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.