old Red Army private Eduard N.Chuikov,from Orenburg in the RSFSR.”

    ————-

    15 June 1985, 06:30 GMT
    10 Downing Street, London

    Margaret Thatcher sat in bed,rubbing her tired eyes and praying that this wasn’t a dream. Was bin Laden really dead? If this was true,there were huge implications for the Soviet-Afghan War. With the chief mujahideen leader since the death of Hamid Gul last November himself dead,the Soviets would now be in a good position to negotiate a peace. A Soviet peace,but a peace nonetheless. Let us hope that Gorbachev will be willing to negotiate.

    —————


    20 June 1985, 12:50 MST
    Tsarskaya Tower

    Private Chuikov was shown into the KGB office by a grubby sergeant of perhaps sixty. “Vitali Vasilivitch will see you now.”

    Chuikov gulped. Vitali Fedorchuk (1) had a fearsome reputation. People spoke in whispers of the “Ukrainian Lion’s” powers of silencing you with a mere wave of his meaty hand,of his propensity for British wines,and his prowess at Khalkhin Gol,not necessarily in that order. The graying man,who had been Chairman of the KGB for just over three years now,sat behind an ancient desk.

    “So this is the man who killed bin Laden,I’m told.”

    “Yes,sir.”

    “How did you react?”

    “With surprise. It’s not every day one gets to kill a prominent Afghan rebel leader,sir.”

    “And because of this our forces are now at an advantage. Afghanistan is now in our hands. The Motherland owes you much,Private. Anyways,how long did it take you to get back to the capital?”

    “Three days,sir. I took a British helicopter to Herat,a cargo transport to Istanbul,and another cargo transport here via Donetsk.”

    “Would you be willing to be transferred to Public Relations?”

    “Yes,sir.”

    “Good. You start next week. Report to Captain Malyshev,the one whose uncle is a kosmonaut.”


    ———

    1-Fedorchuk stays on after Brezhnev’s death. This will have implications when we get to around 1988.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  5. Threadmarks: Interlude I

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    So,OBL bought a plot,what?
    Yeah. So begins this timeline.

    What made Ronny boy switch sides?
    Gorbachev coming into office,and the mujahideen getting drunk on glory and attacking Soviet units. No religious side to it,but in this TL’s future there will be conspiracy theories to that effect.

    And other than that,everything’s gone as OTL?
    Purdy much.

    Is the cosmonaut uncle mentioned in Fedorchuk’s last sentence Yury Malyshev?
    Do I even need to answer this?

    Will the USSR conquer Afghanistan?
    But of course,comrade! Next update,in fact.

    Can’t wait! When’s the first space-related post?
    The one after that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
    LordRedVine likes this.
  6. LordRedVine The Lord and Savior of Sugary Snack Foods

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Location:
    Somewhere... Somehow...
    I like it.
     
  7. LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    How do I know you’re not a ddmkm22 clone who likes for the sake of liking?:p
     
    LordRedVine likes this.
  8. LordRedVine The Lord and Savior of Sugary Snack Foods

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Location:
    Somewhere... Somehow...
    I'm heavily interested in the 80s and space technology, so to see it combined is really cool. Keep up the good work n' schtuff. :)
     
  9. FieldMarshal Smash the Bolshevik Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Location:
    Jovian Republic
    At the risk of sounding like a party pooper, the Reagan not only ceding Afghanistan to the Soviets but actually sending US jets to bomb the Muj alongside the Red Air Force is more than a bit implausible. Even as US-USSR relations improved under Ronnie and Gorby, the CIA was still funneling weapons to the Mujahideen for the express purpose of killing Soviet soldiers. The only way I could really see Reagan cutting aid to the Muj is if they pulled some major stunt, like blowing up a bunch of schoolgirls in the middle of Moscow or destabilizing Pakistan or something equally stupid. The only way he would actually collaborate with the Russians and start bombing them is if bin Laden started directing the muj to attack American targets.

    That said, it really seems to be a minor issue compared with what the TL wil focus on (space travel). I really enjoyed The Snow Flies and like alternate space program TLs, so I do look forward to updates.
     
    LordandsaviorKloka likes this.
  10. Threadmarks: Improving the Soviet military

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    From Red Crescent:a history of Soviet and Russian interference in the Middle East,by Charlotte Skeoch (2020):

    In the autumn of 1985,Mikhail Gorbachev stood at the top of an empire that straddled northern Asia,Central Asia,and Eastern Europe like the proverbial colossus. The Red Army held more than two-thirds of Afghanistan in fee,and was working on eliminating mujahideen power in the southern hills. Life in the capital city of Kabul had settled down to an extent. The Soviet occupation authorities still permitted the free exercise of Islam and other religions,but forbade military operations in the name of said religions. The city’s newspapers were allowed greater freedom in what to print. By 1987,no less than twenty new schools had opened. Women’s rights were advancing at a steady pace. A new road system was under development,designed to link the whole country by 1994.

    But there were still problems with the greater Soviet military. Fully a third of Soviet Air Force units still flew their planes with the aid of electronics systems devised in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The Army’s tanks still relied on ‘hunt-and-hold’ barrel aiming techniques last popular ten or more years before. The communications chain of command still relied on Cosmos 1075 class satellites with store-and-forward data relay. It was painfully obvious that things needed to change.

    In June 1986,riding the coattails of the end of the 27th Communist Party Congress,the Conference on Improvement of Civil Defense began. The conference lasted five months,and featured no less than 160 speeches on a variety of subjects. On January 22,1987,the conference’s chairpeople issued their recommendations:
    - Use the new Cosmos 1730 satellites for data relay beginning in 1989.
    - Adopt the widespread use of new TsK-12 computers in tactical battle simulations and relaying of advice to battlefield commanders.
    - Commission six new classes of naval vessel,including the new Yantar light aircraft carrier class (beginning in 1992).
    - Overhaul aircraft electronics and control systems thoroughly.
    - Commission new tank types more resistant to heat,bullet,and missile damage.
    - Establish chains of communication for civilian contractors.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    LordRedVine likes this.
  11. Threadmarks: Photo preview post

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
  12. Threadmarks: Photo preview post 2

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
  13. Threadmarks: ACCESS all areas with EASE

    LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    Sorry about the leave of absence,I was busy writing. Also,I just discovered Facebook. Anyways,without further ado,here’s the first space post of this timeline:

    29 November 1985, 02:20 CST
    In low Earth orbit

    Music:The Bangles, ‘Manic Monday’

    240 miles above his home planet,Jerry Ross was enjoying the view of Africa when the call came.

    “Atlantis,Houston,through TDRS-West for Jerry. EV2 reports that he is Go for egress”.

    “Copy that. How are you,Woody?”

    “I’m fine”, Sherwood Spring replied from inside the orbiter. “Still can’t believe I’m about to play space foreman”.

    “Me neither,buddy. Come on out,the air’s fine.”

    “Or the lack of it”, Spring said as he floated into Atlantis’ cavernous payload bay.

    “Can it,boys. You’ve got work to do”, Bryan called from the aft flight deck,where he was manning the arm controls.

    The work ahead of them was the construction of EASE/ACCESS,the Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures. It was a pair of experiments designed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama to assess how quickly a space station could be built. EASE was a tetrahedron and ACCESS a vertical column. The former would occupy the two astronauts during this EVA,the latter during a second EVA planned for two days hence.

    ————

    To his surprise,Jerry found that assembly was taking less time than expected. The Sun was shining through the truss when Capcom called a halt.

    “By the way,boys,the Soviets just announced that their Space Shuttle will make its first flight sometime in the summer of ‘88.”

    “Sounds wonderful. They really do need it.”

    The rest of the assembly,as they say,was ‘copacetic’. After five and a half hours,two tired but happy astronauts returned to Atlantis.

    ——————

    1 December 1985, 04:26 CST

    Music:Dire Straits, ‘Walk of Life’

    Two days later,it was time to assemble ACCESS. Mary Cleave was at the arm controls today,and Jerry had to admit that she was doing a wonderful job. The assembly of ACCESS went well,the cable run simulation left him in tears of laughter,and the exercise where Spring pointed the whole thingamajig at the Moon to judge their relative position went well. All in all.the mission had been a success. In addition to the EVAs,three commercial communications satellites had been deployed,and several scientific experiments had been successfully accomplished. Hopefully next year would be even better.........
     
  14. historybuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    You have my attention.
     
    LordandsaviorKloka likes this.
  15. LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    Good, ‘cause Challenger’s next
     
  16. historybuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    May have OC ideas and possible ideas for future updates, if you're interested.
     
    LordandsaviorKloka likes this.
  17. LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    Tell me some,I’m listening. :p
     
  18. historybuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    Should I give them here, or PM them to you? Maybe Gorbachev's reforms are done right, and, not sure, but, Yeltsin could not become an opponent to Gorbachev, but an ally?
     
    LordandsaviorKloka likes this.
  19. LordandsaviorKloka Son of Gondor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Location:
    middle of New York
    PM would be preferable
     
  20. historybuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    Started the conversation about it with you.
     
Loading...